Leicester A. (Leicester Ambrose) Sawyer.

The New Testament online

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Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1858, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of

Press of Allen and Farnham.


THIS is not a work of compromises, or of conjectural interpretations of
the sacred Scriptures, neither is it a paraphrase, but a strict literal
rendering. It neither adds nor takes away; but aims to express the
original with the utmost clearness, and force, and with the utmost
precision. It adopts, however, except in the prayers, a thoroughly
modern style, and makes freely whatever changes are necessary for this

Besides being a contribution to Biblical science, it is designed to be
a still more important contribution to practical religion, for which
the Bible in its original languages and in all its translations is
chiefly valuable. The translation depends mainly on its superior
adaptation to this end, under the blessing of God, for its success and
usefulness. If it shall be found on trial to be a superior instrument
of piety and virtue, it will doubtless meet with favor and do good. The
ascendency of practical religion is not so general or complete, that
any additional help for its promotion can be deemed unnecessary.

New translations of the Scriptures are generally introduced with
apologies and received with caution and distrust. In many cases men
have resisted them as dangerous innovations, and attempted to
exterminate them with fire and sword. This was the case with the
translations of Wickliffe and of Tindal. But truth and the kind
providence of God were too mighty for their enemies, and these
translations lived to see their persecutors in the dust, and to laugh
them to scorn. Wickliffe's translation was published in 1380, in a dark
age. Many good men anticipated from it the greatest calamities, and
resisted it with the most intemperate zeal, and every species of
denunciation was used against it. It was made from the Vulgate, and not
from the Greek and Hebrew, and was imperfect; but it was a great
improvement on what existed before, and it proved a great blessing.

Tindal was contemporary with Luther, and undertook to give a new
translation of the Bible to England, as Luther did to Germany. He
completed his New Testament against the greatest opposition, and
published it in 1526, and was engaged on the Old Testament, when he was
arrested, imprisoned a year, and then brought to the stake and
strangled and burnt, at the age of fifty-nine, A.D. 1536. He was the
morning star of the Reformation in England, and became by his
translation of the New Testament and a part of the Old, and by the
interest he excited in the subject of improved translations in England,
one of the great benefactors of his race. He was a man of great
gentleness, kindness, simplicity of character, and benevolence, and his
life is without a stain. Coverdale translated the whole Bible, and
published it in 1535 while Tindal was in prison waiting for his crown
of martyrdom. Several other translations followed, and that of King
James last of all, in 1611.

King James's translation was made by forty-seven translators, divided
into six companies, and laboring on their work three years. The Douay
Bible was first translated and published complete in 1609, almost
simultaneously with the Bible of King James. It has the disadvantage of
having been made from the Latin Vulgate, and not directly from the
original Greek and Hebrew, but is a valuable version, and like the
Bible of King James, is one of the great monuments of the times which
produced it, as well as of the church which has adhered to it. It is
good but not perfect; and it is hoped that its friends will not be
unwilling to accept an improvement.

From the publication of Wickliffe's Bible in 1380, to that of Tindal's
New Testament in 1526, was one hundred and forty-six years. From the
publication of Tindal's New Testament in 1526, to that of King James's
Bible in 1611, was eighty-five years. There was considerable progress
made in knowledge, and the English language was considerably changed,
in the interval of one hundred and forty-six years between the
publication of Wickliffe's Bible and Tindal's New Testament. There was
also considerable progress in knowledge, and some changes were made in
the English language, in the interval of eighty-five years between the
publication of Tindal's New Testament and King James's Bible.

The period that has elapsed between the publication of King James's
Bible in 1611 and the present time (1858) is two hundred and
forty-seven years, sixteen years more than the entire period from the
publication of Wickliffe's Bible in 1380 to that of King James's in
1611. Besides, this has been a period of unparalleled activity in the
investigation of Biblical subjects, and the prosecution of Biblical
studies. Two hundred and forty-seven years, reckoning, thirty-three
years to a generation, are seven generations and a half; and these
seven generations and a half have been engaged in Biblical studies with
unprecedented diligence and success, making great improvements in the
text, detecting numerous interpolations and errors, making great
improvements in the rendering, and detecting numerous errors in it; but
the almost exclusive Bible of common life, of the family, the school,
the church, and of private and devotional reading and study, with
English Protestants, is still the Bible of King James, with its errors
uncorrected, its interpolations unremoved, and its defects unsupplied.

Several new translations have been made since King James's time, but
none of them have as yet been received with any considerable favor.
King James's Bible, though extravagantly eulogized, was an excellent
version for the times that produced it; yet it made much less
improvement on the Bishop's Bible, the Geneva Bible, and Tindal's,
Coverdale's, and others which it superseded, than Tindal's and
Coverdale's did on Wickliffe's. Tindal, in the face of constant
persecution, and cut off from many of the advantages and facilities
which in more auspicious times he might have enjoyed, did more for the
English Bible than all King James's translators. So did Luther for the
Bible in Germany.

It is an unfortunate result of King James's translation of the Bible by
an imposing council of learned men, that it has tended to discourage
individual effort in respect to a labor of this kind, and to create a
prejudice against it as necessarily incompetent and untrustworthy.
Societies and councils have their spheres in which they are useful; yet
they often transcend them and intrude on those of individuals. But
there are great works which individuals can perform better than
multitudes or councils. Councils did not make the Bible at first. It
was made by individuals, each man acting for himself, and giving
utterance to the mighty thoughts that God had given him. A council did
not make Paradise Lost, and could not; nor has a council ever produced
any immortal work of genius or learning, unless it is the English Bible
of King James. With this exception, these are all the works of
individuals. As individuals, therefore, have generally been the
prosecutors of literary enterprises, in the department of Bible
translation no less than in other departments, and as individuals have
been eminently successful and useful in this department of labor
heretofore, both in England and other countries, let it be hoped that
they may be again.

There is a vast accumulation of knowledge to be made available by some
one, or in some way, for the production of an improved English Bible,
that shall bear the same relation to the advanced knowledge of these
times, which Tindal's, Coverdale's, and that of King James did to
theirs. More study has been expended on the sacred text and its
interpretation, and more progress made in Biblical knowledge in the
last seven generations, than in all time before. This knowledge is
treasured up in critical editions of the original Scriptures, critical
commentaries on them in Latin and other languages, in Greek and Hebrew
Lexicons, and in other works in the various departments of Biblical
learning, embracing commentaries on the English Scriptures, several of
which are extensive and valuable. No man can gainsay them, no man can
disparage them. They are monuments of the most precious and valuable
learning of their times. Scholars with ample means and ample time for
critical research, and those whose tastes and professions and
convictions of duty incline them in that direction, may in a long
series of years become masters of much of this learning, and receive
the benefit of it. A few are masters of it, but how few! But how are
the people to obtain it? When are they to find the time to obtain it?
Where are they to find the means? The clergy are the instructors of the
people on sacred subjects. Biblical learning is a part of their
profession. They study it by day and by night, from youth to old age;
but how are the great mass of clergymen even, amidst their parish cares
and homiletical labors, and with their limited means and restricted
libraries, to obtain much of this knowledge? Some of it they may
obtain, but much of it they will not, and cannot.

The only way in which the vast stores of Biblical learning accumulated
during the last two hundred and forty-seven years, by the labors of
seven and a half generations toiling in succession, each generation
beginning where that which preceded it left off, and each adding
something to the stock which it received, can become available for the
general benefit of the people, is by an improved text and translation
of the Bible, into which, as far as possible, they shall all be
brought, and to the perfection of which they shall contribute. This is
the task which has been undertaken in the present work, and with what
degree of success, the public will judge. The text which has been
followed in this translation, is that of Tischendorf, published at
Leipsic in 1850. It is not only a great improvement on the received
text, but on the critical texts that are in general use in this
country. Tischendorf follows Griesbach, Lachman and others, and
availing himself of their labors, together with his own accurate
collations of manuscripts extending to nearly all the most ancient
manuscripts in the world, and following in the steps of Lachman by
editing solely from ancient authority, has brought the text of the New
Testament to a degree of perfection not anticipated or even hoped for
in past ages. It is a high recommendation of this translation, and will
command for it an additional respect from all competent judges, that it
follows this highly improved text. Readers will be able by this to see
what is the Bible and what is not. It is not claimed for the text of
Tischendorf that it is perfect; no text can be; but it is claimed for
it, that it retains no known interpolation in the sacred books, and
omits nothing known to belong to them. Future laborers will doubtless
make some improvements on the text of Tischendorf, as he has done on
that of Lachman; but they cannot be expected to change it essentially.

I have deviated from Tischendorf in omitting Jesus as the proper name
of Barabbas in two instances in Matt. xxv. 4, and occasionally in
punctuation, and have retained two important interpolations in the
text, duly noted as such, Mark, xvii. and John, x. 8.

The recent work of Trench on the English Bible came to hand after
considerable progress had been made in stereotyping this volume. The
translator was highly gratified to find that nearly all the
improvements and corrections suggested by that eminent scholar were
already made in this work, together with many others.

The arrangement of the books and divisions of the chapters and verses
in this Translation are believed to be great improvements on those in
common use. As such they are commended to the attention of translators
and editors in different languages, and it is hoped will be found

The chronology of the New Testament is involved in great obscurity. The
Christian Era was first proposed by Dionysius Exiguus, about A.D. 550,
and was gradually adopted in the seventh and eighth centuries. By a
mistake of Dionysius it was made to commence from four to six years too
late. The birth of Christ was from 4 to 6 B.C.; his baptism, in the
fifteenth year of Tiberius, A.D. 24; his death, probably, A.D. 28; and
the events recorded in the first part of Acts prior to the death of
Herod, A.D. 44, occurred considerably earlier than the dates usually
assigned to them.

Matthew and Luke probably wrote their gospels A.D. 62 or 63; Mark and
John, theirs A.D. 65-68. Acts was written A.D. 63. All the books of the
New Testament were probably written before the destruction of
Jerusalem, in the interval of seventeen years from A.D. 53 to 70.

The author of Revelation bears the same name as one of the Evangelists.
But this does not prove that he was the same person, neither is the
church tradition on the subject entitled to undoubted confidence. The
author of Revelation does not claim to be an apostle; and by not making
that claim in a book so extraordinary, virtually teaches that he is not
such. His style also presents points of diversity from that of the
Evangelist, that seem to be incompatible with the supposition that the
same author wrote both works.

With these few explanations I commend this volume to the acceptance and
blessing of our kind Father in heaven, and send it forth, accompanied
with many prayers, to call men from sin to holiness, and from death and
sorrow to the only true life and joy.

BOSTON, Mass., October, 1858.



1. The Gospel of Matthew
2. The Gospel of Mark
3. The Gospel of Luke
4. The Gospel of John
5. Acts of the Apostles


1. First Epistle to the Thessalonians
2. Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
3. The Epistle to the Galatians
4. First Epistle to the Corinthians
5. Second Epistle to the Corinthians
6. The Epistle to the Romans
7. The Epistle to Philemon
8. The Epistle to the Colossians
9. The Epistle to the Ephesians [Laodiceans]
10. The Epistle to the Philippians
11. The Epistle to Titus
12. First Epistle to Timothy
13. Second Epistle to Timothy


1. The Epistle of James
2. First Epistle of Peter
3. Second Epistle of Peter
4. The Epistle of Judas
5. First Epistle of John
6. Second Epistle of John
7. Third Epistle of John
8. The Epistle to the Hebrews





1 [1:1]AN account of the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the
son of Abraham. [1:2]Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and
Jacob begat Judah and his brothers; [1:3]and Judah begat Pharez and
Zarah by Thamar; and Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram,
[1:4]and Ram begat Aminadab, and Aminadab begat Nashon, and Nashon
begat Salmon, [1:5]and Salmon begat Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz begat Obed
by Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, [1:6]and Jesse begat David the king.

2 And David begat Solomon by the wife of Uriah, [1:7]and Solomon begat
Rehoboam, and Rehoboam begat Abijah, and Abijah begat Asa, [1:8]and Asa
begat Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begat Jehoram, and Jehoram begat
Uzziah, [1:9]and Uzziah begat Jotham, and Jotham begat Ahaz, and Ahaz
begat Hezekiah, [1:10]and Hezekiah begat Manassah, and Manassah begat
Amon, and Amon begat Josiah, [1:11] and Josiah begat Jechoniah and his
brothers at the Babylonian exile.

3 [1:12]After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah begat Shealtiel, and
Shealtiel begat Zerubabel, [1:13]and Zerubabel begat Abiud, and Abiud
begat Eliakim, and Eliakim begat Azar, [1:14]and Azar begat Zadoc, and
Zadoc begat Achim, and Achim begat Eliud, [1:15]and Eliud begat
Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, [1:16]and
Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, called
Christ. [1:17]All the generations therefore, from Abraham to David, are
fourteen generations; and from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen
generations; and from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen

4 [1:18]The birth of Christ was thus. His mother Mary having been
espoused to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with
child by the Holy Spirit. [1:19]But Joseph her husband being a
righteous man, and not wishing to make her an example, was designing to
put her away privately. [1:20]But while he was thinking of these
things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary your wife, for that
which is conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit, [1:21]and she shall
bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his
people from their sins.

5 [1:22]But all this was done, that the word of the Lord might be
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying; [1:23]Behold, the
virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call
his name Emmanuel; which is interpreted, God is with us. [1:24]And when
Joseph awoke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had
commanded him, and took his wife, [1:25]and knew her not till she bore
a son, and he called his name Jesus.



1 [2:1]AND Jesus being born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of Herod
the king, behold Magi came from the East to Jerusalem, saying,
[2:2]Where is the king of the Jews born? For we have seen his star in
the East, and have come to worship him. [2:3]And Herod the king hearing
this was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; [2:4]and assembling all
the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where
the Christ is born. [2:5]And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea;
for thus it is written by the prophet; [2:6]And you Bethlehem, land of
Judah, are by no means least among the governors of Judah, for out of
you shall come a governor who shall rule my people Israel.

2 [2:7]Then Herod, calling the Magi secretly, asked them the precise
time when the star appeared; [2:8]and sending them to Bethlehem, said,
Go and inquire diligently for the young child, and when you have found
him, tell me, that I also may come and worship him. [2:9]And hearing
the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they saw in the
East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young
child was. [2:10]And seeing the star they rejoiced with great joy;
[2:11]and coming into the house they saw the young child with Mary his
mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their
treasures they presented him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
[2:12] And being divinely instructed in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed to their country another way.

3 [2:13]And when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child
and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and remain there till I tell you;
for Herod will seek the young child to destroy it. [2:14]And he arose
and took the young child and his mother by night, and fled into Egypt,
[2:15]and was there till the death of Herod; that the word might be
fulfilled, which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying; Out of Egypt
have I called my son.

4 [2:16]Then Herod seeing that he was despised by the Magi, was
exceedingly angry, and sent and destroyed all the children in
Bethlehem, and in all its borders, from two years old and under,
according to the precise time which he had learned of the Magi.
[2:17]Thus was fulfilled the word spoken by Jeremiah the prophet,
saying; [2:18]A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and great
mourning; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted
because they were not.

5 [2:19]And when Herod had died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared
to Joseph in a dream, in Egypt, saying, [2:20]Arise, and take the young
child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead
that sought the young child's life. [2:21]And he arose and took the
young child and his mother, and went into the land of Israel. [2:22]But
hearing that Archelaus reigned over Judea in the place of Herod his
father, he was afraid to go there; but being divinely instructed in a
dream, he departed into the parts of Galilee, [2:23] and went and lived
in a city called Nazareth, that the word spoken by the prophets might
be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazoraean.



1 [3:1]AND in those days came John the Baptist preaching in the
wilderness of Judea, saying, [3:2]Change your minds, for the kingdom of
Heaven is at hand. [3:3]For this is he that was spoken of by Isaiah the
prophet, saying; A voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the
way of the Lord, make his paths straight. [3:4]And this John had his
clothes of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins, and his
food was locusts and wild honey. [3:5]Then went out to him Jerusalem,
and all Judea, and all the region about the Jordan, [3:6] and were
baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

2 [3:7]And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come for the
baptism, he said to them; Offspring of vipers, who has warned you to
flee from the wrath to come? [3:8]Bear fruit, therefore, worthy of a
change of mind; [3:9]and think not to say within yourselves, We have
Abraham for a father; for I tell you that God is able of these stones
to raise up children to Abraham; [3:10]and already the axe lies at the
root of the trees; every tree, therefore, which bears not good fruit is
cut down and cast into the fire. [3:11]I indeed baptize you with water
to a change of mind; but he that comes after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not fit to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy
Spirit, and fire; [3:12]whose winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he
will thoroughly clean his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into
the storehouse; but the chaff he will burn with an inextinguishable

3 [3:13]Then came Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be
baptized by him. [3:14]But, he refused him, saying, I have need to be
baptized by you, and do you come to me? [3:15]But Jesus answered and
said to him, Suffer me now; for thus, it becomes us to complete all
righteousness. Then he suffered him; [3:16] and Jesus being baptized
went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were
opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and come upon
him. [3:17]And behold, a voice from the heavens, saying, This is my
beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.

4 [4:1]Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be
tempted by the devil. [4:2]And having fasted forty days and forty
nights, he was afterwards hungry. [4:3]And the tempter came and said to
him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.
[4:4]And he answered and said; It is written, man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God.
[4:5]Then the devil took him into the holy city, and placed him on the
pinnacle of the temple, [4:6]and said to him, If you are the Son of
God, cast yourself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels
charge concerning you, and they shall take you up on their hands, lest
at any time you dash your foot against a stone. [4:7]Jesus said to him,
Again it is written, You shall not try the Lord your God. [4:8]Again
the devil took him away on a very high mountain, and showed him all the
kingdoms of the world, and their glory, [4:9]and said to him, All these
things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
[4:10]Then Jesus said to him, Get behind me Satan; for it is written,
You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
[4:11]Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and waited on him.

Online LibraryLeicester A. (Leicester Ambrose) SawyerThe New Testament → online text (page 1 of 40)