Professor Lofthouse And The Criticism Of The Pentateuch -- By: Harold M. Wiener

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 073:289 (Jan 1916)
Article: Professor Lofthouse And The Criticism Of The Pentateuch
Author: Harold M. Wiener

Professor Lofthouse And The Criticism Of The Pentateuch

Harold M. Wiener


By the courtesy of the Editor I have been able to see a copy of Professor Lofthouse’s article in proof. In replying to it I shall endeavor to follow his order as far as possible, but as he has dealt with most of the subjects in numbered sections, I think it will be convenient for our readers that I should retain the same numbers in my reply. This makes it necessary for me to deal with the divine appellations last, since they are not included in his numbers, and accordingly I must make them (7).

Before, however, starting on these sections, I must draw attention to one matter of the utmost gravity. I ventured to conclude my July article with an appeal to Lofthouse “to make a serious study of the writings of the conservatives.” “Common sense” — I added — “as well as common fairness should warn him that it is wrong to criticize what he has not read, and that persistence in this course is as little likely to advance scholarship as to add to his reputation.” It is of course for each individual higher critic to decide what his controversial methods shall be. If, in the opinion of his opponents, his methods are not what they might be, their remedy is to expose them and draw the attention of the pub-

lie to the higher critical tactics. I shall have occasion repeatedly to advert to Lofthouse’s steady ignoring of the conservative writings, and at this stage I feel that I ought at once to direct attention to one very grave instance of his methods. He says: “Mr. Wiener further writes as if, on the view of a post-exilic P, all that was said of the tabernacle in that document was intended to be understood as referring to the second temple. Who has ever suggested this?” I will content myself with four answers, but in giving them I deliberately cite the critical representations from conservative writings where they are quoted. “Who has ever suggested this?” (1) Wellhausen, on pages 36–37 of the English Translation of the Prolegomena, cited on page 165 of Orr’s “Problem of the Old Testament” (a book which Lofthouse professes to have read and considered), says: “The temple, the focus to which the worship was concentrated, and which was not built until Solomon’s time, is by this document regarded as so indispensable even for the troubled days of the wanderings before the settlement, that it is made portable, and in the form of a tabernacle set up in the very beginning of things. For the truth is, that the tabernacle is the copy, not the prototype, of the temple at Jerusalem” (my italics. H. M. W.). (2) Wellhausen on page 125 of the same book, cited on pages 240 f. of my “Pentateuchal ...

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