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The execution of the work has not received due attention. Besides the'errors in accentuation, which are very numerous, there are many others servilely transcribed from Gratz's first edition, which have since been corrected-and not a few typographical mistakes of the Complutensian Polyglott are enumerated here as various readings.
Das Hohe Lied, ein Collectiv-Gesang auf Serubabel, Esra, und Nehemiah, als die Wiederhersteller einer judischen Verfassung in der Provinz Juda. Uebersetet und mit historischen und philologisch-kritischen Bemerkungen erldutert nebst einem Anhange über das vierte Buch Esra, von Dr. Gottlieb Philipp Christian Kaiser, Professor der Theologie auf der Königl. baier. Universität Erlangen und Consistorialrathe. Mit einem Titelkupfer Erlangen, in der Palm'schen Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1825. pp. XXXviij. and 274, 8vo.
Das Hohe LIED Salomo's übersetzt mit Einleitung, Anmerkungen, und einem Anhang über den Prediger. Von Dr. Georg Heinrich August Ewald, Repetent der Theol. Facultät (jetzt Professor) zu Göttingen. Göttingen, bei Rudolph Deuerlich. 1826, pp. 156, 8vo.
These two works (the latest which have appeared upon the subject) may be regarded as specimens of the two diametrically opposite modes of interpretation which are commonly applied to the Hohe Lied or Song of Solomon. Dr. Ewald denounces, in the strongest terms, the allegorical method of interpretation and deprecates most earnestly the consequences which, in his opinion, must result from the practice of ascribing a mystical meaning to the plainest passages of scripture. Dr. Kaiser, on the contrary, not only thinks it obvious, that the song in question is an allegory, but maintains, that to view it in any other light is to degrade the character of the Word of God, and contaminate its purity, insomuch, that so long as there is any color for interpreting it allegorically, the contrary hypothesis ought not to be tolerated for a moment. (Preface, p. xxx.)
Such being the diversity of their principles and opinions, the results of their labors, contained in these two works, are of course very different.
Dr. Kaiser regards the Poem as a descriptive eulogy upon Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, the three great restorerg of the Jewish religion, and in some measure, of the Jewish monarchy, in Palestine—and as a continuation of Ecclesiastes, which, in his opinion, is a practical didactic history of the Kings of Judah from Solomon to Zedekiah. Agreeably to this hypothesis, he supposes the Poem to be paturally divided into three parts or Canticles. · In the first, the poet sings of Zerubbabel's journey with the first Jewish colony to the Holy Land, the feast of tabernacles celebrated by thern, the foundation and erection of the temple after many hindrances and difficulties, Zerubbabel's final regulations, and his return to Persia. The author supposes the colony to be personified, agreeably to oriental usage, as a bride. One of the arguments adduced by Dr. K. in proof of his assertion, that Zerubbabel is the subject of this canticle, is the apparent allusion in the words of the third verse—thy name is as ointment poured forth--to the name of the Jewish leader, which he derives from two synonymous Chaldee words.
In the second Canticle, Ezra, the second who brought up a colony to Judea, describes it still under the figure of a bride, but because a former colony was already planted, at the same time personifies it as a sister. He also celebrates the splendor of the second Temple.
In the third Canticle, Nehemiah describes the Jewish people under the figure of a sister. He first surveys the magnificence and beauty of Jerusalem, in a walk around it by night, then builds its walls, relieves its wants, celebrates
the feast of tabernacles, increases the population of the city, takes leave of the people, and returns.
The date of the composition of this allegorical eulogy, our author fixes in the time of Nehemiah ; and interprets the inscription which it bears (Song of Songs, &•c.) to signify a collective song (that is, a panegyric upon several different characters) relating to Solomon, by which he understands not the real Solomon, but the mystical Solomon or Messiah, to whom the Poem is supposed to bear a secondary and prospective reference.
To Dr. Kaiser's work is added an appendix on the Fourth Book of Ezra, in which he attempts to prove, that it was written by a Christian, towards the end of the first century. A copperplate accompanies the work, representing the inscriptions on some ancient coins.
Dr. Ewald, as has been already intimated, proceeds upon principles totally at variance with those of Dr. Kaiser, whose work he alleges, in his preface, to be useful only as a warning of the danger and absurdity of similar attempts. He even goes so far as to maintain the impossibility of putting a mystical construction upon the language of the Poem; and of course, in all his explanations excludes the supposition of an allegory. He also maintains the unity of the Poem, in opposition to the three-fold distribution of his predecessor, and fixes its date, neither so early as Solomon, nor so late as the captivity, but about the year 920 before Cbrist.
Einleitung in die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, von Dr. Joh. Leonhard Hug, Prof. der. Theologie in Freyburg, Grossherzbogl. Bad. Geistl. Rath. und des Königl. Würtemb. Verdienstordens Ritter. Dritte verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage. Stuttgart und Tübingen in der Cotta'schen Buchhandlung. 1826. Erster Theil. pp. xxiii, and 535. Zweyte! Theil, pp. xii, and 618, 8vo.
The reputation of Hug is too well established, and the value of his Introduction to the New Testament too generally known, to require any further notice of this third edition than a statement of the more important points in which it differs from the second ; the diligence of the learned author in correcting errors, supplying deficiencies, and answering objections, never failing to enhance the value of his work in a sensible degree. It may not be amiss, however, to remind the reader, that independently of the sound judgment and extensive learning which characterise this work, Hug is especially distinguished from contemporary critics by his marked aversion to the licence of conjecture, and his strong disposition to what may be called the matter-of-fact mode of criticism. While multitudes of his countrymen have excited admiration, by the ingenuity of their hypotheses, our author stands almost unrivalled as a strict adherer to historical verity, and a patient investigator of authenticated facts.
The preface to this third edition of the Introduction, besides a dedication of the work to the distinguished theologians Hesse and Münter, contains a series of interesting and important observations on the existing controversy in relation to Rationalism and Supernaturalism, in which the author urges that the particular form of Supernaturalism, for which he contends, is an essential part of Christianity.
In the first volume, the two chapters on the antiquity, genuineness, and credibility of the New Testament writings, are improved by the addition of some new remarks on the gospel of Marcion, including the substance of Hahn's and Oldhausen's researches on that subject, and terminating in the same conclusions. (Vol. I. pp. 66--82.)
A second important addition to the work may be found in the history of the text, where the author defends his opinion in relation to the recension of Hesychius and Lucian
against the objections urged by Scholz and Vater. (Vol. I. Pp. 230-237.)
The chapter on Versions has received many additions. The most important are the observations on an Arabic version of the New Testament, unknown till within a few years, and first brought into public notice by professor Scholzand the critical account of a manuscript copy of the Vulgate, as revised by Alcuin, put into the author's hands by a gentleman of Basle whose property it is an account of which Dr. Hug intends to publish in another form.
Besides these more important additions to the first volume, may be mentioned a few minor alterations and improvements. the article on the genuineness of the New Testament, a passage is inserted on the use of the gospel among the Valentinians: in the third chapter a large addition in relation to the earliest collection of the books of the New Testament into a single volume: in the history of the text, the results of the author's investigations respecting Eusebius' mention of Origen's recension ; in the eighth chapter, some remarks on the fac-simile of the Basle MS : and finally, some copious observations on the emendation of the Latin version by Jerome.
The second volume is composed of separate introductions to the individual books. The first addition of importance, is a long and very learned dissertation on the original language of Matthew's gospel-more particularly on the question, whether Papias and Eusebius ever saw the Hebrew gospel. It is well known that Hug's opinion is in favor of the supposition, that Matthew wrote in Greek, and he here repels objections to that doctrine.
Another important addition to the same section of the second volume is his refutation of the hypothesis that there was one original unwritten gospel, the foundation of the four now extant.
In the same section, he considers the hypothesis of Gratz