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- CONTENTS OF VOL. I
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The Samaritan MSS. In regard to the Septuagint, though the work is by no means complete, much has been done. For collection of material the edition of Holmes and Parsons Oxford, , with its magnificent critical apparatus, is pre-eminent; the preparation of a similar edition, on a rather smaller scale but embodying the results of fresh and more careful collation, was subsequently undertaken by Cambridge scholars. Some important contributions towards a right critical method of using the material collected have been made—in particular by Lagarde, who has also opened up a valuable line of critical work, along which much remains to be done, by his restoration of the Lucianic recension, one of the three great recensions of the Greek text of the Old Testament which obtained currency at the close of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th centuries A.
More especially since the time of Capellus the value of the Septuagint for correcting the Hebrew text has been recognized; but it has often been used uncritically, and the correctness of the Hebrew text underlying it in comparison with the text of the Hebrew MSS. It has only been possible here to indicate in the briefest way what is involved in the collection and critical sifting of the extant evidence for the text of the Old Testament, how much of the work has been done and how much Results of Criticism. In so far as it is possible to recover the Hebrew text from which the Greek version was made, it is possible to recover a form of the Hebrew text current about B.
By comparison of the Hebrew MSS. By a comparison of these two lines of evidence we can approximate to a text current about B. The case then stands thus.
Except by the obviously absurd assumption of the infallibility of copyists for the centuries before c. The dangers of conjectural emendation are well known and apparent; large numbers of such emendations have been ill-advised; but in the case of many passages the only alternative for the textual critic who is at once competent and honest is to offer such emendations or to indicate that such passages are corrupt and the means of restoring them lacking. Conjectural emendations were offered by Capellus in the 17th, and by scholars such as C.
Michaelis in the 18th century. Some of these have approved themselves to successive generations of scholars, who have also added largely to the store of such suggestions; conjectural emendation has been carried furthest by upholders of particular metrical theories such as Bickell and Duhm which do not accommodate themselves well to the existing text, and by T.
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Cheyne in Critica Biblica , , whose restorations resting on a dubious theory of Hebrew history have met with little approval, though his negative criticism of the text is often keen and suggestive. A model of the application of the various resources of Old Testament textual criticism to the restoration of the text is C. The valuable editions of the Old Testament by Baer and Delitzsch, and by Ginsburg, contain critical texts of the Jewish interpretation of Scripture, and therefore necessarily uncritical texts of the Hebrew Old Testament itself: it lies entirely outside their scope to give or even to consider the evidence which exists for correcting the obvious errors in the text of the Old Testament as received and perpetuated by the Jewish interpreters.
See also the authorities mentioned in the following section. We now pass on to consider the growth of literary and historic criticism, which constitute the Higher Criticism as already explained.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I
Down to the Reformation conditions were unfavourable to such criticism; the prevailing dogmatic use of Scripture gave no occasion for inquiry into the human origins or into the real purport and character of the several books. Nevertheless we find some sporadic and tentative critical efforts or questions. The most remarkable of these was made outside the Church—a significant indication of the adverse effect of the conditions within; the Neo-platonist philosopher Porphyry 20 in the 3rd century A. In the mind even of Augustine Locutio in Jos.
Even rarer than these rare perceptions of the evidence of the quasi-historical books to their origin are such half-perceptions of the literary origin of the prophetical books as is betrayed by Ibn Ezra, who appears to question the Isaianic authorship of Is. Even after the Renaissance and the Reformation tradition continued influential. For though the Reformers were critical of the authority of ecclesiastical tradition in the matter of the interpretation and use of Scripture, they were not immediately The Reformers.
Thus it is to Luther a matter of indifference whether or not Moses wrote the Pentateuch; the books of Chronicles he definitely pronounces less credible than those of Kings , and he considers that the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hosea probably owe their present form to later hands. Carlstadt again definitely denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch on the ground that Moses could not have written the account of his own death and yet that Deut.
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The later scholastic Protestant doctrine of verbal infallibility necessarily encouraged critical reaction and proved a widely extended retarding force far down into the 19th century. Nevertheless criticism advanced by slow degrees among individuals, now in the Roman Church, now in the number of those who sat loosely to the restrictions of either Roman or Protestant authority, and now among Protestant scholars and theologians. It would be impossible to refer here even briefly to all these, and it may be more useful to select for somewhat full description, as showing what could be achieved by, and what limitations beset, even a critical spirit in the 17th Hobbes.
As far as possible this survey shall be cited verbatim:—. The light therefore that must guide us in this question, must be that which is held out unto us from the books themselves: and this light, though it shew us not the author of every book, yet it is not unuseful to give us knowledge of the time wherein they were written. We read Deut.
It is therefore manifest that these words were written after his interment. For it were a strange interpretation to say Moses spake of his own sepulchre, though by prophecy, that it was not found to that day wherein he was yet living. For the facts registered are always more ancient than the register; and much more ancient than such books as make mention of and quote the register, as these books do in divers places. Ezra and Nehemiah were written after, Esther during, or after, the captivity; Job, which is not a history but a philosophical poem, at an uncertain date.
But apart from the special conclusions, the opening and closing considerations contain clear and important statements which still hold good. The considerations from which he acutely and accurately draws far-reaching and important conclusions might be suggested by a very superficial examination of the literature; they involve, for example, no special philological knowledge. Ecclesiastes whose traditional antiquity is left unquestioned by him are in reality of far more recent origin; c to eliminate the earlier sources or elements in the writings which Hobbes was content to date mainly or as a whole by their latest elements e.
Pentateuch, Judges, Kings , and thus to give to these earlier sources an historical value higher than that which would be safely attributed to them as indistinguishable parts of a late compilation. Hobbes argues in the case of the Pentateuch that two authors are distinguishable—Moses and a much later compiler and editor. Spinoza, whose conclusions in his Tractatus theologicopoliticus , c.
The first attempt of this kind is that of a French Catholic physician, Jean Astruc. Moses had used different documents, and that of these the two chief were distinguished by their use of different divine names—Elohim and Yahweh; by the use of this clue he gave a detailed analysis of the passages belonging to the several documents. In identifying the compiler with Moses, Astruc failed to profit from some of his predecessors: and the fact that he held to the traditional Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch may have prevented him from seeing the similar facts which would have led him to continue his analysis into the remaining books of the Pentateuch.
For subsequent developments, and the fruitful results of documentary analysis as applied to the Pentateuch and other composite books, which cannot be dealt with in any detail here, reference must be made to the special articles on the books of the Old Testament. In spite of these earlier achievements, it is J. An intimate friend of Herder, himself keenly interested in literature, he naturally enough treats the Old Testament as literature—like Lowth, but more thoroughly; and, as an Oriental scholar, he treats it as an Oriental literature.
In both respects he was to be widely followed. His Introduction , consisting of three closely packed volumes dealing with textual as well as literary criticism, is the first comprehensive treatment of the entire Old Testament as literature. Much of the voluminous detailed work in this and other works is naturally enough provisional, but in the Introduction there emerge most of the broad conclusions of literary criticism sometimes incomplete which, after more than a century of keen examination by scholars unwilling to admit them, have passed by more or less general consent into the number of historical certainties or high probabilities.
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With his wide linguistic knowledge Eichhorn perceived that the language alone though he also adduces other considerations betrays the late origin of Ecclesiastes , which he places in the Persian Period B. He analyses significant stylistic peculiarities such as occur, e. He maintains the exilic origin of parts of Daniel , though he is convinced here again in part by language of the later origin of other parts.
His Pentateuchal criticism is limited by the tradition of Mosaic authorship: but even within these limits he achieves much. Other literary critics of the same period or a little later are Alex. Geddes, a Scottish Catholic priest, who projected, and in part carried out , a critically annotated new translation of the Old Testament, and argued therein that the Pentateuch ultimately rests on a variety of sources partly written, partly oral, but was compiled in Canaan probably in the reign of Solomon; K.
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Ilgen, the discoverer that there were two distinct documents in Genesis using the divine name Elohim, and consequently that there were three main sources in the books, not two, as Astruc and Eichhorn had conjectured; and J. But the next distinct stage is reached when we come to De Wette, whose contributions to Biblical learning were many and varied, but who was pre-eminent in historical criticism.
He carried criticism beyond literary analysis and De Wette. In the introduction to vol. These principles he applied to the Old Testament, firstly to the Books of Chronicles , and then to the Pentateuch. The untrustworthiness of Chronicles —briefly admitted by Luther—he proved in detail, and so cleared the way for that truer view of the history and religion of Israel which the treatment of Chronicles as a trustworthy record of the past hopelessly obscured. In the criticism of the Pentateuch his most influential and enduring contributions to criticism are his proof that Deuteronomy is a work of the 7th century B.
Strong in historical criticism, De Wette was weak in historical construction. By the force of his wide learning and even more of his personality, Ewald exercised for long an all-pervading and almost irresistible influence. He closes one epoch of Old Testament criticism; by his influence he retards the development of the next. Before passing to the new epoch it must suffice to make a simple reference to the philological work of Gesenius and Ewald, which assisted a sounder exegesis and so secured for later criticism a more stable basis.
The next stage brings us to the critical theories or conclusions which at first gradually and then rapidly, in spite of the keenest criticisms directed against them both by those who clung more or less completely to tradition and by the Vatke; Reuss. The historico-critical starting-point of the movement was really furnished by De Wette: but it was Vatke who, in his Biblische Theologie wissenschaftlich dargestellt , first brought out its essential character. The fundamental peculiarity of the movement lies in the fact that it is a criticism of what is supreme in Israel—its religion, and that it has rendered possible a true appreciation of this by showing that, like all living and life-giving systems of thought, belief and practice, the religion of Israel was subject to development.
It seized on the prophetic element, and not the ceremonial, as containing what is essential and unique in the religion of Israel. This entirely reversed the prevailing view that P with its exact details and developed ceremonial and sacerdotal system was at once the earliest portion of the Pentateuch and the Grundschrift or foundation of the whole—a view that was maintained by Ewald and, though with very important modifications, to the last by A.
Dillmann d. Inherent in this view of religious development and the new critical position were far-reaching changes in the literary, historical and religious criticism of the Old Testament: these have been gradually rendered clear as the fundamental positions on which they rest have been secured by the manifold work of two generations of scholars. This is significant. In part it may fairly be attributed to the retarding influence of the school of Ewald, but in large part also Graf; Kuenen; Wellhausen; Colenso.
It was only after a fresh and keener observation of facts that the new theory made rapid progress. Not a little also was due to Colenso The Pentateuch This sketch of the critical movement has now been brought down to the point at which the comprehensive conclusions which still dominate Old Testament study gained clear expression and were shown to be drawn from the observation of a large body of facts. It does not fall within the scope of this article to examine the validity of these conclusions, nor even to notice the various subsidiary or consequential conclusions.
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