See also:born at
See also:Dieppe on the 13th of May 1638 . His early studies were carried on at the
See also:college of the Fathers of the Oratory in that city . He was soon, by the kindness of a friend, enabled to enter upon the study of
See also:theology at
See also:Paris, where he early displayed a taste for
See also:Hebrew and other
See also:languages . At the end of his theological course he was sent, according to
See also:custom, to teach philosophy at Juilly, where there was one of the colleges of the Oratory . But he was soon recalled to Paris, and employed in the congenial labour of preparing a
See also:catalogue of the Oriental books in the library of the Oratory . His first publication was his Fides Ecclesiae orientalis, seu Gabrielis Metropolitae Philadelphiensis opuscula, cum interpretatione
See also:Latina, cum notis (Paris, 1671), the
See also:object of which was to demonstrate that the belief of the Greek
See also:Church regarding the Eucharist was the same as that of the Church of Rome .
See also:Simon entered the priesthood in 167o, and the same
See also:year wrote a pamphlet in defence of the Jews of
See also:Metz, who had been accused of having murdered a Christian
See also:child . It was shortly before this
See also:time that there were sown the seeds of that enmity with the
See also:Port Royalists which filled Simon's after
See also:life with many bitter troubles .
See also:Arnauld (1612–1694) had written a
See also:work on the Perpetuity of the Faith, the first
See also:volume of which treated of the Eucharist . The criticisms of Simon excited lasting indignation among Arnauld's friends and admirers . Another
See also:matter was the cause of inciting against him the
See also:ill-will of the monks of the
See also:order . In support of a friend who was engaged in a lawsuit with the Benedictine monks of
See also:Fecamp, Simon composed a strongly-worded memorandum .
The monks were greatly exasperated, and made loud complaints to the newgeneral of the Oratory . The
See also:charge of Jesuitism was also brought against Simon, apparently on no other ground than that his friend's
See also:brother was an eminent member of that order . The commotion in ecclesiastical circles was
See also:great, and Simon's removal not only from Paris but from France was seriously considered . A
See also:mission to Rome was proposed to him, but he saw through the design, and, after a
See also:short delay dictated by prudential motives, declined the proposal . He was engaged at the time in superintending the printing of his Histoire critique du Vieux Testament . He had hoped, through the influence of Pere la
See also:Chaise, the
See also:confessor, and the duc de
See also:Montausier, to be allowed to dedicate the work to
See also:Louis XIV., but, as the king was absent in
See also:Flanders at the time, the volume could not be published until he had accepted the dedication, though it had passed the censorship of the
See also:Sorbonne, and the chancellor of the Oratory had given his imprimatur . The printer of the
See also:book, in order to promote the sale, had caused the titles of the various chapters to be printed separately, and to be put in circulation . These, or possibly a copy of the work itself, had happened to come into the hands of the Port Royalists . It seems that, with a view to injure the sale of the work, which it was well known in theological circles had been long in preparation by Simon, the Messieurs de Port Royal had undertaken a
See also:translation into French of the Prolegomena to Walton's Polyglott . To counteract this proceeding Simon announced his intention of
See also:publishing an annotated edition of the Prolegomena, and actually added to the Critical
See also:History a translation of the last four chapters of that work, which had formed no
See also:part of his
See also:original plan . Simon's announcement prevented the appearance of the projected translation, but his enemies were all the more irritated . They had now obtained the opportunity which they had long been seeking .
The freedom with which Simon expressed himself on various topics, and especially those chapters in which he declared thatMoses could not be the author of much in the writings attributed to him, especially aroused their opposition . The powerful influence of
See also:Bossuet, at that time tutor to the dauphin, was invoked; the chancellor Michael le Tellier
See also:lent his assistance; a decree of the council of state was obtained, and after a series of paltry intrigues the whole impression, consisting of 1300 copies, was seized by the
See also:police and destroyed, and the animosity of his colleagues in the Oratory
See also:rose to so great a height against Simon that he was declared to be no longer a member of their
See also:body . Full of bitterness and disgust, Simon retired in 1679 to the curacy of Bolleville, to which he had been lately appointed by the
See also:vicar-general of the abbey of Fecamp . The work thus "confiscated in France it was proposed to republish in
See also:Holland . Simon, however, at first opposed this, in hopes of overcoming the opposition of Bossuet by making certain changes in the parts objected to . The negotiations with Bossuet lasted a considerable time, but finally failed, and the Critical History appeared, with Simon's name on the title page, in the year 1685, from the
See also:press of Reenier Leers in
See also:Rotterdam . An imperfect edition had previously been published at Amster-
See also:dam by Daniel
See also:Elzevir, based upon a MS. transcription of one of the copies of the original work which had escaped destruction and had been sent to England, and from which a Latin and an
See also:English translation were afterwards made . The edition of Leers was a
See also:reproduction of the work as first printed, with a new preface, notes, and those other writings which had appeared for and against the work up to that date . The work consists of three books . The first deals with questions of Biblical
See also:criticism, properly so called, such as the text of the Hebrew Bible and the changes which it has undergone down to the
See also:day, the authorship of the
See also:Mosaic writings and of other books of the Bible, with an exposition of Simon's
See also:peculiar theory of the existence during the whole extent of Jewish history of recorders or annalists of the events of each
See also:period, whose writings were pre-served in the public archives, and the institution of which he assigns to Moses . The second book gives an account of the
See also:ancient and
See also:modern, of the Old Testament, and the third contains an examination of the principal commentators . I-Ie had, with the exception of the theory above mentioned, contributed nothing really new on the subject of Old Testament criticism, for previous critics as L .
Cappel, Johannes l%iIorinus (1591–1659) and others had established many points of importance, and the value of Simon's work consisted chiefly in bringing together and presenting at one view the results of Old Testament criticism . The work encountered strong opposition, and that not only from the Church of Rome . The Protestants
See also:felt their stronghold—an infallible Bible —assailed by the doubts which Simon raised against the integrity of the Hebrew text . J. le Clerc (" Clericus ") in his work Sentimens de quelques theologiens de Hollande, controverted the views of Simon, and was answered by the latter in a
See also:tone of considerable asperity in his Reponse aux Sentimens de quelques theologiens de Hollande, over the signature "
See also:Pierre Ambrun, " it being a marked peculiarity of Simon rarely to give his own name . The remaining
See also:works of Simon may be briefly noticed . In 1689 appeared his Histoire critique du texte du Nouveau Testament, consisting of
See also:thirty:three chapters, in which he discusses the origin and character of the various books, with a
See also:consideration of the objections brought against them by the Jews and others, the quotations from the Old Testament in the New, the inspiration of the New Testament (with a refutation of the opinions of
See also:Spinoza), the Greek dialect in which they are written (against C .
See also:Salmasius), the Greek
See also:MSS. known at the time, especially Codex D (Cantabrigiensis), &c . This was followed in 1690 by his Histoire critique
See also:des versions du Nouveau Testament, where he gives an account of the various translations, both ancient and modern, and discusses the manner in which many difficult passages of the New Testament have been rendered in the various versions . In 1693 was published what in some respects is the most valuable of all his writings, viz . Histoire critique des principaux commentateurs du Nouveau Testament depuis le commencement du Christianisme jusques a noire temps . This work exhibits immense
See also:reading, and the information it containsis still valuable to the student . The last work of Simon that we need mention is his Nouvelles Observations sur le texte et
See also:les versions du Nouveau Testament (Paris, 1695), which contains supplementary observations upon the subjects of the text and translations of the New Testament .
As a controversialist Simon displayed a bitterness which tended only to aggravate the unpleasantness of controversy . He was entirely aman of intellect,
See also:free from all tendency to sentimentality, and with a strong vein of
See also:sarcasm and satire in his disposition . He died at Dieppe on the 11th of
See also:April 1712 a t the age of seventy-four . The principal authorities for the life of Simon are the life or eloge " by his
See also:nephew De la Martiniere in vol. i. of the Lettres choisies (4 vols., Amsterdam, 1730) ; K . H . Graf's article in the first vol. of the Beitr. zu d. theol . Wissensch., &c . (
See also:Jena, 1851) ; E . W . E . Reuss's article, revised by E . Nestle, in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie (ed .
See also:Richard Simon et son Vieux Testament, by A .
See also:Bern's (
See also:Lausanne, 1869); H . Margival, Essai sur Richard Simon et is critique biblique au X VII' siecle (1900) . For the bibliography, see, in addition to the various
See also:editions of Simon's works, the very
See also:complete and accurate account of A . Bernus,
See also:Notice bibliographique sur Richard Simon (
See also:Basel, 1882) .
JULES FRANCOIS SIMON (1814–1896)
SIR JOHN SIMON (1816–1904)
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