Johann Christian Wolf - the "Middleton' grammatical argument

Steven Avery

Johann Christoph Wolf (1683-1739)

Leonard Twells (1684?-1742)

Curae philologicae - Vol 5
Johann Wolf
p. 293-315
Twells is 300-313 of Wolf -according to Bengel, this can be checked.

A critical examination of the late new text and version of the New Testament; wherein the editor [D. Mace]'s corrupt text, false version, and fallacious notes are censur'd, Part II (1731)
The various Reading examined; most of them improperly so called; neither numerous or momentus enough to serve the Purpose of such collections: The Authorities for Those Readings carelesly transcribed from Dr. Mills, and sometimes fallaciously misrepresented, especially with Regard to the contested Passage of 1 Joh. v. 7.
Leonard Twells

p. 114-154

TOC Page
The Editor’s Fallacious Notes are censur’d; his Cavils againft the Canon of the New Testament are refuted; the Blunders and Iniquities of his Various Readings are expos’d ; and Justice in particular is done to the Famous Text of i John v. 7. against his partial Representation of that Matter.

The three volumes of Twells contra Mace are available.
Vol One
Vol Two
Vol Three

II. Not a few of those, who rightly and religiously defend this very expression, are too eager in seeking out and employing supports even of such a kind as have no strength. That has occurred to a distinguished man, Leonard Twells, whose miscellaneous production Wolf has translated from English into Latin, and with a few corrections, has put forth on this passage, pp. 300—313. I read and attentively considered Twells before the publication of my Apparatus : Wherefore, when I proceeded with more of self-distrust than he did, I did not do so without good reason, and I would have the reader imagine that there is matter for deliberation. I am not aware that anything new needs particularly to be supplied : I will mention a few points, which bear upon the subject.
The Grammatical is covered well also in Forster (also citing Burgess)

And Wolf has more, and this pic has interesting references.

Wolfius Middleton Grammatical - see Forster.jpg
Gousset (next post)

Jacob Trigland


Grantley bibliography and text, regarding Twells, Wolfius and the Middlton argument-

not in RGA
Wolf, Johann Christian. Cura philologica et critica. 5 vols. Basel: Christ, 1741.

(Only covered by Grantley in the origin of "Comma Johanneum")


Twells, Leonard. A critical examination of the late new Text and Version of the New Testament. 3 vols. London: Gosling, 1731-1732.

Mace was accused of promoting Unitarianism; moreoever, his careless selection of variants from Mills’ edition and his use of conjectural readings attracted adverse criticism from such figures as the English clergyman Leonard Twells (1684-1742) and the great German biblical scholar Johann David Michaelis (1717-1791).289
289 ... Leonard Twells, 1731-1732 ....

Middleton, Thomas Fanshawe. The doctrine of the Greek article applied to the criticism and illustration of the New Testament. Ed. Hugh J. Rose. London: Rivington, 1841.

Yet nothing is given by Grantley about the actual Middleton grammatical argument (or his interesting comments, from an equivocal position.)

As for the connection of the writings of Leonard Twells being taken from English into the Latin of Wolfius, we should see how this connects, and if it works with the grammar. Bengel is one source.
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Steven Avery


Steven Avery

Francis Cheynell - copulative AND - Middleton grammatical argument

Cheynell essentially gives the Middleton grammatical argument in 1650, which may well be the earliest!

The Divine Trinunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; Or the Blessed Doctrine of the Three Coessentiall Subsistents in the Eternall Godhead Without Any Confusion Or Divsion of the Distinct Subsistences, Or Multiplication of the Most Single and Entire Godhead . (1650)
Francis Cheynell

5. The copulative [And] in the beginning of the verse 1 Joh. 5:8 doth very fitly connect the whole seventh verse with the eighth, as they are printed in our ordinary translation.
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