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230. These paraphrases contributed very much, in an indirect manner, to the interpretation of Scripture ; for they were the principal means by which the Rabbins and later Christians recovered the Hebrew language, without the knowledge of which, the original could not have been at all understood.

Simon, ib. c. 18.

231. They contribute likewise to the interpretation of Scripture very considerably, in a direct manner; as, many of the glosses of the Rabbins, contained in them, are just explications, and elucidate its real meaning in obscure passages.

Walton, Prol. 12. 19.

SECT. II.

of the Greek Versions,

232. The most ancient version of the Old Testa. ment, seems to be the Greek, commonly called the Septuagint ; for the books which mention others prior to it, are of no authority. Simon, V. T. I. 2. c. 2. Walton, Prol. 5. Ø 4. Prol. g. 6.

Brett, ib.

233. It received its name, either from its being approved by the Sanhedrim, which consisted of 70, or rather 72 members; or, from the Jewish account of that number of persons having been set to translate it separately, and miraculously coinciding in every word; which is undoubtedly a fable. Simon, ib.

rather

Walton, Prol. 9. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10. If. Voffius de 70 Int. Jos. Scaliger.

Hodius de Verf. Græc. auct. Bor. Prol. c. 1. Uffer. de 70 Interpret. Brett, ib. Bcaufobre, Introd.

234. From differences in style, in the degrees of accuracy, and in the manner of translating the same Hebrew words, or expressing proper names, it appears evident, that the different parts of this version were made by different authors, and at different times. Simon, ib. Ken. Diff. 1. p. 197. Diff. 2. p. 321. Diff. Gen.

Ø 17. Walton, Prol. 9. Ø 11, 12. Bos. Prol. c. 1. Hod. ib. Beaufobre, ib.

235. It is agreed, that the Pentateuch was translated into Greek about 280 years before Christ, for the use of the Hellenistical Jews; and the version is very literal and exact. The other books began to be translated about 170 years before Christ, when Antiochus Epiphanes prohibited their reading the law in their synagogues, and were finished before the year 130, all very literally, but with various degrees of

skill and accuracy.

Simon, ib. Ken. Diff. 2. p. 211, 319. Dill. Gen. ib. Bos.

Prol. c. 1.

236. The Greek version was held in equal veneration with the Hebrew original, and regarded as alike in

{pired,

spired, by the Hellenistical Jews, till the early Chriftians came to use it in their arguments against them; and then, they began to depreciate it, and to appeal to the original, or to make alterations in it.

Simon, ib. and I. i. c. 17. Ken. Diff. Gen. Ø 67, 68, 70, 79,

86. Walton, Prol. 9. 1, 15. Bos. Prol. c. 1. Brett, ib. lla. xlii. 1. liii. 9.

237. In order further to discredit it, they procured new Greek versions from the Hebrew; that of Aquila, about the year of Christ 130, extremely literal ; that of Theodotion, about 175, much lefs literal ; and that of Symmachus, about 200, likewise not literal; of all which only some fragments remain, which have been collected by Montfaucon.

Simon, ib. c. 9. Ken. Diff. 2. p. 392, &c. 366. Diff. Gen.

Ø 68-70. Owen's Inquiry. Walton, Prol. 9. 19,
Brett, ib.

Ila. vii. 14. Tapi, 70. YEævis, Aq.

238. Origen’s Hexapla was an edition of these four versions, along with the original, both in Hebrew and in Greek characters, written in parallel columns, with marks for pointing out the variations of the 70 from the Hebrew, which version he sometimes likewise altered in conformity to the Hebrew, and with marginal notations of the differences between the versions ; a work evidently useful when it was written, and which would have been now of very great use, if it had remained entire and uncorrupted; but it was soon in a great measure lost; and, by the frequency of transcribing the 70 version from it, and the carelessness of transcribers in omitting the marks of distinction, and taking marginal interpretations into the text, that version came in time to be much vitiated and mixed with other versions.

Simon, ib. c. 3, 7. Ken. Diff. 1. p. 127. Diff. 2. p. 362,

&c. 377, &c. 384, 397. Walton, Prol. 9. § 20-27. Bof.

Prol. c. 2. Brett, ib.
Hence double renderings of one Hebrew word. Gen. ix. 20.

wp9qwnc (yeaey) yns. 2 Sam. i. 23. & dimereganglojesvos,
and 8 duyugio Syras. 1 Chron. xi. 11. drag, and ey xotiga in.
Psal. xxii. 1. • Die ples, and soportes ptos. xxix. 1. vion 918,
and úiss

regowy.

239. In consequence of Origen's work, the old copies of the 70 version were disregarded, and gradually loft ; but, as many were disfatisfied with the alterations which he had made, other editions were written by Christians, among which Lucian's was most conformable to the old copies. Simon, ib. c. Ken. Diff. 2. p. 393. Walton, ib.

Brett, ib.

10.

240. There are several MSS. extant of the 70 verfion, or of parts of it; the most celebrated of which are, the Alexandrian, in the British Museum, and the Vatican, at Rome. Simon, ib. Ken. Diff. 2. p. 406. Dill. Gen. 173–175

Walton, Prol. g. Ø 30, 34. Bos. Prol. c. 2. Grabe, Præfat.
Brett, ib.

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version; the Complutensian, in which variations were made from the MSS. in conformity to the Hebrew ; the Aldine, followed with some alterations in feveral fubsequent impressions ;-the Vatican, from which all the ordinary editions are taken ;-and Grabe's, published chiefly, though not entirely, from the Alexandrian Ms.

Simon, ib. c. 3. Catalog. edition. Walton, ib. § 28-30. Bos.
Prol. c. 2.

Fabric. Biblioth. Græc. 1. 3. c. 2. Morin.
Exercitat. et Præfat. Grabe, Præfat. Brett, ib.

242. These editions differ considerably from one another : fome give the preference to one, and others to another; but none of them is perfect. By a careful collation of them all with the MSS. extant, a more correct edition might be made out, and would be of considerable use, for throwing light upon the Scrip

tures.

Walton, Prol. 9. 28-51. Brett, ib.

243. While the Hellenistical Jews, and many of the ancient Christians, improperly reckoned the Greek version inspired, fome moderns have extolled it be. yond measure, and others, as unduly depreciated it; the truth lies between the two extremes. It is the work of fallible men, who fell into many mistakes ; and therefore, has no authority, except so far as it is conformable to the original Hebrew; but, having been translated from very ancient copies, it shews in what manner they read the text; and therefore, may serve for detecting corruptions which have since crept into

the

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