Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 126:502 (Apr 1969)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“The Smallest Mustard Seed—Matthew 13:32, ” W. Harold Mare, Grace Journal, Fall, 1968, pp. 3-11.

Several evangelical scholars have choked on the mustard seed in recent years when discussing the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. Such scholars insist that they still accept the inerrancy of Scripture) but that such inaccuracies (from their viewpoint) as calling the mustard seed “the least of all seeds” proves that it must be understood not in the absolute sense but in the culturally conditioned sense and that it must be applied only to revelational truth, not to nonrevelational matters of science. In this article Mare seeks to relieve these scholars of the necessity for such mental gymnastics.

Mare first presents the linguistic evidence to show that the distinctions between the comparative and superlative were disappearing in New Testament Greek and that both were used in the elative sense of “very.” Secondly, he points out that the relative size of the mustard seed is limited in comparison to a group of plants that were garden herbs. Finally, he recognizes that this was a proverbial statement among the Jews, but one that was accurate as explained.

The conclusion is that “it is not necessary to consider that Matthew 13:32 in its Sitz im Leben includes a botanical scientific error, since the text can be culturally, historically, and linguistically interpreted as describing scientific phenomena in general, but accurate, terms which agree with current Greek syntax and are readily understandable in this terminology as presenting that which men ordinarily see and experience in the material world” (p. 9).

The Chronology Of Genesis 1–11 And Geologic Time,” Henry M. Morris, Biblical Viewpoint, November, 1968, pp. 98-106.

After his presentation of the evidence involved, the opening statement that “the most serious discrepancy between the Bible and the modern world view is that of the chronological framework of history” (p. 98) sounds like a British understatement. Modern evolutionary science places cosmic origin about five billion years ago, the origin of life one to two billion years ago, and the origin of man essentially as he is now one to two million years ago. By way of contrast “according to a straightforward reading of the Biblical record, the world was created in six days only a few thousand years ago” (p. 98).

Morris briefly surveys the various positions which have been taken by Christians in resolving the discrepancy-the day-age theory, the gap theory, and the view that the Genesis genealogies ...

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