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Version, or hear its name. During a five years' course of study at the college where I received my education for the ministry, I do not remember any mention of it in the theological classes, and only two in the Greek classes : both of which were condemnatory; one, of the introduction of the English indefinite article to indicate, in certain cases, the absence of the definite article in the original; the other, of the rendering of the preposition dia, with the genitive, by the word “ for.” The fact that most ministers of our persuasion, subscribe to the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, which has succeeded to the property in the improved version, and continues to circulate it, no more makes them responsible for its criticisms, than a contribution to the Bible Society makes a clergyman accountable for the forgery of the “heavenly witnesses.” The one aids in distributing a possibly defective, the other a certainly interpolated, copy of the Christian records. Let us apply another test to this imprudent parallel between the established clergy, and the Unitarian ministers. In the United States of America, no one, I presume, could take holy orders in the Episcopal church, without pledging his assent to the thirty-nine articles ; and should he cease to approve of them, his ordination vow would require him to resign his preferment. But in that country are hundreds of Unitarian ministers, who know nothing of the Improved Version; and would be as much astonished to be told that they were bound by it, as would Dr. Tattershall to hear that he must answer for the Oxford Tracts.
But the mere fact, that within a year after the publication of this work, a Unitarian divine, a subscriber to the Unitarian society, in a Unitarian periodical, submitted it to a criticism far more searching and elaborate than that which an acumen, sharpened by theological hostility, is now able to produce, is sufficient to set in its true light the statement which I have quoted. I beg to call the attention of our Reverend opponents to the following enumeration of the points, to which the censures of the Reviewer (Dr. Carpenter) are directed.
(1.) The selection of Newcome's Revision, instead of the authorized version, as a basis.
(2.) The departure, and without any intelligible rule, from Griesbach's text, which, in the introduction, had been mentioned in a way to excite the expectation of its invariable adoption. Of these departures, a complete table is given.
(3.) The neglect of proper acknowledgement, and defence of these departures.
(4.) The professed employment of brackets for one purpose, (to indi
ds whicb, according to Griesbach, were probably, though not to be expunged,) and the actual use of them for another ;
e in the introduction of St. Matthew's Gospel, which is thus enclosed.
se o (5.) The use
f italics (intended to indicate doubtful authority) without adequate
Evidence of doubtful authority, and in violation of inteption to repudiate critical conjecture. And in parse of this type in the introduction to St. Luke's gospel ;
evide c e is far too little to justify;” and in the introducna Matthews gospel. Both these examples are considered her the reviewer as instances of conjectural criticism.
varsantable license allowed in general to conjectural of the text ; of which, particular cases are adduced; as
osition of verses, John i. 15, 18; and, in a lower sense of the word conjecture, the omission of Tîs alotews, Rom. iii. 25; and the kar in 2 Tim. ïïi . 16.
(7.) The departures from the received text without notice. Of these departures, a complete table is given.
(8.) The departures from Newcome's Revision, without sufficient notice; of these, a list was given, and a synoptical table has since been published in the appendix to Dr. Carpenter's reply to the “unanswered ” Archbishop Magee.
(9.) The use of the English indefinite article, in certain cases, where there is no Greek definite article. For example, the Centurion's exclamation at the crucifixion, Matt. xxvii. 54; in his remarks on which, Mr. Byrth will perceive that he has been anticipated by the reviewer.
(10.) The introduction of doctrinal notes, which the reviewer thinks ought to have been entirely excluded. *
The culpable omission of the epithet, “Unitarian," from the description of the “ Society for promoting Christian Knowledge,” in the title page of the first edition, has since received the censure of the same friendly but just critic.t
If then, all that is original and“ orthodox," in the recent assaults on the improved version, be the sarcasm and extravagance; and all that is “candid” and “ scholar-like” was long ago anticipated by a Unitarian divine, (to whom Dr. Nares awards the praise of being “ the very learned and dispassionate reviewer,”) with what propriety can
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On the Ebionites and then
inuented Mr. Bekham against t ci te sradions conception ap zlorabel's criticism upan it, I
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we be held responsible, as Unitarian ministers, for the peculiarities of the work, and called upon to defend it from strictures, produced at second-hand in Christ Church, and originally published among our. selves. If Dr. Carpenter had been minister in Liverpool, instead of Bristol, would he have been bound to come forward and answer himself?
I by no means intend to charge the clergymen engaged in this controversy with plagiarism. Their great authority, Archbishop Magee, so completely withheld in his postscript, all notice of his obligations to the Unitarian Reviewer, that a reader may well be excused for not knowing that there was such a person. Nor do I at all doubt the competency of our respected opponents to originate whatever they have advanced, without the aid of any one's previous researches." simply affirm that they have been anticipated, in a quarter, and to an extent, which disprove their assertions respecting the acceptance and influence of the Improved Version among Unitarians.
For the very same reason, however, that we are not bound to praise this work when faults are fairly attributed to it, neither are we bound to be silent, when merit is unjustly denied it. With the core rections introduced in the fourth and fifth Editions, it has the es clusive honour of accomplishing the following important ends :
(1.) It exhibits the text of the New Testament in the most peric state, being conformed to Griesbach's second Edition.
(2.) It enables the English reader to compare this critical with the Received text, all their variations being noticed. (3.) It places before its possessors Archbishop Newcome's Revi
otherwise would have passed into unmerited oblivion. Wherever it departs from its basis, and advances any new"
es rendering is given also ; so that the whole extent of the innovation is seen, and free choice afforded to the reaca
e advocates of the common version shall exert themselves to bring it into accordance with the true text, they will als proved Version, from a safer position. But so long as they
m a safer position. But so long as they leave with this heretical work, the sole praise, among British
the sole praise, among British translations, of showing what the Evangelists and Apostles really wrote with circulating a version containing words and pracy mark or warning, which they know to be spurious, a one case, to be ancient theological allies
ancient theological allies of their creed. they are too much open to the charge of availing themsel
charge of availing themselves of detected forgeries, to be entitled to read lectures to others, about a
an e detiture, Mr. Besbian wa Ebanites, or earit H please leakawa and Jeromne, t bir pent the introductory free is ideat of this argument de jetzte parties and documen the spectability of them all seas and thietites theme
2 dl Epiphanius and I you stiha they describe.
trada, appear to me sa it is said, can Jaibe Nazarenes and E
of Hebrew C
Ata bians destructi ng pananal community sodiy band conceived time to be consider Tibetteen Bishop Sa reduction of |
in Eickhorn, Then in the enquiry
n the true text, they will attack the Im
and Apostles really wrote, and content themselves
ontaining words and passages, without
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tures to others, about reverence for the text.
the duty of preserving the Canon of
duty of pulment
in its integrity.” Will he permit me to remind him of the reserving it in its simplicity : or is there, in the bare proposal rent of the volume, a sinfulness which does not exist in the nd per Severing maintenance of known interpolation ?
On the Ebionites and their Gospel. The argument
of Mr. Belsham against the authenticity of Matthew's emiraculous conception appears to me very unsound :
shall's criticism upon it, I must think to be altogether if a t least, amid its intricate construction, I have really
the points to which its force is applied. In rejecting
ion of Scripture, Mr. Belsham relies on the authority of the Nazarenes and E bionites, or early Hebrew Christians : who are affirmed by Epiphanius and Jerome, to have used copies of Matthew's Gospel, without the introductory passages in question.
As the value of this argument depends altogether on the character of the attesting parties and documents, Dr. Tattershall calls in question the respectability of them all; and disparages, first, the ancient Nazarenes and Ebionites themselves; secondly, the testimony, in this matter, of Epiphanius and Jerome; thirdly, the Hebrew gospel or record, which they describe. The positions advanced under every one of these heads, appear to me to be erroneous.
I. Nothing, it is said, can be more incorrect than to admit the claim of the Nazarenes and Ebionites to be regarded as the original, or main body of Hebrew Christians. They were a sect, at first united, then divided into two; successors of the Judaizing Christians; and after Adrian's destruction of Jerusalem (A. D. 132), separated from the general community of the Christian Church.
I certainly had conceived that this quæstio vexata of ecclesiastical history, might be considered as set at rest, since the controversy respecting it, between Bishop Horsley and Dr. Priestley ; and still more, since the production of many additional loca probantia from the Fathers, by Eichhorn, Olshausen, Bertholdt and others, who have engaged in the enquiry respecting the origin of the three first gospels. If, however, the subject is still open to discussion, the principle on which it must be conducted is evident. If, as Dr. Tattershall states, the Nazar enes and Ebionites did not embrace in extent, the main body, and in time, the original societies, of Jewish believers, it is incumbent on him to find some clear traces of other or earlier
Hebrew Christians, denominated by some different term, or at all events excluded from these. Until such persons are discovered in the primitive history of the church, the Nazarenes and Ebionites must remain in undisturbed possession of their title as “ The early Hebrew Christians.” Meanwhile, in direct proof of their claim to be so regarded, I submit the following considerations :
(1.) Their name is applied, in a direct definition, to the whole of the Jewish Christians. Origen says, “ Those from among the Jews who received Jesus as the Christ,” were called Ebionites.*
(2.) The characteristic sentiments of this “ sect,” are ascribed to the early Hebrew Christians generally. These were, the persuasion of the continued obligation of the Mosaic law, on persons of Jewish birth, and the belief that Christ was a creature, some considering him as simply human, others as preexistent.t Origen says, “ Those from among the Jews who have faith in Jesus, have not abandoned their ancient law; for they live in conformity with it, deriving even their name (according to the true interpretation of the word,) from the poverty of the law; for Ebion, among the Jews, means poor." Origen again says, “ And when you observe the belief respecting the Saviour, held by those from among the Jews who have faith in Jesus, some supposing that he was of Mary and Joseph, and others that he was of Mary alone and the Holy Spirit, but still without the notion of his Deity, &c."$
(3.) The characteristic Gospel of this sect (under its frequent title “ Gospel according to the Hebrews") was used by the Hebrew Christians generally. Eusebius says; “ In this number, some have placed the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is a favourite