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sources of the Textus Receptus of the Greek Testament.1
1 I may as well quote Dr. Hort's entire sentence, only remarking that it was not written to describe Professor Driver's theory of the composition of Genesis :—
"This is the natural result of the casual eclecticism of miscellaneous mixture, which tends to disguise the simplicity of the primitive relations of text under a superficial complexity of existing attestation."
It comes from the introductory chapter to Westcott and Hort's "New Testament in Greek," vol. i. p. 556.
Professor Driver has erred in representing the Law given from God by Moses as a result of development and evolution in the history of Israel.
THE last objection I have to make to Professor Driver's theory of the Law of Moses is that he makes it an elaboration of some ten centuries of Israelitish training, instead of a revelation from God at Sinai. I have shown already that the Scriptural account of the matter is clear, both in the Old and New Testament. "The Law was given by Moses," "430 years after Abraham," ordained by the ministry of angels, "added because of transgressions" to the promises which preceded it.
The basis of the opposite theory, that the Law must have been a gradual evolution, is apparently regarded as an axiom by the disciples of Driver to-day. So much so, that when they are invited to
"read the other side" before committing themselves to what they regard as the assured results of the Higher Criticism,” they reply, in effect, There is no other side. It is not that books are not written contravening its positions and pointing out particular objections to them. It is rather that the evolution principle, as applied to the Bible, is held to be like the law of gravitation in mechanics and astronomy, or the spherical shape of the globe. Whatever difficulties of detail in the way of accepting either of them may occur to individuals, the general position is so entirely and thoroughly established that it is waste of time to read the objections. They may be left on one side, and will doubtless vanish with time.
A greater mistake could not well be made. The evolution of the Jewish nation, or of Judaism as it was at the time of our Lord, is one thing. The evolution of the Holy Scriptures, or of Divine Revelation as given to us in the Old Testament, is quite another. And law, as a principle
of action, is not to be confused with the standard of actual obedience to it which may prevail at any given time.
The immediate question here is as to the evolution of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as we have them, with the state in Genesis described as preceding them. Are these books the result of the national life of Israel during ten centuries after the Exodus from Egypt? Or are they what they profess to be, the account of the origin of the Jewish nation as called by the LORD God of Israel from the midst of other nations, and educated by Him with a revelation through Moses and the Prophets?
The first point I have to insist upon in regard to this question is this. The Law itself is one thing. The state of the people among whom it is found, and their national standard of behaviour, is quite another.
The internal basis of law in man is not behaviour, but conscience. And the outward occasion of law is not obedience or civilisation, but, on the contrary, trans
gression. To suppose, for example, that the action of King Hezekiah in destroying the high places where the Lord worshipped in his realm and insisting upon the return to the central sanctuary, or that the action of King Josiah in destroying the idols throughout the whole land of Israel,-to suppose, I say, that these two courses were a proof of the prevalence of monotheism throughout the nation, is to suppose the exact opposite of the truth. It is rather the other way. The multiplication of altars in the one case and of idols in the other had become so intolerable, that it had become necessary to put them down. How could this be unless the conviction that the old law against them (long known, and as long neglected) had at last impressed itself, in the consequences of disobedience, so deeply on the nation that they felt, or at least their rulers felt, that at all cost it must be obeyed? The Law was no product of evolution, even if the obedience of Hezekiah and Josiah was. Or Ezra's insistence upon the divorce of