Revised New Testament: Hebrews 13 and James

Hebrews 13; James  •  14 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Heb. 13
In 13:8 the Revisers correctly in general render a verse probably mistranslated through anti-Romanist zeal. But ἐν π. may, and probably does, mean “in all things,” or every way, as in verse 18, and often elsewhere; whereas the masculine sense, though popular among Protestants, is here harsh in construction and can hardly be laid down absolutely if we bear in mind 1 Cor. 7. The imperative is right, and “undefiled” a predicate as “in honor.” The beginning of 6 is loosely translated. Surely ὁ τρόπος is the way of dealing without going further to make a smooth construction with the following clause. But the energy of the quotation is far better represented in this and the succeeding verse 6. It is not “may” but do say; and the interrogative is not only correct, but gives real point. In 7 they have correctly treated the words as referring to their guides, not “who” but “the which” or such as spoke to them the word of God, whose faith they were to imitate, contemplating the issue of their career or behavior. It was terminated, and they were to be recalled to mind, no longer to be obeyed like their living leaders (17). “Jesus Christ” is the subject of the distinct proposition that follows. Indeed verse 8 might fittingly open a new parenthesis which would close with 16, though it is no bad transition from the teaching of the deceased leaders to the abiding sameness of the Lord Jesus. But the apposition insinuated in the punctuation of ordinary English Bibles is false. The unchangeableness of Christ is the guard against being carried away. In 9 the received reading followed by the Authorized Version πεπιφ. rightly gives place to παραφ. as in the Revised Version. It is not carried about as in Eph. 4:1414That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:14), but carried away out of the straight course. Here, however, as in 1:1, the Authorized Version has misled the Revisers into “divers,” not now for “many” but for various, ποικίλαις. “Diverse” would at least approximate, and perhaps the Revisers meant this, for their spelling is peculiar. As they interpolate an “e” into judg[e]ment, they may cut off an “e” from “divers.” But the word really means motley or various. “Teachings” is unusual as a plural in our tongue, though in the singular it is all right. Probably Dr. Angus found it hard to resist the innovators. In 14 we have no abiding city here, but are seeking after the coming one, for there is but one heavenly Jerusalem. “One” to come as in the Authorized Version is too vague, End incorrect. Why should the Revised Version of 15 be more remote from the Greek than the Authorized Version in the last clause? Does the punctuation of 17 help the sense? “That they may do this” refers to the watching. The chiefs or leaders are to give account of their own duty, not of others' souls. In 20 they give “in the” instead of “through” for ἐν. It expresses the power or virtue in that blood in which God brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus:—In 21 the omission of ἔργω is precarious, even Alford, Lachmann, and Tregelles accepting it. On the authority of A C Dcorr K M P, the cursives, Syriac, AEthiopic, Armenian, &c., sustain it against à Dp.m., the Vulgate, which none follow but Tischendorf abroad, and Westcott and Hort at home: The difference, however, seems slight as to sense. There is rather better evidence in favor of ἡμῖν instead of ὑμῖν as in the Text. Rec., though none but the same editors adopt the change. Lachmann had in his early edition added αὐτός, and in his later αὐτῶ before ποιῶν, the latter of which has א A C to support it, though manifest glosses. In 24 it is “from,” not “of,” Italy.
Epistle of James
Why should the Revisers perpetuate the traditional blunder of “The General Epistle of James"? The best critics drop καθολική, following B K, A C being defective, but A also dropping it at the end: so many Latin copies, and the Pesch. Syr. It is not “general,” but specially addressed to the twelve tribes.
1:1 has neither the closeness of a literal rendering, nor the freedom of the Authorized Version. If we are to adhere to the letter, it is in, not “of,” the dispersion. The faith of James rises above all the present circumstances of God's ancient people, and addresses the nation as a whole, though distinguishing such of Israel as have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. He thus maintains and expresses God's right over the entire people, wherever and whatever they may be. In 8 “proof” or proving is better than “trying” in the Authorized Version. In 4 “her” has properly given way to “its.” In 6 “doubting,” “doubteth” are better than “waver,” though κλύδων seems rather “a wave” or billow, than “the surge.” The punctuation, as expressive of the connection of 7, 8, is questionable, though the Authorized Version is hardly correct either in its representation of 8. It is rather a description of him that doubts. Verses 9, 10 are given somewhat loosely, and with uncalled for neglect of the anarthrous construction. Why not as “flower of grass “? In 11 the Revisers depart from the simple “scorching heat,” not “wind,” given to the word in Matt. 20:1212Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. (Matthew 20:12), and Luke 12:5555And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. (Luke 12:55); but “goings” is better than “ways.” In 12 it should be not “tried,” but the result “proved,” or as the Revisers say “approved.” “He” would have sufficed instead of “the Lord.” The later uncials and almost all the cursives, &c., read “the Lord.” Why not in 18 “by evils” or evil things, rather than “with evil” as in the Authorized and Revised Versions? In 15 the Revisers overlook the abstract force of the article in Greek, where we leave it out in English. The Authorized Version is right. They follow nearly the Authorized Version in separating ἄνωθέν ἐστι from καταβαῖνον, but the Authorized Versions in 3:15 seems just as correct, which they do not follow. It is known that in the oldest uncials, supported by the Latins, the reading is ἴστε, “ye know,” not ὤστε, “so that.” Then we would proceed, “But let,” &c. The anarthrous form of 20 is ill reflected in the Revised Version, as in the Authorized Version. In 21 “implanted” is correct. In 28 and 24 it is to “consider” or contemplate, rather than “behold.” In 24 does not ὁ π. mean more than “he that looketh"? In 26 θρ. “among you” (ἐν ὐμῖν) is rightly rejected. But as distinct from εὐσεβεία, piety, it means the outward service of God, which “religion” inadequately expresses, though it is hard to find a better. In 27 it is well to note this, lest ignorance should treat the verse as a definition of true “religion,” as men speak. The meaning is, that this is a pure and unsullied service before Him who is God and Father: to visit orphans and widows, &c. But the article is omitted before θ. καὶ π. in אp.m Ccorr. K L, very many cursives, &c.; it is read in other MSS. of the highest authority, as also in Text. Rec.
2:2 of the Revised Version has rightly “synagogue,” according to the peculiar bearing of the Epistle. In 4 “partial” in yourselves of the Authorized Version goes too far; but “divided in your own minds” in the Revision scarcely hits the mark. The true force seems that they became divided, or made a difference “among themselves.” For judges “of” evil thoughts, which is the literal rendering of the Authorized Version, the Revisers give “with.” Of course the meaning is that they had evil thoughts, according to an idiom found sometimes in English. In 5 the true reading on the beet authority is τῶ κ. (“as to the world"), not τοῦ κ., still less τ. κ. τούτου, as in Text. Rec. followed in the Authorized Version “of this world.” In 7 is not the literal force preferable “that was called upon you"? In 11 the Revisers rightly follow ancient authority in “dost” not and “killest,” contrary to Text. Rec. In 12 recurs the old inability to set forth the anarthrous construction: “a” law of liberty is not the sense but erroneous, though seemingly more accurate than “the” in the Authorized Version. The copulative of the Text. Rec. rightly vanishes. In 14 it is a nice question whether the true thought be “faith” as in the Authorized Version, or “the faith": the Greek admits of either, and it becomes a question of contextual propriety. But “that faith” of the Revised Version is strong beyond warrant. It is the more strange, as in the same connection (17, 20, 22) they give “faith” as an abstraction or personification, and quite rightly. In 18 σου of R. Steph. ("thy,” Authorized Version) is well omitted: why then should the Revisers interpolate “thy “? It was this feeling, no doubt, which led the scribes of C K L, and most of the cursives to insert the word. The real question is as to a final μου which א B C and a few cursives omit. In 20 ἀργή, “barren,” as against ν., “dead” of the Text. Rec. and Authorized Version, is supported by B Cp.m. 27, 29, the best Latin copies, the Sah., and Arm. of Zohrab: slender in number, but grave, especially as assimilation easily accounts for the more popular reading. In 21 would it not be less cumbrous to take as on, or in, offering up? Compare 25 also. In 22 they are right in preferring the margin to the text of Authorized Version. In 23 there is no reason to say more than that A. was called “friend of God.” “The” is needless before spirit in 25, and of course its omission more exact.
In 3:1 “teachers” is correct, and “judgment.” In 8 they rightly read εἰ δέnow if,” probably changed into ἰδού through 4. In 4 the Authorized Version needlessly adds “which,” corrected by the Revisers, and “steersman” displacing “governor.” In 5, 6, the confusion of the copies and the editors is great; so that one may judge the more moderately of the Revisers' text and margin. “A” world, &c. of the Authorized Version is clearly wrong, and here set right. In 8 they reject “unruly” of the Authorized Version for “restless.” In 9 they accept “Lord” for God of the Authorized Version. It is “the” fountain in 11, and “from” the same “opening,” not place merely. In 12 it is “a” fig tree, and the last clause does not speak of a fountain, like Text. Rec. and Authorized Version, but says, with the Revisers, neither can salt water yield sweet. The Authorized Version of 15 appears to me quite as exact as the change here. Compare i. 17. There is much difficulty in deciding the true force of ἀδ., whether it be without doubt, variance, or hypocrisy; as the verb of which it is compounded admits of a great variety of meaning. The question in 18 is whether “in peace” should not, as in the Greek, precede “is sown.”
4:1 has in the Revised Version the more vigorous, critical text, but hardly in as terse English as is desirable. “Whence [are] wars, and whence fighting among you? [Are they] not hence, from your pleasures that war in your members?” For the margin of the Authorized Version is right in giving “pleasures.” In 2 ζ. when used in a bad sense, is “ye envy,” or “are jealous.” The first word means “ye lust,” or “covet.” In 3 it is difficult to distinguish in our tongue the active and the middle of αίτ. Dean Alford went too far in calling it “an unaccountable interchange;” whereas it is really an intended, though delicate, and, of course, intelligible difference. The middle as often has an intensive force. In 2 they did not ask with earnestness; in 8 they asked with indifference, and received not; or, if there was any earnestness, it was of an evil kind, to spend in their pleasures. 4 is an instance of valuable correction. The weighty authorities, both MSS. and Versions, reject μοιχοί καί. The one designation, though in the feminine, embraces all men or women who sought the world in unfaithfulness to God and their own relationship of privilege. But both the Authorized and the Revised Versions failed to give the full force; for it is really friendship with the world as distinctly as enmity with God, which they rightly say. None of our English versions is right, I though none is here so wrong as the Rhemish, which, following the Vulgate, confounds ἔχθρα with ἐχθρά. But is there sufficient energy in the Revision, any more than the Authorized Version of βουληθῆ? It is “shall have chosen,” or be minded. 5 seems in the Revised Version rightly divided, as had been long suggested. There are two grave objections to the more ordinary division: (1) Who can tell the Scripture alleged to be in view? (2) Where else is φθ. used in a good sense? I think, however, that the margin of the Authorized Version gives the best sense of π. φθ., “enviously.” And why bring in “the scripture” into 6? Have the Revisers done well in adhering to “Be afflicted” in 9?” Surely “Be miserable” would be more in keeping with their own version of Rom. 3:1616Destruction and misery are in their ways: (Romans 3:16), and our next chapter, v. 1, as well as with the deeper expression of wretchedness in the word. In 11 is the correction “on” judgeth his brother; for an evil feeling might work in this rather than in speaking against him: either was to judge the law. In 12 also the Revisers rightly say, One is the lawgiver, &c.; but why “only” or “even?” They rightly give “but” in the last clause on authority ample as well as ancient, and “thy neighbor” instead of “another,” as in Text. Rec. In 13, it is not “such a” but “this” city, this city here, and “trade” or “traffic “is better than “buy and sell.” In 14, “ye are” a vapor seems the best attested by far, if the copies be allowed to have misspelt; and, Bengel and Griesbach notwithstanding, ἔσται seems simply intolerable. It was probably meant for ἐστε, a much more emphatic phrase than ἐστιν, as in L, some cursives, and the Latin copies. Does not the text of 15 begin with obsolete English? The margin is not according to the Greek only, but intelligible according to our present speech. In this verse the reading strangely differs. The Revised Version bows to the general judgment of the critics, who follow à A B P, &c. in adopting ζήσομεν instead of ζήσωμεν with K L, the mass of cursives, the Latins, &c. There is no doubt among unbiased minds that the interchange of the long and short vowels is very common in the oldest MSS., which are, therefore, to be trusted in such a question less than in any other. 4,—therefore, incline to “If the Lord will, and we live, we shall also do this or that.” R. Stephens even read π. in the subjunctive, but this appears to yield no sense, though read by many authorities.
v. Have not the Revisers, by too close adherence to the Authorized Version, lost some of the graphic. force of verse 1? “Weep, howling over your miseries that are coming on.” In 6, “as” of the Text. Rec. is rightly excluded, though not a few authorities favor its insertion. In 9, it is rather “groan” or “complain” than “judge;” and certainly it is “judged,” not “condemned.” In 11, it is “endured,” not “endure.” In 12, it is not “into condemnation,” but “under judgment.” In 18, is it not praise, pot psalms, that the cheerful soul was to sing? Godly order had been secured in 14; and the “saving” of the sick man (15), in answer to the prayer of faith, is “healing,” which is, perhaps, in this case and the like the less equivocal word. “Confess,” therefore (omitted in Text. Rec.), your sine one to another is the remarkable conclusion; it is confidence in mutual love, and in no way official requirement or sacramental efficacy for the soul at departure. The saints are to pray one for another, that they might be healed (16). The question as to the last word is whether it means fervent or in its working. The Authorized Version seems to have conveyed both, the Revised Version the latter. In 39, the Revisers properly add “My,” and say “a,” not “the,” sinner in 20.
(To be continued)
I can use my members as servants; but the moment I make them anything else but servants, it is sin. When man fell, he was under the evil: now we are to be over the evil. We have put on the new man, which is renewed after the image of Him that created him.