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But when we consider the immense accession which has been since made to our critical and to our philological apparatus; when we consider that the whole mass of literature, commencing with the London Polyglot and continued to Griesbach's Greek Testament, was collected subsequently to that period; when we consider that the most important sources of intelligence for the interpretation of the original Scriptures were likewise opened after that period, we cannot possibly pretend that our Authorized Version does not require amendment."
William Orme, a noted Scotch divine, speaking of the common version, says: “It was not made from corrected or critical texts of the originals, but from the Masoretic Hebrew texts, and from the common printed Greek text of the New Testament. Consequently, whatever imperfections belonged to the original at the time, must be expected in the version. That it is capable of improvement will generally be admitted, and that we are in possession of the means by which that improvement could be made, is equally unquestionable."* In the same strain do we find speaking, the eminent Presbyterian, Dr. John Pye Smith, one of the greatest Biblical scholars of his generation : “Every Christian who is moderately informed on these subjects knows that the early editions of the original Scriptures could not possess a text so well ascertained as those which the superior means and the diligent industry of modern editors have been enabled to attain.”+ It was the opinion of men like these, acknowledged leaders in
eology, regardless of denominational affiliations, and the discovery of additional manuscript copies of the original Scriptures, that created among scholars of our generation a feeling of dissatisfaction with the Authorized Version, and an increasing demand for a thorough revision of the
*“Bibliotheca Biblica," pp. 37–9.
entire book, based on the latest and most approved texts. The result is the Revised Version, the product of the ripest scholarship of the English-speaking tongue in the two hemispheres; having at its command all the additional light that two hundred and seventy years of intensest interest and research have thrown upon it. All scholars who have critically examined and compared, concede the fidelity of the Revised Version to the original text; and yet, what error, fundamental to the Christian faith, has been discovered? What great doctrine accepted by the Church universal has it caused to be set aside or materially modified? What part of the foundation of our common faith has been shaken? Is not the Revised Version a valued witness to the great fact that through the centuries God has been caring for His message to men, and that His truth, like Himself, is “the same yesterday, today, and forever"?
Again, it is alleged that “the fact of inspiration is conceded, but the limits of that inspiration are not so clearly defined.” We answer, that any limitation other than the Bible in its entirety, as originally given, is fraught with interminable difficulties and embarrassments. theory other than a whole Bible, what authority is to be recognized? Who shall say, this verse, this paragraph, this chapter, this book, this Testament is inspired, is of God? Who, with authoritative dictum, shall declare that corresponding portions are uninspired, are of man? What others are partly inspired and partly uninspired? On this theory, no two men will agree as to the inspired and uninspired portions; for it is purely a matter of personal judgment, biased by previous education, inclination, or desires. To do this, is to open wide the flood-gates of indifference, doubt, and infidelity, with all their attendant moral and spiritual calamities. It is to wreck the faith of men in the Word written. It is to remove the pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night, the unerring guides
which humanity's Emancipator has placed before the sons of men in their march from the bondage of ignorance and sin to the liberty of knowledge and of holiness.
Belief in the unerring accuracy of the Scriptures, in their primal transmission, as of God, both in the expression of doctrine and in the record of historic fact, and, for the English-speaking world, belief in the Revised Version as the essentially accurate reproduction of that primal transmission, add immeasurably to their weight of authority. Sin and infidelity can make little impression on the citadel of a soul defended by a full-armed disciple, accepting and adopting the Bible in its entirety, as the “Thus saith the Lord.” The minister of the Gospel who preaches a whole Bible, does not need to hedge, explain, apologize, and so weaken the faith of his hearers in that which he is set to defend. The hosts in the church militant, fullarmed and equipped with the truth of God as revealed in the Word, and imbued with the Spirit that accompanied its deliverance, under the leadership of Him who is the personification of all truth, long after the “poor, feeble, stammering tongues” of its assailants “lie silent in the grave,” will march on to still more glorious triumphs in the moral conquest of the world; until, in God's own fullness of time, in every clime and by every tongue we shall hear from the exultant lips of the mighty host of the redeemed: “Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
“ Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.
“Who is this King of Glory! The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory." *
* Psalm xxiv. 7-10.
THEORIES OF INSPIRATION.
JAMES H. BROOKES, D.D.
It is worthy of notice that the Bible itself says nothing whatever of the subject assigned for this hour. No theory of inspiration is presented or even suggested from the first of Genesis to the last of Revelation, but the Book everywhere asserts that the words it contains are words which God spoke to men, through whom He revealed His will and purpose. If we had read the sacred Scriptures alone, apart from human opinions, we could never have thought of different kinds or degrees of inspiration, but must have seen that the writers at least claim for the very. language of their communications divine origin, divine accuracy, and divine authority. There is no attempt to explain how they were inspired, but from first to last historians, poets, prophets, and apostles come before us with the sublime announcement, “Thus saith the Lord.”
So profound was the impression made by this announcement that the Jews for many centuries accepted without hesitation the Old Testament books as coming directly from God, and they dared not tamper with a word or letter of it at the peril of their souls. Josephus says: “Every one is not permitted of his own accord to be a writer, nor is there any disagreement in what is written,—they being only prophets that have written the original and earliest accounts of things as they learned them of God himself by inspiration. . . . . For so many ages that have already passed no one has been so bold as either to add anything to them or to make any change in them." Philo, although strongly influenced by the philosophy of his times, boldly
affirms his faith, and the faith of his countrymen, in the fact that God inspired the men who composed the Old Testament, and spoke through them as His mouthpiece. Esdras, who may be taken as a representative of all the Apocryphal writers, tells us : “When the Lord spake unto them, they made a sport of His prophets ”; “ In the first year of Cyrus, king of the Persians, that the word of the Lord miglit be accomplished, that He had promised by the mouth of Jeremy"; and when he had read the law, “ All they that were then moved at the word of the Lord God of Israel assembled unto me."
In the early Church also, while it does not appear that any theory of inspiration was discussed, there was entire unanimity among those who had a right to be called Christians, as to inspiration itself, an inspiration that was supernatural in its source, unerring in its truthfulness, and extending to the very words of Scripture. Thus Clement says: “Look into the Holy Scriptures, which are the true words of the Holy Ghost”; “Ye know, beloved, ye know full well the Holy Scriptures; and have thoroughly searched into the oracles of God.” Barnabas, in the epistle ascribed to him, writes: “The Lord hath declared unto us by the prophets ”; “ Thus saith the Lord by the prophets ”; “Moses in the Spirit spake.” Irenæus testifies : “Well knowing that the Scriptures are perfect, as dictated (or spoken) by the word of God and His Spirit.” Hippolytus says: “Be assured they did not speak in their own strength, nor out of their own minds, what they proclaimed; but first by the inspiration of the word they were imbued with wisdom.” Origen declares: “The sacred books are not the writings of men, but have been written and delivered to us from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the will of the Father of all things, through Jesus Christ. The sacred Scriptures come from the fullness of the Spirit, so that there is nothing in the prophets