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New Versions and the Vulgate

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1846

ART. III. — 1. A New Version of the Four Gospels, with Notes Critical and Explanatory. By a Catholic. London.    1836.
2. The Four Gospels, translated from the Greek, with Preliminary Dissertations and Notes Critical and Explanatory. By George Campbell, D. D., Principal of Marischal College, and one of the Ministers of Aberdeen. From the latest London Edition.    Andover.    1837.

THE learned work of Dr. Campbell was first published in Scotland long before the appearance of the anonymous work " by a Catholic." The object of both writers has been to present a clear and fluent translation of the Gospels, divested of antiquated terms and ungrammatical phrases. It must be acknowledged that the received versions, Catholic as well as Protestant,*(Footnote: * See Campbell, Diss. XL, Part II.) admit of much improvement in phraseology and construction ; on which account we should hail with pleasure any effort directed to this end, which may not endanger the fidelity of the rendering, or shock popular feeling by the appearance of bold innovation. Dr. Campbell's translation has been in part adoptad, but in reality disfigured, by his namesake on this side of the Atlantic, whose edition of the New Testament, made up from different sources, is used as a text-book throughout the numerous congregations in the West that call him master. The anonymous writer has not been so successful, and although he may have escaped censure, which his assumption of the incognito leads us to believe he apprehended, he has not disturbed the possession of the Douay or Rheimish version, which, from long use and hallowed associations, has a strong hold on the affections and reverence of the Catholic community.

The first provincial council of Baltimore, having in view the acts of a preceding ecclesiastical assembly held by the founder of the American hierarchy, decreed that the Douay version should be retained ; which regulation, we suppose, was directed to secure uniformity in quotations from the pulpit or the press. Plad the measure which the prelates then contemplated been put in execution, and an accurate edition of that version been issued, we should be slow to favor essays at a new translation ; but although episcopal approbation has been obtained for the several editions since issued in various cities of the Union, these present no evidence of extraordinary diligence on the part of the publishers, so that an accurate edition is still a desideratum. The want of an authorized version is often objected to us by controversial antagonists, who, however, may be well left to indulge self-gratulation on their possession of the translation published by the authority of his Majesty, King James. The Douay version, although not specially approved of by the Holy See, is authoritative, inasmuch as it has the express approval of very many bishops, as well as of the Baltimore council, and is in general use with Catholics throughout the countries in which the English language prevails. This, surely, is enough for all practical purposes, the faithful being thus assured of its soundness and fidelity. It is not desirable that any vernacular version should be solemnly adopted by the Church, so as to preclude improvement, which the changeableness of living languages might render necessary. The sanction given to the Douay version cannot preclude judicious efforts for its improvement. That it is imperfect may be acknowledged, without detracting from its authority as a safe guide in all that regards the substance of the sacred text, and without disrespect to the eminent men who prepared it, the English language having undergone considerable changes since their time. The Italian version of Martini is acknowledged to be excellent, and it was published with the approbation of Pope Pius the Sixth ; yet in Italy no one hesitates to give a new rendering of any passage of the Vulgate, which alone is deemed a standard. In France and Spain, the same freedom is enjoyed, although the Bible de Vence, and the translation of P. Phelipe Scio de S. Michel, are in general use. We know not why the Douay version should enjoy a more exclusive authority. The attempts already made by several editors to modernize the style have, indeed, resulted in throwing doubt on the true reading ; but this only shows the importance of having a revised version published by authority, for which measure the critical labors of learned individuals might be a useful preparation. All unnecessary changes should be avoided, so as to take away the appearance of fluctuation in a matter so grave ; and no change, however advisable it might appear, should be introduced into the public reading of the Scriptures, until approved of by competent authority ; but every respectful suggestion and judicious effort should meet with due consideration.

The ancient Latin version, called the Vulgate, was declared authentic by the Council of Trent. The New Testament not having been translated by St. Jerome, who contented himself with retouching the work of the ancient interpreter, the version of the Gospels is, in the main, that which was made, probably, in the first century, and which," by its own excellence, gained the ascendency over all other Latin translations, and maintained its sway until the revolutionary struggle miscalled the Reformation. The fathers assembled at Trent did not invest the Vulgate with any adventitious authority ; they declared that which it was entitled to from its intrinsic worth, and which immemorial and universal usage had given it. The many Latin translations of the Bible which were circulated at that period, and which were daily on the increase, in consequence of the doctrinal disputes which then raged, determined the prelates to point to the Vulgate as a faithful representation of the original, made when no controversy had arisen, and commended by the approbation of the learned; and by general use during a long series of ages. The wisdom of this decree is acknowledged by Dr. Campbell, who observes, — " If, instead of this measure, that council had ordered a translation to be made by men nominated by them, in opposition to those published by Protestants, the case would have been very different ; for we may justly say, that, amidst such a ferment as was then excited, there should have appeared in a version so prepared any thing like impartiality, candor, or discernment, would have been morally impossible." *(footnote: * Dissertation, X. 7.    Vol. I., p. 355.) This remark applies to the Protestant translations with double force, since the Catholic interpreters, if under bias, could have been only influenced by doctrines received from immemorial antiquity, whilst the Protestant was seeking Scriptural support for new opinions broached in the midst of excitement and revolution. The Vulgate was declared authentic, that is, an authoritative standard, to which appeal could be safely made in all religious investigations. It was not declared faultless ; but, as it had been in general use for more than a thousand years, it was pronounced a faithful guide, on which full reliance might be placed in all that regards faith, and morals, and historic truth.

The prejudices of learned Protestants are in no respect more manifest than in the interpretation of this decree, since they infer from it that the slightest error cannot be admitted to exist in the Vulgate without derogating from its authority, and they triumph in the discrepancies observable in the authorized editions of Clement the Eighth and of Sixtus the Fifth. In attesting the general fidelity of the translation, the fathers of Trent had no idea of claiming inspiration for its author, much less of aflirniing that its editions were free from typographical errors. In John xxi. 22, the common reading is, " Sic eum volo mature," although some manuscripts have u $i," which is conformable to the Greek manuscripts generally. The Cambridge and some Latin manuscripts unite both readings. JMaldonat, a learned Jesuit commentator of Scripture, prefers the common Greek reading to that of the Vulgate ; and Dr. Campbell is surprised at this instance of mental independence, not considering that the preference of a reading found in some Latin manuscripts, and adopted even in the public offices of the Church, does not militate against the decree by which the Vulgate generally was sanctioned. " Not one passage in the Vulgate," he remarks, "can claim the authority of popes and councils, if this cannot." We beg to dispute this assertion. The sanction of the council, although embracing all the portions of that translation, could not be supposed to determine the genuine reading of passages which were different in various manuscripts. The popes, in sanctioning the several editions, meant only to give public authority to them, and prevent alterations being made by private individuals ; but they did not affirm that they were free from imperfection, and consequently they did not preclude ulterior corrections, which learned men might suggest, after further collation of manuscripts. It was for this reason that Clement the Eighth did not hesitate to issue a new edition, in which several errors of the Sixtine edition were corrected. All the ridicule cast on Papal infallibility in consequence of these discrepancies is void of foundation.

The testimony which learned Protestants have borne to the fidelity and general excellence of the Vulgate is in the highest degree corroborative of the Tridentine declaration. Mill, the famous editor of the Greek text, speaking of the Gospel of St. John, remarks : — " In this, as well as in the other three Gospels, the Greek manuscript used by the Vulgate interpreter was very excellent and accurate." After noting a few passages in which ho thinks that the manuscript was inexact, he observes : — " The remaining passages generally present the genuine reading, which differs from almost all our manuscripts and editions."*(footnote: * Prolegomena XLIV.) He says that not less than two hundred readings could be restored by aid of this ancient version. Bengel, a learned Lutheran critic of the last century, shows its value, as representing a manuscript seven, eight, or nine centuries, nay a thousand years, more ancient than any manuscript now extant.(footnote: Introductio in Crisin N. T. p. 393.) A version of itself is not preferable to the text; but an ancient manuscript, as reflected in the version, is plainly of higher authority than a manuscript of a much later period.

The harmony of the Alexandrian manuscript, which dates from the fourth century, with the Vulgate adds no small weight to this version ; and the occasional discrepancy does not lessen its authority. Impartial judges often award the prize of accuracy to the Latin interpreter, who is acknowledged to have taken the least liberty with the text, and studied to represent it most literally. We need not wonder, then, that " some Roman Catholic and even Protestant writers of eminence have contended, that, considering the present state of the Creek text, the Vulgate expresses more of the true reading of the originals or autographs of the sacred penmen than any Creek edition that has yet appeared or can now be framed." This observation of the learned author of the Horcc Bibliccii is quoted by Dr. Lingard in his tracts.*(Footnote: * Page 39, American edition.) Gerard, a celebrated Scotch critic, observes, that the Vulgate "contains several readings which are preferable to the present readings, and supported by some of the best and oldest manuscripts ; and that it is in general skilful and faithful, and often gives the sense of Scripture better than more modern versions." (footnote: Institutes of Criticism, ch. IV., § 4.)

The notes of Campbell show that the Vulgate reading is generally conformable to the most valuable manuscripts and most ancient versions. We have marked down above twenty instances in the single Gospel of St. Matthew in which it is preferred  by him  to  the  common Greek.     To  refer to a well known passage, — the doxology subjoined to the Lord's prayer, and inserted in the text, Matt. vi. 13, is thus noticed by the Scotch critic : — " E. T.   'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.    Amen.'    This doxology is wanting, not only in several ancient Greek manuscripts, but in the Vulgate, Coptic, Saxon, and Arabic versions.     It was not in the Greek copies  used by  Origen,   Gregory Nysscn,  or Cyril.    Cesarius quotes it, not as from the  Scripture, but as from the liturgy used in the Greek churches, whence, in all human probability, according to the judgment of the most celebrated critics, it has first been taken."    It must be gratifying to the  Catholic to find the divine prayer, as used in the Church, vindicated by this acknowledgment from the encumbrance of a conclusion which ill accords with its simplicity. Blooinficld gives another instance.     Speaking of the words, " that comelh in the name of the Lord," which occur in the Protestant   version,  Mark xi.   10,  he  observes: — "These words (which interrupt the construction) are omitted in many good manuscripts of different recensions, and in the opinion of almost all the critics are to be expunged."    The boldness of Beza in changing the text on mere conjecture has led to several readings in the common editions, destitute of any support from manuscripts or versions. In John xviii. 20, there is a diversity of reading in the ancient manuscripts, JIKJ'TOIE appearing in several of them as well as in the Oomplutensian and other valuable editions, while "niivrsg is supported by the Alexandrian, and several other manuscripts, some early editions, with-the Vulgate, first Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Saxon, and Elhiopic versions." The English translators have, in this instance, deserted the common Greek, which is plainly a corruption originating with Beza, and have adopted the Oomplutensian reading, leaving that of the Vulgate, which is supported by higher authority and offers a better meaning.

Many of the errors in the common Greek editions are to be traced to accident, or zeal not guided by sound judgment. From the similarity of terms in successive verses, omissions sometimes occurred in the manuscripts. On the other hand, many interpolations were made with a view to harmonize the statements of the Evangelists ; the copyist taking on himself to supply from another writer what appeared to be wanting in the narrative before him. Uncouth phrases, involving solecisms, were often exchanged for purer phraseology ; and the difficulties arising from an abrupt and abridged style were removed by introducing words which smoothed the asperity. The introductory or concluding phrases or sentences, in the public reading of the Scriptures as part of the liturgy, sometimes found their way into the sacred volume ; which still more frequently was encumbered with explanatory terms, placed originally in the margin, and imperceptibly confounded with the text. We need not wonder, then, that editions made from manuscripts of no very remote antiquity should present many inaccuracies, from which the ancient version is exempt.

Although no decree was made by the Council of Trent concerning vernacular versions, the usage has uniformly been to make them from the Vulgate, as the only recognized standard. Yet the original text has been held in view to illustrate terms or passages that might otherwise be ambiguous, and to keep as closely as possible to the meaning of the sacred authors. Whether it be allowed by Catholic discipline to propose for general and public use a version not made on the Vulgate may be fairly questioned ; but to present to the public an exact version of the text, for the satisfaction of those not able to have access to it, is not necessarily an attempt to set aside or to disparage the authentic version, which it will be found in the main to support and illustrate. The version under review appears to be made chiefly from the Vulgate ; the author, however, freely availing himself of the actual reading of the text, wherever he deems it more correct. Thus, in Matt. xx. 15, he has embodied in the text some words found in the common Greek, but wanting in the Vulgate : — " Have I not a right to do as I will with mine own cl " In the note he remarks, " These words have been lost from the Vulgate." Dr. Campbell does not speak with equal confidence, although he deems the words of manifest importance to the sense. " There is the same defect," he says, "in the Saxon and Armenian versions, but not in any Greek manuscript that has yet appeared, nor in any other translation." It may be as " the Catholic " conjectures ; but it is no less possible that the words may have been added at a very early period, for the sake of illustration, and may have passed from the margin to the text, as is the opinion of the judicious Mill. Critics observe that additions were often made in this way to remove a difficulty ; whilst omissions, by which the reading became embarrassed, did not easily pass unperceived. We think a note, marking that the words were found in the manuscripts generally, would have answered every purpose, without introducing them into the text on very questionable grounds.

" The Catholic " omits, in Mark i. 2, the namo of the prophet Isaiah, which is given in the Vulgate, and follows the Greek text, which refers to " the prophets," a reading which seems recommended by the fact, that quotations follow from Malachi as well as Isaiah. The critical observation above cited will, however, lead us to prefer the Vulgate reading ; for if " the prophets " had been originally referred to, it is not likely that a transcriber or an interpreter would have named Isaiah, especially as the text which immediately follows is from Malachi. Griesbach *(footnote: * Novum Teslamenlum Grace.    Lipsite, 1805.) has not hesitated to restore the reading which the Vulgate represents ; and Bloomfield remarks, — " The best critics (and especially the recent ones) seem agreed that the true reading is (v 'jloiuu ™ nQO(ft']j)h as being found in the most ancient manuscripts and versions, and con-finned by a passage of Porphyry, where he censures Mark, because in this passage he attributes to Isaiah what is found in another writer,  namely,  Malachi, in whom something similar
occurs-"*(Footnote: * A Critical Digest.    London, 1820.) We shall not attempt to unravel the knot which the Vulgate reading presents ; but we think that the critical rule of preferring the diflicult reading should have great weight in this instance, especially since the authorities just quoted powerfully support its application. " The Catholic " might have safely followed the Vulgate, and marked in a note his preference of the common Greek.

" The Catholic " prefers the Greek reading of John xii. 47, and renders accordingly : —" Should any man hear my words and believe them not, I do not condemn him ; for I came not to condemn the world, but to save the world." The Vulgate reads, —" If any man hear my words, and keep them not," &c. It is not necessary to show that this reading is the true one. To put it aside, the grounds should have been strong, since its antiquity forms a great presumption in its favor. Campbell, as well as Harwood, does not hesitate to adopt it as genuine, and gives the authorities by which ho was determined :— " A considerable number of manuscripts, among which are the Alexandrian and the Cambridge, read qpv^fy; to which agree not only the Vulgate, which says, ' ct non cus-todicrit,' but both the Syriac, the Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Saxon versions, together with the paraphrase of Norm us : —
Kul f.n] aovlriTolo voov acpgr/yida rpv),u$ij."

This might have caused " the Catholic " to pause before he adopted the other reading, and to content himself with indicating his preference in a note, rather than change the text. Indeed, it will be diflicult to find a single instance in which he can sustain the corrections on which he has ventured. In bis improved translations of some words and passages, we are disposed to question his success, or at least to dispute the propriety of substituting them in the body of the text, rather than suggest them in the notes. The third verse of the seventh chapter of St. Mark is thus rendered by him : — " For the Pharisees and all the Jews eat not, unless they have washed their hands wiili the fist closed." In the note it is observed, — " The Latin translator, unable to understand washing with the fist, seems in despair to have rendered nvyfn, by crebro." This is very modest! The author of the Vulgate, and the authors of other most ancient versions which harmonize with it, in this instance, despaired of discovering the meaning of a Greek term expressing a Hebrew practice which was then recent, if not still in vigor ; and our learned contemporary fixes it beyond any manner of doubt ! Far from wishing that the efforts of the learned to illustrate obscure terms should be restricted, we view them with delight ; but we should be better pleased, were conjectures proposed as such, where, after all that has been said, the word remains a riddle.
The twenty-ninth verse of the twelfth chapter of Luke reads thus in the version of " The Catholic " : — " Seek ye not, therefore, after what ye may eat, or what ye may drink ; nor disquiet your minds with doubts for the future." As the Vulgate rendered the last member of the sentence " nolite in sublime tolli," the new interpreter thought fit to observe in a note, ■— " The Latin translator was at a loss for the real meaning of this verb, and therefore rendered it literally from the adjective [ttjioyyoq, sublimis. But jjETiioyog is said of him who is in suspense, and looks forward with anxiety to the result ; as in Josephus, /.uit'atgot, THQI iwv oleov oyrtg (De Bel., IV. 9) ; whence there can be no doubt that fttiKo^ofuu means here to look forward with anxiety, to be solicitous for the future." To this interpretation of the word, which suits the context, we do not object ; but we think that the ancient translator is hardly dealt with, since he is supposed to have been at a loss for the real meaning, whilst he has rendered the term accord' ing to its primary signification,*(footnote: * See Bloomfield, in loc.) which is not altogether unsuit-ed to this place. " Be not lifted up on high," might be said after an exhortation not to seek with too great anxiety meat or drink, either with a view to caution us against the other extreme, of too great confidence, or to point out the danger of pride and ambition, in connection with worldly solicitude. As long as the ancient translation is grounded on the radical force of ihe term and its acknowledged use, we should hesitate to reject it, although a rendering apparently more suitable should present itself, which we would prefer noting at the bottom of the page. It is prudent to be slow in correcting a version made at so early a period, under advantageous circumstances, especially if what we offer in its stead be not decidedly clear and incontrovertible.

" Si quid melius nosti, candidus imperti: Si non, istis utere mecum."

Even King James's translators paid homage, in several instances, to the excellence of the Vulgate, by adopting its readings in preference to the common Greek. In the eighteenth chapter of St. Luke, two instances occur of this involuntary trihute. On verse twenty-five, where the common reading means to enter into, Campbell says, — " I have here, with the English translators, preferred the reading of the Vulgate." He proceeds to quote the Alexandrian and Cambridge manuscripts, with some others, besides various versions, in support of it. The Protestant translation of verse thirty-one is likewise, as he remarks, " literally from the Vulgate," which is supported by the Cambridge and two or three manuscripts, and by both the Syriac versions. The common reading " has been deserted by most modern interpreters." In John xviii. 15, the common Greek has the definite article, which should be rendered " the other disciple " ; but the Protestant version, as well as the Douay, has " another disciple." " This," says Campbell, u is another instance wherein our translators have preferred the reading of the Vulgate to that of the common Greek." *' The only authorities from manuscripts for this reading are the Alexandrian, the Cambridge, and another of less note, all which omit the article. Wetsteiu mentions no versions which favor it, except the Vulgate and the Gothic. It is surprising that he does not mention the Syriac, which expresses exactly the sense of the Vulgate, in this manner, — ' and one of the other disciples.' It was impossible in that language, which has no articles, to show more explicitly, that, in their original, the expression was indefinite. The Saxon version also says ' another.' This renders it very probable that it was so in the old Italic. Nonnus, too, expresses it indefinitely."
Were the first verse of John xviii. literally rendered, according to the common Greek, Christ would be represented as going " over the brook of the cedars " ; whereas, the Protestant version, conformably with the Vulgate, styles it " the brook Cedron," having no support for this reading but the Alexandrian manuscript. " The majority of modern critics," says Campbell, " agree with Jerome in thinking that this, which suits the Vulgate, ' trans torrentem Cedron,' is the genuine reading ; a remarkable instance wherein the internal evidence is  more than a counterbalance to numerous testimonies, or strong external evidence, on the opposite side This is one of the few passages in which the English translators have preferred the reading of the Vulgate, though unsupported, to the almost universal reading of the Greek."

After such instances, our readers may not be disposed to think that the fathers of Trent set too high a value on the old Latin translation ; since even they who, under the influence of party views, studied to depart from it, whenever they could do so with plausibility, and held up the common Greek editions as the genuine word of inspiration, felt compelled, in many instances, to defer to its superior accuracy. We do not take on us to affirm, that, in every instance where there is discrepancy, the Vulgate is uniformly entitled to the preference ; but its claims, in the far greater number of cases, being acknowledged by its adversaries, the presumption in its favor is such as can be overruled only by strong internal evidence, or by positive authorities. Whoever proceeds by a contrary rule, and takes the Greek text as correct, on the principle that a text outweighs a version, mistakes an inaccurate edition of the text for the original, and unjustly depreciates a faithful representation of the text at a period when it had not yet suffered seriously from the temerity of copyists.
Translators on the continent of Europe have generally given a free version of the Vulgate, not deeming it necessary to adhere to the letter, provided they presented its meaning in clear language. English translators, Protestant as well as Catholic, have generally been servilely literal ; the Protestant rendering as closely as possible the text, except where sectarian bias guided his pen, — the Catholic giving an equally close version of the Vulgate. Much obscurity, and some barbarisms (we love to speak plainly), disfigure several passages of both versions in consequence of this tenacity, which may be said of the Vulgate itself, since the ancient interpreter studied to render the text, especially of the New Testament, word for word, sometimes with the sacrifice of perspicuity and grammar. This should be borne in mind by those who are scandalized at some unintelligible or ambiguous passages, of which the fault, however, is not in the translator, who cared not. to gain the praise of clearness or elegance, at the cost of fidelity to his guide, or with the risk of misrepresenting his meaning. Where the text itself is clear, a literal version may present a false sense, in which case it is right to use a paraphrase, in order to convey the idea of the writer ; and this may be done with safety, wherever no controverted point can be affected by the freedom of the rendering.    In all matters of controversy, scrupulous adherence to the letter is necessary, lest the interpreter should incur the suspicion of party bias. In the notes he may advance whatever he deems proper to shed light on the text, for, in reading them, the reader is apprized that he is listening to an uninspired teacher ; whilst he could not distinguish the interpreter from the sacred writer in a version which would give the author's ideas as reflected through a human medium.

To the unfortunate controversies of the sixteenth century we may trace the extreme closeness of the English versions, which at present may not easily be departed from, although the sacred text thus appears to the reader in no attractive garb. Dr. Campbell has ventured to modernize the phraseology, and " The Catholic " has taken a like liberty ; but whilst they thus present a more agreeable picture, it may not prove equally useful, since the public ear being accustomed to the Scriptural phrases, the improved turns of speech will scarcely sound like the word of God. We shall take an instance at random, and present the various versions of a single text, Luke xii. 41. " And Peter said to him, Lord, dost thou speak this parable to us, or likewise to all ? " The Protestant and Catholic versions are the same, with the exception of " even," substituted for " likewise," in the former. The rendering of Campbell runs freely : — " Then Peter said to him, Master, is this comparison directed to us alone, or to all present ? " The term " parable," which is susceptible of different meanings, is here advantageously exchanged for an English word admitting of no ambiguity ; but will the common reader be edified by the change ? " The Catholic " has been careful to preserve it, although he has altered the form of the sentence : — " Then Peter said to him, Lord, is it about us that thou speakest this parable, or also about all ? " We are by no means supersti-tionsly attached to the Scriptural terms ; but, having regard to public feeling, we think that a note pointing out the meaning of the term in the particular passage is preferable to its exchange for a word in common use. Whilst, then, we are pleased with a fluent version, such as that of " The Catholic." for private perusal, and for the illustration of the text, we should hesitate to displace the received Scriptural phraseology, or to study elegance of diction by departing from the letter, especially should there be danger of mistaking the meaning. We do not think it an improvement to cancel from the text words adopted into almost all languages, and with which all Christians are familiar, although the substitution of others of more definite meaning may sometimes convey clearer views. " To be changed (in mind)" is not, in our view, a happy substitution for "converted." The term scandal is well understood, and strikes forcibly on the popular ear. The text as presented by " The Catholic " is more fluent, but not so effective : — " Woe to the world on account of the causes of sin. That the causes of sin should be, is necessary ; nevertheless, woe to the man through whom such causes happen." Elsewhere we read, ■— " Happy is the man who findeth no cause of of Pence in me." " Doth this give you offence ? " is the rendering of the question put by our Lord to his Apostles, when the promise of giving his flesh and blood had shocked and estranged many from his service. We think the common version quite intelligible, and more impressive.

It is generally admitted by the learned, that the Greek term 7] olxovfiin), and the Latin orbis terrarumy are sometimes used to designate the Roman empire, or merely the land of Judea. We cannot, therefore, object to the rendering of it in this manner, wherever it is clearly limited by the context to either signification ; but where interpreters are divided in opinion as to the force of the terms, we think it a duty of an unbiased translator to render them literally, and reserve to the note ihe expression of his own views. " The Catholic " has rendered Luke xxi. 20, — " Men will faint away through fear and expectation of what is about to come over the land." Campbell, on the contrary, adheres to the common rendering, " the earth," " the world," and argues from the context that it relates to the inhabitants of the earth generally. It is enough that it lies open to this interpretation, which is the most obvious one. " The Catholic " should not have rendered the text to suit his peculiar opinion.

Ever since the rise of the Lutheran errors, the Vulgate rendering of the Greek verb /Aeiavoiai, and the corresponding terms of the vernacular versions, displeased, extremely, reformed critics. Agere pecnitentiam was displaced by Beza to give room to resipisco, which, he contended, expressed more accurately the force of the original term. Those who were ashamed to accuse the ancient interpreter of misrepresenting the text contended that the Latin terms meant no more than regret for misconduct, whilst "to do penance" implied external austerities not at all embraced in the idea which the Greek word suggests.    We are not disposed to deny that it essentially regards the change of mind, and ordinarily means an improved state of mind, whereby sin is abandoned and virtue is embraced ; but we object to the attempt to determine the force of Greek terms by their etymology, or by their use among classic, that is, pagan writers, rather than by the usage of those Jews who spoke the Greek language, and the context of the places in which the words are employed. Campbell, Bloom-field, and critics generally, expose to ridicule those etymologists who are inattentive to usage, the great arbiter of language. According to etymology, Stiwovia) would signify to bustle through the dust ; whilst it is used to express any service rendered, whether by a domestic waiting on the table, or by a minister of religion sharing in the high functions of the ministry, or by angels ministering to incarnate Deity. XUQOTOVUO would literally signify to stretch forth the hand, whilst it is applied in Scripture to the imposition of hands, and even to the divine appointment ; as where Christ is said to have appeared not to the entire people, but to witnesses " preordained " by God.*(footnote: * Acts x. 41. f In c. ix. 3G Matt.    See also Diss. IV., 16.) Numberless other instances can be pointed to, wherein scarcely a trace of the radical meaning is discovered in the general acceptation of terms ; wherefore Campbell acknowledges, that "■ the plea from etymology, in a point which ought to be determined solely by use, where use can be discovered, is very weak."f Can it be denied that the Hellenistic use of the verb in question implied a change of mind, manifested by external acts of humiliation and self-punishment ? It was in sackcloth and ashes, fasting and weeping, that the Ninevites repented ; and in like manner Tyre and Sidon would have sought to propitiate Heaven, had they been witnesses of the wonders wrought in Corozain and Bethsaida. Campbell felt that " to repent " does not fully express the Scriptural idea; wherefore he substituted " to reform." " The Catholic " objects that reformation does not always proceed from repentance, and prefers the favorite Protestant rendering. Our faith does not depend on the manner in which this term may be translated ; but we should hesitate to ajter the received version, whilst we know that in its Scriptural application and ecclesiastical usage the term implies all that we mean by the words " do penance," as Bois, canon of Ely, has acknowledged. There are, doubtless, passages in which repent better represents the original, because the change of mind is specially insisted on ; as there are others in which external humiliation is more prominent. To vary the version, as the context demands, is no inconsistency, and is familiar to the Vulgate interpreter, who freely used " pcanitemini," and u pcenitentiam agile," as the occasion suggested, and sometimes indiscriminately. The same liberty is used by our English translators, which, we think, should abundantly satisfy critics and etymologists, without expunging from the sacred text all mention of " penance," in passages where it is most clearly implied.
In the salutation of the angel, addressed to the Virgin, a
Greek participle of the perfect passive form is used, derived
from a verb which signifies to bestow favor. The ancient in
terpreter rendered it " gratia plena," which is, literally, " full
of grace." The Protestant version has, " highly favored " ;
Campbell, " favorite of heaven " ; and " The Catholic "
translates it, " thou favored (of God)." It is somewhat sur
prising that we should owe the vindication of the Latin trans
lator to Protestant critics. Bloomfield remarks, — " This is
not well rendered ' beloved,' or ( favorite of heaven,' as in
Campbell's version. Better (as in the Vulgate) ' gratia ple
na.'  For, as Valckney observes, all verbs of this form,
as ulfitaToa), Ouvjuuruo), &c, have s. sense of heaping up, or rendering full."

Our readers, no doubt, are by this time well tired of our strictures on our Catholic brother ; so, asking pardon for our tediousness, we hasten to conclude them, by adverting to the character of the notes, some of which have startled us. The writer seems familiar with the German Biblicists, and, although untainted with the impiety of the Rationalistic school, we fear that he may have adopted some views not altogether sound. What is said by our Lord of the demon leaving a possessed person, and, after much wandering through dry places, returning with other fiends, is thought by the Catholic to be a mere reference to popular persuasion. The cure which was effected by the waters of Bethsaida after the descent of the angel is only mentioned by the Evangelist as the belief of the Jews at the time. The penultimate chapter of St. John " looks very like the conclusion of the Gospel, and it is not improbable, that, when the Evangelist wrote it, he intended it as such." In the words of our Lord, by which the distinction between various forms of swearing is exploded, " The Catholic " discovers an absolute prohibition to swear, binding the Jewish converts, but not binding the churches of the Gentiles to the same extent. He imagines " that John in prison became impatient for the establishment of the kingdom of ihe Messiab ; that be wondered why our Saviour spent so much time in teaching and performing miracles in Galilee, instead of claiming the kingdom in Jerusalem ; and that, to relieve himself from this perplexity, he sent to ask the question." He says of the blasphemy against the Spirit, — " The sin in question could only be committed by the contemporaries and eyewitnesses of the miracles of our Saviour " ; and he confines to the destruction of Jerusalem the sublime and awful words of our Lord, which the fathers of the Church generally believe are to be eminently fulfilled at the close of time. What, however, scandalizes us above all is the note on Matthew xxiv. 36, wherein he says of our adorable Redeemer, — " In quality of man, his knowledge during his mortal life was limited, like his power, to the object of his mission. He had not then the power of granting the petition of the sons of Zebedee, but after his resurrection he possessed all power in heaven and on earth. He had not now the knowledge of the day or hour ; after his resurrection undoubtedly he possessed it."

The wisdom of the Catholic church in reserving to her prelates the revision and approbation of vernacular versions is fully manifest from the work before us, written by a man of high literary qualifications and of sincere faith, but, as we apprehend, too bold in his critical corrections, and wanting in theological accuracy of expression. The clearness of his style, and its fluency, commend it, and the fewness of the notes, which are void of all controversial acrimony, enhance the value of his version in our estimation ; nevertheless, its departure from the translation hitherto used is too wide to allow its substitution, were it otherwise free from the objections which we have urged against it. Any change in a book of such' high authority, with whose terms and phraseology the faithful are familiar from their infancy, and which they have treasured up in their memory, sjiould be necessary in order to be expedient, and should be cautiously attempted, to be successful. We have reviewed this work with no bias, unless, perchance, that which arises from Catholic sympathies for an unknown brother, and a delicacy grounded on popular rumor, which, incorrectly, as we presume, identifies lt The Catholic " with England's historian.
The work of Dr. Campbell is of great value as a literary effort of a high order, and is particularly acceptable to us inasmuch as it testifies to the excellence of our Vulgate translation, which it establishes by numerous authorities quoted in most of the places where its reading differs from the common translation. He denies, however, the correctness of some passages, but pronounces it, upon the whole, a good and faithful version.*(footnote: Dissertations.   X. Part ITT., p. 10. Ibid.) The candor with which he points out the wilful perversion of the sacred text by Beza, and other Protestant translators, several of whose corruptions are retained in the common version, deserves our acknowledgment. In three verses of the fifth chapter of St. Matthew, 21, 27, 33, the words of our Lord, "You have heard that it was said to them of old," have been misrepresented by substituting Ay, as if the statement of doctrine which our Lord condemned had really been made by the ancients, and not rather falsely ascribed to them by the Pharisees at that time. This corruption, originating with Beza, is continued to this day in all the Protestant Bibles, circulated as the true word of God ! " His words," says Campbell, " and the doctrine of the Pharisees, are alike misrepresented by this bold interpreter. I am sorry to add, that, in the instance we have been considering, Beza has been followed by most of the Protestant translators of his day, Italian, French, and English." (footnote:    Part IV., p. 6.)

The insertion of explanatory words in Italics, which is very genera] in the Protestant version, is a mode of determining the meaning of the text in a way to mislead the reader unawares. Thus, Matt. xx. 23, in the answer of our Lord to the sons of Zebedee, we read, — " To sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give ; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father." The reader may easily conclude hence that Christ has no power whatever to assign to any one the high distinction in question ; whereas, by reading the text in its simple form, unencumbered by this addition, it will be plain that Christ himself gives the places, not according to favor and caprice, but conformably to the counsels of his eternal Father. Hence Dr. Campbell correctly renders it, — " To sit at my right hand and at my left I cannot give, unless to those for whom it is prepared by my Father." Other instances of perversion are pointed out by the" learned critic.

The general observation which he makes in regard to Prot-
estant versions is fully applicable to that which was ushered into tho world under the sanction of King James. " Some allowance is no doubt to be made for the influence of polemic theology, the epidemic disease of those times wherein most of the versions which I have been examining were composed. The imaginations of men were heated, and their spirits embittered with continual wranglings, not easily avoidable in their circumstances ; and those who were daily accustomed to strain every expression of the sacred writers, in their debates one with another, were surely not the fittest for examining them with that temper and coolness which are necessary in persons who would approve themselves unbiased translators." *(footnote: • Dissertations.    X. 15.)

The bias of the translators of " the authorized version " is apparent throughout the whole work.; but as we desire to confine ourselves to the Gospels, we shall refer to an instance which might not strike every reader. In John i. 42, our Lord is represented as thus addressing Simon, when presented to him by Andrew, his brother : — " Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation a stone." Dr. Campbell properly remarks that the Evangelist, writing in a Grecian city of Asia Minor, translated the Hebrew names of persons into the Greek language, that they might be known by the names which they then bore. Thus, in the preceding verse Andrew is related to have said to Simon, — "We have found the Messiah"; and immediately the Evangelist subjoins, —" which is, being interpreted, the Christ " ; because his readers knew our Lord by this title. Consistency required that they should have rendered the following verse, — "Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, being interpreted, Peter " ; but they chose to keep the Apostle out of view, and to substitute a diminutive term which does not faithfully express the force of Cephas, — A ROCK. ^ If the sacred penman," Dr. Campbell remarks, "had more in view to acquaint us with the signification of the name, than to prevent our mistaking the person, he would probably have translated Cephas into Greek, niiQa, not niiqoi;. The former is always used in the New Testament, and in the Septuagint, for a rock, and never the latter. I acknowledge that nhQos, in Greek authors, and nixqu are synonymous ; but in the use of the sacred writers, nirqoq is invariably, and nsiqa never, a proper name."    He then refers to the famous passage of Matthew xvi. 18, and shows that the change of terms was made for the sake of the gender, the feminine noun not being suitable for the name of a man. " Accordingly in the Syriac version there is no change of the word ; Cephas, or rather Kepha, serving equally for both." This piliful attempt to make every thing subservient to sectarian views shows how easily the mere English reader may mistake the perversions of the sacred text for the word of God.

The whole system of making one's faith by reading the Bible is professedly based on a text whose ambiguity the Protestant translators took upon them to remove. " Search the Scriptures." John v. 39. This is proclaimed to be a divine command of indispensable obligation ; and yet it turns out to be no other than an artful turn given to what should have been rendered affirmatively, — " Ye search the Scriptures." " To me it is evident," says Dr. Campbell, u that nothing suits this [the connexion] so well as the indicative." We refer our leaders to the note of the learned critic, in which he fully sustains this view. No terms of censure were found too severe to express the horror which most Protestant controvertists felt for the books styled by them Apocryphal. It is refreshing to find Dr. Campbell rising superior to this prejudice and tracing occasionally to those books the phraseology used by the Evangelists. The parable of the unjust judge importuned by an injured widow, by which our Lord recommended perseverance in prayer, is in striking contrast with the picture drawn of God, the righteous judge, by the pencil of Ecclesiasticus. " The Lord is judge, and there is not with him respect of persons. He will not despise the prayers of the fatherless, nor the widow, when she poureth out her complaint. Do not the widow's tears run down the cheek, and her cry against him that
causeth them to fall ?     The Lord will not be slack,
but will judge for the just, and will do judgment; and the Almighty will not have patience with them, that he may crush their back : And he will repay vengeance to the Gentiles, till he have taken away the multitude of the proud, and broken the sceptres of the unjust, till he have rendered to men according to their deeds."*(footnote: • Eccl. xxxv. 15-24.) The learned Grotius preceded Campbell in recurring to this ancient writer to determine the force of the terms used by our Lord in the parable ; both of them recognizing the very remarkable contrast in the chief features of the description, as well as the similitude of the phrases and the identity of the terms. In both passages the verb /uxxpo-'/i/jutw occurs, which is commonly rendered to have patience, but which, from the connection in which it stands, might be more clearly expressed by the term to linger, as Campbell suggests, or to be slow, as " The Catholic" renders it. " To me it appears very probable, considering the affinity of the subject, that the Evangelist had, in the expression he employed, an allusion to the words of the Jewish sage." This is the remark of Campbell, the force of which is infinitely increased, when it is considered that the words recorded by the Evangelist are of our Lord himself, and that the whole parable seems framed with special reference to the description of the divine judge given by the son of Sirach, and to illustrate the same principle. Let the conclusion drawn by our Lord be compared with the passages above quoted : — " Will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night; and will he have patience in their regard ? I say to you that he will quickly revenge them." *(footnote: Luke xviii. 7.)

With equal candor the learned critic draws attention to the fact, that our Lord shared in the celebration of a festival whose institution is traced to the chieftain specially celebrated in the books of the Maccabees. " This festival," he remarks, " was instituted by Judas Maccabjeus, 1 Mac. iv. 59, in memory of their pulling down the altar of burnt-offerings, which had been profaned by the pagans, and building a new one dedicated to the true God."(footnote: 1 John x. 22.) It will not be an easy matter to persuade unbiased readers that our Lord would have sanctioned, by his presence and participation, a festival originating from a source purely human. It is fairer to infer that Judas Maccabaeus acted under a divine impulse in its institution, and that the book which records it is a sacred history, like those in which the Mosaic festivals were registered.

From all we have said, it is manifest that critical researches have contributed much to confirm the high anlhority of the Vulgate. It is truly a precious relic of Christian antiquity, — a painting drawn from life by a master, representing with great accuracy all the features of the original. If it has suffered in the course of ages, it must be retouched by no unskilful hand. Vernacular versions may need correction ; but even this should be undertaken cautiously, lest the change detract from the reverence due to the divine writings. It is easier to find fault with the received version than to improve it ; yet we feel that the revision of it is greatly to be desired, to free it from all unnecessary solecisms, and present it to the common reader in as agreeable a style as may be found consistent with fidelity and simplicity.