hipofp00.

The age and authorship of the Pentateuch online

. (page 1 of 23)
Online Libraryhipofp00The age and authorship of the Pentateuch → online text (page 1 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


^^^^F'^



nc






:-^



^^t^

*^':i''



'SE^sis^s^ms'ii:



•Axt^^^



SA€l/.



PRINCETON, N. J. "^^ w



Diviyion -*7-/..rrr^..V.4r;.^ *-^

6-^^//^« q".t...S.7.o



Number _



•Vji. •■■*'^



•""♦ •• -..' . '■ v:l»^ V."''






^,







/\



BOOKS FOR BIBLE STUDENTS.



Edited by the

REV. ARTHUR E. GREGORY.



THE AGE AND AUTHORSHIP OF THE
PENTATEUCH

/

William Spiers, M.A.



CHARLES H. KELLY,

2, CASTLE ST., CITY RD. ; AND 66, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
1895



BOOKS FOR BIBLE STUDENTS.



Editor: Rev. Akthur E. Gregory.



The EpistJes of Paul the Apostle. A Sketch of their

Origin and Contents. By George G. Findlay, B.A. Small

crown Svo, 2s. 6d. Fourth Thousand.
The Theological Student. A Handbook of Elementary

Theology. With List of Questions for Self-Examiuation.

By J. Robinson Gregory. 2s. 6d. Fourth Thousand.
The Gospel of John. An Exposition, with Critical Notes.

By T. F. LocKYER, B.A. 2s. 6d. Second Thousand.
The Praises of Israel. An Introduction to the Study of

the Psalms. By W. T. Davison, M. A., D.D. 2s. 6d. Third

Thousand.
The Wisdom-Literature of the Old Testament. By W.

T. Davison, M.A., D.D. 2s. Gd. Second Thousand.
From Malachi to Matthe^o : Outlines of the History of

Judea from 440 to 4 B.C. By Professor R. Waddy JMoss,

Didsbury College, Manchester. 2s. 6d. Second Thousand.
An Introduction' to the Study of Hebrew. By J. T. L.

Maggs, B.A., Prizeman in Hebrew and New Testament

Greek, London University. 5s.
Iti the Apostolic Age : The Churches and the Doctrine.

By Robert A. Watson, M.A., D.D. 2s. (Jd.
The Siveet Singer of Israel. Selected Psalms with Metrical

Paraphrases. By Benjamin Gregory, D.D. 2s. 6d.
The Aqe and Authorship of the Pentateuch. By William

Spiers, M.A., F.G.S., etc. 3s. Cd.

IN PREPARATION.

The Prophetical Writings of the Old Testament. By
Professor George G. Findlay, B.A.

The Synoptic Gospels. By Marcus D. Buell, D.D.,

Professor of New Testament Exegesis in Boston University,
U.S.A.

The Writi7igs of St. John. A Sketch of their Origin
and Contents. By Professor George G. Findlay, B.A.

An Introduction to the Study of New Testament Greek.
By J. II. MouLTON, M.A., Fellow of King's College, Cam-
bridge. [Inthe lyress.

The Epistle to the Hehreios. By W. L. Watkinson.

The Ministry of the Lord Jesus. By T. G. Selby,

Author of "The Imperfect Angel."
The Evidences of Christianity. By Professor J. SiiAW

Banks, Headingley College.
A Manual of Modern Church History. By Professor W,

F. Slater, M.A.



London: CHARLES H. KELLY, 2, Castle St., City Rd., E.C.

Apl. 1S95.



THE AGE AND AUTHORSHIP



THE PEJ^TATEUCH.



REV. WILLIAM SPIERS, M.A,

F.G.S., F.R.M.S,,

AUTHOR OF

'THE SABBATH FOR MAN," "RAMBLES AND REVERIES OF A NATURALIST,

ETC. ETC.



f0tttr0n:
CHARLES H. KELLY,

2, CASTLE ST., CITY RD, ; AND 66, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.G.

1895.



MORRISON AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.



^OTE BY THE EDITOR.



CoNTKiBUTORS to this series write with entire
independence, and each is responsible only for
the opinions he himself expresses. The Editor,
whilst offering occasional suggestions, has never
sought to hamper the scholars whose co-operation
he has been so fortunate as to secure.

On many points, those who strive together for
the common faith must be free to express diverse
views. This is especially true in the case of
works like the present, which must necessarily be
to a large extent controversial. The question, for
example, of the relation of the Mosaic authorship
of the Pentateuch to the authority of our Lord is
one of undoubted importance, yet one upon which
it is possible for men equally reverent and loyal
to hold widely different opinions. The voices of
the Higher Criticism are heard on every side, and
no apology can be necessary for the publication
of a vigorous defence of the older " orthodox "
position.

A. E. G.



PREFACE,



The purpose of this volume is to furnish some
modest contribution towards a vindication of the
ancient belief in the Mosaic age and authorship
of the Pentateuch, which has been so severely
attacked by critics of various kinds during the
last half-century.

Necessarily the book will here and there assume
a somewhat controversial tone and character, for
it is impossible to write upon such a subject
without being confronted at almost every point
with the views of those who adopt what is gener-
ally described as the " Higher Criticism."

There unquestionably exists a need for some
plain statement of the bearing of current specula-
tions upon what may still be considered to be tlie
popular convictions in regard to the inspiration
and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Books of
a non-technical as well as technical character,
enforcing the views of the Higher Critics, are now
to be found everywhere. If there is anything



viii PREFACE.

to be said on the other side, this is the time to
say it.

Multitudes who have no disposition to remove
from the old moorings, will, we believe, be thank-
ful for some systematic exposition of the grounds
on which their beliefs are based ; while many who
shrink from controversy, or lack the opportunity
of contributing any share to the discussions now
going on in the theological world, will readily
acknowledge the fitness and necessity of a thorough
examination of the positions taken up by the
disciples of the neo-criticism.

It may be asked why the Pentateuch is singled
out for special attention, whereas current criticism
affects the whole of the Bible. To this we may
reply, that the field selected is wide enough to
warrant separate treatment, and that it is in
reference to the Pentateuch in particular that
recent speculation has been most rife and dis-
turbing. Moreover, our Lord so frequently and
so solemnly sanctioned and enforced the universal
belief of His day in the Mosaic authorship of the
Pentateuch, that to deny it now seems to bring
into question the doctrine of Christ's Divine
character.

While not aiming at a complete survey of the
broad question of Inspiration, it will be seen that
our argument bears in a definite and very practical



PREFACE. ix

way upon this subject, and is essentially related
to all Christian doctrines. It is of vital interest
to ask how we are to regard that Book which the
world has learned to acknowledge and revere as a
Eevelation from God and a Eevelation of God.
If it is proved full of false statements and defects,
if its claims to be accepted as of Divine authority
are undermined by glaring inaccuracies, then it
can no longer receive the confidence of mankind,
and must be placed along with the other mythol-
ogies that have had their day and ceased to be.
But if it is the Voice of God, it will be possible to
vindicate it from the charge of error. Assuredly,
a subject fraught with such tremendous issues is
one that deserves the attention of all sober and
thoughtful minds.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

INTEODUCTORY.

Nature and issues of the discussion — Indiscreet con-
cessions—What is expected from Christian divines
— Dangers and defects of specialism — What is
an expert ? — True and false criticism — Importance
of the question of authorship — Vital doctrines
of Christianity involved .....

CHAPTER II.

THE HEBREW CANOX.

Unique position of Pentateuch in the Hebrew Canon —
Dr. Driver's confusion between authorship, canon-
icity, and the completion of the Canon — Growth
of the Canon — Prologue to the Proverbs of Ben
Sirach — Tripartite division of Old Testament-
Letters prefixed to 2 Maccabees — Nehemiah's
collection — Ezra — Tradition concerning the re-
writing of the Law — Testimony of Josephus and
Philo — The Samaritan Pentateuch — Hebrew and
Phoenician letters — The Talmud — The Targums
— The Septuagint translation — Jewish guardian-
ship of sacred books — The Great Synagogue —
The Sanhedrim— The Bible of our Lord— The



CONTENTS.



PAGE



Apocrypha — Not sanctioned b}^ our Lord or the
Early Church — Testimony of Christian Fathers
and later scholars 9-30

CHAPTER III.

METHODS OF MODERN CIIITICISM.

Variety of opinions — Astruc's theory — Supposed
original sources of the Pentateuch — Elohist and
Jehovist theory — Ewald— Colenso — Wellhausen
— Dr. Driver's views on Genesis, on Exodus, on
Leviticus, on Numbers, on Deuteronomy, on the
Pentateuch in general — The Hexateuch — Higher
Criticism and the supernatural — What criticism
claims to have established 31-44

CHAPTER IV.

CRITICAL METHODS TESTED.

I. Jehovist and Elohist theory examined — Did Christ
know of a plural authorship ? — Test-words of the
critics. II. The argument from style. III.
Criteria of the theory of post-Mosaic developments
— Robertson Smith's views on the Tabernacle,
central worship, and sacrifices — Scholars who
oppose the critical methods — Fascination of new
ideas — Human elements in the Bible . . . 45-73

CHAPTER V.

THE TRADITIONAL BELIEF : d 'priOrl ARGUMENT.

"What is meant by "Traditional " — A literary tradition
— General characteristics of the Pentateuch —
What we should expect to find in the Pentateuch.
I. An embodiment of some pre-existing laws
and customs — The Sabbath — Patriarchal life —



CONTENTS.



Administration of law — The Goel — The lex talionis
— Influence of Egyptian customs — Cherubim —
Boring the ear of a slave. II. Some old customs
condemned — Slavery. III. Air of reality in his-
torical reference — Geographical and other allusions
— Climate — Dr. Driver's canons. IV. Allusions
which would be inappropriate at a later age —
Egyptian rites and customs — Offerings to the dead
— Camp and desert life — Advance in organisation.
V. Forward look of Mosaic legislation — The
expected Kingdom — Song of Moses — Ritual —
Central worship — No other period than that of
Moses possible. VI. Archaisms of language — Keil's
instances — Grammatical peculiarities — Conservat-
ism of Eastern languages 74-13 8

CHAPTER VI. -

TRADITIONAL BELIEF : CLAIMS OF PENTATEUCH TO A
MOSAIC AUTHORSHIP.

Ancient writers did not affix their names to their
writings — Opinion of Strauss in favour of Mosaic
authorship — Passages detailed — Meaning of Torah 1 1 9-124

CHAPTER VII.

TRADITIONAL BELIEF : TESTIMONY OF POST-MOSAIC BOOKS.

Joshua — Judges — Early Kings and Prophets — Pro-
phetical books — Amos — Hosea — Cheyne and
Isaiah — Micah — Jeremiah — Joel — Ezekiel — How
the critics meet this testimony .... 125-133

CHAPTER VIII.

TRADITIONAL BELIEF : AFTER-INFLUENCE OF MOSAIC CODE.

Joshua — Judges — Religious reformers — Saul — Sacrifi-
ces, Altars, and Central Sanctuary — The argument



CONTENTS.



from silence — Disappearance of the Ark — Robert-
son Smith's objection — Rawlinson's reply — How
can the Pentateuch be retained in the Bible on
the basis of the modern criticism ? . . . 134-145



CHAPTER IX.

THE AUTHORSHIP OF DEUTEROXOMY : CRITICAL THEORIES.

Dr. Driver's opinions — Bishop Colenso — The German
School — Ewald — Robertson Smith — Wellhausen
— Dean Milman — Hilkiah's book — Meaning of
"Covenant" — Alleged silence of Prophets — Dr.
Driver's arguments — Prophets quoted — Amos —
Hosea — Isaiah — Language of Deuteronomy — Some
supposed anachronisms — The narrative of Moses'
death — Amalgamation of Joshua with Pentateuch 146-158

CHAPTER X.

AUTHORSHIP OF DEUTERONOMY: ALLEGED DISCREPANCIES
WITH OTHER BOOKS OF THE PENTATEUCH.

Supposed differences between Deuteronomy and the
earlier books — Reasoning in a circle — The Priest-
hood — Priests and Levites — Ezekiel's Vision — Re-
lease of Hebrew slaves — Priests' portion of sacri-
ficial animals — Levitical cities — Firstlings — Tithes 159-175

CHAPTER XI.

AUTHORSHIP OF DEUTERONOMY : ITS OWN TESTIMONY.

Introduction to the Book — Passages which assert a
Mosaic authorship— Character of the Book — Dr.
Driver's opinion of its character — Our Lord's
testimony to Deuteronomy 176-186



. CONTENTS. XV

^ CHAPTER XII.

TESTIMONY OF OTJR LOED AND HIS APOSTLES.

PAGE

Aiitliorship of Pentateuch not merely a literary question
— Our Lord's references to the Law and to Moses
— Passages quoted — The Kenotic Theory — The
Accommodation Theory — Testimony of the ■
Apostles — St. Peter — St. Paiil — Supposed advan-
tages of critical theories ..... 187-202

CHAPTER Xin.

TESTIMONY OF THE MONUMENTS : BIRD'S-EYE VIEW.

Reginald S. Poole's opinions — Assp-ian monuments
— Cuneiform inscriptions — Grotefend — Lassen —
Rawlinson — Fox Talbot — Hincks — Sayce —
Egyptian monuments— Dr. Young — Champollion 203-211

CHAPTER XIV.

THE MONUMENTS : CREATION TO DELUGE.

The Creation Tablets — George Smith — Translation of
Creation Tablet — Tree of Knowledge — The Serpent
— The fall of Adam — The Deluge — Translation of
Deluge Tablet . 212-222

CHAPTER XV.

THE MONUMENTS : NOAH TO ABRAHAM.

The Accadians — Indo-European race — The Hittites —
Babel — Chedor-laomer — Abram and Sarah —
Abraham in Egypt— Cities of the Plain . . 223-231



xvi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XVI.

THE MONUMENTS : ABRAHAM TO THE EXODUS.

PAGE

Joseph — Years of plenty and famine — The Pharaoh of
the Oppression — Bricks without straw — Treasure-
cities — Pentaur — Rameses ir. — Moses and Pharaoh
— The Plagues — Influence of Egypt on Mosaic in-
stitutions—The Golden Calf— Law and Ritual . 232-245

CHAPTER XVII.

SCIENTIFIC CRITICISM : THE STORY OF CREATION.

Objections to Genesis — Supposed double narrative —
Geological arguments — Chalmers' hypothesis —
Hugh Miller and the Days of Creation — The
"day" of Genesis — The Fourth Commandment —
Order of creative events — Professor Huxley's
criticisms — Reconciliation of Genesis with Geology
not essential — The Darwinian doctrine of the
Descent of Man 246-269

CHAPTER XVIII.

SCIENTIFIC CRITICISM : HISTORICAL ARGUMENTS FOR MAN's
ANTIQUITY.

Claims to remote antiquity by Babylonians, Chinese,
Egyptians, and other nations — Manetho — Berosus
— Early civilisations — Present-day savages not a
type of primeval man — Varieties of the human
race — Growth of languages — Max Midler's
opinion 270-280

CHAPTER XIX.

SCIENTIFIC CRITICISM : PREHISTORICAL ARGUMENTS FOR
man's ANTIQUITY.

Geological and Antiquarian evidence — Supposed Glacial
Man — Thames Valley deposits — Stone Ages —



CONTENTS.



Bronze and Iron Ages — Flint implements — Re-
mains of Early Man — Kent's Cavern — Time
occupied in the formation of strata — Bones of
extinct animals found with human remains — The
mammoth — River-gravels and human relics —
Scripture chronology — Jewish method of denoting
numbers — Systems of Usher and Hales — Sir J. AV.
Dawson's conclusions ...... 281-310

CHAPTER XX.

ALLEGED ERRORS IN THE PENTATEUCH. "^"

I. Discrepancies originated in unreliable critical
methods — Genesis — Deluge — The Ark — Noah's
Sacrifice — Origin of the Ethiopians — Dr. Gladden's
alleged discrepancies — Abraham and Abimelech
— Jacob and Laban — Jacob at the brook Jabbok
— Esau's wives — The selling of Joseph — Exodus —
Moses' father-in-law — The signs and the rod —
The Sinaitic narrative — The Tent of Meeting —
The Tabernacle — Dr. Gladden's objections against
Exodus — Repetition of laws — Numbers — The
Spies — Dr. Horton's error — Revolt of Korah, etc.
— Sundry errors and discrepancies. II. Alleged
anachronisms — Dan — Kings of Edom and Israel.
III. Alleged contradictions between Old and
New Testament — Stephen's Apology and the
History of Jacob. IV. The Morals of the Penta-
teuch — Dr. Gladden's instances of immoral teach-
ing in the Pentateuch 311-352

CHAPTER XXI.

CAUSES OF MINUTE VARIATIONS AND ERRORS IN THE BIBLE.

Interpolations, intentional and unintentional — Im-
perfections of copyists — Similarity of Hebrew

b



CONTENTS.



consonants — Hebrew vowels — Jacob's staff — In-
corporation of marginal notes or glosses — Con-
clusion — Gravamen of the protest against tlie New
Criticism — The Chris tocen trie fallacy .



353-364



APPENDIX.

On the Language and Style of the Pentateuch

(1) Peculiar and distinctive words .

(2) Words of Egyjjtian origin

(3) Words which changed tlieir meaning i

later times

(4) Archaic words in Genesis which afterward

changed meaning ....

(5) Old names for animals, plants, etc. .

(6) Words in later books quoted from Pen

tateuch
Characteristics of the Priests' Code
Characteristics of H .
Characteristics of Deuteronomy .
Characteristics of Ezekiel .



365
365
366

367

369
370

370
370
376
381
385



Index



389-395



AGE AND AUTHORSHIP OF THE
PENTATEUCH.



CHAPTEE I.

NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE DISCUSSION.

IT is impossible for any intelligent Christian to
remain absolutely unmoved in the presence
of the conflicts which now rage around the Bible.
What is called " the Higher Criticism " is one of
the great facts of the age, and whether we view
it with dismay or see in it the advance of the
human intellect, whether we regard its methods
and conclusions as subversive of the doctrine of
Inspiration, or as building up a truer conception
of what Eevelation is, we cannot fail to perceive
that the issues involved are of the most vital
character. Bishop Ellicott declares that it is a
disbelief in the supernatural which has prompted



2 NATURE AND IMPORTANCE

this criticism, Dr. Blaikie attributes to it the
decline of the evangelical spirit in Great Britain,
and Dr. Stalker laments that it is emptying the
Continental churches.^ The mere fact that men
so devout and observant should see cause for
uttering opinions of this kind is sufficient to
impel all who are not stolidly indifferent to the
interests of religion to inquire where we are
drifting and what is the truth.

"We are confronted with theories and specula-
tions respecting the origin of certain books of the
Bible which strike at the very roots of beUefs
that for ages have been regarded as vital and
unassailable. For example, it is common now
to meet with such assertions as that large portions
of Genesis are mere legends, that the belief in the
supernatural character of the Old Testament is
an offence against reason, that Deuteronomy is a
" dramatisation " put into the mouth of Moses,
and even that it is " untrue," and that " the exegesis
of the New Testament, in reference to the Old
Testament, cannot stand before the tribunal of
science." ^ When such claims are advanced by the

1 Bishop Ellicott's Christus Gomprohator contains some most
impressive utterances on the disastrous effects of the new
criticism, which demand the careful attention of every serious
person. See especially p. 195, etc.

2 Lux Mmidi, p. 357, etc. Wellhausen's Prolegomena to the
History of Israel, pp. 37-39.



OF THE DISCUSSION. 3

leaders of the critical school, is it not time for those
who maintain the inspiration of the Bible to hesitate
before giving even the semblance of an accept-
ance to speculations so insidious and dangerous ?

We frequently hear it urged that the problems
concerned in the great conflict over the Bible are
such as may well be left to the erudite and the
expert, and that we may calmly await the results
of the discussions now going on among specialists.
But men of common sense and the necessary
mental equipment, who read their Bible in the
Hebrew and Greek, and who keep themselves
abreast of the literature of the day, though they
would not venture to call themselves experts or
specialists, are quite competent to estimate the
value of such theories as those of Kobertson Smith,
Cheyne, or Driver. Moreover, it not unfrequently
happens that the specialist has some favourite
theory to maintain, and nothing so blinds the
judgement to the weight of hostile considerations
as the desire to substantiate a preconceived idea.
Then, too, the expert is essentially a man of
multifarious details, the accumulation of which
always tends to dull the sense of proportion in
estimating evidence. Who can fail to perceive
this in many of the ponderous volumes which for
the last thirty or forty years have been poured
out in a ceaseless flood from the inexhaustible



4 NATURE AND IMPORTANCE

fountains of German rationalism ? Dr. Pusey, in
referring to such writings in his Commentary on
ZccJiariah, remarks : " It is an infelicity of the
modern German mind that it is acute in observing
detailed differences rather than comprehensive in
grasping resemblances."

Some of the more moderate of the "Higher
Critics" attempt to diminish the importance of
the discussion we are about to enter upon in
these pages, by the suggestion that the value of
scriptural books is not affected by questions
relating to their authorship.

It may be freely admitted that this is so in
some cases. The authorship of a book 7;^?' sc may
not be vital to its acceptance as a Divine revela-
tion. But if that book announces its author, and
if our Lord gives His sanction to the claim, then
the matter becomes one not merely of literary
criticism, but is essentially related to the very
existence of Christianity, the reality of a Divine
revelation and the Divine character of Jesus
Christ. To say that it is of little importance
wlien or by whom the Pentateuch was written, so
long as it can be shown to be true, implies that
there is nothing in it relating to its age or origin.
This is by no means the case, as we shall pre-
sently show. It claims to have originated from
Moses, other inspired writers admit the claim, and



OF THE DISCUSSION. 5

Christ enforces it. Those who hold such views
are bound, therefore, to accept the Pentateuch
as the work of Moses, or to reject it altogether,
and with it the authority of our Lord.

If only our opinion concerning authorship were
involved, nothing serious would happen should
that opinion be demolished ; but if the writings of
both the Old and New Testament themselves testify
to their authorship, then to despise that authorship
is a vital matter, and involves the credit and
authority of the entire Bible. If whole chapters
of post-Exilian date have been bodily transferred
to the Pentateuch and handed down as the writings
of Moses, and if these were quoted by Christ and
His disciples as being of Mosaic origin, then how
can the Bible hold' together or the foundations of
Christianity escape destruction ? These are the.
difficulties which confront many a sincere believer
in the trustworthiness of Scripture, and which all
the entreaties of compromising critics will not
induce him to ignore. Small discrepancies due to
transcription, and even occasional seeming con-
fusions in the order of the narrative, do not
materially affect the grave questions involved.
If the Pentateuch is not to be believed when it
refers again and again to Moses as its author,
when is it to be believed ? If we are bound to
accept as the writing of Moses only those parts



6 NATURE AND IMPORTANCE

which dii'ectly assert their Mosaic origin, of what
value is all the rest ? and who shall make for us
an authoritative valuation of the whole ? Did our
Lord quote as inspired truth what was of merely
human origin ? Was He ignorant that what He
attributed to Moses was really the work of an
indefinite number of anonymous scribes, who
lived for the most part after the Captivity ?
Surely such notions strike at the very basis of
the Christian faith. There is no bridge that can
be thrown over the vast gulf that separates those
who maintain the Mosaic authorship of the Penta-
teuch from those who follow the lead of Well-
hausen, Eobertson Smith, Cheyne, and Driver.
The force of these considerations was evidently
felt by Professor Davison, who put the matter
forcibly enough when he remarked: " Canon Driver
takes as matters of course statements which Pro-
fessor Stanley Leathes thinks subversive of
Christianity."^ As it is admitted, then, that
scholars of the highest repute regard even such
moderate exponents of the neo-criticism as Pro-
fessor Driver to be engaged in an undertaking
which is "subversive of Christianity," is there
any wonder that multitudes of simple, quiet
followers of Christ should be filled with anxiety
and distress as they are made acquainted with the
^ Revieio of the Churches, vol. i. p. 389.



OF THE DISCUSSION, 7

controversies of the day, and perceive some of


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online Libraryhipofp00The age and authorship of the Pentateuch → online text (page 1 of 23)