William Orme.

Bibliotheca biblica; a select list of books on sacred literature; with notices biographical, critical, and bibliographical online

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Scire ubi aliquid posses invenirc, magna pars eruditionis est.








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f HE following work is designed to furnish the
means of easy reference to the most useful books
in the important department of biblical literature.
Under this head are included, Polyglots, and editions
of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures; Concordances,
Lexicons, and Introductions to the Bible ; works re-
lating to its geography, chronology, and antiquities ;
translations and commentaries ; books which treat
of the principles of sacred criticism, hermeneutics,
and philology ; and numerous productions of a mis-
cellaneous nature, which furnish illustrations of the
sacred writings. Of the importance of such a
work, there can be but one opinion among theolo-
gians ; but the difficulties which belong to its suc-
cessful accomplishment are very considerable.


The biographical notices, which stand at the
head of each article, seldom extend farther than to
the name and profession of the author, his age and
country. They will in most cases enable the read-
er to form some idea of his religious sentiments
and circumstances, and of what may be expected
from his writings. Short as they are, it has fre-
quently been found more difficult to supply them
than to furnish the longer account of the works
which follow. Books often survive, when the his-
tory and even the names of their authors are ir-
recoverably lost.

As the Bibliotheca is necessarily and avowedly
but a selection, it may be proper to mention the
principles on which it has been made. The list of
editions of the original Scriptures is comparatively
limited ; and it would have been omitted entirely,
but that the work would have been incomplete
without it. It is therefore confined to the princi-
pal critical editions. To have . attempted more,
would have required an inconvenient enlargement
of the plan, and led to the repetition of much that
has been already published, and is generally acces-^

In the selection of foreign works, there will be
found many of the most valuable of the early conti-
nental critics and commentators, and a considera-


ble number of the more modern writers of Holland
and Germany. In general, the merits of the for-
mer class, and the sentiments which mark the latter,
are pointed out. It would have been easy to enlarge
this list, especially of the older authors ; but as uti-
lity, not curiosity or display, has been studied, many
books have been omitted which are now only to be
found in the cabinets of the curious, or reposing in
the public receptacles of the lumber of past ages.
Those who desire to follow out the inquiry, have
only to procure the Bibliotheca Theologica Se-
lecta of Walch, — a work full of valuable informa-
tion respecting books in every department of theo-
logy which had appeared previously to its publica-
tion in 1765.

In British works, the author has endeavoured to
make the list as complete as possible ; and it is ex-
pected that few works of real importance will be
found to be omitted. General theology, systematic,
practical, and polemical divinity, it must however
be observed, are not included in the plan. Many
more of the puritanical expositors could have been
inserted ; but there is so great a sameness in their
manner and sentiments, that what is said of those
who have been introduced will generally apply to
the whole class. Several of the leading theologi-
cal w^orks in English, though not bearing directly



on the exposition of the Bible, have been inserted,
on account of their importance ; and a few of the
standard works on ecclesiastical history are men-
tioned. Many books on the Socinian controversy
are also introduced, as that debate involves so much
that belongs to the criticism and interpretation of
the Scriptures.

As Scotland, notwithstanding its religious cha-
racter and advantages, has been thought not to
have produced many works of a biblical nature,
considerable pains have been taken to furnish an ac-
count of those productions, which in early or later
times have proceeded from the pen of Scotsmen.
For gratifying this partiality to his native coun-
try, the author hopes to be forgiven, though some
of the works mentioned should not be deemed of
great moment, and many of them be now scarcely
ever to be met with. He chiefly regrets, that, af-
ter all the research he has been able to bestow,
both his list and his notices will be found very
scanty and imperfect.

As many lists of books in theology and sacred li-
terature have been already published, it may be
thought that the present work is not required. The
author is, of course, of a different opinion ; and it
will be easy, he persuades himself, to convince the
reader, that whatever imperfections belong to his


performance, something of the kind was still a de-
sideratum in British literature.

One of the first works published in this country,
which treats partly of theological writers, is, A
Treatise of Religion and Learning, and of Religi-
ous and Learned Men. By Edward Leigh. Lond.
1656, fol. This work is divided into six books ;
in the last four of which the author gives a large
alphabetical catalogue of such persons " as were
famous for zeal in the true religion or in learning."
It contains brief notices of the writers of all ages
and classes ; the titles of some of their works, and
characters of many of them, mostly extracted from
other authors. Considerable labour must have been
bestowed on this treatise ; but it embraces too much,
and is consequently often incorrect, and generally

Bishop Wilkins's Ecclesiastes, or, a Discourse
concerning the Gift of Preaching, as it falls imder
the rules of Art, — which was first published about
1640, — contains a very considerable list of writers
in theology, arranged under distinct heads. In gene-
ral, however, the bishop gives merely the names of
the authors ; he seldom gives the title of the works j
and scarcely ever expresses an opinion on the sub-
ject or merits of the productions.


In 1663 was published, A Catalogue of our Eng-
lish writers on the Scriptures. Lond. small 8vo.
This work goes over the books, chapters, and verses
of the Bible in their regular order, and mentions
the commentators or writers on each portion, the
size of the works, and the dates of their publication.
It was republished, with additions, in 1669. It ap-
pears to have been compiled with some diligence
and care ; and, as an index to what had been pub -
lished till the period of its appearance, is not with-
out its use.

The work which, in its plan and object, most
nearly resembles the present, is a Latin production
of William Crow^e, who designates himself, Sudovol-
giensis, Ludimagister Croydoniensis. It is entitled,
Elenchus Scriptorum in Sacram Scripturam, tam
Graecorum quamLatinorum, etc. Lond. 1 672, 12mo.
This volume, which is now very scarce, furnishes,
first, a list of editions of the original Scriptures, and
of a number of the ancient and modern versions.
There is then an alphabetical list of writers on the
Scriptures, which generally mentions the country,
profession, and religion of the authors ; with the
time in which they flourished, the titles, dates, ex-
tent, and various editions of their works. It con-
tains a very large enumeration of works in little
room ; but the catalogue is foolishly arranged ac-


cording to the Christian names of the writers,
wliich renders it very inconvenient. Most of the
authors who are noticed are foreigners ; and it
rarely gives any other account of the book than
what is suppHed by the title.

In the third volume of the English translation of
Calmet's Dictionary to the Bible, published in
173% there is a very extensive Bibliotheca Sacra.
While this part of his work displays the great eru-
dition and research of the celebrated author, it dis-
covers strongly his partiality for Catholic writers.
With these and the older commentators, it is al-
most entirely occupied ; so that a great proportion
of tlie works mentioned are now utterly inacces-
sible to British scholars.

The Bibliotheca Britannica, by Dr. Watt, is a
work of no ordinary labour, and well calculated to
aid inquiry m every branch of knowledge. While
the author does justice to its general merits, truth
compels him to say, that he has found it frequent-
ly deficient and incorrect in the theological depart-
ment. This will not surprise those who consi-
der the nature of the undertaking ; it was too ex-
tensive to be accomplished successfully by any one
individual. Its expense, also, puts it beyond the
reach of the great body of scholars 5 and, contain-


ing nothing, in general, but a list of titles and edi-
tions, it can afford little aid to the juvenile student.

The lists published by the Bishops of LlandaflJ
Durham, and Lincoln ; by Dr. Hales of Trinity
College, Dublin, Dr. Williams of Rotherham, and
Mr. Home in his Introduction ; and the characters
of books by Dr. Doddridge and Bishop Marsh, in
their respective lectures, are well known, and all
possessed of a portion of merit. To all the works
enumerated the present Bibliotheca is occasionally
indebted ; and, as it contains few references, this
general acknowledgment of obligation is now made.
Wherever it was practicable, the original work it-
self has been examined, that a faithful report might
be given. In this way, many mistakes in former
lists have been silently corrected ; and many books
also have been omitted, which ought perhaps to
have found a place ; because they could not be per-
sonally examined, and no satisfactory account of
them could be obtained. -

From mistakes it is impossible that such a work
as this can be altogether free. Greater diligence,
more extensive information, and certain local ad-
vantages, would no doubt have rendered it more
worthy of the reader's acceptance. An unbiassed
judgment, at least, has been exercised ; and every


thing has been done which was in the author's
power, that the opinion expressed might be correct
as well as impartial. For minor mistakes, he must
throw himself on the candour of those who best
know the difficulties of such an enterprise ; and,
should the work live beyond the present edition,
whatever errors and omissions may be pointed out,
or which may occur to the author, will be readily
corrected and supplied.

At the end of the volume an arranged index is
inserted, by consulting which, the reader may easily
find the different writers who treat of particular
subjects, and the commentators on the several
books of Scripture. The author will now conclude
this preface, by warning those who may consult
the Bibliotheca against receiving implicitly various
theological sentiments, which are contained in many
of the works recommended in it. Let them, in
every case, " try the spirits, whether they be of
God, because many false prophets are gone out
into the world." Books are important and useful ;
but the teaching of the Divine Spirit is of far
greater moment, to the understanding of the sacred
word, than all the aids of science and literature.

Perth, 1st July, 1824.


Abauzit, Firmin, a Swiss writer, horn at
U%es, 1679 ; died 1767. Reflections on the Eucha-
rist, on Idolatry, &c. with Paraphrases and Expla-
nations of sundry parts of Scripture. Translated
from the French, by E. Harwood, D.D. 8vo. 1770.

Dr. Harwood considered this work important. Its critical in-
formation, however, is not very profound ; and the opinions it
expresses on some theological subjects, abundantly free. In
this respect it suited well the views of the translator. Abauzit
was the friend of St. E\Temond, of Sir Isaac Newton, and Rous-
seau. He was the author of a work on the Apocalypse, in which
the authority of that book is disputed. It was translated into
English by Dr. Twells. Harwood translated another volume of
his also,* which he entitled ^^ Miscellanies on Historical, Theo-
logical, and Critical subjects ;" to which he prefixes a life of
the author. In this volume, also, there are dissertations on se-
veral passages of Scripture. It appeared in ITT'i-

Abend ANA, Jacob, a learned Spanish Rahhi,
President of the Jewish Synagogue at Amsterdam ^



and cifte7*wards at London ; died in 1685. — Dis-
courses of the Ecclesiastical and Civil Polity of the
Jews, 12mo. 1706.

This work treats of the Jewish Courts of Judicature — of their
laws concerning Tithes — of the institution of the Priesthood —
of their Liturgy — Schools — Feasts — Fasts — Coins — Weights
and Measures. It is a selection in English from the works of
Abendana^ by a translator whose name does not appear. The dis-
courses are, on the whole, sensible, and many of the remarks on
the Scriptures are more judicious than are usually to be found in
Rabbinical writings. The author published, besides other things,
a Spicilegium of explanations of select passages of Scripture,
folio, 1685.

Aben Ezra, Abraham, a learned Spanish
Rahhi, who fioimslied in the twelfth centurij.

He wrote Commentaries on a great part of the Old Testa-
ment, which were published in the Biblia Rabbinica of Bom-
berg at Venice, 1526, 4 vol. fol. ; and of Buxtorf, at Basle,
l6l8, 2 vol. fol. The only part of them translated into Latin,
is his Commentary on the Decalogue, by Munster, Basle, 1527.
His works are held in high reputation by the lovers of Jewish

Aboab, David, Professor and teacher of He-
brew, Chaldee, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese,
— Remarks upon Dr. Sharp's Two Dissertations
concerning the Etymology and Scripture meaning
of the Hebrew words Elohim and Berith, 8vo.

This is a Hutchinsonian pamphlet, by a writer who appears
to have professed a leash of languages, and whose name would
indicate that he was of Jewish origin. He corrects some of Dr.
Sharp's mistakes ; but does not communicate any novel or im-
portant information on the topics discussed.


Abrabanel, Isaac, a Jeivish Rahhi, and na-
five of Portugal^ who flourished in the fifteenth

His works were all written in Hebrew, of which the follow-
ing are the chief; some of them have been translated into Latin:
Commentariiis in Pentateucham, fol. Hanover, 17 10. — In Pro-
phetas Priores, fol. Leipzig, I686. — In Hoseam, 4to. Lugd.
Bat. 16'86. — In Nahum, 4to. Helmst. 1703. — Proemium Com-
mentariorum in Leviticum, cum notis per L. C. de Veil, fol.
Lond. 1683. The works of Abrabanel are held in considerable
estimation among Rabbinical Commentators.

Abram, Nicholas, a learned French Jesuit;
horn 1589 ; died 1655. — Pharus Veteris Testa-
ment], etc. folio, Paris. 1648.

This is a learned and elaborate work, which is divided into
fifteen books of questions on the Old Testament. Eight of
^hese books treat of subjects contained in Genesis. The first is
on the six days' work of creation ; the second on the situation
and the rivers of Paradise ; the third on the blessing of Noah ;
the fourth on the confusion of tongues ; the fifth on the first
institution of kingdoms ; the sixth on the kingdom of the Assy-
rians; the seventh on the patriarch Abraham ; the eighth on
Pharaoh ; the ninth on the sojourning of the children of
Israel in the wilderness ; the tenth on the chronology of the
Judges; the eleventh on the Babylonish captivities; the twelfth
on Darius the Mede ; the thirteenth on Judith ; the four-
teenth on the coming of tlie Messiah, and the seventy weeks of
Daniel ; and the last on the commencement and termination of
these seventy weeks. On all these topics the learned author has
bestowed great attention.

Abresch, Fred. Lewis, a distinguished critic
and classical scholar; horn at Hamburgh, 1699;
died 1782. — Animadversionum ad Aeschylum Libri
III ; acceduiit adnotationes ad quaedam loca N. T.


2 torn. 8vo. Zwollae, 1763. — Dilucidationes Thu-
cydideae, quibus et passim N. T. loca iliustrantur,
8vo. Traj. 1755.

These works of Abrescli are almost entirely philological. As
critical illustrations of the New Testament, they do not rank
very high. Walch merely gives the title of the work on Thu-
cydides. Neither Michaelis, nor his translator Marshy, mentions
any of them, though they refer to a number of books in the
same class. Brunet, however, pronounces them works of re-
search. They are much more occupied with the classics than
with the New Testament ; and the Biblical Scholar will not
expect that either Eschylus or Thucydides should afford much aid
in interpreting the word of God.

Abresch, Peter, so7i of Frederic Lewis, arid
Ordinary Professor of Theology at Gottingen. —
Specimen Philologicum in Obadiae v. 1 — 8, 4to.
Utrecht, 1757. — Specimen Paraphrasis et Annot. in
Epistolam ad Hebraicos, 8vo. Lugd. Bat, 1786. —
Oratio de Hermeneutice Sacra, etc. 4to. 1774.

The works of the son, so far as the Scriptures are concerned,
are much more valuable than those of the father. He appears
to have been an excellent Hebrew, as well as Greek scholar^
and well acquainted with the principles of biblical interpretation.
His specimen of annotations on the Epistle to the Hebrews, ex-
tends only to the first six chapters. Bishop Middleton, in his
work on the Greek Article, frequently quotes it with appro-
bation. The Paraphrase is very carefully drawn ujd, and the
critical notes frequently important.

Adam, Thomas, Rector of Wintringham ; born
at Leeds, 1701; died 1784. — A Paraphrase on the
first eleven chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Ro-
mans, 8vo. 1711. — Exposition of St. Matthew, 2
vol. 12mo. 1805.



Tliese are not critical, but doctrinal and practical works.^
The author was a very pious and useful man in his day ; and
possessed correct and excellent views of Christianity, as ap-
pears from these and his other works. His Private Thoughts
on Religion are exceedingly valuable.

ADA]\ri, Cornelius, a Dutch theologian and
viinister of Damni, ivho died early in the last cen-
tury. — Observationes Theologico-Philologicae, etc.
4to. Groning. I7IO0

The observations of this learned writer embrace many pas-
sages of Scripture, and illustrate them from the manners and
rites of various nations. The book of Esther, several places of
Matthew, and of the Acts of the Apostles — such as the Daily
Bread, the Magi, the City of Athens, its superstitions and cus-
toms, &:c. are illustrated in this manner.

— Exercitationes Exegeticae, etc. 4to. Groning. 1712.

These discourses of Adami relate to the oppression and in-
crease of the Israelites in Egypt — the Nativity and Learning
of Moses — the Conversion of Paul, and other great Sinners—
the Wicked Practices of the Romans, in illustration of Rom.
i. 18, 32; and to ten passages of the Acts. These works of
Adami, Walch says, deserve to occupy a chief place among writ-
ings of this sort, and display more than ordinary erudition, both
sacred and profane.

Addington, Stephen, a dissenting minister,
and tutor in London ; Jwrn 1729 ; died 1796. —
A Dissertation on the Religious Knowledge of the
Ancient Jews and Patriarchs ; containing an In-
quiry into the Evidence of their belief and expec-
tation of a Future State, 4to. 1757.

To this work, which was partly occasioned by Warburton's
Divine Legation, was annexed a prospectus of a '^ Greek and
English Concordance to the New Testament, upon a plan en-
tirely new ; with a specimen of the work, as^ it is now prepar-


ing for the press." The Concordance, from want of encourage-
ment, or some other cause, was never published. The Disser-
tation contains some sensible reasoning and biblical illustration,
designed to establish the proposition announced in the title.
" The Life of St. Paul," 8vo. 1784-, by the same author, con-
tains some things worthy of consideration.

AiNS WORTH, Henry, a learned Brownist, ivho
died in Holland ahout 1623. — Annotations on the
Five Books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Song of
Solomon, best edit. fol. Lond. 1639-

This is a laborious and valuable work. It contains a literal
translation of all the books mentioned, as well as annotations on
them. The version is not of great value, being servilely literal :
but the commentary is always scriptural, and often very happy
in explaining one part of the sacred record by another. The
author's acquaintance with Jewish literature was extensive,
and his knowledge of the Bible profound. Few books may
be more useful in explaining the Old Testament ; and none,
for the theological sentiment, may be more safely trusted.
Speaking of Ainsworth's Psalms, Walch observes, '' Mon-
strant istae eruditionem non mediocrem ac merito laudan-
tur." It was translated into Dutch in I69O; and the sub-
stance of it is given in the Latin Synopsis of Poole, who pro-
nounces the following eulogium on the Annotations : ^' Et qui-
dem tanto acumine et judicio, tanta fide et peritia, exarata, ut
digna ausim pronuntiare qua3 in exteras linguas transfundan-

Albert I, John, Professor of Diimiity in the
University of Ley den, was horm in 1698. — Obser-
vationes Philologieae in sacros Novi Foederis libros,
8vo. Lugd. Bat. 1725. — Periculum Criticum in quo
loca quaedam cum Veteris ac Novi Foederis illus-
trantur, vindicantur, emendantur, Svo. Lugd. Bat.

Both these works of Alberti are full of important and useful


criticism. The object of them is to illustrate the style and
meaning of the writers of the New Testament by the profane
writers of Greece ; and though his zeal for the classical purity
of the sacred j)enmen sometimes carries him too far, he certain-
ly throws considerable light on many of the peculiar terms and
phrases which they employ. The second work mentioned above
is not confined to the Scriptures, but takes in some passages of
Hesychius and others. In it he often enters the lists with Pri-

Besides these, Alberti published another work of some value.
This is entitled, " Glossarium Graecum in Sacros Novi Foederis
Libros," etc. 8vo. 1735. This ancient Glossary of the words of
the New Testament, was presented to Alberti by J. A. Fabri-
cius, who published it with a commentary, and some other cri-
tical pieces.

Aless, or Hales, Alexander, a learned
Scotchman, who resided long in Germany ; horyi at
Edinburgh, 1500 ; he was appointed Pi^ofessor of
Theology at Camhridge, about 15S5, whence he was
soon driven ; but occupied the same office, first at
Franlifort, and afterwards at Ltcip^ig, where he
died 1565. — Commentarius in Evangelium Joannis,
Basle, 8vo. 1553. — Disputationes in Epistolam ad
Romanos, cum Pliilippi Melanclithonis Praefatione,
8vo. Wittemberg, 1553. — Disputatio in utramqiie
Epistolam ad Timotheum, et ad Titum, 8vo. Leip-
zig, 1550.

On the merits of these works, as expositions of Scripture, I
can pronounce no opinion ; not having met with any of them.
The author was an excellent scholar ; greatly esteemed for a
time by Henry VI IL and Archbishop Parker. Thuanus also
speaks highly of him. A short, but interesting account of him,
is given by Dr. M'^Crie, Life of Knox, vol. i. Note L He was
beloved by Melanchthon, and praised by Camerarius. There is
a work on the Psalms also ascribed to him. It is marked as
published at Leipzig, in fol. 1596.


Alexander, John, an English dissenting ^ni-
nister of the Unitarian Faith. He was horn 1736;
and died on the ^^th December, 1765,— A Para-
phrase upon the fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle
to the Corinthians ; with Critical Notes and Obser-
vations, and a Preliminary Dissertation.- — A Com-
mentary, with Critical Remarks, upon the Sixth,
Seventh, and part of the Eighth chapters of the
Romans, and a Sermon on Eccles. ix. 10. 4to.
Lond. 1766.

This work contains a few good critical remarks; but the
theological creed of the writer occupies a most prominent place
throughout. The denial of the doctrine of the atonement^

Online LibraryWilliam OrmeBibliotheca biblica; a select list of books on sacred literature; with notices biographical, critical, and bibliographical → online text (page 1 of 41)