Revised New Testament: American Corrections - Revelation 1-7

Revelation 1‑7  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Having discussed the details of the Revised New Testament in this closing book with comparative minuteness, I may be allowed to notice more rapidly what little the American Committee have to say.
They merely propose the omission of two marg. notes, in 8 of marg., and in 13 of marg. There are insertions of less account than the former; and few of greater moment than the latter. For though the text ("a son of man") seems literally faithful, John 5:27 ought to have made not only the Revisers hesitate as to their text but our Transatlantic friends still more doubt the wisdom of their rejecting the marg. note. The Greek, like the Chaldee of Dan. 7, has not the article as is notorious, because the aim is to describe the human character of the glorious person that was seen, rather than to point to Him as a known object. Our language fails to reflect this characterizing force of the anarthrous phrase; for if we say “the,” it makes the person as such more prominent than the original warrants; if we say “a,” it excludes Him who was well understood to be seen in the character of Son of man, which we can express better in the Gospel than here. The Father Faye Him authority to execute judgment, because He IS Son of man, though He is also Son of God and as such gives life to every one that believes. Here, in John's great prophecy, it is more difficult to set it out adequately in English, and one can hardly avoid saying “the” Son of man, though in Italics or brackets or some such expedient, to show that it is not in Greek but due to the exigencies of our tongue. But as “a son of man” in the Revised text falls short of the truth, so the omission of the marg.” in 13 by the Americans is a bolder departure still as giving up a truer alternative. The insertion of the article in Greek would have spoiled the real bearing of both passages. How to give the best possible English equivalent may be questionable; but “a son of man” is not the sense meant either in Dan. 7 or in Rev. 1 any more than in John 5.
In 3:2 they for the Revisers, “fulfilled” read “perfected.” But is not the true version “complete” rather than either? “Perfected” is appropriated by the Revisers, and without objection on the part of the Americans, to another word and for another thought, as in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In 4:6 what they mean by “'of the throne' add marg. Or, before” seems unintelligible. I can only conjecture that they propose “before” as an alternative for “in the midst of.” If so, it is plainly untenable; for in the same verse, and distinguished from ἐνώπιον τ. θρ., is ἐν μέσω τ. θρ. which can only be rendered “in the midst of the throne,” an idea quite different from “before.” The proposal is still more mystified by referring us to the comparison of 5:6, and 7:17, where we have the Lamb, not “before,” but “in the midst of the throne.”
So in 5:6 their marg. addition seems quite unfounded and apparently due to Dean Alford's strange note, probably misled by the Germans, one of whom is so ignorant of the elements of Apocalyptic imagery as to conceive the Lamb on the sea of glass! Perhaps the American Committee may have slipped into this notion. Certainly that sea was “before” the throne. How dangerous is this guess work!
To 6:6 they would append an explanatory note in the margin, instead of the more vague words of the Revisers. In 11 “completed” appears once more to be best; or, “complete” their course, if the active form is to prevail as in many, and some ancient, authorities.
Of 7:17 it is unnecessary to say more.