The Revised Version Of Isaiah 40-66 -- By: William Henry Cobb

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 043:170 (Apr 1886)
Article: The Revised Version Of Isaiah 40-66
Author: William Henry Cobb


The Revised Version Of Isaiah 40-66

Rev. William Henry Cobb

Being a member of a Hebrew club which has been greatly interested for several years past in studying the second part of Isaiah, I offer some observations on this section of the Revision, while I should not venture to review any other portion.

It is often remarked of the revised Old Testament as a whole, that the changes are less numerous in proportion to its length than in the New Testament. This holds true of the section before us. A large minority of the verses are unaltered; five consecutive ones, for instance, in chapter 40; (12–16) and ten out of the thirteen in chapter 55. On the other hand, the next chapter has but one verse unchanged out of twelve; and chapter 55 has but three out of twenty-three. The impression which many seem to have gained, that only a few changes have been made in the Old Testament, is entirely erroneous. A careful examination of these twenty-seven chapters shows that seventy per cent of the verses (362 out of 526) differ from the A. V., some slightly, some materially. It is much more

difficult to ascertain the number of variations; for, as Professor Mead has remarked,1 opinions may differ as to how far a change should be analyzed. This practical difficulty is so great that I doubt if any two independent enumerations would agree throughout. My endeavor has been to reckon as only one change any word, or collocation of words, representing one distinct variation in the thought; and to notice all such variations, however slight. Thus, in 43:26, “set thou forth thy cause” (for “declare thou”) is called a single change, since a part of it implies the whole; while, in verse 28, “I will make Jacob a curse” (for “have given Jacob to the curse”) is counted as four changes, the steps being these:

1. I have given Jacob to the curse.

2. I have given Jacob to a curse.

3. I have made Jacob a curse.

4. I will make Jacob a curse.

No account has been taken of words italicized in the A. V. and printed in Roman letters in the R. V. Not to weary the reader with the details of each chapter, I give the following results: The chapters showing the greatest absolute and proportional number of changes are the sixty-sixth (71 changes in 24 verses), and the fifty-sixth (36 changes ...

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