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ticular texts, casually selected, as specimens of the whole. To the rest of his · Reply' we could say much, if we deemed it necessary. But we do not apprehend that, by bringing together a few passages of the authorised version which, in his opinion, require improvement—and certainly here and there passages occur which, according to far better opinions than his, admit of some correction-he will persuade any considerate reader that this version is not generally most correct and excellent: or that, by adducing a text or two (p. 15.) in which it may conform to the Septuagint,* or Vulgate, he will induce any one to believe that it was not directly and truly translated from the original Hebrew only, in the sole sense in which any judicious translators would ever think of doing so. We before accused Mr. Bellamy of applying some extracts from Dr. Lowth, Dr. Kennicott, and other learned divines, so as to give a false representation of their opinions. We repeat the same charge in the most direct terms: it is true that some of these divines were of opinion that a revision of the received version might be advantageousnot,' was absolutely necessary,' as he states in his · Reply,'(p. 6.)—But the revision of which they thought, extended, not to the discovery that all former translators had grossly erred in interpreting the plainest passages of the Bible, but, merely to the improvement of the language, and the more clear development of the sense in particular passages. All their writings shew that this was their meaning; and we repeat that, to quote their words, as Mr. Bellamy does, for the purpose of sanctioning such a translation as bis, is to represent them as entertaining an opinion which they would have rejected with indignation and horror.
Mr. Bellamy expresses great astonishment (Reply, p. 6.) at our assertion, (p. 260.) that the Septuagint version has been prized by Jews as well as Christians. We repeat the assertion in the sense in which we made it, viz. that Jews as well as Christians most fully allow the Septuagint version to give generally the true sense of the Hebrew Scriptures, however they may here and there dispute the interpretation of a particular text. It is curious to observe in what manner he disproves our assertion, (p. 261.) that the Septuagint is quoted by the writers of the New Testament; namely, (p. 17.) by producing two or three passages in which they did not quote from the Septuagint, as if we had asserted that it always was, instead of sometimes
. However, Mr. Bellamy may contemplate the following passages, in which it is most clear that these writers did quote from the Septuagint, Matt. iv. 4. 6. xiii. 14, 15. xxi. 16. xxii. 44. Acts xv. 17. Hebr. viii. 9. x, 39. And we will produce many more passages to prove the fact, if it should be desired. But probably the authority of Michaelis may be thought sufficient : · It is universally known,' he says, (v. i. p. 215. Edit. 1802.) • that the quotarions in the New Testament are comnionly taken from the Septuagint, a version in general use among the Christians who understood Greek.'
Mr. Bellamy pretends (p. 8.) to confute our assertion that the books of the Old Testament are the only books which have come down to us in the ancient Hebrew, by stating that the Mishna, Talmud, &c. are written in that language. After all the proofs which we have had of this writer's ignorance, we are sull inclined to ask, whether it be possible he can seriously believe that the language in which the Mislina, Talmud, &c. are written, is the same as that of the Old Testament?
But Mr. Bellamy lays us under peculiar difficulties, as we have not only to combat bis daring misrepresentations of the opinions of others, but his intrepid contradictions of himself. From an obtuseness, or obliquity, of understanding, he rarely appears to comprehend the meaning of his own language, or to discover whither the drift of his arguments is hurrying him. He evidently writes at random; and unconsciously keeps up a perpetual warfare between his text and notes, or between his notes themselves, fiercely assailing in one page what he stoutly defends in another. His reading appears very coufined—of the works of the great critical divines of ihis and other countries, he knows nothing; hence he frequently produces as valuable matter what had long ago been consigned to utter derision, or lays claim to discoveries which have, for ages, been familiar to every biblical student. When we add to all this, that his style of composition is mean and grovelling, and his taste depraved; that he has no relish or perception of the exquisite simplicity of the original, no touch of that fine feeling, that pious awe which led his venerable predecessors to infuse into their version as much of the Hebrew idiom as was consistent with the perfect purity of our own—a taste and feeling which have given perennial majesty and beauty to the English tongue--but that, on the contrary, he speaks with rude and vulgar buffoovery of the slight repetitions and redundancies which occasionally occur in the sacred volume, and which are so strongly and interestingly characteristic of the most remote antiquity; and proposes to sweep them all away in favour of what he is pleased to call an improved text of his own, always harsh, jejune, and revolting, and frequently unintelligible; we are more and more astonished at the presumption of his pursuits, and the vanity of his expectations.
One word more. As Mr. Bellamy has thought proper to bring himself further into public notice by his · Reply to our strictures, it may be as well, before we part with him, to confirm the opinion which our readers must have already formed of his learning, consistency, and general competence, by the production of a few more specimens of each, for the benefit of those who have not access to his work.
Many instances occur in which Mr. Bellamy, in opposition to all authorities, translates the preter form of the verb in the pluperfect sense : we bave alluded to one instance of this at Gen. ii. 21. and shall remark upon another at Gen. ïïi. 7. In the introduction to his translation, p. xxxix. he pretends, with much parade of accurate learning, to lay down a rule for ascertaining this modification of the preter tense, which is called the preterpluperfect tense.' It depends, he says, on the accent called paschta; where one of these accents is placed upon the verb, there is this first modificaG G3
tion of the perfect tense,' which,' he adds, (p. xl.) ‘is properly the first aorist of the Hebrew; the second occurs by a repetition of the accent paschta on the verb.' • Thus,' he afterwards says,
it will be seen that, as the Hebrew was the first language, the Greeks must have bad their qorists from the Hebrew. The reader will not fail to remark, by the way, these new discoveries' in the Greek grainmar, for which the world is likely to be as much indebted to Mr. Bellamy as for those he has made in the sense of Hebrew words: we suppose it will in future be received, on bis authority, as an established point, that the first and second aorists in Greek bear the pluperfect sense. Seriously, we cannot help suspecting that his knowledge of this tongue is even at a lower ebb than his knowledge of Hebrew. Be this as it may, he does not seem wanting in a due consciousness of his own merit in discovering this rule for the modification of Hebrew tenses, for be tells us that, though the ancient Hebrews, in the time of Ezra, were well acquainted with these branches of Hebrew learning, it is certain they have been wholly neglected since; no writer, no grammarian, either Jew or Christian,' (always excepting Mr. Bellamy,)' since that period, having attempted to give us a solution of these lingual problems concerning this peculiar construction of the language. And it is true enough, that the greatest masters of the language had not the most distant notion that any such rule obtained. Even J. Buxtorf, who attaches at least as much weight as any one to the points and accents, says, (Thes. Gramm. p. 33.) that the accents are of use in regulating the pronunciation and intonation; but gives not the slightest hint that in this manner they modify the sense.
Under these circumstances, it will not be supposed that there can be the least truth in Mr. Bellamy's solution of his lingual problems. In fact, the slightest inquiry proves the utter futility of his pretended rule; for, of verbs manifestly referring to times equally remote, one often has the paschta, the other not, as at Gen. i. 4, 5. 572' he divided,' has not the paschta; N7p he called' has it; and often where the sense evidently requires a construction in the pluperfect, there is no paschta, as at Gen. ii. v. 2. nur' he had made,' v. 5. T'ODT NS. had not caused it to rain:' But our main business is not with Mr. Bellamy's sagacity, or his modesty in propounding the rule, but with his consistency in adhering to it. It is natural to expect that, after laying it down, whenever he deviates from the received sense by rendering in the pluperfect tense, it will be from its authority. But what is the fact ? At Gen. ii. 21. he renders. he had inclosed,' yet the verb is without the paschta. So at Gen. ii. 9.` had brought forth;' ii. 25.' had not shamed themselves. In these, and numberless other instances, he not only runs counter to all authority in imposing a pluperfect sense, but does
so without the sanction of that very rule which he himself had framed for ascertaining it!
We have mentioned already that, at Gen. ii. 25., he reads D'any prudent,' instead of naked,' deriving it from a root which bears the sense of guile, craft, &c. Now at ch. iii. 7., occurs the cognate word 07'0 in the plural, which he, consistently with his former translation, renders' subtle,' instead of the received sense • naked.' But the same word recurs at v. 10. and 11.; and how does he there translate it? Will it be believed that he renders it imprudent,' diametrically opposite to his sense of prudent' at ch. ii. 25.! His version of v. 10. is, “I feared because I was imprudent (070); of v.11., 'Who told thee that thou wast imprudent ('))? Observe how this is brought about: 'the word (he says) has various significations, all partaking of the meaning of its root, to be subtle, crafty, guileful; in a good sense, wise, prudent; thus, in a perverted sense, subtle or crafty in wickedness; and thus, imprudent, which is its true meaning. After such a specimen, we conceive that Mr. Bellamy can find no difficulty in proving the same word to mean black and white. But wbat, we ask, as before, çan be certain in language, if such arbitrary meanings are to be assigned to words, contrary to every authority and to their established uses?
At Gen. iii. 2., he renders 399 DO ' some fruit of the tree.' And, in his note on the passage, he says, in opposition to the received translation of the fruit,' that's prefixed to no fruit cannot be rendered by of. Whatever may be thought of the value of this edict, let us observe in what degree he acts consistently with it. Only four verses after, the very same word "Do occurs again; and how does he translate it? not some fruit,' which he declared to be the right translation at v. 2.; but, agreeably to the received version,
of the fruit,' the very rendering which he before pronounced inadmissible!
Gen. iij.7. His ingenious translation of this verse would furnish ample matter for observation. We shall confine ourselves to the first clause, Nevertheless the eyes of them both had been opened, instead of the received version and the eyes of them both were opened.' In the first place, why is he not consistent with himself in rendering 'Joy ' understandings' as at v. 5.? As the expressions at v. 5. and at v. 7. are precisely similar, the translation which is proper for the one must be proper for the other. 2dly. He assigns no reason whatever for departing from the usual sense of the copulative 1, and rendering it nevertheless. Sdly, by translating the verb in the pluperfect tense, he makes the whole narrative completely unintelligible. At v. 5. the serpent says to the woman, 'God knoweth that on the day ye eat of he same, then your understandings shall be opened. Thus the consequence of their eating of the G G4
tree of knowledge was to be the opening of their understandings. The woman is induced to eat of the tree, and of course it is to be expected that the consequence mentioned before would immediately take place. But not so according to Mr. Bellamy's improvements. He translates the words which follow, “nevertheless, the eyes of them both had been opened. And he tells us, in his note, that their eyes (meaning their understandings) had been opened, long before, not that this was the effect of eating the forbidden fruit. So consistent would he make the Holy Scriptures !
At ch. iii. 17., Mr. Bellamy translates, “Cursed is the ground by thy transgression; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.' We have no objection to his substitution of the words
by thy transgression,' for those of the received version, for thy sake,' except that here is a needless departure from the original text, 7710 ya signifying literally, 'for thy sake,' ' on thy account.' But we have much to remark on his explanation of this pas sage in his notes. He first tells us that the ground' here mentioned is the organized ground, Adam.'
" The organized ground called Adam was the ground that was cursed, and not the ground, which God had blessed with the principles of generation to produce every thing necessary for the use of His creatures.' Well then, we are to understand that the ground is not cursed, but Adam. Now for the words which follow, · In sorrow shalt thou eat of it. It manifestly refers to “ the ground,' which, as we have just been told, means Adam, and the sentence is addressed to Adam : therefore the clause runs, ' In sorrow shalt thou (Adam) eat of it (Adam) all the days of thy life.' We must really apologize to our readers for laying such prodigies of absurdity before them--but we quote Mr. Bellamy fairly. In his note on the very next verse he
says, • It is highly proper to observe here that a charge has been brought against this part of the sacred history, which is not true; viz. that God cursed Adam. But it is sufficiently evident that no such expression is found, even in the common version.'
What are we now to think? Who in his senses ever understood the meaning of the passage to be that God cursed Adam, before Mr. Bellamy broached this opinion? And yet, in the very next note after he had delivered this opinion, he contradicts himself and affirms the direct contrary to what he had before advanced. It surely must be needless to extract any more of this writer's monstrous inconsistencies. We will however subjoin,
1st. An instance of his extreme carelessness, to use the mildest term. At Gen. iii. 23. he translates Opinn Og 720s when he had transgressed on the ground,' instead of the usualto till the ground.'