Page images


AS the Dedication of the English translation of the BIBLE to King James the First of England seems to be wholly unnecessary for the purposes of edification, and perhaps on some accounts improper to be continued in an American edition, a short account of the translations of the Old and New Testaments from'the original Hebrew and Greek in which they were written, is substituted.

To the Jews was first committed the care of the Sacred Writings, and for many ages they were in a manner confined to that chosen people. There was then no need of .translations into other languages; yet was the providence of God particularly manifest in their preservation and purity. The Jews were so faithful to their .important trust, that, when copies of the law or the prophets were transcribed, they observed the mast scrupulous exactness; they not only diligently compared with .the other, but even

counted the number of letters in each book, and compared and recorded the numbers. ; ;• ... i.

... ■ ■ . i

The first translations that were made of the Old Testament were after the Babylonish captivity. They are called the Tiirguttis, which word in the Chaldean language signifies • Translations. They are also often called the Chaldee- Paraphrases; some of fh^to' are exact translations of different parts of Scripture; others are properly paraphrases, containing enlargements, explanations, am? even additions. Several of them are yet extant, and they are often mentioned by the ancient fathers" of the" Christian church. Some have affirmed that the five books of Moses and that of Joshua Were translated into.Greek before the'days'of Alexander the Great. But the most remarkable translation of the Old Testament into' Greek is called the Septuagint, which, if the opinion of some eminent writers is to be credited, was made in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 260 years before the Christian era. At any rate, it is undoubtedly the most ancient that is now extant, and on many .accounts deserving notice, though not to be put on a level with the Hebrew text, as has been sometimes done. .. i _ j •

The New Testament was originally written in Greek; and no sooner was the gospel spread through.the. nations.than it was found necessary to translate the inspired writings for each into its proper tongue. . Some translations of the Old .Testament, different from; the Septuagint, were.made into Greek from the year of Christ's birth 128 to 200. It is generally believed that the church of Antioch ■was favoured with a Syrian translation of the Bible as early as the year 100. The Ethiopians of Abyssinia have a version of the Bible, which they ascribe to Frumentius, of the fourth century. Chrysostom, who lived in the end of the fourth, and Theodoret, who lived in the middle of the fifth century, both inform us that they had the Syrian, Indian, Persian, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Scythian versions. The ancient Egyptians had the Scriptures translated into their language. The Georgians have-a version in their ancient language. The most ancient German translation is supposed to have been made by Uphilas, A. D." 860. The Old Testament of all these translations, except the Syrian, is taken from the Septuagint, and not immediately from' the Hebrew text.

We will now give some account of the translations of the Bible into the English language. There have been some who have affirmed that Adelme, Bishop of Sherburh, who lived in the beginning of the eighth century, translated (the Psalms, into the Saxon tongue. That however is uncertain, as some of the best historians make no mention of it; yet it is .possible,, as he was a man of great parts, and of great learning for those times, and said to be the first Englishman who wrote in the Latin language. About the same time, or a little after, Bede, commonly called the venerable Bede, translated some parts of the New Testament, some 6ay the whole Bible, but that is not probable. Nearly 200 years later, King Alfred translated the Psalms into the same language. In 1382 Wiclif finished his translation of the Bible, which is yet extant; that is to .say, there are copies of it in some public and private libraries. All these translations were made from the Vulgate. In the reign of Henry the Eighth, several editions of the Old and New Testaments were published in English;. one of the most remarkable is • that of William Tyndale in 1580. The translation of the- New Testament was made from the original Greek, but probably the Old Testament either from the Latin of the Vulgate or the Greek of the Septuagint. This was soon followed by the improvements of Coverdale and MathdWs. By order of the king, Tonstal, Bishop of Durham, and Heath; Bishop of Rochester, made a new translation, which was published in 1541: but, not pleasing Henf^ it was suppressed by authority ■ In the reign of King Edward the Sixth, another translation was made; two' editions of which were published, one in 1549, and the other in 1551. In.the reign of Queen'Elizabeth another translation was made, which, being revised by some of the most learned of'the- h'ishops, went by the name of the' Bishops' Bible. This professed to be translated from the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and'the'Greek of the New> thoughj lix some instances, when there was a difference, it preferred the Septuagint to the Hebrew. '.,.,. .' •: .,•. •

This last circumstance, with some others, induced King James the. First to select fifty-four persons, eminent in learning, and particularly well acquainted with the original languages in which the .Old and New Testaments were written, to make a new translation of the whole Bible. In the year.1607, forty-«ven of those persons, the.other seven probably having died, assembled together, and arranged themselves into committees, to each of which a portion was given to translate. They were favoured not only with the best translations, but with the most accurate copies and the various readings of the original text. After about three years' assiduous labour, they severally completed the parts assigned them. They then met together, and while one read the translation newly formed, the rest had each a copy of the original text in his hand, or some one of the ancient versions, and when any difficulty occurred they stopped, till by common Consultation it was determined what was most agreeable to the inspired Original. This translation was first published A. D. 1610, and is the one which has been ever since that time printed by public authority, and generally used in the British dominions, as well as in the United States of America. It may be' added with safety, that it has- been generally approved by men of learning and piety of all denominations, of which its having never been superseded by any other,' for two hundred years,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small]


Strange communion forbidden, ... 7

God's mercies claim obedience, ... 8

Israel's rebellion rehearsed 9

The Tables restored 10

An exhortation to obedience, 11

Blood forbidden, 12

Idolaters to be stoned, 13

Of meats, clean and urn-lean 14

Of the year of release, 15

The feast of the Passover, ....... 16

The choice and duty of a king, ... 17

The priests' portion, 18

Cities of refuge appointed, 19

The priest's exhortation before

battle, 20

Expiation of uncertain murder, . . 21

Of humanity toward brethren, .... 22

Divers laws and ordinances, 23

Of divorce 24

Stripes must not exceed forty, ... 25

Of the offering of first-fruits 26

The law to be written on stones, . . 27

Blessings and curses declared, . .:.. 28

God's covenant with his people, ... 29

Mercy promised to the penitent, . . 30

Moses giveth Joshua a charge, ... 31

The song of Moses 32

The majesty of God, 33

Moses vieweth the land and dieth, . 34


Joshua gucceedeth Moses, 1

Rahab ooncealeth the spies, 2

The waters of Jordan divided, .... 3

Twelve stones for a memorial, ... 4

Manna ccascth, 5

Jericho besieged and taken, 6

Acban's sin punished, 7

Joshua toketh Ai, A. . 8

The craft of the Gibeonites, 9

The sun and moon stand still, .... 10

Divers kings conquered 11

Names of the conquered kings, ... 12

Balaam stain, .. 13

The inheritance of the tribes 14

The borders of the lot of Judah, . . 15

Ephraim's inheritance, . 16

The lot of Manasseh 17

The lot of Benjamin, 18

The lot of Simeon 19

Cities of refuge, Ac 20

God giveth Israel rest 21

The two tribes and half sent

home, 22

Joshua's exhortation before his

death, 23

Joshua's death and burial,...... 24



[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

David laments Saul, 1

David made king of Judah,....f-,.,.2

Joab killeth Abner, .' 3

Jsh-bosheth murdered 4

David's age and reign 5

Uzzah smitten, 6

God's promise to David 7

David's officers, 8

David Bends for Mephiboshelh,... 9

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][merged small]


Jlappiness of the godly, 1

The kingdom of Christ, .2

The security of God's protection, . T 3

David prayeth for audience, 4

David's profession of his faith, ... 5

David's complaint in sickness,.... 6

The destruction of the wicked, , .. • 7

God's love to man , «

God praised for his judgments, ... 9

The outrage of the wicked 10

God's providence and justice, .... 11

David craveth God's help, . ..... ^ 12

David boasteth of divine mercy, . . 13

The "natural man described 14

A citizen of Zion described 15

David's hope of his calling, 16

David's hope and confidence, ^.. . ,17

David praiseth God, , .... 18

David prayeth for grace 19

The church's confidence in God, . . 20

A thanksgiving for victory, . . . ,,.21

David's complaint and prayer, ... 22

David's confidence in God's grace, . 23

God's worship in the world, . .... 24

David's confidence in prayer,,,,.... 25

David resorteth unto Godf ....... 2G

David's love to God's service, .... 27

David blesseth God*, 28

Why God must be honoured 29

David's praise for deliverance,.... 30

David rejoiceth in God's mercy,... 31

"Who are blessed, . . . 1 .,,.. <32

God is to be praised, ,. .33

Those blessed who trust in God, . . 34

David prayeth for his safety, . ...., 35

The excellency of God's mercy,.. . 30

David persuadeth to patience, . -.. . 37

David inoveth God to compassion, . 38

The' brevity of life.,„f,,38

Obedience the best sacrifice,..... 40

God's care of the poor 41

David's zeal to serve God,.., . ., 42

David prayeth to be restored, .... 43

The church's complaint to God, . .44

The majesty of Christ's kingdom, .4.5

The church's confidence in God, . . 46

The kingdom of Christ, . , 47

Tie'privileges of the church, .... 48

Worldly prosperity contemned, . . .49

God's' majesty in the church, ., ...50

David's prayer and oonfession, .... 5.1

David's confidence in God,,.. , .. .52

The natural man described, 5,3

David's prayer for salvation,..!.,., 5/4

David's complaint in prayer,..... 55

David's promise of praise, 50

David in prayer fleoth to God,... .57

David describeth the wicked, ..... 58

David prayeth for deliverance, . . . 59

David's comfort in God's promises, 60

David voweth perpetual service, . . 61

No trust in worldly tlungs, . w . ...62

David's thirst for God, ...... ^ .. 63

David's complaint of his enemies, . 64

The blessedness of God's chosen, . . 65

David's -prayer for perseverance, . . 71

David's-prayeT for Solomon 72

The righteous'sustained, 73

| David prayeth for the sanctuary,. . 74

David rcbuketh the proud, 75

God's majesty in the church, . . . .'76

David's combat with diffidence,... 77

God's wrath against Israel 78

The psalmist's complaint, .. 7*9

David's prayer for the church, ... 80

An exhortation to praise God, . . .'. 81

David Tcproveth the judges, ..... 82

The'church's enemies, ...... ... 83

David longeth for the sanctuary, .'."84

David prayeth for mercies, .-. . . ; .85

David's complaint of the proud, . . 86

The- nature and glory of the church, 87

David's grievous complaint, ..... 88

God-praised for his power, 89

God's providence set forth 90

The state of the godly, ... . .'..'. .91

God praised for his great works, . . 92

The majesty of Christ's kingdom, . 93

David's complaint of impiety 94

The- danger of tempting God, .... 96

God praised for his greatness, .... 96

The majesty of God,'. 97

All creatures exhorted to praise God, 98

God to be worshipped,..... 99

God to be praised cheerfully,.... 100

David's profession of godliness, . . 101

God's mercies to be recorded, . . . 102

God-blessed for his constancy,.. . 103

God wonderful in providence, . . . 104

The plagues rjf Egypt,......... 105

Israel's rebellion, 106

God's manifold providence, . . .. . 107

David's confidence in God, 108

David's complaint of his enemies, 109

Tl« kingdom of Christ, . .'.: :A .110

God'praised for his work.-, Ill

The happiness of the godly 112

God' praised for his mercy, \ 113

Art exhortation to praise 114

The'Vanity of idols, .'.'. .". /.'I15

David studieth to be thankful,. . . 116

God'praised for his mercy and truth, 117

David's trust in God 118

Meditation, prayer, and praise, . . 119

David prayeth against Doeg, .... 120

The safdty of the godly, . ... .'.. . 121

David's joy for the church, ... . . 122

The godly's confidence in God, . . 123

The church blesseth God, . , . . .;. 124

A prayer for the godly,.''.'...... 125

The church prayeth for'mercies, . 126

The Virtue of God's blessing, ,'. . . 127

Those blessed'that fear God, 128

The haters of .the chureh' cursed, . 129

God'to'be hoped in, i '.'. '; . ...'.' '.'120

David professetb his humility,. . .131

David's care for the ark 132

The benefits of the saints' com-

munion, . '. '. . 133

Art eShdrtatloti'to bless God,1.''.1. . 134

God praised for his judgments, . . 135

God praised for manifold mercies, 136

The constancy of the Jews 137

David's confidence in God, 138

David defieth the wicked 139

David's prayer for deliverance,. . 140.

David prayeth for siuccrity, .... 141

David's comfort in trouble 142

David cbmblaineth of his grief, . . 143

David's prayer for his kingdom,. . 144

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Israel's unkindness,

Th'e' priests reproved

The majesty of Christ

Judgments' of the wicked,

[ocr errors]

The widow and

The destrur':

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »