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them. When these things are done, such persons may save themselves the trouble to quote the Targums, for I will believe the doctrine without any appeal to their authority.
The following is all that is to be found in the Targums, in the places to which Whitby and Parkhurst refer us.
"Ruth ii. 12. The Lord shall abundantly recompense thee in this age, for thy good work, and shall be thy complete reward to the age that shall come, from the presence of the Lord God of Israel; because thou hast come to join thyself to his people and worship, and find protection under the shadow of the majesty of his glory, and for this righteous conduct thou shalt be delivered from the punishment of Gehenna, that thy portion may be with Sarah and Ribhah, and Rachel and Lea."
"Psalm cxl. 10, 11. Let coals of fire fall from heaven upon them; let him cast them into the fire of Gehenna; into miry pits; from which let them not rise to eternal life. Let the angel of death hunt the violent man, and cast him into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxvi. 15. Thou hast been revealed to us, O! Lord! as about to assemble the dispersed of thy people; it shall also come to pass that thou wilt collect them from their wanderings; that thou mightest appear in thy power, to cast all the wicked into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxvi. 19. And those who transgress thy word, thou wilt deliver into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxxiii. 14. Who among us shall dwell in Zion, where the splendor of his majesty is as consuming fire? Who among us shall dwell in Jerusalem, where the wicked are to be judged, and cast into Gehenna, into everlasting burnings?"
Our readers have now before them, all that we can find in the Targums, and we leave them to decide, if
such glosses, on such texts, are a good foundation for the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell or Gehenna.
We have dwelt much longer on the argument drawn from the Apocrypha and Targums than we at first contemplated; and much longer than the importance of the argument merited. Before closing this Section, we must be indulged with a few observations, respecting the Greek version of the Seventy, in regard to the subject under consideration.
1st, At what period of time was this version made? Concerning this, Dr. Kennicott, pages 319, 320. thus writes: "After many voluminous controversies amongst learned writers upon the Greek version of the Old Tes tament, we seem to have three circumstances clearly ascertained-that there was no Greek version before that called the SEVENTY-that the version so denominated, was made at the beginning of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 280 years before Christ, and that the version, then made, was only of the Pentateuch.
It is not necessary for me to spend a moment in discussing whether this version was made all at once, or at different times; nor even whether it was made at the precise time here specified. A few years, one way or another, does not affect the remarks I am about to make. One thing will be allowed by all, without a single word of controversy, that this version was made sometime between the days of Malachi and the coming of John the Baptist. Keeping this one fact in view I notice
2d, That Dr. Campbell declares the word Gehenna is not found in the Septuagint version. He says, as quoted before, page 93.-" Accordingly the word Gehenna does not occur in the Septuagint. It is not a Greek word, and consequently not to be found in the Grecian classics." That this word is not found in the
Septuagint, being only a translation, need not surprise us, for Dr. Campbell, in the sentence preceding the one just quoted, says concerning Gehenna as a place of future punishment-"In the Old Testament we do not find this place in the same manner mentioned." Keeping these facts and statements in our view, permit me to make a very few remarks on them, relative to the subject of the present inquiry.
1st, Whoever were the authors of the Greek version, or at whatever period it was made, it is a certain case, that in translating the Old Testament, they did not find that it contained any thing about Gehenna being a place of endless misery for the wicked. Had they perceived any thing like this, we should have found some intimation of it in this translation. Had the Hebrew of the Old Testament warranted such a thing, no doubt but it would have been transfused into this version. We have then the testimony of all the translators of the Greek version, that they did not find that the spirit of God had ever used the term Gehenna in the sense it is commonly used by Christians in the present day. This we think a fact which will not for a moment be disputed. If they did not find it in the Old Testament, how came it to pass that the writers of the Targums could find it? We have never understood that the Targums are worthy of more regard than the Greek version.
2d, If Gehenna, at the time this version was made, had begun to be used in the sense of a place of future misery, it is evident that this sense received no countenance from them as translators. It was not by them begun nor does their translation in any way tend to transmit such an opinion to posterity. We cannot even learn from it that such a sense was then given to the word Gehenna by any persons, far less that it was founded on divine authority. If Gehenna then had begun to assume this new sense, which Dr.
Campbell says is always and indisputably its sense in the New Testament, how is it accounted for that they take no notice of it? If this was its sense when the Greek translation was made, had not they as good a right to give it this sense as our English translators, when they made our present English version? If the original and Scriptural meaning of the word was to be laid aside in translating, and an assumed sense of it on man's authority adopted by the latter, why not also by the former? Should it be said, "the Greek version is only of the Old Testament, and it is in the New that Gehenna always and indisputably means a place of endless misery for the wicked;" we reply to this by asking how the New Testament sense of Gehenna comes to be so different from that of the Old? And we ask, further, why Whitby and Parkhurst, quoted before, refer us to the Targums and not to the Old Testament for this new sense given to Gehenna? We ask still further, how this new sense given to this word is ever to be reconciled with the facts we have stated, or can be made to agree with the contexts of the passages in which it occurs? Besides, had men never heard of the Targums and only consulted their Bibles to learn what was the Scripture usage of this word, would they ever give it such a meaning? But what ought to set this matter at rest is, that neither the writers of the Apocrypha nor the authors of the Greek version used Gehenna in this new sense, and even the very writers of the Targums, we are referred to in proof of this sense, are allowed to have given us fables and false glosses of their own. Yea, in the very passages in the Old Testament, where these glosses about Gehenna are given, no rational man would say that any thing in the passages warrant
3d, To whatever source then, this change in the sense of Gehenna is referred, which Dr. Campbell
says was gradual, it cannot be ascribed in any degree to the authors of the Greek version. Seeing then that they, as well as the authors of the Apocrypha, cannot be quoted as authorities for it, to what other source are we to be referred for this new sense of Gehenna? We do not see that it can be traced to any other source but the Targums. Should it then be found that it is used there in this sense frequently and explicitly, what would be the conclusion which any rational man would draw from this? Would he conclude that Gehenna is a place of endless misery? No; he would conclude that this is something which the writers of the Targums have added as a gloss of their own to the text of the Old Testament, for the authors of the Greek version found no such thing in the Old Testament when their version was made, nor did they think themselves warranted in adding any such glosses of their own. Either, then, the authors of the Greek version did wrong in not finding this sense of Gehenna in the Old Testament, when they made their version, or the Targums are not to be regarded in having made this addition to the oracles of God. If we are to receive this addition of theirs, why not all their other additions, until the word of God is made by us as it was by the Jews, of none effect through our traditions?