Truth Or Pious Fraud -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 052:208 (Oct 1895)
Article: Truth Or Pious Fraud
Author: Anonymous


Truth Or Pious Fraud

In the preface of “The International Critical Commentary” the editors say: “There are now before the public many commentaries written by British and American divines, of a popular or homiletical character … but they do not enter into the field of critical biblical scholarship occupied by such series of commentaries as” certain German works. “The time has come, in the judgment of the projectors of this enterprise, when it is practicable to combine British and American scholars in the production of a critical, comprehensive commentary that will be abreast of modern Biblical scholarship, and in a measure lead its van.” The commentaries “will be based upon a thorough critical study of the original texts of the Bible, and upon critical methods of interpretation. They are designed chiefly for students and clergymen, and will be written in a compact style.” Dr. Driver tells us in the preface of his “Deuteronomy”1 “The aim of the present volume is to supply the English reader with a commentary which, so far as the writer’s powers permit it, may be abreast of the best scholarship and knowledge of the day.” Dr. Driver’s name is the synonym of Hebrew scholarship of the first rank, and the names published of the other scholars who will comment on the remaining books of the Bible assure us that nothing will be wanting in scholarship. Whether this scholastic commentary will furnish the best knowledge of the Bible is altogether another question. In this volume there is a crush of painstaking erudition, of minute detail, endless citations of contradictions, a method of comment that covers every verse with the dust that has never known rain and will make “the student and clergyman “pine for a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple. Whatever criticisms might justly be offered on subordinate points are in this note passed over in order to set before the reader the main points on which this whole criticism rests, and of which any man of sound moral perception is quite as good a critic as the most learned Hebraist.

It may seem strange to one not intimately acquainted with the shifting scenes of German criticism that Dt.2 is issued as the first volume of this critical commentary. But it is in accordance with the present dicta of that criticism that Dt. is now made by it “the firm basis and turning point,”3 of all its decisions. “Here we have the δός μοι ποῦ στῶ for the criticism of the whole Old Testament literature.”4 “The study o...

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