|Bible Research > English Versions > 19th Century > Campbell > Preface|
A LIVING language is continually changing. Like the fashions and customs in apparel, words, and phrases, at one time current and fashionable, in the lapse of time become awkward and obsolete. But this is not all; many of them, in a century or two, come to have a signification very different from that which was once attached to them: nay, some are known to convey ideas not only different from, but contrary to, their first signification. And were it not for books and parchments, which preserve from one generation to another, the language of the dead; and transmit, from father to son, the words and sentences of past times; it is not improbable that, in one generation, a living language would undergo as many mutations, and admit of as many innovations, as it now does in two or three hundred years. Books, written in a style that obtains the reputation of being both correct and elegant, serve to give stability to language. They are to language, what strong holds and fortresses are to a country. Yet even these the cankering hand of time moulders away, and they cease to be a defence against invasion and revolution. And books, however reputable as the standard of a living tongue, and however much read and admired, are unable to maintain a long controversy against the versatility and love of novelty, characteristic of the human mind.
In attempting to trace the finger of God, employed in preparing the way for the introduction and consummation of a perfect revelation, some wise and learned men have thought, that the wisdom and benevolence which appear in all the divine procedure towards man, were never more conspicuously displayed, than in causing the completion of the Jewish and Christian writings, to precede but a little time the death of the Hebrew and Greek languages. Both languages had been consummated before the revelation was entrusted to them; and, that they might continue immutable and faithful guardians of a repository so precious and sacred—that they might become immortal conservators of the New Institution, sealed by the blood of the Son of God, they died.
We have, in writing, all the Hebrew and Greek that is necessary to perpetuate to the end of time, all the ideas which the Spirit of God had communicated to the world; and these languages, being dead, have long since ceased to change. The meaning of the words used by the sacred penman is fixed and immutable; which it could not have been, had these languages continued to be spoken.(1)
But this constant mutation in a living language, will probably render new translations, or corrections of old translations, necessary every two or three hundred years. For although the English tongue may have changed less during the last two hundred years, than it ever did in the same lapse of time before: yet the changes which have taken place since the reign of James I., do now render a new translation necessary. For if the King's translators had given a translation every way faithful and correct, in the language then spoken in Britain; the changes in the English language which have since been introduced, would render that translation, in many instances, incorrect. The truth of this assumption will appear from a few specifications:—
In the second Epistle to Corinth, (viii. 1. common version,) Paul says, "We do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia". This was, no doubt, a correct and intelligible rendering of the Greek words, gnorizomen de umin, to the people of that day; but to us it is unintelligible as the Greek original. How few are there who can translate "We do you to wit," by We cause you to know? which is the modern English of the above sentence. The same may be observed of the term "wot," in all places where it occurs.
The term "conversation" was a very exact rendering of the term anastrophe in that day, as the old statutes and laws of England attest; but it is now a very incorrect one. It then, signified what a person did; it now denotes what a person says. Then, it was equivalent to our word behaviour; but now it is confined to what proceeds from the lips: consequently all those passages are now mistranslated in which this term occurs—such as 1 Peter ii. 12. "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles." Galatians i. 13. "You have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion." James iii. 13. "Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." Excepting Phil. i. 27. iii. 20. and Heb. xiii. 5., in every other place where the word conversation occurs in the common version, it is anastrophe in Greek; and in our modern style it is always a mistranslation. In all those places substitute the word behaviour, and then we have an exact translation into the language which we speak.
We shall next instance the term "double-minded," which was a very literal translation of the word dipsuchos; but the term "double-minded," if, in the days of King James, it denoted a person who sometimes leaned to one opinion and sometimes to another, has come to denote a quite different character. It now, as defined by Johnson, signifies a deceitful or an insidious person. To say that a deceitful person is unstable in all his ways, as the Apostle says of the double-minded man, is not only a mistranslation in our style, but conveys a false idea to the reader: for while "a man of two minds" is unstable in all his ways, it is very far from fact to say, that "a deceitful man is unstable in all his ways."
But not to be tedious on this subject, we shall only adduce another specification of this kind. 1 Thess. iv. 15. "We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep." The word "prevent" did, in that day, exactly translate phthano, used transitively; but now it does not. For then "prevent" was used as synonymous with anticipate or outstrip; but now it is commonly used as equivalent to hinder. Hence, we have found many unable to understand this important declaration of Paul to the Thessalonians. They supposed that Paul was assuring them, that those who should be alive upon the earth, at the coming of the Lord to judge the world, would not hinder the resurrection and glorious change of the dead saints. But how different the ideas communicated by the Apostle, when a proper substitute for the term "prevent" is found; such as the word anticipate or outstrip! Then it reads, "We which are alive at the coming of the Lord will not anticipate the dead"—we will not be changed an instant sooner than they. The living and dead saints at the same moment shall be glorified together. In the common version the word "prevent" and its derivatives occur frequently, and are mistranslations, owing to the change in the use and meaning of the words which has since that time occurred. Such are the following: "The God of my mercy shall prevent me"—"Let thy mercies speedily prevent us"—"I prevented the dawning of the morning"—"Mine eyes prevented the night watches"—"Jesus prevented him, saying, Simon, of whom do the Kings of the earth take tribute?" and sundry other places too numerous to cite; in all of which the word anticipate would, in our time, exactly express the meaning.
These specifications are sufficient to show, that changes have taken place in our own language, within two hundred years, that make any translation of that age incorrect in numerous instances, however perfect it might have been when it first appeared. At the same time it ought to be remarked, that the English language has undergone much fewer changes in the last two hundred years, than it ever did in the same time before. This will appear to the most superficial observer, who will read any passage in the English Bibles printed two or three hundred years before James' reign. I shall give one extract from an old translation, at least two hundred years older than the common one:—
Genesis i. "In the beginning God maid of nought hevene and erthe. Forsothe the erthe was idil and voide, and derknissis werun on the face of depthe, and the Spyrit of the Lord was born on the waters. And God seide, Lizt be maid, and lizt was maid; and God sez the lizt that it was good, and he departide the lizt fro derknissis; and he cleped the lizt dai, and the derknissis nizt, and the eventyd and mornetyd was maid on dai. And (God) seide, Make we man in our ymage and likenesse, and be he sourereyn to the fisshes of the see, and to the volatiles of hevene, and to unreasonable beestes of the erthe, and to eche creature, and to eche creeping beest which is movid in erthe. And God maid of nought a man to his ymage and likenesse. God maid of nought hem, male and female."
In the eleventh chapter of the third book of Kings, we have this singular translation, 2d and 3d verses:—"Therefore King Solomon was couplid to yo wymmen by moost brennynge love: and wyves as queens, were un sevene hundrid to hym; and thre hundrid secondarie wyves."
Now, however exact and literal such translations may have been, to a people who spoke so differently from us, most certainly every one will admit that, to us, they would be every way defective and incorrect. In a certain degree, then, the present version is incorrect on the accounts already specified. And were there no other argument to be adduced in favor of a new translation, to us it appears that this would be a sufficient one.
But in the preceding remarks it has been taken for granted, that the common version was an exact representation of the meaning of the original, at the time in which it was made. This, however, is not admitted by any sect in christendom. All parties are occasionally finding fault. None are willing to abide by it in every sentence. And, indeed, there is no translation that could be made, that would prove all the tenets of any party. And if a translation that does not prove all the tenets and ceremonies of a sect, is to be censured by that sect, then there cannot exist any translation that would be considered correct. It is, however, true, that the common version was made at a time, when religious controversy was at its zenith; and that the tenets of the translators, whether designedly or undesignedly, did, on many occasions, give a wrong turn to words and sentences bearing upon their favorite dogmas. This is, perhaps, to be attributed more to the influence which Theodore Beza, the Genevese critics, and the fathers of the Geneva theology, had upon the King's translators, than to any design they had to give a partial translation. If the Arminians were the only persons who say so, it might be more questionable; but as the most distinguished critics of the Calvinistic school of the last century, have concurred in regretting the influence which Beza, and others of the same school, had upon the popular version, it adds very much to the probability, that the charge is well founded.
[A. Campell assumes, in what follows, that Dr. George Campbell of Aberdeen was a representative of "the Calvinistic school." This assumption is apparently based on the mere fact that George Campbell belonged to the Church of Scotland, which was strongly Calvinistic up until the middle of the eighteenth century. But those who were of "the Calvinistic school" in the early nineteenth century would certainly not recognize George Campbell as being one of them. He belonged, rather, to the liberal and latitudinarian party in the church, which was more interested in promoting the ideas of the Enlightenment than in maintaining any established tradition of Christian doctrine. —M.D.M.]
Dr. Campbell, though a dignitary in that side of the house, has not spared Junius and Tremellius, nor the great Beza, in his "Preliminary Dissertations and Notes," for their boldness with the original text. He has not only insinuated, that those fathers of the Calvinistic Israel, did wilfully and knowingly interpolate the scriptures, and torture many passages to favor their system; but he has unequivocally accused and convicted them of the crime. In vol. ii. p. 228, on an extract from Beza, in which he gives his reasons for certain translations, the Doctor remarks—"Here we have a man who, in effect, acknowledges that he would not have translated some things in the way he has done, if it were not that he could thereby strike a severer blow against some adverse sect, or ward off a blow which an adversary might aim against him. Of these great objects he never loses sight. I own," says the Doctor, "that my ideas on this subject are so much the reverse of Beza's, that I think a translator is bound to abstract from, and, as far as possible, forget all sects and systems, together with all the polemic jargon which they have been the occasion of introducing. His aim ought to be invariably to give the untainted sentiments of the author, and to express himself in such a manner, as men would do, amongst whom such disputes had never been agitated."
An apology is offered for Beza by our author, for his wilful mistranslations. After addressing several examples of his glosses and interpolations, he quotes a passage from the Epistle to the Hebrews, where Beza is defending the perseverance of the saints. Bishop Pearson had before observed, that this passage was unfaithfully translated by Beza. "But," says our author, "this is one of the many passage, in which this interpreter has judged, that the sacred penmen, having expressed themselves incautiously, and having given a handle to the patrons of erroneous tenets, stood in need of him more as a corrector, than as a translator. In this manner Beza supports the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, having been followed in the first of these errors by the French and English translators, but not in the second; and not by the Italian translator in either, though as much a Calvinist as any of them." This apology is not more severe than just: for, in fact, Beza, and others of the same school, have written and translated, as though they considered themselves correctors of the too unguarded style of the Apostles and Evangelists. In doing this they may have been conscientious.
[This bitter attack on Beza is indeed unjust. We recommend to the reader a response to it written by William Cunningham, Professor of Church History at Edinburgh, reproduced here. —M.D.M.]
It is neither insinuated nor affirmed, that the Arminian critics have been faultless in these respects; but, as the common translation was not made by them, we have nothing to say of them in this place. We introduce these strictures on Beza, not from any other design than to show that, in the estimation of his own party, he was a very unfaithful translator; and because not only the translator of the narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but other eminent translators and critics, have shown, that the veneration in which Beza was held by the King's translators, gave to their translation a sectarian character, and introduced many inaccuracies into it.
[Regarding this statement, it needs to be said that George Campbell did not in fact argue or even assert, as Alexander Campell does here, that through some veneration of Beza the King James translators foisted "many inaccuracies" of "a sectarian character" into the text. On the contrary, in the dissertation from which A. Campbell quotes, G. Campbell regularly notes that the KJV does not follow the particular renderings he condemns in Beza's Latin version. In only two instances does he observe that any interpretation of Beza is adopted in the KJV: the rendering "ye have heard that it was said by them of old time" in Matt. 5:21, 27, 33; and the rendering "but if any man draw back" in Hebrews 10:38. G. Campell's criticism was directed against Beza's annotated Latin version, not the KJV. —M.D.M.]
But it may be asked, Where shall we find translators, in a sectarian age, who are not enlisted under the banners of some system—who are not prejudiced in favor of some creed? and will not the religious prepossessions of a translator, however eminent or how faithful he may be, in some measure tincture or vitiate his translation? We must answer that it is almost, if not altogether, impossible to find any eminent translator, who is not either enlisted under some system, or some way or other identified with it, and that every man's prepossessions must either directly or indirectly affect his own thoughts, reasonings, and expressions, on all religious subjects. Yet it may so happen that, now and then, once or twice, in a hundred years, an individual or two may arise, whose literary acquirements—whose genius, independence of mind, honesty, and candor, may fit them to faithful and competent translators; and, of their honesty and faithfulness, the greatest proof which can be presented, is their correcting the mistakes of their own party, and with perfect impartiality censuring the errors of their own denomination, as they censure those of other denominations; and with cheerfulness commending the virtues, and acknowledging the attainments of those who are ranked under another name, as they do those of their own people. Such, in a very eminent degree, were the translators of this version.
It is much more likely, that we shall find a faithful and perspicuous translation coming from individuals, who, without concert or the solicitations of a party, undertake and accomplish it, having no national or sectional cause to abet; than to expect to find one coming from those summoned by a King and his Court, and paid for their services out of the public treasury: convened, too, from one part of those elements of discord, which had distracted and convulsed a whole nation.
It is probable that a new translation into our language will never again be undertaken by public authority. The people would not now submit to any that would be imposed upon them by such authority, and they will not agree among themselves to select persons, in whose judgment and fidelity they might repose confidence. Individuals will occasionally make their corrections and amendments, and the number of translations may greatly increase; until, at length, that obtains, whose merits shall give it the ascendant. This was once the case already, and the Western Roman Empire had but one translation for twelve hundred years. The taste for polemic theology and the jargon of the schools is every day declining. The uncharitableness, which proscribed thousands from the standing and reputation of christians, because of a refusal to subscribe a few unintelligible and inexplicable, cheerless and gloomy dogmas, will be frowned out of countenance. A regard for the oracles of God, and a strong desire for the unadulterated milk of the word, will triumph over the declension and fall of every species of intolerance and bigotry. And that translation will be universally received, which has the strongest claims on an intelligent, united, and happy christian community.
But another argument in favor of a new translation may be drawn from the fact, that we are now in possession of much better means of making an exact translation, than they were at the time when the common version appeared. The original is now much better understood than it was then. The conflicts of so many critics have elicited a great deal of sound critical knowledge, which was not in the possession of any translators before the last century. But as this topic has been so well handled, and so frequently argued by eminent writers, we shall not dwell upon it.
There is no doubt but many smatterers in the original Greek, and some, who may be pretty well acquainted with the classical use and meaning of words and phrases, will think and say, that, in some passages, the common version is more literally correct than this translation. Indeed, we remember since we once thought so ourselves. But after forming a better acquaintance with the idiomatic style of the apostolic writings, and of the Septuagint Greek, we have been fully convinced, that what a classical scholar, or a critical etymologist, might approve as a literal version of some passages, is by no means the meaning of the writer. And the King's translators have frequently erred in attempting to be, what some would call, literally correct. They have not given the meaning in some passages, where they have given a literal translation. An example or two will suffice to confirm these remarks:—
Proorao, in the estimation of almost every student, literally means, I foresee. This in a quotation from the Psalms, is, in the common version, rendered, "I foresaw the Lord always before my face." This, a Greek scholar would say, is very correctly rendered, and much more so than to have read it, "I fixed my mind upon the Lord." Yet the latter is just the meaning of the passage; for pro in composition signifies place as well as time, and is here what grammarians call intensive. Again, the Hebrew word, translated in the Septuagint by proorao, signifies to place or set. But even when pro in composition with orao signifies time and not place, it will not always suit the design of the passage to translate it I foresee. The King's translators found it would not do to render it, Acts xxi. 29., as they have done above. Here they render it "seen before." "They had seen before with him in the city Trophimus, an Ephesian." To have said, They had foreseen with him, would have changed the meaning altogether.
The same sort of error is found in Romans xi. 2., though in another word, proginosko, I foreknow. The phrase is, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." This is literal enough, and yet not the meaning of the passage. Foreknow means to know some event before it happen. But this gives no meaning to the passage. Here is nothing that distinguishes God's people from any other people; and yet the Apostle, to have spoken good sense, must have meant something, on account of which God would not cast away his people. But there is nothing said in this translation about them, that might not have been said about the greatest reprobates.
Now, there is the same difference between knowing before, and foreknowing; that there is between seeing before and foreseeing. The translators seem at other times to have known this, for they render Acts xxvi. 5. quite differently: "The Jews which knew me from the beginning," not foreknew me. In another place they have rendered proeireka very properly, "I have said before;" because it would be absurd to render it literally "I have foretold." Now in the Septuagint Greek, the verb ginosko signifies I approve, as well as I know, and is so used in the apostolic style. In the phrase, "Depart from me, I never knew you;" it ought to have been rendered, I never approved or acknowledged you; and in many other places the sense would have been obvious, had the Hellenistic sense of the term been given. The passage in the Epistle to the Romans, therefore, means, "God has not cast away his people, whom heretofore he acknowledged," or approved.
This is not the place for entering largely into such specifications. We can only produce an instance or two, and proceed. Those who may be disposed to object to some passages in this version, as not being so literal as in the common one, before they proceed to pronounce sentence upon them, had better read all Campbell's Preliminary Dissertations and Notes, Critical and Explanatory; and particularly his fourth dissertation, from which we have taken the above examples. Let him also read Macknight's disquisitions and criticisms on the minor terms—such as adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions; and then, he will be better prepared to estimate the merits of this, and the common version, on the subject of literal translations.
We would also remind the same class of readers, that an intimate acquaintance with the Septuagint Greek of the Old Testament, is of essential importance in translating the New. The seventy Hebrews who translated their own scriptures into the Greek language gave to that translation the idiom of their vernacular tongue. Their translations, if I may so speak is a sort of Hebrew Greek. The body is Greek, but the soul is Hebrew, and, in effect, it comes to this, that, as we have no other Hebrew by which to understand the Hebrew scriptures, but the Hebrew of the Old Testament; so, we have no Greek by which to understand the apostolic writings, but the Greek of the Jewish and Christian Prophets. The parallelism is so nearly exact, that it subtracts but little from it to allow, that there is much advantage in having a correct knowledge of the Greek classics. The Septuagint being read for nearly three centuries prior to the Christian era, in all the synagogues of the Hellenistic Jews, and being generally quoted by our Lord and his Apostles, must have especially affected the idiom of all the inspired writings of the Christian Apostles; consequently, incomparably more regard should be paid to the Septuagint, than to the classic use of Greek terms.
To superficial readers many improvements in this version will appear of little importance; but to those who think more profoundly, some of the most minute alterations will throw a new light and lustre on many passages. But of this every reader will judge after his own measure. We would only say, that the edification and comfort of christians may be greatly promoted, by a minute examination of this version, and a diligent comparison of it with the common one.
But some are so wedded to the common version, that the very defects in it have become sacred; and an effort, however well intended, to put them in possession of one incomparably superior in propriety, perspicuity, and elegance, is viewed very much in the light of "making a new Bible," or of "altering and amending the very word of God!" Nay, some are prepared to doom every attempt of the kind, to the anathema, in the conclusion of the Apocalypse upon those, who add to the word of God, or subtract from it. To such we had concluded to offer some remarks; but finding our ideas so much more happily expressed in the preface to "Campbell's Gospels," we had extracted a few passages, and in examining the London edition of this same version, found that the Editor of it had actually published in his preface the passages we had selected for ours. Struck with this coincidence, we here insert the whole preface to the late London edition of this translation, which, with the exception of the first two sentences, is all extracted from Campbell's original preface to his translation:—
"Many timid, yet well disposed persons have been apprehensive, that a new translation of the Holy Scriptures might tend to diminish the veneration of mankind for those sacred oracles, and thereby unsettle their faith in the Christian doctrine. To such, the subjoined extracts from Dr. Campbell's preface to the Four Gospels may not prove altogether unprofitable:—
"Need I, in so late and so enlightened an age, subjoin an apology for the design itself of giving a new translation of any part of scripture? Yet there are some knowing and ingenious men, who seem to be alarmed at the mention of translation, as if such an attempt would sap the very foundation of the Christian edifice, and put the faith of the people in the most imminent danger of being buried in its ruins. This is no new apprehension. The same alarm was taken so early as the fourth century, when Jerome was employed in preparing a new translation of the Bible into Latin; or, at least, in making such alterations and corrections on the old Italic, as the original, and the best Latin manuscripts, should appear to warrant. The people in general exclaimed; and even the learned were far from applauding an attempt which, in their judgment, was so bold and so dangerous. Augustin, in particular, who admired the profound erudition of Jerome, and had a high esteem of his talents, yet dreaded much, that the consequence of such an undertaking would prove prejudicial to the authority of scripture, and did not hesitate to express his disapprobation in very strong terms. That interpreter, however, persevered in spite of the greatest discouragements, the dissuasion of friends, the invectives of enemies, and the unfavorable impressions which, by their means, were made upon the people. The version was made and published; and those hideous bugbears of fatal consequences, which had been so much descanted on, were no more heard of.
"How dismal were the apprehensions, which were entertained immediately after the Reformation, on account of the many translations of scripture which came in quick succession, one after another! Have men's fears been justified by the effect? Quite the reverse. The violent concussion of parties at the Reformation, produced, as might have been expected, a number of controversies, which were for some time hotly agitated; but the greater part of these were in being, before those versions were made. Nothing will be found to have conduced more to subvert the dominion of the metaphysical theology of the schoolmen, with all its interminable questions, cobweb distinctions, and wars of words, than the critical study of the sacred scripture, to which the modern translations have not a little contributed.
"It has been said, that the introduction of different translations tends to unsettle men in their principles, particularly with regard to the authority of sacred writ, which, say they, is made to speak so variously in these productions. For my part, I have not discovered that this is, in any degree, the effect. The agreement of all the translations, as to the meaning, in every thing of principal consequence, makes their differences, when properly considered, appear as nothing. They are but like the inconsiderable variations in expression, which different witnesses, though all perfectly unexceptionable, employ in relating the same fact. They rather confirm men's faith in the scripture, as they show, in the strongest light, that all the various ways, which men of discordant sentiments have devised, of rendering its words, have made no material alteration, either on the narrative itself, or on the divine instructions contained in it. People are at no loss to discover, that the difference among interpreters lies chiefly in this, that one renders the account of things, which the book exhibits, more intelligible, more perspicuous, or even more affecting than another. These differences are, I acknowledge, of great moment to readers; they are such, as may show one version to be greatly superior to another, in point of use; yet as they are all compatible with justness of representation, in every thing essential to the historical and didactic parts of the work, they are so far from affecting the credibility of the whole, that they serve not a little to confirm it."
To these judicious remarks, extracted from Dr. Campbell's preface to his translation, I will add another. "Against the common translation, in use at present, which was made and authorized in the beginning of the reign of James I. there were precisely the same exceptions taken, founded in the like apprehension of pernicious consequences. Whoever will consult the preface to that translation, and read the paragraph which is titled on the margin, 'The Speeches and reasons both of our Brethren and Adversaries against this Work,' will be surprised to find how much they coincide, with what has been thrown out of late against any new attempt of the kind. It is remarkable, that since the days of Jerome to the present, the same terrible forebodings have always accompanied the undertaking, and vanished on the execution; insomuch, that the fatal effects predicted, have never afterward been heard of."
If the mere publication of a version of the inspired writers requires, as we think it does, the publisher to have no sectarian object in view, we are happy in being able to appeal to our whole course of public addresses, and to all that we have written on religious subjects, to show that we have no such object in view. We have disclaimed, and do again disclaim, all affection or partiality for any human system, creed, or formulary under heaven. The whole scope, design, and drift of our labor is, to see Christians intelligent, united, and happy. Believing that all sects have gone out of the apostolic way, and that every sect must go out of the way (for Christianity is in its nature hostile to each and to every sect,) we will not, we cannot, we dare not do anything for the erection of a new one, or for assisting any now in existence in its human appendages. As to any predilection or preference to any one now existing, we have none, farther than they hold the traditions of the Apostles. As far as they hold fast these, we hold with them; and where they desert these, we desert them. Besides, we have no aversion to, or umbrage against, any one more than another. We oppose them most, who most oppose and depart from the simplicity, that is in Christ. I do most solemnly declare, that, as far as respects my feelings, partialities, reputation, and worldly interest as a man, I would become a Presbyterian, a Methodist, a Quaker, a Universalist, a Socinian, or any thing else, before the sun would set to-day, if the Apostolic writings would in my judgment, authorize me in so doing; and that I would not give one turn to the meaning of an adverb, preposition, or interjection, to aid any sectarian cause in the world. Whether every reader may give me credit in so declaring myself, I know not; but I thought it due to the occasion thus to express the genuine and unaffected feelings of my heart. May all, who honestly examine this version, abundantly partake of the blessings of that Spirit, which guided the writers of this volume, and which in every page breathes, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, peace on earth, and good will among men."
January 29th, 1826.
1. The Hebrew and Greek, which are now spoken, are not the languages of the Jewish Prophets and the Christian Apostles. It is true, much analogy exists between them, but the modern Italian is not more unlike the nervous Roman which Cicero spoke, than the modern Hebrew and Greek are unlike the language of Isaiah and that of Luke and Paul.
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