The Authority Of The Hebrew Prophets -- By: Francis B. Denio

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 062:245 (Jan 1905)
Article: The Authority Of The Hebrew Prophets
Author: Francis B. Denio


The Authority Of The Hebrew Prophets1

Prof. Francis B. Denio

Recently the reading of- the Thirty-fourth Psalm stirred afresh some questions, the consideration of which seems to me to be worthy of our attention. The words which aroused my questioning were such as these: —

Ver. 9. “Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints;
For there is no want to them that fear him.”

Ver. 19. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous;
But Jehovah delivereth him out of them all.

Ver. 20. “He keepeth all his hones:
Not one of them is broken.

Ver. 21. “Evil shall slay the wicked;
And they that hate the righteous shall be condemned.”

I may be in error; but I suppose that, if I had been born and set to teach seventy-five years earlier than I was, I should have been likely to have treated these verses as declarations of universal truth explicitly revealed by God and authoritatively proclaimed through the Psalmist. At that date, however, seventy-five years ago, changes had set in which were to modify such opinions as I might have had.

In 1850 Professor Park preached his famous sermon on “The Theology of the Intellect and of the Feelings.” The author of that sermon expounded a great truth in that discourse, and used it for his own immediate purposes. It was

left for another generation to consider the bearings of the truth in other and more general relations. In his discussion of the fifth verse of the Fifty-first Psalm,

“Behold I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin did my mother conceive me,”

Professor Park treated it as the expression of the heart of a man—sinful, deeply penitent—uttering its penitence and self-condemnation for sin in the form of speech natural to him. He laid aside the idea that the verse was an actual declaration of literal fact from God. We need not hesitate to adopt the position of Professor Park on this point.

The feelings which are fundamental in this utterance were due to the influence of God’s redemptive Spirit, and the life which was the cause of this utterance had come under the molding influence of that Spirit. It is not unjust, therefore, to say that, in a very real sense, the Holy Spirit was an author in the production of these words. At the same time the Psalmist was proximately and intentionally their author. His -experience had given him...

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