Should We “Pass Over” Easter?
“And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4 KJV—emphasis mine).
Is Easter a valid translation of pascha in Acts 12:4? It is according to Nick Sayers in his video and companion two-part article, “Why We Should Not Passover Easter.” Sayers points to the presence of early forms of the word Easter in pre-KJV translations of the New Testament. He shows how from Tyndale’s use of ester and esterlambe (haven’t taken the time to check the spelling) and his coining of the English word “Passover” there is a transitional pattern in the intervening translations of the New Testament between Tyndale’s and King James’. Sayers’ ultimate point is that, if you look at Acts 12:4 in context, it would be clear that Herod had the Jewish Passover in mind, but that the KJV translators retained Easter as their translation of pascha because they believed Luke’s pointing out that the events in the passage took place during the days of unleavened bread that his use of the word pascha was also an allusion to the supposed apostolic practice of an annual commemoration of Christ’s resurrection, which in the seventeenth as well as the twenty-first centuries, is called Easter. Ironically, Sayers links to a Trinitarian Bible Society article on Easter in the KJV which states unequivocally that there was no apostolic annual commemoration of Christ’s resurrection, only the weekly Lord’s Day.
There is much I find compelling about the presentation in this video, yet I still have some lingering doubts. I do agree with modern version proponents that “Passover” is still the better translation of pascha in Acts 12:4, but given some of the information in Sayers’ video, coupled with the fact that the Venerable Bede is the uncorroborated source of the claim that the word Easter is derived from an ancient pagan goddess, I can see how it may have been that the KJV translators had some decent reasons for wanting to retain the use of the word Easter, if only once, in their version.
One thing that I appreciate most about the presentation in the video, is that it does a good job of demonstrating the flaws in Alexander Hislop’s claim that the word Easter comes from ancient Phoenician worship of Ishtar on phonetic grounds (“Easter sounds like Ishtar”). Another helpful expression of critical thinking skills is how Sayers points out early in his video that cultists are drawn to old wive’s tales like Hislop’s treatment of Easter in his widely read (among fundamentalists) book, The Two Babylons. A great take-away quote from Sayer is, “If you are a Bible believer, you believe the Bible; if you are superstitious, you will believe Hislop.” Amen!
I find myself hesitant to latch on to Sayers’ attempt to demonstrate that due to its etymology in the German word oster, Easter basically means “resurrection.” Until I see more authoritative evidence of this, I think it’s safest to say that this is just a little too good to be true, as much as I would like for it to be. If any of my readers have done some homework on this topic, and is able to correct or corroborate Sayers’ claims in his video and articles, please share your findings with me in the comments. My mind is open regarding these things, and I solicit your input.
I’m afraid, however, I’m drawn to this line of argumentation because I’m personally so eager to encourage those who think Easter really is an allusion to a pagan goddess to embrace the very real possibility that it actually springs from a Christian source of origin rather than pagan (see my post “Treating Easterphobia“). This just goes to show that I may not be quite as Reformed as I’d like to be. Help me, dear readers, and may you have an edifying Lord’s Day and a happy Easter.
From KJV Onlyism to Calvinism
Perhaps one day I’ll write something on how King James Onlyism opened my mind and heart to Reformed theology. It had a little to do with this book, The King James Version Defended, by Edward F. Hills.
In an attempt to bring the work of John William Burgon into the twentieth century, Hills, a Westminster Theological Seminary graduate (along with Yale, Harvard, Columbia Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago) made probably the most interesting case in favor of retaining the Textus Receptus as it has been translated in the KJV as the Protestant New Testament, applying the presuppositional apologetic of Cornelius Van Til who developed and taught it at Westminster Theological Seminary in order to arm confessional Reformed Presbyterians, among others, with a consistently Reformed, confessional and covenantal method for defending the faith.
I just got the 2006 edition of it in the mail today. It was updated in conjunction with the Encylcopedia Puritannica Project. Boy, I hope they didn’t screw it up! Hills deserves better than that! Here’s something I posted about this book in the past.
Bible Questions on the History of the Kings of Judah and Israel, No. 2
Don’t you just love quizzes that give away the answers to earlier questions in the later ones? Surely you can at least figure some of these out this way, if you aren’t going to sit down with your Bible and find all of the answers to the following questions from The Sunday at Home: A Family Magazine for Sabbath Reading (issue 1032, February 7, 1874).
- By whom was the second king of Israel selected? Name his father, tribe and birthplace.
- What was his occupation when chosen to be king? Mention any passages in the Psalms which refer to this. Have we any clue to his character as a shepherd?
- Describe his personal appearance.
- Where was he anointed? By whom? What change was seen in him from that time?
- What brought him first to court? How was he regarded by King Saul?
- What led him to give up his pastoral work for that of a soldier? How did he at this time show his simple trust in God?
- We have seen how David became the object of Saul’s envy. Did any of his own family show a similar feeling toward him?
- David had to be trained for the great work which God had for him to do, and he needed trial to strengthen his character. Can you find any texts which speak of the blessing of affliction, even in early life?
- For many years from this time, David was an exile and a fugitive. Find the references to the following places where he took shelter—Ramah, Nob, Gath, Adullam, the forest of Hareth, Keilah, the wilderness of Ziph, Engedi, the wilderness of Paran, Gath (a second time), Ziklag.
- How did he meanwhile provide for the safety of his parents? Can you find anything in the history of his ancestors which may select a possible reason for selecting that country?
- Mention some occasions on which he showed want of faith, and show how in each case he brought himself into difficulties.
- Which Psalms appear to refer to this part of David’s life?
Other “Head Knowledge Helpers” like this one are categorized under the heading “The Sunday at Home.”
The YouTube Bible
One of my “Featured Sites” (see sidebar) is the King James Bible Trust, an online resource for the ongoing British commemoration of the quadricentennary of the King James Version of the Bible. Check it out, if you haven’t done so already. The King James Bible Trust features a calendar of events taking place around the UK and the US, music and writing competitions, but one of my favorites is their YouTube Bible, “the King James Bible Trust’s ambitious project to create a complete reading of the King James Bible on YouTube. Our readers will comprise of actors, sportsmen and women, musicians, politicians and most importantly … YOU!” Anyone can submit a video of his own reading any chapter from the KJV that has yet to be contributed to the YouTube Bible (see this list). Below is a sample for your enjoyment. Subscribe to the page and watch them as they are added.
White/Moorman KJV Only Debate on YouTube!
For those of us who missed the debate live (though not for a lack of trying–my computer is a mess!), the live London debate on the exclusive use of the King James Version between Dr. James White and Dr. Jack Moorman has been posted on YouTube by one viewer. Here it is for your (and my) viewing pleasure:
Two and a Half Hours Until the White/Moorman KJV Only Debate!
Be sure to visit this page to watch live the debate between Dr. James White and Dr. Jack Moorman of London, England debating the question “Should We Exclusively Use the King James Version?”
“Should We Exclusively Use the King James Version?”
How appropriate that during the year of the quadricentennial of the King James Version of the Bible, a debate on the question of King James Onlyism should be held. Reformed Baptist apologist Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries is just on his way to London, England. RevelationTV in London is hosting a debate Wednesday night at 9pm GMT (if I’m not mistaken, that should be 3 pm CST), between Dr. White and Dr. Jack Moorman, an American fundamentalist Independent Baptist missionary in England, pastoring Bethel Baptist Church, Wimbeldon, London. The subject of the debate is, “Should we exclusively use the King James Version?” To my knowledge, it has been quite a while since a KJV Onlyist has stepped forward willing to debate Dr. White, author of The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?
This should be good. Dr. White never disappoints.
Bible Questions on the History of the Kings of Judah and Israel, No. 1
This week, it’s not a “Scripture Enigma,” it’s the first in a series of questions on the history of the kings of Judah and Israel, from The Sunday at Home: A Family Magazine for Sabbath Reading (No. 1028–January 10, 1874). This post will be updated with the answers in one week. By the way, Scripture Enigma, No. 1 has been updated with its answers. Please post any answers or guesses in the comments thread. Or comment on the anxiety such questions give you. You can even feel free to comment asking for hints. Anything! Just comment! 😉
- What reasons did the people of Israel assign for their wish to be governed by kings?
- How had they been previously governed?
- Where do you find that God had anticipated this desire, and what directions had He given with regard to it?
- By whom was the first king of Israel selected? Mention his name—his father—his tribe.
- Describe his personal appearance.
- By who was he anointed? And where? On what errand was he engaged at the time? What change came over him from that time?
- Where was he first proclaimed king? How did God show his displeasure with the people at the time?
- What indications can you find of filial obedience, modesty, and courage in the early history of Saul?
- For what reasons did God take the kingdom from him? When was this first told him, and by whom? How did the tidings affect Samuel?
- Give other passages from God’s Word, which teach us that outward observances of religion have no value with God unless accompanied by a life of obedience.
- Saul professed repentance—but what showed that his repentance was not sincere?
- From this time we see a great change in Saul. What affliction came upon him? How did he obtain relief?
- Have we any indications of a loss of personal courage?
- What aroused his jealousy of David?
- What does the Bible say about envy?
- From this time Saul’s heart was set on David’s death. Mention any occasions on which David narrowly escaped his enemy, and how he was delivered.
- Mention any indications of relenting.
- On what two occasions was Saul’s life spared when he was in David’s power?
- What proofs have we of the tender love between David and Jonathan, Saul’s son? Show that its foundation was laid in true religion.
- Saul was left by God. To whom then did he seek for help? And with what consequences?
- What was his end? Which of his sons died with him? By whom, and where were they buried?
- How long did Saul reign?
- What became of the other sons of Saul?
- 1. 1 Sam. 8:5, 20
- 1 Sam. 8:7; 10:19; 12:11-12
- Deut. 17:14-20
- 1 Sam. 9:1, 16, 17
- 1 Sam. 9:2; 10:23
- 1 Sam. 9:3-4, 19-20; 10:1, 9, 11
- 1 Sam. 9:14, 15; 12:16-18
- 1 Sam. 9:5, 21; 10:21-23; 11
- 1 Sam. 13:8-14; 15:23, 28-29, 35; 16:1
- Psa. 1:7-14; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1;11-17; Jer. 7:21-23; Micah 6:6-8; Matt. 7:21-23
- See his self-justification, 1 Sam. 15:15. His excuses, 5:21. When at last confession was extorted from him, he feard losing the respect of the people, not the favour of God, 5:30.
- 1 Sam. 16:14-18, 23.
- 1 Sam. 17:11; 28:5.
- 1 Sam. 18:8, 9, 15, 29.
- Prov. 14:30; 27:4; S. Song 8:6; Gal. 5:21; Jas. 3:14, 16.
- 1 Sam.19:10-12; 23:26-28; 24:3.
- 1 Sam. 19:6; 24:16-22; 26:21-25.
- 1 Sam. 24:3-7; 26:6-12.
- 1 Sam. 18: 1-4; 19:2; 20:3, 11-17, 34; 23:16-18; 2 Sam. 1:26.
- 1 Sam. 28:6-20.
- 1 Sam. 31:1-6, 8-13.
- Acts 13:21.
- 2 Sam. 4:5-7; 21:5-9.
Listen To This…
Here are the programs I’ve been following this week. If you’ve got the time, it would benefit you to check some of them out:
- “Machen’s Warrior Children” on Christ the Center
- “Gospel-Focused” on White Horse Inn
- January 11 Episode of Dividing Line
- “The Legacy of the King James Bible” on ReformedCast
Did Shakespeare Help Write the King James Bible?
As a child, growing up in an independent Baptist church that used, preached and taught from the King James Bible, I recall occasions in which a relative of ours who did not share our reverence for it, would attempt to undermine our reliance on it by spinning the yarn that William Shakespeare helped translate the KJV, and while doing so, hid some “Easter eggs” in the text of Psalm 46. The phenomenon to which he referred was the fact that the 46th word from the beginning of the psalm is the word “shake” (v. 3) and the 46th word from the end of the psalm is the word “spear” (v. 9). I can’t speak for my parents, but I always found this idea to be ludicrous, even as a child. As much as I’ve searched the internet for explanations, the following from Doug Kutilek makes a few interesting points that demonstrates how far-fetched this religious urban legend is.
The following is from As I See It Volume 5, Number 2, February 2002:
One of the wonders of the internet is how easily it facilitates the dissemination of utterly false and fictitious, or at best highly dubious, information. Whole books have been written about such “urban legends” (you know–the alligators reportedly in the sewers of New York City, and the supposedly “Satanic” nature of the venerable Proctor & Gamble “man in the moon” logo).
Well, not to be out-done by the “children of this world,” Christians also have their “urban legends.” One of these that has been circulating in cyber-space involves the great British playwright William Shakespeare and the famous King James Version of the Bible. The story goes as follows:
The KJV translators reportedly (so this legend has it) consulted Shakespeare, a renowned master of English style, as they were doing their translation work, and to acknowledge surreptitiously, not openly, his part in the work (it would have been scandalous to have a mere actor and author of stage plays participating in the important and sacred work of Bible translation), they translated–or perhaps allowed him to translate (depending on which version of the legend is being told), his complete ignorance of Hebrew notwithstanding–a part of Psalm 46 in a particular way. If one turns to that Psalm, he will discover that the 46th word from the beginning of the Psalm (ignoring the title, which does in fact form a part of the inspired text) is the word “shake.” And if one counts words from the end of the Psalm, the 46th word from the end (ignoring the final word of the Psalm, the Hebrew word selah–again a part of the inspired text) is the word “speare.” So, the 46th word from the beginning and the 46th word from the end of the 46th Psalm are “shake” and “speare.” An apparently remarkable coincidence, to be sure. And the unstated implication is that this somehow adds to the prestige, dignity and authority of the KJV over all other English Bible versions.
But against the theory is the apparent complete absence of any contemporary positive evidence associating the bard of Stratford-on-Avon with the KJV translation committee and its work. Certainly the lengthy account of Shakespeare in the authoritative Dictionary of National Biography, authored by the editor of the work, Sir Sydney Lee, betrays no such knowledge. Nor can I find any reference to the same in several other works on Shakespeare consulted, nor indeed in various standard histories of the English Bible. This is not to say that it is thereby absolutely disproved, though the happenings in Shakespeare’s life in the period 1604 to 1611 (when the KJV was in preparation) are fairly well-known to history, and any part the most famous of English authors might have had in the production of the most famous of English Bible translations could scarcely have gone unnoticed and unreported.
The novelty of the coincidence of the “46s” and “Shakespeare” is not quite so remarkable as it might seem at first blush. The Geneva Bible of 1560 (published 4 years before Shakespeare’s birth and therefore certainly uninfluenced by him in any way–indeed, he was influenced by it) was the Bible most commonly used in the English-speaking world during the far greater part of Shakespeare’s active writing career (he died in 1616, having virtually retired some years earlier; all but 3 of his many plays and the whole of his poetry being commonly ascribed to the years before 1611). It was also the English Bible version most closely followed by the KJV translators in their revision work.
An examination of the Geneva version of Psalm 46 reveals that both words “shake” and “speare” occur in the relevant verses (3 and 9), as in the KJV, though with a slightly different word count. “Shake” is the 48th, rather than 46th, word from the beginning of the Psalm (ignoring the title) and “speare” is the 44th word from the end of the Psalm (or 45th, depending on whether “selah” is excluded from or included in the count). It seems quite probable that the KJV picked up its use of “shake” and “speare” in the 3rd and 9th verses respectively from the prior Geneva Bible (the precise wording of Psalm 46 in the Geneva and the KJV is usually identical, with a relative few differences). Further it is entirely within reason that by merest accident these words ended up 46th from the beginning and end of the Psalm (ignoring the problem counting “selah” causes for the hypothesis).
Since the “official” basis for the KJV revision was the Bishops’ Bible of 1568, a check of the wording and word counts in that version of Psalm 46 would be of interest for comparative purposes, but unfortunately I have no access to it, and must remain in the dark for now as to its precise wording.
If it could actually be established with certainty, or with at least a high degree of probability that the Shakespeare really was “honored” by the translators in the KJV of Psalm 46 in the manner suggested, whether or not he had any part whatsoever in the actual production of that translation, it would make for an interesting footnote. However, until such proof is forthcoming, it is best to leave this with the other “urban legends” of our time.
The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years of the Most Influential English Translation
Crossway Books is contributing to this year’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible with the help of Wheaton College professor of English, Dr. Leland Ryken, author of The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years of the Most Influential English Translation. In promotion of this title, Justin Taylor has conducted a concise interview with the author in three parts over at the Crossway Blog. You can watch:
“How Did the King James Bible Come To Be? (Part 1)”
“The Growth of the King James Bible (Part 2)”
“The Influence of the Bible on Literature & Culture (Part 3)”
Don’t miss this opportunity to be reminded of the significance of this venerable Bible translation. As a former radical King James Onlyist who now understands that the world of Bible translation was not supposed to come to a screeching halt with the publication of the KJV, I have often been distressed by the way so many who likewise recognize the need to keep retranslating the Bible would make disrespectful swipes at the KJV. This betrays an arrogance and an ignorance that only the new is worthy of our time. But how much we miss by not familiarizing ourselves with our own history and culture. The fact is that throughout the history and the development of the culture of the English-speaking world, the King James Bible has had a constant and influential presence–and the entire world has been the better for it. Perhaps, too, it’s time that all cultures found something to appreciate in it for a change.
The BBC is celebrating KJV400.
The BBC is promoting the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized “King James” Version of the Bible. In order to do so, they are airing a series of radio reports entitled, “King James Bible–History and Readings.” Here’s how they introduce the series:
The King James Bible is one of the great English literary works. On the 400th anniversary of its publication, a series of documentaries and readings explore its history and enduring appeal. Features James Naughtie, Simon Schama, Rowan Williams, Emilia Fox, Toby Stephens and others.
The first installment aired today, but you can subscribe to a podcast that follows this series by visiting their site at the link below:
BBC – Podcasts – King James Bible – History and Readings.
For your reading pleasure, peruse this site’s blogs posted under the category of “King James Version.”
“Bunyan, Brown and Boston”
“For now I’m grown sae cursed douce
I pray and ponder butt the house;
My shins, my lane, I there sit roastin’,
Perusing Bunyan, Brown, an’ Boston,”
These lines are from a Robert Burns poem of 1789 entitled, “Epistle To James Tennant of Glenconner.” (The rest of his poetry is linked to from this page) The final line of this excerpt features the names of three figures from church history: John Bunyan, John Brown, and Thomas Boston. This poem references these writers in passing, highlighting what household names these three were in the eighteenth century.
Many of us are already familiar with the first, John Bunyan, seventeenth century Baptist preacher, who penned Pilgrim’s Progress during a twelve year sabbatical in jail. The third figure, Thomas Boston, may be less familiar nowadays, but he still has currency among readers within the Reformed tradition. He’s the author of The Fourfold State of Man. But the least familiar of these to modern Americans (perhaps even most Presbyterian and Reformed Americans) is the second figure, the Reverend John Brown of Haddington. The volume that elevated John Brown to household name status was his then-widely read Self-Interpreting Bible. Originally published in 1778, it went through at least 26 known editions.
I recently came into possession of the 1859 edition. It’s in very good shape, and I hope I’m able to preserve that condition as I regulary mine it’s pages for it’s amazing lithographs and it’s even more amazing Reformed study notes, devotional applications and indices. I found it at a local antique store, and purchased it for my wife (and, of course, myself) as a gift for a significant milestone birthday that shall remain confidential. This is an appropriate gift for her because we share a love of old books and lithographs. The extensive study notes are more of interest to me, but she enjoys listening to them as I read them aloud to her on occasion.
So far, I’ve found little online about the book, but there was one very informative article that will make many of you desire along with me that this Reformed study Bible would find a publisher that would reintroduce it to the modern world during this period of renewed interest in Reformed theology. Since I’m not a publisher, and since this book is so old it’s bound to not be under any copyright restrictions, I’ll begin posting freely from it from now on for who knows how long. There’s so much wonderful material in here that I want to share with you, so subscribe to this blog either by email or RSS feed, and keep up with every entry. I know I’m not the most regular blogger, but now that I’ve got an antiquarian Bible full of stuff you’ve likely never read, I’ll be doing so more regularly.
The article “John Brown’s Bibles” may be read at this link; John Brown of Haddington’s Wikipedia entry may be read here, but I’ll be posting even more detailed biographical information about him in the days and weeks to come from the pages of his claim to fame. Banner of Truth Trust sells Life of John Brown with Select Writings.
If you browse through online Reformed booksellers, you will encounter a later theologian named John Brown who wrote many exegetical commentaries. I ordered his commentary on Galatians recently thinking it was the Brown of Haddington, only to be disappointed upon its arrival. But that’s alright, it looks like it’ll be a useful help itself. You can read an interesting article about the later John Brown here.
Understanding Our Times with Kevin Thompson has invited Bob Hayton of the blogs Fundamentally Reformed, KJV-Only Debate, and RE:Fundamentals to guest host the show tomorrow night at 5pm central time. It will be a call-in discussion hosted by Bob and his compatriot in Debating KJV-Onlyism, Damien Garofalo. Bob has been interviewed before about Fundamentalism and his journey to Calvinism on Understanding Our Times as well as Iron Sharpens Iron (a traditional radio show out of Long Island, NY–listen here).
Here’s Bob’s announcement if you desire more information.
Rev. John Brown’s Original Preface
Title Page to Brown's Self-Interpreting Bible
The following is the original preface to Rev. John Brown’s Self-Interpreting Bible, in which he explains the various features he’s included, and shows how they will aid the reader in understanding and profiting spiritually from the Word of God. I’ve highlighted the features as they occur throughout. The rest is original to the editor.
My intention in the coming posts will be to demonstrate to varying degrees, each of these features, along with pictures of the numerous beautiful lithographs that are found along the way.
PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION
Not to depreciate the valuable commentaries of Pool, Patrick, Clarke, Henry, Burkitt, Gill, and Doddridge, &c., but to exhibit their principal substance with all possible advantage, in a manner that might best comport with the ability and leisure of the poorer and labouring part of mankind; and especially to render the oracles of God their own interpreter, and enable every serious reader to judge for himself what doctrines ought to be believed, and what duties practiced by the Christian, are the avowed aims of this publication.
In the copious INTRODUCTION, the principal proofs of the Divine Authority of the Old and New Testaments, and the rules necessary to promote the profitable perusal of the oracles of God therein contained, are largely exhibited. The connected scheme of the Hebrew Laws, and their evangelical signification,–and of the fate of nations, narrated or predicted in Scripture, as subservient to the glorious work of our redemption,–together with the large Chronological Index,–form a summary of the most celebrated labours of the learned world on these diversified subjects. An accurate attention thereto will, through the blessing of God, greatly assist in searching the Scriptures with success.
The contents of the sacred books, and their respective chapters, are an accurate, full and explicatory representation of their subject. Properly attending to these, the reader must discern of whom, or of what, the Holy Ghost there speaks, and understand the passage accordingly. He may easily fix in his mind a general, but distinct view of the whole system of inspiration; and thus be capable, with the utmost readiness, to find out or compare whatever passages of Scripture he may desire.
The EXPLANATORY NOTES are chiefly confined to the figurative, the prophetic, and the practical parts. Here the obscurity of Scripture, or the importance of faith and holiness, chiefly required them.
In our Saviour’s delightful discourses, and the epistles of his inspired Messengers, our holy religion is most fully delineated; and there the explication is peculiarly extensive, and attempts to exhibit the substance of many learned and expensive commentaries, in a manner which, attending to the beautiful connexion, clearly unfolds the scope and meaning of the Spirit of God.
A particular and lively application of divine truth to the heart, and an unspotted holiness of conversation, being the immediate end of God’s revelations to men, the contents of each chapter, which are often in an explicatory manner, are in the Reflections practically summed up, and directed home to the reader himself, for enlightening his understanding, awakening his conscience, warming his heart, and for directing and animating his practice.
An exact knowledge of the seasons in which the oracles of God were delivered, or the events mentioned in them took place, being of no small importance for obtaining a distinct perception of their meaning, the dates before and after our Saviour’s incarnation have been adjusted from the best chronologers, and marked in the margin.
Lithograph of the Reverend John Brown of Haddington
But, as every Protestant must allow the Scripture itself to be its own best interpreter—as God, to oblige men to a diligent search of his word, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, has seldom fully unfolded any of his more important truths in one particular passage—the uncommon collection of Parallel Scriptures, such as is not to be found anywhere else that I know of, has formed the most laborious, and will, to the diligent peruser, be found by far the most valuable part of the work. Some of these are similar in phrase, others in meaning, and, in fine, others in their scope and design. In these, and others which may be added, we have a delightful view of the harmony of the Scripture, and multiplied proofs of every article of our Christian faith; we have a real Concordance, which may abundantly furnish preachers and others with their desired quotations; we have, in little room, a large Commentary, infinitely more certain than any dictates of men; and of which the very words are, as nails and as goads, pointed and fastened by the great Master of assemblies. In a truly diligent comparison of them, many texts all at once explain, and are explained by each other. Nor, unless at first, will the careful reader find much trouble in comparing the texts: but the mere view of the marginal quotations will direct his memory to that part of them which corresponds with the sentence to which they are annexed for explication. And, for his encouragement, I can only say, that my labour, in collecting the parallel texts in this work, has afforded me much more pleasant insight into the oracles of God than all the numerous commentaries which I ever perused.
Thus we may listen to, and converse with God, and lay our consciences open to the inspired arrows of our all-conquering Redeemer;–we find his words, and eat them, to the joy and health of our soul; we hide them in our heart, that we may not sin against him; we become mighty in the Scriptures, and expert in handling this sword of the Spirit, in opposition to every enemy of our soul: in fine, we are made wise unto salvation; are reproved, corrected, and instructed in righteousness, and perfectly furnished for every good work. May the Lord himself prosper it for these ends!