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"We abonid not r«g«*"*i it as the great object of attention, simply to hear another interpret what the Bible contai hot ratber this to Asokwai* How We May Be Able Ourselves To Discover Its Contents." Professor Planci




^ j^ crmr Road; R. Griffin And Co., Glasgow; And Tegg, Wise, And U., Dublin.


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The object of the following work is sufficiently indicated in the title-page to supersede the necessity of any more formal or particular exposition of it here. It is believed that nothing is there promised, beyond what will be found more or less satisfactorily treated of in some part of the work, and, as the author ventures to hope, in a manner adapted to meet the wants of those by whom such introductory works as the present are more especially sought after. The various branches of Biblical Criticism, Interpretation, Theology, History, Natural Science, and Archaeology, are treated of in a connected order, as forming the several parts of one great whole; and in as intelligible language, and with as much freedom from technical phraseology and scholastic rules, as the nature of the topics will admit of. Some pains have been taken to simplify and reduce the number of rules laid down by the best writers on sacred hermeneutics; with what success, it must be left for those who will take the pains of examining and comparing to determine. If the author has failed to remove some of the difficulties which stood in the way of the more immature student, it has not been for want of the will to do so, but of the power to accomplish it: he ventures to hope, however, that he may have contributed something towards popularizing a science which, in its objects as well as in its results, is of the very first importance.

In the compilation of the following pages, all available authorities have been consulted and laid under contribution, but not without the most scrupulous acknowledgment of obligation, whenever it has been incurred. The nu merous references throughout will not only indicate the sources whence the author has derived his materials, but will also enable the student to prosecute his researches by the aid of higher and more erudite authorities. In some cases, the eye of the reader may detect that which he has previously met with, and is here unacknowledged as having been borrowed from any other source; but in all such cases the author has borrowed from one who will not complain—himself. The fact is, that two of his preceding works, upon the topics treated of in the following pages, had for some time been out of print, and it was thought better to incorporate such portions of them as were deemed to be worth preservation in the Biblical Companion, rather than to reprint them, as separate works, according to a previous intention. Thus much it has been thought proper to state, in order to prevent misconception.

The author is not aware that it is desirable to say any thing as to the structure and details of the several Parts of the following work; these have been generally indicated in a few introductory remarks prefixed to each Part, and will be found, therefore, where they are required. He has throughout endeavoured to unite brevity with perspicuity, and to furnish, within the compass of a single volume, a comprehensive digest of what had previously been scattered through many works, and not unfrequently shut up from general use, by the scholastic and uninteresting form in which it was clothed. It is not presumed that the Biblical Companion is faultless, either in its plan or its details, but the author ventures to hope that it may be deemed to possess some features of utility, not to be met with in any preceding work of the kind. W. C.

March 2U(, 1836".




Revival of Biblical Learning in the Fifteenth Century.—Impetus given to Sacred Literature in the Last

Century —Philological and Illustrative Writers—Present State of Biblical Learning—Character of Works on

Biblical Interpretation—Advantages derivable from Biblical Studies—Divisions of Biblical Learning—Object

and Plan of the Present Work .......... 1


Section 1.—The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.—The Original Languages of Scripture—The Aramxan Lan-

guage-—Language in which Matthew's Gospel and the Epistle to the Hebrews were written—Peculiar Style of

the New Testament—The Genuineness of the New Testament Demonstrable from its Style—Importance of

Hebrew and Greek Learning to an Interpreter of Scripture—Historical Account of the Hebrew Language—

Vinous Schools of Hebrew Philology ......... 4

Sscttox 2.—Criticism of the Hebrew Text.—Purity of the Sacred Text—Criticism of the Old Testament

Scriptures—Labours of the Jewish Literati on the Original Text—Early Printed Editions—Influence of the

Samaritan Pentateuch on the Hebrew Text—Critical Editions of Athias, Jablonski, Van.der Hooght, Michaelis,

Honbigant, Kennicott, and De Rossi—Value of an Acquaintance with the Literary History of the Text—

Celebrated Exemplars of the Hebrew Text '. . . . . . . . .11

Section 3.—Early Versions of the Old Testament.—The Samaritan Pentateuch—The Septuagint—Greek

Translations of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus—Labours of Origen on the Greek Text—Value of the

Septuagint to an Interpreter—Relationship between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint—Early Re-

vision of the Hebrew Text—-The Value of Various Readings . . . . . .16

Section 4.—The Greek Testament.' Causes of Error in the Text of the Greek Testament—Early Editions of

the Text—Critical Labours of Erasmus, Mill, Bengel, Wetstein, Griesbach, and others—Modern Critical

Editions of the Greek Testament .......... 25

Section 5.—Various Readings.—Accidents to which Literary Works are liable—The Scriptures not secured

against these—The Source, Number, and Value of Various Readings—Prescribed Rules for Correcting the Text

where it is faulty—The Process adopted by Griesbach—Recensions of the Greek Text—Concluding Remarks

on Various Readings ........... 29

Section 6.—The English Bible.—Early English Versions—The Authorised Version—Rules adopted by the

Translators—Critical Value of the Authorised Version—Imperfections in this Version . . .39

Section 7.—Divisions and Arrangement of the Scriptures.—Ancient and Modern Distributions of the Biblical

Books—Original Form of the Text—Chapters and Verses—Punctuation—Advantages and Disadvantages of

the present Divisions in the Sacred Text ......... 45


Section 1.—Difficulties connected with the Interpretation of the Bible.—Sources of Biblical Difficulties —
Advantages derivable from an Acquaintance with the Principles of Interpretation—Commentaries on the Bible—
Evils arising from an early and implicit Use of them—Suggestions for studying the Scriptures . . 46

Section 2.—History of Biblical Interpretation.—Primitive Hebrew Interpreters—Vicious Modes of Inter-

pretation—Early Christian Interpreters—Allegorical and Scholastic Systems of Interpretation—Revival of

Biblical Learning—Hermeneutical Writers . . . . . . .53

Sbcttojc 3.—Moral Qualities requisite in an Interpreter.—The State of Mind required in a Student of the

Bible: Gratitude for the Fact and Character of Divine Revelation; Humility; Devout Prayer; Ingenuousness

aad Decision of Purpose ,.,..,. ....57

Section 4.—Literary Qualifications of an Interpreter.—The Hebrew and Greek Languages—Grammars and

Lexicons—Rhetoric and Logic—Historical Facts: their intimate Connexion with the Art of Interpretation—■

Civil and Political Geography—Natural History—Literary and Historical Circumstances pertaining to the

Sacred Books ............ 6S

Section 5.—General Rules of Biblical Interpretation.—Nature and Object of Interpretation—Usual Methods

of treating the Science of Interpretation—Proposed Method of discussing it here—Verbal Language—Didi,

rahies of interpreting Written Language—Requisites in Literary Composition . . . . 7(r

Section 6.—Of the Signification of Words.—Direct Testimony to the Signification of Words—Examples—

Roim for interpreting Words—The Literal and Metaphorical Senses—-Historical Circumstances; their Value

as the Interpretation of Scripture .......... 73

Strno 7. Scripture Parallelisms.—Value of Parallel Passages, as a Source of direct Testimony to the

JKBffratMO of Words—Verbal Parallelisms—Real Parallelisms—Rules for comparing Parallel Passages—The
Rhrthmical Parallelis*11—V arious Descriptions of this Form of Composition—Assistance to be derived from it
«'A* Xrtnf Inr<'J"Pretat*on—^omnion References another Source of Testimony to the Signification of Words—

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