Tchat arbe adul
rarely given where they differ from those of the Roman edition of 1587, — a case which frequently occurs, though this edition is, to a great extent, founded on that manuscript ; and those of the Alexandrine manuscript are often ignored.
The readings of the Vatican manuscript are very (iii) iv PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
An account of the more important persons and places occupies a prominent position in historical and geographical works ; but of the less conspicuous names no information can be obtained in ordinary books of reference.
Accordingly many names, which have been either entirely omitted or cursorily treated in other dictionaries, have had considerable space de- voted to them ; the result, being that much curious and sometimes important knowl- (v) vi PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION.
References are made not only to books of American writers, but to valuable articles in our Periodicals, which discuss questions of theological and Biblical interest. Abbot (who has had special charge of the proof- reading, the orthoepy, and the verification of references to the original texts and ancient versions of the Bible, and has also given particular attention to the bibli- ography), the editor has had the cooperation of eminent American scholars, as will be seen by the list of names subjoined to that of the writers in the English edition. It has been the aim of the Editor and Contributors to present the information in such a form as to meet the wants, not only of theological students, but also of that larger class of persons who, without pursuing theology as a profession, are anxious to study the Bible with the aid of the latest investigations of the best scholars.
It must be useful certainly to our own students to be referred to books within their reach, as well as to those which they are unable to consult, and to books also which more justly represent our own tendencies of thought and modes of statement, than can be true of those prepared tor other and foreign communities. It has, therefore, been thought that a new Dictionary of the Bible, founded on a fresh examination of the original documents, and embodying the results of the most recent researches and dis- coveries, would prove a valuable addition to the literature of the country.
William Smith's " Dictionary of the Bible " is now too well established to need any special commendation.
In the present edition, this subject has received careful attention ; and in respect to that large class of names whose pi-onunciation cannot be regarded as settled by usage, an attempt has been made to secure greater consistency by the application of fixed principles. The English edition, at the beginning of each article devoted to a proper name, professes to give "the corresponding forms in the Hebrew, Greek, and Vul- gate, together with the variations in the two great manuscripts of the Septuagint, which are often curious and worthy of notice." But this plan has been very imper- fectly carried out so far as relates to the forms in the Septuagint and Vulgate, especially in the first volume.