Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With Other Passages -- By: Tayler Lewis

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:22 (May 1849)
Article: Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With Other Passages
Author: Tayler Lewis


Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A
Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With
Other Passages

Tayler Lewis

The chief point of interest in this portion of Holy Writ is found in the touching interrogatory contained in the fourteenth verse—If a man die, shall he live again? It was to be expected that the un-evangelical or Grotian class of commentators would give the least spiritual view of this and other similar passages. Critics of this kind generally profess to be, beyond all other expositors, free from any bias that may lead to results not sanctioned by the most legitimate principles of hermeneutics. And yet it may be maintained, that even they, with all their boasted claims to fairness and freedom from prejudice, do actually start with a prejudged theory, which modifies, controls, and in many cases, suggests the very interpretations on which they so strongly insist as arising directly from the usus loquendi, or strict philological examination of the text.

They too, we maintain, have their prejudged theory. They start with the assumption that neither the writer of the book of Job, whoever he may have been, nor the age, nor the country in which he lived, could have had any idea of a future, separate, spiritual state of existence, much less of any future judgment, much less of any resur-

rection of the body, and still less of any Divine Redeemer to appear in the flesh.

By the light of this theory, opposed as it is to what we know of the most ancient nations mentioned in profane history, must its advocates, of course, decide all questions of probability. When, therefore, they meet with passages, which, as far as grammatical interpretation is alone concerned, may present either a spiritual or a naturalistic aspect according to the side from whence they are viewed, such interpreters do not hesitate to adopt the latter as the most easy, the most obvious, the most in accordance with what they assume to be the usus loquendi of the writer, and of the age in which he lived. What makes this, in some respects, the more strange, is the fact, that such an unevangelical view is held the more firmly by those who insist upon bringing down the date of the book to the latest period,—even to the time when, according to another of their favorite theories, the Jews themselves began to learn the doctrine of a future life from the nations among whom they had been led captive. These nations, too, they can believe, had long been in possession of it, whilst the chosen people of God had never risen above the grossest materialistic belief in our merest animal existence, and had never exhibited the least trace of that which forms the first essential element of sp...

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