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OUR SEVENTEENTH YEARLY VOLUME.
Ar the September meeting of the General Committee, held at Bro. Creswell's, Mitcbam, 1864, it was suggested, in order to lessen the loss upon the Magazine (amounting to upwards of £1,500 during the fourteen years it had been published), that it be conducted gratuitously by the Committee. At the next meeting in October, a plan was proposed and accepted. At the November meeting, seven brethren were appointed a Publication Committee. Three of these, viz., Bros. T. Chamberlain, W. B. Carter, and P. Parker, were deputed to read all manuscripts, and determine what should appear; also to arrange with the printer. The other four brethren were to have proofs sent to them from month to month, in the reading and correction of which they would have an opportunity of judging of the various articles ; and, if deemed objectionable, of expressing their views before the publication of each month's Magazine. Not only has every article sent been read by the three Editors, whether accepted or not, but in many cases numerous corrections have been made to fit those accepted for publication before they were submitted to the public eye.
Articles declined have been returned to the writers when requested. Proofs have been read by the Editors, and also sent to the other brethren of the Publication Committee. This practice has thrown additional labour upon the brother who has had to prepare the last proof for the printer.
We have been led to make the above remarks in order to give information to those of our readers who may wish to know in what way, and by whom, the Magazine is conducted.
There are the SEVENTEEN VOLUMES standing on the shelf in our office : and we are not ashamed of them. Many of our friends have entire sets of the Magazines, and they are highly valued by them. To those who have not sets, we would say, get them while you can, and judge for yourselves as to their merits; for some of the volumes are already out of print, and others are running out.
Of the seventeen volumes now issued, we have not only had the supervision, but have ourselves written more than one-third of the original matter. In addition to that, we have provided, by far, the largest portion of the selections. We have, however, had valued articles from some other writers, and especially from Bros. Sims, Rose, and Hardy.
After the attacks upon us tolerated at the last Aggregate Meeting we would have vacated the post we occupied, having had the satisfaction of saving over £800 in the mere cost of the editorial work; but the General Committee deemed it unwise to accept our retirement, and to fall back upon a paid editor ; so we continue as before.
As it regards the future, we are pleased to see several new contributors coming forward ; and we hope this will give additional interest to
our next volume. We shall still preserve the general features which have distinguished our periodical heretofore.
The Magazine as a reporter, or something as an equivalent to it, is indispensable for the working of our Mutual-Aid Association; and that member of the Association who does not take it in, and endeavour to promote its circulation, is dishonouring the position he occupies, and failing in duty to his poor, aged, and sick brethren.
THE REVISED VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
No. III. Forty years ago the late Dr. Conquest published an edition of the Bible in a greatly improved form, and in which there had been made “twenty thousand emendations." Great alarm was created by the announcement of so many emendations baving been made in the Authorised Version. What then must be the alarm now, when more than thirty-one thousand alterations in the New Testament alone are announced ! The alarm, however, will gradually subside ; and if anything be discovered to occasion dissatisfaction, even if it amount not to alarm, it will be proclaimed loudly and soon enough to ensure a correction of the evil. The omissions and additions of the New Version will, no doubt, cause uneasiness. Have we heretofore possessed corrupted Scriptures, placing confidence in them as unadulterated ? Have the Scriptures which we have regarded as supremely authoritative been defective by the omission of matter which formed part and parcel of the Divinely inspired Word? These are serious questions, and such as must be entertained, and, if possible, determined. We cannot doubt but that satisfactory replies to such questions can and will be given by the sanctified scholarship of Christ's Church Universal. Meanwhile let us look at some of the omissions and additions that distinguish the New Version.
Most of the additions are of single words only; and others are mere phrases; a considerable number having been introduced to give the sense of a Greek word more fully and completely than is expressed in the Authorised Version ; as in chap. ii. 18, Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, &c. In chap. v. 16, instead of the adverb “so,” simply, the Revisers use the phrase, even so. In verse 18, the verb “pass,” is expressed by, pass away. In chap. vi. 2, the verb “ have” is modified by the addition of received, changing the present for the perfect tense. The whole of that verse is so elegantly rendered that the transcription of it is a pleasure. It reads thus: “When there
fore thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.”
The great number of single words that are added, consist mostly of conjunctions and the definite article. There are phrases also added that we may notice. We read of Simon, in chap. xxvii. 32, “him they compelled to bear His (Christ's) cross." The Revisers have both altered and added to this brief record, thus: him they compelled to go with them, that he might bear His cross. They gratuitously supply the words with them, intending thereby to make the meaning of the record more apparent. In chap. iii. 6, for “the Jordan,” the Revisers give us, the river of Jordan. The women at the crucifixion, “ beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee,” are described in the new version "
many were there beholding from afar, which had followed Jesus from Galilee.” In chap xxviii. 18, the coming of Jesus to the disciples is expressed more fully by the addition of the words, "to them,” before He “spake to them.” We need not adduce more examples. We do not recollect any
instance of the introduction of new matter into the Revised Version. All the additions are such as present the meaning more clearly and fully than is done by the Authorised Version.
What are we to think, however, of the omissions that distinguish the New Version from the old ? We should fail in faithfulness if we left them unnoticed. And although we regard the labours of the New Testament Company of Revisers with grateful satisfaction, we cannot be wholly blind to all the “ failings and imperfections ” which they confess they have not avoided. The omissions of words, clauses and sentences, and even whole paragraphs from the Revised Version, found in the Authorised Version, are the most serious and perplexing of all the variations that distinguish the one from the other. In the first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, there is no mention of “ her firstborn” in verse 25, which now reads simply—a son. The Greek reading is the son her firstborn. Either the Evangelist wrote these words, or he did not. If he did not, how came they to be foisted into any manuscript, and for what object? It is as certain as such a matter can be that Mary the wife of Joseph became mother of other sons beside Jesus, and of daughters also. Considering the early superstition that fixed itself upon the mother of our Lord, it is quite a probability that some transcribers of the Gospel would omit the words, “ her firstborn,” lest they should lead to the belief that Mary was the mother of a family. The honourableness and sanctity of matrimonial life was scarcely comprehended by unmarried ascetics, such as many transcribers were. An unimportant omission occurs in the 7th verse of the second chapter. Then Herod privily called the wise men. The words, When he had,” &c. are in the old version, though not found in the Textus Receptus. Why they have a place in the Authorised