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For the sake of clearness, it may be right to state that, in the course of the year 1832, a Committee was formed, of some of the most eminent Dissenting Ministers resident in London and its environs, “ for the Restoration and Protection of the Authorized Version of the Bible:” that a Sub-Committee was afterwards appointed, “ to verify and report upon the various collations of the Secretary of the general Committee:” and that Mr Curtis, the Secretary alluded to, subsequently specified, in the postscript to his Four Letters to the Bishop of London, the cases of “intentional departure from the Authorized Version,” which were examined by the Sub-Committee; and at the same time published the Report of the Sub-Committee on the subject of inquiry.
A Report, which represents the deliberate opinion of three learned and able men appointed by their Brethren to ascertain the merits of a matter of some consequence, is, at the first view of it, entitled to respect; but as even a Judge on the Bench, who gives reasons for his decision, must be content to have his reasons canvassed by the world—so the Sub-Com
mittee will naturally conclude that the grounds of their opinion, as pointed out by Mr Curtis, as well as their opinion itself, may be the objects of public animadversion.
The Report is, in substance, that “an extensive alteration has been introduced into the text of our Authorized Version, by changing into Italics innumerable words and phrases, which are not thus expressed in the original editions of King James' Bible printed in 1611;” and that these alterations - greatly deteriorate” the Translation, and expose it to many serious objections.
By and by, I shall give in detail the cases of “ intended departure from the Authorized Version,” on which the Report of the Sub-Committee is founded, and also present to the reader the Report itself; but I must previously request a few moments' attention to some of the purposes which the Italics, in our English Bibles, may have been intended to answer. It is to be recollected that many of the words in Italics, in the Bibles now published, are equally distinguished, in the text of 1611, from the other words in the sentences to which they belong. The inquiry therefore relates, in the first instance, to the reasons which seem to have induced our Translators to assign to certain words a type different from that in which the greater part of the Bible was printed. I say, seem to have induced because I am not aware that they have left their reasons on record; so that it is only by an examination of the text of 1611, that we can satisfy our minds on that point.
On referring to the text of 1611, we find, in the very first page, the following expressions, marked as here pointed out:
“ And darkness was upon the face of the deep :". "And God saw the light, that it was good:"
“ And God made the firmament; and divided the waters, which were under the firmament, from the waters, which were above the firmament:
“ The fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself.” Gen. i. 2-11.
And wherever the Book is opened, we find the same peculiarity :
“ The woman whom thou gavest to be with me.” Gen. iii. 12.
“He took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations, but his latter end shall be, that he perish for ever.” Num. xxiv. 20.
“For thou art an holy people." Deut. xiv. 2.
“Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant;"—“The LORD, he is the God, the LORD, he is the God.” i Kings, xviii. 36, 39.
“With him is strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his." Job xii. 16. “For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the
governor among the nations.” Ps. xxii. 28.
“ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Prov. ix. 10.
“ The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.” Isai. ix. 15.
“ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. v. 3.
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the Law.” Rom. iv. 13.
• The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” 1.Cor. xv. 47.
“ And withal they learn to be idle.” i Tim. v. 13.
“ The face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Pet. iii. 12.
Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” 1 Pet. iii. 15.
Such is the manner in which the Verb Substantive is frequently distinguished throughout the volume.
The Verb also is very often marked in the same
“ He made the stars also.” Gen. i. 16.
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat." Gen. i. 30.
“ And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash.” Judg. vi. 11.
“ And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth.” 2 Sam. xii. 17.
“ The mighty men which belonged to David.” 1 Kings i. 8.
“ Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee.” Ps. xvi. 2.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Ps. cxxxix. 6.
“My soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.” Ps. cxlii.6.
“ As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” Prov. xxvii. 19.
“ Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption.” Isai. xxxviii. 17.
“And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour.” Matt. xx. 9.
“ And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” Rom. vii. 10.
“So then faith cometh by hearing.” Rom. x. 17.
“For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Rom. xiii. 4.
“And above all these things, put on charity.” Col. iii. 14.