The Imprecations In The Scriptures -- By: B. B. Edwards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:1 (Feb 1844)
Article: The Imprecations In The Scriptures
Author: B. B. Edwards


The Imprecations In The Scriptures

B. B. Edwards

Professor in the Theol. Seminary, Andover.

There is a class of objections against the divine authority of the Bible which relate simply to matters of taste, conventional usage, national custom, or oriental modes of feeling. A sufficient answer to objections of this nature is, that if the Scriptures had been conformed to modern and European modes and tastes, they would, in the same degree, lose one of the principal evidences of their genuineness. The local coloring about them, their Asiatic dress, the figures of speech which the writers employ, assure us that they are the men whom they profess to be, and that they lived at the time, and in the countries, in which they assume to have lived. The seal of honesty is thus affixed to them. We feel certain that they are men of truth. This species of evidence, though incidental and undesigned, is, in fact, one of the most important, and one least liable to be counterfeited. Besides, if the writers had undertaken to conform to what we understand by correct taste and propriety in forms of speech, they would have undertaken an impracticable task. The standard of taste, on many points, is perpetually changing. In respect to certain matters, there is a degree of fastidiousness in this country which does not exist in the higher circles in Europe. What passes current there, at the present moment, may not pass so one hundred years hence.

Another class of objections to the divine authority of the Bible, resolves itself into our unavoidable ignorance. There are certain discrepancies between different parts of the Scriptures, small for the most part, which we find it impossible wholly to reconcile, because we have not the requisite information. The matter was perfectly understood at the time the books were written, but some link in the chain of evidence has disappeared; some contemporary, uninspired writer furnished the clue, but his works have been lost, and we are necessarily left in uncertainty.1

This objection, however, may be turned into an argument in favor of the trust-worthiness of the writers. About all honest authors, there is a species of noble negligence. They are not particularly careful to frame everything so that it will exactly fit to every other portion of a narrative or discourse. This is the artifice of one who intends to deceive, and who is afraid to trust his readers. To have made everything of this kind in the Scriptures perfectly clear, would have required an enlargement of them altogether at variance with their intended popular diffusion, and equally injurious to the habits of inquiry in the student.

There are diffic...

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