Imatges de pÓgina


probably not the case in all of them; idol = idolatry, blood -murder. The Western text, however, brings only three prohibitions, no mention being made of choked things. The idea suggests itself that the three remaining prohibitions are to be taken as having a general religious and ethical meaning, all the more as the Western text adds the Golden Rule. This is not given in the full, positive and binding form in which Jesus (St. Matt. vii 12) gave it, and which is also to be found in the letter of Aristeas (§ 207), but in the less valuable negative wording which Hillel gave to the saying. Still, even the negative wording can only be interpreted as a kind of moral catechism, not as the insisting on any ceremonial. It is apparent that the so-called Western text has been influenced by the decree of a Rabbinic Synod at Lydda in the time of Hadrian: 'They voted and resolved in the sollar of the Nithza at Lydda: Of all trespasses in the law it shall be held that if one say to a man : Trespass so that thou mayest not be killed, he may trespass against them in order not to be killed, excepting idolatry, incest and murder.' 1

So much for the two textual forms. It is clear that the Sahidic text represents a mixed form. In the first place it brings the four prohibitions of the Eastern text in such a form that no doubt of the partially ceremonial meaning can arise. For choked things' there is substituted in one case 'anything dead,' in the other 'the (things) which are wont to die.' Thus there is no necessity of thinking of murder, and as in the second passage sacrifices are expressly mentioned, it is impossible to assume that the intention is to warn against idolatry in general. But the four commandments of the Eastern text are immediately followed by the Golden Rule of the Western. In no case can this text be the original one, because in it, as the above comparison shews, entirely different tendencies are brought together. This is really a mixed text, which presupposes and draws upon the Eastern as well as the Western text. Here we must assume the workmanship of some learned men who compared MSS and took from each what seemed best to them.

Unfortunately it is possible only in rare instances to prove the mixed character of the Sahidic text by means of a single reading, as in this case. The most famous variants of the Western text are not represented at all in the Sahidic. I mention xi 28; xiii 1; xix 9. The author of the mixed text

1 Sanhedrin 74a.

was apparently doubtful about taking over things that looked too strange (the Golden Rule was probably familiar to him; so it gave him less offence).

I draw attention also to the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian chamberlain. It is important for the history of baptism: the oldest text soon seemed too short; therefore a short baptismal conversation was added (Acts viii 37). This is not yet known in the Sahidic as well as in the Bohairic.

Most of those who use the Sahidic translation will be interested chiefly in textual criticism. All the more necessary is it to emphasize that the student of exegesis, too, can learn a good deal from it. The translation of the Egyptians may not be absolutely correct, but in any case it is worthy of attention.

A short time ago James Hardy Ropes in his valuable ‘Three Papers on the Text of Acts' drew attention again to the dating of the story of Pentecost in Acts ii 1, and adduced important material.1 Here also the old translations are important. The Sahidic author translates: But when the day of Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all together.' This is a clear statement of contemporaneousness and a justification of the usual date of


Well known because of its archaic character is the prayer of the primitive community (Acts iv 24 ff.). It contains designations of Jesus which occur rarely elsewhere and calls for a comparison between Jesus and David. So we have here a valuable source if we wish to study the theology of the primitive community. It is disputed in what sense Jesus is designated as the 'Pais' of God. Does Pais' mean 'son' or 'servant'? The Sahidic author translates 'son.' Here he may have been influenced by the Christological dogma of his time.

In Acts vi I the Sahidic text reminds us that in the language of the Egyptian Christians we have two words for 'Greeks.' There is first the old word 'oueeinin,' which really means 'Ionians.' The Egyptians too first met the Greeks from Ionia, and so the word ' Ionians' was taken over. It is used above all

for the purpose of characterizing Greek nationality, e.g. the Greek language. In addition to this the Copts took over the word Hellen.' This, however, very often has the secondary meaning Gentiles.' It is most interesting to see how the Sahidic translator uses these two words. Acts vi1: a murmuring happened among the Ionians against the Hebrews.' These

1 The Harvard Theological Review, vol. xvi no. 2.


Greeks have nothing to do with Gentiles, they are Jews whose home is to be sought in the Diaspora. They speak Greek and have therefore probably received less consideration in the matter of poor relief. They could not assert themselves at Jerusalem against the Aramaic-speaking Jews. We may further compare Acts xi 20: 'There were some out of them, being Cyprian men and Cyrenian, these, when they had come unto the Antiocheia, spake to the Ionians, preaching the Lord Jesus.' Here we may be in doubt as to whether the rendering ‘Ionians' is correct. The intention of the narrator is probably to report some progress of missionary work. He can hardly be interested in the fact that the gospel is now also being preached in Greek. This had already been done before, even as early as the festival of Pentecost. But the new thing is that a missionary preacher unhesitatingly addresses a Gentile public. Perhaps the translator has in mind that in his native country those who spoke Greek in general were converted later to Christianity than the natives, this being the reason for which the Gentiles were commonly called 'Hellenes.' Indisputably important is the Sahidic translation of Acts xiv 6: 'It happened also according to their custom for them to go into the Synagogue of the Jews, and speak thus, so that a great multitude believeth out of the Jews and the Hellenes.' Here the contrast of the Jews and Greeks is of a purely religious nature the Greeks are Gentiles.

A noteworthy reading is found in Acts viii 9: 'But there was a man in the city, his name being Simon, using magic and astonishing the nation of the Samaria, saying of himself, I am (he).' In the original text the magician Simon declares himself to be a great man. It seems improbable to me that the Sahidic

author should have had a different Greek text before him from that which we possess. But he translated the reading which he found very cleverly and effectively into his oriental Egyptian.

So much for the importance of the Sahidic text of the Acts of the Apostles. We owe a great debt to the industrious editor, Rev. George Horner, for his painstaking work. He again adds to the Sahidic text a translation which is so literal that it can almost be regarded as a substitute for the Sahidic original. The critical apparatus records not only the different readings of the Sahidic MSS, but comments on these readings from the standpoint of New Testament textual criticism, an immense material being drawn upon. This is all the more meritorious as the apparatus can be used without special knowledge also by others than

Egyptologists. The modesty of the editor, who again has produced an astonishing piece of work in this volume, is shewn by the fact that his name is to be found neither in the title nor in any other place. He may regard the present volume with particular pride, because the material here collected is so rich that even fresh discoveries will scarcely add much that is new.

We express our good wishes for the successful completion of this edition of the Sahidic New Testament, very few parts of which yet remain unedited. The editor would earn the special gratitude of students if he would add to the last volume those detailed Prolegomena' which the whole work still requires. He knows these texts as nobody else can know them, and therefore he can be expected to provide all the helps that are needed for scientific historical research in this field.




Samuel Butler, Author of Erewhon' (1835-1902). A Memoir by HENRY FESTING JONES. 2 vols. (Macmillan. 1919.)

42s. net.

'AUTHOR of Erewhon': so Samuel Butler described himself on his own title-pages. Yet the Note Books are more typical with their jest and earnest, shrewd simplicity, imperfectly thought out wisdom. They are typical too of his diligence in recording, of all that labour of destroying, preserving, copying, editing, indexing, and dating' which has prepared the way for this memoir. 'I hope,' wrote Butler, no one will publish my letters after I am dead; they were always hasty, often insincere, and never intended for the public.' Yet he also wrote ' I prefer the modest insurance of keeping up my notes which others may burn or no as they please.' When he read his grandfather's letters he found a commonplace-book styled 'that last resource of indolence and stupidity' and was dismayed. Had he been less conscientious in this kind, we might have lost those merry, pungent letters from Miss Savage, the fragrance of a rare spirit which breathes through Mr. Jones' first volume.

Both volumes are excellent. Mr. Festing Jones was of course the proper biographer. He knew Butler intimately, loved him deeply, believed in him thoroughly, yet never condescended to idolatry. The preface at once compels attention by the style, utterly straightforward, plainer even than Butler's own, of which Miss Savage said 'it reads as smooth as cream.' He explains exactly what material he had and how he used it. He gives a complete bibliography; how useful even for the immediate purpose of his book the reader soon discovers. On each page the headline indicates the particular subject. In the margin, date and age are entered throughout. The index seems perfect. The pictures are really illustrative, and Mr. Emery Walker has taken care that all should be good art. No cheap work has been admitted: the book is not just to be read from a lending library, it is one to have and to handle with lasting satisfaction.

However, let all read it as best they can, so that it be read. For the story is told with marvellous skill. Mr. Jones calls the book an omnium gatherum, but the pleasure it gives convinces us that selection has gone to the gathering: 'Luck or Cunning? ' cunning certainly. Some will object that the story is not so

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