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

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 073:290 (Apr 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


In the January number I began my reply to Lofthouse’s article on the Criticism of the Pentateuch, and examined the first two of his numbered divisions. I now resume where I then left off, and take up his section ¶3, which is concerned with Ezekiel. At the outset he endeavors to answer pages 484 f. of the BS for July, 1915, as to references to the supposititious priestly document in the prophet. And here a word or two of explanation will not be out of place.

Not every apparent reference is distinctive or worth citing in an argument, because some can be met by hypotheses of greater or less plausibility. For instance, if two prophets, A and B, quote or use the same prophecy, it may be because (a) both quoted from C, or (b) one of the two quoted from the other, or (c) the prophecy is a later insertion in one or both. Unless, therefore, there be some decisive indication, the mere fact of the appearance of the same prophecy in the works of both A and B does not teach us anything definite as to the reason for the phenomenon. But a reference may be decisive for some particular reason. If, for example, it be alleged that a law had not come into existence at a particular date, the allegation will be conclusively rebutted by a refer-

ence showing that it was in operation at that date. Such a reference probably will not cover the whole language of the law and guarantee that our present text is precisely in the condition in which it was known to the prophet, and has not suffered at all in the subsequent transmission. But it will destroy the theory of the later origin of the law in the most satisfactory manner.

On page 485 I dealt in this manner with the jubilee law, alleged by the critics to be later that Ezekiel, and I wrote that Ezekiel “7:12 f., 46:17, can refer only to the Jubilee (see Studies in Biblical Law, pp. 95 f.).” On this Lofthouse can say no word. Over eleven years have now passed since the publication of “Studies in Biblical Law,” and the critics have entirely failed to produce any answer to it.

But Lofthouse thinks he can answer my other citations. His methods here are interesting. Ezekiel 22:26 contains the words, “they [the priests] have put no difference between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” Any unprejudiced person must admit that this would be meaningles...

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