Saturday, April 29, 2006

The incarnation correctly stated and defined

The correct way of stating the incarnation is to say that the Eternal Son took a human nature into union with His own Divine Person. This is what is stated by the Westminster Confession of Faith (VIII 2). "The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin" It is also implied in the Larger Catechism (Q36) that the Lord Jesus Christ "who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father, in the fulness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever." See also Shorter Catechism Q21.

The Scriptures make this truth clear in the following passages:

John 1:1, 14; John 10:30; I John 5:20; I Tim. 2:5; Phil. 2:6; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14, 16-17; Heb. 4:15; Luke 1:35; Rom. 9:5; Col. 2:9; Heb. 7:24-25

The medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas used this terminology: "It is more proper to say that a divine person assumed a human nature, than to say that a divine nature assumed a human nature".

But why is this the case?

  1. The Divine nature cannot be said to have assumed a human nature, because this would entail that the whole Godhead rather than just the Eternal Son, would have been united to human nature. The whole Godhead would have become incarnate. We only read in Scripture, however, that it was the divine essence of the Son which was united to man's nature.

  2. The Divine nature cannot be said to have assumed a human person. If this was so there would have been a fourth person in the Godhead. Rather we understand that His human nature assumed a personality only in union with the Eternal Son. A human nature was assumed rather than a human person because he identified with what was common to that nature and not was particular to individuals. Thus, it was necessary for him to experience the hunger, thirst, grief, pain, weariness etc. that was common to human nature but not necessarily the diseases which only afflict individuals.

  3. The Eternal Son cannot be said to have assumed a distinct human person because the human nature would have then belonged to that person and not to the Eternal Son.

  4. The Eternal Son rather than the Father or Spirit must have assumed a human nature because there would then be two Sons in the Trinity. It was more fitting that the Eternally begotten son should be the one through whom the adoption believers as sons should be accomplished (Gal. 4:4-7).

  5. The Word was made flesh by a personal action - he took human nature to Himself. He did not cease to be what he was before rather he added a nature to His person.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Emptied himself of all but love? A strange error

The very popular hymn by Charles Wesley, “And Can it be That I should gain,” originally entitled "Free Grace": contains several serious heresies in the following words.

Amazing love!
How can it be?
That thou my God shouldst die for me!
'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies:
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the first born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all!
Let earth adore
Let angel minds enquire no more!

He left his father's throne above,
So free, so infinite his grace,
Emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam’s helpless race.

The first error is Theopaschitism, a heresy from the 5th century which emphasises the idea that God suffered. Wesley revived this idea with his assertion "Amazing love! How can it be - that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?" and "’Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies". The divine nature cannot suffer, though a divine person in a human nature can suffer. It is dangerous to express the idea that God died or suffered The second heresy is in the words "Emptied Himself of all but love" which is the error of kenoticism, that Christ laid aside either the possession or exercise of divine attributes at the incarnation. Wesley"s words seem to lean towards the former. This idea is also known as the kenosis theory and is derived from a false interpretation of Philippians 2:6–8. Kenosis comes from the Greek word to empty which is behind the translation "made himself of no reputation". The third heresy is that of Universal Atonement that Christ died for all mankind in all ages. This is against the testimony of Scripture which teaches that Christ died for His people. It is also against justice since it asserts the double punishment of sin, those who are eternally punished are punished for sin that has already been punished in Christ. The danger of devising, using and approving human, non-inspired materials of praise in the worship of God in place of those inspired and provided by the Holy Spirit (Psalms 1-150) is clearly demonstrated by such heresies. All put together it makes little theological sense. Few may realise what errors they take on their lips in singing such hymns, others imbibe them through an emotional attachment to such words.

What is the kenotic theory?
Wesley may well have derived the second error from Moravian influences, particularly Count von Zinzendorf (1702-1760). Dorner, summarises the Moravian"s views "we assume Zinzendorf's idea to have been that the self-conversion into a human germ, which then appropriated to itself material elements from Mary, so that the Son of God woke up to life in Mary a man." Charles" brother John Wesley seems to have had a more orthodox view of Philippians 2:6–8 stating that Christ "veiled his fullness from the eyes of men and angels; "taking," and by that very act emptying himself, "the form of a servant; being made in the likeness of man," a real man, like other men... "becoming obedient" to God, though equal with him" Sermon 85 "On Working out our own Salvation". Charles Wesley's view appears to be similar to the Lutheran theologian Gottfried Thomasius (1802 - 75), who argued that there are two kinds of divine attributes, internal/ethical (love, joy) and external (omnipotence, omnipresence, etc.). The eternal Son "set aside" the external attributes and revealed the internal “love”. This was also the view of A M Fairbairn in “The Place of Christ in Modern Theology” (1893).

There have been various ways of asserting kenoticism. All in some way maintain the idea that the divine nature was in some way essentially adjusted and limited by the incarnation. The kenoticism of the 19th century Tübingen theologians was that the divine Logos limited himself in becoming incarnate. For instance, kenotic theorists maintain that Christ as God was not omniscient and did not know the time of the end of the world (Mark 13:32) he was limited by his human limits of knowledge. The eternally pre-existent Logos was brought within the limitations of finite personality. There is therefore a connection between kenoticism and theopaschitism since the latter also teaches that the incarnation has changed the nature of Deity, in this case that it imports passibility or the ability to suffer into the divine nature. These are a selection of the variations among those that espouse some form of kenotic theory:

1.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of His divine consciousness,”
2.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of the eternity-form of His being,”
3.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of the relative attributes of His Deity (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence),”
4.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of the integrity of infinite Divine existence,”
5.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of the Divine activity,”
6.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of the actual exercise of His Divine prerogatives.”
7.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself of all the divine attributes”
8.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself by giving up the independent use of His divine attributes.”
9.The Eternal Son “emptied Himself because self-limitation was a natural principle within the eternal trinity between Son and Father”

Some of these are not at all easy to follow. The Baptist theologian A H Strong in his Systematic Theology, took the view that this self-emptying referred to the laying aside of “the independent exercise of the divine attributes”. He continues to elaborate on this however, “Omniscience gives up all knowledge but that of the child, the infant, the embryo, the infinitesimal germ of humanity. Omnipotence gives up all power but that of the impregnated ovum in the womb of the Virgin. The Godhead narrows itself down to a point that is next to absolute extinction”. The kenotic theory has led to many unguarded rhetorical remarks that are unfitting in dealing with the mystery of godliness, that God was manifest in the flesh. It is still very popular at the present time. The Macarthur Study Bible comments: “Though Christ had all the rights, privileges and honours of deity...His attitude was not to cling to those or His position but to be willing to give them up for a season”.

Some paraphrases taking liberty with the very words of God, have sought to enforce the kenosis theory. J B Phillips renders this, "For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his privileges as God"s equal, but stripped Himself of every advantage by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born a man." Moffatt makes it to read, "Though he was divine by nature, he did not set store upon equality with God, but emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant; born in human guise and appearing in human form."

It is vital that we understand that this does not so much concern the interpretation of Philippians chapter 2, rather it concerns the fundamental question as to how the Lord Jesus Christ is God and Man and what the nature of God is. The kenotic theory amounts to a redefinition of God. If the Eternal Son "suspended" His omnipresence and omniscience until His ascension then such attributes must be able to be limited indeed put in abeyance without affecting the true divine nature of God. How can kenotic theorists be sure that these attributes were resumed after the ascension? How could one member of the Trinity suspend such aspects of the Godhead since the Trinity work in harmony rather than independently? Presumably the theory does not maintain that the whole Godhead suspended omnipotence etc. during the incarnation yet it allows for this as a possibility. The truth is that omnipotence, omniscience etc. are not "rights" or "prerogatives" that God possesses but rather what He is. The divine essence is immortal, invisible, only wise. Moreover, God is unchangeable He cannot change in His divine being and essence without ceasing to be God. Any suggestion that through the incarnation the divine nature changed can only mean the claim that God ceased to be God.

The kenotic Christ is not truly the Eternal Son, "by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb 1:2-3). It was only the one who was God omnipotent creator and sustainer of all things who could have "by himself purged our sins". He was the "fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). Christ could refer to Himself as the “Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). How was this so if he was not omnipresent?

The Chalcedonian Creed expresses the orthodox doctrine of the person of Christ "at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead... one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ". The kenotic theory seriously errs from this because it does not confess the incarnate Son to have been complete in Godhead and to have had the same substance with the Father as regards his Godhead. The kenotic theorists also regard the natures as being subject to change (contrary to Heb 13:8) and confusion.

The Eternal Son emptied himself of nothing. He did not leave behind Him His divinity or His power, or any of His attributes. He made himself of no reputation by taking the form of a servant, He emptied Himself not by subtraction but by addition, by taking a human nature into union with His own divine person. It was not the essential glory, the glory which He had with the Father before the world began, that he laid aside but only the manifest revealed glory before men. The essential glory remained while the external revealed glory was veiled but not limited in any significant or essential way. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Despite the veil of flesh those with Spirit-given faith could perceive the essential glory, "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, (the glory as of the only begotten from the Father) full of grace and truth". “No man can see God at any time” in His essential glory, thus His glory was revealed in various ways at different times. “The only begotten son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”. The theophanies of the Old Testament where the Eternal Son appeared as the Angel of the Lord and in the likeness of human flesh are instances of a different revelation of that glory. His glory was revealed through his miracles (John 2:11). There was a glory revealed at the transfiguration yet Christ was hid from even his disciples on the road to Emmaus. We can speak therefore of the revealed divine glory of Christ being in part concealed or veiled by flesh as it were, and so to some extent laid aside before men when he took the form of a servant.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Translating the AV: John Bois' Notes

In the previous article on the life and labours of John Bois we followed him until his death in 1643. Before he died, however, he prepared his last will and testament in which he first bequeathed his soul 'unto the hands of almighty God, from whom I first received it, nothing doubting but that he will restore it unto me again at the general resurrection'. Bois also made clear instructions for the preservation of his papers, which recorded a lifetime of study in the languages of the Scriptures and amongst these were the notes of all the proceedings of the revision committee of the Authorised Version. Anthony Walker, who wrote the biography of John Bois, tells us that while the work of the revision was being done 'he [Bois], and he only took notes of their proceedings, which he diligently kept to his dying day'. These notes were lost from 1688 until 1964, when Professor Ward Allen located a handwritten copy among the papers of William Fulham, a seventeenth century antiquarian and collector, whose papers were in the Corpus Christi College Library at Oxford University.

In 1969 the notes were published and remain in print (Translating For King James: Notes Made by a Translator of King James's Bible, trans. and ed. by Ward Allen, Vanderbilt University Press, 156pp, pbk, $19.95 ISBN 0-8265-1246-1). They run to thirty-nine pages and are the only record of some of the deliberations and preferences of the translators, most especially the twelve members of the revision committees, covering the text from Romans to Revelation. (Ward Allen has also, together with Edward C. Jacobs, collated the scribal notes in a copy of the Bishops’ Bible used by the translators to record revisions for the Gospels, The Coming of the King James Gospels: A Collation of the Translators’ Work-in-Progress, University of Arkansas Press, 1995). Since Ward Allen published the notes another earlier copy has been discovered and has been compared with Allen’s copy by David Norton in 'John Bois’s Notes on the Revision of the King James Bible New Testament: A New Manuscript' (The Library, 1996, 18/4, pp.328-346). Norton comments that Bois’s notes, 'give a unique insight into the way the translators worked, and they show above all the translators’ sensitivity to the nuances of the Greek and the level of scholarship they brought to their work' (p. 328). The notes are crucial as a testimony to the piety, learning and scrupulous diligence of the translators in searching into the language and meaning of the Scriptures. In what follows there are a sample of passages in which the notes testify to this.

One way in which we see the endeavours of the translators to follow strict faithfulness to the letter of Scripture is in passages where there are various possible interpretations which are not resolved by the grammar of the Greek. In such instances the translators refused to impose a translation which would favour one single interpretation above other possibilities. In 1 Peter 1:7 we find the phrase 'that the trial of your faith...might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ'. The question of interpretation relates to the words 'unto praise' and who the praise would be directed to? Since it is 'your faith', should it also be 'your praise'? Or is the praise to God alone? As Ward Allen notes the Geneva and the Bishop's Bible had added extra words such as 'your' or 'to be unto you' in order to interpret the praise as accruing to the believer. The AV, however, followed Tyndale in translating the words simply as they are in the Greek without additions. John Bois records in his note the alternatives 'that is to say, praise of God, or your praise'. He believed that the grammar of the Greek gave no authority for making explicit either interpretation. This was not a desire for obscurity, however, but a refusal to impose interpretation in translation. In recognition of this, Bois adds 'We have not thought that the indefinite sense ought to be defined'. It should be noted in passing that at least the Geneva and Bishop's Bible translations indicated the extra words by brackets or italics whereas many modern translations (particularly those wedded to a paraphrasing 'thought for thought' mode of translation) simply decide upon what they think the writer means and then impose that interpretation in their own words.

Another question of interpretation arose in considering Hebrews 2:9 'we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour'. As Bois puts it 'it is uncertain whether the suffering of death should be considered as an argument of the humility of Christ , or as a cause of glory'. In other words should it read that Christ was crowned with glory and honour as a reward because of the suffering of death or should it read that Christ humbled himself by taking a human nature (made a little lower than the angels) in order that he should enter into the ultimate humiliation of the suffering of death? Both are truth, but which is the truth taught by the text? Simply rearranging the commas would render either possible. In part the interpretation centred on how the Greek word 'dia' (translated 'for' above) should be translated. As Bois shows, it can be rendered 'through', 'for' or 'for the sake of' or even 'by'. Those who favoured either could both appeal to Phil. 2:8-9 where both doctrines are set forth. The simple word 'for' was chosen ultimately and the translation favours the view that the suffering of death in this verse is more closely related to Christ's humiliation than his exaltation, nevertheless the margin gives the alternative possibility of translating 'dia' with the word 'by' which would tend to the other interpretation. This reveals the evenhandedness and carefulness of the translators. As the Preface says they 'sought the truth rather than their own praise'.

The translators used the margin to include what they termed 'diversity of signification and sense' and a close study of the notes shows how the the margin was used in order to supply a secondary or fuller meaning to the words translated in the text (e.g. Phil 2:20; 1 Tim1:6). In Hebrews 5:7 there is a difficult verse to render which speaks of the prayers offered by Christ in the days of his flesh, he was heard 'in that he feared'. Bois' notes reveal that there are two difficulties in these words. The Greek word 'eulabeian' in context could mean fear, reverence or piety. The Greek word 'apo' could mean from, after, out of, because of. The translation 'in that he feared' allows the interpretation that Christ was heard in the expression of his fears, so as to be saved from his fear or that he was heard because of his reverential Godward fear, which is reinforced by the marginal note 'or for his piety'. The New King James Version asserts without question and without alternative, 'because of his godly fear'. It may well be that this is the correct interpretation, but it is clear that the AV translators shrank from imposing it upon the text as the only possibility.

We ought also to note the carefulness of the translators to the literal sense of Scripture. Instead of rendering the thought they sought to render the words as far as possible. In relation Hebrews 13:3 'Remember...them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body' they noted that the idea behind the last clause was 'as being even men yourselves' and 'as even yourselves enduring adversity with them', but Bois notes that the most literal is 'as being yourselves also in a body' and it is the most literal that they chose. Again the most literal rendering does not narrow down the options of interpretation and is therefore a more careful and faithful way of dealing with the words of Scripture.

Knowledge of Greek
The notes that John Bois has left are also crucial because they show the fallacy of many modern assumptions about the 'limited' knowledge of Greek that they suppose the translators of the AV to have possessed. An interesting story of how the same mistake was made in the seventeenth century is often told about Dr Richard Kilbye who was Oxford Professor of Hebrew, and reckoned among the foremost Hebraists of his day. One Lord’s Day Dr Kilbye heard a young preacher spend most of his sermon criticising several words as they were translated in the then recent translation. The preacher painstakingly gave three reasons why the Greek word should not be translated as found in the AV. Later that evening both the preacher and Dr Kilbye were invited to a meal. Dr Kilbye began to explain that the translators were very much aware of the preacher’s three reasons and had given them careful consideration, but they had thirteen other reasons that were far more compelling for making the translation that they did.

Men still leap to such assumptions. Take for instance 2 Corinthians 2:17 'For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.' The Greek word translated 'corrupt' is the word 'kapeleuontes'. James R. White in The King James Only Controversy claims that 'if the KJV translators were alive today they would gladly admit that 'peddle' is a better translation than 'corrupt,' and would adopt it themselves.' (p.114). Edwin H. Palmer, who was the Executive Secretary of the NIV Committee on Bible Translation, regards 2 Corinthians 2:17 as an obscurity in the AV. (The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation, Kenneth Barker, editor. [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986], p.149). John Bois' note shows that the translators were in fact aware of the various shades of meaning present in the word kapelountes. 'v. 17. kapeleuontes] [being a retail dealer, playing tricks, corrupting] i.e. notheuonetes [adultering]. kapelos is derived apo tou kallunein ton pelon [from glossing over lees] by corrupting and adultering wine.' (p. 51).

It was commonplace for wine merchants to water down their wine, mixing it with new harsh wine in order to pass the product off as vintage quality which would be more expensive (see New Testament Metaphors, Anthony Byatt, Pentland Press, 1995, pp.259-60). Thus the word 'kapeleuontes', as Bois rightly notes, has a double meaning of deceitful adulterating and cheating. The most important notion is not the profit made from the adulteration but the corruption itself. One can peddle the word for profit without necessarily seeking to adulterate it. Thus the AV translation is to be preferred over against that of the NIV and NKJV. The translation 'corrupt' is also borne out by the word 'sincerity' (Greek 'eilikrines') used later in the verse which is a word that literally signifies freedom from impurities or complete purity, something that has been held up to the light to confirm its purity. The English word sincere had an original meaning of pure and unmixed.

Various lexicons show that while the word can mean a peddler or retailer it was also used to refer to one who sells with deceit, a corrupter. According to Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament And Other Early Christian Literature, p.403 the word came to mean 'to adulterate'. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament, [Grand Rapids: Baker Book, 1977 edition], pp.324-325) states, 'But as peddlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain . . . (the word) was also used as synonymous with 'to corrupt, to adulterate.' Kittle's Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament notes that it has the meaning 'to falsify the word (as the 'kapelos' purchases pure wine and then adulterates it with water) by making additions...This refers to the false Gospel of the Judaizers.' (Vol. III., p. 605).The early Church Fathers understood the verse to refer to those who corrupt God's word. Athanasius wrote: 'Let them therefore be anathema to you, because they have, 'corrupted the word of truth.' (Defence Against the Arians, III:49.) Gregory-Nazianzus alludes to 2 Corinthians 2:17 using the word 'corrupt:' 'And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as the many, able to corrupt the word of truth, and mix the wine, which maketh glad the heart of man, with water, mix, that is, our doctrine with what is common and cheap, and debased, and stale, and tasteless, in order to turn the adulteration...' (In Defence Of His Flight To Pontus, II:46)

In places the knowledge of Greek and its wider usage possessed by the translators is certainly illuminating. The note for 1 Peter 5:5 shows that the word that the apostle uses to exhort Christians to 'clothe' themselves with humility relates to a white outer garment worn by slaves which identified them as such. Ward Allen notes that previous translations had all understood the requirement to be an inward ornamentation with humility whereas in the light of this knowledge of the word and the context the AV shows that it relates very much to our outward conduct and testimony.

Bois' notes tell us much more about the translators, however, than their linguistic erudition. Bois often interprets and comments on certain passages in his notes showing a perceptive grasp of vital doctrine. For instance in relation to justification by faith alone Bois comments on Romans 3:25-26 'to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus'. Bois shows how God's justice and mercy are both perfectly fulfilled in justification, and that the meaning of the verse is that 'the justice of God stands whole, whether we contemplate sins having been pardoned, or indeed to be pardoned, and which are now pardoned'. 'Scarcely another place is to be found more apt to this point, so that there is exhibited how well the justice of God joins with His mercy: He is dikaios [righteous], i.e. at the same time just; and nevertheless dikaioei [He justifies], i.e. He justifies the sinner, i.e. He is merciful in the highest degree'.

There are also useful reflections upon passages that are difficult doctrinally. Commenting on Hebrews 12:15 'Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God' Bois says that these 'words seem to be said to those specifically, to whom the care has been assigned of ecamining the habits and life of others, that none through negligence be deprived of, etc. or that none absent them selves from the grace of God. by charitos tou Theou [the grace of God] I understand the public proclamation of the Gospel'. In other words Bois does not interpret these words in an Arminian way, that is is possible to fall from saving grace but that it is dangerous to forsake the means of grace and the word of God's grace negligently as in Hebrews 10:25.
In relation to Hebrews 12:17, Bois gives his understanding of the difficulty in relation to Esau not being able to find any place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. It is not to be understood that someone such as Esau can forego repentance though they earnestly desire it rather 'he could not bend the mind of his father, or persuade him, so that having altered his determination he would recall and rescind the blessing with which he had blessed Jacob'. The margin of the AV confirms this with the explanation 'or way to change his mind'

At times, Bois cannot resist commenting in such a way on the text that he not only explains but applies its truth. There is the delightful aside on the words 'there is none occasion of stumbling in him' 1 John 2:10 - 'the placid course of him who remains in the light'. He notes solemnly upon James 1:15 which describes the progress of sin: 'Suggestion, Delight, Agreement, Act, the four steps of sin'. He is also practical in his comments, such as on Romans 12:10 'In honour preferring one another', which is elucidated as, 'let each one of you strive to prevail in giving honour to another'. On Ephesians 6:4, he notes as an experienced father notes 'it falls out from too great austerity that children are angry with their parents, and bear their authority reluctantly and impatiently. In relation to Romans 14:5 'Let every man be persuaded in his own mind', the note reads 'let each one acquire for himself true knowledge from the word of God, so that without doubt be may perceive what the will of God is'. Such comments show that this was not a scientific and detached enterprise for the translators but a humble and devout search after the truth with a real endeavour after the practical outworking of it.

These notes resolve some but not all questions of interest in relation to the reasons for the translation of certain words and passages in the AV. This brief book provides interest to those who wish to know more about the translators and the translation of the AV but also gives genuine insight into the Scriptures, and so may be of use in reference for ministers and students of the Bible. We should remember the translators not simply for their eminent scholarship but also for their piety, 'in what sort did these assemble? In the trust of their own knowledge, or of their sharpness of it, or deepness of judgment, as it were in an arm of flesh? At no hand. They trusted in him that hath the key of David, opening and no man shutting; they prayed to the Lord'. The translators were conscious of their indebtedness to the help of God in their studies, acknowledging that it was 'through the good hand of the Lord upon us' that they succeeded in their work. As one of the 'poor instruments to make God's Holy Truth to be yet more and more known', we are indebted to John Bois for having preserved a small portion of the labours that were required for so great a work.