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It appears from an advertisement prefixed to the publication, of which the following one is a copy, that the editor first designed to translate the whole work, of which he gives an account in his preface. But he never published more of his translation than what this volume contains.
tures ; An Abstract or Harmony of the Gospel History; a New Version of all the Books of the New Testament; A literal Commentary on all the difficult passages, with a General Preface to all St. Paul's Epistles, and a Critical Preface to each book in particular.
I. THE INTRODUCTION.
Though there is nothing in the Introduction but what divines are well acquainted with, yet it may not be displeasing to them to see so many particulars alluded to in the scriptures, and dispersed up and down in the works of the learned, brought together and handled in one treatise. It was chiefly intended for students in divinity, who have not the opportunity, or perhaps the ability, of coming to those voluminous works that treat of the many curious as well as necessary points here discussed. In the first part you have a clear account of all the Jewish matters as far as is requisite for the understanding the scriptures. The civil and religious state of the Jews: The Samaritans : ceremonies : The temple : sacrifices : synagogues : high priests, and others : courts of justice, particularly the Sanhedrim : prophets and scribes, Jewish sects, Pharisees, Sudducees, Essenes : Proselytes of the gate, and Proselytes of righteousness : years, months, days, and hours of the Jews: fasts and feasts, particularly the Jewish sabbath, &c. In the second part, which relates more especially to the New Testament, you have the proofs of the truth of the Christian religion : The nature of the New Testament style: The chronology, and geography of the New Testament : The Hebrew money, weights and measures : The various readings : The division into chapters and verses : The heresies in the days of the Apostles : the versions of the New Testament, ancient and modern, to which will be added an account of our English ones, &c.
II. THE ABSTRACT OR HARMONY OF
THE GOSPEL HISTORY.
As for the evangelical and apostolical Harmony, 1. It contains the history of the actions of Jesus Christ and the Apostles in their true order of time, which the Evangelists did not so much regard, as not conducing to their principal design of proving Jesus to be the Messiah from his doctrines and miracles. 2. It shews what is common to all the Evangelists, and what is particular to teach of them. 3. It paraphrases or explains in other words the original text, which otherwise would require notes. 4. It clears up many things which could not so well be treated of in the Commentary. 5. It may serve also for a table of the principal matters.
III. THE VERSION.
WHEN our authors were ordered by the king of Prussia to undertake this work, they consulted whether they should revise the old version, or make an entire new
But when they considered that a new translation would cost them no more time and pains than the revising an old one, and that it was impossible to revise an old version, so as to make it all of a piece; they resolved upon the former, well knowing that the best way to make an ancient mis-shapen edifice regular and uniform, is to pull it down, and build it all anew.
As the most approved versions are those that adhere not too close to the letter, nor deviate too far from it, our authors profess to have kept between both. Indeed they have often, out of a regard to the sacred text, and a deference to the opinion of the generality of the world, not taken the liberty necessary to an exact and perfect translation. But least the liberties they have sometimes taken, may not be relished by those, who have not sufficiently attended to the rules of a good translation, they thought proper to make the following remarks upon that subject.
1. In the first place it must be observed, that in translating we are not to render word for word, but sense for sense, and that the most literal versions are not always the most faithful. There is a great deal of difference between the letter and the literal sense. The letter is the word explained according to its etymology. The literal sense is the meaning of the author, which is frequently quite different from the grammatical signification of the words. The design of a version is not to explain the words of a book, that is the office of a grammarian, the intent of a translator ought to be to express the letter, but at the same time should be far from