INTRODUCTION TO THE WEBSTER BIBLE (1833).
The principal alterations in the language of the common version of the Scriptures, made in this edition, stated and explained.
'Who' is substituted for 'which', when it refers to persons.
'Its' is substituted for 'his', when it refers to plants and things without life.
'To' is used for 'unto'. This latter word is not found in the Saxon books, and as it is never used in our present popular language, it is evidently a modern compound. The first syllable 'un' adds nothing to the signification or force of 'to'; but by increasing the number of unimportant syllables, rather impairs the strength of the whole clause or sentence in which it occurs. It has been rejected by almost every writer, for more than a century.
'Why' is substituted for 'wherefore', when inquiry is made; as, "'why' do the wicked live?" Job 21.7.
'My' and 'thy' are generally substituted for 'mine' and 'thine', when used as adjectives. The latter are wholly obsolete.
'Wherein', 'therein', 'whereon', 'thereon', and other similar compounds, are not wholly obsolete, but are considered, except in technical language, inelegant. I have not wholly rejected these words, but have reduced the number of them; substituting ' in which', 'in that' or 'this', 'in it', 'on which', &c.
'Assemble', 'collect', or 'convene', for the tautological words 'gather together'. In some cases, 'gather' is retained and 'together' omitted as superfluous. 'Collection' for 'gathering together'. Gen. 1.10.
'Know' or 'knew', for 'wist', 'wit' and 'wot'. Ex. 16.15. Gen. 21.26, &c.
'Part' for 'deal', as a tenth 'part'of flour. Ex. 29.40. 'Deal', in this sense, is wholly antiquated.
'Bring' for 'fetch', in most cases.
'Suppose' for 'trow'. Luke 17.9.
'Falsehood' for 'leasing'. Ps. 4.2; 5.6.
'Skillful' for 'cunning', when used of 'persons'; and 'curious' for the same word, when applied to things. Gen. 23.27; Ex. 26.1, &c.
'Surely' or 'certainly', for, "of a 'surety'." The latter word is now used exclusively for 'security' against loss, or for the person who gives bail for another. In the phrase 'of a surety', the word is now improper. Gen. 15.13, &c.
'Number' for 'tell', when used in the sense of count. Gen. 15.5, &c.
'Sixty' for 'three score', and 'eighty' for 'four score'. 'Two score' and 'five score' are never used. It appears to me most eligible to retain but one mode of specifying numbers. Uniformity is preferable to diversity. Gen. 25.26; Ex. 7.7, &c.
'Go' or 'depart', for 'get thee', 'get you', 'get ye'. Gen. 12.1; 19.14; 34.10, &c.
'Evening' for 'even' and 'even-tide'. Gen. 19.1, &c
'Expire', generally for 'give' or 'yield up the ghost', Gen. 49.33, &c. or yield the breath. Job 11.20; 14.10.
'Custody', in some cases, for 'ward'. Gen. 40.3, &c.
'Perhaps' or 'it may be', in some cases, for 'peradventure'. Gen. 27.12; 31.31, &c.
'Cows' for 'kine'. The latter is nearly obsolete, and the former is used in several passages of the version; it is therefore judged expedient to render the language uniform. Gen. 32.15, &c.
'Employment' or 'occupation' for 'trade'. The latter, as the word is now used, is improper. Gen. 46.32.34.
'Severe', 'grievous' or 'distressing', for 'sore', and corresponding adverbs, or 'bitterly' for 'sorely'. Gen. 41.56,57,&c. In some passages, a different word is used. See Gen. 19.9; Judges 10.9.
'People' or 'persons', for folk. Gen. 33.15; Mark 6.5, &c.
'Kinsmen' for 'kinsfolk'. Job 19.14; Luke 2.44, &c.
'Male-child' for 'man-child'. Gen. 17.10, &c.
'Interest' for 'usury'. Usury originally signified what is now called 'interest', or simply a compensation for the use of money. The Jews were not permitted to take 'interest' from their brethren for the use of money loaned; and when the Levitical law forbids the taking of 'usury', the prohibition intended is that of any 'gain' or 'compensation' for the use of money or goods. Hence, 'usury' in the scriptures is what we call 'interest'. The change of signification in the word 'usury', which now denotes unlawful interest, renders it proper to substitute 'interest' for 'usury'. Ex. 22.25; Lev. 25.36, &c.
'Hinder' for 'let', Rom. 1.13: 'Restrain'. 2Thess. 2.7.
'Number' for 'tale', when the latter has that signification. Ex. 5.8, &c.
'Button' for 'tache'. Ex. 26.6, &c
'Ate', in many cases, for 'did eat'. Gen. 3.6; 27.25, &c.
'Boiled' for 'sodden'. Ex. 12.9; Lev. 6.28, &c.
'Strictly' for 'straitly'. Gen. 43.7; Ex. 13.19; 1 Sam. 14.28.
'Staffs' for 'staves'. It seems that 'staves', in the translation, is used for the plural of 'staff'; an anomaly, I believe, in our language. The consequence is, in this country, it coincides in orthography with the plural of 'stave', a piece of timber used in making casks, an entirely different word, in modern usage. I have given the word its regular plural form. Ex. 25.13; 40.20, &c.
'Capital' for 'chapiter', the top of a column; the latter being entirely obsolete. Ex. 36.38; 38.28, &c.
'Fortified' for 'fenced' and 'defenced'. 'Fence', 'fenced', are not now used in the sense which they generally have in the present version of the scriptures. As applied to cities and towns, the sense is now expressed by 'fortify', 'fortified'. Deut. 3.5; Num. 32.17; Is. 36.1, &c.
'Repent' for 'repent him'. The latter form is wholly obsolete. Deut. 32.36; Ps. 90.13, &c.
'Invite' for 'bid', when the latter has this signification. Zeph. 1.7; Matt. 22.9; Luke 14.12, &c.
'Advanced' for 'stricken', in age or years. Gen. 18.11; Josh.13.1, &c.
'Encamped' for 'pitched', when applied to troops, companies, or armies; but 'pitched' used of 'tents' is retained. Ex. 17.1; Num. 12.16.
'Explore', in some passages, for 'spy out'. Num. 13.16; 21.32.
'Profane' for 'pollute', in a few instances. See Is. 56.2.6; Jer. 34.16. To 'pollute' the sabbath, to 'pollute' the name of God, are expressions unknown in modern usage.
'Melted' for 'molten', when used as a participle. Ezek. 24.11; Micah 1.4.
'Cover' for 'shroud'. Ezek. 31.3.
'Border' or 'limit', for 'coast'. In present usage, 'coast' is never used to express the border, frontier, or extremity of a kingdom, or district of inland territory. Its application is wholly or chiefly to land contiguous to the sea. Its application in the scriptures is, in most cases, to a border of inland territory. For this word I have therefore substituted, in this sense, 'border' or 'limit'. Deut. 19.8; Ex. 10.14, &c. Its use in most passages of scripture is as improper now, as the 'coast' of Worcester, in Massachusetts, or the 'coast' of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania.
'Creeping animal' for 'creeping thing'. The word 'thing' signifies an event, as in the phrase, "after these things." In popular usage, it is applied to almost any substance, but its application to an animal is improper, and vulgar. Indeed, such application often implies contempt. Besides, this application makes no distinction between an 'animal' and a 'plant'. A 'creeping thing' is more properly a 'creeping plant', than a 'reptile'. Gen. 1.24.26, &c.
'Food' for 'meat'. In the common English version of the scriptures, 'meat' never signifies flesh only, but 'food' in general, provisions or whatever is eaten by animals for nourishment. Fruits, grass, herbs, as well as flesh are denominated 'meat'. Gen. 1.29,30. But the word is now used almost exclusively for flesh used or intended for food for mankind. For this word I have therefore substituted 'food', except in a few cases, where the plural is used, 'food' not admitting the plural number. But I have retained 'meat-offering', though composed of vegetable substances. We have no word in use which can be substituted for it; and it has acquired a kind of technical application, so to speak, which renders it expedient to retain it. See Gen. 1.29,30; Deut. 20.20; Matt. 3.4, &c.
'Shun' for 'eschew'. Job 1.1.8; 2.3; 1 Pet. 3.11. 'Shun' seems to be a more correct word to express the idea, than 'avoid'; for a person may 'avoid' evil, without intending it; 'shun' implies intention.
'Plant' or 'herb', for 'hay'. Prov. 27.25; Is. 15.6. 'Hay' is dried grass or herbs. The use of 'hay', therefore, in the passages cited is improper. What a strange expression must this appear to be to a farmer in our country. "The 'hay' appeareth, and the tender grass showeth itself."
'Provision' for 'victual' or 'victuals'. In the singular number, 'victual' is now wholly obsolete; and its signification in the plural is much more limited than that in which it occurs in several passages of the scriptures, which extends to provisions in general, whether prepared for eating or not. In present usage, 'victuals' are articles for food dressed or prepared for the table. When the word, in our version, is not thus limited, I have substituted for it 'provisions'. Gen. 14.11; Josh. 1.11 , &c.
'Treated' for 'entreated', when it signifies to use, or entertain. Gen. 12.16; Ex. 5.22.
'Afflict', 'harass', 'oppress', 'distress', or a word of like import for 'vex'. This word has suffered a material change or limitation, since our version of the scriptures was made. In that version, it is equivalent to 'afflict', 'harass', 'distress' , 'grieve', in a general or indefinite sense; in modern usage, it is nearly synonymous with 'irritate', a limited sense, I believe, not intended in any passage of scripture, unless there may be three or four exceptions, in which I have retained the word. Num. 25.17; 20.15; 33.55; Judges 10.8; Lev. 18.18, &c.
'Afflict' for 'plague'. Plague, as used in our version, comprehends almost any calamity that befalls man or beast. But used as a verb, it is now too low or vulgar for a scriptural word. I have therefore used in the place of it, 'afflict'. Gen. 12.17; Ex. 32.35; Ps. 73.5, 14.
'Multiply' for 'increase'. 'Multiply' is properly applied to numbers; 'increase' to size, dimensions, or quantity. Hence, in some passages of the present version, it is improperly used, and I have substituted for it 'increase'. Deut. 8.13. On the other hand, I have, when the sense requires it, inserted 'multiply' for 'increase'. Hosea 10.1.
'Killed' for 'slew'. In Daniel 3.22, we read that the flame of the fire 'slew' the men that threw Shadrach and his companions into the furnace. This use of 'slew' is improper, so much so, that the most illiterate man would perceive the impropriety of it. 'Slay' is used to denote killing by striking with any weapon whatever; but we never say a man is 'slain' by poison, by drowning, or by burning. This distinction proceeds from the original signification of 'slay', which was to 'strike'. See Acts 13.28.
'Diffuse'. "The lips of the wise 'disperse' knowledge." Prov. 15.7. To 'disperse' is to dissipate or scatter so as to destroy the thing. This cannot be the meaning of the author. He meant to say, 'spread' or 'diffuse' knowledge.
'Careful', 'carefulness' had formerly a more intensive sense, that at present. 'Carefulness' is now always a virtue; formerly it had the sense of anxiety, or undue solicitude. Paul says to the Corinthians, "I would have you without 'carefulness'." 1 Cor. 7.32. But certainly the apostle did not mean to condemn the due caution now expressed by that word. The distinction in the uses of this word is clearly marked in Phil. 4. verses 6, 10. In verse 6th the apostle writes "Be 'careful' for nothing;" yet in verse 10th he commends the Philippians for being 'careful'. These apparent discrepancies are easily removed by substituting 'anxious' or 'solicitous' for careful, when it evidently has this signification. See Jer. 17.8; Ezek. 12. 18,19; Luke 10.41; 1 Cor. 7.32,33,34.
'Furniture' for 'carriage'. The word 'carriage', in our common version, signifies 'that which is carried', or in our present usage, 'baggage'; such things as travelers and armies carry for their accommodation. It never signifies a vehicle on wheels, although I am convinced that it is thus understood by men of good common education. I have substituted for it 'furniture', judging 'baggage' not to be a suitable word to be introduced into the text. I have, however, inserted an explanatory note in the margin, Judges 18.21; 1 Sam. 17.22. If the word 'carriages', used Isa. 46.1, was intended to signify 'vehicles', it is a mistake; it is not the sense of the Hebrew. And if intended for 'loading', then the following words are improper.
'Revive' or 'vivify' for 'quicken'. The latter word in scripture signifies to 'revive', to 'give new life' or 'animate'. It is now used in the sense of 'accelerate'. 'Quick' is sometimes used in scripture for 'living', as the 'quick' and dead. I have , for the verb, substituted 'revive' or 'vivify', and for the adjective, 'living'. Ps. 71.20; Acts 10.42, &c.
'Terrify' or 'drive away' for 'fray'; the latter being entirely obsolete, and not generally understood. Deut. 28.26 ; Jer. 7.33; Zech. 1.27.
'Vomit' for 'spew'. Lev. 18.28; Rev. 3.16, &c.
'Avenge' for 'revenge'. These words seem to have been used synonymously in former times; but in modern usage, a distinction between them is, if I mistake not, well established; 'revenge' implying malice, and 'avenge' expressing just vindication. If so, the use of 'revenge', as applied to the Supreme Being, is improper. I have therefore substituted for it 'avenge'. Nahum 1.2.
'Deride' for 'laugh to scorn'. The latter phrase is nearly obsolete. 2 Kings 19.21; Nehem. 2.19, &c.
'Fornication'. This word, in modern laws and usage, has acquired a technical meaning more limited than its signification in the scriptures. For which reason among others, I have generally substituted for it a word of more comprehensive signification, generally 'lewdness'.
'Uncover', 'make bare', 'open', 'disclose', 'reveal', for 'discover'. The original and proper sense of 'discover' is to 'uncover', and there are phrases in which it is still used in that sense. But its present signification most generally is, to 'find', 'see', or 'perceive' for the first time. In most passages in our version of the scriptures, it has the sense of 'uncover', 'make bare', or 'expose' to 'view'. In Micah 1.6, the Lord says by the prophet, "I will 'discover' the foundations" of Samaria. But surely the all-seeing God had nothing to find or see for the first time. The sense of the word is to uncover, to lay bare. See Prov. 25.9; Isa. 3.17: Lam. 4:22; Job 12.22 Ezek. 13.14, &c. Two or three other alterations of this word would have been made, had the propriety of them occurred to me in due season.
'Ask', or 'inquire', for 'demand'. The French original of this word properly signifies simply to 'ask'; but usage has, in some measure, altered its signification in English. In our language, the word implies 'right', 'authority', or 'claim' to an answer, or to something sought. Thus in Exodus 5.14, the inquiry made, implies an authority assumed by the task-masters of Egypt, or a right to know the reason why the Israelites had not performed their tasks. So Daniel 2.27; Job 38.3; 40.7. But in 2 Samuel 11.7, David did not demand of Uriah, but simply 'inquire'. In Luke 3.14, the improper use of 'demanded' is more striking. That the soldiers should 'demand' any thing from Christ is not to be supposed. So Luke 17.20; Acts 21.33. But the most objectionable instance of the use of 'demand' is in Job 42.4, where Job, addressing the Supreme Being, says, "I will 'demand' of thee, and declare thou to me." I have, in such instances, used 'ask' or 'inquire', which is the true sense of the original.
'Would God', 'would to God'. These phrases occur in several passages in which they are not authorized by the original language, in which the name of the Supreme Being is not used; but the insertion of them in the version, has given countenance to the practice of introducing them into discourses and public speeches, with a levity that is incompatible with a due veneration for the name of God. In Job 14.13, the same Hebrew words are rendered 'O that', the common mode of expressing an ardent wish; and I have used the same words in other passages. See Ex. 16.3; Deut. 28.67.
'God forbid', is a phrase which may be viewed in the same light as the foregoing. It is several times used in the version, and without any authority from the original languages, for the use of the name of God. The Greek phrase thus rendered in the New Testament, signifies only "Let it not be," or "I wish it not to be." I cannot think it expedient to suffer the phrase "God forbid," to stand in the text, for the reason assigned in the foregoing paragraph. And it is to be regretted that a practice prevails of using it in common discourse. I have followed Macknight in using for these words, 'By no means'.
'God speed'. 2 John 10.11. This phrase must originally have been "God speed you;" that is, God give you welfare or success, or it is a mistake for 'good speed'. It could not have been the first, for then the whole phrase must have been, "Bid him God speed you." The fact undoubtedly is, the phrase was originally 'good speed'. In Saxon, 'good' and God' are uniformly written alike; 'god', the adjective, we now write 'good', and we write goodman, Goodwin, although the English write 'Godwin'. In the phrase used in scripture, which seems to have been formerly proverbial, the Saxon 'god' for 'good' has continued to be written with a single vowel, and the word being mistaken for the name of the Supreme Being, it came to be written with a capital initial, 'God'. The Greek word is a term of salutation; the same word is used, Luke 1.28, in the address of the angel to Mary, where it is rendered 'Hail', and in Matt. 28.9, 'All hail'. But 'God speed', as now used, is as improper as 'God welfare', 'God success', or 'God happiness'. In a grammatical point of view, nothing can be mote absurd; it is neither grammar nor sense. And it is to be regretted, that such an outrage upon propriety continues to be used in discourse.
'Prevent'. This word is many times used in the version, but not in the sense in which it is now universally used. Indeed, so different are its scriptural uses, that probably very few readers of common education understand it. I have had recourse to the ablest expositors, English and German, to aid me in expressing the sense of the word in the several passages in which it is used. 2 Sam. 22.6; Job 3.12; and 30.27; Ps. 18.5,18; 21.3; 59.10; 119. 147,148; Isa.21.14.
'Take no thought'. It is probable that this phrase formerly had a more intensive signification than it has at present. In Matt. 6.25, 27,31,34, the phrase falls far short of the force, or real meaning of the original. I have expressed the idea by 'Be not anxious'. So in Luke 12.22,26.
'By and by'. This phrase as used in the scriptures denotes 'immediately', without an interval of time. In present usage, it seems rather to indicate 'soon', but not 'immediately'. Matt. 13.21; Luke 17.7; and 21.9.
'Presently'. This word in the scriptures signifies 'immediately'. Matt. 21.19.
'Insane' for 'mad'. In our popular language, 'mad' more generally signifies 'very angry', which is not always its signification in the common version. I have therefore, in some instances expressed the sense by 'insane' or 'enraged', words less likely to be misapprehended by our common people than 'mad'. John 10.20; Acts 12,15; and 26.11,24; 1 Cor. 14.23.
'Healed' for 'made whole'. When persons recover from sickness, we never say they are 'made whole'. This phrase is proper only when some part of the body is broken. John 5.6. 'Whole' is not the proper word to be set in opposition to 'sick'. It should be 'well' or 'in health'. Matt. 9.12.
'Conversation'. This word, in our version, never has the sense of 'mutual discourse', which is its signification in present usage. It now retains the signification it had formerly, chiefly as a technical law term, as in indentures. Its sense in the Bible comprehends the whole moral conduct in social life, and I have used in the place of it 'manner of life', or 'deportment', chiefly the former, as 'deportment', in ordinary use, is, perhaps, not sufficiently comprehensive. When it occurs, however, it is intended to embrace all that is understood by 'manner of life', or 'course of conduct'. Ps. 37. 14; 2 Cor. 1.12; Gal. 1.13, &c.
'Offend'. I have, in some passages, substituted for this word, the words, 'cause to sin', or 'to fall into sin'. In other places I have explained it in a marginal note.
'Close vessel' for 'bushel'. Matt. 5.15, &c. There is now, I believe, no vessel of the measure of a bushel, in common use. The Jews used lamps, not candles, which such a measure would extinguish. I have, therefore, substituted 'close vessel'. 'Vessel' is used Luke 8.16.
'Agitate', or 'stir', for 'trouble'. The application of 'trouble' to water or other substance, in the sense of 'stirring', is wholly obsolete. John 5.4,7; Ezek. 32.2; Prov. 25.26. Yet from the scriptures we retain the phrase "troubled waters."
'Travail', with this orthography, is now used only or chiefly for the labor of child-birth. In other senses, I have substituted for it 'labor' or 'toil'. Eccl. 1.13; 2.23; 1 Thess. 2.8.
'Hungry' for 'an hungred'. Matt. 25.35, &c.
'Convicted' for 'convinced'. James 2.9. See also John 8.46; Jude 15.
'Strain out a gnat'. Matt. 23.24. The words in our version are "strain 'at' a gnat." It is unaccountable that such an obvious error should remain uncorrected for more than two centuries. The Greek signifies to 'strain out a gnat', as by passing liquor through a colander or a filter. It is not a doubtful point. 'At' may have been a misprint for 'out', in the first copies.
'Foresaw', in Acts 2.25, is a mis-translation. The sense is not 'saw beforehand', but 'before' in place, or in presence. I have omitted the prefix, 'fore'. The propriety of this is determined by the original passage. Ps. 16.8.
'Constrain', for 'compel'. Matt. 5.41. 'Compel' may or does imply physical force; 'constrain' implies moral as well as physical force, and this seems to be the most proper word.
'Froward', Ps. 18.26, appears to me improperly applied to the Supreme Being. In its present signification, it seems to be not merely harsh, but irreverent, and incorrect. I have therefore substituted for it, 'thou wilt contend'. See also 2 Sam. 22.27.
'Earnestly' for 'instantly'. Luke 7.4.
'Man' for 'fellow'. The latter word is several times inserted in our version, without any authority in the original: it implies contempt, which may have been felt, but a translator should not, I think, add to the original what is not certainly known to have been the fact. I have in the place of it inserted 'man'. Gen. 19.9; Matt. 12.24, &c.
'Body of soldiers'. The troops with which Claudius rescued Paul, Acts 23.27, cannot be called an 'army', as the word is now understood.
'Many people' are the words substituted for 'much' people. Numb. 20.20; Mark 5.21, &c.
'The door shall be opened'. Matt. 7.7. The word door is not in the original, but is necessarily implied in the verb.
'Staff'. Matt. 10.10. The original Greek word is in the singular number.
'Master of the house'. Luke 22.11. The phrase, 'good man of the house', is not warranted by the original, which signifies 'master of the house'. At the time the Bible was translated, it was customary to call men by the title, 'good man', instead of 'Mr'. It is seen on the records of the first settlers in New England; but if it was ever proper in our version, which can hardly be admitted, it is now improper.
'Sat at meat'. This phrase is improper on more accounts than one. The ancients did not 'sit' at table, but lay down or reclined on the left elbow. I have retained the word 'sit' or 'sat', however, but have inserted in the margin an explanatory note. 'At meat', is obsolete, and I have substituted 'at table' or 'eating'.
'Foreign' for 'strange'. The latter word often signifies 'foreign' or 'not native', and in a few instances I have substituted for it 'foreign'. In doubtful cases, no change is made. Heb. 11.9; Acts 7.6. See Ezra 10.2; Acts 26.11; 1 Kings 11.1,8.
'Boat' for 'ship'. In the New Testament, the words designating the vessels which were used on the lake of Tiberias, are generally rendered 'ship'. This is wholly improper. Those vessels were 'boats', either with or without sails. No 'ship', in the present sense of this word, could be used on a small lake. Besides, we have evidence from the facts stated in the evangelists, that the vessels were small; otherwise they would not have been "covered with the waves," Matt. 8.24; nor "rowed" with oars, Mark 6.48. In Luke 5, it is said that both ships were filled with the fish taken in a net, so that they began to sink. Surely these were not 'ships'. In John 6.22,23, these 'ships' are called 'boats', which is the most proper word, and that which I have used.
'Go thy way, he went his way'. These and similar forms of expression occur often in the version; but in the New Testament, and sometimes in the Old, the words 'thy way, his way, your way', are not in the original, which is simply 'go'. The additional words were introduced probably from the Hebrew phraseology, or in conformity to popular use; but they are wholly redundant. I have not been very particular in rejecting the superfluous words; but have done it in some instances.
Luke 9.61. The words 'at home' are redundant. The phrase in Greek is simply 'at my house'.
'Scribe's penknife', Jer. 36.23. The translators have omitted the word 'scribe' or 'secretary', which is in the Hebrew. It is supposed that in former times, no person had a penknife, but a secretary; or the word 'pen' was supposed to include or imply the word 'scribe'. I am surprised however that men, so careful generally to translate every Hebrew word, should have omitted this. In the present age, the omission would doubtless be a fault.
'Safe and sound'. Luke 15.27. This is another instance in which the translators have followed popular use, instead of the original Greek, which signifies simply 'well' or in 'health'.
'Living beings'. Rev. 4.6,7. &c. The word 'beast', in the low sense the word has in present use, is considered to be very improper in various passages of the Apocalypse. The word signifies animals or living beings; and I have used the latter word as more becoming the dignity of the sacred oracles.
'Passover' for 'Easter'. Acts 12.4. The original is 'pascha', passover.
'Men, brethren'. Acts 13.15. &c. The translators have erred by inserting 'and' between these words, which tends to mislead the reader into the opinion that these are addressed as different characters; whereas the sense is 'men, brethren, men who are brethren'.
'How that'. These words are frequently used very improperly, where 'manner' is not expressed in the original. The original is simply 'that'. This is another instance of an inconsiderate use of popular phrases. 1 Cor. 10.1; 15.3.
A still more objectionable use of popular language occurs in employing the past tense 'might' instead of 'may'. When Christ asked the blind man what he desired to have done for him, he replied, "Lord, that I 'might' receive my sight." MarK 10.51. So Luke 8.9. What 'might' this parable mean? This mode of expression is still common among a certain class of people, who ask a stranger, "Pray, sir, what 'might' I call your name?" There are many examples of this improper use of 'might', where the sense is more correctly expressed by the present tense, 'may'. See John 10.10.
The old word 'yea' is used, in some cases, where it is not warranted by the original; and when the original authorizes some word in this sense, it would be better to substitute for it 'even', 'indeed', 'truly', or 'verily'. 'Yes' is used in the New Testament, in two or three passages, and I have introduced it for 'yea', in several passages of both Testaments.
Deut. 20.18. The present order of words in this verse may give a sense directly opposite to that which is intended. The Israelites were directed to destroy the Hittites and other heathen nations, to 'prevent' the Israelites from adopting their idolatries and vices; but the passage, as it now stands, is, that they, the heathen, may teach the Israelites 'not to do' after their own abominations. Surely the heathen would not teach the Israelites to avoid their own practices. By transposing not and placing it before 'teach', the ambiguity is removed.
'Holy Spirit'. The word 'ghost' is now used almost exclusively for an 'apparition', except in this phrase, Holy Ghost. I hare therefore uniformly used 'Holy Spirit'.
'Demon'. In the scriptures, the Greek daimon is rendered 'devil'; but most improperly, as 'devil' and 'demon' were considered to be different beings. I have followed the commentators on the New Testament, in substituting 'demon' in all cases where the Greek is daimon. I cannot think a translator justified in such a departure from the original, as to render the word by 'devil'. The original word for 'devil' is never plural, there being but one devil mentioned in the scriptures.
'Hell'. The word 'hell' in the Old Testament, and sometimes in the New, is used, not for a place of torment, but for the 'grave', 'region of the dead', 'lower' or 'invisible world'; 'sheol' in Hebrew, 'hades' in Greek. I have in most passages retained the word in the text, but have inserted an explanatory note in the margin. In Ezekiel 31, I have rendered the word 'grave' in two or three verses, to make the version conformable to verse 15.
'Master'. This word is frequently used in the New Testament for 'teacher'; doubtless in conformity with the popular or vulgar practice of calling teachers of schools 'masters'. I have retained the word, but have added an explanatory note in the margin.
'Provoke'. This word formerly had, and sometimes still has, the sense of 'incite', 'excite', or 'instigate'. In modern usage, it is generally used in the sense of 'irritate'. This requires the substitution of another word for it in 1 Chron. 21.1; Heb. 10.24; 2 Cor. 9.22, in which I have used 'incite' or 'excite'. Ps. 4. 8. The word 'only' is misplaced, and thus it gives a wrong sense. I have placed it next after 'thou'.
'Lord' for 'Jehovah'. When the word 'Lord' is in small capitals, it stands for 'Jehovah' of the original. I have not altered the version, except in a few passages, where the word JEHOVAH seems to be important; as in Isaiah 51.22, where "thy 'Lord', the LORD," seem to be at least awkward, if not unintelligible, to an illiterate reader. See also Jer. 32.18, where there is a peculiar propriety in expressing the true name of the Supreme Being. See also Jer. 23.6, and 33.16.
Ezekiel 38.5. I have followed the Hebrew in the names 'Cush' and 'Phut'.
Matt. 27.66. I have transposed the words, in order to place the expression of 'security' directly before the means, that is, the watch or guard. This is in accordance with the sense of verse 65. The word 'sure' is not the proper word to be used, but 'secure'.
In 1 Thes. 1.4, I have introduced the marginal construction into the text, in accordance with Macknight, and with the punctuation of Griesbach. See 2 Thess. 2.13.
'On', 'upon', for 'in', 'into'. In the present version, 'in' is often used in the Latin sense, for 'on', or 'upon': so also 'into'; as 'in' the earth; 'into' a mountain. Gen. 1.22; 19.30. This is not good English, according to present usage.
'Against' for 'by'. 1 Cor. 4.4. 'By' in this verse must signify 'against', or the translation is erroneous. But 'by' has not that signification in present usage; I have therefore substituted 'against'.
There are many passages in which the translators have inserted and improperly, between clauses which are in apposition, and ought not to be made distinct. In 1 Cor. 4.13, the words 'and are' appear to give a sense not intended by the apostle. "We are made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things." So stands the original; but by the insertion of 'and are', the apostle is made to say not only that we are in estimation made as the filth of the world, but that 'we actually are' the offscouring of all things.
'Testimony' is substituted for 'record', the latter, in this sense, being entirely obsolete.
'Testimony' is often substituted for 'witness', as modern usage inclines to limit the application of 'witness' to the person testifying.
'Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time'. Matt. 5.21,27,33. In our version the passage is, "was said 'by' them." Dr. Campbell remarks that all the older versions have 'to'; as the Vulgate, Montanus, Erasmus, Castalio, Calvin, Luther and others; and I may add, this is the rendering in the Italian of Diodati, and in the French version published by the American Bible Society. That 'to' is the true rendering, seems to be probable, from the fact, that when the original is clearly intended to express the sense of 'by', the Greek words are a preposition followed by a noun in the genitive; whereas in the passages under consideration, the noun appears to be in the dative, like other nouns after a verb, signifying to 'say' or 'speak'. Examples in the same Evangelist may be seen in Matt. 2.15,17,23; 3.3; 4.14; 8.17; 12.17; 13.35; 21.4; 27.9; 22.31.
The affirmation however must be true, with either rendering; for what was said 'by' one person, must have been said 'to' another.
'Burden'. Isaiah 13.1. The verb from which the Hebrew word is formed, signifies to 'bear', and the noun, 'that which is borne' or 'conveyed'. But in Latin we find examples of words signifying 'to bear' or 'carry', from which is derived the sense of 'speaking', of which 'fero' is an instance: 'Fertur', it is said. So from 'porto' we have 'report'. I would suggest that, in like manner, the Hebrew word rendered 'burden', may be rendered 'report' or 'message'; which, if correct, would be better understood. I have retained 'burden' in the text, but have suggested this amendment in the margin.