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Copies of the Journal may be obtained of the Secretary, Prof. H. G. T. Mitchell, Ph. D., Middletown, Conn., at the price of three dollars. Persons who have become members since the publication of the Journal for 1881, may obtain copies of that publication of the Secretary at the price of one dollar.

OF

BIBLICAL LITERATURE

AND

EXEGESIS,

CONTAINING

PAPERS AND PROCEEDINGS

FOR

JUNE AND DECEMBER, 1883.

The authors alone are responsible for the contents

of their papers.

PUBLISHED FOR THE SOCIETY
BY THE SECRETARY, H. G. MITCHELL,

12 SOMERSET ST., BOSTON, MASS.

Price to Subscribers, $3.00.

JUNE.

The Argument E Silentio,
With Special Reference to the Religion of Israel.

BY PROF. C. A. BRIGGS, D.D.

THE

HE Argument from Silence is frequently used on all sides, and

yet there is general distrust as to its validity. This is certainly an unsatisfactory state of affairs. If the argument be invalid, scholars ought to abandon it. If, however, it be valid, its validity should be clearly established and generally recognized. The uncertainty as to this argument is due to a lack of consideration of the merits of the question and the absence of discriminating definitions. From a sense of the need of such definitions in our own studies, we propose to beat our way into this difficult investigation, in hope that others will correct our mistakes, and improve upon our results. We are assured with Robert Boyle (Some Considerations touching the Style of the H. Scriptures, Lond., 1661, p. 11), “ There is such a fulnesse in that book that oftentimes it sayes much by saying nothing; and not only its expressions, but its silences are teaching, like a Dyall, in which the shadow as well as the light informs us."

(1) Silence is, in many cases, a lack of evidence, for the reason that the matter in question did not come within the scope of the author's argument. To determine whether this be so or not, may not always be easy, but it is a necessary preliminary to any use of the argument from silence. We must first determine exactly what the author does say in its organic connection, together with the design and the scope of his argument, before we can draw any safe conclusions with regard to that which lies outside of his limits, and the silence that he maintains with respect to the matters of our inquiry. Thus, in the question as to the "men of the Great Synagogue," it is argued by many

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