As related in the Introduction, accurate translation of the meaning of the original text is a vital and important goal. Nonetheless, however accurate the translation may be, if it is not accessible to the reader all is lost. Thus, readability is a paramount and overriding consideration. For this purpose, the following changes have been silently made during translation; only when the editor has added clarifying or interpretive text is an addition in square brackets:
Spelling and punctuation are modernized.
Obsolete words are replaced with contemporary synonyms.
Words that may not be obsolete, but whose common or contemporary meaning is often unknown or differs from that of the text, are likewise replaced with contemporary synonyms or defined.
Occasionally, words, especially those with a precise theological meaning, are explained in footnotes.
Overly long and run-on sentences (by contemporary standards) are broken up into multiple sentences. The subject or verb may be repeated in such cases for clarity.
Embedded lists are sometimes bulleted, particularly where the structure is complex, the list long, or the list items are complex phrases, clauses, or sentences.
In some cases, the order of phrases is altered for clarification or ease of reading.
Other small changes are often made that make the text easier to read, such as substituting the antecedent for a pronoun.
Occasionally, footnotes give longer or detailed explanations of terms or concepts so that the reader may more fully understand the text.
As discussed in the Introduction, there are places in which Ashwood quotes or references Bible texts whose reading is substantially different from one or more major modern Bible translations. Thus modern readers of certain Bible versions may be at a loss to compare their modern Bible text to Ashwood’s commentary. In such cases, the editor has included footnotes to explain the matter.
Also, in a few cases, where he believes Ashwood to be in substantial error, the editor has been conscience-bound to use footnotes in opposition to Ashwood’s prose. Let the readers be as the Bereans and search the Scriptures for themselves.
Ashwood’s readers and hearers were much more familiar with the Scriptures than many modern readers. Thus the editor has included additional appropriate Bible references in parentheses where deemed helpful.
For the same reason, some of Ashwood’s short Scripture quotations have been expanded or completely quoted so as to give the reader the full context.
The contemporary text generally follows American usage per the Chicago Manual of Style.1696
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew phrases are silently translated unless exegetically helpful. Where they are included and Ashwood does not give a translation, the editor has supplied this information in a footnote. Each Greek or Hebrew word is accompanied by the pronunciation given in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.1697
Godly men and women of the time thoroughly and equally included women with men as human beings made in the image of God. They understood references to “men,” “mankind,” and so on, as completely including both sexes. Use of masculine pronouns to include both sexes was not at all considered sexist. This understanding and usage is also that of the Holy Scriptures. The editor has, where possible, reasonable, and feasible without violence to the text, used language that includes both sexes. However, in many cases, the editor has seen fit to retain the language, pronouns, or constructions of the original in order avoid undue violence to the original. Also, standards of English usage in this matter are currently in flux, frequently resulting in awkward constructions.
The editor welcomes constructive feedback and corrections at the email address given below. (The address is a graphic to foil harvesting by spammers.)
1696Chicago University Press, The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), 2017.
1697This work is published widely in both paper and electronic form. This book uses the version supplied by the Crosswire Project (http://www2.crosswire.org/sword/modules/ModDisp.jsp?modType=Dictionaries). For software with which to access it and to obtain the latest versions, start with http://www.crosswire.org/applications.