The Biblical Criticism Of The Present Day1 -- By: Abraham Kuyper

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 061:244 (Oct 1904)
Article: The Biblical Criticism Of The Present Day1
Author: Abraham Kuyper


The Biblical Criticism Of The Present Day1

Rev. Abraham Kuyper

But some of you may say, Is there no good whatever in the biblical criticism of the present day? Is it merely a stumbling over straws and a game of critical splitting of hairs? Or have you not heard of the very serious charges which are laid against the views of the ancient church? Did not these grave assertions, which, in spite of ourselves, compelled our scientific mind to agree with them, ever disturb your scientific conscience? And, if so, how can you harmonize your beautiful confession with them?

In response to which inquiries, allow me a single word, which, if it does not engage itself with particulars, holds itself true to principle and motive.

First, as it appears to me, the gigantic labor which our critics have devoted to the Scripture, is by no means lost. On the contrary, I have the firm conviction that in the end, and under God’s gracious disposal, even the excesses of the most radical Scripture-anatomists will be productive of good. How could it ever be unimportant and to no purpose, as far as principle and reverence allow it, to study the origin of the Holy Scripture in the processes of its entering upon existence; to point out the seams where the pieces of the shining robe have been so beautifully woven together; and in a better way than was ever done before to frame, if not with mathematical cer-

tainty at least with conjecture, the circle in whose midst, the author by whom, and the time in which, a book of Scripture originated? So little do I aim at the abandonment of these studies, that I would no sooner sanction an official ban upon these vivisectorial excesses and physiological indelicacies with the Corpus Scripture? than with the corpus humanum. But if, in the circle of the medical sciences, these vivisectorial excesses and physiological violations of common chastity are not prohibited by law, has not the nobler-mnded medicus the right, in virtue of the principle itself of his science,—i.e. in the name of the human character that belongs to it, because it has the home for its object,—to protest against these shameful cruelties, and the no less shameful indelicacies, as indecent and unlawful? Or, is it not true that in his bodily appearing man ceases to be worthy of the honor of furnishing an object for a separate science, when, treating the animal cruelly and himself having become bestial, he degrades himself to being little better than a corpus vile? And have we no equal rights, when it concerns the Corpus Scripturæ, to enter our complaints on the ground of the absence of feeling in the vivisectors and the ...

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