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Addresses on the Revised Version of Holy Scripture

And the Revised Version on the right


regard as due preparation in

the case of pastor and people? This question, I can well believe, has already risen in the hearts of many who are now hearing these words, and to the best answer to it that I am able to give you I will gladly devote the remainder of this present Address. Let us first consider how any one of you really and truly desirous to prepare his congregation for the hearing of God's Word in the form known as the Revised Version--how such a one should prepare himself for the responsible duty. Prayer for himself and his congregation in this great spiritual matter should ever be his first preparation. After this his next care should be to provide himself with such books as will be indispensable for faithful preparation. First and foremost, let him provide himself with a copy of what is called the Parallel Bible, the Authorised Version being on the left-hand side of the page, and the Revised Version on the right. Next let it be his duty to read closely and carefully the Preface to the Old Testament and the Preface to the New Testament. Had this been done years ago, how much of unfair criticism should we all have been spared? The next step will be to obtain some competent guide-book to explain the meaning of the different changes of rendering, the alterations due to readings having been separately noted. The guide-book, whether in the case of the Old or of the New Testament, should, in my judgement, be a volume written by a Reviser, as he would have a knowledge, far beyond what could
be obtained by an outsider, of the reasons for many of the departures from the Authorised Version.

In regard of the Old Testament I have said in my last Address that I do not myself know of any guide-book, written by a Reviser, save the interesting volume by Dr. Talbot Chambers, to which I have been indebted for much that, being a member of another Company, I could not have brought forward without his assistance. In regard of the New Testament, however, it is otherwise. There is a useful volume by my old friend and former colleague the late Prebendary Humphry; but the volume which I most earnestly desire to name is the volume already mentioned, and entitled "Some Lessons of the Revised Version of the New Testament," by the late Bishop of Durham. This book is simply indispensable for any one desirous of preparing himself for the duty of introducing the Revised Version of the New Testament into the Public Services of his parish. It is one of those rare and remarkable books that not only give the needed explanation, but also cast a light on the whole spiritual results of the change, and constantly awaken in the reader some portion of the enthusiasm with which the Bishop records changes that many an earnest and devout reader might think belonged only to the details of grammatical accuracy. I thus cannot forbear quoting a few lines in which the Bishop, after alluding to the change in Matt. xxviii. 19, _into_ (not _in_) _the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost_, and the change in Rom. vi. 23, _eternal life in_ (not _through_) _Christ Jesus our Lord_, thus speaks from his inmost soul: "Am I wrong in saying that he who has mastered the meaning of those two prepositions now truly rendered--'_into_ the name,' '_in_ Christ'--has found the central truth of Christianity? Certainly I would gladly have given the ten years of my life spent on the Revision to bring only these two phrases of the New Testament to the heart of Englishmen." Is it too much to say that a volume written by a guide such as this is simply indispensable for any one who prepares himself for introducing to his people--the government of whose souls has been committed to him--the Revised Version of the New Testament of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.


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