Remarks On The Divine Authority And Authenticity Of The Pentateuch -- By: B. B. Edwards

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 002:8 (Nov 1845)
Article: Remarks On The Divine Authority And Authenticity Of The Pentateuch
Author: B. B. Edwards


Remarks On The Divine Authority And Authenticity Of The Pentateuch1

B. B. Edwards

§ 6. The Command Of God In Respect To The Destruction Of The Canaanites Vindicated

There are many clear indications that the Author of nature, of the human mind and of the Scriptures is one and the same Being. The more profoundly we study the laws which regulate the material universe, the more closely we examine the structure and operations of our own moral and intellectual constitution and the more intimately we become acquainted with the Bible, the more convincing will this unity of authorship in them all appear.

And yet these various revelations which God has made of himself, often seem to come into direct conflict. There appear to be not only apparent discrepancies but positive contradictions. The course of nature apparently runs counter to the written revelation; the law engraven on the tablet of the heart does not accord with that on the tablet of stone.

Sometimes our misgivings can be quieted only by presumptive reasoning. Difficulties once existed which have disappeared; discrepancies which formerly perplexed the Christian student have vanished. The works and word of God, once on various points discordant, are no longer so. Therefore we have confident hope in respect to existing difficulties. Past experience on this subject furnishes presumptive ground for future reliance.

On no topic brought forward in the Pentateuch has greater perplexity been felt by the pious mind, than in relation to the command of God to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan; on none would there seem to be a more startling contrariety between the teachings of our moral nature and those of the Scriptures. Here, too, deism has, in all ages, forged one of its principal weapons. English infidelity, the parent of much of the Continental skepticism, has adduced it as a triumphant argument in its attack on

revelation; and the impugners of the Old Testament in our own day and country have urged it as decisive against the divine authority of patriarchs and prophets.

It may not, therefore, be unseasonable to examine this point as fully as the limits which we have prescribed to ourselves will permit. If all Scripture be given by inspiration of God, if it be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, then every obstacle which lies in the way of its influence should, as far as possible, be removed. All those causes which occasion perplexity, misgiving, harassing doubt, or which furnish a plausible pretext for skepticism, should be fairly and fully considered. It is to be feared that the pie...

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