Holmes, Robert, Dd

Holmes, Robert, D.D.

An English divine, born in Hampshire in 1749, was educated at New College, Oxford. He became successively rector of Staunton, canon of Salisbury, and finally (1804) dean of Winchester. In 1790 he succeeded Thomas Warton as professor of poetry at Oxford. He died at Oxford in 1805. Holmes wrote The Resurrection of the Body deduced from- the Resurrection of Christ (Oxford 1777, 4to) — On the Prophecies and Testimony of John the Baptist, and the parallel Prophecies of Jesus Christ (Hampton Lectures for 1782, Oxford 1782, 8vo) — Four tracts on the Principles of Religion as A Test of Divine Authority; on the Principles of Redemption; on the Angelical Message of the Virgin Mary; and on the Resurrection of the Body, with A Discourse on Humility (Oxford 1788); etc. But his principal work was the collation of the Septuagint. "As early as 1788 he published at Oxford proposals for a collation of all the known MSS. of the Septuagint a labor which had never yet been undertaken on an extensive scale, and the want of which had long been felt among Biblical scholars. Dr. Holmes's undertaking was promoted by the delegates of the Clarendon Press. In addition to the learned editor's own labors, literary men were engaged in different parts of the Continent for the business of collation, and Dr. Holmes annually published an account of the progress which was made" (Kitto). The book of Genesis, successively followed by the other books of the Pentateuch, making together one folio volume, with one title page and one general preface, was published at Oxford in 1798. From this preface we learn that eleven Greek MSS. in uncial letters, and more than one hundred MISS. in cursive writing (containing either the whole or parts of the Pentateuch), were collated for this edition, of which the text was a copy of the Roman edition of 1587 [that of Sixtus V]: the deviations from three other cardinal editions (the Complutensian, the Aldine, and Grabe's) are always noted. The quotations found in the works of the Greek fathers are also alleged, and likewise the various readings of the ancient versions made from the Septuagint. "The plan of this edition thus bore a close resemblance to what had been already applied by Mill, Wetstein, and Griesbach to the criticism of the Greek Testament, and the execution of it has been highly commended as displaying uncommon industry and apparently great accuracy." It is to be regretted that "the learned editor died in the midst of this honorable labor; but shortly before his death he had published the book of Daniel, both according to the Sept. version and that of Theodotion, the latter only having been printed in former editions, because the translation of this book is not contained in the common MSS., and was unknown till it was printed in 1772 from a MS. belonging to cardinal Chigi" (Kitto). The work was continued by the Rev. J. Parsons, B.D., and completed on the original plan. The title of the work is Vetus Testamentum Graecum, cum variis Lectionibus (Oxford 1798- 1804, 15 vols. fol.). Tischendorf, however, condemns the work as inaccurately done (Proleg. to el. of Sept. 1856, p. 52-56). See Chalmers, Biographical Dict.; Bp. Marsh, Divinity Lectures, lect. 12; Lowendes, Brit. Lib. p. 28, 29; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 870; Darling, Cyclopaedia Bibliographica, 1, 1520; Kitto, Cyclop. of Bibl. Lit. 2, 318. (J. H.W.)

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