Images de page


as, in the Old Testament, care should be taken to distinguish between the Creator and the Creatures to which the term Elohim is applied ; 80, in the New, equal attention should be exerted to ascertain when the term Theos is applied to others than to JEHOVAH; for it frequently represents Ruling Powers, inferior to the Great Supreme,—though always relatively Supreme-Supreme as to the place or class with which the term is found associated : exhibiting, in this respect, as in every other, the precise characteristics of the attributive noun Elohim.

But how should Kúpos be rendered in English, when it represents the word JEHOVAH? To employ such a periphrasis as John has given in his definition, The Being, and The HE WAS, " and The Coming One,” (which is a literal translation of the Greek) would not only be inconvenient, but, by suspending, too long, the current of the address or narrative, as the case might be, would often take from its energy. Inconvenient as this might be, if our language did not furnish a term, or terms, fitted to convey the entire meaning of the word in a more condensed form, it would be better that we should submit to it, than adopt one that would change the sense. But, happily, we have a term in our language, which, by use, has been made to embrace, pretty fully, the sense of John's defini

[ocr errors]

tion, I mean the word ETERNAL. The Professors of Geneva have, in their French version, employed l'Eternel for the word JEHOVAR in the Old Testament, probably from the composition of this term in the original. How much is it to be regretted, that the same term has not yet been adopted for Kyrios (Kúpos], in the New. Should Translators hesitate still to adopt “THE ETERNAL,” at all events the word Lord should be rejected as not expressing at all the sense of the Original : the word “JehoVAH” had better—its sense being defined—be

transferred into the version for the Hebrew name it, and also for Kúpos, wherever the latter occurs as the representative of that term. But where Kúpios represents Adonai, there lord, or master, or some similar title, should occupy its place in the translation.

Having before shown that the substitution of the word God for the Hebrew word Elohim, in a version, tends often to obscure the sense, and to take from the energy of the translation, I need not occupy much of the reader's time in showing what, a priori, must be manifest,--that the same consequences flow from the substitution of that word for Osós. No proposition, which carries its reason in the original enunciation, should ever be translated in such phrase, as to require a mental process, however short, to render the sense obvious to the reader. Propositions which carry in them the character of a truism, lose in perspicuity when any of their terms are changed into others which yield the truth only as an inference from the nature of the terms that have been substituted. For example : Mat. xix. 26. (C. V.) “ With men this is im. “possible ; but with God all things are possible.Though the process be short, yet a process does take place in the mind, when it assents to the truth of this proposition :-“Why are all things

possible with God ?"Because God pos“sesses all power.” But were the proposition translated conformably to the sense which attaches to Elohim, and, according to John, to Theos, the translation would exhibit, on its face, the truth of the proposition, παρά δε θεώ πάντα δυνατά, ouvard, But with OMNIPOTENCE all things are possible.In Romans i. 16. the Apostle says, “ I am not

" I " ashamed of the JOYFUL NEWS:' for it is the power of Omnipotence [coll, C. V. of God) unto salvation to every one that believeth.How could he be ashamed, when the glad tidings he proclaimed was the power employed by Omnipotence for the salvation of believers ?

[ocr errors]

Evayyé cov, C. V. gospel. In translating the scriptures every expression that requires that the unlearned should ask its meaning, ought to be avoided.

[ocr errors]

In Matthew xii. 28. the argument is greatly weakened, if not nearly put out of sight, by the word soll being rendered God, which has led, as is often the case where any leading term is not understood, and is in consequence mistranslated, to the mistranslation of another word, viz. Avebuatı. In the Common Version, and,

. πνεύματι. indeed, with slight variations, in all the translations, the passage is thus rendered : “ But

if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

By giving to the noun OsoŨ a sense agreeing with the definition of Theos, exhibited by the amanuensis of the Divine Author of the Apocalypse, the verse would read thus : But if by the breath of OMNIPOTENCE [Ocoû, with“out the article] I cast forth the demons, then is the kingdom of the OMNIPOTENT [TO DEGŪ] come unto you." -As if he had said—“Since my

" “mere word is all powerful, manifested in the ex“pulsion of these demons, you have evidence “ before you, that the kingdom of the All-Pow

ERFUL ONE,—the kingdom of the Messiah,-is “come.” In Luke, where this part of our Lord's history is recorded, the argument is the same, though the language be a little different. (Ch. xi. 20.) But if with the finger of OMNIPO

TENCE. I cast forth these demons, then is the kingdom of THE OMNIPOTENT come unto you ;"


but here daxtúra, finger, is substituted for myeúpati, spirit, in Matthew,-a plain proof that this word does not in Mat. xii. 28. mean the Holy Spirit.


It cannot be necessary that I should detain the reader longer on this subject. Indeed I am fearful that I may already have tried his patience: but where innovations, and these not slight, are proposed, on long-established usages, it would be unreasonable to expect the concurrence of the wise, without offering sufficient evidence to convince the judicious and candid enquirer after truth, that they ought to be adopted ; and in detailing the evidence it is difficult to apply a precise measuring line. Those, however, who, by their previous pursuits and acquirements, have found themselves able to outrun the author in his argument, will be the most ready to pardon any apparent prolixity; knowing, by experience, how difficult it is to gain access to some minds, even when a subject has been placed in every possible point of view.

In the Fourth Dissertation it was proved that the Hebrew word Elohimmeans PowerPowerful mand, when employed to designate the Creator,

« PrécédentContinuer »