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ing, attach to many words, than could be connected with them, as used by the heathen writers. To explain them only by Greek usage, would, on many occasions, be to exclude, in a great degree, the real subject which they are employed to elucidate. The Apostles and Evangelists, however, when exhibiting Jewish usages and ceremonies, and scripture theology, in a new garb, did not arbitrarily impose upon words, meanings foreign to their radical sense: analogy was strictly regarded. They did what good writers are obliged to do every day,—they extended the primary sense, so modified as to express or embrace, the new idea, taking care to maintain that (uniformity of use, in the new application, which should remove ambiguity and uncertainty.
It should be also recollected that, already, a language was, as it were, prepared for the penmen of the New Testament, as to the greater portion of the terms; for the Jews who were spread over the Roman Empire, and, particularly, throughout Egypt and the whole extent of the Greek provinces, were in the habit of using the Septuagint. Indeed but few of these Jews, excepting their learned men, could speak a word of Hebrew; and, but for this version, they must
; bave sunk into a state of the greatest ignorance, respecting the history and religion of their
forefathers. It is not surprising, therefore, that
' they should have considered the making of this
"Even in Judea the Hellenists made use of the Greek tongue; and, as noticed by Lightfoot (Vol. 1. p. 330), there are in the Gemarists several passages respecting the Greek language.--"In Megillah fol. 71, col. 2, they say thus, There is a tradition from Ben Kaphra, God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem. The Babylonian Gemara on the same Treatise, fol. 9, col. 2, resolves us, what tongue of Japhet is meant ; for having spoken, all along before, of the excellency and dignity of the
יופותו של יפת יהא באוהלי שם Greek tongue, it concludes
The very beauty of Japhet shall be in the tents of Shem.Our men first named, say further thus : Rabbi Jonathan of Beth Gubrin saith, There are four languages brave for the world to use, and they are these: The Vulgar, the Roman, the Syriac, and the Hebrew, and some add the Assyrian. Now the question is, Wbat Tongue he means by the Vulgar? Reason will name the Greek as soon as any; and Midras Tilin makes it plain that this is meant; for fol. 25, col. 4, speaking of this very passage, [but alleging it in somewhat different terms,) he nameth the Greek, which is not here named. Observe then that the Hebrews call the Greek the Vulgar Tongue. They proceed, ibid. col. 3. It is a tradition. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel saith, In books they permitted not, that they should write, but only in Greek. They searched, and found, that the Law cannot be interpreted completely but only in Greek. One once expounded to them in Syriac, out of the Greek. R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Chaijah ben Ba saith, Aquila the proselite interpreted the Law, before R. Eliezer and before R. Joshua. And they extolled him and said, Thou art fairer than the children of translation a great blessing, and commemorated the event by an annual festival, which continued to be observed for some time after the Cbristian era.' As these Jews were acquainted with
men. And the same Talmud in Satah, fol. 21, col. 2, hath this record; Rabbi Levi went to Cæsarea, and heard them
-rehearsing their Phalacteries HELLENIS קריין שמע אלוניסתין
TICE, or, in the Greek Tongue.”—In a word : the conquests of Alexander served to establish the Greek language every where.
* In such authority was the Septuagint version held among the Hellenist Jews that, for a time, it was read in their synagogues instead of the Hebrew; and such were the unqualified praises they bestowed on it, that the Christians received it, not as
a mere version, but as a second divine original, believing that the translators were inspired persons. It was early translated into Latin, and became the text book of the Western, as well as of the Eastern, churches. It was the only copy of the Old Testament Scriptures they generally used ; and the only one they appealed to in all their controversies, particularly with the Jews, employing it most advantageously in confuting those from whom they had received it; proving to them from it, by the most irrefragable arguments, that their expected Messiah must have already come, in the person of Jesus CHRIST. This circumstance at length led the Jews to have it in abhorrence, and a national annual fast was instituted to deplore the same event which they had before commemorated by a solemn festival; so that, by the end of the first century, it was expelled from every synagogue. The Hebrew, however, had become so completely a dead language, not only to the Hellenists, but to the Jews generally, that they could obtain no knowlege
the law, only through the medium of a Greek version, a necessity was laid upon their teacherg to address them in the Greek tongue. Thus the idiomatic changes, necessary to make this a fit language for the diffusion of a religion originating in Judea, had already been effected, before the Evangelists and Apostles began to write.
The formation of this peculiar idiom (for the Greek of the New Testament can neither be called a distinct language, nor even a dialect, in the strict sense of these terms) has been productive of benefits which have never been duly
of their Scriptures but through the medium of a translation, and therefore to supply the place of the Septuagint a new Greek version was made, about the year 129, by Aquila of Pontus, first a convert from Paganism to Christianity and then a proselyte to Judaism. His version, which is now lost, is reported to have been very obscure. Of course another was called for, and that of Theodotion made its appearance about the year 184. This writer, who had been a disciple of Tatian, then a Marcionite, and lastly a Jew, retained as much of the Septuagint version as suited his purpose, but altered, added or retrenched to make it conform to such Hebrew Manuscripts as the Jews put into his hands. The Jews of course were well pleased with this version, and the Christians were not offended because it so much resembled the Septuagint. Besides these versions there was another by Symmachus, (first a Samaritan, then a Jew, then a Christian, and lastly an Ebionite) made about the end of the second century; also translations by others of particular books of the Old Testament.
appreciated. Its peculiarity consists in expressing Hebrew pbrases in Greek words; and by its establishment the Greek and Hebrew scriptures have been rendered mutual expositors of each other. An acquaintance, therefore, with what has been called Hellenistic Greek, but, more properly, the Greek of the Synagogue, is of great importance in the study of the Old Testament Scriptures; and, on the other hand, the peculiar idiom of the New can best be ac quired by an intimate acquaintance with the Hebrew phraseology: nor can the most tho rough knowlege of the language of the Greek classics supply the want of this; for some of the words, in the Greek scriptures, are used in senses in which they never occur in profane authors, and which, as remarked by Dr. Campbell, " can be learnt only from the extent of signifi“cation given to some Hebrew or Chaldaic " word, corresponding to the Greek in its prii mitive and most ordinary sense.”
These facts apply to the Scriptures generally, but, in a special manner to the Apocalypse. In this book the peculiar idiom alluded to is, in some respects, more prominent than in the other writings of the Greek scriptures; nor could it be otherwise ; for, as has been shown, in the Dis