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FROM THE TRANSLATIONS OF JOHN ROGERS, THE BISHOPS, THE GENEVAN,
FROM WICLIF, ROGERS, THE RHEMES, OR ROMAN CATHOLIC VERSION, THE GENEVAN, THE PRESENT AUTHORISED, AND THE VERSION BY GILBERT WAKEFIELD :
AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ENGLISH VERSIONS, AND OF THE MORE ANCIENT MSS. AND EDITIONS.
MEMOIRs of THE PRINCIPAL TRANSLATORs.
CHARLES ROGER, DUNDEE.
L O N D O N :
warehouse for BIBLEs, New Test AMENTs, PRAYER Books, LExicons, GRAMMARs, concordANCEs,
PRINTED AT DUNDEE FOR THE AUTHOR.
N the year 1812, having accidentally fallen in with the translation of the Bible printed in 1549, I was stnick forcibly with the variation from the present authorized version; and, as the Sacred Scriptures are, above all other writings, what most, or at least what should most, concern us, I could not help wishing I had learned the Hebrew, and began to set about it seriously.
I soon, however, procured more of the translations, and generally found, where a passage in the one was dark, some of the other versions served to explain it; and, upon reflection, it occurred to me that collating the different translations was better than trusting to one
individual, however well he might understand the Hebrew tongue, as it is generally admitted that the Hebrew idiom admits of being translated into English by a number of words very different in their signification.
Impressed with this conviction, I had no doubt that a collation of the principal versions was the best way to arrive at the sure word of truth contained in the Holy Scriptures, as we thereby had not only the opinion of a few, but almost all the learned men of the different periods when the translations were made, which certainly was better authority than any one person, however learned or pious, could lay claim to. By consulting, therefore, the various translations, a light is thrown upon many dark passages, which before were unintelligible to those not acquainted with the original; and even to those who were, appeared "hard to be understood.'''' But the theologist is not the only one that may find this collation useful in assisting his studies; the philologist will find it of great utility in tracing his vernacular tongue, with all its formations and variations, from the thirteenth century downwards; and from the learning and number of the translators, there can be no doubt of the purity of the language used at the different periods of the translations. There is a third and larger class, which, I trust may be benefited by this collation, namely, the whole religious body of Christians that have not 'been blessed with an education to enable them to examine the Hebrew and Greek originals, or have not had an opportunity of seeing many of the English translations. To this worthy class, it cannot but be useful. But there is a fourth class that may be benefited, although I trust it is but a small one—those that " care about none of these things," but from mere curiosity, or something worse, may be induced to look into this collation; and may, by the blessing of God, find something to impress their minds with the truth of the Scriptures, and that indeed they are the word of life.
I have ventured with few remarks of my own, or notes of any kind, as I am persuaded the comparison of the versions will bring out the sense without any observations of the Collator, yet I trust those few made will not be found altogether useless.