The Homilies on this Gospel formed three volumes of the Oxford edition, published respectively in 1843, 1844, and 1851. The dedication appears in the third volume, as a memorial of Archbishop Howley, who died in 1848. The preface is from the pen of Charles Marriott of Oriel College.
As regards the present volume, it may be remarked that the archaic style of the English translation has been preserved without material alteration. Even when obscure and involved, the form seemed to be a fitting dress for the original. Occasionally an amendation, or rather suggestion, has been made in a foot-note by the American editor. The spelling has been altered throughout by the printer, to accord with the usage more common among us. Some obvious typographical errors have been corrected, and these have usually been indicated. Instead of the brackets, used in the Oxford edition, to mark words or phrases supplied by the translator, Italics have been substituted. The same remark applies to passages where the Greek text is in doubt. The editor has felt at liberty to indicate more fully than the translator the portions supplied by the latter. In a few cases an emphatic word is printed in Italics, but these instances can be readily distinguished from the passages above referred to.
The English translator of these Homilies was fortunate in having the Greek text of Mr. Frederick Field as the basis of his renderings. This text is also accessible in the edition of Migne, and has been compared throughout in the preparation of this volume. At the time when the Oxford edition appeared textual criticism had received but slight attention in England; hence the translator seems to have occasionally failed to estimate aright the value of the authorities for various readings. But in few patristic works do we have better security for the accuracy of the text than in the case of these Homilies on Matthew. The labor of the American editor has been, of course, supplementary. Attention has been called quite frequently to the Greek phrase used in the Homily, with a view to marking the usage in Ecclesiastical Greek. Many foot-notes have been added, to indicate the readings of the New Testament text appearing in the Homilies. The constant use of the Authorized p. iv Version by the translator made this necessary. The Greek phrase has frequently been given; still more frequently the rendering (and reading) of the Revised version. Where these agree with the text of the Homily, they are cited, without comment, in brackets. Differences between readings are carefully indicated.
Occasionally the editor has noted his dissent from the renderings or annotations of the translator, but he has not felt warranted in expressing every difference of judgment. All additions made in this volume are enclosed in brackets, and except in cases where the Revised Version is cited without comment, the letter R. has been appended.
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