The Answer Of Textual Criticism To The Higher Criticism Of The Story Of Joseph -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 067:265 (Jan 1910)
Article: The Answer Of Textual Criticism To The Higher Criticism Of The Story Of Joseph
Author: Harold M. Wiener

The Answer Of Textual Criticism To The Higher Criticism Of The Story Of Joseph

Harold M. Wiener


It has been shown in articles that have appeared in the Bibliotheca Sacra during the past few years how the modern critical theory breaks down at one point after another when submitted to adequate tests.

Amongst other arguments, evidence has been advanced to prove that in many instances scientific textual criticism kills the higher criticism. It is believed that this is so to a very large extent in the book of Genesis, and it is proposed in the present article to utilize some of the material for this purpose.

The writings of Moses have been subjected to prolonged study during many centuries, and countless notes have been written on them. Nowadays such notes are written or printed in a form which renders any mistake as to their nature impossible, but this was not always so. As with all ancient books that have depended on a MS. tradition, so with these, there is reason to suppose that many glosses have been incorporated with the text. By the removal of such glosses — assuming that such removal is possible — the text would gain in clearness. It happens that Septuagintal and other readings that have been preserved to us often suggest that words and clauses found in our Massoretic text are not original. Of course the mere fact that some authority omits a word is not in itself suf-

ficient to show that the word is a gloss; but if the result of the omission is to leave a superior text, and if the presence of the word is most easily accounted for as the work of a glossator, a presumption arises that the shorter text is the more correct. As a general rule such omissions will not affect the sense materially, though they may enhance the literary beauty of the narrative; but there are cases where grave difficulties disappear when the glosses are removed. In an article that appeared three years ago1 I divined that Jacob married Leah seven years before he married Rachel. Welcome confirmation of this view is now afforded by the larger Cambridge Septuagint. In Genesis 29:30 three MSS. (E, f, p) omit the clause “and served with him yet seven other years.” The statement is clearly the work of a glossator based on the concluding words of verse 27, for we have already been told in verse 28 that “Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week.” It therefore adds nothing to our information; but, coming in this place, it leads to the erroneous impression that Jacob serv...

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