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language, especially when they certainly believed the inspiration of the one as well as the other? I might farther argue this from the character of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and other Bishops of Syria, who must needs be very defective in their duty to the Churches over which they were set, if they did not take care they should be supplied with the inspired volumes, which themselves valued so much. I conclude therefore, that as a Version into Syriack was necessary to be made in or near the Apostles' time, so it is probable one was then made.
Obf. 4. The Christians of Syria were wont to read the facred Scriptures of the New Testament in their Churches and publick assemblies very soon after the Apostles' time; and therefore a translation of them was then made into the Syriack language.
Although I might confirm this Observation by many instances, yet the instance which I sball produce being so demonstrative of the fact, I shall content myself with producing only that. The passage I refer to is that of Justin Martyr, who lived in the beginning of the second century, and plainly speaks of himself as being a disciple of the Apostles, 'Atosórar ysváperos receInlás!. He tells us, that in their religious assemblies every Sunday the writings of the Apostles and Prophets were read m. Now Justin was a native, as he himself fays", of Palæstine in Syria, viz. Neapolis in Samaria, in which country, as has been proved, Syriack was the language. Now unless a Version was made of the Apostles' writings into this language, it had been very preposterous for them, to have read them in their Churches ; unless we suppose them like the later Papists, who will neither suffer translations of the Scriptures to be made into other languages, nor any other to be read in the Churches, but such as the people do not understand. This argument I look upon as conclusive, and therefore shall anticipate an objection or two, which fome perhaps may be apt to raise against it. As,
Præf. in Apol. 2. p. 53.
1. That o Vide Euseb. Hift. Eccl. 1. 4. c.16. Hieron. Catal. Script. Eccl. in Justin. & Phot. Bibliothec. Cod. CXXV.
1. That Justin dwelt at Rome, and not in Syria, where he was born. To which I answer, that though it be certain Justin was at Rome'', yet the accounts we have of him seem to intimate, that he went there only with a view of presenting his memorials for the Christian Religion to the Emperor and Senate, and that he was not a resident of Rome ; and therefore when this was done, he returned again to Asia, and at Ephesus he had that famous dispute with Trypho the Jew, which is still extant P. This seems not unlikely to have been either as he was going to Rome from Syria, or returning to Syria from Rome; because in the end of the dispute 9 he tells us, they prayed for his fafety in the voyage he was then going to make. It is true indeed, the words in Eufebius', 'Età zñs 'Póuns ta's dicetpilds étoleiro, are commonly translated as though they expressed his fixed habitation at Rome; but the words imply no such thing, but more properly are significative of such a continuance, as is made by a traveller on a journey; and so we find the word docłęiew is continually made use of in the New Testament, to denote the continuance of our Saviour and his Apostles for a few days in a place, till they removed to anothert. Besides, there is another sense, which may be given to Eusebius's words, much better than that of his translators, viz. if we take dialoobas otsõv to fignify his having publick conferences, and making public discourses. This seems most agreeable to the context of Eusebius ; and is most evident in that Jerome u and Photius *, speaking of Justin's being at Rome, instead of doalpibas Štros Eīto have dicélpobas ige, which can be taken in no other than the sense last given ; especially if we consider, that Photius adds the word Pinocopãr, which, though it be not placed so as to be connected with doarpıba, yet evidently ought to be, and the first Latin translator read it foy. I conclude therefore, that Justin's abode at Rome was only as a stranger or traveller, and that Syria, his native country, was still his home; and consequently, when he declares to the Emperor the customs of the Christian assemblies, he means the Churches in Syria ; and so that a Version was made in the Syriack language, because the writings of the New Testament were read in them.
P Euseb. Hift. Eccl. 1. 4. C. 18. 9 Dialog. cum Tryph. Jud. in
Vid. Vers, Christophorson. &. Valer.
+ John iii. 22. xi. 54. Acts xii. 19. xiv. 3, 28. xv. 35. xvi. 12. xx. 6. and several other places.
u Catal. Script. Eccl. in Justin. * Phot. Biblioth. cxxy.
r Hilt. Eccl. l. 4. C. II. in fine.
2. It may be farther objected, that Justin could not speak of the books of the New Testament being read in the Syrian Churches, and that he himself did not reside in Syria, because he was unacquainted with the Hebrew or Syriack language, as seems to be evident from his works. Dr. Cave produces a very remarkable instance of it?, viz. his deriving the word Satana from Sata, which, says he, in the language of the Jews and Syrians fignifies an Apoftate, and Nas (on which account he is called a Serpent) and denotes the same as Sata in their language a.
To which I answer, that though the derivation be, as Dr. Cave says, very childish and ridiculous, because every one who knows any thing of Hebrew now is sure it is derived from the verb Yow, which fignifies to hate with malice, yet I think it cannot hence be concluded, that Justin did not live in Syria: for,
(1.) The verb you was not in the Syriack language, but another always made use of instead of it. As there are in the Syriack abundance of words, which are not in the old Hebrew, so abundance in Hebrew, which were not in Syriack. As the language altered, inany words were both brought in and left out, among which this was one : this I conclude, because another verb is always made use of in the Syriack Version of the New Testament to denote the idea, and never this; so that a native of Syria could not give a just etymology of this word, without being acquainted with the old Hebrew, which at that time, it is certain, was known but to very few, especially out of Jerusalem.
(2.) Suppose the verb you had been conmon in Syriack, it will be a mighty strange consequence to infer, that Justin was not an inhabitant of Syria, because he thought another verb or noun in the same language, and not that, was the root of any particular word. Were I to make use of the same argument in respect of an European language, and to conclude, for instance, a person was not an inhabitant of England, because he could not tell, or should mistake the Latin or Saxon original of any English word ; the reasoning would be apparently very weak, and the consequence would be, that but a very few ininhabitants would be left in England. The case is exactly the
(3.) This verb was not common in the Hebrew itself, not being above once or twice to be found in the Hebrew Bible.
(4.) Justin, though a Samaritan or native of Palestine, was born of Gentile parents; as appears by the names of his father and grandfather, which, he says , were Priscus and Bacchius; was educated in the philosophy and learning of Greece, as is evident from the accounts of Eusebius, Jerome, and Photius ; and therefore, though he might understand his own country language, it is not at all strange he was no critick in it. But,
(5.) For proof that Justin understood Syriack, I think we need go no farther than this very place which is objected. If he had not, how did he know the word Satana was of Hebrew or Syriack original, and apply to that language for its etymology? Why did he not, as other Fathers unacquainted with this language are often ridiculously wont“, apply to the Greek for its original ? This evidently proves he knew the language. Besides, to put the matter past all controversy, I observe, upon a close and critical enquiry, the two words (viz. Sata
• Præf. in Apol. 2. Jerome indeed seems to take them as one name of his father, but is mistaken. Vid. Valef. ad Eufeb. Hift. Eccl. 1.4. C. 12.
i Locis fupra citatis.
it: 1.4. C. 26. and others, derive Paf
cha, the Palaver, from the Greek acgw to suffer, because Christ suffered at the Passover, or because that was typical of Christ. Others derive the name Jesus from iáw sano, &c. which etymologies every body knows are trifling,
and Nas, from which he derives Satanas) are purely and properly Syriack words, which denote very exactly the nature of Satan, or the Devil, as it is represented in Scripture. This discovery I take to be of some consequence, and therefore shall endeavour to fhew it more clearly.
1.) The first word is Sata; this, says Justin, signifies an Apoftate, in the language of the Jews and Syrians; and so, I observe, it does. The original Hebrew verb is nid which signifies to feduce, or deceive, or draw afide, and is the very word made use of to express Satan's feducing David to number the people. Hence came the verb Non very common in Chaldee, to draw aside, or go aside, and the Syriack bloo fignifying the very fame; and so the participle Peal of this verb in Syriack will denote one that goes aside, or an Apoftate and deceiver of others, and that participle is kleo Sate, or Sata, the very word that Justin produces. This verb is very common in this sense in the Syriack translation of the New Testament; and Gal.iii. 19. the noun derived from it fignifies Apostacy. The reader learned in these things may see the instances in Dr. Caftell's Polyglot Lexicon, and Schaaf's and Trostius's Syriack Lexicons.
2.) The other word is Nas. This, says Justin, signifies the fame as Sata in Hebrew or Syriack, and denotes that, on the account of which Satan is called Serpent. Nothing can be more juft than this. The word is apparently Syriack, derived from the known Hebrew root 1703, which in Piel signifies to tempt, and is used of God's tempting Abraham f. In the Syriack it is often used in the same sense; and the noun formed from it denotes frequently the Tempter 8, on which account Satan is called Serpent. So that nothing can be more evi. dent, than that Justin understood the Syriack language ; and consequently his want of knowledge of it can be no objection to his living in Syria. I conclude therefore, that if
c 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. The word Sa- i Chron. xxi. 1. where it is. Vid. tan is not indeed in our present co. Cleric. Comm. in loc. pies in that place; but either it by f Gen. xxii. I. some means dropt out of the text, 8 See the Lexicons cited above. or at least must be supplied from