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168. There are in the New Teftament, Hebrew and Syriac constructions.
Michael. ib. Wyss. ib.
169. There are in the New Teftament, Hebrew and Syriac idioms and phrases.
Marfh's Michael. ch. 4. § 5.
Of the Use of the Original Languages in Criticism.
170. The discovery of the true fense of fcripture, is evidently the purpose to which knowledge of the original languages is principally and moft directly applicable; and the manner of applying it to this purpose being the fame as that of coming to the understanding of any language, to enlarge upon it would be unneceffary.
171. It has been made a question, Whether knowledge of these languages ought to be at all applied to the discovery of the true reading; fome afferting, that no correction of the ordinary text, by critical conjectures founded on the nature of thefe languages, is at all allowable; and producing feveral arguments in fupport of their affertion.
172. But others have claimed the liberty of making
emendations by critical conjectures; and, though they have often carried this liberty too far, yet they have fhown, that the arguments urged against it only condemn the abuse of it, but prove not that it can never be legitimately used.
Houbig. Prol. c. 3. a, 4.
173. If, among different readings found in MSS. one be agreeable to the nature of the language, and another not, the former ought certainly to be preferred.
174. When a reading occurs (though it were in all MSS.) which is a plain barbarism or folecism, it is undoubtedly a mistake of tranfcribers, and fhould be corrected according to the rules of the language.
Houbig. ib. c. 4. reg. 7, 8, 10.
175. When a paffage cannot be reconciled to the grammar of the language, without fupplying words which that language never ufes to omit, it may be determined that the paffage has been corrupted.
Houbig. ib. reg. 9.
176. When an expreffion is clearly inconfiftent with the rules of the language, it may be held a corruption, even though we should not be able to discover how it ought to be corrected.
Houbig. ib. reg. 11.
177. But these principles ought to be applied with great caution, and under feveral limitations. Thus, corrections supported folely by the nature of the lan
guage, ought to be admitted, only when they are absolutely neceffary; and therefore, a place is not to be looked upon as corrupted; or corrected on conjecture, merely because it might be more commodiously expreffed.
Houbig. ib. reg. 12. & p. 134. caut. a.
178. When two readings occur, one of which is fuitable to the most common ufage of the language, the other agreeable to a real, but lefs common ufage of it, the latter ought to be preferred; for it is not fo probable that a transcriber should, by mistake, have fallen into it, as into the other.
Michael. ib. 15.
179. For detecting mistakes repugnant to the nature of the language, and for correcting them," a very thorough acquaintance with that language is abfolutely neceffary, and without this, the attempt will produce only blunders.
180. The greater number of independent MSS. there are of any part of Scripture, and the nearer they reach to the time of its being written, the less scope there is for conjectural emendations from the nature of the language; for the lefs chance there is that a corruption fhould have crept into all the copies for the firft of which reafons, greater latitude is allowable with refpect to the Apocalypfe than the other books of the New Testament; and for both, in the Old Teftament, than in the New.
Michael. 31. Kennic. Diff. Gen.
The Kindred Languages.
181. EVERY language may be, in many inftances, illustrated, and the books written in it explained, from other languages derived from the fame original, and akin to it.
182. The Hebrew language, in particular, ftands in need of illuftration by this means, and is capable of it; and the light hence derived, will tend directly to the explication of the Old Testament, but indirectly likewise, to that of the Hellenistical Greek of the New.
183. The Greek, though standing much less in need of it, may, perhaps, fometimes receive illuftration from other languages.
·What Languages are useful.
184. THE languages useful for illustrating the Hebrew, are those which, along with itself, are dialects immediately derived from the primitive language, and which preserve nearly the fame ftructure and analogy. Schultens, Orig. Heb. T. 2. c. I.
185. Thefe dialects are reducible to two principal ones, the Aramean, and the Arabic.
186. The Aramean is fubdivided into two branches, the Chaldaic, and the Syriac; the former of which was the language of the Babylonians; and it the Jews learned during their captivity, retained in a great measure afterwards, and used in their Targums, and other most ancient books.
Simon, V. T. L 2. c. 18. Schultens, ib. § 8, 9. Walton,
187. In this language, fome parts of the later books of Scripture are written; for the understanding of which, it is, therefore, immediately neceffary; but it may likewise throw light on the other parts written in Hebrew; it did, in fact, contribute very much to the preservation or the recovery of the knowledge of the Hebrew tongue; and it would be of the greatest utility, if there were more remains of it.
Simon, ib. Schultens, ib. Walton, Prol 12. § 3.
188. The Syriac is very analogous to the Chaldaie, being little more than the fame language, in the form which it affumed at a later period, and expreffed in a different character. It is in it, that the Syriac verfions of the Scriptures are written.
Simon, ib. c. 15. Schultens, ib. § 10, 13. Walton, Prol. 13. § 2, 3, 4.
189. It, too, being highly analogous to the Hebrew,