Thursday, May 25, 2023
C.O. Brink, English Classical Scholarship: Historical Reflections on Bentley, Porson, and Housman (1986; rpt. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 2010), p. 26 (on Richard Bentley; note omitted):Newer› ‹Older
One of the projects that occupied him throughout his life was a critical text of the New Testament. The beginnings of that project must go back to that early period and it is characteristic of him how he fitt ed himself for that task. Many years later he described what he had come to see as the best way to make himself generally proficient in biblical studies. To understand the Scriptures one must know Hebrew, and the best way to learn the language was not 'from the late rabbins' but from the ancient sources themselves. Hence, before he was twenty-four, he constructed a sort of Hexapla, a stout quarto volume with all biblical Hebrew words alphabetically arranged in the first column, to be followed in five other columns by the translations of those words into what he calls Chaldee, as well as Syriac, the Latin of the Vulgate, the Greek of the Septuagint and of the remains of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion. He compiled also a volume containing the Hebrew text of the Old Testament on the basis of the ancient translations, with variant readings and emendations. Neither of these early exercises seems to have survived.