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to supplementary words, should have referred to Origen, in the third century, as authority for the proceeding
In Cranmer's Bible (1539) are certain words in a type distinct from that in which the main part of the Volume is printed. The object of such distinction of words will be ascertained from the following passage extracted from the · Prologue’ to this Bible.
“Whereas often times ye shall find a small letter in the text, it signifieth, that so much as is in the small letter doth abound and is more in the common translation in Latin than is found either in the Hebrew or the Greek; which words and sentences we have added, not only to manifest the same unto
you, but also to satisfy and content those that here before time have missed such sentences in the Bibles and New Testa. ments before set forth.”
Whether, during several subsequent years, much alteration was made, with regard to words printed in a distinct character, I am not certain ; but so far as I have observed, the plan, of distinguishing additions, very gradually gained ground, for some time.
In 1557 appeared, at Geneva, a new English Version of the New Testament; which is said to be the first English Version with the distinction of Verses by numeral figures. The whole Bible was published in English, at the
same place, in 1560. In this edition and most probably in the preceding edition (but I do not write confidently)—we find Munster's principle, of distinguishing supplementary words, carefully attended to. This will appear from the following extract from the Preface.
“ Moreover, whereas the necessity of the sentence required any thing to be added (for such is the grace and propriety of the Hebrew and Greek tongues, that it can not but either by circumlocution or by adding the verb or some word be understood of them that are not well practised therein) we have put it in the text with another kind of letter, that it may easily be discerned from the common letter.”
A similar method of distinguishing supplementary words was retained in the Bishops' Bible of 1572 ; and from that time it became the established method of printing the Authorized Editions of the Bible. In other Versions of the Old and the New Testament the same plan was followed; as we have seen in the case of the New Testament, by Lawrence Tomson. This slight survey, of the origin and progress of the distinctions applied to supplementary words, will shew the propriety of their adoption by King James's Translators, in 1611 ; and at the same time the importance of the revision, with regard to them, which was effected as early as the year 1638.
Ainsworth, whose Translations of the Pentateuch and the Psalms were published soon after our Authorized Version, took especial care to mark supplementary words. In his Preface to the Pentateuch, there is a paragraph, containing so much matter to our present purpose, that I cannot but extract it, for the reader's perusal.
“ Oft times we shall see, in Moses and the Prophets, a defect of words which reason teacheth are to be supplied ; as, Adam begat in his likeness, Gen. v. 3. that is, begat a son. The Scripture sheweth us to supply such wants: as, I the God of thy father, Exod. iii. 6. that is, I am the God, Matt. xxii. 32. Samuel saith, Uzza put forth to the Ark, 2 Sam. vi. 6. another doth explain it, Uzza put forth his hand to the Ark. 1 Chron. xiii. 9. One Prophet writeth briefly, I with scorpions, 2 Chron. X. 11. another more fully, I will chastise you with scorpions, 1 Kings xii. 11. One saith no more, but in the ninth of the month, 2 Kings xxv. 3. another supplieth the want thus, in the fourth month, in the ninth of the month, Jer. Lii. 6. So, thy servant hath found to pray, 1 Chron. xvii. 25, that is, hath found in his heart to pray, 2 Sam. vii. 17. and many
the like. Here men may see the reason, why Translators do sometimes add words (which are to be discerned by the different letter) for the Original Tongue affecteth brevity; but we desire and need plainness of speech. Yea, this may help in weighty controversies: as, Jesus took bread and blessed and brake, Matt. xxvi. 26. here some imagining a transubstantiation of the bread, blame those that translate, he brake it, as adding to the Scripture; whereas such additions are necessarily understood many a hundred time in the Bible: and the same Apostle elsewhere saith, Christ blessed and brake, Matt. xiv. 19. when another writeth, he blessed them and brake, Luke ix. 16. which a third Evangelist explaineth, he blessed and brake the loaves (or bread) Mark vi. 41 : again he saith, A man shall leave father and mother, Matt. xix. 5. when Moses plainly saith, his father and his mother, Gen. ii. 14. But such usual defects, all of any judgement will soon understand.”
Whoever recollects the quotations from Ainsworth in the preceding pages, will easily infer that the whole of his Translations are executed in complete accordance with the principles here laid down: I mean as to Italics.
To enumerate the different Versions of Scripture and parts of Scripture subsequently published, with a view to the mode in which supplementary words are therein treated, would be a work of much labour and little utility. It may be sufficient to observe that such works as Clark's Bible and Poole's Bible, printed in the latter part of the seventeenth century, are evidences of an increased attention to that matter. During the eighteenth century, there are sufficient proofs that the same attention was continued; but as the generality of readers will probably not dislike some account of the more recent Versions, I will state what I have remarked with respect to such of them as I have inspected.
In the year 1751, Dr Daniel Scott, a learned Dissenter, published 'A New Version of St Matthew's Gospel ;' in which he is minutely attentive to supplementary words, and scrupulously exact in distinguishing them. I have had the curiosity to examine Dr Scott's Version, with regard to the passages quoted from St Matthew, in these pages ; and I find that wherever there is a verbal agreement between his Version and that of our Translators, the Italics are the same as those of our modern editions.
Archbishop Newcome's Version of the New Testament exhibits great care in the marking of the added words; and this is especially the case with the Unitarian Version, of which Archbishop Newcome's is stated to have been the basis. When the words of these Versions agreed with the words of our Authorized Translation, I have seldom found the Italics different from the Italics of our modern editions. The same remarks are applicable to Gilbert Wakefield's Translation of the New Testament, if a judgement may be formed from his Version of St Matthew's Gospel.
A new Version of the Bible was published, in 1824, by Dr Boothroyd. His plan does not seem to have been to point out such additions as were required by the grammatical structure of the English Language; but the additions which, on other accounts, he thought proper to make, he distinguished by particular marks.
The Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, by Mr Moses Stuart, Professor of Sacred Literature in the Theological Seminary at Andover, in the United States—a work republished in this country by Dr Henderson—having recently fallen into my hands, I shall take the liberty to make such extracts from it, as may tend to illustrate the subject under discussion. Mr Stuart has given a new Version of the Epistle to the Hebrews; his plan, with regard to supplementary words, manifestly being, to mark, by inclosing them within brackets, such as he deemed of importance :—and thus, he does not generally so mark “is,” “was,” “are,” &c. “his,” “their,” &c. The work seems to have been carefully attended to, in this as well as most other respects; and yet, on a single examination, the following are a few of the irregularities that have occurred
ii. 3. “By those who heard [him].” (uro TW dkovoávrwv.) vi. 6. “Openly exposed him to shame.” (trapadesyuari(ortas.) xi. 6. « Το please him.” (ευαρεστήσαι.)
In the first of these passages, the word, “him,” is noted, as introduced, by the Translator. In the two following passages, the same word, although equally introduced, is not so noted.
iii. 2. “Even as Moses (was].” (ws kai Mwons.)
4. « Even as Aaron was.” (καθάπερ και ο 'Ααρών.) vii. 19. “But the introduction of a better hope [doth].” (έπεισαγωγή [δε κρείττονος ελπίδος.)
In the preceding instances we have forms of speech as similar as possible; in which the supplementary words seem to be marked or not, as it happens.