Editorial -- By: Vernon C. Grounds
The simplicity as well as the profundity of God’s written revelation are apparent to each generation. The basic truth is so plainly set forth that the most illiterate can respond in vital faith. On the other hand the profoundest theologians throughout the centuries have wrestled with the problem of interpretation of the Scriptures. Concerned with the problem of man and his bent to sin are the considerations set forth in our previous issue by Dr. Leo G. Cox, Marion College, Marion, Indiana, and in this issue by Dr. Anthony A. Hoekema of Calvin Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. As our readers react to these two articles it is our hope that interaction will result in integrating these studies on the basis of exegetical considerations. This current dialogue makes us more appreciative of the contributions of theologians of the past who wrestled with these difficulties.
Since addressing our ETS Society at the 13th annual meeting in December, 1961, our last year’s president, Dr. R. Laird Harris, continued his study of the topic “The Bible and Cosmology” as printed in our last issue (Vol. 5, No. 1). En route to teach at the School of Near Eastern Studies, he observed two items that seem to counter the idea that the concept of a spherical earth was not commonly held when the New Testament was written. Writes Dr. Harris:
First, a mosaic in the National Museum of Naples from the ruins of Herculaneum (destroyed 79 A.D.) shows the god Helios — the sun — holding in his hands a globe in blue color. The title given the mosaic seems clearly to be correct, Helios and the Globe. The globe has around it two circles which cross each other at a slight angle near the middle of the globe. They could be the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Second, a coin of Augustus Caesar shows the Emperor with the insignia of his office and one foot upon the world — and the world is a round globe. The coin is conveniently pictured in the illustrated New Testament The Good News put out by the American Bible Society (p. F2, introduction to Romans). These pictures hardly look as if the Romans of the first century believed in a three-storied universe any more than did the Jews.
The 14th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society will be held at Northeastern Bible Institute, Essex Falls, New Jersey. Include in your plans a paper to be read at this meeting. Send information to the chairman of the committee on Program and Arrangements:
Dr. Vernon C. Grounds
Conservative Baptist Seminary
1500 East Tenth Avenue
Denver 18, Colorado
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