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168. There are in the New Testament, Hebrew and Syriac constructions.

Michael. ib. Wysl. ib.

169. There are in the New Testament, Hebrew and Syriac idioms and phrases.

Marsh's Michael. ch. 4. gs.


Of the Use of the Original Languages in Criticism.

170. The discovery of the true sense of fcripture, is evidently the purpose to which knowledge of the original languages is principally and most directly applicable; and the manner of applying it to this purpose being the same as that of coming to the understanding of

any language, to enlarge upon it would be unnecessary.

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; some asserting, that no correction of the ordinary text, by critical conjectures founded on the nature of these languages, is at all allowable; and producing several arguments in fupport of their affertion.

172. But others have claimed the liberty of making


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emendations by critical conjectures ; and, though they have often carried this liberty too far, yet they have shown, that the arguments urged against it only con. demn 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 should be corrected according to the rules of the language.

Houbig. ib. c. 4. reg. 7, 8, 10.


175. When a passage cannot be reconciled to the grammar of the language, without supplying words which that language never uses to omit, it may be de: termined that the passage has been corrupted.

Houbig. ib. reg. 9.

176. When an expression is clearly inconsistent 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 several limitations. . Thus, corrections supported solely by the nature of the lan


guage, ought to be admitted only when they are abso. lutely necessary; and therefore, a place is not to be looked upon as corrupted; or corrected on conjecture, merely because it might be more commodioully expreffed.

Houbig. ib. reg. 12. & p. 134. caut. 3.

178. When two readings occat, one of which is fuitable to the most common usage of the language, the other agreeable to a real, but less common usage of it, the latter ought to be preferred; for it is not so 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 absolutely neceffáry, 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 less chance there is that a corruption should have crept into all the copies : for the first of which reasons, greater latitude is allowable with respect to the Apocalypse 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 instances, 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, stands in need of illustration 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, sometimes receive illustration 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 same structure and analogy. Schultens, Orig. Heb. T. 2. C. I.

185. These dialects are reducible to two principal ones, the Aramean, and the Arabic.

Schultens, ib.

186. The Aramean is subdivided 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. y 8, 9. Walton,

Prol. 3. 24. Prol. 12. 2.

187. In this language, some parts of the later books of Scripture are written ; for the understanding of which, it is, therefore, immediately necessary; but it may likewise throw light on the other parts written in Habrew ; 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 same language, in the form which it assumed at a later period, and expressed in a different character. It is in it, that the Syriac versions of the Scriptures are written. Simon, ib. c. 15. Schultens, ib. y 10, 13. Walton, Prol.

13. Ø 2, 3, 4.

189. It, too, being highly analogous to the Hebrew,


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