Professor Lofthouse and the Criticism of the Pentateuch -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 072:287 (Jul 1915)
Article: Professor Lofthouse and the Criticism of the Pentateuch
Author: Harold M. Wiener

Professor Lofthouse and the Criticism of the Pentateuch

Harold M. Wiener, M.A.

In the London Quarterly Review1 for October, 1914, Professor W. F. Lofthouse published a note, under the title “Dahse v. Wellhausen,’’ attacking the writings of Dahse and myself and supporting the Graf-Wellhausen theory. As the article contained serious misrepresentations I sent in a short note to the January number of the same periodical under the title “Has Professor Lofthouse Vindicated the Documentary Theory?” The professor replied in the same number and asked me several questions. These I sought to answer, so far as space permitted, in the April number of the same review, in an article on “The Mosaic Authenticity of the Pentateuchal Legislation,” and to this Professor Lofthouse replied in the same number, complaining that he could not refer to all my points in a note and that the editor had closured him. Instead of devoting what space he had to my points, he proceeded to raise others which necessitate further discussion, and in any case it would be desirable that the professor should be given the fullest opportunities of expounding the deathless verities of the higher criticism to an interested audience in a review where he cannot ride off on the plea of lack of space. If this was the real and only, reason for his passing over my arguments, he will now find this

disability removed; but if not, it will be easy enough to judge the theory, that the God of truth revealed himself through the instrumentality of literary forgers and “pious “frauds, by the conduct of its champions.

In the January number I had invited Professor Lofthouse to deal in detail with the sixth chapter of my “Essays in Pentateuchal Criticism.” I regret to say that he has not done so. though in the same number he made some remarks which I refuted in the April number. I wish now, while further pressing on him the necessity of carefully studying and answering that chapter point- by point, to make such further observations as may be of assistance to him in this task. It must be remembered that the professor has edited Ezekiel in the Century Bible, and while the book is necessarily of small compass to meet the requirements of the series, it is unquestionably one of the very best commentaries that have appeared on any book of the Bible in recent years. Its author is distinguished by the possession of a literary gift and a sense of proportion that are, unhappily, extremely rare in modern commentators; and, though the book suffers from his belief in the critical view, it yet does very much to interpret the prophet’s meaning in clear and elegant style. I propose therefore ...

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