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Jewish prejudices at that time, accounts for the reserve which he used at Jerusalem, where, by his own representation, he imparted privately to the disciples of chief distinction, and consequently of most enlarged knowledge and sentiments, that doctrine which he publicly proclaimed, in Gentile countries. I think it is this which the Apostle sometimes, by way of distinction, denominates his Gospel. For; though there was no discordancy in the doctrine taught by the different Apostles, yet to him and Barnabas, the Apostles of the uncircumcision, it was specially committed to announce every where among the heathen, God's gracious purpose of receiving them, uncircumcised as they were, into the church of Christ. Accordingly, as he proceeds in his Argument 35, the Gospel, or good news, evayyehov, sent to the Gentiles, is expressly contrasted with that sent to the Jews. This seems also to be the sense of the word in an
36, where what he calls to evayrehov μ8, he describes as μυςηριον αιωνιους σεσογημενον, kept secret for ages, but now made known to all nations for the obedience of the faith. For, in this manner, he oftener than once speaks of the call of the Gentiles. In all such passages, it is better to retain the general term good news in the version. This appellation is, in some respect, evidently applicable to them all, whereas the term Gospel is never thus understood in our language.
OF THE PHRASE η καινη διαθηκη. .
ANOTHER title, by which the religious institution of Jesus Christ is sometimes denominated, is Å xaivn diadnxn, which is almost always, in the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, rendered by our translators the New Testament. Yet the word diadnxn by itself is, except in a very few places, always there rendered not Testament, but Covenant. It is the Greek word whereby the Seventy have uniformly translated the Hebrew nina berith, which our translators in the Old Testament have invariably rendered Covenant. That the Hebrew term corresponds much better to the English word Covenant, though not in every case perfectly equivalent, than to Testament, there can be no question: at the same time it must be owned that the word diadnxn, in classical use, is more frequently rendered Testament. The proper Greek word for Covenant is ovv Inxn, which is not found in the New Testament, and occurs only thrice in the Septuagint. It is never there employed for rendering the Hebrew berith, though, in one place, it is substituted for a term nearly synonymous. That the scriptural sense of the word diaSnxn is more fitly expressed by our term Covenant,
will not be doubted by any body who considers the constant application of the Hebrew word so rendered in the Old Testament, and of the Greek word, in most places at least, where it is used in the New. What has led translators, ancient and modern, to render it Testament, is, I imagine, the manner wherein the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews argues ”, in allusion to the classcial acceptation of the term. But however much it was necessary to give a different turn to the expression in that passage, in order to make the author's argument as intelligible to the English, as it is in the original to the Greek, reader; this was not a sufficient reason for giving a version to the word, in other places, that neither suits the context, nor is conformable to the established use of the term, in the sacred writings.
$ 2. The term New is added to distinguish it from the Old Covenant, that is, the dispensation of Moses. I cannot help observing by the way, that often the language of theological systems, so far from assisting us to understand the language of holy writ, tends rather to mislead us. The two Cove. nants are always in Scripture the two dispensations, or religious institutions ; that under Moses is the Old, that under the Messiah is the New. I do not deny that in the latitude wherein the term is used in holy writ, the command under the sanction of death which God gave to Adam in paradise, may, like the ordinance of circumcision, with sufficient propriety be termed a Covenant ; but it is pertinent to observe that it is never so denominated in Scripture ; and that, when mention is made in the Epistles, of the two Covenants, the Old and the New, or the first and the second (for there are two so called by way of eminence), there appears no reference to any thing that related to Adam. In all such places, Moses and Jesus are contrasted, the Jewish economy and the Christian, Mount Sinai in Arabia, whence the law was promulged, and Mount Sion in Jerusalem, where the Gospel was first published.
37 ix. 16, 17.
§ 3. It is proper to observe further that, from signifying the two religious dispensations, they came soon to denote the books, wherein what related to these dispensations was contained ; the sacred writings of the Jeuws being called η παλαια διαθηκη, and the writings superadded by the Apostles and Evangelists, η καινη διαθηκη. We have one example in Scripture, of this use of the former appellation. The Apostle says ", speaking of his countrymen, Until this day remaineth the veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, enti on avay woel της παλαιας διαθηκης. The word in this application is always rendered in our language Testament. We have in this followed the Vulgate, as most modern translators also have done. In the Geneva French, the word is rendered both ways in the title, that the
33 2 Cor. iij. 14.
one may serve for explaining the other, Le nouveau Testament, c'est a dire La nouvelle alliance, &c. in which they copied Beza, who says, Testamentum novum, sive Fædus novum. That the second rendering of the word is the better version, is unquestionable; but the title appropriated by custom to a par. ticular book, is on the same footing with a proper name, which is hardly considered as a subject for criticism. Thus we call Cæsar's Diary, Cæsar's Com. mentaries, from their Latin name, though very different in meaning from the English word.
OF THE NAME ο Χριςος. The only other term necessary to be examined here, is o Xpisos, the Messiah, or the Christ ; in English rendered, according to the etymology of the word, the anointed; for so both the Hebrew n'wn, Meshiach, and the Greek Xpusos signify; and from the sound of these are formed our names Messiah and Christ. What first gave rise to the term, was the ceremony of anointing, by which the kings and the high-priests of God's people, and sometimes the Prophets "", were consecrated and admit
391 Kings, xix. 16.