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full of life and fun, and almost as merry as a kitten. She crept into Nellie's lap, and laid her head upon her shoulder, and looked into her face as if she were certain that she had found a good friend who would be kind to her, and love her, and take care of her.
“There will be plenty of work now for Nellie's hands," said Frank.
“I wonder if Nellie will do anything for us now, she will be so busy looking after her pet,” said Charlie.
“ I scarcely think she will,” said Frank. “We shall have to sew on our own buttons, and mend our own gloves.”
“But we will not condemn Nellie until we have seen what she will do," said Charlie.
As for Nellie herself, she was so busy undressing the little child, and making her comfortable for the night, that she did not know what her brothers were saying about her. If she had, I think she would have been glad that they would not think worse of her than they were obliged.
Much curiosity was felt as to the way in which Nellie would do all that was needed for the child, and yet not neglect any of her other duties.
“Nell will want very nimble fingers.” Yes, but then she had them.
(To be continued.)
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CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE.
THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION OF THE BIBLE.
BY THE REV. WILLIAM KIRKUS, LL.B. The appointment of companies of learned men for the revision of our Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures has naturally directed special attention not to that version only, but to those earlier translations by which it was preceded, and by which both directly and indirectly it has been most powerfully affected. Indeed, the great work of the Bible has been accomplished, not by the original books, but by translations more or less imperfect. The Old Testament canon had not long been determined when the Hebrew Scriptures began to be superseded by the Alexandrine version; and the canon of the New Testament was scarcely settled before the Greek itself gave place to those numerous translations which the spread of Christianity had rendered necessary, and especially to those which are now represented by the Latin Vulgate. Since the Reformation, again, and as one of its noblest fruits, the Latin Vulgate and the Septuagint, and then the original Scriptures, have been rendered into the modern languages of Europe ; and multitudes of English Christians, reading in their own tongue “the wonderful works of God,” have scarcely needed to remember, and assuredly have never realised, that the words with which they are so familiar are not the very words that were spoken in thunders from the mount that burned with fire or whispered in accents of tenderest affection in the happy home at Bethany. Many a sermon has been preached from verses that misrepresent the original text; and that one out of all possible meanings of an English word has not seldom been selected for the edification of a congregation which bears the least resemblance to the meaning of the Greek or Hebrew original. Nor is this fact without its very useful lessons, both for scholars and for us all. Not only is the love of God independent of any one or any set of the revelations by which it has been manifested to men; not only has that infinite love been made known to us “in many parts and in many ways;” but even within what we may call the region of the Bible itself the gift of God is not only for “the wise and prudent,” but also for the humble and meek. As we may go into a foreign country and, with a very imperfect knowledge of the language, nevertheless make ourselves understood, and understand the necessary part of what others say to us; so we may read the Bible in a very imperfect version, and even with a very inadequate appreciation of what that imperfect version means, and yet get at the essential truth, find the answer to our inquiry for the living bread and the water of life. If our salvation depended upon an accurate knowledge of Greek particles, if the atonement of Christ could never reach us till we had solved every difficulty in the use of Greek prepositions,-nay, if everybody who would reach heaven must first parse even the Authorised Version of the Epistle to the Romans, it may well be doubted whether a dozen human beings could “enter into life.” But though our Authorised Version is imperfect, and though its interpreters have often wandered far on the wrong roads that it has opened up to them, yet still it cannot be doubted that the English Bible has led all those who have honestly availed themselves of its guidance nearer to God, further from sin, into lives of "the beauty of holiness." Christian veracity, no less than the instincts of scholarship, requires a perfect version of God's Word, if such a version can be obtained; but when we have it, it will be rather a spiritual luxury than the very bread of life,
And, again, coming nearer to that ancient version of the Old Testament which is the subject of this paper, the mere existence of many versions, and especially of the Septuagint, should set at rest some, at least, of our disputes about the nature and effect of Inspiration. For Inspiration must be something useful and available, or it is not worth discussing at all. And therefore it cannot be a Divine guarantee of the accuracy both of form and meaning of every separate word the Bible contains. For, if it were, then assuredly, whatever
have been the fact as to the original Hebrew and Greek, not a single word of our English Scriptures could be "given by inspiration of God;” nor could we determine which of the almost innumerable texts and various readings of the original Greek and Hebrew had the Divine sanction. Especially would this last difficulty be increased, not to say rendered insuperable, by the use that was made by the Apostles of the Septuagint version. The Old
Testament inspiration—the Old Testament canon—is guaranteed for Christians by the authority of the New Testament, by that sanction which is supposed to be derived from the use of the Jewish Scriptures by Christ and His Apostles. But this sanction belongs to the Septuagint version, rather than to the Hebrew original. The New Testament quotations are almost always from that ancient translation; and even when they differ from the Septuagint they do not always agree with the Hebrew. The Hebrew seems to have been scarcely more familiar to the Apostles than an Anglo-Saxon version of the Bible would be to us. In the least disputed Epistles of St. Paul, for instance, there are eighty-seven direct quotations from the Old Testament, in which reference is made to the original (the indirect quotations are innumerable ; in fact, St. Paul's letters are saturated with the thoughts and phrases of the older Scriptures). Of these eighty-seven direct quotations nearly half show a precise verbal agreement with the Septuagint, while of the rest two-thirds at least exhibit a closeness of verbal similarity which can only be accounted for by an acquaintance with the Septuagint. On the other hand, none of these passages offer any certain proof that the Apostle was acquainted with the Hebrew text. “His acquaintance with the Hebrew," says Professor Jowett, “was probably of such a kind as we might acquire of a version of the Scriptures not in the vernacular. No Englishman, incidentally quoting the English version from memory, would adapt it to the Greek, though he might very probably adapt the Greek to the English. The inference is that the Greek, and not the Hebrew text, must have been to the Apostle what the English version is to ourselves.” (“St. Paul's Epistles," 2nd edition, i. 414.) And again (ibid. i. 415, 416), “The study of the quotations from the Old Testament draws attention to the knowledge which the Apostle must have had of the Greek Scriptures. It is hardly possible to exaggerate the minuteness of this acquaintance. In the greater number of quotations he is verbally accurate.
The Greek Old Testament Scriptures are not only sacred books to bim, they are also his language and literature. What are often termed the Hebraisms of the Apostles are, for the most part, if not always, Hellenisms; that is to say, Hebraisms contracted through the influence of the Septuagint.”
What is true of the undisputed Epistles of St. Paul is even more strikingly and completely true of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The writer knows the Jewish Scriptures only in the Septuagint version, quoting from it even when it departs from the original. Moreover, his few deviations from the Alexandrine version are in no case the result of consulting the Hebrew. (See Dr. Davidson's Introduction to the New Testament, i. 236, ed. 1868.) Even in the first Gospel, which is supposed to be a translation from an Aramean original, ther3 are, out of sixty-one direct quotations from the Old Testament, only nine which seem certainly to be taken from the Hebrew independently of the Septuagint; and these are for the most part predictions that the Evangelist believed to have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Of the rest, thirty-two are taken unmistakably from the Greek version. The third Gospel (St. Luke's) has twenty-two quotations, of which all but one are from the Septuagint. A large number of these also occur in the sayings of our Lord. The quotations in St. Mark are also from the Greek, with possibly one exception; and of the Acts of the Apostles Dr. Davidson says: “The Septuagint is the sole source of all citations, some of which are verbal, others a little altered, but unlike the Hebrew. A few differ so much from the Hebrew as to contradict it, though they are from the Greek.” (Introduction, ii. 267.) But it is not necessary to adduce further evidence. For all practical purposes the Septuagint version was the Old Testament of the Apostles and Evangelists. And this circumstance is of more importance than may at first sight appear. Not only does it demolish a narrow theory of verbal inspiration, leaving us to seek the Divine Word in the general drift and inner spirit of the sacred writings; but it connects the Christian doctrine with the Alexandrian culture, of which we have independent evidence in the very substance and method of the fourth Gospel and the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Alexandria was the natural home of that secondary learning which rises into prominence when creative genius is at an end. It was the abode of critics, grammarians, imitators, the city of libraries and museums. The circuit of its walls, the direction of its streets, the sites of its temples both of Greek and Egyptian gods, were marked out by Alexander himself, when he entered Egypt in triumph after the siege of Gaza; that Gaza which had been so long and gallantly defended that “the palm of honour belonged rather to the minority vanquished than to the multitude of victors." To this new city on the sea-board, convenient for communication with Greece and Macedonia, the seat of government was transferred from Memphis; and thither was removed in mass, as soon as the houses vere ready, the whole population of Kanopus and of other towns besides. It become afterwards the capital of the Ptolemaic princes, who spent a vast portion of their enormous revenues on its im. provement and decoration ; and it has its place in the history of human civilisation with those three other greatest of cities, Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.
The population of Alexandria was mixed from the first, which was in itself a groundwork of the Alexandrine character. It contained a large number of Jews, who had assigned to them a special quarter of the city, and were regarded with peculiar favour. These