Lay Bibles in Europe 1450-1800 (2006)
edited by Mathijs Lamberigts
A French Bible Produced in the Netherlands: La Sainte Bible par David Martin, pasteur Wallon a Utrecht (1707) ..........
Frederik R.J. Knetsch
However, despite his being in old age, Martin’s zeal was still blazing. Fresh fuel was supplied by those who doubted the authenticity of 1 John 5,7-8: the„Three Witnesses in Heaven”, the most important ‘locus probans’ of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Consequently, after his polemics with the London-orientated Frenchman Jean Masson, he now had to cross swords with “the first (real) Unitarian”'”’, the genuine Briton Thomas Emlyn, Presbyterian minister in Dublin. However, Emlyn was not the only one. Jacques Le Long, an Oratorian from Paris who certainly believed in the holy Trinity, also had his doubts about 1 John 5,7-8. Therefore, David Martin had to wage a war on two fronts, in which he had his allies. He wrote three pamphlets and an article based upon his Biblical studies47. Having read the first of these, Anne and Andre Dacier
- the learned classicists, Huguenots from Southern France who had converted to Roman Catholicism during the dragonnades of 168548 - took Martin’s side. David Martin had renewed the old friendship after he read (1712) the llias translation of Anne le Fevre-Dacier
(“Madame Dacier”). They recruited a third ally, Jean Boivin
, the King’s (Louis XIV!) librarian, keeper of the manuscripts, who had just discovered proof of Martin’s thesis before the latter died (9 September 1721).
In sum, David Martin had carried out a mega job in correcting and annotating the most precious jewel of his co-religionists - the Bible in their mother tongue - based on a strong Reformed conviction. Finally, at the end of his life, he gathered a small ecumenical group of the last defenders of the old truth, before more enlightened enquiries would sweep it aside.
47. David Martin,
Deux dissertations critiques: la première sur I Jean 5,7, dans laquelle on prouve l'authenticité de ce texte; la seconde sur le passage de Joseph touchant Jésus-Christ. où l'on fait voir que ce passage n'est point supposé, Utrecht, G. van de Water, 1717, English transl. 1719. -
Examen de la Réponse de Mr. Emlyn à la Dissertation critique sur 1 Jean 5,7, Londres, G. & J. Innys. 1719. -
La Vérité du Texte ! Jean 5,7. Démontrée par des preuves qui sont au dessus de toute exception, prises des témoignages de l'Église Latine, A de l'Église Grecque, A en particulier d'un Manuscrit Grec du N.T., trouvé en Irlande, Utrecht, Broedelet 1721. -
Réponse à la lettre du P[ère J.] Lelong, in L'Europe sçavante 12 (1720) 279-301.