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THE MOST REMARKABLE EVENTS
OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
REV. JOSEPH REEVE.
EDITED AND REVISED, WITH COPIOUS NOTES,
REV. W. J. WALSH, D.D.,
PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY, ST. PATRICK'S COLLEGE, MAYNOOTH.
1 GEP 85
ROBERTUS FF. WHITEHEAD, S.T.D.,
OENS. THEOL, DEP.
PAUL. CARD. CULLEN,
PRINTED BY M. H. GILL AND SON, 50 UPPER SACKVILLE-STRBBT, DUBLIX.
In introducing to the public the present edition of the work usually known as “Reeve's History of the Bible," I think it right to state in what respects it differs from the editions which have preceded it.
My care, as regards the work generally, has been directed chiefly to three points: the correction of such portions of the narrative as were not fully in accord with the narrative of the inspired volume; the occasional insertion of passages, with the view of rendering less abrupt the transitions between the various sections of the work, or of supplying, where it appeared advisable, some details of the narrative which were wanting; and, finally, the addition of foot-notes in those instances in which it seemed that some additional information thus afforded would conduce to a fuller understanding of the narrative in the text.
I have not deemed it necessary, or indeed advisable, to indicate, by any special mark of distinction, the passages thus modified or inserted. But it may be well to observe that there are few sections of the narrative in which I have not made some such changes or additions, more or less substantial, and that I have added all the foot-notes.
As regards the narrative of the Old Testament history, the character and extent of the alterations made in the text
may be seen by comparing with the corresponding passages in former editions, the sections, for instance, which describe the Deluge, the Plagues of Egypt, the Giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, the Years of Wandering in the Desert, the Temple of Solomon, and the closing section, on the Last Kings of the Asmonæan Dynasty.
The narrative of the Gospel history, 80 far as regards the public life of our Lord, has been entirely recast. In this portion of the work, I derived much valuable aid from Fr. Coleridge's admirable work on the Gospel narrative of our Lord's life*-& work which was most unreservedly placed at my disposal for this purpose, by the kindness of the learned author. Of this great kindness, for which I take this opportunity of expressing my grateful thanks, I have availed myself to a very large extent. It is hardly necessary to add that I have felt it due to Fr. Coleridge distinctly to indicate the many passages which I have transcribed from his work : in every instance, the beginning and the end of such quotations are marked by single inverted commas.
Throughout the entire volume, but more especially in the foot-notes, I have frequently called attention to the points of contact between the history of the Jewish people and those of the surrounding nations. In connection with this topic, the results of the explorations made, in our own time, among the long-buried ruins of the ancient cities of Chaldæa have not been overlooked.
I have also introduced, in the foot-notes, such geographical and topographical information as seemed useful for the elucidation of the historical statements in the text. As the publisher has not thought it advisable to insert any
*“The Life of our Life." By Henry James Coleridge, S.J., London, 1876.
maps, I have made reference throughout to those contained in the excellent Bible Atlas, recently published at a marvellously moderate price, by Messrs. W. and A. K. Johnston of Edinburgh.
In addition to the more substantial changes already indicated, the text of the work has been revised throughout with much care. This revision has resulted in the removal of many uncouth phrases and harsh turns of expression, by which the generally pleasing character of the narrative in its original form had been, to some extent, marred. I would also call attention to the extent to which the sections, hitherto almost undivided, are, in this edition, broken up into numerous paragraphs a change of no small importance in facilitating the due understanding of the narrative.
In explanation-and, so far as it may be necessary, in justification-of the freedom with which I have, throughout the volume, modified, both as regards style and matter, a work that is not my own, I think it not out of place to call attention to the fact—which, although indeed sufficiently intimated in the Preface prefixed to the ordinary editions of the work, seems to have been very generally overlooked—that the history generally known as “Reeve's” is not, in any true sense of the word, the composition of any English writer, but is, in substance, little else than a free translation of a Bible History which was published in France during the seventeenth century.
In accordance with the strange fashion of the time, this work—the full title of which, in its original form, is “ The History of the Old and of the New Testament, with edifying comments taken from the writings of the Holy Fathers”