Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 11:2 (Autumn 98) p. 89
“Internal Evidence for the Inerrancy of the Pentateuch,” Eugene Merrill, The Conservative Theological Journal 2 (June 1998), 102–122.
In a time when most evangelical scholars either directly or indirectly deny inerrancy, this article is a breath of fresh air. Eugene Merrill, Professor of OT at Dallas Theological Seminary, brilliantly defends the inerrancy and hence the authority of the Pentateuch.
Merrill shows that later OT references clearly show that the Pentateuch is God’s Word. Similarly, he shows that the NT does this as well. Merrill makes it clear that if we accept the testimony of the Bible, we cannot deny that the Pentateuch is God’s inerrant Word. But he doesn’t stop here. He goes on to demonstrate convincingly that the Pentateuch itself claims that it is God’s Word.
This article is helpful for several reasons. First, it defends inerrancy. This is much needed today.
Second, it affirms the validity of the NT’s interpretation of the OT. Recently a prominent evangelical NT scholar told me that Abraham really didn’t believe that God would raise Isaac from the dead. He understood the author of Hebrews to be stating what Abraham’s actions meant, not what Abraham actually believed. Even among many conservative evangelical scholars the NT is not regarded as a valid interpreter of the OT. Merrill’s article forcefully bucks this trend.
Third, it underscores the miraculous nature of OT revelation. For example, Merrill concludes that the information about creation preceding Adam and Eve (Gen 1:1–2:4) was directly given by God, most likely to someone in antiquity who passed it on ultimately to Moses. Another disturbing trend in evangelical scholarship today is the evisceration of direct messianic prophecy. Most OT scholars teach that there are very few direct messianic prophecies. Some go so far as to limit the number to two or three! Yet what about Luke 24:27 where the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were joined by Jesus who “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself”? While Merrill does not deal with this question
JOTGES 11:2 (Autumn 98) p. 90
directly, he certainly does not buy the view that OT authors merely wrote out of their own situation in life (Sitz im Leben). Merrill rightly shows that God intervened and, in many cases, spoke directly with the OT authors. That David knew he was writing about the coming Messiah in Psalm 22 and 110, for example, i...
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