Monday, January 31, 2011

Ipissima verba!

Henry Ware Jr. on Quoting the Bible, found in an 1862 issue of "The Monthly Religious Magazine"

"Good Henry Ware the younger used to give familiar lectures, or rather talks, to his classes in the Theological School on all subjects pertaining to pastoral duty and the Christian life. We remember one of these talks on the quotation of Scripture. It occurred after one of the debates in Divinity Hall, where some of the speakers had appealed to Scripture authority, quoting the Bible rather loosely, attempting to give the substance of a passage without giving its precise language, or commencing a passage and ending with "and so forth." After the debate closed, the Professor gave one of his pungent criticisms on the use of Scripture. Sitting in his chair, he began in his low tones, growing more earnest, till his pale face lighted up almost with indignation at such loose or careless use of the words of the Bible. "When you undertake to quote the Bible," said he, "don't try to give the substance of a passage, or end with 'and so forth.' You ought to be familiar enough with it to know what it says; and whenever you appeal to it, be sure you quote it Ipsissima Verba."

Ipissima Verba (the very words) rang in our ears as we left the hall, and has sounded there ever since whenever we quoted the Bible."


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