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that of Vander Hooght, which may be considered as the established Hebrew text, having been taken as the groundwork both of Kennicott's and De Rossi's collations, and having been generally referred to as the common text by Hebrew critics for the last 120 years. The readings of the collated Mss., the Samaritan text, and the ancient versions, which are considered by the author as preferable to the common readings, are inserted immediately below the text, and referred to by small letters. The critical and explanatory notes, which are placed at the bottom of the page, either support and illustrate the reading proposed for adoption, or explain the sense of the passage. I have observed in a former letter, that this work contains many valuable notes, and that the readings of the Mss. and versions are generally well selected. But many inore might easily be added, which are preferable to the common readings, and some readings in Boothroyd's margin are supported by very slender evidence. It is to be regretted, however, that a work so useful is so negligently executed. It is necessary to bring some proofs of this assertion, both to prevent an implicit reliance on the correctness of the work, and to induce the author, in case of a second edition, to take particular care in correcting the errors which disfigure the first. The table of errata prefixed to the second volume contains 153 errors of the press. In addition to these, I have noticed the following errors in the 24th chapter of Genesis.
Errors in the Hebrew text.
.הגמלים read גמלים Ibid. for .גמליך read הגמליך Verse 46.: for
עשור read עשרה V. 55.: for
Errors in the Notes. Mr. Boothroyd has in general made po distinction between the Mss. and the Editions. Thus in the note on V. 22. ninh S. 64. Mss. instead of S. 57. Mss. 7 Edd. Note on V. 47. S. 16. Mss. instead of S. 12. Mss. 4 Edd., &c. This, however, is pot an error of much consequence, and seems naturally to have arisen from Dr. Kennicott's Mss. and Editions being classed together in the various readings subjoined to the text, and only to be distinguished by referring to his catalogue of Mss. and Editions. It would have been better to have included both Mss. and Editions under the general bead “Codices," or " Codd. ;" apprising the reader of it in the preface. I now proceed to notice errors of more importance. V. 3. for
לבני השאבות - השאבית
והנערה Tead הנערה v. 16. for ותורד
לשקותו- 19 להשקותו
,is in deafo tycow :ותכל להשקתו instead of יכל לשתות read
ואשתה read אשתה v. 46. fot
.ומגדנות read מננדות v. 53. for
V. 19. b, d, [i. e. Septuagint, Vulgạte:) they seem to have
V. 47. - DUR S. 16. Mss. read V. 40. for So. read 40.
D'ORI 12 Mss. 4 Edd.
V. 60. 90 read 60, and dele S. I have already observed that none of these errors are noticed in the table of errata. I have not examined any other chapter 80 miputely; but in the course of reading the 2d book of Samuel, I have noticed the following errors, which are not inserted in the table of errata.
Errors in the Hebrew text. 2 Sam. iii. 29. for 5x read 589.
Errors in the Notes. 2 Sam, i. 6. for 371227 read
vi. 2. w. [i. e. wanting) od 9 - ii. 2. 77950927 m. Mss.-only Mss. V. V.- only i Ms. omits 5 Mss. support this reading,
- vii. 93. Dub 777 parall. loc. only 1 Ms. reads 9050.
1 Chron. xvii. 21.-0172877 is
the reading 1 Chron. xvii. 21. Mss.-only i reads 1775, and none read innan: 2 corld. read
.עבר read עבר xix. 41. for
.ועד read וסד v. 25. for
.m. Mss ליש and פלטי .15 .iii .m ומתוהו and ויכוהו .7.iv
.מאדם read-מאדום .12 .xiii . .הגיד fead-הוגיד .31 .xv
.ומיתוהו .המוציא read-והמוציא .2 .v
Much allowance perhaps should be made for errors not easily avoided in so laborious a work; yet it must be admitted, that, in endeavoring to restore the sacred text to a higher de gree of accuracy, scrupulous correctness is one of the most important requisites.
It is now time to direct our attention to Hamilton's Codex Criticus. In a dedication to the Bishop of Raphoe, now Archbishop of Dublin-the learned author of the discourses on the scriptural doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice, Mr. Hamilton calls his Codex Criticus, "a preparatory specimen.” It forms a thin octavo volume: from its size, therefore, it can only comprise a selection of the most important various readings; and many very worthy of note are necessarily onitted. The work is preceded by a sensible preliminary essay on the nature and necessity of the undertaking. The text is that of Vander Hooght; in which the various readings which Mr. H. considers as decidedly preferable to the common reading are inserted in hollow letters; and the word or words, as they stand in Vander Hooght, are ex
bibited in the margin, so that the entire of his text is printed. The inferior margin contains such various readings as were deemed worthy of notice, though not entitled to a place in the text; these are divided into t, probably true, and I, possibly true. The notes state the authorities which sup ort the reada ings. An appendix is subjoined, containing remarks on such readings as require longer notes to justify them than could have been admitted into the text. Nothing can be more judicious than this plan; and so far as I have examined the work, great care seems to have been taken by the author to admit no new readings into the text, but on strong grounds of sound criticism, and on the authority of Hebrew Mss. As a preparatory specimen it could not be expected to contain all, or nearly all the various readings which may justly be considered as preferable to the text of our common Hebrew Bibles: but, as far as the author has gone, he has shown judgment in his plan, and, I believe, correctness in the execution of it. I trust, therefore, that he will receive such encouragement in the prosecution of his great work, as will persuade and enable him to supply so important a desideratum to the British public. After having said so much in commendation, I wish to make a few observations on the references and abbreviations which Mr. Hamilton has used, and which are rather perplexing to the reader, but easily admit of improvement. It would have been better if, instead of introducing new arbitrary signs, Mr. H. had, as much as possible, adopted those which have already been used by Biblical critics, and some of which may
be considered as established by common consent. Besides these objections to the kind of signs used in the Codex Criticus, the text is also embarrassed by their number. There are 18 letters, referring to different authorities, nine of which I believe are new, and contain no natural connexion with the authority to which they refer; 1 mean that they are neither initial letters, nor known signs of the authority. I subjoin a list of references in three columns. The first contains the principal notes of reference in Boothroyd's Hebrew Bible; the second, the principal notes of reference in the Codex Criticus ; the third contains notes of reference, most of which have been already used by Biblical critics, and which appear to me preferable to those of Bootoroyd and Hamilton. I have retained what appeared the best notes in both the works referred to.
Boothroyd. Hamilton. posed for
adoption. A few Hebrew Codices
p. Many ditto
m. Mss. Majority, or a great many ditto
j A word in the text wanting in
a, b, c, d Erroneous words
a, e, i, o, u
T Syriac version
V. Arabic version
Ar. All the ancient versions
d The readings of an ancient version differing from the London Poly
(T) (v) &c. (T) (v) &c. glott Aquila
Quotations from the Hebrew text 2
f I cannot conclude these remarks without acknowledging the important assistance which the works of Boothroyd and Hamilton afford to every Hebrew scholar, who is without either the means or the inclination to consult the larger and more expensive works of Kennicott and De Rossi. If Boothroyd's Hebrew Bible is enriched by the remarks and conjectures of eminent Biblical Critics, and contains a more copious selection of vari
The letter v would serve to refer to all the various readings, of all kinds, except additions, omissions, and transpositions.
? This and the two following notes are quite superfluous. The quotations from the New Testament should be referred to specifically. The other two are not of sufficiently frequent occurrence to require distinct
ous readings; the Codex Criticus is executed with more care, judgment and accuracy, and few readings are proposed by the author to be substituted for those of our common Hebrew Bibles to which the most cautious critic could object. In short, what Mr. Hamilton has done, he has well done. Perhaps the time is not yet arrived when the text of the Old Testament can be restored to the highest attainable degree of correctness. The Mss. of one of the most valuable of the ancient versions, the old Syriac, have never yet been accurately collated, and the Latin translation of that version is confessedly inaccurate in many passages in the London and Paris Polyglotts. Nor indeed is the collation of those Syriac Mss. which were consulted for the London Polyglott by any means free from material defects. Neither the Mss. of the Targum, nor of the Vulgate, have yet been collated; though not a few important readings have been noticed by Dr. Kennicott, as found in the Mss. of both these versions. Some additions may yet be made to the readings of the Hebrew Mss., if some ancient Mss, of the Karaites could be procured for this purpose; and the increasing intercourse of the Bible society and the London society for converting the Jews, may open new sources for this branch of sacred criticism. To bring the authorised version of the scriptures to the highest attainable perfection, is an object which ought to unite the hands and hearts of every Christian. But before this interesting work ean be undertaken with advantage, a standard Hebrew text should first be formed. “We are still studying a text," as Mr. Hamilton jnstly observes, " drawn from comparatively modern Mss., still obliged to correct for ourselves what is confessedly incorrect, and still destitute of that standard Hebrew text which Kennicott and De Rossi looked for as the legitimate result of all their labors." That such a revision of the Hebrew text may be accomplished with safety as well as with benefit, no one can doubt who has been accustomed to consult the various readings. The great result would be, that the
"Perhaps a collation of the Mss. of this truly valuable version is not far distant Professor Lee has lor:g been emplayed on a new edition of the Syriac Old Testament. In the progress of this work he has collated. some valuable Mss.; and surely so favorable an opportunity for instituting a collation, at least of the Syriac Mss. preserved in England, will not escape the attention of our learned universities.
? See Class. Journ. No, xlvi. p. 245. 3 Codex Criticus, p. 11.