« PreviousContinue »
in my opinion, corroborates the Biblical Criticism of the respect able COUNTRY-PARISH-PRIEST ; and goes near to furnish positive internal evidence of the authenticity of the questioned verse.
But it has been said by a most acute, learned, and respectable writer, that the controverted verse is one, " which no ancient Greek manuscript contains, and which no ancient Greek Father ever saw.” Marsh's LECTURES, Part ii. L. IX. p. 55. I submit
, however, to the learned Professor, and to your readers in general
, the following extract from a letter in the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, for May, 1805.
“ As one strong argument against the authenticity of the verse, (1 John v. 7.) has always been the supposed total absence of all ancient Greek authority in support of it, the curiosity of some of your literary readers may, perhaps, be gratified by the production of two passages, which seem to have escaped observation. And first, for the latest of them! This is from Suidas, in voce 4.6€mpos, Vol. I. p. 593. Ed. Kust. Diodorus was a monk, and bishop of Tarsus in the times of Julian and Valens; and is spoken of by Socrates, Hist. Eccles. lib. vi. c. 8. as a considerable and respectable writer. He wrote commentaries upon several parts of Scripture; among others, “ sis Tin MIOTÓANY 'Ιωαννου του Ευαγγελιστού: ' περί του, είς θεός έν τρίαδι.” He may probably be referred to about the year 380.
The other is from the exaóyou of Clement of Alexandria, and at least as ancient as the close of the second century: and if, think there is some reason to suspect, but which I have not here the opportunity of tracing, this tract was written by Pantænus his preceptor, must be somewhat earlier. It will be found in the Leyden edition of 1616, which is the only one at hand, p, 575, first volume : « πάν ρήμα ίσταται επί δύο και τριών μαρτυρών, πατρος, και υιού, και αγιου πνεύματος εφ' ών μαρτυρών και βοηθών αι εντόλαι λεγόμεναι φυλάσσεσθαι οφείλουσιν. .
On all these grounds, I protest against the proposed « expunctiun of the verse;" and, with Mr. C. Butler (HoŘ. Bib. Vol. 11. p. 288.) would plead for “ further investigation " not discarding the hope, which he seems to cherish, that, under patient examination, some be found to ESTABLISH this important text;
for the authenticity of which there is, even now, so much to offer. Aug. 7. 1813.
MSS. may yet
Lardner, (Vol. iv. 493.,) in his account of Diodorus Bishop of Tarsus, from Suidas, has chosen to stop short after the word Euryyedestä. it may be said, he considered the tepi tô, tis Red; ły Tpiads, not as a description of St, Jolin's Epistle, but as the subject of a separate commentary, or tract. This might be so.
But in noticing his commentary on “ the difference between theory and allegory;" which is placed next after that on the Book of Proverbs, lie well argues,
might therefore have been a dissertation subjoined to it.” Now the same sup, position is no less obvious in this case ; and it would involve the conclusion, above inferred, that Diodorus HAD sven a copy of St. John's first Epistle, which contained the 7th verse of Chapter v.
2 Ed. Potter. Vol. ii. p. 992. S. xiii.
INTO THE POWER
THE HEBREW GNAIN.'
ΖΗΤΕΙ ΒΕΛΤΙΩ ΤΟΥΤΩΝ.
submitting the following pages to the consideration of those who are skilled in the Hebrew language, the author is sensible that he runs no small risk of being deemed presumptuous.
If, however, what he now, with great deference, offers, shall prompt others, better versed in the subject, to investigate again that which has not' as yet been investigated as far as evidence seems to conduct the inquirer, or to bring forward that know, ledge which hitherto has lain, hid, he may perhaps be the cause of the good that others may do, though he himself may have been less successful.
The object is 'to ascertain the power of the sixteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Oin, as it is called by some, and Ain or Gnain by others, by such evidence, if such may be found, as may afford some criterion how the Jews themselves pronounced it in the purer ages of Hebrew learning.
Concerning the pronunciation of the letter y there are two opinions. One calls it Oin,' and gives to it the power of 0. The other calls it Gnain," and says, the sound of y is various; some sound it in the beginning of a word 'like gn, gnain; ngn ir: the middle as nangnar, and ng at the end as ruang.'
The reader is thús early informed that the treatise now offered to his consideration does not enter into any argument respecte ing the origin of the Masoretic points. If he wishes for information respecting them, and the weapons by which they have been attacked and defended, he may find the controversy very fully stated in Dean Prideaux's Connexion. Without presuming to
· See Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexicon-Alphabet at the beginning. The reader will understand that the edition of 1792 is ibat quoted.
2 See Terry's Grammár-Alphabet at the beginning. This Grammar was printed for Terry in Paternoster Row. It is particularly adapted to Bythner's
Lyra Prophetica,' and, as it states at the beginning, has met with the approbation of some of the best Hebraians of the age. Who was the compiler of this Grammar does not appear; it is quoted as Terry's Granımar for the reason just now assigned.
3 Part vit. Book 5. Page 506.
decide any thing concerning them, it may, perhaps, be reasonable to say that, as Hebrew has hitherto been understood, it is now scarcely possible to reject them for as many of the names of persons and of places, occurring in the Old Testament, words, from their own nature, not capable of being translated from one language into another, are formed by reading the original with the Masoretic points; and as the Hebrew of Selden and of Godwyn recognizes them, it seems necessary, until something more satisfactory can be devised and established as authentic, to follow the steps of such men as those now named, especially as Dean Prideaux has positively asserted, that the reading settled by the Masoretic points is the true reading : the reader will, however, follow his own judgment in retaining or rejecting them.
By the professed compilers of Hebrew grammars, who have arranged the letters of the alphabet under different classes, it is laid down that y is a guttural, and merely a guttural: and that as such it is to be found in the technical word “ ahchang." If this arrangement, and the technical word formed from it, be unexceptionably correct, its power is almost ascertained by that assigned to it in the word “ahchang;” but from a consideration of the manner in which it is either applied or represented, and likewise from the inconsistency of those who give it that power, there seems so small ground for suspecting that it is not only a guttural, but likewise a quiescent; and that the sound given to it, as above stated, is not the true sound : or, in other words, that it is not the sound given to it when Hebrew was a living language, or in the ages immediately succeeding.
No one, surely, can cavil at the term 'inconsistency ::--for Parkhurst, who contends, as is before mentioned, that it is sounded like O, says also in the body of his Lexicongs that there are some words where y has a jingling sound.
An argument of nearly the same import as Parkhurst's, is to be found in ty. It is, however, observable that he quotes no authority for the nasal, or guttural, or jingling sound, but leaves it to the reader's judgmentsurely a very insufficient criterion.
Terry, who in the beginning of his grammar had said that the letter in question was pronounced as gn or ng, says. afterwards, in explaining the names of the different conjugations, Niphal, Pihel, Puhal, &c. as derived from by, that in this word ys is not pronounced, or only as h. Hence, it appears that the system of the one and the other is so deficient, to support his own argument, that each is obliged to have recourse to that which is wholly in consistent with the principle with which he first set out.
The advocates for pronouncing the letter as are comparatively few; the more popular pronunciation is that which is given by. Terry; but on what foundation that rests, it perhaps may not be easy to discover ; nor does there exist any evidence, " as far as has hitherto been discovered, other than that which arises from its having been acquiesced in by some writers, that can prove it correct; and until that be done, surely it may be as fairly superseded, if a better can be found, as in philosophy the system of Copernicus may be admitted to supersede the system of Des Cartes, or the ethics of Zeno be preferred to those of Epicurus.
It has already been said, that grammarians have hitherto considered y as a guttural ; but perhaps in the course of this inquiry it will be shown that, though from certain circumstances it may be a guttural, yet that, as some of the other gutturals x and 7, for instance, are likewise quiescents, as not being pronounced, unless they have a point beneath, so, for the same reason, the letter in question is a quiescent; as it is conceived that it may be shown that whatever power it has, is derived from the Masoretic point under it, unless it be more properly said that it is the Masoretic point that is sounded, and not the letter, an observation iwhich may be extended to all the members of ehevi. This, it is presumed, may be proved from examples, which will be given hereafter.
With respect to the sound to be ascribed to the letter in question, it is taken for granted, as being founded on the very nature of evidence; that the nearer the examples are to the period when : Hea brew
was a living language, the more probable it is that the right pronunciation will be found. The Septuagint therefore offers the best evidence, generally speaking, as being the earliest, of that
2 * It should not be suppressed that Parkhurst has said, that the method recommended by him, is the same as that proposed by Dr. Robertson in his True and ancient method of reading Hebrew, &c. in which ingenious treatise may be found añ ample and satisfactory vindication of it from a comparison of the Hebrew with the ancient Greek alphabet. Not having Dr. Robertson's book at hand, the author of this inquiry cannot avail himself of any of the arguments contained in it, nor learn how the pronunciation of Hebrew is to be inferred from the Greek alphabet. Some indeed, adverting to the place which y occupics in the Hebrew alphabet, consider it as answering to Omicron in the Greek; but this will be shown hereafter to be fallacious, as instances will be brought of as early a period to prove that the sound of the letter varied, if indeed it was sounded at all; and that in some cases it really was not sounded. If by instances equally early it can be shown that in some cases it was sounded as a, in others as e, and in others it was not sounded at all, is it too much to assume that there is no ground for suppos. ing that the original sound was 0? 2. See Buxtort in describing the gutturals, whose words are, Literæ gutturis, sive gutturales, quia spiritum valent qui in gutture formatur," Epitome H Gram, p. 3. edit. 1691. The book here alluded to is “ Johannis Buxtorfii Epitome Grammatica Hebraicæ." And the edition quoted is described under the words: “ Hanc editionem secundam sub ductu patris procuravit Rodolphus
which may be supposed to have been the manner in which the Jews spoke their own language. From the names of persons and of places as there given, it may surely be allowed to infer the power of the letters of the original; and it may be here observed that in no instance of a proper name is the pronunciation gn recognized ; but the word, as given in the Hebrew, in the Septuagint, and as pronounced by the moderns, in a great measure corresponds; or where there is a deviation, it is not such as to affect the present subiect.
For, although the opinion of Dean Prideaux' has indeed de stroyed all argument that might be drawn from the Septuagint, generally speaking, on the ground of its antiquity; and has shown by arguments, which it seems difficult to resists that the story of Seventy-two interpreters is a fiction, and that this version was done at different periods, yet, as his system does not call in question the antiquity of the version of the law, the undermentioned specimens of y being taken from Genesis, which is recog. nized as part of the law, are not at all invalidated. '
The reader may perhaps now assent to the above mentioned objections to the power at present assigned to y, and the preceding pages may have shown by what means it was proposed to correct what was wrong, and pointed out the sources whence help was ex. pected, in support of the proposition that y is a quiescent, for the same reasons as Ehevi. A list of words taken from that part of the Old Testament denominated the Law, having the letter y in them, is subjoined : in all of which he will perceive that it is pronounced as variously as any of the letters of ehevi; and perhaps he will be induced to admit, on the evidence afforded by them, that if aleph and he are considered as quiescents, as well as gutturals, the same may be granted to y, as this last seems as much to depend on the points placed under it, as either of the two former; and unless some reason can be assigned why this should be excepted from the arrangement which comprehends the others, it seems reasonable, upon every principle of analogy, to consider them as similar.
In the following words y is pronounced long or short, according to the point beneath it, Servado, Shinar,
Gen. c. xi. v. 2. Xávaar, · Cangan,
שנער כְּנַעַן רעַמָה
· Prideaux's Connexion, Part II. Book 1. p. 38 et seq.
2 In the Septuagiat there seems some confusion in the verses in' which these names occur, and consequently no inference can be drawn as to the manver in which the Seventy read them. But as in our English version of the Bible no difference is marked in the margin as is usual between the reading of the original Ha