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Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/Translator's Preface

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TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The translation of the twenty-sixth German edition of this grammar, originally prepared by the Rev. G. W. Collins and revised by me, was published in 1898. Since that date a twenty-seventh German edition has appeared; and Prof. Kautzsch was already engaged on a twenty-eighth in 1908 when the English translation was becoming exhausted. He sent me the sheets as they were printed off, and I began revising the former translation in order to produce it as soon as possible after the completion of the German. The whole of the English has been carefully compared with the new edition, and, it is hoped, improved in many points, while Prof. Kautzsch's own corrections and additions have of course been incorporated. As before, the plan and arrangement of the original have been strictly followed, so that the references for sections and paragraphs correspond exactly in German and English. Dr. Driver has again most generously given up time, in the midst of other engagements, to reading the sheets, and has made numerous suggestions. To him also are chiefly due the enlargement of the index of subjects, some expansions in the new index of Hebrew words, and some additions to the index of passages, whereby we hope to have made the book more serviceable to students. I have also to thank my young friend, Mr. Godfrey R. Driver, of Winchester College, for some welcome help in correcting proofs of the Hebrew index and the index of passages. בן חכם ישמח אב. Many corrections have been sent to me by scholars who have used the former English edition, especially the Rev. W. E. Blomfield, the Rev. S. Holmes, Mr. P. Wilson, Prof. Witton Davies, Mr. G. H. Skipwith, and an unknown correspondent at West Croydon. These, as well as suggestions in reviews, have all been considered, and where possible, utilized. I am also much indebted to the Press-readers for the great care which they have bestowed on the work.

Finally, I must pay an affectionate tribute to the memory of Prof. Kautzsch, who died in the spring of this year, shortly after finishing the last sheets of the twenty-eighth edition. For more than thirty years he was indefatigable in improving the successive editions of the Grammar. The German translation of the Old Testament first published by him in 1894, with the co-operation of other scholars, under the title Die Heilige Schrift des A Ts, and now (1910) in the third and much enlarged edition, is a valuable work which has been widely appreciated: the Apocryphen und Pseudepigraphen des A Ts, edited by him in 1900, is another important work: besides which he published his Grammatik des Biblisch-Aramäischen in 1884, two useful brochures Bibelwissenschaft und Religionsunterricht in 1900, and Die bleibende Bedeutung des A Ts in 1903, six popular lectures on Die Poesie und die poetischen Bücher des A Ts in 1902, his article 'Religion of Israel' in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, v. (1904), pp. 612-734, not to mention minor publications. His death is a serious loss to Biblical scholarship, while to me and to many others it is the loss of a most kindly friend, remarkable alike for his simple piety and his enthusiasm for learning.

A. C.
Magdalen College, Oxford,
Sept. 1910.