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LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
(ACCORDING TO THE PRESENT AUTHORIZED VERSION.)
CRITICAL, EXPLANATORY, AND PRACTICAL
THE MARGINAL READINGS OF THE MOST APPROVED PRINTED COPIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT,
WITH SUCH OTHERS AS APPEAR TO BE COUNTENANCED BY THE
A COPIOUS COLLECTION OF PARALLEL TEXTS;
SUMMARIES OF EACH BOOK AND CHAPTER;
AND THE DATE OF EVERY TRANSACTION AND EVENT RECORDED IN THIS PART OF THE
MOST CORRECT CHRONOLOGERS.
BY REV. JOSEPH BENSON,
VOLUME 1.MATTHEW TO THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
JOSEPH LONGKING, PRINTER.
LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
harily signitore properl New Dispen code with
AS the whole revelation of the will of God to mankind is usually called the BIBLE, from the Greek + B610s, Biblos, that is, the Book, by way of eminence; so this sacred code with us Christians is usually divided into the Old and New TESTAMENT, or rather New Dispensation, Law, or Covenant, as the original expression, 9 kalun diadnan, might be more properly translated. The latter word, indeed, rendered " testament,” originally and primarily signifies “a disposition” or “ appointment of things: and, because among men things are ordered, disposed, or appointed, by a law, or by contract or covenant, or by will and testament, the word has been often used to signify any of these. But, inasmuch as a testament is of no force until the testator be dead, and Christ did not die, nor indeed come into the world, till after the law and the prophets (that is, the writings containing the law of Moses, and what other holy men, termed prophets, delivered by inspiration from God) were finished, it does not appear to be quite proper to call those ancient records by the name of “testament;" especially considering that one part of them, namely, the ceremonial law, was abolished by the testator's death, and another great part of them fulfilled in his coming and dying. The name of " testament,” however, belongs more properly to the books of the evangelists, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles, which not only contain the “ New Law,” (so far as it is new, either in respect of the full and proper interpretation of the moral law, or in regard of the law concerning the worship of God under the gospel, and the government of the church,) but also the new covenant, or “New Dispensation" of the covenant of grace. For, whereas the covenant of grace was first made with, and revealed to Adam, and in and by him to the following patriarchs, and through them to the ages in which they lived ; and was declared and set forth a second time, chiefly in types and shadowy representations, to Israel by Moses; it is much more clearly and fully revealed in these books, which contain a third, and more perfect, and indeed the last dispensation of it, and are also the last will and testament of our blessed Lord and Saviour.
It may be observed further here, nearly in the words of Dr. Campbell, that although the expression, kaevn diaunan, by which the religious institution of Christ is frequently denominated, “is almost always in the writings of the apostles and evangelists rendered by our translators, the New Testament;' yet the word diaonan by itself, except in a very few places, is always there rendered, not testament, but covenant; and is the Greek word whereby the LXX. have uniformly translated the Hebrew, and, berith, which our translators in the Old Testament have invariably rendered 'covenant.' That the Hebrew term corresponds much better to the English word covenant, though not in every case perfectly equivalent, than to “testament,' there can be no question ; at the same time it must be owned, that the word dlavnin, in classical use, is more frequently rendered 'testament;' the proper Greek word for covenant being ouvơnkn, which is not found in the New Testament, and occurs only thrice in the Septuagint. But that the Scriptural sense of the Greek word is more fitly expressed by our term 'covenant,' will not be doubted by any body who considers the constant application of the Hebrew word, so rendered in the Old Testament, and of the Greek word, in most places at least, where it is used in the New. What has led translators, ancient and modern, (sometimes,] to render it'testament,'" seems to be, “the manner wherein the author of the epistle to the Hebrews argues, . INTRODUCTION. chapter ix. 16, 17, in allusion to the classical acceptation of the term. But however much it was necessary to give a different turn to the expression in that passage, in order to make the author's argument as intelligible to the English, as it is in the original to the Greek reader, this (certainly] was not a sufficient reason for giving a version to the word in other places that neither suits the con text, nor is conformable to the established use of the term in the sacred writings.
“ The term, 'new,' is added to distinguish it from the old covenant,' that is, the dispensation of Moses.” It may be observed here, by the way, “that often the language of theological systems, so far from assisting us to understand the language of holy writ, tends rather to mislead us. The two covenants are always in Scripture the two dispensations, or religious institutions ; that under Moses is the old,' that under the Messiah is the new.' It is not denied that, in the latitude wherein the term is used in holy writ, the command under the sanction of death, which God gave to Adam in paradise, may, like the ordinance of circumcision, with sufficient propriety be termed a 'covenant;' but it is pertinent to observe that it is never so denominated in Scripture ; and that when mention is made in the epistles of the two covenants, the 'old' and the 'new,' or the first and the second, (for there are two so called by way of eminence,) there appears no reference to any thing that related to Adam. In all such places, Moses and Jesus are contrasted, the Jewish economy and the Christian, mount Sinai, in Arabia, whence the law was promulgated, and mount Sion in Jerusalem, where the gospel was first published. It is proper to observe further, that, from signifying the two religious dispensations, they came soon to denote the books wherein what related to these dispensations was contained; the sacred writings of the Jews being called 7 tahaca dlaUnkn, and the writings superadded by the apostles and evangelists, 7 Kalvn diadnan. We have one example in Scripture of this use of the former appellation. The apostle says, speaking of his countrymen, 'Until this day remaineth the veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament,' 2 Cor. iii. 14, el on avay woel ons mahalas Slavnans. The word, in this application, is always rendered in our language, 'testament. We have in this followed the Vulgate, as most modern translators also have done. In the Geneva French, the word is rendered both ways in the title, that the one may serve for explaining the other, in which they have copied Beza, who says, Testamentum novum, sive Fædus novum, the New Testament,' or 'the New Covenant.' That the second rendering of the word is the better version, is unquestionable ; but the title appropriated by custom to a particular book is on the same footing with a proper name, which is hardly considered a subject of criticism. Thus we call Cesar's Diary, “Cesar's Commentaries,' from their Latin name, though very different in meaning from the English word.”
The title of this part of the Scriptures, in some of the original or Greek copies is, ons kaens Olaunang attavra, all the books, or rather, all the things of the New Covenant : a title which, according to Dr. Hammond, refers to “the consent of the catholic church of God, and the tradition which bears testimony to these books as those, and those only, which complete the canon of the New Testament;" or all the books which have been handed down to the church so as to be received into the number of writings confessedly endited by the apostles and disciples of Christ. “I cannot indeed find,” says Dr. Whitby," that this title is of any considerable antiquity, but the more ancient title of n kalvn dlaðnkn, the New Covenant, prefixed to these books, doth plainly intimate the full and general persuasion of the ancient church, that in these books was comprised the whole new covenant, of which the blessed Jesus was the Mediator, and the apostles were the ministers and dispensers; and therefore they must surely contain all that is requisite for Christians to believe and do in order to salvation.” It may be proper to observe here, that in this latter dispensation, the divine authority of the former is presupposed and built upon; and “ the knowledge of what is contained in that introductory revelation is always presumed in the readers of the New Testament, which claims to be the consummation of an economy of God for the salvation of man; of which economy the Old Testament acquaints us with the occasion, origin, and early progress. Both are, therefore, intimately connected. Accordingly, theo oficiale on oman and early progresio di Bora though the two Testaments are written in different languages, the same idiom prevails in both; and in the historical parts at least, nearly the same character of style.” The books of the New Testament obviously divide themselves into the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of the Apostles, and the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John. The evangelists, through whom we have the gospels, are four, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Their histories are termed evayyehua, gospels, or good tidings, as the word signifies, because they contain tidings of the appearance of the Messiah, and a circumstantial account of his birth, life, doctrine, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection ascension, and