The Revised Bible.
A London letter says ; —The new revision of the New Testament issued from the University press will at first shock the Protestant world. It is not recognisable as a Bible. The chapters and verses are gone;. verses are missing, ■ changed, pared ; familiar texts that have become graven on the minds of Church people for generations have disappeared, and in their places are words foreign to the eye and strange to the ear. Verbal and grammatical changes may be counted by the tens of thousands. The first general idea that will strike the scholar, however, is the faithfulness with which the Greek text has been reproduced for the English reader. The narrative is unbroken by the disfigurement of chapter and verse, but the capitals, punctuation, and paragraphs, lacking in the original are, of course,' supplied, arid for convenience of reference to the present version, the present divisions are. marked parenthetically. Tire misleading headlines disappear finally, without a sign to : denote their improper intrusion. The effect is striking, and a marked improvement. The sequence of the Gospel narratives, the logic of St,
I%ul, take on a new appearance and force that is not all owing to the improvement in grammatical construction of the text, although in a first reading it is difficult to distinguish how much is owing to the one and how much to the other. . Take this illustration (Heb. iv., 6-7), which is a fair example of this point. OLD STYLE. NEW STYLE 6. Seeing therefore Since therefore it it remaineth that some remained! that some one must entertherein, enter therein, and they and they to whom it who formerly received was first preached en- the glad promise entered not in because of tered not in because of unbelief. disobedience, he again 7. Again, he limited! fixefh a certain day, a certain day, saying to-day, saying so long to David, to-day, after a time afterward in so long a lime ; and it David (as hath been issaid, if you will hear said before), to-day, if his voice, harden not ye shall hear his voice, your hearts. harden nptyourhearts. OMISSIONS FROM THE TEXT. The fourth gospel suffers most at the hands of the revisers, the synoptics even less than the Revelation, and the Catholic epistles least of all. The longest excision is from the fifty-third verse of the seventh, chapter, to the; eleventh verse of the next inclusive. The following verse (12). in which Jesus declares , himself the light of the world, is joined upon, and is the reply to the scoff of the Pharisees in the preceding chapter, that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.. The next deletion of importance is the angelic coloring of the description of the pool Bethesda, in the fifth chapter. The following passage is omitted by the reviewers ; “3. . , , Wailing for the moving of the water. '
“4. For the angel went down at a certain season unto the pool and troubled the water ; whosoever first after The troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. ”
The famous text of the three heavenly witnesses (I. John v., is, of course, thrown out, the following words being expunged “7, . . In Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; these three : are one.
‘‘B. And -there; are three that bear;.witness in earth!
Another notable omission of the revisers is to be found in the conversion of Paul as recorded in Acts ix., 5.9. .The words expunged are “5, . , . It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. . “ And he, trembling and astonished, sasd, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? And the Lord said unto him , . .”
There are many other familiar passages that have disappeared : “ Many be called but few chosen,’’ from Matthew xxxii., 1 4 j “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear,” from Marie vii., 16.
Some of the happiest changes are of a single word, as “ alive ” for “ quick.” “ Theyhad swallowed us up alive’’has a very different sense than “ swallowed us up quick.” Again, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,” becomes much more simple when rendered-—“ He that has taken a bath needeth not save to wash his feet.” “Darkness over all the earth,” and “over all the land” (Palestine), are very different things. In every change the revisers lessen the strain upon faith. Minor changes have,been hinted at. It would take too long to sort out, arrange, and classify them. Here . are a few that come haphazard—“ As we have forgiven,” instead of “ forgive,” “ our debtors.” “ The pinnacle of the temple,” instead of “ a pinnacle ” (there was but one). “ The first fruits of them that are sleeping,” instead of “ slept.” “If one died for all, then were all dead,” instead of “ then did all die.” Paul did not pray the Lord to avenge him on Alexander. He said—“ The Lord ‘ will ’ reward him according to his work,” not “ the Lord rewarded him.” “ Supposing that godliness were gain,” instead of “gain is godliness.” “ The word became (instead of was made) flesh.” “ Born of woman,” instead of “ made of a woman.” “ For we saw his star,” not “have seen ” it. Such changes as these are to be found in every verse.
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The Revised Bible., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 201, 26 November 1880
The Revised Bible. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 201, 26 November 1880
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