Dr. Driver On Exodus. -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 069:273 (Jan 1912)
Article: Dr. Driver On Exodus.
Author: Harold M. Wiener


Dr. Driver On Exodus.1

Harold M. Wiener

London, England.

Dr. Driver’s long-expected volume on Exodus has at last appeared. A reviewer cannot welcome it with satisfaction, for to treat the volume conscientiously is an exceptionally odious as well as an exceptionally difficult task. The present writer, at any rate, in the course of a singularly unfortunate experience, has never found a reviewer’s labors so distasteful or performed them with so much reluctance as in the present instance.

On Dr. Driver’s own showing, the book has taken a long time to write. We are told in the Preface that the greater part of the notes were in type when the commentary of Mr. Mac Neile appeared, i.e. in May, 1908; and, though the Preface itself is dated 5 February, 1911, a perusal of the volume shows that the bulk of it is old, and written without any reference to much of the recent work on the subject. For instance, there is not a single reference to the German books of Eerdmans. There are occasional references to some of his English articles, and to work of other writers that has appeared more recently than the first instalments of the “Alttestamentliche Studien.” Not that Dr. Driver minds referring to German books — far from it. That is not the reason for

his reticence. And there is no direct reference to my work. Two passages in the notes may have been influenced by me (though I may be wrong in this inference), and with these I will deal later on. But there is a sentence in the Preface which can be interpreted only as a claim that he was entirely acquainted with the facts and arguments I had advanced. After stating that, in his opinion, his “conclusions .... rest in their broader outlines upon secure foundations,” he continues: “I say this with full knowledge of what has been said by various writers on the other side. Assiduous and painstaking as the labours of some of these writers have been, it does not appear to me that they have been successful either in shaking the great cumulative argument which shows that the traditional position is untenable, or in finding a better explanation of the facts presented by the Old Testament itself than, substantially, — I expressly do not say, in every particular, — that which is commonly associated with the name of Wellhausen.” Observe there is a claim to” full knowledge of what has been said by various writers on the other side.” It’ is dated 5 February, 1911: Writing to me exactly three weeks previously, Dr. Driver had made the very much more moderate statement that he was “acquainted with my writings and had read considerable parts of them.” “Considerable parts” is n...

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