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THE OMNIPOTENT or ALL-POWERFUL. In the Greek Scriptures, when the Hebrew Scriptures are quoted, the word Elohim is rendered Theos; and it has been shown, in the present Dissertation, that the writer of the Apocalypse has not left his readers merely to infer that the word Theos, when applied to the Creator, must have the same meaning as Elohim, but has, in express language, defined it to mean Tavtoxpátwp
παντοκράτωρ --that is, The OMNIPOTENT.
In translating, it is not correct to substitute the meaning of one attributive noun for that of another. Were this allowable, the word God that is good—if understood as an attributive, would be unexceptionable as applied to that being who is emphatically the Good one [Mat: xix. 17.; but goodness and power two distinct attributes--are never confounded in the original, and in truth cannot, on every occasion, be substituted the one for the other, in a translation, without doing injury to the sentiment, and obscuring, less or more, the sense of the passage. Of this several instances were given in the Fourth Dissertation, respecting the Hebrew term rendered God in our English version; and similar instances have been adduced, in this Dissertation, respecting passages in the New Testament in which Theos has been rendered by the same English term; and many more might be added,
were it deemed necessary, to establish a fact which is incontrovertible. But this naturally gives rise to a very important question:-
Since the fact is as has just been stated, that, by substituting “God” for “ The Omnipotent,” the sense is frequently obscured or weakened, would it be proper, wherever the former term is
, employed to represent Elohim or Theos, to substitute for it the proper version-namely “ The “Omnipotent,” or some equivalent English term ?
-At first view many might be inclined to ånswer this question in the affirmative : but various reasons-and some of them very powerfulmight be adduced to show, that, however desirable it might have been, that the proper translation should have been given in our early versions and never departed from; and that though some important changes may be indispensable, it would not now be advisable to make one so extensive as this would prove on the English Scriptures, and indeed on the English language, in every thing that regards our modes of speech on subjects connected with theology.-From the word God we have several derivatives and compounds for which it would be difficult to find substitutes, namely Godhead, godly, godliness, God-like, god-ward; and, even were substitutes found, it would not, on many occasions, be possible for the present generation to employ
them-especially in devotional exercises, from the suspension to the current of thought to which the hunting, as it were, for the new terms, would give rise in the mind.-And, besides, as to the Version generally, it may be asserted that, in many instances, the sense is declared as accurately by employing the word God as it would be by the proper translation of the Hebrew or Greek term being substituted—namely in all those passages in which an Attributive noun is employed in the original only for the purpose of designating the individual intended. For example—the sense is the same, whether we read “ Jehovah spake unto Abraham,” or “the Lord spake”—“The Omnipotent spake,” or “God
M “ spake unto Abraham :"-in such cases, therefore, no change is called for; but wherever à false sense is imposed on the text by employing “God” as a proper name, the translation ought to be altered so as to make it convey the precise sense of the original. In our idiom the Article is never prefixed to proper names; and in the Greek scriptures, the word Theos which represents the Hebrew term Elohim (which is not a proper name) appears much oftener with the article than alone. Inattention to the rules of the Greek language respecting the Article, in sentences where two Attributive nouns occur, has, in various instances, occasioned the two to be considered as indicating two distinct persons,
, where the text actually speaks only of one. Of all the errors resulting from the substitution of a Name for an Attribute, these are the most important and call most loudly for correction :-But this part of the subject shall be considered more particularly in a distinct Dissertation. [See Dissert. vi.}-In the mean time let it be constantly kept in recollection that the amanuensis of the Apocalypse has actually defined the meaning of the words Kyrios ho Theos (Kúpos ó Ocòs], which are of such frequent recurrence in the Greek scriptures; for, assuredly, this would not have been done, were it not of infinite importance that, in whatever construction either of these words may be found, they should be rigidly subjected to the grammatical regimen of the Greek language, that the true import of the ori-. ginal may be elicited and made apparent in the translation.
ON CERTAIN COMBINATIONS OF • BEÒZ, [THE OMNIPOTENT) AND KÝPIOZ (LORD] WITH OTHER NOUNS OF PERSONAL DESCRIPTION, WHICH ARE FOUND IN THE EPISTLES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The reader may not, at first sight, perceive what possible relation this Dissertation can have with our general subject; but it is hoped that one or two considerations will show the necessity of introducing it. We have seen that the Apocalypse is quoted in the epistles of the New Testament; that is, that the Writers, sometimes, employed it as their text book; and hence it is reasonable to infer that (excluding from our present consideration symbolical and figurative language,) they will, when using common modes of speech, be found employing similar modes of diction. Now in the Apocalypse the Name Kúpos, that is JEHOVAH, is not only associated with ó Ocòs, but the title Kúpios, that is, Adonai or Lord,