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Copyright, 1895, by





S The Higher Criticism has been of late so associated
with extravagant theorizing, and with insidious attacks
upon the genuineness and credibility of the books of the
Bible that the very term has become an offence to seri-
ous minds. It has come to be considered one of the
most dangerous forms of infidelity, and in its very nature
hostile to revealed truth. And it must be confessed that
in the hands of those who are unfriendly to supernatural
religion it has proved a potent weapon in the interest of
unbelief. Nor has the use made of it by those who,
while claiming to be evangelical critics, accept and de-
fend the revolutionary conclusions of the antisupernatur-
alists, tended to remove the discredit into which it has
I This is not the fault of the Higher Criticism in its
' genuine sense, however, but of its perversion. Prop-
erly speaking it is an inquiry into the origin and char-
acter of the writings to which it is applied. It seeks to
ascertain by all available means the authors by whom,
the time at which, the circumstances imder which, and
the design with which they were produced. Such inves-
tigations, rightly conducted, must prove a most important
aid to the understanding and just appreciation of the
writings in question.

The books of the Bible have nothing to fear from such
investigations, however searching and thorough, and how-
ever fearlessly pursued. They can only result in estab-
lishing more firmly the truth of the claims, which the


Bible makes for itself, in every particular. The Bible
stands upon a rock from which it can never be dislodged.

The genuineness and historical truth of the Books of
Moses have been strenuously impugned in the name of
the Higher Criticism. It has been claimed as one of its
most certain results, scientifically established, that they
have been falsely ascribed to Moses, and were in reality
produced at a much later period. It is afiirmed that the
history is by no means reliable and merely records the
uncertain and variant traditions of a post-Mosaic age ;
and that the laws are not those of Moses, but the growth
of centuries after his time. All this is demonstrably
based on false and sophistical reasoning, which rests on
unfounded assumptions and employs weak and inconclu-
sive arguments.

It is the purpose of this volume to show, as briefly and
compactly as possible, that the faith of all past ages in
respect to the Pentateuch has not been mistaken. It is
what it claims to be, and what it has always been be-
lieved to be. In the first chapter it is exhibited in its
relation to the Old Testament as a whole, of which it is
not only the initial portion, but the basis or foundation
upon which the entire superstructure reposes ; or rather,
it contains the germs from which all that follows was
developed. In the second, the plan and contents of the
Pentateuch are unfolded. It has one theme, which is
consistently adhered to, and which is treated with or-
derly arrangement and upon a carefully considered plan
suggestive of a single author. In the third it is shown
by a variety of arguments, both external and internal,
that this author was Moses. The various forms of opj^o-
sition to this conclusion are then outlined and separately
considered. First, the weakness of the earlier objections
from anachronisms and inconsistencies is showTi. In the
fourth chapter the divisive hypotheses, which have in


succession been maintained in opposition to the unity of
the Pentateuch, are reviewed and shown to be baseless,
and the arguments urged in their support are refuted.
In the fifth chapter the genuineness of the laws is de-
fended against the development hypothesis. And in the
sixth and last chapter these hypotheses are shown to be
radically unbiblical. They are hostile alike to the trath
of the Pentateuch and to the supernatural revelation
which it contains.

Princeton, N. J., August 1, 1895.




The Old Testament and its Structure, 1

The Old Testament addressed in the first instance to Israel
and in the language of that people ; the New Testament to
all mankind and in the language of the civilized world. The
former composed by many writers in the course of a thousand
years, 1 ; not an aggregate of detached productions, but pos-
sessed of an organic structure, 2 ; of which each book is a
constituent element, 3, with its special function. The three
fold division of the Hebrew Bible, 4, resting on the officia!
position of the writers, 5. The Lamentations an apparent eX'
ception, 6. Two methods of investigating organic structure
7. First, trace from the beginning. The Pentateuch, histor
leal, poetical, 8, and prophetical books, 9. Second, survey
from the end, viz., Christ ; advantages of this method, 10.
Predictive periods, negative and positive ; division of the Old
Testament thence resulting, 11-13. Two modes of division
compared, 14. General relation of the three principal sec-
tions, 15-17.



The Plan and Contents of the Pentateuch, 18

Names of the books of Moses, origin of the fivefold divis-
ion, 18. Theme of the Pentateuch ; two parts, historical and
legal, 19 ; preliminary portion, 20 ; its negative and positive
aim, 21. Creation to the Flood, primeval holiness and the
fall ; salvation and perdition ; segregation, 22 ; divine insti-
tutions. The Flood to Abraham, 23. Call of Abraham. Two
stages in the development of Israel. The family ; Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, 24. The nation ; negative and positive prepa-
ration for the exodus ; the march to Sinai. The legislation ;
at Sinai 25, in the wilderness of Paran, in the plains of Moab,
26-28; one theme, definite plan, continuous history, 29, sug-
gestive of a single writer. Tabular view, 30.




Moses the Author of the Pentateuch, 31

Importance of the Pentateuch, 31. Mosaic authorship as
related to credibility. (1) Traditional opinion among the
Jews ; testimony of the New Testament, 32, not mere accom-
modation to prevailing sentiment. (2) Testimony of the Old
Testament, 33-35. (3) Declarations of the Pentateuch ; the
Book of the Covenant ; the Priest code ; the Deuteronomic
code, 36 ; two historical passages ascribed to Moses, which
imply much more, 37, 38 ; intimate relation of the history to
the legislation. (4) The language of the laws points to the
Mosaic period, 39, 40 ; indicates that they were written then.
Moses's farewell addresses, song and blessing, 41. The laws
could not be forged ; locality of these enactments. (5) The Pen-
tateuch alluded to or its existence implied in the sul)sequent
books of the Bible, 42. (6) Known and its authority admitted
in the kingdom of the ten tribes, 43 ; no valid argument from
the Samaritan Pentateuch, 44 ; proof from the history of the
schism and the books of the prophets. (7) Elementary char-
acter of its teachings. (8) Egyptian words and allusions, 45.
Assaults in four distinct lines, 46. The earliest objections ;
ancient heretics ; Jerome misinterpreted ; Isaac ben Jasos ;
Aben Ezra, 47 ; Peyrerius ; Spinoza ; Hobbes ; Richard
Simon, 48 ; Le Clerc ; answered by Witsius and Carpzov, 49.
The alleged anachronisms and other objections of no account,
50, 51. Note : Testimony of Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 52 ; 2
Samuel, Kings, 53; Joel, Isaiah, 54 ; Micah, Jeremiah, 55;
Psalms. Allusions in Hosea and Amos to the facts of the
Pentateuch, 56 ; to its laws, 57 ; coincidences of thought or
expression, 58.


The Unity of the Pentateuch, 59

Meaning of unity, 59 ; illustration from Bancroft ; the
Gospels, 60. The Document Hypothesis ; Vitringa, 61 ; As-
true, Eichhorn, Gramberg, 62. (1) Elohim and Jehovah, 63.
(2) Each class of sections continuous. (3) Parallel passages,
64. (4) Diversity of diction and ideas, 65, 66. At first con-
fined to Genesis ; not conflict with Mosaic authorship until
extended to the entire Pentateuch, 67 ; even then not neces-


sarily, unless the documents are post-Mosaic ; Ex, vi. 3, 6S.
Jeliovist suspected of anachronisms, inaccuracies, and contra-
dictious, 69 ; inferred from parallel passages, 70. Fragment
Hypothesis, Vater, Hartmann, 71 ; supported by similar
arguments, 72 ; the Document Hypothesis reacting against it-
self, 73 ; titles and subscriptions, 74. But (1) The extensive
literature assumed. (2) The continuity and orderly arrange-
ment of the Pentateuch, 75. (3) The numerous cross ref-
erences. Refuted by Ewald and F. H. Rauke. Supplement
Hypothesis, Bleek, Tuch, Slahelin, De Wette, Knobel, 76, 77.
This accounts for certain evidences of unity but not for
others. Inconsistent relation of the Jeliovist to the Elohist,
78, 79 ; attempted explanations destructive of the hypothesis,
80. Refuted by Kurtz, Drechsler, Havernick, Keil, Hengsten-
berg, Welte. Crystallization Hypothesis of Ewald, 81, 83.
Modified Document Hypothesis of Hupfeld ; Ilgen, Boehmer,
Schrader, 82, 83. But (1) The second Elohist destroys the
continuity of the first. (2) The first Elohist almost ceases soon
after Gen. xx. where the second begins, 84. (3) Intricate
blending of Jehovist and second Elohist. (4) First Elohist
alleged to be clearly distinguishable ; without force as an ar-
gument, 85. (5) Capricious and inconsistent conduct attrib-
uted to the redactor, 86 ; umlermines the hypothesis. Bur-
densome complexity inevitable, 87. Critical symbols. The
grounds of literary partition considered, 88. I. The divine
names ; their alternation not coincident with successive sec-
tions, 89; this fundamental criterion annulled by unsettling
the text, 90. Elohira in J sections ; Jehovah in P and E
sections, 91. Examples given, 92-98. Ex. vi. 2, 3, 99.
Misinterpretation corrected, 100. Not written with an anti-
quarian design; neither was the patriarchal history, 101.
Gen. iv. 26. Signification and usage of Elohim and Jehovah,
102, 103. Hengstenberg's theory, 103, 104. That of Kurtz,
105. Liberty in the use of the divine names. II. Continuity
of sections, 106. But (1) numerous chasms and abrupt tran-
sitions, 107. (2) Bridged by scattered clauses. (3) Apparent
connecticm factitious, 108. (4) Interrelation of documents.
(5) Inconsistency of critics. III. Parallel passages. But (1)
Often not real parallels, 109. (2) Repetition accounted for,
110. (3) Summary statement followed by particulars, 111.
(4) Alleged doublets, 112. IV. Diversity of diction and
ideas. But (1) Reasoning in a circle, 113. (2) Proofs facti-
tious. 114. (3) Synonyms, 115. (4) Criteria conflict. (5) An
indeterminate equation, 116. (6) Growing complexity, 117.



Arguments insufficient, 118. Partition of the parables of the
Prodigal Son, 119-122, and the Good Samaritan, 122-124
Romans Dissected ; add/tional incongruities, 125, 126 ; mar-
vellous perspicacity of the critics, 126, 127 ; critical assault
upon Cicero's orations and other classical productions, 127
and 128, 129 note ; Prologue of Faust, 130 ; agreement of
critics, 130, 131 ; Partition Hypothesis a failure, but the labor
spent upon it not altogether fruitless, 133, 138.

Genuineness of the Laws, 134

Critical revolution, 134 ; diversities of literary critics, two
points of agreement, 135 ; Development Hypothesis, 136, 137 ;
its fallacy, 138 ; dates assigned to the several codes, 139, 140 ;
Graf, 140 ; Kuenen, Wellhausen, 141 ; works for and against,
note 141-143 ; Supplement Hypothesis overthrown, 142, 143 ;
Scriptural statements vindicated, 144-146 ; no discrepancy be-
tween the codes, 147-149 ; alleged violations of the law, 150,
in respect to the place of sacrifice and the priesthood, 151,
152 ; Ignorance of the law, 153 ; the laws of Charlemagne,
154 ; Deuteronomy, the Priest Code, 155 ; incongruities of
the hypothesis, 156.


The Bearing of the Divisive Criticism on the Credibil*
ITT OF THE Pentateuch and on Supernatural Relig-
ion, 157

Partition Hypotheses elaborated in the interest of unbelief,
157 ; credibility undermined ; not a question of inerrancy,
but of the trustworthiness of the history, 158 ; facts only
elicited by a critical process ; incompleteness of the docu-
ments ; work of the redactors, 159, 160 ; effect upon the
truthfulness of the Pentateuch, 161, 162 ; the real issue; un-
friendly to revealed religion, 163 ; in both the Old and the
New Testament, 164 ; the religion of the Bible based on his-
torical facts ; revelations, predictions, and miracles discred-
ited by the authors of these hypotheses, 165, 166 ; Mosaic or
contemporary authorship denied, 167 ; falsity of the docu-
ments assumed, 168 ; they represent discordant traditions ;
Scripture cannot be broken ; criticism largely subjective, 169 ;


errors of redactors, 170 ; no limit to partition, 171 ; deism,
rationalism, divisive criticism ; literary attractions of the
Bible, 173; the supernatural eliminated, 173; deism, 174;
rationalistic exegesis, 174, 175 ; method of higher criticism
most plausible and effective, 176 ; hazardous experiment of
the so-called evangelical critics, 177



The Old Testament is the volume of God's written
revelation prior to the advent of Christ. Its complement
is the New Testament, which is God's written revelation
since the advent of Chi'ist. The former being immedi-
ately addressed to the people of Israel was written in the
language of that people, and hence for the most part in
Hebrew, a few chapters in Daniel and Ezra and a verse in
Jeremiah being in the Jewish Aramean,^ when the lan-
guage was in its transition state. This earlier dispensa-
tion, which for a temporary purpose was restricted to a
single people and a limited territory, was, however, pre-
paratory to the dispensation of the fulness of times, in
which God's word was to be carried everywhere and
preached to every creature. Accordingly the New Testa-
ment was written in Greek, which was then the language
of the civilized world.

- The Old Testament was composed by many distinct
writers, at many different times and in many separate
portions, through a period of more than a thousand years
from Moses to Malachi. It is not, however, an aggre-

' Jer. X. 11 ; Dan. ii. 4-vii. 28; Ezra iv. 7-vi. 18, vii. 12-20 are in



gate of detached productions without order or method,
as the seemingly casual circumstances connected with the
origin of its several parts might tempt some to imagine.
Nor, on the other hand, are the additions made from time
to time of a uniform pattern, as though the separate value
of each new revelation consisted merely in the fact that
an increment was thereby made to the body of divine
truth previously imparted. Upon the lowest view that
can possibly be taken of this volume, if it were simply
the record of the successive stages of the development of
the Hebrew mind, it might be expected to possess an
organic structure and to exhibit a gradually unfolding
scheme, as art, philosophy, and literature among every
people have each its characteristics and laws, which gov-
ern its progress and determine the measure and direction
of its growth. But rightly viewed as the word of God,
communicated to men for his own wise and holy ends, it
may with still greater confidence be assumed that the
order and symmetry which characterize all the works of
the Most High, will be visible here likewise; that the
divine skill and intelligence will be conspicuous in the
method as well as in the matter of his disclosures ; and
that these will be found to be possessed of a structural
arrangement in which all the parts are wisely disposed,
and stand in clearly defined mutual relations.

The Old Testament is a product of the Spirit of God,
wrought out through the instrumentality of many human
agents, who were all inspired by him, directed by him,
and adapted by him to the accomplishment of his own
fixed end. Here is that unity in multiplicity, that single-
ness of aim with diversity of operations, that binding to-
gether of separate activities under one superior and con-
trolling influence, which guides all to the accomplishment
of a predetermined purpose, and allots to each its par-
ticular function in reference to it, which is the very con-


ception of a well-arranged organism. There is a divine
reason why every part is what it is and where it is ; why
God spake unto the fathers at precisely those sundry
times and in just those divers portions, in which he
actually revealed his will. And though this may not iu
every instance be ascertainable by us, yet careful and
reverent study will disclose it not only in its general out-
lines, but also in a multitude of its minor details ; and
will show that the transpositions and alterations, which
have been proposed as improvements, are dislocations
and disfigurements, which mar and deface the well-pro-
portioned whole.

In looking for the evidences of an organic structure in
the Scriptures, according to which all its parts are dis-
posed in harmonious unity, and each part stands in a
definite and intelligible relation to every other, as well as
to the grand design of the whole, it will be necessary to
group and classify the particulars, or the student will lose
himself in the multiplicity of details, and never rise to
any clear conception of the whole. Every fact, every ,
institution, every person, every doctrine, every utterance
of the Bible has its place and its function in the general
plan. And the evidence of the correctness of any scheme
proposed as the plan of the Scriptures will lie mainly in
its harmonizing throughout with all these details, giving
a rational and satisfactory account of the purpose and
design of each and assigning to all their just place and
relations. But if one were to occupy himself with these
details in the first instance, he would be distracted and
confused by their multitude, "vvithout the possibility of
arriving thus at any clear or satisfactory result.

The first important aid in the process of grouping or
classification is afforded by the separate books of which
the Scriptures are composed. These are not arbitrary or
fortuitous divisions of the sacred text : but their form,


dimensions, and contents liave been divinely determined.
Each represents the special task allotted to one partic-
ular organ of the Holy Spirit, either the entire function
assigned to him in the general plan, or, in the case where
the same inspired penman wrote more than one book
of different characters and belonging to different classes,
his function in one given sphere or direction. Thus the
books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Malachi exhibit to us that
part in the plan of divine revelation which each of those
distinguished servants of God was commissioned to per-
form. The book of Psalms represents the task allotted
to David and the other inspired writers of song in the
instruction and edification of the people of God. The
books of Moses may be said to have led the way in
every branch of sacred composition, in history (Genesis),
in legislation (Leviticus), in oratorical and prophetic
discom'se (Deuteronomy), in poetry (Ex. xv., Dt. xxxii.,
xxxiii.), and they severally set forth what he was en-
gaged to accomplish in each of these different directions.
The books of Scripture thus having each an individual
character and this stamped with divine authority as an
element of fitness for their particular place and function,
must be regarded as organic parts of the whole.

The next step in our inquiry is to classify and arrange
the books themselves. Every distribution is not a true
classification, as a mechanical division of an animal body
is not a dissection, and every classification will not ex-
hibit the organic structure of which we are in quest.
The books of the Bible may be variously divided with
respect to matters merely extraneous and contingent,
and which stand in no relation to the true principle of
its construction.

Thus, for example, the current division of the Hebrew

V Bible is into three parts, the Law, the Prophets, and

the K'thubhim or Hagiographa. This distribution rests


upon the official standing of the writers. The writings
of Moses, the great lawgiver and mediator of God's cove-
nant with Israel, whose position in the theocracy was
altogether unique, stand first. Then follow the writings
of the prophets, that is to say, of those invested with the
prophetical office. Some of these writings, the so-called
former prophets — Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings —
are historical ; the others are prophetical, viz., those de-
nominated the latter prophets — Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
and the twelve minor prophets so called, not as though
of inferior authorit}^ but solely because of the brevity of
their books. Their position in this second division of
the canon is due not to the nature of their contents but
to the fact that their writers were prophets in the strict
and official sense. Last of all those books occupy th©
third place which were written by inspired men who
were not in the technical or official sense prophets.
Thus the writings of David and Solomon, though inspired
as truly as those of the prophets, are assigned to the
third division of the canon, because their authors were
not prophets but kings. So, too, the book of Daniel be-
longs in this third division, because its author, though
possessing the gift of prophecy in an eminent degree, and
uttering prophecies of the most remarkable character,
and hence called a prophet. Mat. xxiv. 15, in the same
general sense as David is in Acts ii. 30, nevertheless did
not exercise the prophetic office. He was not engaged in
laboring with the people for their spiritual good as his
contemporary and fellow- captive Ezekiel. He had an
entirely different office to perform on their behalf in the
distinguished position which he occupied at the court of
Babylon and then of Persia. The books of Chronicles
cover the same period of the history as 2 Samuel and
Kings, but the assignment of the former to the third
division, and of the latter to the second, assures us that


Samuel and Kings were written by prophets, while the
author of Chronicles, though writing under the guidance
and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was not officially a

As classified in our present Hebrew Bibles, which
follow the order given in the Talmud, this principle of
arrangement is in one instance obviously departed from ;
the Lamentations of Jeremiah stands in the Hagiogra-
pha, though as the production of a prophet it ought to
be included in the second division of the canon, and
there is good reason to believe that this was its original
position. Two modes of enumerating the sacred books
were in familiar use in ancient times, as appears from
the catalogues Avhich have been preserved to us. The
two books of Samuel were uniformly counted one : so
the two books of Kings and the two of Chronicles : so
also Ezra and Nehemiah : so likewise the Minor Proph-
ets were counted one book. Then, according to one
mode of enumeration, Ruth was attached to Judges as
forming together one book, and Lamentations was re-
garded as a part of the book of Jeremiah : thus the en-
tire number of the books of the Old Testament was
twenty-two. In the other mode Ruth and Lamentations
were reckoned separate books, and the total was twenty-
four. Now the earliest enumerations that we have from
Jewish or Christian sources are by Josephus ^ and Ori-
gan, who both give the number as twenty-two : and as
this is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet,
while twenty-four is the number in the Greek alphabet,
the former may naturally be supposed to have been
adopted by the Jews in the first instance. From this it
would appear that Lamentations was originally annexed

' Josephns adopts a classification of his own suited to his immediate
purpose, but doubtless preserves the total number current among his

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Online LibraryWilliam Henry GreenThe higher criticism of the Pentateuch → online text (page 1 of 16)