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events preliminary to the Gospel history, such as the infancy of Jesus and the work of John the Baptist. The five hundred and twenty pages of the second volume are devoted to the life of Jesus. The generous scope of the work is evident from these divisions.
The author's view of the miraculous indicates his general standpoint. It is his opinion that in an age when people were credulous and accustomed to expect the miraculous in connection with religious movements, it could not be otherwise than that the followers of Jesus, convinced of his messiahship, should see miracles where we should see none. Peter's powerful imagination and readiness to reach a conclusion without due consideration are thought to be particularly responsible for the presence of accounts of miracles in the synoptical Gospels, since the Proto-Mark, which was a source common to all three synoptical Gospels, originated with him (vol. ii. p. 75). It is possible sometimes to trace the development of the miraculous in the narratives. For instance, out of the parable of the barren fig-tree (Luke xiii. 6) grew the account of the withered fig-tree recorded in Matt. xxi. 18-19 and Mark xi. 12-14, 19-21. The only basis in fact for the account of the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fishes was quite possibly the good-natured willingness of the crowds to be so content with the little they had that it sufficed for them all.
This view of the miraculous, of course, determines the author's conception of the resurrection. There was no resurrection of the body. The Jewish authorities probably had the body removed in order that the grave might not become a place of pilgrimage for Jesus' multitude of Galilean followers. The disciples, finding the empty tomb, inferred that Jesus had risen from the dead. This inference produced an ecstatic state of mind which rendered illusory visions possible, and indeed exceedingly probable, when they revisited the familiar scenes of their former intercourse with him. Out of these illusory visions grew the accounts of the various post-mortem appearances of Jesus found in our Gospels. Whether these visions were produced by the immediate presence and activity of the invisible Jesus is not distinctly discussed. The fact that the author does not mention these experiences of the apostles in his enumeration of the grounds of our belief in the immortality of the soul (vol. ii. p. 478), would seem to indicate that he does not regard them as evidence of the existence of Jesus after death.
These volumes of M. Réville indicate the direction which the discussion of the trustworthiness of the Gospel records may take in the next few years. The present general tendency to put the composition of the Gospels back to a very early date will make it necessary for those who do not believe in the trustworthiness of the Gospels, to explain the presence of the miraculous in them by attributing, as does M. Réville, an entirely improbable degree of untrustworthiness to the original eye-witnesses themselves. E. I. BoswORTH.
A HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE APOSTOLIC AGE. (International Theological Library.) By ARTHUR CUSHMAN MCGIFFERT, Ph.D., D.D., Washburn Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Pp. xii, 682. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $2.50.
Professor McGiffert shows wide acquaintance with the most recent literature relating to the apostolic era, and the present volume is valuable as an index of the views of the New Testament which are being industriously advocated by a certain class of German critics, and adopted by their followers in England and America. But examination of their work does not give one great confidence in the soundness of their critical judgment. Space forbids an extended examination of the present volume, since it differs so extensively from the conclusions which have been ordinarily accepted, that nothing short of a volume of equal size would be adequate to answer it in detail. The best that can be done in the present limits is to give a few illustrations of the author's treatment of historical authorities, and of the questionable conclusions at which he arrives.
By an overwhelming amount of inductive evidence it has been supposed to be established that Luke, or whoever was the author of the third Gospel and the book of Acts, was a historian of remarkable accuracy of information. But this is not Professor McGiffert's opinion. Striking in almost at random, we find him asserting that "it may fairly be questioned whether the address contained in Acts xiii. actually reproduces with accuracy what Paul said" (p. 186). The only ground for this questioning is, that the author thinks that verses 38 and 39 are un-Pauline." But the only reason for considering them un-Pauline is the author's own misinterpretation which he imposes on the verses. Again, Professor McGiffert does, indeed, believe that the book of Acts is correct "in recording that Paul and Barnabas separated soon after the council, and went each his own way (xv. 35 seq.)." But he claims that the reason which Luke gives is "hardly adequate to account for their separation' (p. 182). The author thinks he finds the true reason in Gal. ii. 13. Again, Professor McGiffert thinks Luke was mistaken in asserting a visit by Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem with alms previous to the council. He is confident that "Acts xi. and xv. both refer to the same event," and that Luke was therefore sadly confused in his chronology (p. 171). The reason assigned for this, in a note, is, that the early date which the author assumes for the death of Paul "makes it impossible to assign the conference, referred to in Gal. ii. and Acts xv., to a time much later than 46" (p. 172). The reader must judge whose reputation for accurate knowledge respecting that period is greater, Luke's or Professor McGiffert's. The author's theory is that Paul was converted within a year of the death of Christ, and that he died in 58. The exigencies of his theory compel him to compress everything into a period about ten years shorter than that which has ordinarily been allowed. Whenever, therefore, the
positive statements of Luke stand in the way of the exigencies of his theory, they are quietly thrust aside. Still again, Professor McGiffert disbelieves in Luke's account of Paul's first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, as recorded in Acts ix. 28 seq. (p. 165); also in the account of Timothy's circumcision given in Acts xvi. 3, and charges Luke with introducing into Paul's reported speeches "appropriate quotations from the Old Testament," and even that from the poet Aratus in Paul's address on Mars hill (p. 260); while it is clear to him that Luke made additions to Paul's address before Agrippa "as to so many of his speeches recorded by him" (p. 355). Especially does xxvi. 8 look like an addition; and so on almost without limit. Professor McGiffert is also absolutely certain that the Apocalypse and the fourth Gospel were not written by the same hand (p. 615), and does not believe that the fourth Gospel was written by John, or that its historical statements are worthy of much credence.
We regret to be compelled to call attention to this class of defects in Dr. McGiffert's painstaking work, but regard for the progress of truth and for the maintenance of sound learning will permit nothing less. The volume is representative of an active school of narrow-minded interpreters whose premises are false, and whose methods of interpretation are erroneous and seriously misleading. No historical authorities can endure the skeptical and free treatment which this class of critics bestows upon the sacred writers. Luke was not that ill-informed and careless historian which Dr. McGiffert assumes him to be.
THE ANCIENT HEBREW TRADITION, as Illustrated by the Monuments: A Protest against the Modern School of Old Testament Criticism. By Dr. FRITZ HOMMEL, Professor of Semitic Languages at the University of Munich. Translated from the German by EDMUND MCCLURE, M.A., and LEONARD CROSSLE. Pp. xvi, 350. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; New York: E. and J. B. Young & Co. 1897. The contest between archæology and biblical criticism has now reached a second stage, and one that promises to develop a fierceness which has indeed been foreshadowed by what has already taken place, but which might have been avoided possibly if some wisdom had been used in the statement of the thesis to be discussed and the limits within which the discussion should proceed. But compromise is now probably out of the question. Professor Hommel's book has already been hailed with cries of conservative delight, as indicating the dispersion of all the theories of the higher critics and the reconstruction of biblical criticism on the one hand, and has been politely alluded to as "puerile" and "stuff," with various implications of dishonesty and unsteadiness, on the other. He and the party he represents will probably not feel called upon to use less expressive terms than these when they come to answer the criticisms to which the book has been subjected.
It may not be out of place here again to state that this conflict is one
of the absurdest that could possibly amuse a dispassionate observer of the antics of the scholarly world. Following the lead of Professor Smith and others in deriving their view chiefly from Wellhausen, most of the more advanced critics (there are no conservatives in the old use of that term now) did not hesitate to use the most disrespectful terms about the then meager but rapidly accumulating body of Assyrian knowledge and research. Their general position was that it was interesting but not important; and though their understanding of it was very slight they did not hesitate to discredit its results in advance. The Assyriologists could not be expected to take this patiently. Nor did they; and when there came forth, as there did come, weighty testimony from the monuments they did not spare to lay on the lash of retributive invective over the shoulders of those who assumed to speak so confidently without knowing the facts.
And so the battle has raged with increasing evidences that the purely scholastic interest was becoming complicated with personal feelings, and with those well-known habits of insinuation and suggestion of intrigue and untruthfulness which apparently scholars know how to use with more bitterness than any one else. Professor Hommel's book itself shows his own feeling on the subject. It is far from being a work which is written apparently with an eye single to the knowledge of the truth. It is a tendenze schrift, frankly acknowledged to be such, and pursued with a vigor, whip in hand, which destroys its usefulness utterly as to the temper and spirit in which such a work should be undertaken. It is this quality of the book which has perhaps made the criticisms partake of so much bitterness with the liberal use of such expressions as have been quoted above.
Why there should be such an antagonism between biblical archæology and the higher criticism is one of those things nobody can find out. Both require specific and technical training, and both involve a greater or less knowledge of the other. This latter fact should certainly prevent misunderstandings, and should make kindly and rational discussion possible. The monuments may not have given us so much light as those who have given themselves wholly to the archæological end of the investigation think, but they have given us a great deal of light, and have suggested a great deal more. They have at least served to make the tone of supercilious contempt for dissenters which has for years been the prevailing mode of expression among the higher critics not merely unnatural and unwarranted, but in a measure a sign of scholastic disreputability. Some of the higher critics themselves had begun to recognize this fact when the present battle began.
On the other hand, monuments and tablets have given us much more inferential knowledge than facts of a character which can in itself be styled evidence. They have created a tendency rather than established a position. Moreover, the literary habits of inspection and the feeling
of the critical faculty which have steadily accumulated for years a method of approach and scrutiny are not to be tossed aside in a moment by any fact not absolute in its nature, and certainly not because of a mass of testimony whose value is chiefly inferential. In the light of these facts the struggle is greatly to be deplored, and cannot do otherwise than prevent light from coming and cause the interests of real truth to be obscured and damaged.
A word more about Professor Hommel's tone. Thoroughly lamentable as the spirit of it is, there is something to be said by way of extenuation. The author tells us in his introduction that he was until very recently under the influence of Wellhausen, and was in full sympathy with the spirit and temper of that school of criticism. Now a man cannot by a simple change of view change the whole current of his thought habits. Nor is it fair to assume that Professor Hommel did do this. The fact is he is now simply using the same tone of superciliousness as a reactionary or conservative, or whatever you choose to call him, that he and the school to which he formerly belonged habitually used toward those who disagreed with them. It is unfair to call him to account very severely for this tone, unhappy and unfortunate as it undoubtedly is. This is one of those cases where scholastic vindictiveness has come home to roost. The Wellhausen tone is now being applied to Wellhausenism by one who learned in the school itself. It is unpleasant, but it is hardly just to attribute its acquisition to mere adoption of the new view.
The same point holds good with reference to the depreciation of Professor Hommel's scholarship. The critic who now says that hereafter Mr. Hommel's views are of no further interest to the scholarly world is merely making himself ridiculous. This is especially true with respect to making false statements about the book itself, and utterly perverting some of the statements in the arguments of the book, as was done by one of his most severe critics. It is amazing to find this sort of thing still continuing. A book is a miracle of learning when it supports our own point of view. It is "puerile and stuff" when it controverts what we have been in the habit of considering the correct idea. This childishness surely ought to have passed away long before this. If Professor Hommel is "fickle," "puerile," "unsteady," "supercilious," "undisciplined," and "prejudiced,” all these qualities did not come into being coincidently with the view which this book upholds. They have been there for a much longer time. Why then did we not have our attention called to them long ago? Or was the fact that he was a firm and enthusiastic disciple of Wellhausen sufficient to obscure the fact that he was "fickle," "puerile," "unsteady," "supercilious," "undisciplined," and “prejudiced”? Surely this sort of thing is unworthy of any man who is truthfully seeking to advance human knowledge, to say nothing of being anxious for the truth.
About the translation, it ought to be fairly stated, however, that it is