Is There A Missing Chapter In The Life Of Christ? -- By: Charles Edward Smith

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 084:336 (Oct 1927)
Article: Is There A Missing Chapter In The Life Of Christ?
Author: Charles Edward Smith

Is There A Missing Chapter In The Life Of Christ?

Charles E. Smith

IN THE life of Christ given by Christian Scholarship to the Church, and long since supposed to contain every possible particular that can be extracted from reliable sources, is there a missing chapter? “No, there cannot be,” is the probable answer which would be given the question of this title, by everyone qualified more or less to Consider it. It is like asking whether there is a paragraph wanting from the Constitution of the United States, or a Book lacking to the completeness of the Bible.

But if incredulity is natural, patience for a brief examination of any possible grounds for a different answer is demanded by the very boldness of the question. Is there any great fact in the life of Christ which we already know, but about which we do not know all that the scriptures can tell us? Do we know when and where that momentous change in the relations of the three persons of the Trinity occurred, when the Second person became the servant of the First and accepted the Third as his guide and controller? Are there any reasons for thinking that that astounding change took place before Christ’s birth and long before in the Heavenly world of God and the angels? Are there great reasons for believing that it must have occurred then and there, which grew out of the conditions of that very world in past eternity? Had Christ a great mission for that world before he undertook his mission to this world, and would its performance be exactly the qualification which would make him the efficient mediator between God and man and render it the beginning of the atonement which he was to make for human sin? If these questions can be answered affirmatively there is certainly a missing chapter in the life of Christ which learning and piety are bound to supply. Its existence would shed needed light on obscurities in the New Testament and cause us to honor and love our Lord more than ever before.

It is probably true that the careful scrutiny for 2, 000 years of everything in the life of Christ from the manger to the cross has left little or nothing yet to be discovered, except as deeper thinking and finer interpretation reach greater meanings than superficial study can obtain. It is the pre-incarnate life of our Lord in which, if anywhere, we may hope to find material for an added Chapter. As the biographer delves in the records of the ancestry of his hero to find any smallest fact which throws light on the character or confirms favorable impressions already gained, so, it is not unlikely, we may discern in that dark, mysterious, almost unthinkable past of Christ something which will make faith stronger and love more adoring. Is it not a pleasure to learn that George W...

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