Page:English Revised Version of the Bible.djvu/13

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all words which have been added in order to give completeness to the English expression are printed in italic type, so that the reader by omitting them may be able to see how far their insertion is justified by the words of the original. This of course is especially true of those renderings for which an alternative is given in the margin, where the roman and italic type play exactly opposite parts.

To complete the account of the Revised Version it remains only to describe the marginal notes. These will be found to contain

(1) The renderings of such variations in the Massoretic Text as appeared to be of sufficient importance. These variations are known by the technical names of K'ri (read) and C'thib (written), which denote that the K'ri, or reading in the margin of the Hebrew Bible, is to be substituted for the C'thib which appears in the written text. The Revisers have generally, though not uniformly, rendered the C'thib in the text, and left the K'ri in the margin, with the introductory note 'Or, according to another reading', or 'Another reading is'. When the K'ri has been followed in the text, the C'thib has been placed in the margin, if it represented a variation of sufficient importance.

(2) Alternative renderings, introduced by 'Or'. These are either different meanings of the word or passage, or they serve to connect it with other renderings elsewhere.

(3) Literal renderings of the Hebrew or Aramaic, indicated by the prefix 'Heb.' or 'Aram.'

(4) Changes of text made on the authority of the ancient Versions.

(5) Readings from ancient Versions which appeared to be of sufficient importance to be noticed.

(6) Renderings of the Hebrew consonants as read with different vowel points, or as differently divided. These are introduced by the words 'Or, as otherwise read'.

(7) Marginal references to other passages, which are either strictly parallel, or serve the purpose of illustrating or justifying a particular rendering.

(8) Explanations of certain proper names, the meaning of which is referred to in the text.

In the Proper Names the Revisers have endeavoured to ascertain the system of transliteration adopted by the Translators of the Authorised Version and to carry it out with somewhat greater consistency. They have not however attempted anything like rigid uniformity, and have left unchanged all those names which by usage have become English; as, for instance, Moses, Aaron, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the like.

Among the Rules laid down by the Revision Committee of Convocation for the guidance of the Revisers was one that no change should be finally made in the text of the Authorised Version except by the vote of two-thirds of the Company present and voting; and this Rule has been invariably acted upon. The result has been that in many cases a rendering which was preferred by the majority of the Company voting has been recorded in the margin, the majority not being sufficient to give it a place in the text. But all questions of marginal readings, as well as of punctuation and division into paragraphs, except where these affected the sense of a passage, were decided by a simple majority.

It may be of some interest to describe the method observed by the Company in their work, if only to shew that every question raised was carefully and deliberately considered. In the first Revision it was the practice for the Secretary to read over each verse, first in the original and then in the Authorised Version: the proposals for change were then taken; first those communicated in writing by absent members, and next those made by