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rectness with which it conveys the sense of the original, or the dignity, simplicity, and propriety of the language in which that sense is conveyed.

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The person, whose work is now before us, Mr. John Bellamy, some time ago issued proposals for publishing a new Translation of the Holy Bible.' We confess that, from the first, we augured no good from them. We scarcely knew Mr. Bellamy by name; we could meet with no one who knew much more of him; and the only proof of his competence, was presumed to be afforded by what appeared to us a series of wild unmeaning trash, but which he himself dignified with the name of Hebrew Criticisms,' published in a periodical Journal which passes through few hands. Nor did it appear to us that the bold design of newly translating the whole Bible, instead of trying his strength on some single portion of it, implied that he took a just measure either of his own powers or of the nature of the work in which he had engaged. But, on reading his proposals, we found insinuations and assertions respecting modern translations, which convinced us that he is apt to make them at hazard. We found, too, several specimens of his new translation printed in parallel columns, with the corresponding texts of the received version. These specimens perfectly astonished us; it seemed impossible that they could proceed from a person possessed in any tolerable degree of the qualifications requisite for a translator of the Bible, and we began to fear that his work might eventually prove worse than useless; that it might have a very mischievous tendency, as far as its influence should reach, in shaking the confidence of the unlearned in the certainty of those interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures, which have hitherto, and with the greatest justice, been universally received.

Mr. Bellamy, however, was encouraged to proceed by a list of subscribers, not large indeed, but containing some illustrious and dignified names. He even obtained permission to dedicate his translation to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent. He obtained also the subscriptions of some learned and respected dignitaries of the church. In regard to the latter, it is gratifying to see them on general occasions extending their patronage for the encou ragement of sacred learning; but we confess that, in the present instance, we felt some regret that names, which deservedly carry weight on such a subject with the public, should be found recommending a work of this nature, from a person whose competence to the office which he had undertaken was unknown.

The first part of Mr. Bellamy's new translation of the Holy Bible, containing his introduction and the book of Genesis, has confirmed

The title-page to this work is inaccurate. It is called the Holy Bible newly translated

confirmed our worst anticipations. We find him to be a person whose arrogance, presumption, and contempt of others are perfectly intolerable, who proceeds in a rash and wild spirit of innovation, setting aside, on the authority of his own assertion, the decisions of the learned and the wise, and hazarding statements of the most intrepid kind, on the slenderest foundations. His knowledge of the Hebrew consists in little more than a common acquaintance with the meaning of the roots, and the more ordinary and obvious rules of grammar, not of the peculiarities of idiom, and the niceties of construction: he is, besides, totally destitute of judgment. Generally speaking, when a person proposes to give a new translation of the Bible, or of any other well known book, we are prepared to expect that the most he will endeavour to accomplish will be, to express the received meaning of the original with greater closeness or propriety, and, where the construction is difficult, to bring out the sense with greater clearness. Not so Mr. Bellamy; he pretends not, in the ordinary meaning of the word, to give a new translation, but to make new and unheard of discoveries of the sense; and this, in plain historical passages, where the meaning and construction of the words have hitherto been deemed as little subject to doubt, as in any sentence that was ever written in any language.

Before we examine the manuer in which he arrives at these discoveries, we intreat the reader to reflect for a moment how the probabilities stand, on the first view of such a proceeding. That part of the Bible which we are now considering is the oldest composition in the world; and has been always reverenced by Jews and Christians, as proceeding from a person inspired by God, and conveying the records of his dispensations to his creature. To say that as much pains have been bestowed on the discovery and elucidation of the meaning of this and the Bible at large as were ever bestowed on the most admired writings of classical authors, is to put the matter on too low a ground. The feeling of the high importance of the sacred book, and the reverence with which it has been viewed, have caused it to be sifted and examined with far more scrupulous diligence. Every phrase has been the subject of painful investigation; whole treatises have been composed on single passages; the principles of its grammar and construction have been carefully explored; translations have been made not only in modern times, but when a dialect of the Hebrew language was vernacular, and carefully handed down for our use; and concordances have been formed of every individual word. In short, all buman means have been employed in the development of the true sense of Scripture. And will it be be

translated from the original Hebrew. Now the term Holy Bible includes the Old and New Testaments, and, as only the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, it is only that part of the Holy Bible which can be translated from the original Hebrew.'


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lieved, after all this, that, in plain historical passages, where there is no doubt about the integrity of the text as to a single letter affecting the sense, and where the language has hitherto been deemed so clear that no suspicion even of a doubt has been hinted—will it be believed that in such passages, every person, ancient or modern, Jew or Christian, has hitherto been grossly mistaken, and that the day on which Mr. John Bellamy published his new translation was the first on which the true meaning was unfolded to the understandings of mankind!

But we have not even yet come to the worst part of Mr. Bellamy's proceedings. In his notes on many of those passages which, as he pretends, have been hitherto understood in a sense at variance with the original, he eagerly dwells on the absurdity and inconsistency of the received sense,' and retails at full length the objections which have been advanced by the most notorious infidel writers, as Chubb, Morgan, Tindal, Sir William Drummond, &c.; objections which have been refuted over and over, but which, as if with the most determined purpose of mischief, he repeats in the most offensive language. Thus, (Introduction, p. xiii.) he says, No one can possibly silence the arguments which objectors have advanced against the common translations of the Bible." Again;-'As long as such objectionable passages are permitted to disgrace the pages of the sacred volume, if men were to preach with the language of angels, arguments, however reasonable for the defence of the Scriptures, cannot possibly produce any ultimate good.' At Gen. vi. 6. after bringing together all the impious trash that has ever been written about repentance being ascribed to the all-perfect God, he says, Surely it is a reproach to all the Christian nations to see the errors of the early ages still retained in the sacred pages. At Gen. xi. 1. after a similar collection of the objections advanced by the most malicious unbelievers, he says, 'The received view of this subject as it now unfortunately stands in all the translations, operates against the religion of the Bible. The most strenuous advocates of the sacred volume can neither comprehend nor believe it, and it does them credit, because it is not contained in the original: while, on the other hand, it is one of those objections which render the Deist so formidable in his arguments against the Scriptures.' And at Gen. xxii. he bursts forth into language more outrageous. than we ever met with among the bitterest effusions of the most envenomed infidel. Every individual must necessarily feel here that disgust which is impossible for all the powers of language to describe;' when we consider what is stated, one of the most astonishing considerations is, that the Scriptures during this long period have been preserved from oblivion, and have been deemed sacred in the eyes of Europe to the present day.'



Language like this naturally leads to a suspicion, that the writer is secretly endeavouring to serve the cause of infidelity, and to undermine as much as possible the credit of the Bible. On this subject, we leave others to form their own opinions; and when we have said that, in other passages, as far as outward professions go, he appears to be a believer in its divine original, and anxious to preserve its credit, we shall quit all general observations on the nature and tendency of his work, and descend to particulars.

The eagerness of Mr. Bellamy to lower the credit of all existing translations, and to make way for the reception of his own, is so great, that he does not wait to insert passages to this effect in the body of his work, but prints them on the cover, so that those who do not even open his book, may yet enjoy the benefit of having their confidence in the correctness of the authorized version shaken. In his address on the cover, he says, 'It may be necessary to inform the public that no translation has been made from the original Hebrew, since the 128th year of Christ. In the fourth century, Jerome made his Latin version from this Greek translation; from which came the Latin Vulgate, and from the Latin Vulgate all the European translations have been made, thereby perpetuating all the errors of the first translators.'

Necessary to inform the public! In what sense he uses the word he does not explain, and we are left to conjecture whether he feels himself impelled by a physical or moral necessity to take this step ; but, in no sense can it be necessary to inform the public of what is completely and absolutely false. And no assertion can be more palpably untrue than that the Bible has never been translated from the original Hebrew since the time of Aquila, who is the person alluded to, we conceive, as having translated it about the 128th year of Christ. To specify a few only-there were the Greck translations of Symmachus and Theodotion, made within a century after that of Aquila; of Latin translations there was that of Jerome, not made, as Mr. Bellamy states, from this Greek translation, but from the original Hebrew; in more modern times that of Sanctus Pagninus, made from the Hebrew, under Leo X. and afterwards revised by Arius Montanus; that of Sebastian Munster, in 1534-5, of which Father Simon says, that of all modern translations, it best expresses the sense of the Hebrew text; and Dupin, that it is the most literal, and at the same time the most faithful, of any done by protestants.' There is also the version of Junius and Tremellius, published in 1587, expressly called in the title-page, Biblia sacra, sive Libri Canonici, Latini recens ex Hebræo facti. So much for Mr. Bellamy's first assertion!

Again: he informs his readers that, in the fourth century, Jerome made his Latin version from this Greek translation. To

prove the falsehood of this, we can produce an authority which the writer, we conceive, very highly values, we mean that of a Mr. John Bellamy; in the Introduction, p. xx. he quotes the very words of Jerome, that he was induced to attempt a Latin translation from the Hebrew.' In fact, it is matter of historical record, of which it is most strange that a person who professes to have inquired into these things should be ignorant, that Jerome first employed himself in revising the old Latin version, but, having lost the fruits of his earlier labours by the treachery of a person to whom he entrusted them, he determined to persist no longer in revising an old translation from the Greek, but to make a new translation from the Hebrew. For this he was well qualified by the study of Hebrew from his earliest youth, having spent many years of his life under the instruction of Jewish doctors in Egypt, at Jerusalem, and at Tiberias, and sparing neither pains nor expense to make himself perfect master of the language. Hieronymus, (says Walton, Polygl. proleg. p. 69.) vir acri et fervido ingenio, rem Ecclesiæ utilem se facturum existimabat, si novam versionem ex Hebraico fonte exprimeret, quam ingenti animo et laboribus indefessis tandem perfecit, quæ magis quàm reliquæ cum Hebræo conveniebat et accuratior erat.' Such is the accuracy of Mr. Bellamy's second assertion in this notable passage!

His third, that from the Latin Vulgate, all the European translations have been made,' is of equal value with the rest. In Roman Catholic countries, indeed, where the Latin Vulgate is prized beyond its just value, the versions into the vernacular tongues have been chiefly made from this, and not from the original: but the case is far otherwise in protestant countries. All the principal English translations, in particular, have beyond question been. made directly from the Hebrew. The Geneva Bible, for instance, translated by English refugees, and first printed in 1557, is described in the title-page as being translated according to the Hebrewe and Greke, and conferred with the best translations in divers languages.' In forming Archbishop Parker's Bible, directions were given to the learned men employed, to compare diligently the old translation with the original text. It was objected that this translation did not always strictly follow the Hebrew, and in some places was purposely accommodated to the Greek, an objection which fully proves that it pretended to be formed from the Hebrew, otherwise the charge would not have been made. But, as Lewis says in his history of English translations, to any one who peruses it with care, this censure will appear to be ill founded.' ́And that our authorized version was framed from the original languages, was, we believe, never called in doubt by any one before Mr. Bellamy, For the present we shall only remind the reader that the title-page


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