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contents and their language. The unacknowledged quotations prove to him the relationship between two books; but which is the original ? Sometimes an answer may be obtained by examining the context in which the common words are imbedded, or by comparing the style and the usage of words in the respective authors; but, after all, critical opinion may remain divided, as is the case in the passage common to Micah and Isaiah.
Some of the leading passages which would be included under this head are given in the Appendix.
$ 6. The Bearing of the Present Work on Higher Criticism.
Although the main intent of this work is concerned with text and substance rather than with authorship, yet we have here a lesson on Biblical criticism on a large scale. By collating the two great historical documents A. and B. are enabled to detect a certain stratification in the Hebrew writings, and a weaving together of materials into a connected whole. So far as we can judge from what he himself
the Chronicler grounded his work on materials which must have been more or less contemporary with the age in which the events narrated took place ; and he selected those which he had reason to believe were of high prophetic authority. These materials he arranged and interwove in much the same way as a modern historian would do, so that there might be no abrupt transition from one age or one set of materials to another.
Another important point is elicited by a careful comparison of A. and B., namely, that although there is hardly a section of any great length which does not exhibit some variations or additions (apart from matters of text), yet B. never seems to have departed to any considerable extent from his authorities. If he modernized their terminology it was only on a minute scale. If he incorporated and interpolated, so far as we can gather, it was from sources of the same class as his principal authority, that is to say either Levitical or prophetical.
These facts have an important bearing on the composition of other books, for they suggest the ways and methods adopted by more ancient Hebrew writers.
All students recognize a threading together of narratives in the Book of Genesis, though some esteem the narratives themselves as contemporary with the days of the patriarchs, whilst others bring them down to a much later date. Similarly, most students hold that there is something of the nature of compilation in the four later books of the Pentateuch, and that some passages in them may have been incorporated in postMosaic times, e.g. in the age of Samuel, Josiah, or Ezra. How does an examination of A. and B. affect the question of the historical and sacred authority of the books so compiled ?
In the first place, it leads us to respect the books of the Pentateuch, Joshua, and the Judges as works of authority composed or compiled by authors of the prophetic class, whether of an age anterior to Samuel, as those who hold the traditional view believe, or whether a considerable element in them is of later growth, as the revolutionary critics hold.
Secondly, it permits of the idea, not only of the threading of documents (as in A.), but also of the blending of documents into a connected whole (as in B.); though it hardly gives an illustration of the minute dovetailing in of sentences and fragments of sentences which some critics claim to have detected in the earlier writings; minute variations between A. and B. being simply textual, idiomatic, or paraphrastic. It is sometimes supposed that numerous small repetitions are a sign of the blending of two or more documents; but the testimony of B., which all acknowledge to be a blended narrative, is not confirmatory of this hypothesis. It by no means abounds in repetitions. The tendency to repetition is exceedingly ancient, being related to the tendency to parallelism, and must not be cited as a proof of 'manipulation.'
Thirdly, it justifies the idea that the old documents thus put together have not suffered materially by the process, and that neither the modernization of their spelling and idioms, nor the incorporation of occasional extracts from other authoritative sources, materially interferes with the historic value and prophetic authority of the works as a whole.
Fourthly, it prepares us to expect numerous corruptions of text and slight departures from the original copies, and justifies us in the idea that small apparent inconsistencies, whether in numbers or otherwise, may be copyists' errors.
Lastly, it confirms the judgement of former days, that the Hebrew writers were chroniclers rather than inventors. We find nothing in a comparison of A. and B. leading to the
hypothesis that the prophetic writers indulged in flights of the imagination while professedly composing history. Even Hebrew poetry can hardly be called the work of the imagination ; whilst the prose narratives which have come down to usare to a large extent based on semi-official and contemporary documents. The writers were responsible to God and to man. To attribute to them anything which savours of fraudulent invention, whether of law, history, or prophecy, is equally unfair and uncritical.
Granting that it is one part of Biblical criticism to attempt to discriminate between the pre-Mosaic, the Mosaic, and the post-Mosaic in the Pentateuch, it is evident that the task calls for caution and reserve as well as skill. The ancient writers used no inverted commas, no brackets, no side-notes. We have absolutely nothing to go by except the text itself ; but we cannot separate the letter from the spirit, the text from the tendency. The theological cast of the whole, and the fact that it has proved to be anticipatory of the mission of Christ, and that the books are stamped by His authority, must be allowed to weigh. The exceeding antiquity of the great mass of the materials must be recognized and granted, even if some things which seem inconsistent with the most ancient date have to be bracketed as later additions.
The following pages will produce a shock on some minds, because of the numerous textual variations which are prominently marked, -and certainly the task of marking them has not been an easy or a pleasant one ; but further reflection on the results attained will tend to a conviction in the reader's mind (as it certainly has done in the case of the writer) that the Biblical record from Genesis onwards is trustworthy and authoritative.
None of the original authors of the Old Testament wrote for gain or for personal honour. It was pressed home upon them by a Spirit higher than their own that they must write. We have not the documents exactly as they left the hands of the prophetic composers, but judging from what we possess in A. and B., after deducting for errors of scribes and copyists, the impression produced on the mind is that we may attribute to the writers the same qualifications of honesty and knowledge as St. Luke claims in the introduction to his Gospel.
§ 7. Specimens of the Grammatical and Idiomatic Changes
to be found on comparing A. and B.
B. I SAMUEL
1 KINGS 31. I.
43• I3• 2 SAMUEL
אנשי הגלבע את בהן ביבשה
גלבע אחרי בהם ביבש
אם מן השמים אס־ינגף ידעו מקץ שמעה עמו
9. Io. 10. I.
את אשר השמים בהנגף ודעון מקצה שמעת אליו היה אריים ממלכות אלהים שלשה וילכו את פני אליו אתי לא
אריות ממלכה האלהים שלשת וילך לפני אתו עמי איננו לטובה מהר לרע על־ימינו ככה לרוח ויךְ
LIST OF PASSAGES PRESENTED FOR
15 17 20
B. 1. 1 Sam. 31. I-13
1 CHRON. 10. I-14 . 2. 2 SAM. 5. I-IO
11. 1-9 · 3. 5. 11-25
14. I-16. 4. 6. I-II
13. 5-14 : 5. 6. 12-20.
15. 25--16. 3, 43 6. Pss. 105, 96, 106 .
16. 7-36 . 7. 2 SAM. 7. 1-29
17. 1-27. 8. 8. I-18
18. I-17. 9. 10. I-19
19. I-19. 10. 11. 1; 12. 26-31
20. I-3 11. 21. 18-22
20. 4-8 12. 22. I-51
Ps. 18. I-50 13. 23. 8-39
I Ci on. 11. 10-47 14. 24. 1-25
21. I-31 . 15. I KINGS 2. 10, 11
29. 26-30 16. 3. 4-15
2 CHRON, 1. I-13. 17. 5. I-18
2. I-18. 18. 6. I-38; 7. 13-22
3. I-17 19. 7. 23-51
4. 1-5. I 20. 8. I-21
5. 2-6. II 21. 8. 22-66 .
6. 12–7. 10. 22.
7. II-22 23. 9. 10-28.
8. I-18. 24. 10. I-13
9. I-12 25. 10. 14-29 :
9. 13-28 26. 11. 41–12. 24
9. 29-11. 4 27. 14, 21-31
12. I-16. 28. 15. 1-7
13. 1, 2, 21, 22; 14. I 29. 15. 9-16 .
14. 2-5; 15. 16-19. 30. 15. 17-24
16. 1-14; 17. I 31. 22. I-37
18. 1-19. I 32. 22. 41-50
27 30 34 35 37 41 45
20. 30—21. 3 33. 2 KINGS 8. 16-24
21.4–22. 1. 34.
8. 25-29 ; 9. 27, 28 35. 11. I-20.
22. 10-23. 21