The Bible In Its Setting -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 086:343 (Jul 1929)
Article: The Bible In Its Setting
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle

The Bible In Its Setting

Melvin Grove Kyle

The Creation Of Inanimate Things

Creation is, in the broadest sense, a historical subject, for, though it reach far back into that region of shades known as the prehistoric, back beyond the reach of mere human record, yet any account of creation, whether by revelation or by scientific research into world-making, aims to give a narrative of events by which the present order came into being. Such a narrative of events is historical. As a quite necessary preliminary to such a historical narrative there may well be some Introduction of the Handmaids of History, certain aids to historical narrative whose assistance must always be sought in the consideration of a historical subject.

The Handmaids of History in the order of their importance are Geography, Ethnology, and Chronology. They meet all the interrogatories of history in answer to the questions: Where? Who? When? In so far as these questions are answered does history become definite and informing. Unless in some measure they are answered, the most important history in the world would present nothing more important than interesting legend. Such was the history of Troy until Schlieman’s work located and uncovered its history buried in its ruins; such was the history of the great Minoan kingdom until Evan’s explorations in Crete told us where and who and when.


History is testimony, and, except in the case of revealed history, is human testimony. If it be written, somebody wrote it; if it be spoken, it is the utterance of some one; if it be material evidence, human artifacts, the “exhibit” in the taking of testimony in a case in court, yet are these artifacts the mute and yet emphatic testimony of human beings. Now in all human testimony events must be located. The question of first importance concerning any

event is Where? “The most interesting and even startling story of events is no more to us than a legend until we can in some way locate it, can fit it into a place in the world’s history. So the identification of the places in Bible history; instead of being shoved aside, as of little more than curious interest, they are to be received as of the first importance, without some more or less definite idea of which nothing else is important at all” (Kyle, The Deciding Voice of the Monuments, pp. 223-24.)

“All attempts to belittle the importance of the geographical and topographical indications and allusions given in Scripture, whether by ignoring them or by making light of them, are beside the mark. Correctness concerning the place of an event is the first and most important mark of a true narrative of real happenings, a...

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