The Topography Of Jerusalem -- By: Samuel Wolcott

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 023:92 (Oct 1866)
Article: The Topography Of Jerusalem
Author: Samuel Wolcott


The Topography Of Jerusalem

Rev. Samuel Wolcott

The Dictionary of the Bible edited by Dr. William Smith, and published in England in three large octavo volumes, is about to be republished entire in this country, under the editorial supervision of Professor Hackett of Newton, whose special qualifications for this service will be recognized by all. It is but fair to add that the paper here offered has grown out of an Article prepared by the writer, at his request, for the Dictionary — it being his purpose to render the American edition even more complete than the English. More than sixty of the eminent scholars in Great Britian, and a few in our own country, have “contributed to its pages, and it embraces the fruit of more learned research than any other work of the kind which has been issued. It is, consequently, a necessity to every thorough student of the Bible, and an invaluable auxiliary to all who seek a fuller acquaintance with the word of God.

In most of the Articles we are presented with the latest results of Biblical science — ascertained facts, and not mere speculations and theories. On controverted or unsettled questions we are, in most instances, furnished with the facts or reasonings on each side, from a fair statement of which the reader is left to draw his own conclusion.

A portion of the Article on “Jerusalem “is an exception to this rule. More than forty pages with double columns are given to the general topic, and its importance justifies this extended treatment. It is mainly divided between two writers, one of whom presents The Annals of the City, from its foundation to its destruction by Titus (with a brief sketch of its later history by another pen), and the other devotes seventeen pages to The Topography of the City, of this portion the whole warp and

woof is the development and defence of a new theory. The writer is James Fergusson, Esq., Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. It is understood (indeed it is evident) that he has never visited Jerusalem; but he challenges the attention of Biblical critics to views which lie has carefully elaborated, and which are based on the published researches of travellers and authors.

The Article is very discursive; and we are unable to select a few compact sentences or paragraphs which embody the substance of its reasonings. We shall state the writer’s views fairly as we proceed in the discussion, and we offer the following extracts as exhibiting his leading positions as clearly, perhaps, as any passages which can be selected.

“So little has this been done hitherto, that there are at present before the public three distinct views of the ...

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