The authorship of the book of Deuteronomy, with its bearings on the higher criticism of the Pentateuch online

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r,1 OF. P^



... BY,..


President of the College of the Bible, Lexington, Ky. ; Professor of
Sacred History and Christian Evidences in same > Author of
"Text and Canon of the New Testament;" "Credi-
bility and Inspiration of the New Testament ; "
" Lands of the Bible ; " and Commentaries on
Matthew, Mark, and Acts of Apostles.



216-220 East Ninth Street.

Copyright, 1903, by
The Standard Publishing Co.



§ 1. Apology for Writing iii.

§2. Higher Criticism Defined iii.

§3. The Analytical Theory of the Pentateuch vii.

§4. The Suspicious Source of This Theory xv.

§5. The Unbelieving Tendency of It xvii.

§6. The Relation of Deuteronomy to This Theory xix.

§7. The Plan of This Work xx.

§8. Authorities and Abbreviations xxi.


evidences for the late date assigned to DEUTERONOMY.

§1. From the Account of the Book Found by Hilkiah 1

§2. From Alleged Conflicts with Previous Legislation 28

§3. From the Early Disregard of a Central Sanctuary 34

§4. From the Alleged Absence of the Aaronic Priesthood 49

§5. From Alleged Contradictions 54

1. As to the Financial Condition of the Levites 55

2. As to Tithes 63

3. As to the Priest's Portion of the Peace-offering 67

4. As to the Sacrifices of the Passover 68

5. As to Eating that Which Died of Itself 69

6. As to Hebrew Bondservants 71

7. As to the Decalogue 78

8. As to Acts of Moses at Mount Sinai 83

9. As to the Mission of the Twelve Spies 88

10. As to the Time Spent at Kadesh 91

11. As to When the Levites were Consecrated 94

12. As to the Sentence on Moses 95

13. As to the Asylum for the Manslayer 97

14. As to the Year of Release 99

15. As to Eating the Firstlings 100

16. As to a Fragment of the Wilderness Itinerary 104

§6. Internal Evidence for the Late Date 106

1. From the Expression, "Beyond Jordan" 106

2. From Passages Implying Dates Long After the Events 112

3. From Differences Between Laws 115

4. The Date of the Blessing and Cursing, the Song of Moses, and

His Blessing of the Tribes 125

§7. Evidences for the Late Date in the Historical Books 137

1. Joshua and Chronicles Set Aside 137


2. The Confession of Nehemiah and the Levites 139

3. Religion in the Time of the Judges 141

4. The Service at Shiloh 144

5. Offerings Made by Saul and David > 152

6. The Priesthood of David's Sons 153

7. Solomon's Career 155

8. Foreign Guards in the Sanctuary 160

9. The Toleration of High Places 165

§8. Evidences from the Early Prophets 168

1. From Elijah and Elisha 169

2. From the Prophet Amos 171

3. From the Prophet Hosea 175

4. From the Book of Isaiah 180

5. From a Passage in Micah 182

6. From the Prophet Jeremiah 184

§9. Evidence from Style 190


evidences for the mosaic authorship.

§1. Internal Evidence 195

1. From the Title of the Book W5

2. From the Preface to the Second Discourse 197

3. From Directions as to the Ceremony at Mt. Ebal 197

4. From the Preface to the Covenant 198

5. From Assertions About the Writing 198

6. From the Preface to the Song and to the Blessing 199

§2. Indirect Testimony of the Author 200

1. Constant Allusions to Entering Canaan as Yet Future 202

§3. Incidental Evidence 202

1. The Decree Against Amalek 202

2. The Order to Exterminate the Canaanites 203

3. The Order Respecting Ammon, Moab and Edom 204

4. The Predictions in the Book 205

§4. The Question of Fraud 209

1. The Charge Preferred 209

2. The Charge Admitted 210

3. The Charge Denied 212

§5. Evidence in the Book of Joshua 218

1. Jehovah's Charge to Joshua 218

2. The Case of the Altar Ed 220

3. The Devoted in Jericho 223

4. The Altar and Reading at Mt. Ebal 225

5. The Doom of the Gibeonites 226

6. The Cities of Refuge 227


7. The Levitical Cities , , . 228

S(j. Evidence in the Book of Judges 229

1. The Angel at Bochim 229

2. The Nazirite Vow 230

3. Peace-offerings 232

4. Micah's Levite Priest 233

§7. In the Books of Samuel 236

1. The Structure at Shiloh 236

2. The Contents of the Structure at Shiloh 237

3. The Existence of the Tabernacle Denied 239

4. The Ritual Observed at Shiloh 242

§8. In the Books of Kings 244

1. Solomon's Temple 244

2. The Service at the Temple 246

3. The Exclusiveness of the Temple Service 247

4. The Toleration of High Places 248

5. Hezekiah's Attack on the High Places 249

6. The Testimony Given to Joash 251

7. Sparing the Children of Murderers 252

§9. In the Books of the Early Prophets 253

1. In the Book of Amos 253

(1) His Opening Cry 253

(2) What He Meant by the Law 254

(3) His Knowledge of the Levitical Law 255

2. Hosea 256

3. Isaiah 256

(1) An Allusion to Deut. xviii. 10-12 256

(2) An Allusion to Deut. xviii. 19, 20 257

(3) The Law, the Ordinance, and the Covenant 258

(4) Restricted Worship 259

( 5 ) The Commandment of Men 261

(6) Sacrifices Exalted 261

(7) Magnifying the Law 262

( 8 ) Neglect of Sacrifices Rebuked 262

(9) Blessedness of Future Sacrifices 262

§10. The Testimony of Jesus 264

1. Positions of the Parties on This Testimony 264

2. Did Jesus Know? 266

3. Did Jesus Affirm? 269

4. The New Critics on This Testimony 281

5. Did the Apostles Affirm? 294

§11. Conclusion 296

Index 299

Index II. — Scripture References 301



§1. Apology i'ob Wkitixg.

If an apology were needed for calling in question the con-
clusion of those scholars who deny that Moses was the author
of the Book of Deuteronoiuy, it is furnished hy these scholar>
themselves. They constantly insist that men of thought should
hold their most cherished convictions subject to revision. They
denoa.ince as unreasoning traditionalists those who, rejecting
further investigation, cling tenaciously to old beliefs. They
are the last men, therefore, w'ho should object to any fresh re-ex-
amination of their oa\ti conclusions. They wx>uld thus be imi-
tating those whose unwilliiigness to hear them excites their dis-
pleasure. In no' conclusion are these scholars more confident
than in the one just mentioned ; and if I shall appear to them
exceedingly rash in jHibiishing at this late date an attiempt to
show that it is erroneoiis, they are still bound by their own
principles not to condemn me Avitho'Ut a hearing. If I shall not
advance anything new, I may at least place old arguments and
evidences in a f oiin somewhat new ; and I may be able t-o point
cut some defects in their work that have hitherto escaj^ed tlieir
notice. I have a right, therefore, to expect among the most in-
terested and appreciative of my readers those whose opinions
I am constrained to combat. — provided only that my ^^x>rk shall
prove A^T)rthy the attention of serious men. I did not enter
upon it hastily, but after an earnest study of the whole field of
controversy for many years.

§2. Higher Criticism Defined.

The process by which the scholai's referi-ed to in the pre-
ceding section have reached their conclusions, is commonly

styled The Higher Criticism. This title distinguishes it



from "Textual Criticism," or tlie discovery and corroctioai of
clerical errors in the original text. Strictly defined, higher
criticism is the art of ascertaining the authorship, date, credibil-
ity and literary characteristics of wTitten documents.-"^ It is a
h^gitimate ar:, and it has been employed by Biblical scholars
ever since tJie need of such investigations began to be realized.
Only, however, ^vithin the last hundred years has it borne thi.i
title.- Previously both the textual and the higher criticism
Avere known under the common title, "Biblical Criticism." It
scarcely needs to be added that the exclusive use of the title
Higher Criticism for that application of it which seeks to
revolutionize established beliefs in reference to the Bible, is
erroneous: as is also the tacit claim of some advocates of these
revolutionary efforts to the exclusive title of higher critics.^
All confusion in the use of these tierms will be avoided if the
c'.efinition just given is kept in mind.

This definition will be better understood if we add to it
a statement of the method in -which the inquiries of the art are
properly conducted. This method is well defined by Prof. W.
Kobortson Smith in these words: "The ordinary laws of evi-
dence and good sense must be our guides. For the transmission
of the Bible is not due to a continued miracle, but to a watch-
ful Provideaice ruling the ordinary means by ^v'hich all ancient
books have been handed do\\Ti. And finally, when we have

' It is defined by Prof. W. H. Green in these words: "Properly
speaking, it is an inquiry into the origin and character of the writings
to which it is applied. It seeks to ascertain by all suitable means
the authors by whom, the time at which, the circumstances under
which, and the design with which they were produced" (Higher
Crit. of Pent., Preface, v.). He omits credibility, and the literary

■ Johann Gotfried Eichhorn, author of a very learned Introduc-
tion to the Old Testament, was the first to use the new title, abou;
the close of the eighteenth century. He accepted the analytical
theory of the Pentateuch, so far as it had been elaborated, but, lik"
Jean Astruc, who wrote a few years earlier, and who is usually cred-
ited with first propounding that theory, he held to the Mosaic au

'AV. L. Baxter says of these: "Their more proper designation
would be, Imaginationist Critics: they are higher than others, solelj'
through building their critical castles in the air, instead of on terra
firma" (Sanctuary and Sacrifice: A Reply to Wellhausen, viii.).


"worked our way back tlirougli tlic loiii>' conturieti wLicli scparaU;
lis from the age of Revelation, we must, as wc lun-c already
seem, studj- each writing and make it speak foi' itself on the
common principles of sound exegesis" {0. T., 18). In otlie*.*
Vv'ords, tiie method is to employ the laws of evidence by which
other questions of fact are determined, to do this with "good
sense," and, wlien the meaning of the text is to be settled, to
interpret it "on the common principles of sound exegesis."
When Prof. C. A. Briggs says, "The higher criticism is exact
and thorough in its methods" (Bih. Study, 104), he speaks
ti-uly of these methods when properly defined and applied ; but
it is unfortunately true that the most exact and thoroaigh
methods may, in unskillful hands, or in the hands of men with
sinister designs, be employed with disastrous results. Any
metJiod of procedure whicli proposes to apply the laws of evi-
dence, may, by misapplication of tbose laws, lead to erroaieoius
and unjust decisions. Our courts of justice bear constant wit-
ness to this fact- Ajiy procedure in which "good sense," as
Professor Smitli expresses it, is to be our guide, may, by the
lack of good sense on our part, guide us astray. Common sense
is a very uncommon commodity, and not less so among men of
great learning than among their less fortunate fellows. .Vnd
as to "the principles of sound exegesis," the scarcity of the
scholars who can steadily command and employ these is start-
jingly attested by the pages of countless commentaries on the
various books of the Bible.

Prom these remarks it naturally foUows that higher crit-
icism, howe^'er correct the principles by which it seeks to be
guided, is, in practice, an extremely variable quantity — so va-
riable as to include the writings of extreme rationalists on the
one hand and the most conservative of Biblical scholars on the
other. Froan these premises there springs ag'ain tJie inference
that thoi&e who have adopted the conclusions of certain critics
should not be so confident of their correctness as to practically
assume their infallibility. We hear much of "assured results,"
but there are none so assured as to be exempt from reaasion.
The real issue between the t-wo great parties to the criticism of


the Pentateuch lies here. It is the question, which of tJie two
have employed aright, and Jo employ aright, the laws of evi-
dence, the maxims of common sense, and the principles of a
sound exegesis.

By what title these two parties should be distinguished, is
as yet an unsettled question. As we have stated above, the party
\^ho favor the analysis have usually styled tliemselves critics,
and their opponents traditionalists ; but this is manifestly im-
just to the latter; for while there are traditionalists on both
sides — that is, men who accept what has been taught by their
predecessors without investigation on their O'Wn part — yet it
can not be denied that the leaders oif this party have been as
independent and as scholarly in their investigations as their
opponents — Thomas Hartwell Home not less so than S. R.
Driver. Again, the analytical party have styled thedr system
modern and scientific, whereas the system which opposes it is
equally modem in its argumentation, and whether it is less sci-
entific or not is the question in dispute: Prof. James Robertson,
in his Early Religion of Israel, employed the titles "Biblical"
and "Antibiblical ;" but the moire conservative school on the
other side claim to be equally Biblical, in that they claim to have
discovered the real significance of the Bible. Professor Briggs
has employed, in his moire recent writings, the titles "Critical"
and "Antieritical ;" but this is to assimie that his party alone
is critical. If we had, on the analytical side, only the unbeliev-
ing originators of the system, the^ difficulty would disappear,
and the distinction of rationalistic, or unbelieving, and believing
criticism would be appropriate and exact; but the difficulty is
to find distinguialiing terms which will include on that side
both the radical and the evangelical wings of which it is com-
posed. On the whole, it appears to the present author that, the
distinction is meet fairly preserved by the terms destmctive
and conservative. By common consent the unbelieving critics
are styWl destmctive, seeing that they would destroy the whole
superstmcture of Biblical faith. But the so-called evangelical
wing seek to destroy belief in the principal part of Old Testa-
ment history as it has come do^vn to us, and consequently their


criticism is also destructive to a large extent. Tlies© two dis-
t.'nguishing terms are for tlie&e reasons employed in tbe body
of this work.

§3. The Analytical Theory of the Pentateuch.

It is with the applioation of higher criticism to tihe Book
of Deuteronomy that we are especially conoemed. in this work.
As a result of the labors of a century on the part of a succeission
of writers, mostly German rationalists, a theory of th^e origin
and structure of the Pentateucli has been evolved which meets
with the general approval of those, who deny that Moses was
its author."* This theory is styled the anal.)i:ical theory, be-
cause of the peculiar analysis of the Pentateuch which, it in-
volves. The authorsh.ip and date of Deuteronomy is one of the
subjects involved in this analysis, and this renders it important
tc present here a brief outline of tihe theory to which, easy ref-
erence may be had in reading the following pages.

It is claimed by the advocates of this theory that tlie Book
of Deuteronomy, or at least the legislative portion of it (chap-
ters xii.-xxvi.), was the first book of tbe Pentateuch tO' come
into existence. It was first brought into public notice in the
eighteenth year of the redgn of Josiah, king of Judah, and It
alone was the book found by the high priest Hilkiah, when he
was cleansing the temple, as described in the twenty-second
chapter of II. Kings. This was in the year 621 B. C, or about
eight hundred years after the death of Moses.^ The book had
heeii written but a sliort time when it was thus found. Critics
vary in judgment as to the exact timei, but all agree that it had
been composed within the previous seventy-five years. These

* For a brief historical sketch of this theory, the reader is re-
ferred to Wellhausen's article, "Pentateuch," in Encyc. Brit. ; to Bis-
sell's Origin and Structure of the Pentateuch, 42-83; or to either of
two hand-books, Radical Criticism, by Prof. Francis R. Beattie, of the
Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; and The Elements
of Higher Criticism, by Prof. A. C. Zenos, of McCormick Theological
Seminary, Chicago.

' This opinion was first suggested by De Wette in the year 1817.
(Wellhansen. Encyc. Brit.; Art. "Pentateuch.")


years wen-e occupied by the idoiatimis reigns of Manassdi and
Amon, and the tirsit eighteen years of Joeiah.

The more radical critics hold that no writing at all came
down from the time of Moses, imless it was thi© Decalogne in
a much briefeir form than we now have it^ The more conserva-
tive class tiiink that the document described in Ex. xxiv. 1-11
as being written by Moses, consiecrated by blood, and calle

Online Libraryhipofbook00The authorship of the book of Deuteronomy, with its bearings on the higher criticism of the Pentateuch → online text (page 1 of 30)