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John Albert Bengel was born June, 24, 1687, at Winnenden in Wiirteraberg. He was educated at Stuttgart and Tubingen. In 1718 he became Preacher and Professor at the School in Denkendorf; in 1741, Counsellor and Provost at Herbrechtingen; in 1749, Prelate at Alpirsbach. He died in the sixty-sixth year of his age, December 2, 1752. In 1734 he published his celebrated Novum Testamentum Graecum cum variantibus Lectionibus, in a quarto form. He published his translation of the New Testament in 1753. He injured his literary reputation by his exposition of the Apocalypse, in 1740, and by his Ordo Temporum a Principio, etc., in 1741. A second edition of his Apparatus Criticus ad Novum Testamentum was published under the supervision of Burh, in 1768. His most renowned work is his Gnomon Novi Testamenti, published in a quarto form, in 1742. In some respects this work is unsurpassed at the present day. It is a thesaurus of terse, pithy, luminous, and sometimes admirable expositions of the words and phrases in the New Testament It is in fact a "Gnomon," a " Pointer," an " Indicator," as on a sun-dial, of the meaning of the Evangelists and Apostles. It has been an invaluable aid to the commentators of more recent times; and we are happy to see that all our clergymen may now have access, in their mother tongue, to the work which has already instructed them through the medium of critics familiar with the original of this most suggestive Index.
The Translation is to be published in five octavo volumes. The second, fourth and fifth volumes have been announced as to be printed near the beginning of the present year, 1858. The first and third volumes are now on our table. The first contains Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, translated by Rev. James Bandinel, M. A., of Wadham College, Oxford; and the Notes on Mark's Gospel, translated by Rev. Andrew Robert Faussett, M. A., of Trinity College, Dublin. The third volume contains the Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, and on the two Epistles to the Corinthians, translated by Rev. James Bryce, M. A. The translators have performed their work with much pains-taking, and have rendered an important service to many American scholars, who are interested in critical and theological investigations. The theological system of Bengel contains many untenable positions, but is defended by him in an inoffensive and scholarly temper.
1 Gnomon of the New Testament, by John Albert Bengel. Now first translated into English. With Notes Explanatory and Illustrative. Revised and Edited by Rev. Andrew R. Faussett, M. A., of Trinity College, Dublin. Vol. L pp. 577, and Vol. III. pp. 437. 8vo. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 38, George Street. 1857.
4. — Commentary On The Books Of Kings And Chronicles.1
The Commentary of Prof. Keil on the Book of Joshua was noticed in the Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 14, pp. 447 — 452. The Commentary on the Books of Kings has the same general characteristics which appear in the work on Joshua. The author develops a remarkable familiarity with the objections of neological critics to the authenticity of these Books, and is successful in his vindication of the sacred record. He published in 1833 a work on the Books of Chronicles, Apologetischer Versuch iiber die Chronik. That work bears a close relation to this Commentary on the Books of Kings. Extracts from it have been translated by Mr. Martin, and inserted, within brackets, into his translation of Bertheau's Commentary on the Chronicles. This Commentary of Bertheau has been wisely abridged by the Translator, and occupies only the last 272 jiages of the second of the volumes now under our notice. The original Commentary is a judicious and useful one, but many of its discussions are anticipated in Keil's Exposition of the Books of Kings, and the translator has foreborne to repeat them. Mr. Martin and his publishers have done a good work for the cause of sacred philology, in giving to the English public such mature and sound Commentaries, in a form so attractive to the eye, and so convenient for reference. The Books which are explained are so intimately related to each other, as to make it desirable that the expositions of them be connected in the same set of volumes.
5. — Dn. Wordsworth's Greek Testament.*
The attention of the British theological scholars has of late years been turned very much to the study and elucidation of the Greek text of the New Testament. Since Dr. Bloomfield published his Greek Testament, with English Notes, which has already passed through nine editions in England, and two in America, some half-dozen English scholars have devoted themselves to the same work, and produced several editions on a similar plan, all of them respectable, and some of them of a very high order of merit. Perhaps the most elaborate work of the kind is that of Mr. Alford
1 Commentary on the Books of Kings. By Karl Friedrieh Keil, D. D., Ph. D., Profrssorof Excgetical Theology and the Oriental Languages in the University of Dorpat. Translated by James Murphy, LL. D., Professor of Hebrew, Belfast. Supplemented by Commentary on the Books of Chronicles by Ernst Bertheau, Professor in Gcittingcn. Translated by James Martin, B. A., Edinburgh. Vol. I. pp. 450, and Vol. II. pp. 463. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 38, George Street. 1857.
* The New Testament of onr Lord and Saviour Jcsns Christ in the original Greek, with Notes, by Chr. Wordsworth, I). D., Dean of Westminster. Part I. The Four Gospels. Part II. The Acts of the Apostles. London, Rivington, 1856 and 1857. 2 vols. 4to.
(now, by the favor of Lord Palmerston, Dean of Canterbury), which has already been noticed in the Bibliotheca Sacra, as the several volumes have been issued from the press. We are happy to learn that Mr. Alford is now engaged in a thorough revision oi'his whole work (which it very much needed) for a new edition, which will probably be re-published in this country.
The large and speedy sale of these works, notwithstanding their enormous price, speaks well for the state of theological scholarship in England.
The Notes of Alford are rather free in their views of inspiration, and quite liberal, democratic even, in their utterances on church government and church authority. This fact, no doubt, has had considerable influence with Dr. Wordsworth in inducing him to undertake an edition of the Greek Testament with English Notes, now in the course of publication by the Messrs. Rivington of London, the publishers of Alford.
Christopher Wordsworth, D. D., Canon of Westminster, and brother of the poet, has been long known as an author, to the literary and theological public. He early distinguished himself as a Greek scholar, and published several works, the result of his studies, and of his travels in Greece; and he has since been a voluminous writer on various theological topics.
He is now a fine-looking, venerable, amiable, scholarly old gentleman of the old school, such as one loves to see. He brings to his task a pious heart, a good will, a profound knowledge of the Greek language and literature, an extensive acquaintance with the church fathers, both Greek and Latin, an entire familiarity with the Anglican theology, a liberal reading of the modern theological criticism of Germany, and withal a most filial love and veneration for his spiritual mother, the Church of England, and a faithful devotedness to her interests. With all these qualifications he would scarcely fail to make an interesting and useful book. He now and then twattles a little, as an old gentleman may when lamenting the degeneracy of the evil times on which his gray hairs have fallen; but his Introductions and Notes are always gravely entertaining, and generally learnedly instructive. He has a profound veneration for the Scriptures, and a most implicit belief in their full and perfect inspiration. In this and some other respects he serves as a very useful supplement to Alford, and an agreeable antipoile to the Germans, though in thorough faithful criticism he falls far below them both.
The characteristic of his Commentary is its frequent use of the patristic interpretations. This is a most valuable feature of the work, for though the church fathers were ignorant of many things which we know, and though they often failed in their exegesis, yet they had many things which we have not, and no modern learning can afford to dispense with their help. The human mind was as good in itself in their day as it is now; the Greek and Roman culture was in its way quite equal, to say the least, to any modern culture; the church fathers, many of them, were among the ablest men and the best scholars of their time; Christianity was new and fresli to them; they loved it with all their heart and soul, and to it they sacrificed reputation, comfort, and even life. Theirs was the fresh, exciting, early dawn; ours, comparatively, the clear, settled, quiet afternoon. They had their absurdities and follies, it is true, and so we have ours. The difference is, we can see theirs and not our own; and with retributive justice a later posterity will look upon us as we now look upon them.
6.— Guekicke's Manual Of Chukch Iiistoky.1
Henry Ernst Ferdinand Gucricke was born in Wettin, on the 25th of February, 1803. He pursued his university studies at Halle in 1S21 — 1824. At the age of twenty-six he became Professor extraordinary at Halle; but six years afterward, on account of his opposition to the Church Union in Prussia, he was obliged to relinquish his Professorship, and he then became the Preacher at the old Lutheran Church, In Halle. The Prussian government, however, did not allow him to perform clerical duty in the old Lutheran communion more than three years. He then became the subject of a severe persecution. Not until 1840 was he allowed to return to his Professorship in the university. In 1824 — 1825 he published his work on the Catechetical School of Alexandria; in 1828— 1831, his Contributions to the Historico-critical Introduction to the New Testament; in 1831, his Christian Symbolism; in 183;!, at the age of thirty, his Manual of Church History, the last volume of the eighth edition of which appeared in 1855. In connection with Rudclbach, he has been for many years editor of the Journal of Lutheran Theology. With all his differences in opinion and ecclesiastical relations from Tholuck, Julius Midler, Twesten and Nitzsch, he has lived in personal friendship with them. He is admitted by all to be a man of inflexible resolution, indefatigable industry, and honest piety. The criticisms most frequently pronounc ed against him are, that he is unfair in his arrangement of facts, uncandid in his interpretation of them, and too free in appropr iating to his own use the materials collected by other historians, particularly by Neander and Hase. Severe against others, he has provoked equal severity against himself.
We are glad that the substance of his History of the Ancient Church is now given, in their mother tongue, to English and American scholars. We hope that Professor Shedd will continue the work which he has so successfully begun, and translate Guericke's History of the Mediaeval, and of the Modern Church. An author like Guericke deserves this respect. His writings ought to be presented, and so far as perspicuity will admit, pre
1 A Manual of Church History, by Henry E. F. Gucricke, Doctor and Professor of Theology in Halle. Translated from the German by William G. T. Shedd, Brown Professor in Andover Theological Seminary. Ancient Church History, comprising the first six centuries. Andover: Published by Warren F. Diaper. New York: Wiley and Ualsted. Philadelphia: Smith, English and Co. 1857. pp. 422. 8vo.
Vol. XV. No. 57. 22
sented as they are, to our countrymen. Translations from the German authors, and especially such authors as Guerieke, are far more useful than they are thought to be We derive a benefit not only from the substance, but also from the manner, of German treatises. The spirit of the men is seen in their methods of reasoning and classification; and it affects, as it ought to affect, the influence of their works. We cannot approve the custom now beginning to prevail, of an American or English author's remodeling the substance of a German work, and then presenting it as his own to the public. Let the translator give as faithful a version of the German treatise as the classical English idiom will easily allow, and then give to that treatise the name and the credit which are its due. On this subject we think that some decided cautions need to be addressed to a few authors) who are in danger of falling into semi-plagiarism. Wo do not insist on servile translations of the German theologians, especially of such as write in Guericke's prolix and crabbed style. We regard Professor Shedd's version, now under notice, as a happy specimen of the transfusion rather than translation, which many of the German treatises should receive. Professor Shedd has reduced the cumbrous phraseology of his author to a vigorous and yet flowing English. The style of his version is far superior to that of the original. Still he has given us the substance, and, so far as he could wisely do so, the spirit of the German work; and the author of the work instead of complaining, as some of his countrymen have complained, that American authors conceal, as well as repudiate, their literary debts, will have reason for gratitude to his translator for exhibiting in an attractive style, what had been previously valued in despite of its harsh and lumbering phraseology. Seldom, as in the present case, does a translation do better than justice to its original.
7.— Graeber On The Apocalypse.1
Thorougii critical scholars are approximating towards an agreement in their interpretations of the Apocalypse. The Commentary of De Wette, published in 184S, that of Ilengstenberg, translated and published in Clark's Theological Library, at Edinburgh, in 1851, and the work of Auberlen, which has already been noticed in the Bibliothoca Sacra, are all fitted to turn the mind away from that view of the book which would make it a political and ecclesiastical history of modern Europe, and to inaugurate an interpretation on broader and more general principles, which will recognize not only the symbolical character of the Book itself, but also of the very events which the Book in the first instance predicts. The events themselves are symbolic of other and more remote and more important events, so that each particular prophecy has, as Lord Bacon expresses it, springing and
1 Versnch eincr historischer Erklnning der Offcnbarung des Johannes mit besondercr Beriicksiehtigung dcr Aaslegungcn von Bengel, Hengstcnbcrg nnd Ebrard, von H. J. Graeber, Pfarrer in Meiderich. Heidelberg. 1857.