Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Section Four
Part 2 of Section IV-'How we may know whether books which are said to be the Word of God, are so or not.'

P. D. Huet, Bishop of Avranches, in France, a scholar of high repute, and chief editor of the Delphin classics, said, with respect to the means of deciding whether a work is really what it is said to be, "That every book is genuine which was esteemed genuine by those who lived nearest to the time when it was written, and by the ages succeeding in a continued series"; and that "this is an axiom which cannot be disputed by those who will allow any thing at all to be certain in history." (See Jeremiah Jone's work on the Canon, 1798, vol. 1, p. 43). Mr. Jones' remarks on this axiom, that in the case of Christian books this kind of evidence may be stronger than in the case of other books; that the esteem in which the books from the first were held, the use made of them by religious assemblies, and the translations made from them very early into other languages, may concur to make an imposture in their case "almost impossible;" (pp. 43, 44.)
Justin the Martyr, in his second defence of the Christians, written 150 years after the birth of Christ, said that they were an "innumerable multitude," and that every Sunday they met together, and read the "Gospels written by the Apostles" (see his Greek Apology.) Justin describes himself as being "of Palestine," and as writing his address on behalf of those who dwelt there. (See the beginning.) Mr. Jeremiah Jones remarks that as the language of Palestine was Syriac, the Gospels which were said by Justin to have been read every Sunday, must have been in Syriac. He says, "This argument I look upon as conclusive," in proof that the Gospels then existed in "the Syriac language" (Vol. I., p. 97). No other Gospels but those of the Peshito, are proved by other evidence to have been in general use by those speaking Syriac. The one Gospel used by the Nazareans, cannot possibly be meant by Justin when he speaks of the records made by the Apostles, which are called "the Gospels" (Paris edition, 1552, p. 162).
Proof that the Peshito existed in the time of Justin the Martyr, and also that it had existed from before the time when the latest Apostolic books were written, seems to be given by the fact that it does not contain these books. If they had been then written, they could not have been then excluded from fellowship with the other divine writings without giving the false impression that they were not of the same divine authority. But there is proof that those five other books were not kept separate from the Peshito, because they were themselves denied to be of Apostolic authority, but only because the Syriac copies of them were denied to be of the same authority as the other Syriac books in the dialect of Edessa. The difference made between those five Syriac books and the Peshito, was because the five had only some uninspired translator. It therefore implies belief that the Peshito had been made by persons who were more than mere human translators, such as he was who made the Edessene transcript of the other books; it implies that the Peshito was made either by persons who themselves wrote what God directed them to write, or by others whose work had their oversight and approval. For if all the New Covenant books had been written in the Edessene dialect by uninspired translators, there is no known reason why they should have been kept so separate; and why the Peshito alone should have been treated with such superior reverence, and with such faith in its very words, as sacred, that it would have been deemed a sin to alter any of them. In this view Mr. Jeremiah Jones concurs. He says that "it seems most probable" that the reason why the five books are not in the [Peshito-]Syriac copies, is because they were not written when the Syriac Version was made; for had they been written then, those so useful Epistles would have been translated, for the same reason as the others. This was the argument which, among others, convinced Tremellius (see the preface to his Syriac N. T.) and the learned Bishop Walton (see the Prolegomena to his Polyglot), that this version was made in the Apostle's time" (Jones, vol. iii., p. 175).

Messages In This Thread
Section Four - by Larry Kelsey - 03-03-2004, 06:38 AM
Part 2 - by Larry Kelsey - 03-04-2004, 07:21 AM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 06:09 AM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 07:01 AM
[No subject] - by Rob - 03-05-2004, 01:20 PM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-05-2004, 06:30 PM
Re: - by Larry Kelsey - 03-06-2004, 07:44 AM

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)