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EX-CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, AND A MEMBER OF
THE AMERICAN REVISION COMMITTEE.
BLANK PAGES FOR PERSONAL ANNOTATION, AND OTHER VALUABLE
UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD OF GOD.
31 MILK STREET.
BY C. F. ALDEN & CO,
All rights reserved.
ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED
BY RAND, AVERY, AND COMPANY,
Having been requested to prepare a brief commentary upon the New Testament, with the Revised Text as the basis, I have endeavored to perform the task with an eye to the want of the general reader. There was no room for exhibiting the various views of commentators on important passages, nor for giving arguments for my own view ; but whatever views are brought forward, are the result of both careful comparison and independent research. They are also, I believe, clearly stated ; so that I trust I may not have to write my own condemnation, “dum brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio.” The Revised Version of itself solves many of the perplexities which disturbed the reader of the English Bible in its older form, but there always will be matters of connection and allusion which must be elucidated by study. To these I have especially directed my attention. The flow of thought in the Epistles, and the constant reference (so often hidden from the reader) to the Old Testament, have been indicated; but no attempt has been made in a homiletic direction. In treating the Apocalypse, I have suggested a self-consistent scheme, but would be far from dogmatism on so difficult a subject. If my scheme is wrong, it may perhaps become a stepping-stone to something right. Many of the principles of interpretation which I use with regard to that remarkable book, are as old as Scriptural hermeneutics ; although the applications may be widely varying. I have not followed any guidance but that of the Word itself, believing that individuality is valuable in discovering the truth. However much a commentator should respect and consider the opinions of others, he should be himself “ nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri.” I have not hesitated to differ in opinion from the Revisers where I think their extreme purism led them astray. The one fault I have to find with the Revision (which is, notwithstanding its faults, an incomparably superior translation to the version of King James), is this intense purism, which will not allow a departure from Attic precision in the Hellenistic Greek, and which refuses to listen to the demands of internal evidence, call it ever so loudly. We may mention the endeavors to make the Greek tenses homologous to our modern tenses, and the prepositions to maintain their original force (e.g., eis, always motive), as instances of this purism, of which Meyer is so prominent a defender, to whom the Revisers
seem to have been too deferential. We must qualify this remark. Sometimes a Hellenism is so overwhelmingly apparent (as perá with the genitive for " against," Rev. 2:16; 11:7; 12:17; K.t...), that the Revisers have been obliged to surrender. These exceptions should have taught them that the rule elsewhere could not be pressed with rigidity. Cognate to this error, and illustrative of the same spirit, is that of following MS. authority in slight differences such as ňucis and ideas, where, when MSS. differ, the sense should alone determine.
With this one exception (in two forms) to the Revision, I cannot but consider it a great boon to that large portion of Christ's Church which uses the English language, calculated to awaken renewed interest in God's Word, and to make its boly truths more clear to the mind of its readers. The great bulk of adverse criticism with which it has been met, is the offspring of ignorance or prejudice, or the dicta of those who prefer flowing sentences to the statements of truth. No more correct translation of the Holy Oracles has ever been made.
May I hope that the Spirit who indited the Word will use this humble commentary for that Word's advancement !
This work was designed to be the most useful that could be produced in one handy volume. Dr. Crosby was selected to prepare the Commentary, after many biblical scholars had been consulted, among whom were several of the Revisers of the New Testament. He was selected for his ripe scholarship, his labors on the Revision, his familiarity with the Holy Land, and his great success in laboring in the cause of Christ. The very flattering testimonials we have received from eminent scholars and divines who have seen the advance pages of the Commentary give us reason to believe that the complete work will not fail in the purpose for which it is intended, — “to promote a better understanding of the Word of God.”
By placing the Authorized and Revised Versions side by side, the best means for comparing one with the other is secured; and those who do not indorse the Revision will find the “ marginal readings” of the New Version very valuable to use in connection with the Old.
An important feature in this work is, that the division of the Revised Version into verses is clearly indicated by full-face punctuation-marks, while the paragraphs still remain as intended by the Revisers. This will be a great convenience in quoting passages, and it is essential in responsive reading.
In accordance with the earnest desire of many clergymen and sabbath-school teachers, a blank page is left opposite each printed page, thus furnishing the means for recording valuable thoughts and suggestions that may occur at the time of reading, and preserving them for future reference. The paper on which the book is printed has been made with special reference to this idea. It is believed this feature will prove so valuable, that the book thus annotated will become more and more prized as time passes, and that it will be handed down from generation to generation as an heirloom of priceless worth.