Miscellanies, Theological And Literary -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:24 (Nov 1849)
Article: Miscellanies, Theological And Literary
Author: Anonymous

Miscellanies, Theological And Literary

Our readers are already apprised of the death of Dr. De Wette, the veteran commentator, and professor of theology in the university of Basil. We have not learned the circumstances or the exact time of his death. Early in. our next volume, we shall endeavor to give an extended account of his life and of his principal writings. He has filled a large place in the theological and literary world, for the last thirty years. In a country distinguished above all others for literary competition and accomplished scholarship, most of his works have reached and have kept a very high rank. He had just lived to complete his Commentary on the Apocalypse, the third edition of his Commentary on the Acts, and the fifth edition of his Introduction to the New Testament. The Preface to his Commentary on the Apocalypse, has melancholy forebodings in regard to the religious state of his native land, and intimations of what, it has been hoped, was a firmer personal faith in the Saviour.

The last production of his pen, we presume, is an article of forty pages, in the third number of the Studien und Kritiken for 1849, on the Doctrine respecting Sin, with reference to the work of Julius Müller. As we have given an abstract of this treatise, see B. S. v. 499, vi. 247, we here subjoin a slight outline of the remarks of De Wette.

De Wette’s remarks refer chiefly to that part of Müller’s book in which he endeavors to refute the so-called sensuous theory of the origin of sin. He begins with an examination of the exegetical grounds on which Müller combats the theory that sin originates in man’s sensuous nature. This theory, as so expressed, De Wette also rejects, but he does not agree with Müller in his interpretation of σάρξ, σῶμα, and πνεῦμα. Müller denies that σάρξ, in contrast with σῶμα, denotes the sensuous nature of man, with its essential desires and impulses, its sensations of pleasure and pain, but maintains that, as used by the apostle Paul, it means in general that operative principle of human nature which sets itself in opposition to God and his holy law. De Wette maintains that Paul always does mean by σάρξ the organic sensuous nature; and that, when he speaks of it in an ethical relation, he has in mind our sensuous nature, as corrupted and disordered by the fall of Adam.

Dr. Müller’s view of the origin of sin is entirely independent of any such distinction in human nature as may have been designated by the words σάρξ and πνεῦμα. De Wette thinks ...

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