The Bible In Its Setting Biblical Theology In The Light Of Archaeological Research -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 086:341 (Jan 1929)
Article: The Bible In Its Setting Biblical Theology In The Light Of Archaeological Research
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle

The Bible In Its Setting
Biblical Theology In The Light Of Archaeological Research

Melvin Grove Kyle


In our national life in America, when the President of the United States is to speak, no introduction is deemed fitting; there is the simple announcement, “The President,” and he proceeds to speak for himself. In this study the Bible is to speak; any introduction of the first of all books would be superfluous, not to say presumptuous. For our study it is only necessary to announce “The Bible,” and let the great book speak for itself.

Of “Introductions to the Bible” the world has had quite enough, quite too many indeed. Nothing is more needed in Biblical studies of today than to allow the Bible to speak for itself. Whether men receive the teachings of the Bible or reject them, they should first hear these teachings as the Bible presents them, and not torture them into the shape of some philosophical disquisition on the Bible or critical reconstruction of its materials. This thesis, The Bible in the Light of Archaeological Research, is to call us back from wandering away into the realms of speculation, critical, literary, theological, philosophical or otherwise, to hear what the Bible as it is has to say. I will not, then, in an “Introduction to the Bible” attempt to forecast its teachings or prejudice the reader and student, but allow each to await the utterances of the book itself and to judge whether the spirit of an all-wise God speaks through it, or whether it is the fragmentary utterances of uninspired men.

To study Biblical theology, the Bible in its own setting, there is here then to be no introduction; but to the method of study, to the historical course to be followed, to the problems which the materials present to us, especially the ancient literary habits and customs, to the value of the spade of the archaeologist, and to the aid to be expected from the collateral sciences of geography, ethnology and chronology, to the use of all these things as employed in this discussion, some introduction is needed.

No subject can be studied satisfactorily without definition of terms and a definitely stated analysis and order of consideration. We must, then, at the very outset, give such definition and analysis. The definition of terms now to be presented will be simply categorical statements of what the Bible, and divisions of the Bible, and books of the Bible, claim to give; more elaborate discussion of the evidences upon which these definitions rest may well be reserved for later discussion.

I. Biblical Theology. Definition of anything is difficult; who then shall perfectly define that science which presu...

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