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The relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. online

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Koran were suppressed once for all by the Caliph Othman have
broken out freely by thousands and thousands over the whole face
of the Christian Scriptures — the stumbling-blocks here and there of
faithless disciples, but the delight of Christian scholarship, the safe-
guards of Christian doctrine, the relics of Christian antiquity.'

Note 8, page 145. Compare the ova ifivniiovevatv of John the
Presbyter in Papias, Ap. Euseb., H. E., iii. 39, on which see West-
cott, Canon of N. T., p. 80 ; Introd., &c, p. 168; and cf. Lee, pp.
27, 324, &c. Fcr a general view of recent Literature on the Origin
of the Gospels, see Lee, Appendix 0, pp. 562-5 ; Westcott, Introd.,
ch. iii., especially pp. 182-7 ; and compare Mr. Smith of Jordanhill,
Dissertation on the Origin and Connection of the Gospels, 1853, and
a paper by the same author in the Journal of Sacred Literature for
April 1855, pp. 135-56.

Note 9, page 146. ' From one of these (Public Registers) doth
Matthew fetch the latter end of his genealogy, and Luke from another
the beginning of his, having then the Civil Records to avouch for
them,' &c. — Lightfoot, Works, i. 416. 'It is therefore easy to
guess whence Matthew and Luke,' &c, ' namely, from the genealo-
gical scrolls at that time well enough known, and laid up in the
public Kei/dyXia, repositories, and in the private also.' — lb., ii. 96.
See Surenhusius's elaborate Dissertation, in xxxv. Theses, De Modis
explicandi Genealogias, with the Conciliationes de Geneal. J. C.
which follow ; B«/3Aoc kotoKK. pp. 89, 113. Cf. Schoettgen., Hone
Hebr., i. 2; Mill, Pantheistic Principles, ii. 110-23. Lord A.
Hervey, On the Genealogies of our Lord, p. 69. See especially Dr.
Mill's Remarks on p. 119: St. Matthew 'must be considered as
using a liberty of abridgment well known to' his original readers,
' and only inviting, as quite sufficient for his own purpose, attention
to the names he retains. Should it be said that abridgments of this
nature, however justifiable in ordinary writers from the lax mode of
criticism characterising their nation or age, are not to be endured in one
laying claim to inspiration, we answer — 1. That such a censure . . .
assumes a kind of a priori acquaintance with what should be ex-
pected in a revelation, which we cannot either claim for ourselves
or allow to be claimed by others. 2. That supposing the ajmarent
fact to be no more than this, that the inspiration which enabled a
few men of Galilee to regenerate the world, left them under the
influence of their national habits in matters of this nature, we ought


to be satisfied with that fact, without questioning the reasonableness
of the dispensation. 3. That Ave do not, however, pronounce a thing
indifferent, or done without reason, merely because we may be
unable to point out the causes of it : being fully persuaded that there
is nothing in revelation, as in nature, without its proper and
adequate reason.'

Note 10, page 146. This is another instance in which Spinoza
called attention to the facts on which a one-sided line of argument
has more recently been based. — Tract, Theol. Pol., ch. viii. p. 125,
sqq. The facts, so far as they are con-ectly stated, must be ad-
mitted and accounted for, though we judge the inferences to be
altogether erroneous. The Scripture writers ' refer to other documents,
and in all points express themselves as sober minded and veracious
writers under ordinary circumstances are known to do.' — Coleridge,
Confessions, &c. p. 16. 'They are authors, or compilers, or ar-
rangers ; quoters of other books, stringers together of sweet songs by
many hands.' — Chretien, Letter and Spirit, p. 64 : cf. p. 1 1 1. How
much this admission really amounts to, is the point which I have
endeavoured to state in the text. — For a list of the references in
the Old Testament, see Dr. Lee's Appendix D, pp. 464-72, on
The 'Lost" 1 Books of the Old Testament. The instances, so far
as they fall within his range, are discussed by Dr. Stanley in 'his
Lectures on the Jewish Church; e.g., pp. xxxiv. 43, 185, 211,
241, 421, 431, 434, 444-5; also in 'The Songs of Israel,' an
article contributed by him to Good Words for Febr. 1863, p. 121.
(On ' The Song of the Bow,' and the Book of Jasher, see Ch. I. in
the Works of Mr. John Gregory, 4th ed. 1684.)

Note 11, page 146. 'Two very considerable writers, Sir John
Marsham and Dr. Spencer, . . . have not only called in question
the prevailing opinion of the ancient apologists [see above, Lecture
II. Note 3], but they have run directly counter to it, pretending
that the Pagans did not borrow from the Jews, but that the Jews
rather copied after the Egyptians or other Pagans in such instances
as both agree in ; a strange way of turning the tables, confounding
history, and inverting the real order of things.' — Waterland, Works,
v. 14. He goes on to urge that the real solution in cases of
parallels between Hebrews and Pagans may rather be, that 'both
had borrowed from the same common fountain of patriarchal tra-
dition.' — lb., p. 20; see above, Lecture II. Note 2. See Michaelis,
Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, Art. iii. : ' The Laws of Moses


confirm, amend, or annul, a more ancient Jus consuetudinarium.' 1
The point is worked out in Mr. Morris's Essay towards the Con-
version of Hindus, pp. 23, 27, 98 : ' Even supposing the whole
amount of Moses' writings to have existed in tradition antecedently
to their existence in writing (a supposition which I by no means
contend for), still there would be room enough for inspiration to
guide him in selection, juxtaposition, order, language, and many
other points. But I merely assert thus' much, that there existed
a patriarchal tradition, from which Moses in part drew.' ' Circum-
cision, for instance, was of the Fathers ; abstaining from the sinew
which shrank, was of the Fathers ; the distinction between clean
and unclean animals, was of the Fathers ; as were the sacrifices of
certain animals, the washing of clothes before sacrifice, the anointing
of things in order to consecration, the marriage of brothers' widows,
the rite relating to it, and other things.' See also above, Lecture III.
Note 15.

Note 12, page 148. Bentley put this point with his usual vigour
( Works, iii. 360) ; and the Provost of Oriel has lately called attention
to the concurrent testimony of Kennicott and G-riesbach. — Sermon on
Liberty of Private Judgment, 1863, p. 41. Dr. Tregelles remarks
that if criticism ' takes away, on the one hand, readings which Avere
thought to have some dogmatic value, it will give on the other quite
as much.' — Printed Text of N. T., p. 234. Bishop Ellicott thinks
it necessary, indeed, to guard us against the opposite error, that of
supposing that ' as readings affect no great points of doctrine, the
subject may be left in abeyance.' 'It is indisputably a fact that but
few pages of the New Testament can be turned over without our
finding points of the greatest interest affected by very trivial
variations of reading.' — Aids to Faith, p. 421. The assertion is not
that the controversy has never turned on texts of profound doctrinal
significance or historical interest, but that no debates on isolated
texts have shaken doctrines which rest rather on continuous trains
of argument.

Note 13, page 148. Pearson's remarks on Acts viii. 37, though
not bearing on the critical question, illustrate what is here said on the
possibility that such passages were the germs of creeds. It is in the
baptismal profession that he finds ' the first occasion, rise, and original
of the creed itself.' — On the Creed, p. 43. Cf. Bingham, Antiq., X.
iii. § 6. Mr. Scrivener says, ' we cannot question the spuriousness
of this verse, which seems to have been received from the margin,


where the formula Rlittevu), k.t.X., had been placed, extracted from
some Church Ordinal.'' — Tntrod., p. 443. With respect to 1 John v. 7,
Mr. Scrivener concludes : ' nor is there much reason to doubt
the testimony of Victor Vitensis, who records that the passage was
insisted on in a confession of faith drawn up by Eugenius, bishop
of Carthage, at the end of the fifth century, and presented to the
Arian Hunneric, king of the Vandals. From that time the clause
became well known in other regions of the "West, and was in time
generally accepted throughout the Latin Church.' — lb., p. 460. He
thinks that it was known to Cypi-ian (p. 461), to Avhom, indeed, or
to Tertullian, its authorship has been sometimes ascribed. Compare
Bentley, as quoted by Wordsworth, in loc. ; and Porson, Letters to
Travis, p. 400 ; Davidson, Bibl. Crit., ii. 414.

Note 14, page 149. Nil mutetur e conjecturd. Cf. Marsh, Lectures,
p. 27; Scrivener, Introd., p. 369 ; Davidson, /. /., p. 371. A tempting
instance to the contrary is pointed out by Lord A. Hervey in 1 Chron.
iii. 22, where the obliteration of a few words, which have every ap-
pearance of a gloss intruded from the margin, is like striking off a
fetter which has drawn aside and distorted the whole framework of the
pedigree, and permitting it to spring back to an intelligible order. —
On the Genealogies of Our Lord, p. 107. It is part of his argument
to exclude Ehesa, in Luke iii. 27, as ' the title of Zerubbabel
mistaken for ' a 'proper name.' — lb., p. 112. Kennicott quotes with
approbation Walton's remark, ' that the corruptions which are found
in the historical books of the Old Testament appear chiefly (and,
indeed, it is natural to expect they should appear chiefly) in the
several numbers and proper names.'' — First Dissertation , p. 12. The
subject of numbers has been brought into fresh prominence by
Bishop Colenso's arguments. The remark would suggest itself to
many readers of his Part I. that the discrepancies rest ' for the
most part on the basis of a single fundamental number, and (are)
capable, to that extent at least, of reconciliation, on the supposition
of a single clerical error in a department peculiarly liable to mistake. '
— Dr. Vaughan, The Book and the Life, p. 106 ; contra, Colenso,
Part II. p. 167. The question has since then received a very
general discussion (e.g. National Review, Jan. 1863, p. 9; North
British Review, Jan. 1863, p. 65) ; the most vigorous arguments to
prove inaccuracy on the side of exaggeration being those of Dean
Milman, Ilisim-jj of the Jews, 1863, Pref. p. xxx. ; and i. 189, note.
For Laborde and Kennicott, cf. Stanley, Jewish Church, pp. 122,


380, 521. But Ewald and Bunsen 'accept these numbers without
hesitation.' And ' A Layman ' confronts the proposed reduction
with the unqualified principle, ' All mere suppositious emendations
should be rejected unhesitatingly by every one who desires to treat
the Scriptures with fairness and impartiality.' — The Historic Cha-
racter of the Pentateuch Vindicated, p. 15, note. Compare, however,
the note on p. 172 : ' Some of these large numbers may very
probably have arisen from errors of transcription. There are several
instances of discrepancies between the books of Chronicles, and
Samuel and Kings, which have doubtless originated in this way . . .
But this cannot well account for all.' What is proposed by ' supposi-
tious emendations' but to remove apparent 'errors of transcription?'
Their admissibility seems to be reduced in this later note to a question
of degrees of probability ; and no one can doubt that this element
must always be taken into most careful consideration.

Note 15, page 150. ' The usual character of human testimony is
substantial truth under circtmistantial variety.' — Paley, Evidences,
Part III. ch. i. On the alleged discrepancies in the Gospels, see
Dr. Lee's Eighth Lecture, pp. 384-398 ; Westcott's Introduction to
the Study of the Gospels, p. 367 ; and the mass of materials collected
in the controversy on Essays and Reviews, e. g., in Mr. Birks's
Bible and Modem Thought, pp. 289-306, and by Dr. Wordsworth,
Mr. Burgon, and many others.

Note 16, page 151. Dr. Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church
are full of illustrations, many of which, however, still require further
discussion : see pp. xxxviii-xl. GG, 144, 185, 345, 353, 372, 434,
and the references in the next note.

Note 17, page 151. Lightfoot (Works, ii. 669) had suggested
that St. Stephen was possibly referring to a transaction which could
be connected with Gen. xii. 6 : ' If the word fxvnpan did not lay
some obstacle in the way, I should easily conceive that Stephen had
his eye as intent (if not more) upon this place as upon the Cave of
Macpelah,' &c. Dr. Wordsworth has worked out the same expla-
nation in detail (Comm. in loc): ' It has never been shown, nor
ever can be, that Abraham did not purchase a plot of ground at
Sichem, Avhere Joseph and the Patriarchs were buried. Indeed
(independently of St. Stephen's assertion), it is highly probable that
he did.' So also Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, p. 264.
Dr. Stanley seems to accept the solution, but with some misgivings.
At one time he says : ' In and around Shechem arose the first



national burial place, a counterpoise to the patriarchal sepulchres at
Hebron. Joseph's tomb "was already fixed; its reputed site is
visible to this day. A tradition (ref. Acts vii. 15, 16) current at the
time of the Christian era ascribed the purchase of this tomb to
Abraham, and included within it,' &c. — Jewish Church, p. 278. So
on p. 70 he gives some countenance to one of Dr. Wordsworth's argu-
ments, by saying that the expressions used in Gen. xlviii. 22, 'rather
point to incidents of the original settlement not preserved in the regular
narrative.' On pp. 105-7 he gives a general recognition to the fact
that St. Stephen had the command of such traditions; but, on the
other hand, on p. 485, he calls it ' a singular variation,' and on
p. 498, a ' perplexing addition' (so in Sermons in the East, pp. 143,
157) ; and he makes no attempt, I think, to work it into the history
of Abraham at Shechem, either in Jewish Church p. 29, or Sinai,
&c, p. 235. See also his note in The Bible, &c, p. 35.

Note 18, page 151. If we put together the two passages in which
St. Luke records any reference to a census (Luke ii. 2 ; Acts v. 37),
it will appear that the simplest translation of the first passage is also
that which gives the most appropriate meaning : ' this enrolment
was the first which was madewhen Cyrenius was Governor of Syria.'
The other census is plainly that which was conducted by Quirinius
some years later, viz. in a.d. 6, after the banishment of Archelaus. —
Josephus, Antiq., xviii. 1. Of the first there is no other record ; but
Ave are protected from the suggestion that St. Luke has erroneously
transferred the later census to the earlier date, by the fact that he
shows his knowledge of the later census in the Acts, while the irpu)-r)
seems to have been inserted for the express purpose of distinguish-
ing the one from the other. (Cf. Winer, IIWB., s. v. Quirinius;
Westcott, Introd. to Study of Gospels, p. 370, note ; Browne, Ordo
Sceclo?'iim, p. 47 : ' This Census was Quirinius's first, not to be con-
founded with that which, as every one is aware, took place at a later
period under the same person.' See also Euseb., II. E. i. 5, p. 15 :
ett\ Tfjq tote TTpu)Ti)Q awoypa<pi}C, ijyEfiorEvovTOQ HLvpr}i'iov tTjq 2vpiag.)

The only question therefore is, whether Ave can find corroboratiA-c
evidence that Quirinius held command in Syria near to the time of
our Saviour's birth ; i. e., in B.C. 4, as well as a.d. 6. If so, the
passago ceases to be the difficulty which Strauss and many others
have urged so strongly, and, like the parallel case of the title given
to Sergius Paulus (Conybeare and IIoAVSon, i. 150), becomes a proof
of the exactness of the sacred writer's knoAvledge.


Such evidence is furnished in A. TV. Zumpt's enquiry into the
Roman governors of Syria from Augustus to Vespasian, in his
Commentationes Epigraphicce, ii. 87-104, Berol. 1854. In connec-
tion with the well-known passage in Tacitus (Ann. iii. 48), he shows
that Cilicia, when detached from Cyprus by Augustus, B.C. 22, must
have been connected with some other government; that none was so
likely for this purpose as Syria ; and that a break occurs precisely
at the necessary crisis in the Syrian list. After giving a number
of converging details, he concludes : ' Qua? cum ita sint, P.
Sulpiciurn Quirinium eo tempore, quo Homonadensium castella
per Ciliciam expugnavit, certum est fuisse legatuni Augusti pro
prcetore Syria?.' — P. 98. The series, so far as we require it, stands
as follows (p. 149) : —

P. Quinctilius Varus . . . from B.C. 6

P. Sulpicius Quirinius . . ,, 4

M. Lollius „ 1

C. Marcius Censorinus . . in a.d. 3

L. Volusius Saturninus . . from a.d. 4

P. Sulpicius Quirinius . . ,, 6

Q. Cajcilius Creticus Silanus ,, 11

It is true that the succession of Quirinius to Varus must fall a little
later than the Nativity, because it was after the death of Herod
(pp. 87, 104); but if it is brought within so near a limit, there is
no difficulty in supposing that his name might be given to an
' enumeration begun or appointed under his predecessor Varus, and
before the death of Herod,' but ' completed after that event under
Quirinius ; ' which is the form in which Zumpt's conclusion is
accepted by Mr. Merivale. — H. B. E., iv. 457, note.

For the older discussions, see Lardner, Credibility of the Gospel
History, Part I., B. II. i. ; Works, i. 248-329 ; Greswell, Disserta-
tions on the Harmony, Diss. XIV. i. 466-549 ; Davidson, in Home's
Introd., ii. 554.

A different series is represented by Mr. Browne, Ordo Sceclorum,
pp. 40-9, and Patritius, De Evangeliis, Lib. in. Diss, xviii. But
the two inscriptions cited by those writers are set aside by Zumpt,
the one as ' fraus turpis,' p. 107 ; the other as relating to Saturninus,
p. 125. Zumpt's own arguments are summed up by Davidson, I. I.,
p. 1059 ; Dr. "Wordsworth, in loc. ; Dean Afford, in Smith's Dic-
tionary of the Bible, s. v. ; and Lee, Inspiration, &c, pp. 578-81.



There is also a pamphlet by Johannes von Gumpach on the subject,
published early in the present year, but making no reference to
Zumpt's enquiries.

Note 19, page 152. ' The third thing which Ezra did about the
Holy Scriptures in his edition of them was, he added in several
places throughout the books of this edition what appeared necessary
for the illustrating, connecting, or completing of them ; wherein he
was assisted by the same Spirit by which they were at first wrote :
of this sort we may reckon the last chapter of Deuteronomy,' &c.
' And such also may we reckon the several interpolations which
occur in many places of the Holy Scriptures; for that there are
such interpolations is undeniable,' &c. — Prideaux, Old and New
Testament Connected, i. 382, ed. 1851. Again, 'he changed the
old names of several places that were grown obsolete, putting instead
of them the new names,' <fcc. — lb., p. 384. Compare Shuckford,
Sacred and Profane History Connected, ii. 317, ed. 1848 ; and
especially Dean Milman, History of the Jews, 1863, i. 134, note.
For illustrations of the ' two opposite theories ' which I have
mentioned, Ave may turn, on the one hand, to the National Review,
No. XXXIL, p. 362, &c, which bases a far more advanced com-
mentary on the vivid picture drawn by Dr. Stanley, Jewish Church,
p. 445 ; and on the other hand, to the Christian Remembrancer, No.
CXX., 490-7: ' It is worth while . . . to expose the fallacy contained
in the view, that later writers, who added to the text of inspired
documents, could never have ventured so to tamper with them if
they had believed them inspired. "We ask, why not ? Supposing
a later writer had believed himself to be inspired for this special
work,' &c. ' Everybody knows that the number of such passages as
these is very great, both in the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua.
Such passages were undoubtedly inserted by a later hand. 1

Note 20, page 153. See, for instance, Spinoza, Tract. Theol.
Pol., ii. 19, p. 36 : ' Stylus deinde prophetia? pro eloquentia
cujusque propheta; variabat. Prophetise enim Ezechielis et Amosis
non sunt, ut illae Esaiaj et Nachumi cleganti, sed rudiore stylo
scripts;,' &c. In this case, too, we might accept the fact without the
inference ; but in this particular instance the statement itself,
though it dates from a much earlier period, has been recently
modified. With regard to Amos, for example, Dr. Pusey (Introd.
to Amos, p. 151) and Dr. Davidson (Jntrod to 0. T., iii. 257) agree
to qualify the judgment of St. Jerome by quoting the criticism of


Bishop Lowth, De Sacr. P. Hebr., p. 245, ed. Lips. 1815 : ' evolvat
moclo scripta ejus ajquus judex, de re non de homine quaesiturus ;
censebit, credo, potius pastorem nostrum yu^SeV vareprjKtvai twv
vwepXlav Trpo(pi]T(I)y, ut sensuum elatione et rnagnificentia, spiritus
prope sumrnis parem, ita etiam dictionis splendore et compositionis
elegantia vix quoquam inferiorem.'

Note 21, page 153. See Dean Lyall's application to Holy Scripture
of Paley's argument from ' Prospective Contrivances ' {Nat. Theol.,
ch. xiv.), in his Propcedia Prophetical especially Part II. Ch. v.
p. 199 : ' Prophecies not understood before Christ.' Compare Mr.
P. P. Smith's Messianic Interpretation of Isaiah, p. 21 : 'When
God, therefore, gave (Ahaz) a sign, it was a veiled sign, which not
till centuries afterwards woidd be clearly understood.' See also
above, Lecture TV. Note 12.

Note 22, jmge 154. See Spinoza, Tract. Theol. Pol, viii. p. 125,
sqq. : ' in quo ostenditur Pentateuchon, et libros Josuse, Judicum,
Put, Samuelis, et Pegum non esse autographa. Deinde inquiritur,
an eorum omnium scriptores plures fuerint, an unus tantum, et
quinam.' From this point it is a mere question of degree till Ave
reach the large collections of difficulties in the works of Dr.
Davidson and Bishop Colenso. For an intermediate stage, see
Graves's replies to Le Clerc's series. — Lectures on the Pentateuch,
pp. 439-52. See also above, Note 19.

Note 23, page 157. We have seen above (Lecture III.) that no
exegetical error is more common than to build a whole theory on
one expression, or to urge the literal sense of an isolated text against
the general drift of other passages. Bishop Colenso has been unfor-
tunately successfid in transferring this method to the sphere of
history. Arguing from the words ' this night,' in Ex. xii. 12, he
persists, in the face of both context and philology, in denying that the
Israelites had received a longer and more sufficient warning : Penta-
teuch, &c, § 65 : compare the Answers of a Layman, p. 70 ; Dr.
M'Caul, p. 62 ; Mr. Greswell, p. 89 ; Mr. Birks, p. 82 ; and, in
reply, the Bishop's rejoinder to Dr. M'Caul, § 19. Arguing from
the words ' which came into Egypt,' Gen. xlvi. 8, &c, he maintains
an interpretation of the list of families which is equally at variance
with probability and fact. It is at variance with probability, because
his account is far less likely than either the opinion that the narrative
was regulated by 'the sacred number seventy' (Birks, p. 22), or
the opinion that it gives the eponymous heads of families, arranged,


as among so many ancient peoples, on a peculiar national theory of
number ; it being comparatively indifferent whether they were sons
or grandsons of Jacob, and whether they actually travelled with
him on his journey to Egypt, or were born in Egypt before the
final adjustment of the gentes was completed (Rogers, p. 13). And
it is at variance with fact, because the same expression is con-
fessedly used, in the general summary of verse 27, to include the
two Egypt-born sons of Joseph, — ' inaccurately,' the Bishop in this
instance tells us, pp. 22, 27 ; because the plainest interpretation of
the narrative would lead us to believe that two of the four sons of
Reuben, verse 9, were also born in Egypt (Rogers, p. 7); and
because the list often sons assigned to Benjamin, verse 21, is found
to include two grandsons, who certainly could not have been born
in Canaan (Numb. xxvi. 38-40 ; Rogers, p. 10). Though opinions
will continue to differ on some of these details, they embody a
sufficient amount of certainty to corroborate the hypothesis that
Hezron and Hamul were bom in Egypt, and were substituted as
heads of families for their uncles, Er and Onan, who died in Canaan

Online LibraryJ HannahThe relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. → online text (page 26 of 30)