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The Higher Criticism 


The New Theology 










Copyright, 1911. by 















JESUS CHRIST . . * . . . .241 








The words "The Higher Criticism" used in the title of this 
book are not altogether satisfactory, for "The Higher Criti 
cism" taken in its original and strict sense, as denoting liter 
ary criticism as distinguished from "the lower" or textual 
criticism, is not necessarily unscientific, nor unscriptural, nor 
unwholesome. There is a legitimate "higher" criticism of 
this kind. In actual usage, however, and in the common 
understanding to-day, the words "Higher Criticism" denote a 
certain type of literary criticism that follows unscientific and 
even absurd methods and has reached unwarranted and false 
results, and that is utterly mischievous. When the words "The 
Higher Criticism" are used to-day almost everyone under 
stands them to apply to this type of criticism, and so we 
have used it in the title of the present book. The words "The 
New Theology" are not altogether satisfactory. This phrase 
came into quite common use something over thirty years ago 
to denote a certain type of theology that was not at all new 
even in those days, but was new in supposedly orthodox 
churches. A few years ago these words were taken up again 
as a battle cry in England by a school of erratic thinkers. We 
use these words in the title of the book because to the common 
mind they denote a certain type of theological thought that 
has proved fascinating to many ministers of the Gospel and to 
many laymen, and that has wrought terrible havoc in the 
life and work of our churches. It would be difficult to ex 
actly define "the new theology," but it stands in a general way 



for the denial or questioning of the authority of the Bible as 
the inerrant Word of God ; for the denial or questioning of 
the real Deity of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ ; for the 
denial or questioning of the virgin birth of our Lord and of 
His literal, bodily, resurrection from the dead ; for the denial 
or questioning of the vicarious atonement ; and for the denial 
or questioning of the eternal, conscious suffering of those who 
die impenitent. This book aims to put into succinct and read 
ily usable form the proof that both "the Higher Criticism" 
and "the New Theology" are unscientific, unscriptural and 

Many of the chapters in this book are taken by permission 
from a series of volumes called "Fundamentals" which are 
being published at the expense of two Christian laymen and 
sent without cost to ministers of the Gospel and some other 
Christian workers throughout the world. Other chapters and 
topics, which have not as yet been fully treated in "Funda 
mentals" are added by the compiler. 

The Higher Criticism and 
The New Theology 




The glories of the Lord Jesus Christ are threefold : Es 
sential, official and moral. His essential glory is that which 
pertains to Him as the Son of God, the equal of the Father. 
His official glory is that which belongs to Him as the Media 
tor. It is the reward conferred on Him, the august promotion 
He received when He had brought His great work to a final 
and triumphant conclusion. His moral glory consists of the 
perfections which marked His earthly life and ministry; per 
fections which attached to every relation He sustained, and 
to every circumstance in which He was found. His essen 
tial and official glories were commonly veiled during His 
earthly sojourn. His moral glory could not be hid ; He could 
not be less than perfect in everything ; it belonged to Him ; 
it was Himself. This moral glory now illumines every page 
of the four Gospels, as once it did every path He trod. 

The Higher Criticism and The AVw Theology 

The thesis which we undertake to illustrate and establish 
is this : That the moral glory of Jesus Christ as set forth in 
the four Gospels cannot be the product of the unaided human 
intellect, that only the Spirit of God is competent to execute 
this matchless portrait of the Son of Man. The discussion of 
the theme falls into two parts : I. A brief survey of Christ s 
moral glory as exhibited in the Gospels. II. The application 
of the argument. 



I. The moral glory of Jesus appears in His development 
as Son of Man. The nature which He assumed was our na 
ture, sin and sinful propensities only excepted. His was a 
real and a true humanity, one which must pass through the 
various stages of growth like any other member of the race. 
From infancy to youth, from youth to manhood, there was 
steady increase both of His bodily powers and mental facul 
ties; but the progress was orderly. "No unhealthy precocity 
marked the holiest of infancies." He was first a child, and 
afterwards a man, not a man in child s years. 

As Son of Man He was compassed about with all the 
sinless infirmities that belong to our nature. He has needs 
common to all ; need of food, of rest, of human sympathy and 
of divine assistance. He is subject to Joseph and Mary, He 
is a worshiper in the synagogue and the Temple; He weeps 
over the guilty and hardened city, and at the grave of a loved 
one; He expresses His dependence on God by prayer. 

Nothing is more certain than that the Gospel narratives 
present the Lord Jc?us as a true man, a veritable member of 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

our race. But we no sooner recognize this truth than we are 
confronted by another which sets these records alone and 
unapproachable in the field of literature. This second fact 
is this : At every stage of His development, in every relation 
or life, in every part of His service He is absolutely perfect. 
To no part of His life does a mistake attach, over no part of 
it does a cloud rest, nowhere is there defect. Nothing is more 
striking, more unexampled, than the profound contrast be 
tween Jesus and the conflict and discord around Him, than 
between Him and those who stood nearest Him, the disciples, 
John Baptist, and the mother, Mary. All fall immeasurably 
below Him. 


2. The Gospels exalt our Lord infinitely above all other 
men as the representative, the ideal, the pattern man. Noth 
ing in the judgment of historians stands out so sharply dis 
tinct as race, national character nothing is more ineffaceable. 
The very greatest men are unable to free themselves from the 
influences amid which they have been born and educated. 
Peculiarities of race and the spirit of the age leave in their 
characters traces that are imperishable. To the last fiber of 
his being Luther was German, Calvin was French, Knox was 
Scotch ; Augustine bears the unmistakable impress of the 
Roman, and Chrysostom is as certainly Greek. Paul, with all 
his large heartedness and sympathies is a Jew, always a Jew. 
Jesus Christ is the only One who is justly entitled to be called 
the Catholic Man. Nothing local, transient, individualizing, 
national, or sectarian dwarfs the proportions of His won 
drous character. "He rises above the parentage, the blood, 
the narrow horizon which bounded, as it seemed, His life ; 
for He is the archetypal man in whose presence distinctions 

Tht Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

of race, intervals of ages, types of civilization and degrees of 
mental culture are as nothing" (Liddon). He belongs to all 
ages, He is related to all men, whether they shiver amid the 
snows of the arctic circle, or pant beneath the burning heat of 
the equator; for He is the Son of Man, the Son of mankind, 
the genuine offspring of the race. 


3. The Lord s moral glory appears in His unselfishness 
and personal dignity. The entire absence of selfishness in any 
form from the character of the Lord Jesus is another remark 
able feature of the Gospels. He had frequent and fair oppor 
tunities of gratifying ambition had His nature been tainted 
with that passion. But "even Girist pleased not himself;" He 
"sought not his own glory;" He came not "to do his own will." 
His body and His soul with all the faculties and activities of 
each were devoted to the supreme aims of His mission. His 
self-sacrifice included the whole range of His human thought 
and affection and action; it lasted throughout His life; its 
highest expression was His ignominious death on the cross of 

The strange beauty of His unselfishness as it is displayed 
in the Gospel narratives appears in this, that it never seeks to 
draw attention to itself, it deprecates publicity. In His humil 
ity He seems as one naturally contented with obscurity ; as 
wanting the restless desire for eminence which is common to 
really great men ; as eager and careful that even His miracles 
should not add to His reputation. But amid all His self- 
sacrificing humility He never loses His personal dignity nor 
the self-respect that becomes Him. He receives ministry from 
the lowly and the lofty; He is sometimes hungry, yet feeds 


The floral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

the multitudes in desert places; He has no money, yet He 
never be.^s, and He provides the coin for tribute to the gov 
ernment from a fish s mouth. He may ask for a cup of water 
at the well, but it is that He may save a soul. He never flies 
from enemies ; He quietly withdraws or passes by unseen. 
Hostility neither excites nor exasperates Him. He is always 
calm, serene. He seems to care little for Himself, for His 
own ease or comfort or safety, but everything for the honor 
and the glory of the Father. If multitudes, eager and expect 
ant, press upon Him, shouting, "Hosanna to the son of Da 
vid," He is not elated ; if all fall away, stunned by His words 
of power, He is not cast down. He sought not a place among 
men, He was calmly content to be the Lord s Servant, the 
obedient and the humble One. It was invariably true of Him 
that "He pleased not Himself." 

And yet through all His amazing self-renunciation, there 
glances ever and anon something of the infinite majesty and 
supreme dignity which belong to Him because He is the Son 
of God. The words of Van Oosterzee are as true as they are 
beautiful and significant : "It is the same King s Son who 
to-day dwells in the palace of His Father, and to-morrow, out 
of love to His rebellious subjects in a remote corner of the 
Kingdom, renouncing His princely glory, comes to dwell 
amongst them in the form ef a servant * * * and is 
known only by the dignity of His look, and the star of royalty 
on His breast, when the mean cloak is opened for a moment, 
apparently by accident." 


4. The Gospels exhibit the Lord Jesus as superior to the 
judgment and the intercession of men. When challenged by 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

the disciples arid by enemies, as He often was, Jesus never 
apologizes, never excuses Himself, never confesses to a mis 
take. When the disciples, terrified by the storm on the lake, 
awoke Him saying, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" 
He did not vindicate His sleep, nor defend His apparent indif 
ference to their fears. Martha and Mary, each in turn, with 
profound grief, say, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother 
had not died." There is not a minister of the gospel the 
world over who would not in similar circumstances explain or 
try to explain why he could not at once repair to the house of 
mourning when summoned thither. But Jesus does not ex 
cuse His not being there, nor His delay of two days in the 
place where He was when the urgent message of the sisters 
reached Him. In the consciousness of the perfect rectitude of 
His ways, He only replies, "Thy brother shall rise again." 
Peter once tried to admonish Him, saying, "This be far from 
thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee." But Peter had to 
learn that it was Satan that prompted the admonition. Nor 
does He recall a word when the Jews rightly inferred from 
His language that He "being man made Himself God" (John 
10 : 30-36) . He pointed out the application of the name Elo- 
him (God) to judges under the theocracy; and yet He irre 
sistibly implies that His title to Divinity is higher than, and 
distinct in kind from, that of the Jewish magistrates. He 
thus arrives at second time at the assertion which had given 
so great offense, by announcing His identity with the Father, 
which involves His own proper Deity. The Jews understood 
Him. He did not retract what they accounted blasphemy, and 
they again sought His life. He is never mistaken, and never 

So likewise He is superior to human intercession. He 
never asks even His disciples nor His nearest friends, and 


The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

certainly never His mother Mary, to pray for Him. In Geth- 
scmane He asked the three to watch with Him, He did not 
ask them to pray for Him. He bade them pray that they might 
not enter into temptation, but He did not ask them to pray 
that He should not, nor that He should be delivered out of it. 
Paul wrote again and again, "Brethren, pray for us" "pray 
for me." But such was not the language of Jesus. It is 
worthy of note that the Lord does not place His own people 
on a level with Himself in His prayers. He maintains the 
distance of His own personal dignity and supremacy between 
Himself and them. In His intercession He never uses plural 
personal pronouns in His petitions. He always says, "I" and 
"me," "these" and "them that thou hast given me ;" never 
"we" and "us," as we speak and should speak in our prayers. 


5. The sinlessness of the Saviour witnesses to His moral 
glory. The Gospels present us with one solitary and unique 
fact of human history an absolutely sinless Man! In His 
birth immaculate, in His childhood, youth and manhood, in 
public and private, in death and in life, He was faultless. Hear 
some witnesses. There is the testimony of His enemies. For 
three long years the Pharisees were watching their victim. As 
another writes, "There was the Pharisee mingling in every 
crowd, hiding behind every tree. They examined His disci 
ples, they cross-questioned all around Him. They looked into 
His ministerial life, into His domestic privacy, into His hours 
of retirement. They came forward with the sole accusation 
they could muster that He had shown disrespect to Caesar. 
The Roman judge who ought to knc .v. pronounced it void." 
There was another spy Judas. Had there hoen one failure in 

The Higher Criticism and The Neuu Theology 

the Redeemer s career, in his awful agony Judas wfluld have 
remembered it for his comfort; but the bitterness of his de 
spair, that which made his life intolerable, was, "I have be 
trayed the innocent blood." 

There is the testimony of His friends. His disciples affirm 
that during their intercourse with Him His life was unsullied. 
Had there been a single blemish they would have detected 
it, and, honest historians as they were, they would have re 
corded it, just as they did their own shortcomings and blun 
ders. The purest and most austere man that lived in that day, 
John the Baptist, shrank from baptizing the Holy One, and in 
conscious unworthiness he said, "I have need to be baptized of 
thee, and comest thou to me?" Nor is His own testimony 
to be overlooked. Jesus never once confesses sin. He never 
once asks for pardon. Yet is it not He who so sharply re 
bukes the self-righteousness of the Pharisees? Does He not, 
in His teaching, seem to ignore all human piety that is not 
based upon a broken heart? But yet He never lets fall a 
hint, He never breathes a prayer which implies the slightest 
trace of blameworthiness. He paints the doom of incorrigible 
and unrepentant sinners in the most dreadful colors found in 
the entire Bible, but He -Himself feels no apprehension, He 
expresses no dread of the penal future; His peace of mind, 
His fellowship with Almighty God, is never disturbed nor 
interrupted. If He urge sorrow upon others and tears of 
penitence, it is for their sins; if He groan in agony, it is not 
for sins of His own, it is for others . He challenges His bit 
terest enemies to convict Him of Sin (John 8:46). Nor is 
this all. "The soul," it has been said, "like the body has its 
pores," and the pores are always open. "Instinctively, uncon 
sciously, and whether a man will or not, the insignificance or 
the greatness of the inner life always reveals itself." From its 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

very center and essence the moral nature is ever throwing eut 
about itself circles of influence, encompasses itself with an 
atmosphere of self-disclosure. In Jesus Christ this self-reve 
lation was not involuntary, nor accidental, nor forced : it was 
in the highest degree deliberate. There is about Him an air of 
superior holiness, of aloofness from the world and its ways, a 
separation from evil in every form and of every grade, such 
as no other that has ever lived has displayed. Although de 
scended from an impure ancestry, He brought no taint of sin 
into the world with Him; and though He mingled with sinful 
men and was assailed by fierce temptations, He contracted no 
guilt, He was touched by no stain. He was not merely unde- 
filed, but He was undefilable. He was like a ray of light which 
parting from the fountain of light can pass through the foulest 
medium and still be unstained and untouched. He came down 
into all the circumstances of actual humanity in its sin and 
misery, and yet He kept the infinite purity of heaven with 
Him. In the annals of our race there is none next to or like 


6. The exquisite assemblage and correlation of virtues 
and excellencies in the Lord Jesus form another remarkable 
feature of the Gospel narratives. There have been those who 
have displayed distinguished traits of character; those who by 
reason of extraordinary gifts have risen to heights which are 
Inaccessible to the great mass of men. But who among the 
mightiest of men has shown himself to be evenly balanced and 
rightly poised in all his faculties and powers? In the very 
greatest and best, inequality and disproportion are encoun 
tered. Generally, the failings and vices of men are in the 
inverse ratio of their virtues and their powers. "The tallest 

The Higher Criticism and The Xc\> Theology 

bodies cast the longest shadows." In Jesus Christ there is 
unevenness. In Him there is no preponderance of the imagin 
ation over the feeling, of the intellect over the imagination, of 
the will over the intellect. There is in Him an uninterrupted 
harmony of all the powers of body and soul, in which that 
serves which should serve, and that rules which ought to 
rule, and all works together to one adorable end. In Him 
even,- grace is in its perfectaess, none in excess, none out 
of place, and none wanting. His justice and His mercy, His 
peerless love and His truth, His holiness and His freest par 
don never clash; one never clouds the other. His firmness 
never degenerates into obstinacy, or His calmness into in 
difference. His gentleness never becomes weakness, nor His 
elevation of soul forgetfulness of others. In His best ser 
vants virtues and graces are uneven and often clash. Paul 
had hours of weakness and even of petulance. He seems to 
have regretted that he called himself a Pharisee in the Jew 
ish Sanhedrin and appealed to that party for help, for in his 
address before the proconsul Felix he said, "Or let these 
same here say, if they found any evil doing in me, while I 
stood before the Council, except it be for this one voice, that I 
cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the 
dead I am called in question by you this day." John the 
Apostle of love even wished to call down fire from heaven to 
consume the inhospitable Samaritans. And the Virgin mother 
must learn that even she cannot dictate to Him as to what He 
shall do or not do. In Jesus there is the most perfect balance, 
the most amazing equipoise of every faculty and grace and 
duty and power. In His whole life one day s walk never con 
tradicts another, one hour s service never clashes wilh an 
other. While He shows He is master of nature s tremendous 
forces, and the Lord of the unseen world, He turns astf* and 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

lays His glory by to take little children in His arms and to 
bless them. While He must walk amid the snares His foes 
have privily spread for His feet, He is equal to every occasion, 
is in harmony with the requirements of every moment. "He 
never speaks where it would be better to keep silence, He 
never keeps silence where it would be better to speak ; and He 
always leaves the arena of controversy a victor." His unaf 
fected majesty, so wonderfully depicted in the Gospels, runs 
through His whole life, and is as manifest in the midst of 
poverty and scorn, at Gethsemane and Calvary, as on the 
Mount of Transfiguration and in the resurrection from the 


7. The evangelists do not shrink from ascribing to the 
Lord Jesus divine attributes, particularly Omnipotence and 
Omniscience. They do so as a mere matter of fact, as what 
might and should be expected from so exalted a personage as 
the Lord Jesus was. How amazing the power is which He 
wields when it pleases Him to do so ! It extends to the forces 
of nature. At His word the storm is hushed into a calm, 
and the raging of the sea ceases. At His pleasure He walks 
on the water as on dry land. It extends to the world of evil 
spirits. At His presence demons cry out in fear and quit 
their hold on their victims. His power extends into the 
realm of disease. Every form of sickness departs at His 
command, and He cures the sick both when He is beside them 
and at a distance from them. Death likewise, that inexorable 
tyrant that wealth has never bribed, nor tears softened, nor 
human power arrested, yielded instantly his prey when the 
voice of the Son of God bade him. 

But Jesus equally as certainly and as fully possessed a 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

superhuman range of knowledge as well as a superhuman 
power. He knew men; knew them as God knows them. 
Thus He saw into the depths of Nathaniel s heart when he 
was under the fig tree ; He saw into the depths of the sea, 
and the exact coin in the mouth of a particular fish ; He read 
the whole past life of the woman at the well, although He 
had never before met with her. John tells us that "He needed 
not that any should testify of man : for he knew what was 
in man" (John ii:25). He knew the world of evil spirits. 
He was perfectly acquainted with the movements of Satan 
and of demons. He said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, 
Satan asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat: I 
made supplication for thee that thy faith fail not" (Luke xxii : 
31, 32). He often spoke directly to the evil spirits that had 
control of people, ordering them to hold their peace, to come 
out and to enter no more into their victims. He knew the 
Father as no mere creature could possibly know Him. "All 
things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man 
knoweth the Son, save the Father ; neither doth any know the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth 
to reveal Him" (Matt. xi:27). 

A difficulty will be felt when we attempt to reconcile this 
infinite knowledge of men, of the unseen world, and of God 
Himself, which the Son of God possessed, with the state 
ment in Mark that He did not know the day nor the hour of 
His Second Advent. But the difficulty is no greater than 
that other in John, where we are told that His face was wet 
with human tears while the almighty voice was crying, "Laz 
arus, come forth." In both cases the divine and the human 
are seen intermingling, and yet they are perfectly distinct. 

Such are some of the beams of Christ s moral glories as 
they shine everywhere on the pages of the Four Gospels. A 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

very few of them are here gathered together. Nevertheless, 
what a stupendous picture do they form ! In the annals of 
our race there is nothing like it. Here is One presented to 
us who is a true and genuine man, and yet He is the ideal, 
the representative, the pattern man, claiming kindred in the 
catholicity of His manhood with all men ; sinless, yet full of 
tenderness and pity; higher than the highest, yet stooping to 
the lowest and to the most needy ; perfect in all His words 
and ways, in His life and in His death ! 

Who taught the evangelists to draw this matchless por 
trait? The pen which traced these glories of Jesus could it 
have been other than an inspired pen? This question leads 
us to the second part of our task, which can soon be dis 
posed of. 


Nothing is more obvious than the very commonplace 
axiom, that every effect requires an adequate cause. Given a 
piece of machinery, complex, delicate, exact in all its move 
ments, we know that it must be the product of a competent 
mechanic. Given a work of consummate art, we know it 
must be the product of a consummate artist. None but a 
sculptor with the genius of an Angelo could carve the "Moses." 
None but a painter with the hand, the eye, and the brain of a 
Raphael could paint the "Transfiguration." None but a poet 
with the gifts of a Milton could write "Paradise Lost." 

Here are four brief records of our Lord s earthly life. 
They deal almost exclusively with His public ministry; they 
do not profess even to relate all that He did in His official 
work (cf. John xxi:25). The authors of these memorials 
v f*rc men who. c e names are as household words the world 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

over ; but beyond their names we know little more. The first 
was tax collector under the Roman government ; the sec 
ond was, it is generally believed, that John Mark who for 
a time served as an attendant on Paul and Barnabas, and who 
afterward became the companion and fellow-laborer of Peter ; 
the third was a physician and the devoted friend and co- 
worker of Paul ; and the fourth was a fisherman. T\vo of 
them, Matthew and John, were disciples of Jesus ; whether 
the others, Mark and Luke, ever saw Him during His earthly 
sojourn cannot be determined. 

These four men, unpracticed in the art of writing", unac 
quainted with the ideals of antiquity, write the memorials of 
Jesus life. Three of them traverse substantially the same 
ground, record the same incidents, discourses and miracles. 
While they are penetrated with the profoundest admiration 
for their Master, they never once dilate on His great qualities. 
All that they do is to record His actions and His discourses 
with scarcely a remark. One of them indeed, John, inter 
mingles reflective commentary with the narrative; but in 
doing this John carefully abstains from eulogy and panegyric. 
He pauses in His narrative only to explain some reference, to 
open some deep saying of the Lord, or to press some vital 
truth. Yet, despite this absence of the smallest attempt to 
delineate a character, these four men have accomplished what 
no others have done or can do they have presented the world 
with the portrait of a Divine Man, a Glorious Saviour. Mat 
thew describes Him as the promised Messiah, the glory of 
Israel, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham; the One in 
whom the covenants and the promises find their ample ful 
filment; the One who accomplishes all righteousness. Mark 
exhibits Him as the mighty Servant of Jehovah who does 
man s neglected duty, and meets the need of all around. Luke 


The Moral Glor\ of the Lord Jtsus 

depicts Him as the Friend of man, whose love is so intense 
and comprehensive, whose pity is so divine, that His saving 
power goes fortli to Jew and Gentile, to the lowliest and the 
loftiest, to the publican, the Samaritan, the ragged prodigal, 
the harlot, the thief, as well as to the cultivated, the moral, 
the great. John presents Him as the Son of God, the Word 
made flesh ; as Light for a dark world, as Bread for a starving 
world, as Life for a dead world. Matthew writes for the Jew, 
Mark for the Roman, Luke for the Greek, and John for the 
Christian ; and all of them write for every kindred, and tribe, 
and tongue and people of the entire globe, and for all time ! 
What the philosopher, the poet, the scholar, the artist could 
not do ; what men of the greatest mind, the most stupendous 
genius have failed to do, these four unpracticed men have 
done they have presented to the world the Son of Man and 
the Son of God in all His perfections and glories. 


How comes it to pass that these unlearned and ignorant 
men (Acts iv : 13) have so thoroughly accomplished so great 
a task? Let us hold fast our commonplace axiom, every 
effect must have an adequate cause. What explanation shall 
we give of this marvellous effect? Shall we ascribe their 
work to genius ? But multitudes of men both before and since 
their day have possessed genius of the very highest order; 
and these gifted men have labored in fields akin to this of 
our four evangelists. The mightiest minds of the race men 
of Chaldea, of Egypt, of India, of China, and of Greece have 
tried to draw a perfect character, have expended all their 
might to paint a god-like man. And with what result ? Either 
he is invested with the passions and the brutalities of fallc 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

men, or he is a pitiless and impassive spectator of the world s 
sorrows and woes. In either case, the character is one which 
may command the fear but not the love and confidence of 

Again, we ask, How did the evangelists solve this mighty 
problem of humanity with such perfect originality and pre 
cision? Only two answers are rationally possible: I. They 
had before them the personal and historical Christ. Men 
could no more invent the God-man of the Gospels than they 
could create a world. The almost irreverent words of Theo 
dore Parker are grounded in absolute truth: "It would have 
taken a Jesus to forge a Jesus." 2. They wrote by inspiration 
of the Spirit of God. It cannot be otherwise. It is not enough 
to say that the Divine Model was before them: they must 
have had something more, else they never could have suc 

Let it be assumed that these four men, Matthew, Mark, 
Luke and John, were personally attendant on the ministry of 
Jesus that they saw Him, heard Him, accompanied with Him 
for three years. Yet on their own showing they did not un 
derstand Him. They testify that the disciples, the Apostles 
among the number, got but the slenderest conceptions of His 
person and His mission from His very explicit teachings. 
They tell us of a wonderful incapacity and weakness in all 
their apprehensions of Him. The Sun of righteousness was 
shining on them and around them, and they could see only 
the less! He told them repeatedly of His approaching death, 
and of His resurrection, but they did not understand Him; 
they even questioned among themselves what the rising from 
th dead should mean (Mark ix:io) poor men! And yet 
these men, once so blind and ignorant, write four little pieces 
about the person and the work of the Lord Jesus which the 


The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

study and the research of Christendom for eighteen hundred 
years have not exhausted, and which the keenest and most 
hostile criticism has utterly failed to discredit. 

But this is not all. Others have tried their hand at com 
posing the Life and Deeds of Jesus. Compare some of these 
with our Four Gospels. 


The Gospel narrative observes an almost unbroken silence 
as to the long abode of Jesus at Nazareth. Of the void thus 
left the church became early impatient. During the first four 
centuries many attempts were made to fill it up. Some of 
these apocryphal gospels are still extant, notably that which 
deals with the infancy and youth of the Redeemer; and it is 
instructive to notice how those succeeded who tried to lift 
the veil which covers the earlier years of Christ. Let another 
state the contrast between the New Testament records and the 
spurious gospels : "The case stands thus : our Gospels present 
us with a glorious picture of a mighty Saviour, the mythic gos 
pels with that of a contemptible one. In our Gospels He ex 
hibits a superhuman wisdom; in the mythic ones a nearly 
equal superhuman absurdity. In our Gospels He is arrayed in 
all the beauty of holiness ; in the mythic ones this aspect of 
character is entirely wanting. In our Gospels not one stain 
of sinfulness defiles His character ; in the mythic ones the Boy 
Jesus is both pettish and malicious. Our Gospels exhibit to 
us a sublime morality ; not one ray of it shines in those of the 
mythologists. The miracles of the one and of the other stand 
contrasted on every point." (Row.) 

These spurious gospels were written by men who lived 
not long after the apostolic age; by Christians who wished 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

to honor the Saviour in all they said about Him ; by men who 
had the portraiture of Him before them which the Gospels 
supply. And yet these men, many of them better taught than 
the Apostles, with the advantage of two or three centuries of 
Christian thought and study, could not produce a fancy sketch 
of the Child Jesus without violating our sense of propriety, and 
shocking our moral sense. The distance between the Gos 
pels of the New Testament and the pseudo-gospels is meas 
ured by the distance between the product of the Spirit of God, 
and that of the fallen human mind. 


Let us take another illustration. The nineteenth century 
has been very fruitful in the production of what are commonly 
called "Lives of Christ." Contrast with the Gospels four 
such "Lives," perhaps the completest and the best, taken alto 
gether, of those written by English-speaking people An 
drews , Geikie s, Hanna s and Edersheim s. The authors of 
our Gospels had no models on which to frame their work. 
The path they trod had never before been pressed by human 
feet. The authors of the "Lives" have not only these incom 
parable narratives as their pattern and the chief source of 
all their material, but numberless other such "Lives" sug 
gestive as to form and construction, and the culture and the 
research of eighteen centuries lying behind them. But would 
any one venture for a moment to set forth these "Lives" as 
rivals of our Gospels? Much information and helpfulness are 
to be derived from the labors of these Christian scholars, and 
others who have toiled in the same field ; but how far they all 
fall below the New Testament record it is needless to show. 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jtsiis 

Indeed, all such writings are largely antiquated and scarcely 
read, though they are quite young in years, so soon does man s 
work decay and die. 

Let the contrast be noted as to size or bulk. Andrews 
book contains 615 pages; Geikie s over 1,200; Hanna s over 
2,100; Edersheim s, 1,500 pages. The four combined have no 
less than 5,490 pages, enough in these busy days to require 
months of reading to go but once through their contents. 
Bagster prints the Four Gospels in 82 pages ; the Oxford, in 
104; Amer. Rev., 120. In the Bagster, Matthew has but 23; 
Mark, 13; Luke, 25; and John, 21. Less than one hundred 
pages of the Four Gospels against more than five thousand 
four hundred of the four "Lives." 

Countless volumes, great and small, in the form of com 
mentary, exposition, notes, harmony and history are written 
on these brief records. How happens it that such stores of 
wisdom and knowledge lie garnered in these short pieces ? 
Who taught the evangelists this superhuman power of ex 
pansion and contraction, of combination and separation, of 
revelation in the words and more revelation below the words ? 
Who taught them so to describe the person and work of the 
Lord Jesus as that the description satisfies the most illiterate 
and the most learned, is adapted to minds of the most limited 
capacity, and to those of the widest grasp? Whence did they 
derive the infinite skill they display in grouping together 
events, discourses, and actions in such fashion that vividly 
before us is the deathless beauty of a perfect Life? There is 
but one answer to these questions, there can be no other. The 
Spirit of the living God filled their minds with His unerring 
wisdom and controlled their human speech. To that creative 
Spirit who has peopled the world with living organisms so 

The Higher Criticism, and The New Theology 

minute that only the microscope can reveal their presence, 
it is not hard to give us in so brief a compass the sublime 
portrait of the Son of Man. To men it is impossible. 


Now if it be conceded that the Four Gospels are inspired, 
we are compelled by every rule of right reason to concede 
the inspiration of the rest of the New Testament. For all the 
later communications contained in the Acts, the Epistles, and 
the Revelation, are already in germ form in the Gospels, just 
as the Pentateuch holds in germ the rest of the Old Testament. 
If the Holy Spirit is the author of the Four Gospels He is 
none the less the author of the entire New Testament. If He 
creates the germ, it is He also that must unfold it into mature 
fruit. If He makes the seed He must likewise give the in 
crease. To this fundamental truth the writers of the later 
communications bear the most explicit testimony. Paul, John, 
James, Peter and Jude severally intimate that what they have 
to impart is from Christ by His Spirit. 

Furthermore, if we admit the inspiration of the New 
Testament we must also admit that of the Old. For, if any 
one thing has been established by the devout and profound 
study and research of evangelical scholarship it is this, that 
the Scriptures of the Old Testament hold in germ the revela 
tion contained in the New. The Latin Father spoke as pro 
foundly as truly when he said, "The New Testament lies hid 
in the Old, and the Old stands revealed in the New." An 
cient Judaism had one supreme voice for the chosen people, 
and its voice was prophetic. Its voice was the significant word, 
Wait. As if it kept reminding Israel that the Mosaic Institu 
tions were only temporary and typical, that something infi- 

The Moral Glory of the Lord Jesus 

nitely better and holier was to take their place; and so it .-. iM, 
Wait. Wait, and the true Priest will come, the Priest greater 
than Aaron, greater than Melchizedek the Priest of whom 
these were but thin shadows, dim pictures. Wait, and the true 
Prophet, like unto Moses, greater than Moses, will appear. 
Wait, and the real sacrifice, that of which all other offerings 
were but feeble images, will be made and sin be put away. If 
any man deny the inspiration of the Old Testament, sooner or 
later he will deny that of the New. For the two are insepara 
bly bound up together. If the one fall, so will the other. 
Already the disastrous consequences of such a course of pro 
cedure are apparent in Christendom. For years the conflict 
has raged about the trustworthiness, .the integrity and the 
authority of the Old Testament. Not long since one who is 
identified with the attacking party arrayed against that Scrip 
ture announced that the victory is won, and nothing now re 
mains save to determine the amount of the indemnity. It is 
very noteworthy that the struggle has indeed measurably sub 
sided as to the Old Testament, although there are no signs 
of weakening faith in it on the part of God s faithful chil 
dren, and the fight now turns with increasing vigor on the 
Xew Testament, and pre-eminently about the Person of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. Men who are Christians at least in name, 
who occupy influential seats in great Universities and even 
Theological Schools, do not shrink from impeaching the New 
Testament record touching the Virgin Birth of the Lord 
Jesus, His resurrection from the dead, and His promise of one 
day returning to this earth in majesty and power. One can 
not renounce the Scriptures of the Old Testament without 
relaxing his hold, sooner or later, on the New. 

Christ is the center of all Scripture, as He is the center of 
all God s purposes and counsels. The four evangelists take up 

The Higher Criticism and The Neiv Theology 

the life and the moral glory of the Son of Man, and they place 
it alongside of the picture of the Messiah as sketched by the 
prophets, the historical by the side of the prophetic, and they 
show how exactly the two match. So long as the Four Gos 
pels remain unmutilated and trusted by the people of God, 
so long is the doctrine of the Bible s supreme authority as 

God spoke to the fathers in the prophets : He now speaks 
to us in His Son whom He hath made Heir of all things. In 
either case, whether by the prophets or by the Son, the Speaker 
is God. 




What is the meaning of the Higher Criticism? Why is 
it celled higher? Higher than what? 

At the outset it must be explained that the word "Higher" 
is an academic term, used in this connection in a purely special 
or technical sense. It is not used in the popular sense of the 
word at all, and may convey a wrong impression to the ordi 
nary man. Nor is it meant to convey the idea of superiority. 
It is simply a term of contrast. It is used in contrast to the 
phrase, "Lower Criticism." 

One of the most important branches of theology is called 
the science of Biblical criticism, which has for its object the 
study of the history and contents, and origins and purposes, 
of the various books of the Bible. In the early stages of the 
science Biblical criticism was devoted to two great branches, 
the Lower, and the Higher. The Lower Criticism was em 
ployed to designate the study of the text of the Scripture, and 
included the investigation of the manuscripts, and the dif 
ferent readings in the various versions and codices and man 
uscripts in order that we may be sure we have the original 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

words as they were written by the Divinely inspired writers. 
(See Briggs, Hex., page i.) The term generally used now-a- 
days is Textual Criticism. If the phrase were used in the 
twentieth century sense, Beza, Erasmus, Bengel, Griesbach, 
Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorff, Scrivener, Westcott, and 
Hort would be called Lower Critics. But the term is not now- 
a-days used as a rule. The Higher Criticism, on the con 
trary, was employed to designate the study of the historic 
origins, the dates, and authorship of the various books of the 
Bible, and that great branch of study which in the technical 
language of modern theology is known as Introduction. It 
is a very valuable branch of Biblical science, and is of the 
highest importance as an auxiliary in the interpretation of 
the Word of God. By its researches floods of light may be 
thrown on the Scriptures. 

The term Higher Criticism, then, means nothing more 
than the study of the literary structure of the various books 
of the Bible, and more especially of the Old Testament. Now 
this in itself is most laudable. It is indispensable. It is just 
such work as every minister or Sunday School teacher does 
when he takes up his Peloubet s Notes, or his Stalker s St. 
Paul, or Geikie s Hours with the Bible, to find out all he can 
with regard to the portion of the Bible he is studying; the 
author, the date, the circumstances, and purpose of its writing. 


How is it, then, that the Higher Criticism has become 
identified in the popular wind with attacks u-pon the Bible 
and the supernatural character of the Holy Scriptures? 

The reason is this. No study perhaps requires so devout 
a spirit and so exalted a faith in the supernatural as the pur- 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

suit of the Higher Criticism. It demands at once the ability 
of the scholar, and the simplicity of the believing child of God. 
For without faith no one can explain the Holy Scriptures, 
and without scholarship no one can investigate historic origins. 
There is a Higher Criticism that is at once reverent in 
tone and scholarly in work. Hengstenberg, the German, and 
Home, the Englishman, may be taken as examples. Perhaps 
the greatest work in English on the Higher Criticism is 
Home s Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of 
the Holy Scripture. It is a work that is simply massive in 
its scholarship, and invaluable in its vast reach of information 
for the study of the Holy Scriptures. But Home s Introduc 
tion is too large a work. It is too cumbrous for use in this 
hurrying age. (Carter s edition in two volumes contains 1,149 
pages, and in ordinary book form would contain over 4,000 
pages, i. e., about ten volumes of 400 pages each.) Latterly, 
however, it has been edited by Dr. Samuel Davidson, who 
practically adopted the views of Hupfield and Halle and inter 
polated not a few of the modern German theories. But 
Home s work from first to last is the work of a Christian 
believer; constructive, not destructive; fortifying faith in the 
Bible, not rationalistic. But the work of the Higher Critic 
has not always been pursued in a reverent spirit nor in the 
spirit of scientific and Christian scholarship. 


In the first place, the critics who were the leaders, the 
men who have given name and force to the whole movement, 
have been men who have based their theories largely upon 
their own subjective conclusions. They have based their con 
clusions largely upon the very dubious basis of the author s 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

style and supposed literary qualifications. Everybody knows 
that style is a very unsafe basis for the determination of a 
literary product. The greater the writer the more versatile 
his power of expression; and anybodj can understand that 
the Bible is the last book in the world to be studied as a mere 
classic by mere human scholarship without any regard to the 
spirit of sympathy and reverence on the part of the student. 
The Bible, as has been said, has no revelation to make to un- 
Biblical minds. It does not even follow that because a man 
is a philological expert he is able to understand the integrity 
or credibility of a passage of Holy Scripture any more than 
the beauty and spirit of it. 

The qualification for the perception of Biblical truth is 
neither philosophic nor philological knowledge, but spiritual 
insight. The primary qualification of the musician is that he 
be musical; of the artist, that he have the spirit of art. So 
the merely technical and mechanical and scientific mind is 
disqualified for the recognition of the spiritual and infinite. 
Any thoughtful man must honestly admit that the Bible is to 
be treated as unique in literature, and, therefore, that the 
ordinary rules of critical interpretation must fail to interpret 
it aright. 


In the second place, some of the most powerful exponents 
of the modern Higher Critical theories have been Germans, 
and it is notorious to what length the German fancy can go in 
the direction of the subjective and of the conjectural. For 
hypothesis-weaving and speculation, the German theological 
professor is unsurpassed. One of the foremost thinkers used 
to lay it down as a fundamental truth in philosophical and 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

scientffic enquiries that no regard whatever should be paid 
to the conjectures c r hypotheses of thinkers, and quoted as an 
axiom the great Newton himself and his famous words, "Non 
fingo hypotheses" : I do not frame hypotheses. It is notorious 
that some of the irost learned German thinkers are men who 
lack in a singular degree the faculty of common sense and 
knowledge of human nature. Like many physical scientists, 
they are so preoccupied with a theory that their conclusions 
seem to the average mind curiously warped. In fact, a learned 
man in a letter to Descartes once made an observation which, 
with slight verbal alteration, might be applied to some of the 
German critics : "When men sitting in their closet and, con 
sulting only their books, attempt disquisitions into the Bible, 
they may indeed tell how they would have made the Book 
if God had given them that commission. That is, they may 
describe chimeras which correspond to the fatuity of their own 
minds, but without an understanding truly Divine they can 
never form such an idea to themselves as the Deity had in 
creating it." "If," says Matthew Arnold, "you shut a num 
ber of men up to make study and learning the business of 
their lives, hour many of them, from want of some discipline 
or other, seem to lose all balance of judgment, all common 

The learned professor of Assyriology at Oxford said that 
the investigation of the literary source of history has been a 
peculiarly German pastime. It deals with the writers and 
readers of the ar.c ent Orient as if they were modern German 
professors, and tho attempt to transform the ancient Israelites 
into somewhat inferior German compilers, proves a strange 
want of familiarit- with Oriental modes of thought. (Saycc, 
"Early History of the Hebrews," pages 108-112.) 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


In the third place, the dominant men of the movement 
were men with a strong bias against the supernatural. This 
is not an ex-parte statement at all. It is simply a matter of 
fact, as we shall presently show. Some of the men who have 
been most distinguished as the leaders of the Higher Critical 
movement in Germany and Holland have been men who have 
no faith in the God of the Bible, and no faith in either the 
necessity or the possibility of a personal supernatural revela 
tion. The men who have been the voices of the movement, 
of whom the great majority, less widely known and less influ 
ential, have been mere echoes ; the men who manufactured the 
articles the others distributed, have been notoriously opposed 
to the miraculous. 

We must not be misunderstood. We distinctly repudiate 
the idea that all the Higher Critics were or are anti-super- 
naturalists. Not so. The British-American School embraces 
within its ranks many earnest believers. What we do say, as 
we will presently show, is that the dominant minds which 
have led and swayed the movement, who made the theories 
that the others circulated, were strongly unbelieving. 

Then the higher critical movement has not followed its 
true and original purposes in investigating the Scriptures for 
the purposes of confirming faith and of helping believers to 
understand the beauties, and appreciate the circumstances of 
the origin of the various books, and so understand more com 
pletely the Bible? 

No. It has not ; unquestionably it has not. It has been 

deflected from that, largely owing to t!:e character of the men 

whose ability and forcefulness have given predominance to 

their views. It has fcecome identified with a system of criti- 


The History of the Higher Criticism 

cism which is based on hypotheses and suppositions which 
have for their object the repudiation of the traditional theory, 
and has investigated the origins and forms and styles and 
contents, apparently not to confirm the authenticity and credi 
bility and reliability of the Scriptures, but to discredit in most 
cases their genuineness, to discover discrepancies, and throw 
doubt upon their authority. 


Who, then, u ere the men whose views have moulded the 
v^iews of the leading teachers and writers of the Higher Crit 
ical school of to-day? 

We will answer this as briefly as possible. 

It is not easy to say who is the first so-called Higher 
Critic, or when the movement began. But it is not modern by 
any means. Broadly speaking, it has passed through three 
great stages: 

1. The French-Dutch. 

2. The German. 

3. The British-American. 

In its origin it was Franco-Dutch, and speculative, if not 
skeptical. The views which are now accepted as axiomatic 
by the Continental and British-American schools of Higher 
Criticism seem to have been first hinted at by Carlstadt in 
1521 in his work on the Canon of Scripture, and by Andreas 
Masius, a Belgian scholar, who published a commentary on 
Joshua in 1574, and a Roman Catholic priest, called Peyrere 
or Pererius, in his Systematic Theology, 1660. (LIV. Cap. i.) 

But it may really be said to have originated with Spinoza, 
the rationalist Dutch philosopher. In his Tractatus Theologi- 
co-Politicus (Cap. vii-viii), 1670, Sginoza came out boldly 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

t .. t .J impugned the t aditional date and Mosaic authorship of 
the Pentateuch anci ascribed the origin of the Pentateuch to 
Ezra or to some otl ;r late compiler. 

Spinoza was it ally the fountain-head of the movement, 
and his line was tal-en in England by the British philosopher 
Hobbes. He went keeper than Spinoza, as an outspoken an 
tagonist of the necessity and possibility of a personal revela 
tion, and also denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. 
A few years later ? French priest, called Richard Simon of 
Dieppe, pointed out the supposed varieties of style as indica 
tions of various ai:.hors in his Historical Criticism of the 
Old Testament, "a i epoch-making work." Then another 
Dutchman, named C ericus (or Le Clerk), in 1685, advocated 
still more radical views, suggesting an Exilian and priestly 
authorship for the Pentateuch, and that the Pentateuch was 
composed by the priest sent from Babylon (2 Kings, 17), 
about 678, B. C, and also a kind of later editor or redactor 
theory. Clericus is said to have been the first critic who set 
forth the theory t\ t Christ and his Apostles did not come 
into the world to t ch the Jews criticism, and that it is c 
to be expected tha their language would be in accord a- 
with the views of > e day. 

In 1753 a Frei hman named Astruc, a medical man. 
reputedly a free-thi cer of profligate life, propounded fc 
first time the Jehov tic and Elohistic divisive hypothesis, 
opened a new era. (Briggs* Higher Criticism of the FC 
teuch, page 46.) / true said that the use of the two r 
Jehovah and Eloh i, shewed the book was compose... 
different documents (The idea of the Holy Ghost employin.; 
two words, or one ere and another there, or both together 
as He wills, never : :ems to enter the thought of the Higher 
Critic! ) His \vorl. was called "Conjectures Regarding the 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

Original Memoirs in the Book of Genesis," and was published 
in Brussels. 

Astruc may be called the father of the documenta 
ics. He asserted there are traces oi no less than le 
elve different memoirs in the book of Genesis. He dc 
! ivine authority, and considered the book to be disfi 
eless repetitions, disorder, and contradiction. (Hi 
folder, page 66.) For fifty years Astri.c s theory was un 
ticed. The rationalism of Germany wa? as yet undeveloj 
so that the body was not yet prepared t(- receive the gerv 
the soil the weed. 


The next stage was largely Germ in. Eichhorn is t 1 
greatest name in this period, the eminent Oriental profes 
Gottingen who published his v/ork on t i;; Old Testair.e 
troduction in 1780. He put into diffe -nt shape tin 
i rtary hypothesis of the Frenchman, ; nd c!M h 
y t! at his views were generally ado.- .ed by th< 
heJ scholars. Eichhorn s formative inilue, c 
r.lably great. Few scholars refust to do h: 
im. It is through him that the n, ie HHie" 
me identified with the movema . Tie 
and later by Hartmann with i eir f-a 
ch practically undermined the Mos :c author>h 
lie Pentateuch a heap of fragments, ca i- -:lessly joine ! 
editor, and paved the way for the most idical of all c 

In 1806 De Wette, Professor of Phi sophy and Theolo 
at Heidelberg, published a work which rn through six e 
tions in four decades. His contrihrr ; 
the Old Testament instil oi ti c same 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Eichhorn, and in the supplemental hypotheses assumed that 
Deuteronomy was composed in the age of Josiah (2 Kings 
22:8). Not long after, Vatke and Leopold George (both 
Hegelians) unreservedly declared the post-Mosaic and post- 
prophetic origin of the first four books of the Bible. Then 
came Bleek, who advocated the idea of the Grundschift or 
original document and the redactor theory; and then Ewald, 
the father of the Crystallization theory ; and then Hupfield 
(1853), who held that the original document was an inde 
pendent compilation; and Graf, who wrote a book on the 
historical books of the Old Testament in 1866 and advocated 
the theory that the Jehovistic and Elohistic documents were 
written hundreds of years after Moses time. Graf was a 
pupil of Reuss, the redactor of the Ezra hypothesis of Spinoza. 

Then came a most influential writer, Professor Kuenen of 
Leyden in Holland, whose work on the Hexateuch was edited 
by Colenso in 1865, and his "Religion of Israel and Prophecy 
in Israel," published in England in 1874-1877. Kuenen was 
one of the most advanced exponents of the rationalistic school. 
Last, but not least, of the continental Higher Critics is Julius 
Wellhausen, who at one time was a theological professor in 
Germany, who published in 1878 the first volume of his his 
tory of Israel, and won by his scholarship the attention if not 
the allegiance of a number of leading theologians. (See 
Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch, Green, pages 59-88.) 

It will be observed that nearly all these authors were 
Germans, and most of them professors of philosophy or the 


The third stage of the movement is the British-American. 
The best known name is that of Dr. Samuel Davidson, 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

whose "Introduction to the Old Testament," published in 1862, 
was largely based on the fallacies of the German rationalists. 
The supplementary hypothesis passed over into England 
through him and with strange incongruity, he borrowed fre 
quently from Baur. Dr. Robertson Smith, the Scotchman, 
recast the German theories in an English form in his works on 
the Pentateuch, the Prophets of Israel, and the Old Testa 
ment in the Jewish Church, first published in 1881, and fol 
lowed the German school, according to Briggs, with great 
boldness and thoroughness. A man of deep piety and high 
spirituality, he combined with a sincere regard for the Word 
of God a critical rac .icalism that was strangely inconsistent, as 
did also his namesake, George Adam Smith, the most influ 
ential of the present-day leaders, a man of great insight and 
scriptural acumen, v. ho in his works on Isaiah, and the twelve 
prophets, adopted seme of the most radical and least demon 
strable of the German theories, and in his later work, "Mod 
ern Criticism and the Teaching of the Old Testament," has 
gone still farther in the rationalistic direction. 

Another well-known Higher Critic is Dr. S. R. Driver, the 
Regius professor of Hebrew at Oxford, who, in his "Intro 
duction to the Liter; ture of the Old Testament," published ten 
years later, and his \vork on the Book of Genesis, has elabo 
rated with remarkable skill and great detail of analysis the 
theories and views of the continental school. Driver s work 
is able, very able, 1 ut it lacks originality and English inde 
pendence. The hand is the hand of Driver, but the voice is 
the voice of Kuenon or Wellhausen. 

The third well-known name is that of Dr. C. A. Briggs, 
for some time Professor of Biblical Theology in the Union 
Theological Semina, v of New York. An equally earnest ad 
vocate of the German theories, he published in 1883 his "Bib- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

lical Study"; in 1886, his "Messianic Prophecy," and a little 
later his "Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch." Briggs 
studied the Pentateuch, as he confesses, under the guidance 
chiefly of Ewald. (Hexateuch, page 63.) 

Of course, this list is a very partial one, but it gives most 
of the names that have become famous in connection with 
the movement, and the reader who desires more will find a 
complete summary of the literature of the Higher Criticism 
in Professor Bissell s work on the Pentateuch (Scribner s, 
1892). Briggs, in his "Higher Criticism of the Hexateuch" 
(Scribner s, 1897), gives an historical summary also. 

We must now investigate another question, and that is 
the religious views of the men most influential in this move 
ment. In making the statement that we are about to make, 
we desire to deprecate entirely the idea of there being any 
thing uncharitable, unfair, or unkind in stating what is simply 
a matter of fact. 


Regarding the views of the Continental Critics, three 
things can be confidently asserted of nearly all, if not all, of 
the real leaders. 

1. They were men who denied the validity of miracle, 
and the validity of any miraculous narrative. What Chris 
tians consider to be miraculous they considered legendary or 
mythical ; "legendary exaggeration of events that are entirely 
explicable from natural causes." 

2. They were men who denied the reality of prophecy 
and the validity of any prophetical statement. What Chris 
tians have been accustomed to consider prophetical, they called 
dexterous conjectures, coincidences, fiction, or imposture. 


The History of the Higher Criticism 

3. They were men who denied the reality of revelation, 
in the sense in which it has ever been held by the universal 
Christian Church. They were avowed unbelievers of the 
supernatural. Their theories were excogitated on pure 
grounds of human reasoning. Their hypotheses were con 
structed on the assumption of the falsity of Scripture. As to 
the inspiration of the Bible, as to the Holy Scriptures from 
Genesis to Revelation being the Word of God, they had no 
such belief. We may take them one by one. Spinoza repu 
diated absolutely a supernatural revelation. And Spinoza 
was one of their greatest. Eichhorn discarded the miraculous, 
and considered that the so-called supernatural element was an 
Oriental exaggeration ; and Eichhorn has been called the 
father of Higher Criticism, and was the first man to use the 
term. De Wette s views as to inspiration were entirely in 
fidel. Vatke and Leopold George were Hegelian rationalists, 
and regarded the first four books of the Old Testament as 
entirely mythical. Kuenen, says Professor Sanday, wrote 
in the interests of an almost avowed Naturalism. That is, he 
was a free-thinker, an agnostic ; a man who did not believe 
in the Revelation of the one true and living God. (Grampton 
Lectures, 1893, page 117.) He wrote from an avowedly 
naturalistic standpoint, says Driver (page 205). According 
to Wellhausen, the religion of Israel was a naturalistic evo 
lution from heathendom, an emanation from an imperfectly 
monotheistic kind of semi-pagan idolatry. It was simply a 
human religion. 


In one word, the formative forces of the Higher Critical 
movement were rationalistic forces, and the men who were its 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

chief authors and expositors, who "on account of purely philo 
logical criticism have acquired an appalling authority," were 
men who had discarded belief in God and Jesus Christ Whom 
He had sent. The Bihle, in their view, was a mere human 
product. It was a stage in the literary evolution of a religious 
people. If it was not the resultant of a fortuitous concourse 
of Oriental myths and legendary accretions, and its Jahveh 
or Jahweh, the excogitation of a Sinaitic clan, it certainly 
was not given by the inspiration of God, and is not the Word 
of the living God. "Holy men of God spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost," said Peter. "God, who at sundry 
times and in diverse manners spake by the prophets," said 
Paul. Not so, said Kuenen ; the prophets were not moved to 
speak by God. Their utterances were all their own. (San- 
day, page 117.) 

These then were their views and these were the views that 
have so dominated modern Christianity and permeated modern 
ministerial thought in the two great languages of the modern 
world. We cannot say that they were men whose rationalism 
was the result of their conclusions in the study of the Bible. 
Nor can we say their conclusions with regard to the Bible 
were wholly the result of their rationalism. But we can say, 
on the one hand, that inasmuch as they refused to recognize 
the Bible as a direct revelation from God, they were free to 
form hypotheses ad libitum. And, on the other hand, as they 
denied the supernatural, the animus that animated them in 
the construction of the hypotheses was the desire to construct 
a theory that would explain away the supernatural. Unbe 
lief was the antecedent, not the consequent of their criticism. 

Now there is nothing unkind in this. There is nothing 
that is uncharitable, or unfair. It is simply a statement of fact 
which modern authorities most freely admit. 

The History of the Higher Criticism 


When we come to the English-writing Higher Critics, we 
approach a much more difficult subject. The British- American 
Higher Critics represent a school of compromise. On the 
one hand they practically accept the premises of the Conti 
nental school with regard to the antiquity, authorship, authen 
ticity, and origins of the Old Testament books. On the other 
hand, they refuse to go with the German rationalists in alto 
gether denying their inspiration. They still claim to accept 
the Scriptures as containing a Revelation from God. But 
may they not hold their own peculiar views with regard to 
the origin and date and literary structure of the Bible with 
out endangering either their own faith or the faith of Chris 
tians? This is the very heart of the question, and, in order 
that the reader may see the seriousness of the adoption of the 
conclusions of the critics, as brief a resume as possible of 
the matter will be given. 


According to the faith of the universal church, the Penta 
teuch, that is, the first five books of the Bible, is one con 
sistent, coherent, authentic and genuine composition, inspired 
by God, and, according to the testimony of the Jews, the state 
ments of the books themselves, the reiterated corroborations of 
the rest of the Old Testament, and the explicit statement of 
the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:44, John 5:46-47) was written by 
Moses (with the exception, of course, of Deut. 34, possibly 
written by Joshua, as the Talmud states, or probably by Ezra) 
at a period of about fourteen centuries before the advent of 
Christ, and 800 years or so before Jeremiah. It is, moreover, 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

a portion of the Bible that is of paramount importance, for it 
is the basic substratum of the whole revelation of God, anci 
of paramount value, not because it is merely the literature of 
an ancient nation, but because it is the introductory section 
of the Word of God, bearing His authority and given by 
inspiration through His servant Moses. That is the faith of 
the Church. 


But according to the Higher Critics : 

1. The Pentateuch consists of four completely diverse 
documents. These completely different documents were the pri 
mary sources of the composition which they call the Hexa- 
teuch : (a) The Yahwist or Jahwist, (b) the Elohist, (c) the 
Deuteronomist, and (d) the Priestly Code, the Grundschift, 
the work of the first Elohist (Sayce Hist. Heb., 103), now 
generally known as J. E. D. P., and for convenience desig 
nated by these symbols. 

2. These different works were composed at various peri 
ods of time, not in the fifteenth century, B. C., but in the 
ninth, seventh, sixth and fifth centuries; J. and E. being 
referred approximately to about 800 to 700 B. C. ; D to about 
650 to 625 B. C., and P. to about 525 to 425 B. C. According 
to the Graf theory, accepted by Kuenen, the Elohist docu 
ments were post-exilion, that is, they were written only five 
centuries or so before Christ. Genesis and Exodus as well as 
the Priestly Code, that is, Leviticus and part of Exodus and 
Numbers were also post-exilic. 

3. These different works, moreover, represent different 
traditions of the national life of the Hebrews, and are at 
variance in most important particulars. 

4. And, further. They conjecture that these four sup- 


The History of the Higher Criticism 

positive documents were not compiled and written by Moses, 
but were probably constructed somewhat after this fashion : 
For some reason, and at some time, and in some way, some 
one, no one knows who, or why, or when, or where, wrote J. 
Then someone else, no one knows who, or why, or when, or 
where, wrote another document, which is now called E. And 
then at a later time, the critics only know who, or why, or 
when, or where, an anonymous personage, whom v.e may call 
Redactor I, took in hand the reconstruction of these docu 
ments, introduced new material, harmonized the real and 
apparent discrepancies, and divided the inconsistent accounts 
of one event into two separate transactions. Then some time 
after this, perhaps one hundred years or more, no one knows 
who, or why, or when, or where, some anonymous personage 
wrote another document, which they style D. And after a 
while another anonymous author, no one knows who, or 
why, or when, or where, whom we will call Redactor II, took 
this in hand, compared it with J. E., revised J. E., with con 
siderable freedom, and in addition introduced quite a body 
of new material. Then someone else, no one knows who, or 
why, or when, or where, probably, however, about 525, or 
perhaps 425, wrote P. ; and then another anonymous Hebrew, 
whom we may call Redactor III, undertook to incorporate 
this with the triplicated composite J. E. D., with what they 
call redactional additions and insertions. (Green, page 88, 
cf. Sayce, Early History of the Hebrews, pages 100105.) 

It may be well to state at this point that this is not an 
exaggerated statement of the Higher Critical position. On the 
contrary, we have given here what has been described as a 
position "established by proofs, valid and cumulative" and 
"representing the most sober scholarship." The more ad 
vanced continental Higher Critics, Green says, distinguish the 

The Plighcr Criticism and The New Theology 

writers of the primary sources according to the supposed ele 
ments as Ji and J2, Ei and 2, Pi, P2 and P3, and Di and 
D2, nine different originals in all. The different Redactors, 
technically described by the symbol R., are Rj., who com 
bined J. and E. ; Rd., who added D. to J. E., and Rh., who 
completed the Hexateuch by combining P. with J. E. D. (H. 
C. of the Pentateuch, page 88.) 


5. These four suppositive documents are, moreover, al 
leged to be internally inconsistent and undoubtedly incom 
plete. How far they are incomplete they do not agree. How 
much is missing and when, where, how and by whom it was 
removed; whether it was some thief who stole, or copyist 
who tampered, or editor who falsified, they do not declare. 

6. In this redactory process no limit apparently is as 
signed by the critic to the work of the redactors. With an utter 
irresponsibility of freedom it is declared that they inserted 
misleading statements with the purpose of reconciling incom 
patible traditions ; that they amalgamated what should have 
been distinguished, and sundered that which should have 
amalgamated. In one word, it is an axiomatic principle of 
the divisive hypothesizers that the redactors "have not only 
misapprehended, but misrepresented the originals" (Green, 
page 170). They were animated by "egotistical motives." 
They confused varying accounts, and erroneously ascribed 
them to different occasions. They not only gave false and col 
ored impressions; they destroyed valuable elements of the 
suppositive documents and tampered with the dismantled rem 

7. And worst of all. The Higher Critics are unanimous 


The History of the Higher Criticism 

in the conclusion that these documents contain three species of 
material : 

(a) The probably true. 

(b) The certainly doubtful. 

(c) The positively spurious. 

"The narratives of the Pentateuch are usually trustworthy, 
though partly mythical and legendary. The miracles recorded 
were the exaggerations of a later age." (Davidson, Introduc 
tion, page 131.) The framework of the first eleven copter 4 
of Genesis, says George Adam Smith in his "Modern Criti 
cism and the Preaching of the Old Testament," is wcvcn from 
the raw material of myth and legend. He defies their 
historical character, and says that he can find no proof in 
archaeology for the personal existence of characters of the 
Patriarchs themselves. Later on, however, in a fit of apolo 
getic repentance, he makes the condescending admission that 
it is extremely probable that the stories of the Patriarchs 
have at the heart of them historical elements. (Pages 90- 

Such is the view of the Pentateuch that is accepted as 
conclusive by "the sober scholarship" of a number of the lead 
ing theological writers and professors of the day. It is to 
this the Higher Criticism reduces what the Lord Jesus called 
the writings of Moses. 


As to the rest of the Old Testament, it may be briefly said 
that they have dealt with it with an equally confusing hand. 
The time-honored traditions of the Catholic Church are set at 
naught, and its thesis of the relation of inspiration and genu 
ineness and authenticity derided. As to the Psalms, the harp 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

that was once believed to be the harp of David was not 
handled by the sweet Psalmist of Israel, but generally by some 
anonymous post-exilist ; and Psalms that are ascribed to David 
by the omniscient Lord Himself are daringly attributed to some 
anonymous Maccabean. Ecclesiastes, written, nobody knows 
when, where, and by whom, possesses just a possible grade 
of inspiration, though one of the critics "of cautious and well- 
balanced judgment" denies that it contains any at all. "Of 
course," says another, "it is not really the work of Solomon." 
(Driver, Introduction, page 470.) The Song of Songs is an 
idyl of human love, and nothing more. There is no inspira 
tion in it; it contributes nothing to the sum of revelation. 
(Sanday, page 211.) Esther, too, adds nothing to the sum of 
revelation, and is not historical (page 213). Isaiah was, of 
course, written by a number of authors. The first part, 
chapters I to 40, by Isaiah ; the second by a Deutero-Isaiah 
and a number of anonymous authors. As to Daniel, it was 
a purely pseudonymous work, written probably in the second 
century B. C. 

With regard to the New Testament: The English writ 
ing school have hitherto confined themselves mainly to the 
Old Testament, but if Professor Sanday, who passes as a 
most conservative and moderate representative of the critical 
school, can be taken as a sample, the historical books are "yet 
in the first instance strictly histories, put together by ordi 
nary historical methods, or, in so far as the methods on 
which they are composed, are not ordinary, due rather to the 
peculiar circumstances of the case, and not to influences, which 
need be specially described as supernatural" (page 399). The 
Second Epistle of Peter is pseudonymous, its name counter 
feit, and, therefore, a forgery, just as large parts of Isaiah, 
Zachariah and Jonah, and Proverbs were supposition and 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

qua:-i-fraudulent documents. This is a straightforward state 
ment of the position taken by what is called the moderate 
school of Higher Criticism. It is their own admitted posi 
tion, according to their own writings. 

The difficulty, therefore, that presents itself to the average 
man of today is this : How can these critics still claim to 
believe in the Bible as the Christian Church has ever be 
lieved it? 


There can be no doubt that Christ and His Apostles ac 
cepted the whole of the Old Testament as inspired in every 
portion of every part ; from the first chapter of Genesis to 
the last chapter of Malachi, all was implicitly believed to be 
the very Word of Cod Himself. And ever since their day the 
view of the Universal Christian Church has been that the 
Bible is the Word of God; as the twentieth article of the 
Anglican Church terms it, it is God s Word written. The 
Bible as a whole is inspired. "All that is written is God-in 
spired." That is, the Bible does not merely contain the Word 
of God ; it is the Word of God. It contains a revelation. 
"All is not revealed, but all is inspired." This is the con 
servative and, up to the present day, the almost universal 
view of the question. There are, it is well known, many the 
ories of inspiration. But whatever view or theory of inspira 
tion men may hold, plenary, verbal, dynamical, mechanical, 
superintendent, or governmental, they refer either to the inspi 
ration of the men who wrote, or to the inspiration of what 
is written. In one word, they imply throughout the work of 
God the Holy Ghost, and are bound up with the concomitant 
ideas of authority, veracity, reliability, and truth divine. (The 
two strongest works on the subject from this standpoint are 

The Higher Criticism and The AY:c. Theology 

by Gaussen and Lee. Gaussen on the T .ieopneustia is pub 
lished in an American edition by Hitchcock & Walden, of 
Cincinnati; and Lee on the Inspiration of Holy Scripture is 
published by Rivingtons. Bishop Wordsworth, on the "In 
spiration of the Bible," is also very scholarly and strong. 
Rivingtons, 1875.) 

The Bible can no longer, according to the critics, be viewed 
in this light. It is not the Word in the old sense of that term. 
It is not the Word of God in the sense that all of it is given 
by the inspiration of God. It simply contains the Word of 
God. In many of its parts it is just as uncertain as any 
other human book. It is not even reliable history. Its rec 
ords of what it does narrate as ordinary history are full of 
falsifications and blunders. The origin of Deuteronomy, e. g., 
was "a consciously refined falsification." (See M oiler, page 


But do they still claim to believe that the Bible is inspired ? 
Yes. That is, in a measure. As Dr. Driver says in his 
preface, "Criticism in the hands of Christian scholars does not 
banish or destroy the inspiration of the Old Testament; it 
pre-supposes it." That is perfectly true. Criticism in the 
hands of Christian scholars is safe. But the preponderating 
scholarship in Old Testament criticism has admittedly not 
been in the hands of men who could be described as Chris 
tian scholars. It has been in the hands of men who disavow 
belief in God and Jesus Christ Whom He sent. Criticism in 
the hands of Home and Hengstenberg does not banish 01 
destroy the inspiration of the Old Testrment. But, in the 
hands of Spinoza, and Graf, and Wellhausen, and Kuenen, 
i-nspiration is neither pre-supposed nor possible. Dr. Brigg3 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

and Dr. Smith may avow earnest avowals of belief in the 
Divine character of the Bible, and Dr. Driver may assert that 
critical conclusions do not touch either the authority or the 
inspiration of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, but from 
first to last, they treat God s Word with an indifference almost 
equal to that of the Germans. They certainly handle the Old 
Testament as if it were ordinary literature. And in all their 
theories they seem like plastic wax in the hands of the 
rationalistic moulders. But they still claim to believe in Bib 
lical inspiration. 


Their theory of inspiration must be, then, a very different 
one from that held by the average Christian. 

In the Bampton Lectures for 1903, Professor Sanday of 
Oxford, as the exponent of the later and more conservative 
school of Higher Criticism, came out with a theory which he 
termed the inductive theory. It is not easy to describe what 
is fully meant by this, but it appears to mean the presence of 
what they call "a divine element" in certain parts of the Bible. 
What that really is he does not accurately declare. The lan 
guage always vapours off into the vague and indefinite, when 
ever he speaks of it. In what books it is he does not say. "It 
is present in different books and parts of books in different 
degrees." "In some the Divine element is at the maximum; 
in others at the minimum." He is not always sure. He is sure 
it is not in Esther, in Ecclesiastes, in Daniel. If it is in the 
historical books, it is there as conveying a religious lesson 
rather than as a guarantee of historic veracity, rather as inter 
preting than as narrating. At the same time, if the histories 
as far as textual construction was concerned we*-c "natural 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

processes carried out naturally," it is difficult to see where the 
Divine or supernatural element comes in. It is an inspiration 
which seems to have been devised as a hypothesis of compro 
mise. In fact, it is a tenuous, equivocal, and indeterminate 
something, the amount of which is as indefinite as its quality. 
(Sanday, pages 100398; cf. Driver, Preface, ix.) 

But its most serious feature is this: It is a theory of 
inspiration that completely overturns the old-fashioned ideas 
of the Bible and its unquestioned standard of authority and 
truth. For whatever this so-called Divine element is, it ap 
pears to be quite consistent with defective argument, incorrect 
interpretation, if not what the average man would call forgery 
or falsification. 

It is, in fact, revolutionary. To accept it the Christian will 
have to completely readjust his ideas of honor and honesty, 
of falsehood and misrepresentation. Men used to think that 
forgery was a crime, and falsification a sin. Pusey, in his 
great work on Daniel, said that "to write a book under the 
name of another and to give it out to be his is in any case a 
forgery, dishonest in itself and destructive of all trustworthi 
ness." (Pusey, Lectures on Daniel, page i.) But according 
to the Higher Critical position, all sorts of pseudonymous ma 
terial, and not a little of it believed to be true by the Lord 
Jesus Christ Himself, is to be found in the Bible, and no ante 
cedent objection ought to be taken to it. 

Men used to think that inaccuracy would affect reliability 
and that proven inconsistencies would imperil credibility. But 
now it appears that there may not only be mistakes and 
errors on the part of copyists, but forgeries, intentional omis 
sions, and misinterpretations on the part of authors, and yet, 
marvelous to say, faith is not to be destroyed, but to be placed 
on a firmer foundation. (Sanday, page 122.) They have, 

Thf History of the Higher Criticism 

according to Briggs, enthroned the Bille in a higher position 
than ever before. (Briggs, "The Bible, Church and Reason," 
page 149.) Sanday admits that there is an element in the 
Pentateuch derived from Moses himself. An element! But 
he adds, "However much we may believe that there is a gen 
uine Mosaic foundation in the Pentateuch, it is difficult to 
lay the finger upon it, and to say with confidence, here Moses 
himself is speaking." "The strictly Mosaic element in the 
Pentateuch must be indeterminate." "We ought not, per 
haps, to use them (the visions of Ex. 3 and 33) without 
reserve for Moses himself" (pages 172-174-176). The ordi 
nary Christian, however, will say : Surely if we deny the 
Mosaic authorship and the unity of the Pentateuch we must 
undermine its credibility. The Pentateuch claims to be 
Mosaic. It was the universal tradition of the Jews. It is ex 
pressly stated in nearly all the subsequent books of the Old 
Testament. The Lord Jesus said so most explicitly. (John 


For this thought must surely folloiv to the thoughtful 
man: If Moses did not write the Books of Moses, who did? 

If there were three or four, or six, or nine authorized orig 
inal writers, why not fourteen, or sixteen, or nineteen? And 
then another and more serious thought must follow that. Who 
were these original writers, and who originated them? If 
there were manifest evidences of alterations, manipulations, 
inconsistencies and omissions by an indeterminate number 
of unknown and unknowable and undatcable redactors, then 
the question arises, who were these redactors, and how far 
had they authority to redact, and who gave them this author 
ity? If the redactor was the writer, was he an inspired writer, 

The Higher Criticism anJ The AVw Theology 

and if he was inspired, what was the degree of his inspira 
tion ; was it partial, plenary, inductive or indeterminate? This 
is a question of questions : What is the guarantee of the in 
spiration of the redactor, and who is its guarantor. Moses 
we know, and Samuel we know, and Daniel we know, but 
ye anonymous and pseudonymous, who are ye? The Penta 
teuch, with Mosaic authorship, as Scriptural, divinely ac 
credited, is upheld by Catholic tradition and scholarship, and 
appeals to reason. But a mutilated cento or scrap-book of 
anonymous compilations, with its pre- and post-exilic redac 
tors and redactions, is confusion worse confounded. 

At least that is the way it appears to the average Chris 
tian. He may not be an expert in philosophy or theology, but 
his common sense must surely be allowed its rights. And 
that is the way it appears, too, to such an illustrious scholar 
and critic &3 Dr. Emil Reich. (Contemporary Review, April, 
1905, page 515.) 

It is not possible then to accept the Kuenen-Wellhausen 
theory of the structure of the Old Testament and the Sanday- 
Driver theory of its inspiration without undermining faith in 
the Bible as the Word of God. For the Bible is either the 
Word of God, or it is not. The children of Israel were the 
children of the Only Living and True God, or they were not. 
If their Jehovah was a mere tribal deity, and their religion a 
human evolution ; if their sacred literature was natural with 
mythical and pseudonymous admixtures; then the Bible is 
dethroned from its throne as the exclusive, authoritative, Di 
vinely inspired Word of God. It simply ranks as one of the 
sacred books of the ancients with similar claims of inspiration 
and revelation. Its inspiration is an indeterminate quantity, 
and any man has a right to subject it to the judgment of his 
own critical insight, and *o receive just as much of it a.~ 

The Ilistorv </ Ihc Higher Criticism 

inspired as he or some oilier person believes to be inspired. 
When the contents have passed through the sieve of his 
judgment the inspired residuum may be large, or the inspired 
residuum may be small. If he is a conservative critic it may 
be fairly large, a maximun ; if he is a more advanced critic it 
may be fairly small, a minimum. It is simply the ancient lit 
erature of a religious people containing somewhere the Word 
of God ; "a revelation of no one knows what, made no one 
knows how, and lying no one knows where, except that it is 
to be somewhere between Genesis and Revelation, but probably 
to the exclusion of both." (Pusey, Daniel, xxviii.) 


Another serious consequence of the Higher Critical move 
ment is that it threatens the Christian system of doctrine and 
the whole fabric of systematic theology. For up to the pres 
ent time any text from any part of the Bible was accepted as 
a proof-text for the establishment of any truth of Christian 
teaching, and a statement from the Bible was considered an 
end of controversy. The doctrinal systems of the Anglican, 
the Presbyterian, the Methodist and other Churches are all 
based upon the view that the Bible contains the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (See 39 Articles 
Church of England, vi, ix, xx, etc.) They accept as an axiom 
that the Old and New Testaments in part, and as a whole, 
have been given and sealed by God the Father, God the Son, 
and God the Holy Ghost. All the doctrines of the Church of 
Christ, from the greatest to the least, are based on this. All 
the proofs of the doctrines are based also on this. No text 
was questioned; no book was doubted; all Scripture was re 
ceived by the great builders of our theological systems with 

Thg Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

that unassailable belief in the inspiration of its texts, which 
was the position of Qirist and His apostles. 

But now the Higher Critics think they have changed all 

They claim that the science of criticism has dispossessed 
the science of systematic theology. Canon Henson tells us 
that the day has gone by for proof-texts and harmonies. It is 
not enough now for a theologian to turn to a book in the 
Bible, and bring out a text in order to establish a doctrine. 
It might be in a book, or in a portion of the Book that the 
German critics have proved to be a forgery, or an anachronism. 
It might be in Deuteronomy, or in Jonah, or in Daniel, and in 
that case, of course, it would be out of the question to accept 
it. The Christian system, therefore, will have to be re-adjusted 
if not revolutionized, every text and chapter and book will 
have to be inspected and analyzed in the light of its date, and 
origin, and circumstances, and authorship, and so on, and only 
after it has passed the examining board of the modern Franco- 
Dutch-German criticism will it be allowed to stand as a proof- 
text for the establishment of any Christian doctrine. 

But the most serious consequence cf this theory of the 
structure and inspiration of the Old Testament is that it over 
turns the juridic authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


The attitude of Christ to the Old Testament Scriptures 
must determine ours. He is God. He is truth. His is the 
final voice. He is the Supreme Judge. There is no appeal 
from that court. Christ Jesus the Lord believed and affirmed 
the historic veracity of the whole of the Old Testament 

The History uf the Higher Criticism 

writings implicitly (Luke 24:44). And the Canon, or collec 
tion of Books of the Old Testament, was precisely the same 
in Christ s time as it is today. And further. Christ Jesus 
our Lord believed and emphatically affirmed the Mosaic 
authorship of the Pentateuch (Matt. 5:17-18; Mark 12:26-36; 
Luke 16:31; John 5:46-47). That is true, the critics say. 
])ut, then, neither Christ nor His Apostles were critical schol 
ars ! Perhaps not in the twentieth century sense of the term. 
JUit, as a German scholar said, if they were not critici doc- 
tores, they were doctores veritatis who did not come into the 
world to fortify popular errors by their authority. But then 
they say, Christ s knowledge as man was limited. He grew in 
knowledge (Luke 2:52). Surely that implies His ignorance. 
And if His ignorance, why not His ignorance with regard to 
the science of historical criticism? (Gore, Lux Mundi, page 
360; Briggs, H. C. of Hexateuch, page 28.) Or even if He 
did know more than His age, He probably spoke as He did 
in accommodation with the ideas of His contemporaries! 
(Briggs, page 29.) 

In fact, what they mean is practically that Jesus did know 
perfectly well that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, but 
allowed His disciples to believe that Moses did, and taught 
His disciples that Moses did, simply because He did not want 
to upset their simple faith in the whole of the Old Testament 
as the actual and authoritative and Divinely revealed Word 
of God. (See Driver, page 12.) Or else, that Jesus imagined, 
like any other Jew of His day, that Moses wrote the books 
that bear his name, and believed, with the childlike Jewish be 
lief of His day, the literal inspiration, Divine authority and his 
toric veracity of the Old Testament, and yet was completely 
mistaken, ignorant of the simplest facts, and wholly in error. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

In other words, He could not tell a forgery from an original, 
or a pious fiction from a genuine document. (The analogy of 
Jesus speaking of the sun rising as an instance of the theory 
of accommodation is a very different thing.) 

This, then, is their position : Christ knew the views He 
taught were false, and yet taught them as truth. Or else, 
Christ didn t know they were false and believed them to be 
true when they were not true. In either case the Blessed One 
is dethroned as True God and True Man. If He did not know 
the books to be spurious when they were spurious and the 
fables and myths to be mythical and fabulous ; if He accepted 
legendary tales as trustworthy facts, then He was not and is 
not omniscient. He was not only intellectually fallible, He was 
morally fallible ; for He was not true enough "to miss the 
ring of truth" in Deuteronomy and Daniel. 

And further. If Jesus did know certain of the books to 
be lacking in genuineness, if not spurious and pseudonymous ; 
if He did know the stories of the Fall and Lot and Abraham 
and Jonah and Daniel to be allegorical and imaginary, if not 
unverifiable and mythical, then He was neither trustworthy nor 
good. "If it were not so, I would have told you." We 
feel, those of us who love and trust Him, that if these 
stories were not true, if these books were a mass of historical 
unveracities, if Abraham was an eponymous hero, if Joseph 
was an astral myth, that He would have told us so. It is a 
matter that concerned His honor as a Teacher as well as His 
knowledge as our God. As Canon Liddon has conclusively 
pointed out, if our Lord was unreliable in these historic and 
documentary matters of inferior value, how can He be fol 
lowed as the teacher of doctrinal truth and the revealer of 
God? (John 3:12.) (Liddon, Divinity of Our L0rd, pages 


Thg History of the Higher Criticism 


Men say in this connection that part of the humiliation of 
Christ was His being touched with the infirmities of our 
human ignorance and fallibilities. They dwell upon the so- 
called doctrine of the Kenosis, or the emptying, as explaining 
satisfactorily His limitations. But Christ spoke of the Old 
Testament Scriptures after His resurrection. He affirmed 
after His glorious resurrection that "all things must be ful 
filled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the 
prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44). 
This was not a statement made during the time of the Kenosis, 
when Christ was a mere boy, or a youth, or a mere Jew after 
the flesh (i Cor. 13 :ii). It is the statement of Him Who has 
been declared the Son of God with power. It is the Voice 
that is final and overwhelming. The limitations of the Kenosis 
are all abandoned now, and yet the Risen Lord not only does 
not give a shadow of a hint that any statement in the Old 
Testament is inaccurate or that any portion thereof needed 
revision or correction, not only most solemnly declared that 
those books which we receive as the product of Moses were 
indeed the books of Moses, but authorized with His Divine 
imprimatur the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures from 
beginning to end. 

There are, however, two or three questions that must be 
raised, as they will have to be faced by every student of 
present day problems. The first is this : Is not refusal of 
the higher critical conclusions mere opposition to light and 
progress and the position of ignorant alarmists and obscur 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


It is very necessary to have our minds made perfectly 
clear on this point, and to remove not a little dust of misun 

The desire to receive all the light that the most fearless 
search for truth by the highest scholarship can yield is the 
desire of every true believer in the Bible. No really healthy 
Christian mind can advocate obscurantism. The obscurant 
who opposes the investigation of scholarship, and would throt 
tle the investigators, has not the spirit of Christ. In heart 
and attitude he is a Medievalist. To use Bushnell s famous 
apologue, he would try to stop the dawning of the day by 
wringing the neck of the crowing cock. No one wants to put 
the Bible in a glass case. But it is the duty of every Christian 
who belongs to the noble army of truth-lovers to test all 
things and to hold fast that which is good. He also has rights 
even though he is, technically speaking, unlearned, and to 
accept any view that contradicts his spiritual judgment simply 
because it is that of a so-called scholar, is to abdicate his 
franchise as a Christian and his birthright as a man. (See 
that excellent little work by Professor Kennedy, "Old Testa 
ment Criticism and the Rights of the Unlearned," F. H. Re- 
vell.) And in his right of private judgment he is aware that 
while the privilege of investigation is conceded to all, the con 
clusions of an avowedly prejudiced scholarship must be sub 
jected to a peculiarly searching analysis. The most ordinary 
Bible reader is learned enough to know that the investigation 
of the Book that claims to be supernatural by those who 
are avowed enemies of all that is supernatural, and the study 
of subjects that can be understood only by men of humble 
and contrite heart by men who are admittedly irreverent in 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

spirit, must certainly be received with caution. (See Parker s 
striking work, "None Like It," F. H. Revell, and his last 


The second question is also serious : Are we not bound 
to receive these views when they are advanced, not by ration 
alists, but by Christians, and not by ordinary Christians, but 
by men of superior and unchallengeable scholarship? 

There is a widespread idea among younger men that the 
so-called Higher Critics must be followed because their schol 
arship settles the questions. This is a great mistake. No 
expert scholarship can settle questions that require a humble 
heart, a believing mind and a reverent spirit, as well as a 
knowledge of Hebrew and philology ; and no scholarship can 
be relied upon as expert which is manifestly characterized by 
a biased judgment, a curious lack of knowledge of human 
nature, and a still more curious deference to the views of men 
with a prejudice against the supernatural. No one can read 
such a suggestive and sometimes even such an inspiring writer 
as George Adam Smith without a feeling of sorrow that he 
has allowed this German bias of mind to lead him into such 
an assumption of infallibility in many of his positions and 
statements. It is the same with Driver. With a kind of sic 
volo sic jubeo airy ease he introduces assertions and proposi 
tions that would really require chapter after chapter, if not 
even volume after volume, to substantiate. On page after 
page his "must be," and "could not possibly be," and "could 
certainly not," extort from the average reader the natural ex 
clamation : "But why?" "Why not?" "Wherefore?" "On 
what grounds?" "For what reason?" "Where are the 
proofs?" But of proofs or reason there is not a trace. The 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

reader must be content with the writer s assertions. It re 
minds one, in fact, of the "we may well suppose," and "per 
haps" of the Darwinian who offers as the sole proof of the 
origination of a different species his random supposition ! 
("Modern Ideas of Evolution," Dawson, pages 53-55.) 


There is a widespread idea also among the younger stu 
dents that because Graf and Wellhausen and Driver and 
Cheyne are experts in Hebrew that, therefore, their deduc 
tions as experts in language must be received. This, too, is a 
mistake. There is no such difference in the Hebrew of the 
so-called original sources of the Hexateuch as some suppose. 
The argument from language, says Professor Bissell ("Intro 
duction to Genesis in Colors," page vii), requires extreme 
care for obvious reasons. There is no visible cleavage line 
among the supposed sources. Any man of ordinary intelli 
gence can see at once the vast difference between the English 
of Tennyson and Shakespeare, and Chaucer and Sir John de 
Mandeville. But no scholar in the world ever has or ever 
will be able to tell the dates of each and every book in the 
Bible by the style of the Hebrew. (See Sayce, "Early His 
tory of the Hebrews," page 109.) The unchanging Orient 
knows nothing of the swift lingual variations of the Occi 
dent. Pusey, with his masterly scholarship, has shown how 
even the Book of Daniel, from the standpoint of philology, 
cannot possibly be a product of the time of the Maccabees. 
("On Daniel," pages 23-59.) The late Professor of Hebrew 
in the University of Toronto, Professor Hirschfelder, in his 
very learned work on Genesis, says: "We would search in 
vain for any peculiarity either in the language or the sense 

The History of the Higher Criticism 

that would indicate a two-fold authorship." As far as the 
language of the original goes, "the most fastidious critic could 
not possibly detect the slightest peculiarity that would indi 
cate it to be derived from two sources" (page 72). Dr. Emil 
Reich also, in his "Bankruptcy of the Higher Criticism," in 
the Contemporary Review, April, 1905, says the same thing. 


A third objection remains, a most serious one. It is that 
all the scholarship is on one side. The old-fashioned conserva 
tive views are no longer maintained by men with pretension to 
scholarship. The only people who oppose the Higher Critical 
views are the ignorant, the prejudiced, and the illiterate. 
(Briggs "Bible, Church and Reason," pages 240-247.) 

This, too, is a matter that needs a little clearing up. In 
the first place it is not fair to assert that the upholders of 
what are called the old-fashioned or traditional views of the 
Bible are opposed to the pursuit of scientific Biblical investi 
gation. It is equally unfair to imagine that their opposition 
to the views of the Continental school is based upon ignorance 
and prejudice. 

What the Conservative school oppose is not Biblical criti 
cism, but Biblical criticism by rationalists. They do not op 
pose the conclusions of Wellhausen and Kuenen because they 
are experts and scholars ; they oppose them because the Bib 
lical criticism of rationalists and unbelievers can be neither 
expert nor scientific. A criticism that is characterized by the 
most arbitrary conclusions from the most spurious assump 
tions has no right to the word scientific. And further. Their 
adhesion to the traditional views is not only conscientious 
but intelligent. They believe that the old-fashioned views arc 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

as scholarly as they are Scriptural. It is the fashion in some 
quarters to cite the imposing list of scholars on the side of 
the German school, and to sneeringly assert that there is not 
a scholar to stand up for the old views of the Bible. 

This is not the case. Hengstenberg of Basle and Berlin, 
was as profound a scholar as Eichhorn, Vater or De Wette ; 
and Keil or Kurtz, and Zahn and Rupprecht were competent 
to compete with Reuss and Kuenen. Wilhelm M oiler, who 
confesses that he was once "immovably convinced of the irre 
futable correctness of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis," has 
revised his former radical conclusions on the ground of 
reason and deeper research as a Higher Critic ; and Profes 
sor Winckler, who has of late overturned the assured and 
settled results of the Higher Critics from the foundations, is, 
according to Orr, the leading Orientalist in Germany, and a 
man of enormous learning. 

Sayce, the Professor of Assyriology at Oxford, has a 
right to rank as an expert and scholar with Cheyne, the Oriel 
Professor of Scripture Interpretation. Margoliouth, the 
Laudian Professor of Arabic at Oxford, as far as learning is 
concerned, is in the same rank with Driver, the Regius Pro 
fessor of Hebrew, and the conclusion of this great scholar 
with regard to one of the widely vaunted theories of the 
radical school, is almost amusing in its terseness. 

"Is there then nothing in the splitting theories," he says 
in summarizing a long line of defense of the unity of the book 
of Isaiah ; "is there then nothing in the splitting theories ? 
To my mind, nothing at all!" ("Lines of Defense," page 

Green and Bissell are as able, if not abler, scholars than 
Robertson Smith and Professor Briggs, and both of these 
men, as a result of the widest and deepest research, have come 

The History of the Higher Criticism < 

to the conclusion that the theories of the Germans are unsci 
entific, unhistorical, an:l unscholarly. The last words of Pro 
fessor Green in his very able work on the "Higher Criticism 
of the Pentateuch" are most suggestive. "Would it not be 
wiser for them to revise their own ill-judged alliance with 
the enemies of evangelical truth, and inquire whether Christ s 
view of the Old Testament may not, after all, be the true 
view ?" 

Yes. That, after all, is the great and final question. We 
trust we are not ignorant. We feel sure we are not malignant. 
We desire to treat no man unfairly, or set down aught in 

But we desire to stand with Christ and His Church. If 
we have any prejudice, we would rather be prejudiced against 
rationalism. If we have any bias, it must be against a teach 
ing which unsteadies heart and unsettles faith. Even at the 
expense of being thought behind the times, we prefer to 
stand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in receiving the 
Scriptures as the Word of God, without objection and with 
out a doubt. A little learning, and a little listening to ration 
alistic theorizers and sympathizers may incline us to uncer 
tainty ; but deeper study and deeper research will incline us 
as it inclined Hengstenherg and Moller, to the profoundest 
conviction of the authority and authenticity of the Holy 
Scriptures, and to cry, "Thy word is very pure; therefore, 
Thy servant loveth it." 


It may not be out of place to add here a small list of 
reading matter that will help the reader who wants to 
strengthen his position as a simple believer in tke Bible. As I 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

said before, a large list would be altogether too cumbersome. 
I would only put down those that I have personally found 
most valuable and suggestive. If one can afford only one 
or two, I would suggest Green and Kennedy ; or Munhall and 
Parker; or Saphir and Anderson; or Orr and Urquhart. 

The most massive and scholarly are Home s Introduction, 
and Pusey on Daniel, but they are deep, heavy and suitable 
only for the more cultured and trained readers. 

GREEN. "The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch." 

(Scribner s.) 

GREEN. "General Introduction to the Old Testa 

ment," in two volumes; the Text and the 
Canon. (Scribner s.) 

GREEN. "Unity of Genesis." (Scribner s.) 

The foregoing are very good. Green was 
a great scholar, the Princeton Professor 
of Oriental and Old Testament Literature, 
a man who deeply loved the Bible and 
the Lord Jesus. He is perhaps the strong 
est of the scholarly opponents of the ra 
tionalistic Higher Critics. 

ORR. "The Bible under Trial." (Armstrong & 

Son, New York.) 

ORR. "The Problem of the Old Testament." 

(Nesbit & Co.) 

Dr. Orr is one of the ablest and most 
scholarly writers in the English-speaking 
world today. 

BISSELL. "The Pentateuch. Its Origin and Struc 

ture." (Scribner s.) 

BISSELL. "Introduction to Genesis." Printed in col 


Bissell is a careful scholar, and writes from 
the conservative side. Able, but not so 
firm as Green. 

MUNHALL. "The Highest Critic vs. the Higher Crit 

ics." (Revell.) 

By an evangelist, and therefore from the 
earnest rather than the expert standpoint. 
More to the level of the average reader 
than Green or Bissell. 

MOLLER. "Are the Critics Right?" (Revell.) 

By a former follower of Graf-Wellhausen 
and most interesting to the scholarly. 
Hardly suitable for the average reader, as 

The History of the Higher Criticism 






it assumes familiarity with the technicali 
ties of the German critical school. 
"Lines of Defence of the Biblical Revela 
tion." (Hodder & Stoughton.) Academic 
and technical; intensely interesting. His 
reasoning is not equally powerful through 
out, however. 

"The Bible and Modern Criticism." (Re- 

The work of a layman, vigorous and earn 
est. He gives no uncertain sound. 
"None Like It." A plea for the old sword. 

Vigorous and slashing, too, but grand in 
the eloquence of its pleadings. Every min 
ister should read it. Brimming with sancti 
fied common sense. 

"The Early History of the Hebrews." 
(Rivington s.) 

The chapter on the composition of the 
Pentateuch is very strong. 
"Moses and the Prophets." (Nisbet.) 
A vigorous and unanswerable criticism of 
Driver s treatment of the Pentateuch. 
"Old Testament Criticism and the Rights 
of the Unlearned." (Revell.) 
A small and cheap book, but well worth 

"The Higher Criticism." (The Tract So 
ciety, Toronto.) 

A most valuable little work. Thoroughly 

The following works also, although they are not exactly 
along the line of the Higher Criticism, are most valuable and 
suggestive : 




"Christ and the Scriptures." (Montrose 
Christian Literature Society.) 
A little book, but a multum in parvo. To 
my mind for its size the best thing every 
written on the subject. 
"The Divine Unity of Scripture." (Mont- 
rose Christian Literature Society.) 
A great book full of well cooked meat. 
Most scholarly, deeply spiritual, always 

"Many Infallible Proofs." (Revell.) 
Earnest, full, illustrative; most helpful. 

6 7 

The Higlicr Criticism and The New Theology 

URQUHART. "The Inspiration and Accuracy of the Holy 

Scriptures." (Gospel Publishing House, New 


Excellent and scholarly. 
GIBSON. "The Ages before Moses." (Oliphant s, 


A most valuable and suggestive work. 

Especially useful to young ministers. 
GIBSON. "The Mosaic Era." (Randolph, New York.) 

Spiritual and suggestive also. 

A scholarly friend suggests also the following: 

Rev. Thos. Whitelaw, M. A., D. D., LL. D., on "The Old 
Testament Problem." 

James W. Thurtle, LL. D., D. D., on "Old Testament Prob 
ed H. Rouse, M. A., LL. B., D. D., on "Old Testament Criti 
cism in New Testament Light." 

Rev. Hugh M Intosh, M. A., on "Is Christ Infallible and The 
Bible True?" 




The errors of the higher criticism of which I shall write 
pertain to its very substance. Those of a secondary character 
the limits of my space forbid me to consider. My discussion 
might be greatly expanded by additional masses of illustra 
tive material, and hence I close it with a list of books which 
I recommend to persons who may wish to pursue the subject 


As an introduction to the fundamental fallacies of the 
higher criticism, let me state what the higher criticism is, and 
then what the higher critics tells us they have achieved. 

The name "the higher criticism" was coined by Eichhorn, 
who lived from 1752 to 1827. Zenos,* after careful con 
sideration, adopts the definition of the name given by its 
author : "The discovery and verification of the facts regard 
ing the origin, form and value of literary productions upon 
the basis of their internal characters." The higher critics are 
not blind to some other sources of argument. They refer to 
history where they can gain any polemic advantage by doing 
so. The background of the entire picture which they bring 

*"The Elements of the Higher Criticism." 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

to us is the assumption that the hypothesis of evolution is 
true. But after all their chief appeal is to the supposed evi 
dence of the documents themselves. 

Other names for the movement have been sought. It has 
been called the "historic view," on the assumption that it rep 
resents the real history of the Hebrew people as it must have 
unfolded itself by the orderly processes of human evolutioa 
But, as the higher critics contradict the testimony of all the 
Hebrew historic documents which profess to be early, their 
theory might better be called the "unhistoric view." The 
higher criticism has sometimes been called the "documentary 
hypothesis." But as all schools of criticism and all doctrines of 
inspiration are equally hospitable to the supposition that the 
biblical writers may have consulted documents, and may have 
quoted them, the higher criticism has no special right to this 
title. We must fall back, therefore, upon the name "the 
higher criticism" as the very best at our disposal, and upon 
the definition of it as chiefly an inspection of literary pro 
ductions in order to ascertain their dates, their authors, and 
their value, as they themselves, interpreted in the light of the 
hypothesis of evolution, may yield the evidence. 


I turn now to ask what the higher critics profess to have 
found out by this method of study. The "assured results" on 
which they congratulate themselves are stated variously. In 
this country and England they commonly assume a form U--^ 
radical than that given them in Germany, though sufficiently 
startling and destructive to arouse vigorous protest and a vig 
orous demand for the evidences, which, as we shall see, have 
not been produced and cannot be produced. The less startling 

The fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

form of the "assured results" usually announced in England 
and America may be owing to the brighter light of Christian 
ity in these countries. Yet it should be noticed that there are 
higher critics in this country and England who go beyond the 
principal German representatives of the school in their zeal 
for the dethronement of the Old Testament and the New, in 
so far as these holy books are presented to the world as the 
very Word of God, as a special revelation from heaven. 

The following statement from Zenos may serve to intro 
duce us to the more moderate form of the "assured results" 
reached by the higher critics. It is concerning the analysis of 
the Pentateuch, or rather of the Hexateuch, the Book of 
Joshua being included in the survey. "The Hexateuch is a 
composite work whose origin and history may be traced in four 
distinct stages : ( I ) A writer designated as J. Jahvist, or Je- 
hovist, or Judean prophetic historian, composed a history of 
the people of Israel about 800 B. C. (2) A writer designated 
as E. Elohist, or Ephraemite prophetic historian, wrote a simi 
lar work some fifty years later, or about 750 B. C. These two 
were used separately for a time, but were fused together into 
JE by a redactor [an editor], at the end of the seventh cen 
tury. (3) A writer of different character wrote a book consti 
tuting the main portion of our present Deuteronomy during 
the reign of Josiah, or a short time before 621 B. C. This 
writer is designated as D. To his work were added an intro 
duction and an appendix, and with these accretions it was 
united with JE by a second redactor, constituting JED. (4) 
Contemporaneously with Ezekiel the ritual law began to be 
reduced to writing. It first appeared in three parallel forms. 
These were codified by Ezra not very much earlier than 444 
B. C., and between that date and 280 B. C. it was joined with 
JED by a final redactor. Thus no less than nine or ten men 

The Higher Criticism and The Xew Theology 

were engaged in the production of the Hexateuch in its pres 
ent form, and each one can be distinguished from the rest by 
his vocabulary and style and his religious point of view." 

Such is the analysis of the Pentateuch as usually stated in 
this country. But in Germany and Holland its chief represen 
tatives carry the division of labor much further. Wellhausen 
distributes the total task among twenty-two writers, and 
Kuenen among eighteen. Many others resolve each individual 
writer into a school of writers, and thus multiply the numbers 
enormously. There is no agreement among the higher critics 
concerning this analysis, and therefore the cautious learner 
may well wait till those who represent the theory tell him just 
what it is they desire him to learn. 

While some of the "assured results" are thus in doubt, 
certain things are matters of general agreement. Moses wrote 
little or nothing, if he ever existed. A large part of the 
Hexateuch consists of unhistorical legends. We may grant 
that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael and Esau existed, or we 
may deny this. In either case, what is recorded of them is 
chiefly myth. These denials of the truth of the written records 
follow as matters of course from the late dating of the books, 
and the assumption that the writers could set down only the 
national tradition. They may have worked in part as collec 
tors of written stories to be found here and there; but, if so, 
these written stories were not ancient, and they were diluted 
by stories transmitted orally. These fragments, whether writ 
ten or oral, must have followed the general law of national 
traditions, and have presented a mixture of legendary chaff, 
with here and there a grain of historic truth to be sifted out 
by careful winnowing. 

Thus far of the Hexateuch. 

The Psalms are so full of references to the Hexateuch 

The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

that they must have been written after it, and hence after the 
captivity, perhaps beginning about 400 B. C. David may pos 
sibly have written one or two of them, but probably he wrote 
none, and the strong conviction of the Hebrew people that he 
was their greatest hymn-writer was a total mistake. 

These revolutionary processes are carried into the New 
Testament, and that also is found to be largely untrustworthy 
as history, as doctrine, and as ethics, though a very good book, 
since it gives expression to high ideals, and thus ministers to 
the spiritual life. It may well have influence, but it can have 
no divine authority. The Christian reader should consider 
carefully this invasion of the New Testament by the higher 
criticism. So long as the movement was confined to the Old 
Testament many good men looked on with indifference, not 
reflecting that the Bible, though containing "many parts" by 
many writers, and though recording a progressive revelation, 
is, after all, one book. But the limits of the Old Tstament 
have long since been overpassed by the higher critics, and it is 
demanded of us that we abandon the immemorial teaching of 
the church concerning the entire volume. The picture of 
Christ which the New Testament sets before us is in many 
respects mistaken. The doctrines of primitive Christianity 
which it states and defends were well enough for the time, 
but have no value for us today except as they commend 
themselves to our independent judgment. Its moral precepts 
are fallible, and we should accept them or reject them freely, 
in accordance with the greater light of the twentieth century. 
Even Christ could err concerning ethical questions, and neither 
His commandments nor His example need constrain us. 

The foregoing may serve as an introductory sketch, all too 
brief, of the higher criticism, and as a basis of the discussion 
of its fallacies, now immediately to follow. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


1. The first fallacy that I shall bring forward is its analy 
sis of the Pentateuch. 

i. We cannot fail to observe that these various docu 
ments and their various authors and editors are only imagined. 
As Green* has said, "There is no evidence of the existence of 
these documents and redactors, and no pretense of any, apart 
from the critical tests which have determined the analysis. All 
tradition and all historical testimony as to the origin of the 
Pentateuch are against them. The burden of proof is wholly 
upon the critics. And this proof should be clear and convinc 
ing in proportion to the gravity and the revolutionary char 
acter of the consequences which it is proposed to base upon it." 

2. Moreover, we know what can be done, or rather what 
cannot be done, in the analysis of composite literary produc 
tions. Some of the plays of Shakespeare are called his "mixed 
plays," because it is known that he collaborated with another 
author in their production. The very keenest critics have 
sought to separate his part in these plays from the rest, but 
they confess that the result is uncertainty and dissatisfaction. 
Coleridge professed to distinguish the passages contributed by 
Shakespeare by a process of feeling, but Macaulay pronounced 
this claim to be nonsense, and the entire effort, whether made 
by the analysis of phraseology aH style, or by esthetic percep 
tions, is an admitted failure. And this in spite of the fact 
that the style of Shakespeare is one of the most peculiar and 
inimitable. The Anglican Prayer Book is another composite 
production which the higher critics have often been invited to 

*"Moses and His Recent Critics," pages 104, 105. 

The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

analy/e and distribute to its various sources. Some of the 
authors of these sources lived centuries apart. They are now 
well known from the studies of historians. But the Prayer 
Book itself does not reveal one of them, though its various 
vocabularies and styles have been carefully interrogated. Now 
if the analysis of the Pentateuch can lead to such certainties, 
why should not the analysis of Shakespeare and the Prayer 
Book do as much ? How can men accomplish in a foreign lan 
guage what they cannot accomplish in their own? How can 
they accomplish in a dead language what they cannot accom 
plish in a living language? How can they distinguish ten or 
eighteen or twenty-two collaborators in a small literary pro 
duction, when they cannot distinguish two? These ques 
tions have been asked many times, but the higher critics have 
given no answer whatever, preferring the safety of a learned 
silence : 

"The oracles are dumb." 

3. Much has been made of differences of vocabulary in 
the Pentateuch, and elaborate lists of words have been assigned 
to each of the supposed authors. But these distinctions fade 
away when subjected to careful scrutiny, and Driver admits 
that "the phraseological criteria * * * are slight." Orr,* 
who quotes this testimony, adds, "They are slight, in fact, to 
a degree of tenuity that often makes the recital of them appear 
like trifling." 

*"The Problem of the Old Testament," page 230. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


II. A second fundamental fallacy of the higher criticism 
is its dependence on the theory of evolution as the explana 
tion of the history of literature and of religion. The progress 
of the higher criticism towards its present state has been rapid 
and assured since Vatke 1 discovered in the Hegelian philos 
ophy of evolution a means of biblical criticism. The Spen- 
cerian philosophy of evolution, aided and reinforced by Dar 
winism, has added greatly to the confidence of the higher 
critics. As Vatke, one of the earlier members of the school, 
made the hypothesis of evolution the guiding presupposition 
of his critical work, so today does Professor Jordan, 2 the very 
latest representative of the higher criticism. "The nineteenth 
century," he declares, "has applied to the history of the docu 
ments of the Hebrew people its own magic word, evolution. 
The thought represented by that popular word has been found 
to have a real meaning in our investigations regarding the 
religious life and the theological beliefs of Israel." Thus, 
were there no hypothesis of evolution, there would be no 
higher criticism. The "assured results" of the higher criticism 
have been gained, after all, not by an inductive study of the 
biblical books to ascertain if they present a great variety of 
styles and vocabularies and religious points of view. They 
have been attained by assuming that the hypothesis of evo 
lution is true, and that the religion of Israel must have un- 

1 ^ie Biblische Theologie Wissenschaftlich Dargestellt." 
" Biblical Criticism and Modern Thought," T. and T. Clark, 


The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

folded itself by a process of natural evolution. They have 
been attained by an interested cross-examination of the biblical 
books to constrain them to admit the hypothesis of evolution. 
The imagination has played a large part in the process, and 
the so-called evidences upon which the "assured results" rest 
are largely imaginary. 

But the hypothesis of evolution, when applied to the his 
tory of literature, is a fallacy, leaving us utterly unable to 
account for Homer, or Dante, or Shakespeare, the greatest 
poets of the world, yet all of them writing in the dawn of the 
great literatures of the world. It is a fallacy when applied to 
the history of religion, leaving us utterly unable to account for 
Abraham and Moses and Christ, and requiring us to deny that 
they could have been such men as the Bible declares them to 
have been. The hypothesis is a fallacy when applied to the 
history of the human race in general. Our race has made 
progress under the influence of supernatural revelation; but 
progress under the influence of supernatural revelation is one 
thing, and evolution is another. Buckle* undertook to account 
for history by a thorough-going application of the hypothesis 
of evolution to its problems; but no historian today believes 
that he succeeded in his effort, and his work is universally re 
garded as a brilliant curiosity. The types of evolution advo 
cated by different higher critics are widely different from one 
another, varying from the pure naturalism of Wellhausen to 
the recognition of some feeble rays of supernatural revelation ; 
but the hypothesis of evolution in any form, when applied to 
human history, blinds us and renders us incapable of beholding 
the glory of God in its more signal manifestations. 

*"History of Civilization in England." 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

III. A third fallacy of the higher critics is the doctrine 
concerning the Scriptures which they teach. If a consistent 
hypothesis of evolution is made the basis of our religious 
thinking, the Bible will be regarded as only a product of 
human nature working in the field of religious literature. It 
will be merely a natural book. If there are higher critics who 
recoil from this application of the hypothesis of evolution and 
who seek to modify it by recognizing some special evidences 
of the divine in the Bible, the inspiration of which they speak 
rises but little higher than the providential guidance of the 
writers. The church doctrine of the full inspiration of the 
Bible is almost never held by the higher critics of any class, 
even of the more believing. Here and there we may dis 
cover one and another who try to save some fragments of 
the church doctrine, but they are few and far between, and 
the salvage to which they cling is so small and poor that it 
is scarcely worth while. Throughout their ranks the storm 
of opposition to the supernatural in all its forms is so fierce 
as to leave little place for the faith of the church that the 
Bible is the very Word of God to man. But the fallacy of 
this denial is evident to every believer who reads the Bible 
with an open mind. He knows by an immediate conscious 
ness that it is the product of the Holy Spirit. As the sheep 
know the voice of the shepherd, so the mature Christian 
knows that the Bible speaks with a divine voice. On this 
ground every Christian can test the value of the higher 
criticism for himself. The Bible manifests itself to the spirit 
ual perception of the Christian as in the fullest sense human, 
and in the fullest sense divine. This is true of the Old Testa 
ment, as well as of the New. 

The fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

IV. Yet another fallacy of the higher critics is found 
in their teachings concerning the biblical miracles. If the hy 
pothesis of evolution is applied to the Scriptures consistently, 
it will lead us to deny all the miracles which they record. But 
if applied timidly and waveringly, as it is by some of the Eng 
lish and American higher critics, it will lead us to deny a 
large part of the miracles, and to inject as much of the nat 
ural as is any way possible into the rest. We shall strain 
out as much of the gnat of the supernatural as we can, and 
swallow as much of the camel of evolution as we can. We 
shall probably reject all the miracles of the Old Testament, 
explaining some of them as popular legends, and others as 
coincidences. In the New Testament we shall pick and 
choose, and no two of us will agree concerning those to be 
rejected and those to be accepted. If the higher criticism 
shall be adopted as the doctrine of the church, believers will 
be left in a distressing state of doubt and uncertainty con 
cerning the narratives of the four Gospels, and unbelievers 
will scoff and mock. A theory which leads to such wander 
ings of thought regarding the supernatural in the Scriptures 
must be fallacious. God is not a God of confusion. 

Among the higher critics who accept some of the miracles 
there is a notable desire to discredit the virgin birth of our 
Lord, and their treatment of this event presents a good exam 
ple of the fallacies of reasoning by m.ans of which they 
would abolish many of the other miracles. One feature of 
their argument may suffice as an exhibition of all. It is the 
search for parallels in the pagan mythologies. There are 
many instances in the pagan stories of the birth of men from 
human mothers and divine fathers, and the higher critics 

The Fliglicr Criticism and The New Theology 

would create the impression that the writers who record the 
birth of Christ were influenced by these fables to emulate 
them, and thus to secure for Him the honor of a celestial 
paternity. It turns out, however, that these pagan fables do 
not in any case present to us a virgin mother; the child is 
always the product of commerce with a god who assumes a 
human form for the purpose. The despair of the higher 
critics in this hunt for events of the same kind is well illus 
trated by Cheyne,* who cites the record of the Babylonian 
king Sargon, about 3800 B. C. This monarch represents 
himself as having "been born of a poor mother in secret, and 
as not knowing his father." There have been many millions 
of such instances, but we do not think of the mothers as 
virgins. Nor does the Babylonian story affirm that the mother 
of Sargon was a virgin, or even that his father was a god. It 
is plain that Sargon did not intend to claim a supernatural 
origin, for, after saying that he "did not know his father," he 
adds that "the brother of his father lived in the mountains." 
It was a case like multitudes of others in which children, early 
orphaned, have not known their fathers, but have known the 
relations of their fathers. This statement of Sargon I quote 
from a translation of it made by Cheyne himself in the "En 
cyclopedia Biblica." He continues, "There is reason to sus 
pect that something similar was originally said by the Israel 
ites of Moses." To substantiate this he adds, "See Encyclo 
pedia Biblica, Moses, section 3 with note 4." On turning to 
this reference *the reader finds that the article was written 
by Cheyne himself, and that it contains no evidence whatever. 

*"Bible Problems," page 86. 


The Fallacies of tJic Higher Criticism 


V. The limitation of the field of research as far as 
possible to the biblical books as literary productions has ren 
dered many of the higher critics reluctant to admit the new 
light derived from archaeology. This is granted by Qieyne.* 
"I have no wish to deny," he says, "that the so-called higher 
critics in the past were as a rule suspicious of Assyriology as 
a young, and, as they thought, too self-assertive science, and 
that many of those who now recognize its contributions to 
knowledge are somewhat too mechanical in the use of it, and 
too skeptical as to the influence of Babylonian culture in re 
latively early times in Syria, Palestine and even Arabia." This 
grudging recognition of the testimony of archaeology may 
be observed in several details. 

i. It was said that the Hexateuch must have been 
formed chiefly by the gathering up of oral traditions, because 
it is not to be supposed that the early Hebrews possessed 
the art of writing and of keeping records. But the entire 
progress of archaeological study refutes this. In particular 
the discovery of the Tel el-Amarna tablets has shown that 
writing in cuneiform characters and in the Assyrio-Babylon- 
ian language was common to the entire biblical world long 
before the exodus. The discovery was made by Egyptian 
peasants in 1887. There are more than three hundred tablets,, 
which came from various lands, including Babylonia and 
Palestine. Other finds have added their testimony to the fact 
that writing and the preservation of records were the peculiar 
passions of the ancient civilized world. Under the constraint 
of th - overwhelming evidences, Professor Jordan writes as 

*"J3jble Problems," page 142. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

follows : "The question as to the age of writing never played 
a great part in the discussion." He falls back on the suppo 
sition that the nomadic life of the early Hebrews -would 
prevent them from acquiring the art of writing. He treats 
us to such reasoning as the following: "If the fact that 
writing is very old is such a powerful argument when taken 
alone, it might enable you to prove that Alfred the Great 
wrote Shakespeare s plays." 

2. It was easy to treat Abraham as a mythical figure 
when the early records of Babylonia were but little known. 
The entire coloring of tho.^e chapters of Genesis which refer 
to Mesopotamia could be regarded as the product of the im 
agination. This is no longer the case. Thus Clay, 1 writing 
of Genesis 14, says : "The theory of the late origin of all the 
Hebrew Scriptures prompted the critics to declare this nar 
rative to be a pure invention of a later Hebrew writer. * * * 
The patriarchs were relegated to the region of myth and 
legend. Abraham was made a fictitious father of the Hebrews. 
* * * Even the political situation was declared to be incon 
sistent with fact. * * * Weighing carefully the position 
taken by the critics in the light of what has been revealed 
through the decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions, we 
find that the very foundations upon which their theories rest, 
with reference to the points that could be tested, totally dis 
appear. The truth is, that wherever any light has been 
thrown upon the subject through excavations, their hypotheses 
have invariably been found wanting." But the higher critics 
are still reluctant to admit this new light. Thus Kent* says, 

1 "Light on the Old Testament from Babel." 1907. Clay is 
Assistant Professor and Assistant Curator of the Babylonian 
Section, Department of Archaeology, in the University of Pennsyl 

Biblical World, Dec., 1906. 

The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

"The primary value of these stories is didactic and religious, 
rather than historical." 

3. The hooks of Joshua and Judges have been re 
garded by tho higher critics as unhistorical on the ground 
that their portraiture of the political, religious, and social 
condition of Palestine in the thirteenth century B. C. is in 
credible. This cannot be said any longer, for the recent 
excavations in Palestine have shown us a land exactly like 
that of these books. The portraiture is so precise, and is 
drawn out in so many minute lineaments, that it cannot be 
the product of oral tradition floating down through a thou 
sand years. In what details the accuracy of the biblical pic 
ture of early Palestine is exhibited may be seen perhaps best 
in the excavations by Macalistcr 1 at Gezer. Here again there 
are absolutely no discrepancies between the Land and the 
Book, for the Land lifts up a thousand voices to testify that 
the Book is history and not legend. 

4. It was held by the higher critics that the legislation 
which we call Mosaic could not have been produced by Moses, 
since his age was too early for such codes. This reasoning 
was completely negatived by the discovery of the code of 
Hammurabi, the Amraphel 1 of Genesis 14. This code is very 
different from that of Moses; it is more systematic; and it 
is at least seven hundred years earlier than the Mosaic legis 

In short, from the origin of the higher criticism till this 
present time the discoveries in the field of archaeology have 
given it a succession of serious blows. The higher critics 
were shocked when the passion of the ancient world for writ- 

1 "Bible Side-Lights from the Mound of Gezcr." 
1 On this matter see any dictionary of the Bible, art. "Am 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ing and the preservation of documents was discovered. They 
were shocked when primitive Babylonia appeared as the land 
of Abraham. They were shocked when early Palestine ap 
peared as the land of Joshua and the Judges. They were 
shocked when Amraphel came back from the grave as a 
real historical character, bearing his code of laws. They 
were shocked when the stele of the Pharaoh of the exodus 
was read, and it was proved that he knew a people called 
Israel, that they had no settled place of abode, that they were 
"without grain" for food, and that in these particulars they 
were quite as they are represented by the Scriptures to have 
been when they had fled from Egypt into the wilderness.* 
The embarrassment created by these discoveries is manifest 
in many of the recent writings of the higher critics, in which, 
however, they still cling heroically to their analysis and their 
late dating of the Pentateuch and their confidence in the hypo 
thesis of evolution as the key of all history. 


VI. The Psalms are usually dated by the higher critics 
after the exile. The great majority of the higher critics are 
agreed here, and tell us that these varied and touching and 
magnificent lyrics of religious experience all come to us from 

"The higher critics usually slur over this remarkable inscrip 
tion, and give us neither an accurate translation nor a natural 
interpretation of it. I have, therefore, special pleasure in quoting 
the following from Driver, "Authority and Archaeology," page 61 : 
"Whereas the other places named in the inscription all have 
the determinative for country, Ysiraal has the determinative for 
men : it follows that the reference is not to the land of Israel, but 
to Israel as a tribe or people, whether migratory, or cm the 
march." Thus this distinguished higher critic sanctions the view 
of the record which I have adopted. He represents Maspero 
and Naville as doing the sarae. 


The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

a period later than 450 B. C A few of the critics admit an 
earlier origin of three or four of them, but they do this wav- 
eringly, grudgingly, and against the general consensus of 
opinion among their fellows. In the Bible a very large num 
ber of the Psalms are ascribed to David, and these, with a few 
insignificant and doubtful exceptions, are denied to him and 
brought down, like the rest, to the age of the second temple. 
This leads me to the following observations: 

1. Who wrote the Psalms? Here the higher critics have 
no answer. Of the period from 400 to 175 B. C. we are in 
almost total ignorance. Josephus knows almost nothing about 
it, nor has any other writer told us more. Yet, according to 
the theory, it was precisely in these centuries of silence, when 
the Jews had no great writers, that they produced this mag 
nificent outburst of sacred song. 

2. This is the more remarkable when we consider the 
well known men to whom the theory denies the authorship of 
any of the Psalms. The list includes such names as Moses, 
David, Samuel, Nathan, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the 
long list of preexilic prophets. We are asked to believe that 
these men composed no Psalms, and that the entire collection 
was contributed by men so obscure that they have left no 
single name by which we can identify them with their work. 

3. This will appear still more extraordinary if we con 
sider the times in which, it is said, no Psalms were produced, 
and contrast them with the times in which all of them were 
produced. The times in which none were produced were the 
great times, the timlte of growth, of mental ferment, of con 
quest, of imperial flcpansion, of disaster, and of recovery. 
The times in which none were produced were the times of 
the splendid temple of Solomon, with its splendid worship. 
The times in which none were produced were the heroic timer 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

of Elijah and Elisha, when the people of Jehovah struggled 
for their existence against the abominations of the pagan 
gods. On the other hand, the times which actually produced 
them were the times of growing legalism, of obscurity, and 
of inferior abilities. All this is incredible. We could be 
lieve it only if we first came to believe that the Psalms are 
works of slight literary and religious value. This is actually 
done by Wellhausen, who says,* "They certainly are to the 
smallest extent original, and are for the most part imitations 
which illustrate the saying about much writing." The Psalms 
are not all of an equally high degree of excellence, and there 
are a few of them which might give some faint color of 
justice to this depreciation of the entire collection. But as a 
whole they are exactly the reverse of this picture. Further 
more, they contain absolutely no legalism, but are as free 
from it as are the Sermon on the Mount and the Pauline 
epistles. Yet further, the writers stand out as personalities, 
and they must have left a deep impression upon their fellows. 
Finally, they were full of the fire of genius kindled by the 
Holy Spirit. It is impossible for us to attribute the Psalms 
to the unknown mediocrities of the period which followed 
the restoration. 

4. Very many of the Psalms plainly appear to be ancient. 
} They sing of early events, and have no trace of allusion to 

the age which is said to have produced them. 

5. The large number of Psalms attributed to David have 
attracted the special attention of the higher critics. They are 
denied to him on various grounds. He was a wicked man, 
and hence incapable of writing these praises to the God of 
righteousness. He was an iron warrior and statesman, and 

*Quoted by Orr, "The Problem of the Old Testament," page 


The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

hence not gifted with the emotions found in these productions. 
He was so busy with the cares of conquest and administra 
tion that he had no leisure for literary work. Finally, his 
conception of God was utterly different from that which 
moved the psalmists. 

The larger part of this catalogue of inabilities is mani 
festly erroneous. David, with some glaring faults, and with 
a single enormous crime, for which he was profoundly peni 
tent, was one of the noblest of men. He was indeed an iron 
warrior and statesman, but also one of the most emotional of 
all great historic characters. He was busy, but busy men not 
seldom find relief in literary occupations, as Washington, dur 
ing the Revolutionary War, poured forth a continual tide of 
letters, and as Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, and Gladstone, while 
burdened with the cares of empire, composed immortal books. 
The conception of God with which David began his career 
was indeed narrow (I. Sam. 26: 19). But did he learn noth 
ing in all his later experiences, and his associations with holy 
priests and prophets? He was certainly teachable: did God 
fail to make use of him in further revealing Himself to His 
people ? To deny these Psalms to David on the ground of his 
limited views of God in his early life, is this not to deny that 
God made successive revelations of Himself wherever He 
found suitable channels ? If, further, we consider the unques 
tioned skill of David in the music of his nation and his age 
(i Sam. 16:14-25), this will constitute a presupposition in 
favor of his interest in sacred song. If, finally, we consider 
his personal career of danger and deliverance, this will ap 
pear as the natural means of awakening in him the spirit of 
varied religious poetry. His times were much like the Eliza 
bethan period, which ministered unexampled stimulus to the 
English mind. 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

From all this we may turn to the singular verdict of Pro 
fessor Jordan : "If a man says he cannot see why David could 
not have written Psalms 51 and 139, you are compelled to 
reply as politely as possible that if he did write them then any 
man can write anything." So also we may say, "as politely 
as possible," that if Shakespeare, with his "small Latin and 
less Greek," did write his incomparable dramas, "then any 
man can write anything"; that if Dickens, with his mere ele 
mentary education, did write his great novels, "then any man 
can write anything - ; and that if Lincoln, who had no early 
schooling, did write his Gettysburg address, "then any man 
can write anything." 


VII. One of the fixed points of the higher criticism is 
its theory of the origin of Deuteronomy. In I Kings 22 we 
have the history of the finding of the book of the law in the 
temple, which was being repaired. Now the higher critics 
present this finding, not as the discovery of an ancient docu 
ment, but as the finding of an entirely new document, which 
had been concealed in the temple in order that it might be 
found, might be accepted as the production of Moses, and 
might produce an effect by its assumed authorship. It is not 
supposed for a moment that the writer innocently chose the 
fictitious dress of Mosaic authorship for merely literary pur 
poses. On the contrary, it is steadfastly maintained that he 
intended to deceive, and that others were with him in the 
plot to deceive. This statement of the case leads me to tin 
following reflections : 

I. According to the theory, this was an instance ol 
pious fraud. And the fraud must have been prepared de 

The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

liberately. The manuscript must have been soiled and frayed 
by special care, for it was at once admitted to be ancient. 
This supposition of deceit must always repel the Christian 

2. Our Lord draws from the Book of Deuteronomy all 
the three texts with which He foils the tempter, Matt. 4: i-ii, 
Luke 4: 1-14. It must always shock the devout student that 
his Saviour should select His weapons from an armory 
founded on deceit. 

3. This may be called an appeal to ignorant piety, rather 
than to scholarly criticism. But surely the moral argument 
should have some weight in scholarly criticism. In the 
sphere of religion moral impossibilities are as insuperable as 
physical and mental. 

4. If we turn to consideration of a literary kind, it is 
to be observed that the higher criticism runs counter here to 
the statement of the book itself that Moses was its author. 

5. It runs counter to the narrative of the rinding of the 
book, and turns the finding of an ancient book into the for 
gery of a new book. 

6. It runs counter to the judgment of all the intelligent 
men of the time who learned of the discovery. They judged 
the book to have come down from the Mosaic age, and to be 
from the pen of Moses. We hear of no dissent whatever. 

7. It seeks support in a variety of reasons, such as style, 
historical discrepancies, and legal contradictions, all of which 
prove of little substance when examined fairly. 



VIII. Another case of forgery is found in the origin 
of the priestly legislation, if \ve are to believe the higher 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

critics. This legislation is contained in a large number of 
passages scattered through Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. 
It has to do chiefly with the tabernacle and its worship, with 
the duties of the priests and Levites, and with the relations 
of the people to the institutions of religion. It is attributed 
to Moses in scores of places. It has a strong coloring of 
the Mosaic age and of the wilderness life. It affirms the 
existence of the tabernacle, with an orderly administration 
of the ritual services. But this is all imagined, for the legis 
lation is a late production. Before the exile there were temple 
services and a priesthood, with certain regulations concern 
ing them, either oral or written, and use was made of this 
tradition; but as a whole the legislation was enacted by such 
men as Ezekiel and Ezra during and immediately after the 
exile, or about /|/|/| B. C. The name of Moses, the fiction 
of a tabernacle, and the general coloring of the Mosaic age, 
were given it in order to render it authoritative and to secure 
the ready obedience of the nation. But now : 

1. The moral objection here is insuperable. The suppo 
sition of forgery, and of forgery so cunning, so elaborate, and 
so minute, is abhorrent. If the forgery had been invented 
and executed by wicked men to promote some scheme of 
selfishness, it would have been less odious. But when it is 
presented to us as the expedient of holy men, for the advance 
ment of the religion of the God of righteousness, which after 
wards blossomed out into Christianity, we must revolt. 

2, The theory gives us a portraiture of such men as 
Ezekiel and Ezra which is utterly alien from all that we know 
of them. The expedient might be worthy of the prophets 
of Baal or of Chemosh; it was certainly not worthy of the 
prophtts of Jehovah, and we dishonor them when we attribute 
it to them and place them upon a low plane of craft and cun- 


The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

nilig of which the records concerning them are utterly ig 

3. The people who returned from the exile were among 
the most intelligent and enterprising of the nation, else they 
would not have returned, and they would not have been 
deceived by the sudden appearance of Mosaic laws forged for 
the occasion and never before heard of. 

4. Many of the regulations of this legislation are dras 
tic. It subjected the priests and Levites to a rule which must 
have been irksome in the extreme, and it would not have 
been lightly accepted. We may be certain that if it had been 
a new thing fraudulently ascribed to Moses, these men would 
have detected the deceit, and would have refused to be bound 
by it. But we do not hear of any revolt, or even of any 

Such are some of the fundamental fallacies of the higher 
criticism. They constitute an array of impossibilities. I have 
stated them in their more moderate forms, that they may be 
seen and weighed without the remarkable extravagances which 
some of their advocates indulge. In the very mildest interpre 
tation which can be given them, they are repugnant to the 
Christian faith. 


But might we not accept a part of this system of thought 
without going to any hurtful extreme? Many today are 
seeking to do this. They present to us two diverse results. 

i. Some, who stand at the beginning of the tide, find 

themselves in a position of doubt. If they are laymen, they 

know not what to believe. If they are ministers, they know 

not what to believe or to teach. In either case, they have 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

no firm footing, and no Gospel, except a few platitudes which 
do little harm and little good. 

2. The majority of those who struggle to stand here 
find it impossible to do so, and give themselves up to the 
current. There is intellectual consistency in the lofty church 
doctrine of inspiration. There may be intellectual consistency 
in the doctrine that all things have had a natural origin and 
history, under the general providence of God, as distinguished 
from His supernatural revelation of Himself through holy 
men, and especially through His co-equal Son, so that the 
Bible is as little supernatural as the "Imitation of Christ" or 
the "Pilgrim s Progress." But there is no position of intellec 
tual consistency between these two, and the great mass of 
those who try to pause at various points along the descent are 
swept down with the current. The natural view of the Scrip 
tures is a sea which has been rising higher for three-quarters 
of a century. Many Christians bid it welcome to pour lightly 
over the walls which the faith of the church has always set 
up against it, in the expectation that it will prove a healthful 
and helpful stream. It is already a cataract, uprooting, de 
stroying, and slaying. 


Those who wish to study these fallacies further are ad 
vised to read the following books: 

ORR, "The Problem of the Old Testament," 

and "The Bible Under Fire." 

Mcr.LER. "Are the Critics Right?" 

SCH-fAUK. "The Negative Criticism and the Old 

CROSLb- H "The Bible in the Light of Today." 


The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism 

VARIOUS AUTHORS. "Lex Mosaica." 

GREEN. "The Higher Criticism of the Penta 


CHAMBERS. "Moses and His Recent Critics." 

BLOMFIELD. "The Old Testament and the New 


RAVEN. "Old Testament Introduction." 

SAYCE. "The Early History of the Hebrews." 





In his "Founders of Old Testament Criticism" Professor 
Cheyne of Oxford gives the foremost place to Eichhorn. He 
hails him, in fact, as the founder of the cult. And according 
to this same authority, what led Eichhorn to enter on his task 
was "his hope to contribute to the winning back of the edu 
cated classes to religion." The rationalism of Germany at 
the close of the eighteenth century would accept the Bible 
only on the terms of bringing it down to the level of a human 
book, and the problem which had to be solved was to get rid 
of the element of miracle which pervades it. Working on the 
labors of his predecessors, Eichhorn achieved this to his own 
satisfaction by appealing to the oriental habit of thought, which 
seizes upon ultimate causes and ignores intermediate proc 
esses. This commended itself on two grounds. It had an 
undoubted element of truth, and it was consistent with rever 
ence for Holy Scripture. For of the founder of the "Higher 
Criticism" it was said, what cannot be said of any of his 
successors that "faith in that which is holy, even in the mir 
acles of the Bible, was never shattered by Eichhorn in any 
youthful mind." 


Christ and Criticism 

In the view of his successors, however, Eichhorn s hypo 
thesis was open to the fatal objection that it was altogether 
inadequate. So the next generation of critics adopted the 
more drastic theory that the Mosaic books were "mosaic" in 
the sense that they were literary forgeries of a late date, 
composed of materials supplied by ancient documents and 
the myths and legends of the Hebrew race. And though this 
theory has been modified from time to time during the last 
century, it remains substantially the "critical" view of the 
Pentateuch. But it is open to two main objections, either of 
which would be fatal. It is inconsistent with the evidence. 
And it directly challenges the authority of the Lord Jesus 
Christ as a teacher; for one of the few undisputed facts in 
this controversy is that our Lord accredited the books of Moses 
as having divine authority. 


It may be well to deal first with the least important of 
these objections. And here we must distinguish between the 
true Higher Criticism and its counterfeit. The rationalistic 
"Higher Criticism," when putting the Pentateuch upon its 
trial, began with the verdict and then cast about to find the 
evidence ; whereas, true criticism enters upon its inquiries with 
an open mind and pursues them without prejudice. The dif 
ference may be aptly illustrated by the position assumed by 
a typical French judge and by an ideal English judge in a 
criminal trial. The one aims at convicting the accused, the 
other at elucidating the truth. "The proper function of the 
Higher Criticism is to determine the origin, date, and liter 
ary structure of an ancient writing." This is Professor 
Driver s description of true criticism. But the aim of th 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

counterfeit is to disprove the genuineness of the ancient writ 
ings. The justice of this statement is established by the fact 
that Hebraists and theologians of the highest eminence, whose 
investigation of the Pentateuch problem has convinced them 
of the genuineness of the books, are not recognized at all. 

In Britain, at least and I am not competent to speak of 
Germany or America no theologian of the first rank has 
adopted their "assured results." But the judgment of such 
men as Pusey, Lightfoot and Salmon, not to speak of men 
who are still with us, they contemptuously ignore; for the 
rationalistic Higher Critic is not one who investigates the 
evidence, but one who accepts the verdict. 


If, as its apostles sometimes urge, the Higher Criticism is 
a purely philological inquiry, two obvious conclusions follow. 
The first is that its verdict must be in favor of the Mosaic 
books ; for each of the books contains peculiar words suited to 
the time and circumstances to which it is traditionally assigned. 
This is admitted, and the critics attribute the presence of 
such words to the Jesuitical skill of the priestly forgers. But 
this only lends weight to the further conclusion that Higher 
Criticism is wholly incompetent to deal with the main issue on 
which it claims to adjudicate. For the genuineness of the 
Pentateuch must be decided on the same principles on which 
the genuineness of ancient documents is dealt with in our 
courts of justice. And the language of the documents is only 
one part of the needed evidence, and not the most important 
oart. And fitness for dealing with evidence depends upon 
^ u>J ities to which Hebraists, as such, have no special claim. 
Indeet t h e j r wr itings afford signal proofs of their unfilness 

Christ and Criticism 

for inquiries which they insist on regarding as their special 

Take, for example, Professor Driver s grave assertion 
that the presence of two Greek words in Daniel (they are 
the names of musical instruments) demand a date for the 
book subsequent to the Greek conquest. It has been estab 
lished by Professor Sayce and others that the intercourse be 
tween Babylon and Greece in, and before, the days of Nebu 
chadnezzar would amply account for the presence in the Chal 
dean capital of musical instruments with Greek names. And 
Colonel Conder, moreover, a very high authority considers 
the words to be Akkadian, and not Greek at all ! But apart 
from all this, we can imagine the reception that would be 
given to such a statement by any competent tribunal. The 
story bears repeating it is a record of facts that at a church 
bazaar in Lincoln some years ago, the alarm was raised 
that pickpockets were at work, and two ladies had lost their 
purses. The empty purses were afterwards found in the 
pocket of the Bishop of the Diocese ! On the evidence of the 
two purses the Bishop should be convicted as a thief, and 
on the evidence of the two words the book of Daniel should 
be convicted as a forgery ! 


Here is another typical item in the Critics indictment of 
Daniel. The book opens by recording Nebuchadnezzar s siege 
of Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, a statement the 
correctness of which is confirmed by history, sacred and 
secular. Berosus, the Chaldean historian, tells us that during 
this expedition Nebuchadnezzar received tidings of his 
father s death, and that, committing to others the care of his 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

army and of his Jewish and other prisoners, "he himself 
hastened home across the desert." But the German skeptics, 
having decided that Daniel was a forgery, had to find evi 
dence to support their verdict. And so they made the bril 
liant discovery that Berosus was here referring to the expe 
dition of the following year, when Nebuchadnezzar won the 
battle of Carchemish against the army of the king of Egypt, 
and that he had not at that time invaded Judea at all. But 
Carchemish is on the Euphrates, and the idea of "hastening 
home" from there to Babylon across the desert is worthy of a 
schoolboy s essay! That he crossed the desert is proof that 
he set out from Judea ; and his Jewish captives were, of 
course, Daniel and his companion princes. His invasion of 
Judea took place before his accession, in Jehoiakam s third 
year, whereas the battle of Carchemish was fought after his 
accession, in the king of Judah s fourth year, as the biblical 
books record. But this grotesque blunder of Bertholdt s 
"Book of Daniel" in the beginning of the nineteenth century 
is gravely reproduced in Professor Driver s "Book of Dan 
iel" at the beginning of the twentieth century. 


But to return to Moses. According to "the critical hy 
pothesis," the books of the Pentateuch are literary forgeries 
of the Exilic Era, the work of the Jerusalem priests of those 
evil days. From the Book of Jeremiah we know that those 
men were profane apostates ; and if "the critical hypothesis" 
be true, they were infinitely worse than even the prophet s 
inspired denunciations of them indicate. For no eighteenth 
century atheist ever sank to a lower depth of profanity than 
is displayed by their use of the Sacred Name. In the preface 

Christ and Criticism 

to his "Dark-ness and Dawn," Dean Farrar claims that he 
"never touches the early preachers of Christianity with the 
finger of fiction." When his story makes Apostles speak, he 
has "confined their words to the words of a revelation." But 
r.r. hyp., the authors of the Pentateuch "touched with the 
finger of fiction" not only the holy men of the ancient days, 
but their Jehovah God. "Jehovah spake unto Moses, say 
ing." This and kindred formulas are repeated times with 
out number in the Mosaic books. If this be romance, a 
lower type of profanity is inconceivable, unless it be that 
of the man who fails to be shocked and revolted by it. 

But no; facts prove that this judgment is unjust. For 
men of unfeigned piety and deep reverence for divine things 
can be so blinded by the superstitions of "religion" that the 
imprimatur of the church enables them to regard these dis 
credited books as Holy Scripture. As critics they brand the 
Pentateuch as a tissue of myth and legend and fraud, but as 
religionists they assure us that this "implies no denial of its 
inspiration or disparagement of its contents."* 


In controversy it is of the greatest importance to allow 
opponents to state their position in their own words ; and 
here is Professor Driver s statement of the case against the 
Books of Moses: 

"We can only argue on grounds of probability derived 
from our view of the progress of the art of writing, or of 
literary composition, or of the rise and growth of the pro 
phetic tone and feeling in ancient Israel, or of the period at 

*"The Higher Criticism: Three Papers," by Professors 
Driver and Kirkpatrick. 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

which the traditions contained in the narratives might have 
taken shape, or of the probability that they would have been 
written down before the impetus given to culture by the 
monarchy had taken effect, and similar considerations, for 
estimating most of which, though plausible arguments on one 
fide or the other may be advanced, a standard on which we 
can confidently rely scarcely admits of being fixed." ("Intro 
duction," 6th ed., page 123.) 

This modest reference to "literary composition" and "the 
art of writing" is characteristic. It is intended to gloss over 
the abandonment of one of the chief points in the original 
attack. Had "Driver s Introduction" appeared twenty years 
earlier, the assumption that such a literature as the Penta 
teuch could belong to the age of Moses would doubtless have 
been branded as an anachronism. For one of the main 
grounds on which the books were assigned to the later days 
of the monarchy was that the Hebrews of six centuries earlier 
were an illiterate people. And after that error had been 
refuted by archaeological discoveries, it was still maintained 
that a code of laws so advanced, and so elaborate, as that 
of Moses could not have originated in such an age. This 
figment, however, was in its turn exploded, when the spade 
of the explorer brought to light the now famous Code of 
Khammurabi, the Amraphel of Genesis, who was king of 
Babylon in the time of Abraham. 

Instead, however, of donning the white sheet when con 
fronted by this new witness, the critics, with great effrontery, 
pointed to the newly-found Code as the original of the laws of 
Sinai. Such a conclusion is natural on the part of men who 
treat the Pentateuch as merely human. But the critics can 
not have it both ways. The Moses who copied Khammurabi 
must have been the real Moses of the Exodus, and not the 

Christ and Criticism 

mythical Moses of the Exile, who wrote long centuries after 
Khammurabi had been forgotten ! 


The evidence of the Khammurabi Code refutes an im 
portant count in the critics indictment of the Pentateuch ; 
but we can call another witness whose testimony demolishes 
their whole case. The Pentateuch, as we all know, and the 
Pentateuch alone, constitutes the Bible of the Samaritans. 
Who, then, were the Samaritans? And how and when did 
they obtain the Pentateuch? Here again the critics shall 
speak for themselves. Among the distinguished men who 
have championed their crusade in Britain there has been none 
more esteemed, none more scholarly, than the late Professor 
Robertson Smith ; and here is an extract from his "Samari 
tans" article in the "Encyclopedia Britannica" : 

"They (the Samaritans) regard themselves as Israelites, 
descendants of the ten tribes, and claim to possess the ortho 
dox religion of Moses * * * The priestly law, which is 
throughout based on the practice of the priests in Jerusalem 
before the Captivity, was reduced to form after the Exile, and 
was published by Ezra as the law of the rebuilt temple of 
Zion. The Samaritans must, therefore, have derived their 
Pentateuch from the Jews after Ezra s reforms." And in 
the same paragraph he says that, according to the contention 
of the Samaritans, "not only the temple of Zion, but tht 
earlier temple of Shiloh and the priesthood of Eli, were schis- 
matical." And yet, as he goes on to say, "the Samaritan 
religion was built on the Pentateuch alone." 

Now mark what this implies. We know something of 
racial bitterness. We know more, unfortunately, of the fierce 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

bitterness of religious strife. And both these elements com 
bined to alienate the Samaritans from the Jews. But more 
than this, in the post-exilic period distrust and dislike were 
turned to intense hatred "abhorrence" is Robertson Smith s 
word by the sternness and contempt with which the Jews 
spurned their proffered help in the work of reconstruction at 
Jerusalem, and refused to acknowledge them in any way. 
And yet we are asked to believe that, at this very time and in 
these very circumstances, the Samaritans, while hating the 
Jews much as Orangemen hate the Jesuits, and denouncing 
the whole Jewish cult as schismatical, not only accepted these 
Jewish books relating to that cult as the "service books" of 
their own ritual, but adopted them as their "Bible," to the 
exclusion even of the writings of their own Israelite prophets, 
and the venerated and sacred books which record the history 
of their kings. In the whole range of controversy, religious 
or secular, was there ever propounded a theory more utterly 
incredible and preposterous ! 


No less preposterous are the grounds on which this con 
clusion is commended to us. Here is a statement of them, 
quoted from the standard text-book of the cult, Hasting s 
"Bible Dictionary": 

"There is at least one valid ground for the conclusion 
that the Pentateuch was first accepted by the Samaritans after 
the Exile. Why was their request to be allowed to take 
part in the building of the second temple refused by the heads 
of the Jerusalem community? Very probably because the 
Jews were aware that the Samaritans did not as yet possess 
the Law-Book. It is hard to suppose that otherwise they 
1 02 

Christ and Criticism 

would have met with this refusal. Further, anyone who, 
like the present writer, regards the modern criticism of the 
Pentateuch as essentially correct, has a second decisive reason 
for adopting the above view." (Professor Konig s article, 
"Samaritan Pentateuch," page 68.) 

Here are two "decisive reasons" for holding that "the 
Pentateuch was first accepted by the Samaritans after the 
Exile." First, because "very probably" it was because they 
had not those forged books that the Jews spurned their help; 
and so they went hcme and adopted the forged books as their 
Bible ! And, secondly, because criticism has proved that the 
books were not in existence till then. To characterize the 
writings of these scholars as they deserve is not a grateful 
task, but the time has come to throw off reserve, when such 
drivel as this is gravely put forward to induce us to tear 
from our Bible the Holy Scriptures on which our Divine 
Lord based His claims to Messiahship. 


The refutation of the Higher Criticism does not prove 
that the Pentateuch is inspired of God. The writer who 
would set himself to establish such a thesis as that within the 
limits of a Review Article might well be admired for his 
enthusiasm and drr.rg, but certainly not for his modesty or 
discretion. Neither (.oes it decide questions which lie within 
the legitimate pnnince of the true Higher Criticism, as 
ex. gr., the autho/s v p of Genesis. It is incredible that for 
the thousands of that elapsed before the days of Moses, 
God left His people o i earth without a revelation. It is plain, 
moreover, that mrry of the ordinances divinely entrusted to 
Moses were but a enewal of an earlier revelation. The 

Tto Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

religion of Babylon is clear evidence of such a primeval revel 
ation. How else can the universality of sacrifice be accounted 
for? Could such a practice have originated in a human 

If some demented creature conceived the idea that killing 
a beast before his enemy s door would propitiate him, his 
neighbors would no doubt have suppressed him. And if he 
evolved the belief that his god would be appeased by such an 
offensive practice, he must have supposed his god to be as 
mad as himself. The fact that sacrifice prevailed among all 
races can be explained only by a primeval revelation. And 
the Bible student will recognize that God thus sought to 
impress on men that death was the penalty of sin, and to 
lead them to look forward to a great blood shedding that 
would bring life and blessing to mankind. But Babylon was 
to the ancient world what Rome has been to Christendom. 
It corrupted every divine ordinance and truth, and perpetu 
ated them as thus corrupted. And in the Pentateuch we 
have the divine re-issue of the true cult. The figment that 
the debased and corrupt version was the original may satisfy 
some professors of Hebrew, but no one who has any prac 
tical knowledge of human nature would entertain it. 


At this stage, however, what concerns us is not the 
divine authority of the books, but the human error and folly 
of the critical attack upon them. The only historical basis 
of that attack is the fact that in the revival under Josiah, "the 
book of the law" was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high 
priest, to whom the young king entrusted the duty of cleans 
ing and renovating the long neglected shrine. A most natural 

CJirist and Criticivn 

discovery it was, seeing that Moses had in express terms 
commanded that it should be kept there (2 Kings 22:8; Deut. 
31 : 26). But according to the critics, the whole business was 
a detestable trick of the priests. For they it was who forged 
the books and invented the command, and then hid the product 
of their infamous work where they knew it would be found. 
And apart from this, the only foundation for "the assured 
results of modern criticism," as they themselves acknowledge, 
consists of "grounds of probability" and "plausible argu 
ments" ! In no civilized country would an habitual criminal 
be convicted of petty larceny on such evidence as this; and 
yet it is on these grounds that we are called upon to give 
up the sacred books which our Divine Lord accredited as "the 
Word of God" and made the basis of His doctrinal teaching. 


And this brings us to the second, and incomparably the 
graver, objection to "the assured results of modern criticism." 
That the Lord Jesus Christ identified Himself with the He 
brew Scriptures, and in a very special way with the Books of 
Moses, no one disputes. And this being so, we must make 
choice between Christ and Criticism. For if "the critical hy 
pothesis" of the Pentateuch be sustained, the conclusion is 
seemingly inevitable, either that He was not divine, or that 
the records of His teaching are untrustworthy. 

Which alternative shall we adopt? If the second, then 
every claim to inspiration must be abandoned, and agnosticism 
must supplant faith in the case of every fearless thinker. In 
spiration is far too great a question for incidental treatment 
here ; but two remarks with respect to it may not be inoppor 
tune. Behind the frauds of Spiritualism there lies the fact, 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

attested by men of high character, some of whom are emi 
nent as scientists and scholars, that definite communications 
are received in precise words from the world of spirits.* And 
this being so, to deny that the Spirit of God could thus com 
municate truth to men, or, in other words, to reject verbal 
inspiration on a priori grounds, betrays the stupidity of sys 
tematized unbelief. And, secondly, it is amazing that any 
one who regards the coming of Christ as God s supreme revel 
ation of Himself can imagine that (to put it on no higher 
ground than "Providence") the Divine Spirit could fail to 
ensure that mankind should have a trustworthy and true 
record of His mission and His teaching. 


But if the Gospel narrative be authentic, we are driven 
back upon the alternative that He of whom they speak could 
not be divine. "Not so," the critics protest, "for did He not 
Himself confess His ignorance? And is not this explained 
by the Apostle s statement that in His humiliation He emptied 
Himself of His Deity?" And the inference drawn from this 
(to quote the standard text-book of the cult) is that the Lord 
of Glory "held the current Jewish nouons respecting the 
divine authority and revelation of the Old Testament." But 
even if this conclusion as portentous as it is profane could 
be established, instead of affording an escape from the di 
lemma in which the Higher Criticism involves its votaries, it 
would only serve to make that dilemma more hopeless and 
more terrible. For what chiefly concerns us is not that, ex. 
hyp., the Lord s doctrinal teaching was false, but that in 

*Thc fact that, as the Christian believes, these spirits are 
demons who personate the dead, does not affect the argument. 

Christ and Criticism 

unequivocal terms, and with extreme solemnity, He declared 
again and again that His teaching was not His own but His 
Father s, and that the very words in which He conveyed it 
were God-given. 

A few years ago the devout were distressed by the pro 
ceedings of a certain Chicago "prophet," who claimed divine 
authority for his lucubrations. Kindly disposed people, re 
jecting a severer estimate of the man and his platform utter 
ances, regarded him merely as a profane fool. Shall the 
critics betray us into forming a similarly indulgent estimate 
of My pen refuses to complete the sentence ! 

And will it be believed that the only scriptural basis 
offered us for this astounding position is a verse in one of the 
Gospels and a word in one of the Epistles ! Passing strange 
it is that men who handle Holy Scripture with such freedom 
when it conflicts with their "assured results" should attach 
such enormous importance to an isolated verse or a single 
word, when it can be misused to support them. The verse is 
Mark 13:32, where the Lord says, with reference to His 
coming again: "Of that day and hour knoweth no one; no, 
not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but 
the Father." But this follows immediately upon the words: 
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall 
not pass away." 


The Lord s words were not "inspired"; they were the 
words of God in a still higher sense. "The people were 
astonished at His teaching," we are told, "for He taught 
them as one having exousia." The word occurs again in Acts 
I : 7, where He says that times and seasons "the Father hath 
put in His own exonsia." And this is explained by Phil. 

Y Av Higher Criticism and The AY:*. 1 Theology 

2:6, 7: "He counted it not a prize (or a thing to be grasped) 
to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself" the 
word on which the kenosis theory of the critics depends. 
And He not only stripped Himself of His glory as God ; He 
gave up His liberty as a man. For He never spoke His own 
words, but only the words which the Father gave Him to 
speak. And this was the limitation of His "authority" ; so 
that, beyond what the Father gave Him to speak, He knew 
nothing and was silent. 

But when He spoke, "He taught ti^em as one who had 
authority, and not as their scribes." From their scribes they 
were used to receive definite teaching, but it was teaching 
based on "the law and the prophets." But here was One who 
stood apart and taught them from a wholly different plane. 
"For," He declared, "I spake not from Myself ; but the Father 
which sent Me, He hath given Me a commandment what I 
should say and what I should speak. * * * The things, 
therefore, which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto 
Me, so I speak" (John 12:49, 5> R- V.). 

And let us not forget that it was not merely the sub 
stance of His teaching that was divine, but the very language 
in which it was conveyed. So that in His prayer on the night 
of the betrayal He could say, not only "I have given them 
Thy word," but "I have given them the words which Thou 
gavest Me."* His words, therefore, about Moses and the 
Hebrew Scriptures were not, as the critics, with such daring 
and seeming profanity, maintain, the lucubrations of a super 
stitious and ignorant Jew ; they were the words of God, and 
conveyed truth that was divine and eternal. 

When in the dark days of the Exile, God needed a 

*Both the Ao yos and the p^/juira John 17:8, 14; as again in Chap. 
4: io, 24 


Christ and Criticism 

prophet who would speak only as He gave him words, He 
struck Ezekiel dumb. Two judgments already rested on that 
people the seventy years Servitude to Babylon, and then 
the Captivity and they were warned that continued impeni 
tence would bring on them the still more terrible judgment 
of the seventy years desolations. And till that last judg 
ment fell, Ezekiel remained dumb (Ezek. 3:26; 24:27; 33: 
2.2). But the Lord Jesus Christ needed no such discipline. 
He came to do the Father s will, and no words ever passed 
His lips save the words given Him to speak. 

In this connection, moreover, two facts which are 
strangely overlooked claim prominent notice. The first is 
that in Mark 13 the antithesis is not at all between man and 
God, but between the Son of God and the Father. And the 
second is that He had been re-invested with all that, accord 
ing to Phil. 2, He laid aside in coming into the world. "All 
things have been delivered unto Me of My Father," He de 
clared ; and this at a time when the proofs that "He was 
despised and rejected of men" were pressing on Him. His 
reassuming the glory awaited His return to heaven, but here 
on earth the all things were already His (Matt. 11 127). 


The foregoing is surely an adequate reply to the kenosis 
figment of the critics ; but if any should still doubt or cavil, 
there is another answer which is complete and crushing. 
Whatever may have been the limitations under which He 
rested during His ministry on earth, He was released from 
them when He rose from the dead. And it was in His post- 
resurrection teaching that He gave the fullest and clearest 
testimony to the Hebrew Scriptures. Then it was that, "be- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ginning at Moses, and all the prophets, He expounded unto 
them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." 
And again, confirming all His previous teaching about those 
Scriptures, "He said unto them, These are the words which I 
spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must 
be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in 
the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me." 

And the record adds : "Then opened He their mind that 
they might understand the Scriptures." And the rest of the 
New Testament is the fruit of that ministry, enlarged and 
unfolded by the Holy Spirit given to lead them into all truth. 
And in every part of the New Testament the Divine author 
ity of the Hebrew Scriptures, and especially of the Books of 
Moses, is either taught or assumed. 


Certain it is, then, that the vital issue in this controversy 
is not the value of the Pentateuch, but the Deity of Christ. 
And yet the present article does not pretend to deal with the 
truth of the Deity. Its humble aim is not even to establish 
the authority of the Scriptures, but merely to discredit the 
critical attack upon them by exposing its real character and 
its utter feebleness. The writer s method, therefore, has been 
mainly destructive criticism, the critics favorite weapon being 
thus turned against themselves. 


One cannot but feel distress at having to accord such 

treatment to certain distinguished men whose reverence for 

divine things is beyond reproach. A like distress is felt at 

Christ and Criticism 

times by those who have experience in dealing with sedition, 
or in suppressing riots. But when men who are entitled to 
consideration and respect thrust themselves into "the line of 
fire," they must take the consequences. These distinguished 
men will not fail to receive to the full the deference to which 
they are entitled, if only they will dissociate themselves from 
the dishonest claptrap of this crusade ("the assured results of 
modern criticism" ; "all scholars are with us" ; and so on 
bluster and falsehood by which the weak and ignorant are 
browbeaten or deceived) and acknowledge that their "assured 
results" are mere hypotheses, repudiated by Hebraists and 
theologians as competent and eminent as themselves. 


The effects of this "Higher Criticism" are extremely 
grave. For it has dethroned the Bible in the home, and the 
good, old practice of "family worship" is rapidly dying out. 
And great national interests also are involved. For who can 
doubt that the prosperity and power of the Protestant nations 
of the world are due to the influence of the Bible upon char 
acter and conduct? Races of men who for generations have 
been taught to think for themselves in matters of the highest 
moment will naturally excel in every sphere of effort or of 
enterprise. And more than this, no one who is trained in the 
fear of God will fail in his duty to his neighbor, but will 
prove himself a good citizen. But the dethronement of the 
Bible leads practically to the dethronement of God ; and in 
Germany and America, and now in England, the effects of this 
are declaring themselves in ways, and to an extent, well fitted 
to cause anxiety for the future. 

Christ and Criticism 


If a personal word may be pardoned in conclusion, the 
writer would appeal to every book he has written in proof 
that he is no champion of a rigid, traditional "orthodoxy." 
With a single limitation, he would advocate full and free criti 
cism of Holy Scripture. And that one limitation is that the 
words of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be deemed a bar to criti 
cism and "an end of controversy" on every subject expressly 
dealt with in His teaching. "The Son of God is come"; and 
by Him came both grace and TRUTH. And from His hand 
it is that we have received the Scriptures of the Old Testa 





All history is fragmentary. Each particular fact is the 
center of an infinite complex of circumstances. No man has 
intelligence enough to insert a suppositions fact into circum 
stances not belonging to it and make it exactly fit. This only 
infinite intelligence could do. A successful forgery, there 
fore, is impossible if only we have a sufficient number of the 
original circumstances with which to compare it. It is this 
principle which gives such importance to the cross-examination 
of witnesses. If the witness is truthful, the more he is ques 
tioned the more perfectly will his testimony be seen to accord 
with the framework of circumstances into which it is fitted. 
If false, the more will his falsehood become apparent. 

Remarkable opportunities for cross-examining the Old 
Testament Scriptures have been afforded by the recent un 
covering of long-buried monuments in Bible lands and by 
deciphering the inscriptions upon them. It is the object of 
this essay to give the results of a sufficient portion of this 
cross-examination to afford a reasonable test of the com 
petence and honesty of the historians of the Old Testament, 
and of the faithfulness with which their record has been 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

transmitted to us. But the prescribed limits will not permit 
the half to be told ; while room is left for an entire essay on 
the discoveries of the last five years to be treated by another 
hand, specially competent for the task. 

Passing by the monumental evidence which has removed 
objections to the historical statements of the New Testament, 
as less needing support, attention will be given first to one of 
the Old Testament narratives, which is nearest to us in time, 
and against which the harshest judgments of modern critics 
have been hurled. We refer to the statements in the Book of 
Daniel concerning the personality and fate of Belshazzar. 


In the fifth chapter of Daniel Belshazzar is called the 
"son of Nebuchadnezzar," and is said to have been "king" of 
Babylon and to have been slain on the night in which the 
city was taken. But according to the other historians he 
was the son of Nabonidus, who was then king, and who is 
known to have been out of the city when it was captured, and 
to have lived some time afterwards. 

Here, certainly, there is about as glaring an apparent dis 
crepancy as could be imagined. Indeed, there would seem to 
be a flat contradiction between profane and sacred historians. 
But in 1854 Sir Henry Rawlinson foun 1, while excavating 
in the ruins of Mugheir (identified as the site of the city of 
Ur, from which Abraham emigrated), inscriptions which 
stated that when Nabonidus was near the end of his reign 
he associated with him on the throne his eldest son, Bil- 
shar-uzzur, and allowed him the royal title, thus making il 
perfectly credible that Belshazzar should have been in Baby 

I he Testimony of the Monuments 

Ion, as he is said to have been in the Bible, and that he 
should have been called king, and that he should have per 
ished in the city while Nabonidus survived outside. That he 
should have been called king while his father was still living 
is no more strange than that Jehoram should have been ap 
pointed by his father, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, seven years 
before his father s death (see 2 Kings 1:17 and 8:16), or 
that Jotham should have been made king before his father, 
Uzziah, died of leprosy, though Uzziah is still called king in 
some of the references to him. 

That Belshazzar should have been called son of Nebuchad 
nezzar is readily accounted for on the supposition that he was 
his grandson, and there are many things to indicate that 
Nabonidus married Nebuchadnezzar s daughter, while there 
is nothing known to the contrary. But if this theory is re 
jected, there is the natural supposition that in the loose use 
of terms of relationship common among Oriental people "son" 
might be applied to one who was simply a successor. In the 
inscriptions on the monuments of Shalmaneser II., referred 
to below, Jehu, the extirpator of the house of Omri, is called 
the "son of Omri." 

The status of Belshazzar implied in this explanation is 
confirmed incidentally by the fact that Daniel is promised in 
verse 6 the "third" place in the kingdom, and in verse 29 is 
given that place, all of which implies that Belshazzar was 
second only. 

Thus, what was formerly thought to be an insuperable 
objection to the historical accuracy of the Book of Daniel 
proves to be, in all reasonable probability, a mark of accuracy. 
The coincidences are all the more remarkable for being so 
evidently undesigned. 


Tht Hightr Critifism and The New Theology 


From various inscriptions in widely separated places we 
are now able to trace the movements of Shalmaneser II. 
through nearly all of his career. In B. C. 842 he crossed the 
Euphrates for the sixteenth time and carried his conquests to 
the shores of the Mediterranean. Being opposed by Hazael 
of Damascus, he overthrew the Syrian army, and pursued it 
to the royal city and shut it up there, while he devastated the 
territory surrounding. But while there is no mention of his 
fighting 1 with the Tynans, Sidonians, and Israelites, he is said 
to have received tribute from them and "from Jehu, the son 
of Omri." This inscription occurs on the celebrated Black 
Obelisk discovered many years ago by Sir Henry Rawlinson 
in the ruins of Nimroud. On it are represented strings of 
captives with evident Jewish features, in the act of bringing 
their tribute to the Assyrian king. Now, though there is no 
mention in the sacred records of any defeat of Jehu by the 
Assyrians, nor of the paying of tribute by him, it is most 
natural that tribute should have been paid under the circum 
stances ; for in the period subsequent to the battle of Karkar, 
Damascus had turned against Israel, so that Israel s most 
likely method of getting even with Hazael would have been 
to make terms with his enemy, and pay tribute, as she is said 
to have done, to Shalmaneser. 


One of the most important discoveries, giving reality to 
Old Testament history, is that of the Moabite Stone, discov 
ered at Dibon, east of the Jordan, in 1868, which was set 
up by King Mesha (about 850 B. C.) to signalize his deliv- 

Tht Testimony of the Monuments 

crance from the yoke of Omri, king of Israel. The inscrip 
tion is valuable, among other things, for its witness to the 
civilized condition of the Moabites at that time and to the 
close similarity of their language to that of the Hebrews. 
From this inscription we learn that Omri, king of Israel, was 
compelled by the rebellion of Mesha to resubjugate Moab; 
and that after doing so, he and his son occupied the cities 
of Moab for a period of forty years, but that, after a series 
of battles, it was restored to Moab in the days of Mesha. 
Whereupon the cities and fortresses retaken were strength 
ened, and the country repopulated, while the methods of war 
fare were similar to those practiced by Israel. On comparing 
this with 2 Kings 3 : 4-27, we find a parallel account which 
dovetails in with this in a most remarkable manner, though 
naturally the biblical narrative treats lightly of the recon- 
quest by Mesha, simply stating that, on account of the horror 
created by the idolatrous sacrifice of his eldest son upon the 
walls before them, the Israelites departed from the land and 
returned to their own country. 


In the fourteenth chapter of I Kings we have a brief 
account of an expedition of Shishak, king of Egypt, against 
Jerusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam. To the humiliation 
of Judah, it is told that Shishak succeeded in taking away the 
treasures of the house of Jehovah and of the king s house, 
among them the shields of gold which Solomon had made; 
so that Rehoboam made shields of brass in their stead. To 
this simple, unadorned account there is given a wonderful air 
of reality as one gazes on the southern wall of the court of 
the temple of Amen at Karnak and beholds the great expanse 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

of sculptures and hieroglyphics which are there inscribed to 
represent this campaign of Shishak. One hundred and fifty- 
six places are enumerated among those which were captured, 
the northernmost being Megiddo. Among the places are 
Gaza, Adullam, Beth-Horon, Aijalon, Gibeon, and Juda- 
Malech, in which Dr. Birch is probably correct in recognizing 
the sacred city of Jerusalem, Malech being the word for 


The city of Tahpanhes, in Egypt, mentioned by Jeremiah 
as the place to which the refugees fled to escape from Nebu 
chadnezzar, was discovered in 1886 in the mound known as 
Tel Defenneh, in the northeastern portion of the delta, where 
Mr. Flinders Petrie found not only evidences of the destruc 
tion of the palace caused by Nebuchadnezzar, but apparently 
the very "brick work or pavement" spoken of in Jer. 43 : 8 : 
"Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tah 
panhes, saying, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide 
them in mortar in the brickwork, which is at the entry of 
Pharaoh s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of 
Judah," adding that Nebuchadnezzar would "set his throne 
upon these stones," and "spread his royal pavilion over 

A brick platform in partial ruins, corresponding to this 
description, was found by Mr. Petrie adjoining the fort "upon 
the northwest." In every respect the arrangement corre 
sponded to that indicated in the Book of Jeremiah. 

Farther to the north, not a great way from Tahpanhes, 

on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, at the modern village of 

San, excavations revealed the ancient Egyptian capital Tanis, 

which went under the -.arlier name of Zoan, where the 


The Testimony of the Monuments 

Pharaoh of the oppression frequently made his headquarters. 
According to the Psalmist, it was in the field of "Zoan" that 
Moses and Aaron wrought their wonders before Pharaoh; 
and, according to the Book of Numbers, "Hebron" was built 
only seven years before Zoan. As Hebron was a place of 
importance before Abraham s time, it is a matter of much 
significance that Zoan appears to have been an ancient city 
which was a favorite dwelling-place of the Hyksos, or Shep 
herd Kings, who preceded the period of the Exodus, and 
were likely to be friendly to the Hebrews, thus giving greater 
credibility to the precise statements made in Numbers, and to 
the whole narrative of the reception of the patriarchs in 

The Pharaoh of the Oppression, "who knew not Joseph," 
is generally supposed to be Rameses II., the third king of 
the nineteenth dynasty, known among the Greeks as Sesostris, 
one of the greatest of the Egyptian monarchs. Among his 
most important expeditions was one directed against the 
tribes of Palestine and Syria, where, at the battle of Kadesh, 
east of the Lebanon Mountains, he encountered the Hittites. 
The encounter ended practically in a drawn battle, after 
which a treaty of peace was made. But the whole state of 
things revealed by this campaign and subsequent events shows 
that Palestine was in substantially the same condition of af 
fairs which was found by the children of Israel when they 
occupied it shortly after, thus confirming the Scripture account. 

This Rameses during his reign of sixty-seven years was 
among the greatest builders of the Egyptian monarchs. It is 
estimated that nearly half of the extant temples were built in 
his reign, among which are those at Karnak, Luxor, Abydos, 
Memphis, and Bubastis. The great Ramesseum at Thebes is 
also his work, and his name is found carved on almost ever/7 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

monument in Egypt. His oppression of the children of Israel 
was but an incident in his remarkable career. While en 
gaged in his Asiatic campaigns he naturally made his head 
quarters at Bubastis, in the land of Goshen, near where the 
old canal and the present railroad turn off from the delta 
toward the Bitter Lakes and the Gulf of Suez. Here the 
ruins of the temple referred to are of immense extent and 
include the fragments of innumerable statues and monuments 
which bear the impress of the great oppressor. At length, 
also, his mummy has been identified ; so that now we have a 
photograph of it which illustrates in all its lineaments the 
strong features of his character. 


But most interesting of all, in 1883, there were uncovered, 
a short distance east of Bubastis, the remains of vast vaults, 
which had evidently served as receptacles for storing grain 
preparatory to supplying military and other expeditions setting 
out for Palestine and the far East. Unwittingly, the en 
gineers of the railroad had named the station Rameses. But 
from the inscriptions that were found it is seen that its orig 
inal name was Pithom, and its founder was none other than 
Rameses II., and it proves to be the very place where it is 
said in the Bible that the children of Israel "built for Pharaoh 
store-cities, Pithom and Raamses" (Ex. 1:11), when the 
Egyptians "made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in 
mortar and in brick." It was in connection with the build 
ing of these cities that the oppression of the children of 
Israel reached its climax, when they were compelled (after 
the straw with which the brick were held together failed) to 
gather for themselves stubble which should serve the purpose 


The Testimony of the Monuments 

of straw, and finally, when even the stubble failed, to make 
brick without straw (Ex. 5). 

Now, as these store pits at Pithom were uncovered by 
Mr. Petrie, they were found (unlike anything else in Egypt) 
to be built with mortar. Moreover, the lower layers were 
built of brick which contained straw, while the middle layers 
were made of brick in which stubble, instead of straw, had 
been used in their formation, and the upper layers were of 
brick made without straw. A more perfect circumstantial 
confirmation of the Bible account could not be imagined. 
Every point in the confirmation consists of unexpected dis 
coveries. The use of mortar is elsewhere unknown in An 
cient Egypt, as is the peculiar succession in the quality of the 
brick used in the construction of the walls. 

Thus have all Egyptian explorations shown that the 
writer of the Pentateuch had such familiarity with the country, 
the civilization, and the history of Egypt as could have been 
obtained only by intimate, personal experience. The leaf 
which is here given is in its right place. It could not have 
been inserted except by a participant in the events, or by 
direct Divine revelation. 


In Joshua I : 4, the country between Lebanon and the 
Euphrates is called the land of the Hittites. In 2 Sam. 24:6, 
according to the reading of the Septuagint, the limit of Joab s 
conquests was that of "the Hittites of Kadesh," which is in 
Coele Syria, some distance north of the present Baalbeck. 
Solomon is also said to have imported horses from "the kings 
of the Hittites" ; and when the Syrians were besieging Sam 
aria, according to 2 Kings 7 : 6, they were alarmed from 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

fear that the king of Israel had hired against them "the kings 
of the Hittites." These references imply the existence of a 
strong nation widely spread over the northern part of Syria 
and the regions beyond. At the same time frequent mention 
is made of Hittite families in Palestine itself. It was of a 
Hittite (Gen. 23:10) that Abraham bought his burying-place 
at Hebron. Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, had been 
the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and Esau had two Hittite wives. 
Hittites are also mentioned as dwelling with the Jebusites and 
Amorites in the mountain region of Canaan. 

Until the decipherment of the inscriptions on the monu 
ments of Egypt and Assyria, the numerous references in the 
Bible to this mysterious people were unconfirmed by any other 
historical authorities, so that many regarded the biblical state 
ments as mythical, and an indication of the general untrust- 
worthiness of biblical history. A prominent English biblical 
critic declared not many years ago that an alliance between 
Egypt and the Hittites was as improbable as would be one at 
the present time between England and the Choctaws. But, 
alas for the over-confident critic, recent investigations have 
shown, not only that such an alliance was natural, but that it 
actually occurred. 

From the monuments of Egypt we learn that Thothmes 
III. of the eighteenth dynasty, in 1470 B. C, marched to the 
banks of the Euphrates and received tribute from the 
Greater Hittites" to the amount of 3,200 pounds of silver and 
a "great piece of crystal." Seven years later tribute was 
again sent from "the king of the Greater Hittite land." Later, 
Amenophis III. and IV. are said, in the Tel el-Amarna tab 
lets, to have been constantly called upon to aid in repelling 
the attacks of the Hittite king, who came down from the 
north and intrigued with the disaffected Canaanitish tribes 

The Testimony of the Monuments 

in Palestine; while in B. C. 1343, Rameses the Great at 
tempted to capture the Hittite capital at Kadesh, but was un 
successful, and came near losing his life in the attempt, extri 
cating himself from an ambuscade only by most heroic deeds 
of valor. Four years later a treaty of peace was signed 
between the Hittites and the Egyptians, and a daughter of the 
Hittite king was given in marriage to Rameses. 

The Assyrian monuments also bear abundant testimony 
to the prominence of the Hittites north and west of the Eu 
phrates, of which the most prominent state was that with its 
capital at Carchemish, in the time of Tiglath-pileser I., about 
iioo B. C. In 854 B. C. Shalmaneser II. included the kings 
of Israel, of Ammon, and of the Arabs, among the "Hittite" 
princes whom he had subdued, thus bearing most emphatic 
testimony to the prominence which they assumed in his esti 

The cuneiform inscriptions of Armenia also speak of 
numerous wars with the Hittites, and describe "the land of 
the Hittites" as extending far westward from the banks of 
the Euphrates. 

Hittite sculptures and inscriptions are now traced in 
abundance from Kadesh, in Coele Syria, westward to Lydia, 
in Asia Minor, and northward to the Black Sea beyond Mar- 
sovan. Indeed, the extensive ruins of Boghaz-Keui, seventy- 
five miles southwest of Marsovan, seem to mark the principal 
capital of the Hittites. Here partial excavations have al 
ready revealed sculptures of high artistic order, representing 
deities, warriors and amazons, together with many hieroglyphs 
which have not yet been translated. The inscriptions are 
written in both directions, from left to right, and then below 
back from right to left. Similar inscriptions are found in 
numerous other places. No clue to their meaning has yet 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

been found, and even the class of languages to which they 
belong has not been discovered. But enough is known to 
show that the Hittites exerted considerable influence upon 
the later civilization which sprung up in Greece and on the 
western coasts of Asia Minor. It was through them that the 
emblem of the winged horse made its way into Europe. The 
mural crown carved upon the head of some of the goddesses 
at Boghaz-Keui also passed into Grecian sculpture; while the 
remarkable lions sculptured over the gate at Mycenae arc 
thought to represent Hittite, rather than Babylonian art. 

It is impossible to overestimate the value of this testi 
mony in confirmation of the correctness of biblical history. It 
shows conclusively that the silence of profane historians re 
garding facts stated by the biblical writers is of small ac 
count, in face of direct statements made by the biblical his 
torians. All the doubts entertained in former times con 
cerning the accuracy of the numerous biblical statements con 
cerning the Hittites is now seen to be due to our ignorance. 
It was pure ignorance, not superior knowledge, which led so 
many to discredit these representations. When shall we learn 
the inconclusiveness of negative testimony? 


In 1887 some Arabs discovered a wonderful collection of 
tablets at Tel el-Amarna, an obscure settlement on the east 
bank of the Nile, about two hundred miles above Cairo and 
about as far below Thebes. These tablets were of clay, which 
had been written over with cuneiform inscriptions, such as are 
found in Babylonia, and then burnt, so as to be indestructible. 
When at length the inscriptions were deciphered, it appeared 
that they were a collection of official letters, which had been 

The Testimony of the Monuments 

sent shortly before 1300 B. C. to the last kings of the 
eighteenth dynasty. 

There were in all about three hundred letters, most of 
which were from officers of the Egyptian army scattered over 
Palestine to maintain the Egyptian rule which had been estab 
lished by the preceding kings, most prominent of whom was 
Tahutimes III., who flourished about one hundred years ear 
lier. But many of the letters were from the kings and princes 
of Babylonia. What surprised the world most, however, was 
that this correspondence was carried on, not in the hiero 
glyphic script of Egypt, but in the cuneiform script of Baby- 

All this was partly explained when more became known 
about the character of the Egyptian king to whom the letters 
were addressed. His original title was Amenhotep IV., in 
dicating that he was a priest of the sun god who is worshiped 
at Thebes. But in his anxiety to introduce a religious reform 
he changed his name to Aken-Aten, Aten being the name of 
the deity worshiped at Heliopolis, near Cairo, where Joseph 
got his wife. The efforts of Aken-Aten to transform the re 
ligious worship of Egypt were prodigious. The more perfectly 
to accomplish it, he removed his capital from Thebes to Tel el- 
Amarna, and there collected literary men and artists and archi 
tects in great numbers and erected temples and palaces, which, 
after being buried in the sand with all their treasures for more 
than three thousand years, were discovered by some wander 
ing Arabs twenty-two years ago. 

A number of the longest and most interesting of the let 
ters are those which passed between the courts of Egypt and 
those of Babylonia. It appears that not only did Aken-Aten 
marry a daughter of the Babylonian king, but his mother and 
grandmother were members of the royal family in Babylonia, 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

and also that one of the daughters of the king of Egypt had 
been sent to Babylonia to become the wife of the king. All 
this comes out in the letters that passed back and forth relat 
ing to the dowry to be bestowed upon these daughters and 
relating to their health and welfare. 

From these letters we learn that, although the king of 
Babylon had sent his sister to be the wife of the king of Egypt, 
that was not sufficient. The king of Egypt requested also 
the daughter of the king of Babylon. This led the king of 
Babylon to say that he did not know how his sister was treated ; 
in fact, he did not know whether she was alive, for he could 
not tell whether or not to believe the evidence which came 
to him. In response, the king of Egypt wrote : "Why don t 
you send some one who knows your sister, and whom you can 
trust?" Whereupon the royal correspondents break off into 
discussions concerning the gifts which are to pass between the 
two in consideration of their friendship and intimate relations. 

Syria and Palestine were at this time also, as at the pres 
ent day, infested by robbers, and the messengers passing be 
tween these royal houses were occasionally waylaid. Where 
upon the one who suffered loss would claim damages from the 
other if it was in his territory, because he had not properly pro 
tected the road. An interesting thing in connection with one 
of these robberies is that it took place at "Hannathon," one of 
the border towns mentioned in Josh. 19:14, but of which noth 
ing else was ever known until it appeared in this unexpected 

Most of the Tel el-Amarna letters, however, consist of 
those which were addressed to the king of Egypt (Amenhotep 
IV.) by his officers who were attempting to hold the Egyptian 
fortresses in Syria and Palestine against various enemies who 
were pressing hard upon them. Among these were the Hit- 

The Testimony of the Monuments 

tites, of whom we hear so much in later times, and who, com 
ing clown from the far north, were gradually extending their 
colonies into Palestine and usurping control over the northern 
part of the country. 

About sixty of the letters are from an officer named Rib- 
acldi, who is most profuse in his expressions of humility and 
loyalty, addressing the king as "his lord" and "sun," and call 
ing himself the "footstool of the king s feet," and saying that 
he "prostrates himself seven times seven times at his feet." He 
complains, however, that he is not properly supported in his 
efforts to defend the provinces of the king, and is constantly 
wanting more soldiers, more cavalry, more money, more pro 
visions, more everything. So frequent are his importunities 
that the king finally tells him that if he will write less and fight 
more he would be better pleased, and that there would be more 
hopes of his maintaining his power. But Rib-addi says that 
he is being betrayed by the "curs" that are surrounding him, 
who represent the other countries that pretend to be friendly 
to Egypt, but are not. 

From this correspondence, and from letters from the south 
of Palestine, it is made plain that the Egyptian power was 
fast losing its hold of the country, thus preparing the way for 
the condition of things which prevailed a century or two later, 
when Joshua took possession of the promised land, and found 
no resistance except from a number of disorganized tribes then 
in possession. 

In this varied correspondence a large number of places are 
mentioned with which we are familiar in Bible history, among 
them Damascus, Sidon, Lachish, Ashkelon, Gaza, Joppa, and 
Jerusalem. Indeed, several of the letters are written from Je 
rusalem by one Abd-hiba, who complains that some one is slan 
dering him to the king, charging that he was in revolt against 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

his lord. This, he says, the king ought to know is absurd, 
from the fact that "neither my father nor my mother appointed 
me to this place. The strong arm of the king inaugurated 
me in my father s territory. Why should I commit an offense 
against my lord, the king?" The argument being that, as his 
office is not hereditary, but one which is held by the king s 
favor and appointment, his loyalty should be above question. 

A single one of these Jerusalem letters may suffice for an 
illustration : 

"To My Lord the King : Abd-hiba, your servant. At the 
feet of my lord the king, seven and seven times I fall. Behold 
the deed which Milki-il and Suardata have done against the 
land of my lord the king they have hired the soldiers of Gazri, 
of Gimti and of Kilti, and have taken the territory of Rubuti. 
The territory of the king is lost to Habiri. And now, indeed, 
a city of the territory of Jerusalem, called Bit-Ninib, one of 
the cities of the king, has been lost to the people of Kilti. Let 
the king listen to Abd-hiba, his servant, and send troops that 
I may bring back the king s land to the king. For if there are 
no troops, the land of the kin & - will be lost to the Habiri. This 
is the deed of Suardata and Milki-il * * * [defective], 
and let the king take care of his land." 

The discovery of these Tel el-Amarna letters came like a 
flash of lightning upon the scholarly world. In this case the 
overturning of a few spadefuls of earth let in a flood of light 
upon the darkest portion of ancient history, and in every way 
confirmed the Bible story. 

As an official letter-writer, Rib-addi has had few equals, 
and he wrote on material which the more it was burned the 
longer it lasted. Those who think that a history of Israel 
could not have been written in Moses time, and that, if writ 
ten, it could not have been preserved, are reasoning without 

The Testimony nf the Monuments 

due knowledge of the facts. Considering the habits of the 
time, it would have been well nigh a miracle if Moses and his 
band of associates coming out of Egypt had not left upon im 
perishable clay tablets a record of the striking events through 
which they passed. 


Many persons doubtless wonder why it is that the Bible 
so abounds in "uninteresting" lists of names both of persons 
and places which seem to have no relation to modern times or 
current events. Such, however, will cease to wonder when 
they come to see the relation which these lists sustain to our 
confidence in the trustworthiness of the records containing 
them. They are like the water-marks in paper, which bear in 
delible evidence of the time and place of manufacture. If, 
furthermore, one should contemplate personal explorations in 
Egypt, Canaan, or Babylonia, he would find that for his pur 
poses the most interesting and important portions of the Bible 
would be these very lists of the names of persons and places 
which seemed to encumber the historical books of the Old Tes 

One of the most striking peculiarities of the Bible is the 
"long look" toward the permanent wants of mankind which is 
everywhere manifested in its preparation ; so that it circulates 
best in its entirety. No man knows enough to abridge the 
Bible without impairing its usefulness. The parts which the 
reviser would cut out as superfluous are sure, very soon, to be 
found to be "the more necessary." If we find that we have 
not any use for any portion of the Bible, the reason doubtless 
is that we have not lived long enough, or have not had suffi 
ciently wide experience to test its merits in all particulars. 



The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Gezer was an important place in Joshua s time, but it after 
ward became a heap of ruins, and its location was unknown 
until 1870, when M. Qermont-Ganneau discovered the site in 
Tel Jezer, and, on excavating it, found three inscriptions, 
which on interpretation read "Boundary of Gezer." 

Among the places conquered by Joshua one of the most 
important and difficult to capture was Lachish (Josh. 10.31). 
This has but recently been identified in Tel el-Hesy, about 
eighteen miles northeast of Gaza. Extensive excavations, first 
in 1890 by Dr. Flinders Petrie, and finally by Dr. Bliss, found 
a succession of ruins, one below the other, the lower founda 
tions of which extended back to about 1700 B. C, some time 
before the period of conquest, showing at that time a walled 
city of great strength. In the debris somewhat higher than 
this there was found a tablet with cuneiform inscriptions cor 
responding to the Tel el-Amarna tablets, which are known to 
have been sent to Egypt from this region about 1400 B. C. At 
a later period, in the time of Sennacherib, Lachish was as 
saulted and taken by the Assyrian army, and the account of 
the siege forms one of the most conspicuous scenes on the 
walls of Sennacherib s palace in Nineveh. These sculptures 
are now in the British Museum. 

Among the places mentioned in the Tel el-Amarna corre 
spondence from which letters were sent to Egypt about 1400 
B. C., are Gebal, Beirut, Tyre, Accho (Acre), Hazor, Joppha, 
Ashkelon, Makkadah, Lachish, Gezer, Jerusalem; while men 
tion is also made of Rabbah, Sarepta, Ashtaroth, Gaza, Gath, 
Bethshemesh, all of which are familiar names, showing that the 
Palestine of Joshua is the Palestine known to Egypt in the 
preceding century. Two hundred years before this (about 
1600 B. C.) also, Thothmes III. conquered Palestine, and gives 
in an inscription the names of more than fifty towns which 

The Testimony of the Monuments 

can be confidently identified with those in the Boek 
of Joshua. 

Finally, the forty-two stations named in Num. 33 as camp 
ing places for the children of Israel on their way to Palestine, 
while they cannot all of them be identified, can be determined 
in sufficient numbers to show that it is not a fictitious list, nor 
a mere pilgrim s diary, since the scenes of greatest interest, 
like the region immediately about Mount Sinai, are specially 
adapted to the great transactions which are recorded as taking 
place. Besides, it is incredible that a writer of fiction should 
have encumbered his pages with such a barren catalogue of 
places. But as part of the great historical movement they are 
perfectly appropriate. 

This conformity of newly discovered facts to the narra 
tive of Sacred Scripture confirms our confidence in the main 
testimony ; just as the consistency of a witness in a cross- 
examination upon minor and incidental points establishes con 
fidence in his general testimony. The late Sir Walter Besant, 
in addition to his other literary and philanthropic labors, was 
for many years secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 
In reply to the inquiry whether the work of the survey under 
his direction sustained the historical character of the Old Tes 
tament, he says : "To my mind, absolute truth in local details, 
a thing which cannot possibly be invented, when it is spread 
over a history covering many centuries, is proof almost ab 
solute as to the truth of the things related." Such proof we 
have for every part of the Bible. 


The fourteenth chapter of Genesis relates that "In the 
days of Araraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goiim (na 
tions), they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with 
Bersha, king of Gomorrah, and Shinab, king of Admah, and 
Shemeber, king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela (the same is 
Zoar)." The Babylonian kings were successful and the region 
about the Dead Sea was subject to them for twelve years, when 
a rebellion was instigated and in the following year Chedor 
laomer and the kings that were with him appeared on the scene 
and, after capturing numerous surrounding cities, joined battle 
with the rebellious allies in the vale of Siddim, which was full 
of slime pits. The victory of Chedorlaomer was complete, and 
after capturing Lot and his goods in Sodom he started home 
ward by way of Damascus, near which place Abraham over 
took him, and by a successful stratagem scattered his forces by 
night and recovered Lot and his goods. This story, told with 
so many details that its refutation would be easy if it were not 
true to the facts and if there were contemporary records with 
which to compare it, has been a special butt for the ridicule of 
the Higher Critics of the Wellhausen school, Professor N61- 
deke confidently declaring as late as 1869 that criticism had 
forever disproved its claim to be historical. But here again 
the inscriptions on the monuments of Babylonia have come 
to the rescue of the sacred historian, if, indeed, he were in 
need of rescue. (For where general ignorance was so pro 
found as it was respecting that period forty years ago, true 
modesty should have suggested caution in the expression of 
positive opinions in contradiction to such a detailed historical 
statement as this is.) 

From the inscriptions already discovered and deciphered 
in the Valley of the Euphrates, it is now shown beyond rea 
sonable doubt that the four kings mentioned in the Bible as 
joining in this expedition are not, as was freely said, "etymo- 

The Testimony of the Min 

logical inventions," but real historical persons. Amraphel is 
identified as the Hammurabi whose marvelous code of laws 
was so recently discovered by De Morgan at Susa. The "H" 
in the latter word simply expresses the rough breathing so 
well known in Hebrew. The "p" in the biblical name has 
taken the place of "b" by a well-recognized law of phonetic 
change. "Amrap" is equivalent to "Hamrab." The addition 
of "il" in the biblical name is probably the suffix of the di 
vine name, like "el" in Israel. 

Hammurabi is now known to have had his capital at 
Babylon at the time of Abraham. Until recently this chro 
nology was disputed, so that the editors and contributors of the 
New Schaff-Heczog Cyclopedia dogmatically asserted that as 
Abraham lived nearly 300 years later than Hammurabi, the 
biblical story must be unhistorical. Hardly had these state 
ments been printed, however, when Dr. King of the British 
Museum discovered indisputable evidence that two of the 
dynasties which formerly had been reckoned as consecutive 
were, in fact, contemporaneous, thus making it easy to bring 
Hammurabi s time down exactly to that of Abraham. 

Chedorlaomer is pretty certainly identified as Kudur- 
Lagamar (servant of Lagamar, one of the principal Elamite 
gods). Kudur-Lagamar was king of Elam, and was either 
the father or the brother of Kudur-Mabug, whose son, Eri- 
Aku (Arioch), reigned over Larsa and Ur, and other cities of 
southern Babylonia. He speaks of Kudur-Mabug "as the 
father of the land of the Amorites," i. e., of Palestine and 

Tidal, "king of nations," was supposed by Dr. Pinches to 
be referred to on a late tablet in connection with Chedor 
laomer and Arioch under the name Tudghula, who are said, 
together, to have "attacked and spoiled Babylon." 

The Higher Criticism and TJie New Theology 

However much doubt there may be about the identifica 
tion of some of these names, tire main points are established, 
revealing a condition of things just such as is implied by the 
biblical narrative. Arioch styles himself king of Shumer 
and Accad, which embraced Babylon, where Amraphel (Ham 
murabi) was in his early years subject to him. This furnishes 
a reason for the association of Chedorlaomer and Amraphel 
in a campaign against the rebellious subjects in Palestine. 
Again, Kudur-AIabug, the father of Arioch, styles himself 
"Prince of the land of Amurru," i. e., of Palestine and Syria. 
Moreover, for a long period before, kings from Babylonia 
had claimed possession of the whole eastern shore of the 
Mediterranean, including the Sinaitic Peninsula. 

In light of these well-attested facts, one reads with aston 
ishment the following words of Wellhausen, written no longer 
ago than 1889: "That four kings from the Persian Gulf 
should, in the time of Abraham, have made an incursion into 
the Sinaitic Peninsula, that they should on this occasion have 
attacked five kinglets on the Dead Sea Littoral and have car 
ried them off prisoners, and finally that Abraham should have 
set out in pursuit of the retreating victors, accompanied by 
318 men servants, and have forced them to disgorge their 
prey, all these incidents are sheer impossibilities which gain 
nothing in credibility from the fact that they are placed in a 
world which had passed away." 

And we can have little respect for the logic of a later 
scholar (George Adam Smith), who can write the following: 
"We must admit that while archaeology has richly illustrated 
the possibility of the main outlines of the Book of Genesis 
from Abraham to Joseph, it has not one whit of proof to 
offer for the personal existence or the characters of the patri 
archs themselves. This is the whole change archaeology has 

The Testimony of the Monuments 

wrought ; it has given us a background and an atmosphere for 
the stories of Genesis; it is unable to recall or certify their 

But the name Abraham does appear in tablets of the age 
of Hammurabi. (See Professor George Barton in Journal of 
Biblical Literature, Vol. 28, 1909, page 153.) It is true that 
this evidently is not the Abraham of the Bible, but that of a 
small farmer who had rented land of a well-to-do land owner. 
The preservation of his name is due to the fact that the most 
of the tablets preserved contain contracts relating to the 
business of the times. There is little reason to expect that we 
should find a definite reference to the Abraham who, in early 
life, migrated from his native land. But it is of a good deal of 
significance that his name appears to have been a common one 
in the time and place of his nativity. 

In considering the arguments in the case, it is important 
to keep in mind that where so few facts are known, and gen 
eral ignorance is so great, negative evidence is of small ac 
count, while every scrap of positive evidence has great weight. 
The burden of proof in such cases falls upon those who dis 
pute the positive evidence. For example, in the article above 
referred to, Professor Barton argues that it is not "quite cer 
tain" that Arioch (Eri-Agu) was a real Babylonian king. But 
he admits that our ignorance is such that we must admit its 
"possibility." Dr. Barton further argues that "we have as 
yet no evidence from the inscriptions that Arad-Sin, even if 
he were called Iri-Agu, ever had anything to do with Ham 
murabi." But, he adds, "Of course, it is possible that he may 
have had, as their reigns must have overlapped, but that re 
mains to be proved." 

All such reasoning (and there is any amount of it in the 
critics of the prevalent school) reveals a lamentable lack in 

The Higher Criticism and TIic Xciv Theology 

their logical training. When we have a reputable document 
containing positive historical statements which are shown by 
circumstantial evidence to be possible, that is all we need to 
accept them as true. When, further, we find a great amount 
of circumstantial evidence positively showing that the state 
ments conform to the conditions of time and place, so far as 
we know them, this adds immensely to the weight of the tes 
timony. We never can fill in all the background of any his 
torical fact. But if the statement of it fits into the background 
so far as we can fill it in, we should accept the fact until posi 
tive contrary evidence is produced. No supposition can be 
more extravagant than that which Professor Barton seems to 
accept (which is that of the German critic, Meyer) that a Jew, 
more than 1,000 years after the event, obtained in Babylon the 
amount of exact information concerning the conditions in 
Babylonia in Abraham s time, found in the fourteenth chapter 
of Genesis, and interpolated the story of Chedorlaomer s ex 
pedition into the background thus furnished. To entertain 
such a supposition discredits the prevalent critical scholarship, 
rather than the Sacred Scriptures. 

But present space forbids further enumeration of particu 
lars. It is sufficient to say that while many more positive con 
firmations of the seemingly improbable statements of the sa 
cred historians can be adduced, there have been no discoveries 
which necessarily contravene their statements. The cases al 
ready here enumerated relate to such widely separated times 
and places, and furnish explanations so unexpected, yet natu 
ral, to difficulties that have been thought insuperable, that their 
testimony cannot be ignored or rejected. That this history 
should be confirmed in so many cases and in such a remark 
able manner by monuments uncovered 3,000 years after their 
erection, can be nothing else than providential. Surely, God 

The Teslimony c/ the Monuments 

has seen to it that the failing faith of these later days should 
not be left to grope in darkness. When the faith of many 
was waning and many heralds of truth were tempted to speak 
with uncertain sound, the very stones have cried out with a 
voice that only the deaf could fail to hear. Both in the writ 
ing and in the preservation of the Bible we behold the handi 
work of God. 




BY M. G. KYLE, D. D., LL. D., 




(The numbers in parentheses throughout this article refer 
to the notes at the end of the article.) 


"Recent" is a dangerously capacious word to intrust to an 
archaeologist. Anything this side of the Day of Pentecost is 
"recent" in biblical archaeology. For this review, however, 
anything since 1904 is accepted to be, in a general way, the 
meaning of the word "recent." 

"Recent testimony of archaeology" may be either the testi 
mony of recent discoveries or recent testimony of former dis 
coveries. A new interpretation, if it be established to be a 
true interpretation, is a discovery. For to uncover is not al- 
way to discover; indeed, the real value of a discovery is not 
its emergence, but its significance, and the discovery of its 
real significance is the real discovery. 

The most important testimony to the Scriptures of this 
five-year archaeological period admits of some classification : 

Tlie Recent Testimony of Archeology 


The reception in Egypt accorded to Abraham and to Jacob 
and his sons 0) and the elevation of Joseph there (1) per 
emptorily demand either the acknowledgment of a mythical 
element in the stories, or the belief in a suitable historical set 
ting therefor. Obscure, insignificant, private citizens are not 
accorded such recognition at a foreign and unfriendly court. 
While some have been conceding a mythical element in the 
stories***, archaeology has uncovered to view such appropriate 
historical setting that the patriarchs are seen not to have 
been obscure, insignificant, private citizens, nor Zoan a foreign 
and unfriendly court. 

The presence of the Semitic tongue in Hyksos territory 
has long been kno\vn (4) ; from still earlier than patriarchal 
times until much later, the Phoenicians, first cousins of the He 
brews, did the foreign business of the Egyptians (B) , as the 
English, the Germans, and the French do the foreign business 
of the Chinese of today ; and some familiarity, even sympa 
thy, with Semitic religion has been strongly suspected from 
the interview of the Hyksos kings with the patriarchs^ ; 
but the discovery in icpo^, by Petrie, of the great fortified 
camp at Tel-el- Yehudiyeh set at rest, in the main, the biblical 
question of the relation between the patriarchs and the Hyksos. 
The abundance of Hyksos scarabs and the almost total ab 
sence of all others mark the camp as certainly a Hyksos 
camp (8) ; the original character of the fortifications, before 
the Hyksos learned the builders craft from the Egyptians, 
shows them to have depended upon the bow for defense^ ; 
and, finally, the name Hyksos, in the Egyptian Haq Shashu^ 
"Bedouin princes," brings out, sharp and clear, the harmoni- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ous picture of which we have had glimpses for a long time, of 
the Hyksos as wandering tribes of the desert, of "Upper and 
Lower Ruthen" (11) ; i. e., Syria and Palestine, northern and 
western Arabia, "Bow people >(13) , as the Egyptians called 
them, their traditional enemies as far back as pyramid 
times (18) . 

Why, then, should not the patriarchs have had a royal re 
ception in Egypt? They were themselves also the heads of 
wandering tribes of "Upper and Lower Ruthen," in the 
tongue of the Egyptians, Haq Shashu, "Bedouin princes" ; and 
among princes, a prince is a prince, however small his princi 
pality. So Abraham, the Bedouin prince, was accorded 
princely consideration at the Bedouin court in Egypt ; Joseph, 
the Bedouin slave, became again the Bedouin prince when the 
wisdom of God with him and his rank by birth became known. 
And Jacob and his other sons were welcome, with all their fol 
lowers and their wealth, as a valuable acquisition to the court 
party, always harassed by the restive and rebellious native 
Egyptians. This does not prove racial identity between the 
Hyksos and the patriarchs, but very close tribal relationship. 
And thus every suspicion of a mythical element in the nar 
rative of the reception accorded the patriarchs in Egypt dis 
appears when archaeology has testified to the true historical 


A second recent testimony of archeology gives its the 
great Hittite vindication. The Hittites have been, in one re 
spect, the Trojans of Bible history; indeed, the inhabitants of 
old Troy were scarcely more in need of a Schliemann to vin 
dicate their claim to reality than the Hittites of a Winckler. 

In 1904 one of the foremost archaeologists of Europe said 

The Recent Testimony of Archeology 

to me : "I do not believe there ever were such people as the 
Hittites, and I do not believe Kheta in the Egyptian inscrip 
tions was meant for the name Hittites." We will allow that 
archaeologist to be nameless now. But the ruins of Troy vin 
dicated the right of her people to a place in real history, and 
the ruins of Boghatz-Koi bid fair to afford a more striking 
vindication of the Bible representation of the Hittites. 

Only the preliminary announcement of Winckler s great 
treasury of documents from Boghatz-Koi has yet been 
made* 14 *. The complete unfolding of a long-eclipsed great 
national history is still awaited impatiently. But enough has 
been published to redeem this people completely from their 
half-mythical plight, and give them a firm place in sober his 
tory greater than imagination had ever fancied for them under 
the stimulus of any hint contained in the Bible. 

There has been brought to light a Hittite empire (U) in 
Asia Minor, with central power and vassal dependencies round 
about and with treaty rights on equal terms with the greatest 
nations of antiquity, thus making the Hittite power a third 
great power with Babylonia and Egypt, as was, indeed, fore 
shadowed in the great treaty of the Hittites with Rameses II., 
inscribed on the projecting wing of the south wall of the 
Temple of Amon at Karnak *, though Rameses tried so hard 
to obscure the fact. The ruins at the village of Boghatz-Koi 
are shown also to mark the location of the Hittite capital (17) , 
and the unknown language on the cuneiform tablets recovered 
there to be the Hittite tongue (I8) , while the cuneiform method 
of writing, as already upon the Amarna tablets " , so still 
more clearly here, is seen to have been the diplomatic script, 
and in good measure the Babylonian to have been the diplo 
matic language of the Orient in that age (W) . And the large 
admixture of Babylonian words and forms in these Hittite in- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

scriptions opens the way for the real decipherment of the 
Hittite language** , and imagination can scarcely promise too 
much to our hopes for the light which such a decipherment 
will throw upon the historical and cultural background of the 

Only one important point remains to be cleared up, the 
relation between the Hittite language of these cuneiform tab 
lets and the language of the Hittite hieroglyphic inscrip- 
tion (ts) . That these were identical is probable; that the hiero 
glyphic inscriptions represent an older form of the language, 
a kind of "Hieratic," is possible ; that it was essentially dif 
ferent from the language of these tablets is improbable. There 
has been the Hittite vindication ; the complete illumination of 
Hittite history is not likely to be long delayed. 


Other recent testimony of archccology brings before us 
the Palestinian civilisation of the conquest period. Palestinian 
explorations within the last few years have yielded a star 
tling array of "finds" illustratingthings mentioned in the Bible, 
finds of the same things, finds of like things, and finds in har 
mony with things***. Individual mention of them all is here 
neither possible nor desirable. Of incomparably greater im 
portance than these individually interesting relics of Canaan- 
ite antiquity is the answer afforded by recent research to 
two questions: 

i. First in order, Does the Canaanite culture as revealed 
by the excavations accord with the story of Israel at the con 
quest as related in the Bible? How much of a break in culture 
is required by the Bible account, and how much is revealed by 
the excavations ? For answer, we must find a standpoint 

The Recent Testimony of Archeology 

somewhere between that of the dilettante traveler in the land 
of the microscopist scientist thousands of miles away. The 
careful excavator in the field occupies that sane and safe 
middle point of view. Petrie^, Bliss***, Macalister^), Schu- 
macker (rT) and Sellin (l8) these are the men with whom to 
stand. And for light on the early civilization of Palestine, the 
great work of Macalister at Gezer stands easily first. 


In determining this question of culture, too much impor 
tance has been allowed to that estimate of time and chrono 
logical order which is gained exclusively from the study of 
pottery. The pottery remains are not to be undervalued, and 
neither are they to be overvalued. Time is only one thing 
that shows itself in similarity or dissimilarity in pottery. Dif 
ferent stages of civilization at different places at the same 
time, and adaptation to an end either at the same time or at 
widely different times, show themselves in pottery, and render 
very uncertain any chronological deduction. And, still more, 
available material may result in the production of similar pot 
tery in two very different civilizations arising one thousand 
years or more apart. This civilization of pots, as a deciding 
criterion, is not quite adequate, and is safe as a criterion at 
all only when carefully compared with the testimony of loca 
tion, intertribal relations, governmental domination, and liter 
ary attainments. 

These are the things, in addition to the pots, which help 
to determine indeed, which do determine how much of a 
break in culture is required by the Bible account of the Con 
quest, and how much is shown by excavations. Since the 
Israelites occupied the cities and towns and vineyards and 

The Higher Criticism and The Neiu Theology 

olive orchards of the Canaanites, and their "houses full of all 
good things" (St) , had the same materials and in the main 
the same purposes for pottery and would adopt methods of 
cooking suited to the country, spoke the "language of Ca- 
naan" (SO) , and were of the same race as many of the people 
of Canaan, intermarried, though against their law (M) , with 
the people of the land, and were continually chicled for lapses 
into the idolatry and superstitious practices of the Canaan- 
ites (M) , and, in short, were greatly different from them only in 
religion, it is evident that the only marked, immediate change 
to be expected at the Conquest is a change in religion, and 
that any other break in culture occasioned by the devastation 
of war will be only a break in continuance of the same kind 
of culture, evidence of demolition, spoliation, and reconstruc 
tion. Exactly such change in religion and interruption in 
culture as the Conquest period excavations show. 


(a) The rubbish at Gezer shows history in distinct lay 
ers, and the layers themselves are in distinct groups "*. At the 
bottom are layers Canaanite, not Semitic; above these, layers 
Semitic, Amorite giving place to Jewish ; and higher still, lay 
ers of Jewish culture of the monarchy and later times. 

(b) The closing up of the great tunnel to the spring 
within the fortifications at Gezer is placed by the layers of his 
tory in the rubbish heaps at the period of the Conquest (S4) . 
But when a great fortification is so ruined and the power it 
represents so destroyed that it loses sight of its water-supply, 
surely the culture of the time has had an interruption, though 
it be not much changed. Then this tunnel, as a great engineer 
ing feat, is remarkable testimony to the advanced state of 


The Recent Testimony of Archaeology 

civilization at the time of its construction; but the more re 
markable the civilization it represents, the more terrible must 
have been the disturbance of the culture which caused it to 
be lost and forgotten* 8 **. 

(c) Again, there is apparent an enlargement of the 
populated area of the city of Gezer by encroaching upon the 
Temple area at the period of the Conquest , showing at once 
the crowding into the city of the Israelites without the de 
struction of the Canaanites, as stated in the Bible, and a cor 
responding decline in reverence for the sacred inclosure of the 
High Place. While, at a time corresponding to the early 
period of the Monarchy (tT) , there is a sudden decrease of the 
populated area corresponding to the destruction of the Ca 
naanites in the city by the father of Solomon s Egyptian 

(d) Of startling significance, the hypothetical Musri 
Egypt in North Arabia, concerning which it has been said (M) 
the patriarchs descended thereto, the Israelites escaped there 
from, and a princess thereof Solomon married, has been finally 
and definitely discredited. For Gezer was a marriage dower 
of that princess whom Solomon married * , a portion of her 
father s dominion, and so a part of the supposed Musri, if it 
ever existed, and if so, at Gezer, then, we should find some 
evidence of this people and their civilization. Of such there 
is not a trace. But, instead, we find from very early times, 
but especially at this time, Egyptian remains in great 
abundance (n> . 

(e) Indeed, even Egyptian refinement and luxuries were 
not incongruous in the Palestine of the Conquest period. The 
great rock-hewn, and rock-built cisterns at Taannek "*, the 
remarkable engineering on the tunnel at Gezer <4 *>, the great 
forty-foot city wall in an Egyptian picture of Canaanitt 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

war (a) , the list of richest Canaanite booty given by Thothmes 
III. (4B) , the fine ceramic and bronze utensils and weapons re 
covered from nearly every Palestinian excavation (4<) , and the 
literary revelations of the Amarna tablets ( * 7) , together with 
the reign of law seen by a comparison of the scriptural ac 
count with the Code of Hammurabi, show (48) Canaanite civil 
ization of that period to be fully equal to that of Egypt. 

(f) Then the Bible glimpses of Canaanite practices and 
the products of Canaanite religion now uncovered exactly 
agree. The mystery of the High Place of the Bible narrative, 
with its sacred caves, lies bare at Gezer and Taannek. The 
sacrifice of infants, probably first-born, and the foundation 
and other sacrifices of children, either infant or partly grown, 
appear in all their ghastliness in various places at Gezer and 
"practically all over the hill" at Taannek (19) . 

(g) But the most remarkable testimony of archaeology 
of this period is to the Scripture representations of the spirit 
ual monotheism of Israel in its conflict with the horrible idola 
trous polytheism of the Canaanites, the final overthrow of the 
latter and the ultimate triumph of the former. The history 
of that conflict is as plainly written at Gezer in the gradual 
decline of the High Place and giving way of the revolting sac 
rifice of children to the bowl and lamp deposit as it is in the 
inspired account of Joshua, Judges and Samuel. And the line 
that marks off the territory of divine revelation in religion 
from the impinging heathenism round about is as distinct as 
that line off the coast of Newfoundland where the cold waters 
of the North beat against the warm, life-giving flow of the 
Gulf Stream. The revelation of the spade in Palestine is 
making to stand out every day more clearly the revelation that 
God made. There is no evidence of a purer religion growing 


The Recent Testimony of Archaology 

up out of that vile culture^ but rather of a purer religion com 
ing down and overwhelming it. 

2. Another and still more important question concerning 
Palestine civilization is, What was the source and course of the 
dominant civilization and especially the religious culture re 
flected in the Bible account of the millennium preceding and the 
millennium succeeding the birth of Abraham? Was it from 
without toward Canaan or from Canaan outward? Did Pal 
estine in her civilization and culture of those days, in much 
or in all, but reflect Babylonia, or was she a luminary? 


The revision of views concerning Palestinian civilization 
forced by recent excavations at once puts a bold interrogation 
point to the opinion long accepted by many of the source and 
course of religious influence during this formative period of 
patriarchal history, and the time of the working out of the 
principles of Israel s religion into the practices of Israel s 
life. If the Palestinian civilization during this period was 
equal to that of Egypt, and so certainly not inferior to that 
of Babylonia, then the opinion that the flow of religious influ 
ence was then from Babylonia to Palestine must stand for its 
defense. Here arises the newest problem of biblical archae 

And one of the most expert cuneiform scholars of the 
day, Albert T. Clay (50) , has essayed this problem and announces 
a revolutionary solution of it by a new interpretation of well- 
known material as well as the interpretation of newly acquired 
material. The solution is nothing less, indeed, than that in 
stead of the source of religious influence being Babylonia, and 
its early course from Babylonia into Palestine, exactly the 

The Higher Criticism and The Neiv Theology 

reverse is true. "That the Semitic Babylonian religion is an 
importation from Syria and Palestine (Amurru), that the crea 
tion, deluge, ante-diluvian patriarchs, etc., of the Babylonian 
came from Amurru, instead of the Hebraic stories having 
come from Babylonia, as held by nearly all Semitic scholars." 
This is startling and far reaching in its consequences. 
Clay s work must be put to the test ; and so it will be, before 
it can be finally accepted. It has, however, this initial ad 
vantage, that it is in accord with the apparent self-conscious 
ness of the Scripture writers and, as we have seen, exactly in 
the direction in which recent discoveries in Palestinian civiliza 
tion point. 


Again archeology has of late furnished illumination of 
certain special questions of both Old and New Testament 

1. "Light from Babylonia," by L. W. King** 1 * of the 
British Museum on the chronology of the first three dynasties 
helps to determine the date of Hammurabi, and so of Abra 
ham s call and of the Exodus, and, indeed, has introduced a 
corrective element into the chronology of all subsequent his 
tory down to the time of David and exerts a far-reaching 
influence upon many critical questions in which the chrono 
logical element is vital. 


2. The entire absence from the offerings of old Egyptian 
religion of any of the great Pentateuchal ideas of sacrifice, 
substitution, atonement, dedication, fellowship, and, indeed, of 
almost every essential idea of real sacrifice, as clearly estat?- 


The Recent Testimony of 

lished by recent very exhaustive examination of the offering 
scenes (M) , makes for the clement of revelation in the Mosaic 
system by delimiting the field of rationalistic speculation on the 
Egyptian side. Egypt gave nothing to that system, for she 
had nothing to give. 


3. Then the grossly materialistic character of the Egyp 
tian conception of the other world and of the future life, and 
the fact, every day becoming clearer, that the so-called and 
so-much-talked-about resurrection in the belief of the Egyp 
tians was not a resurrection at all, but a resuscitation to the 
same old life on "oxen, geese, bread, wine, beer, and all good 
things," is furnishing a most complete solution of the prob 
lem of the obscurity of the idea of the resurrection in the 
Pentateuchal documents. For, whether they came from Moses 
when he had just come from Egypt or are by some later author 
attributed to Moses, when he had just come from Egypt, the 
problem is the same : Why is the idea of the resurrection so 
obscure in the Pentateuch ? Now to have put forth in revela 
tion the idea of the resurrection at that time, before the 
growth of spiritual ideas of God and of worship here, of the 
other world and the future life there, and before the people 
under the influence of these new ideas had outgrown their 
Egyptian training, would have carried over into Israel s re 
ligious thinking all the low, degrading materialism of Egyp 
tian belief on this subject. The Mosaic system made no use 
of Egyptian belief concerning the future life because it was not 
by it usable, and it kept away from open presentation of the 
subject altogether, because that was the only way to get tlv 
people away from Egypt s conception of the subject. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

4. The discovery of the Aramaic papyri at Syene*" 
made possible a new chapter in Old Testament criticism, raised 
to a high pitch hopes for contemporary testimony on Old 
Testament history which hitherto hardly dared raise their 
heads, and contributed positive evidence on a number of im 
portant points. Tolerable, though not perfect, identifications 
are made out for Bagoas, Governor of the Jews ; of Josephus 
and Diodorus; Sanballat, of Nehemiah and Josephus; and 
Jochanan, of Nehemiah and Josephus. But more important 
than all these identifications is the information that the Jews 
had, at that period, built a temple and offered sacrifice far 
from Jerusalem. Wellhausen (54) lays down the first stone 
of the foundation of his Pentateuchal criticism in these words: 
"The returning exiles were thoroughly imbued with the ideas 
of Josiah s reformation and had no thought of worshiping 
except in Jerusalem. It cost them no sacrifice of their feel 
ings to leave the ruined High Places unbuilt. From this date, 
all Jews understood, as a matter of course, that the one God 
had only one sanctuary." So much Wellhausen. But here 
is this petition of the Jews at Syene in the year 407 B. C. after 
Nehemiah s return declaring that they had built a temple there 
i and established a system of worship and of sacrifices, and evi 
dencing also that they expected the approval of the Jews at 
Jerusalem in rebuilding that temple and re-establishing that 
sacrificial worship, and, what is more, received from the gov 
ernor of the Jews permission so to do, a thing which, had it 
been opposed by the Jews at Jerusalem was utterly incon 
sistent with the Jewish policy of the Persian Empire in the 
days of Nehemiah. 


The Recent Testimony of Archeology 


5. Then the redating of the Hermetic writings 8 ** where 
by they are thrown back from the Christian era to 500-300 
B. C. opens up a completely new source of critical material for 
tracing the rise and progress of theological terms in the 
Alexandrian Greek of the New Testament. In a recent letter 
from Petrie, who has written a little book on the subject, he 
sums up the whole case, as he sees it, in these words: "My 
position simply is that the current religious phrases and ideas 
of the B. C. age must be grasped in order to understand 
the usages of religious language in which the New Testament 
is written. And we can never know the real motive of New 
Testament writings until we know how much is new thought 
and how much is current theology in terms of which the 
Eu-angclos is expressed." Whether or not all the new dates 
for the writings shall be permitted to stand, and Petrie s point 
of view be justified, a discussion of the dates and a criti 
cal examination of the Hermetic writings from the stand 
point of their corrected dates alone can determine; but it is 
certain that the products of the examination cannot but be 
far reaching in their influence and in the illumination of 
the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. 


Last and more generally, of recent testimony from archae 
ology to Scripture we must consider the identification of 
places, peoples, and events of the Bible narrative. 

For many years archaeologists looked up helplessly at the 
pinholes in the pediment of the Parthenon, vainly speculating 

The Higher Criticism and The Nciv Theology 

about what might have been the important announcement in 
bronze once fastened at those pinholes. At last an ingenious 
young American student carefully copied the pinholes, and 
from a study of the collocation divined at last the whole im 
perial Roman decree once fastened there. So, isolated identi 
fication of people, places, and events in the Bible may not 
mean so much ; however startling their character, they may be, 
after all, only pinholes in the mosaic of Bible history, but the 
collocation of these identifications, when many of them have 
been found, indicates at last the whole pattern of the mosaic. 

Now the progress of important identifications has of late 
been very rapid. It will suffice only to mention those which 
we have already studied for their intrinsic importance together 
with the long list of others within recent years. In 1874, 
Clermont-Ganncau discovered one of the boundary stones of 
Gezer (M) , at which place now for six years Mr. R. A. Stew 
art Macalister has been uncovering the treasures of history of 
that Levitical city (87) ; in 1906, Winckler discovered the Hit- 
tites at their capital city; in 1904-5, Schumacker explored 
Megiddo; in 1900-02, Sellin, Taannek; Jericho has now been 
accurately located by Sellin and the foundations of her walls 
laid bare; the Edomites, long denied existence in patriarchal 
times, have been given historical place in the time of Meremp- 
tah by the papyrus Anastasia (88) ; Moab, for some time past 
in dispute, I identified beyond further controversy at Luxor in 
1908, in an inscription of Rameses II., before the time of the 
Exodns (W) ; while Hilprecht at Nippur (90) , Glaser in Arabia (tl) , 
Petrie at Maghereh and along the route of the Exodus (-) , and 
Reisner at Samaria have been adding a multitude of geo 
graphical, ethnographical and historical identifications. 

The completion of tibr whole list of identifications is rap- 

Thf Recent Testimony of Archeology 

idly approaching, and the collocation of these identifications 
has given us anew, from entirely independent testimony of 
archaeology, the whole outline of the biblical narrative and its 
surroundings, at once the necessary material for the his 
torical imagination and the surest foundation of apologetics. 
Fancy for a moment that the peoples, places and events of the 
wanderings of Ulysses should be identified : all the strange 
route of travel followed ; the remarkable lands visited and de 
scribed, the curious creatures, half human and half monstrous, 
and even unmistakable traces of strange events, found, all just 
as the poet imagined, what a transformation in our views of 
Homer s great epic must take place ! Henceforth that romance 
would be history. Let us reverse the process and fancy that 
the peoples, places, and events of the Bible story were as lit 
tle known from independent sources as the wanderings of 
Ulysses; the intellectual temper of this age would unhesitat 
ingly put the Bible story in the same mythical category in 
which have always been the romances of Homer. If it were 
possible to blot out biblical geography, biblical ethnology, and 
biblical history from the realm of exact knowledge, so would 
we put out the eyes of faith, henceforth our religion would be 
blind, stone blind. 

Thus the value of the rapid progress of identifications 
appears. It is the identifications which differentiate history 
from myth, geography from the "land of nowhere," the rec 
ord of events from tales of "never was," Scripture from folk 
lore, and the Gospel of the Saviour of the world from the de 
lusions of hope. Every identification limits by so much the 
field of historical criticism. When the progress of identifica 
tion shall reach completion, the work of historical criticism 
will be finished. 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


The present status of the testimony from archaeology to 
Scripture, as these latest discoveries make it to be, may be 
oointed out in a few words. 


1. The history of civilization as everywhere illuminated 
is found to be only partially that of the evolutionary theory 
of early Israelite history, but very exactly that of the biblical 
narrative ; that is to say, this history, like all history, sacred or 
profane, shows at times, for even a century or two, steady 
progress, but the regular, orderly progress from the most 
primitive state of society toward the highest degree of civiliza 
tion, which the evolutionary theory imperatively demands, if 
it fulfill its intended mission, fails utterly. The best ancient 
work at Taannek is the earliest. From the cave dwellers to 
the city builders at Gezer is no long, gentle evolution; the 
early Amorite civilization leaps with rapid strides to the great 
engineering feats on the defenses and the water-works. 
Wherever it has been possible to institute comparison between 
Palestine and Egypt, the Canaanite civilization in handicraft, 
art, engineering, architecture, and education has been found 
to suffer only by that which climate, materials and location 
impose ; in genius and in practical execution it is equal to that 
of Egypt, and only eclipsed, before Graeco-Roman times, by 
the brief glory of the Solomonic period. 


2. When we come to look more narrowly at the details 
of archaeological testimony, the historical setting thus afforded 


The Recent Testimony of Archeology 

for the events of the Bible narrative is seen to be exactly in 
harmony with the narrative. This is very significant of the 
final outcome of research in early Bible history. Because 
views of Scripture must finally square with the results of 
archaeology, that is to say, with contemporaneous history ; and 
the archaeological testimony of these past five years well in 
dicates the present trend toward the final conclusion. The 
Bible narrative plainly interpreted at its face value is every 
where being sustained, while, of the great critical theories pro 
posing to take Scripture recording events of that age at other 
than the face value, as the illiteracy of early Western Semitic 
people, the rude nomadic barbarity of Palestine and the Desert 
in the patriarchal age, the patriarchs not individuals but per 
sonifications, the Desert "Egypt," the gradual invasion of Pal 
estine, the naturalistic origin of Israel s religion, the incon 
sequence of Moses as a law-giver, the late authorship of the 
Pentateuch, and a dozen others, not a single one is being defi 
nitely supported by the results of archaeological research. In 
deed, reconstructing criticism hardly finds it worth while, for 
the most part, to look to archaeology for support. 

The recent testimony of archaeology to Scripture, like all 
such testimony that has gone before, is definitely and uni 
formly favorable to the Scriptures at their face value, and not 
to the Scriptures as reconstructed by criticism. 



O. L. Z.=Orientalistischen Litteratur-Zeitung. 
Q. S.=:Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration So 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


(1) Gen. 12:10-20; 13:1 ; 47:1-12. 

(2) Gen. 41 : 14-46. 

(3) Orr, "The Problem of the Old Testament," pp. 57-58, 

quoting Schulz, Wellhausen, Kuenen, W. R. Smith, 
G. B. Gray, H. P. Smith, F. H. Woods. 

(4) Brugsch, "Egypt under the Pharaohs," Broderick edi 

tion, Chap. VI. 

(5) Ibid. 

(6) Gen. 41 125-39. 

(7) Petrie, "Hyksos and Israelite Cities." 

(8) Ibid, pp. 3 and 10, Plate IX. 

(9) Ibid, pp. 5-9. Plates II, III, IV. 

(10) Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. Ill, pp. 137-138. 

(11) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XXX, "Geographic 

and Ethnic Lists of Rameses II." 

(12) Muller, "Asien und Europa," 2 tes Kapitel. 

(13) Ibid. 

(14) Winckler, O. L. Z., December 15, 1906. 

(15) Ibid. 

(16) Bouriant, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XIII, pp. 15 ff . ; 

Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. V, pp. 48 ff. ; Good 
win, "Records of the Past/ ist Series, Vol. IV, pp. 
25 ff. 

(17) Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Gesselschaft : 1902, 

p. 5. Muller, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. VIII, 126 ff. 
Budge, "History of Egypt," V, 30 ff. 

(18) Winckler, O. L. Z., December 15, 1906. (Sonderabzug, 

P. I5-) 

(19) Ibid. (Sonderabzug, p. 22.) 


The Recent Testimony of Arehcrology 

(20) Conder. "Tel Amarna Tablets." Budge, "History of 

Egypt," Vol. IV, pp. 184-241. 

(21) Winckler, O. L. Z., December 15, 1906. Sonderabzug. 

(22) Messersmidt, Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Ges- 

selschaft ; Corpus, Unscrip. Het. 1902. 

(23) Vincent, "Canaan." 

(24) Petrie, "Lachish." 

(25) Bliss, "A Mound of Many Cities." 

(26) Macalister, "Bible Side Lights from the Mound of 


(27) Schumackcr, "Excavations at Megiddo." 

(28) Sellin, Tel-Taannek, "Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen 

Akademie in Wien." 

(29) Deut. 6 :io-i I ; Josh. 24 113 ; Neh. 9 :25. 

(30) Isa. 19:18. 

(31) Ezek. 16:44-46; Deut. 7:3. 

(32) Judges 2:11-15; 37; 8:33-35; 18:30-31. 

(33) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, pp. 8-9, 49. 

(34) Macalister, Q. S., 1908, p. 17. 

(35) Vincent, in Q. S., 1908, p. 228. 

(36) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, p. 49. 

(37) Ibid. 

(38) i Kings 9:16. 

(39) Winckler, Orientalistische Forschungen, Series I, pp. 


(40) I. Kings 9:16. 

(41) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, p. 309. 

(42) Sellin, "Tel-Taannek," p. 92. 

(43) Macalister, Q. S., 1908, Jan. -Apr. 

(44) Petrie, "Deshasha," Plate IV. 

(45) Birch, "Records of the Past," ist Series, Vol. II, pp. 

35-52, "Battle of Megiddo." Also Lepsiui, "Denk- 
J 57 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

maler." Abth. III. Bl. 32, 3ist, 3oth, 306, "Aus- 
wahl," XII, L. 42-45. 

(46) Macalister-Vincent, Q. S., 1898-1908. 

(47) Budge, "History of Egypt," Vol. IV, pp. 184-241. 

(48) Gen. 21-38. King, "Code of Hammurabi." 

(49) Macalister, Q. S., 1903, ff., and "Bible Side Lights," 

Chap. III. Also Sellin, "Tel-Taannek," pp. 96-97. 

(50) Clay, "Amurru, The Home of the Northern Semites." 

(51) King, "Chronology of the First Three Babylonian Dy 


(52) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux. "Egyptian Sacrifices." Vol. 

XXVII, "Further Observations," Vol. XXXI. Bib- 
liotheca Sacra, Apr., 1905, pp. 323-336. 

(53) Margoliouth, "Expository Times," December, 1907. Jo- 

sephus, "Antiquities," 1 1 7 ; Deodorus Sicinus, Sec. 
3; 17-35; Neh. 11:28:12-22. Esdras 5:14. 

(54) Wellhausen, Ency. Brit., Vol. 18, p. 509. 

(55) Petric, "Personal Religion in Egypt before Chris 


(56) Clermont-Ganneau, in "Bible Side Lights," p. 22. 

(57) Macalister, "Bible Side Lights." Also Q. S., 1902- 


(58) Miiller, "Asien und Europa." 

(59) Kyle, Recueil de Travaux, Vol. XXX. "Ethnic arid 

Geographical Lists of Rameses II." 
(6b) Hilprecht, "Explorations in Babylonia." 

(61) Weber, Forschungsreisen Edouard Glaser. Also 
"Studien zur Siidarabischen Altertumskunde," 


(62) Petrie, "Researches in Sinai." 





In this paper the authenticity and credibility of the Bible 
are assumed, by which is meant ( i ) , that its books were writ 
ten by the authors to whom they are ascribed, and that their 
contents are in all material points as when they came from 
their hands; and (2), that those contents are worthy of entire 
acceptance as to their statements of fact. Were there need 
to prove these assumptions, the evidence is abundant, and 
abler pens have dealt with it. 

Let it not be supposed, however, that because these things 
are assumed their relative importance is undervalued. On 
the contrary, they underlie inspiration, and, as President Pat- 
ton says, come in on the ground floor. They have to do with 
the historicity of the Bible, which for us just now is the 
basis of its authority. Nothing can be settled until this is 
settled, but admitting its . settlement which, all things con 
sidered, we now may be permitted to do, what can be of 
deeper interest than the question as to how far that authority 

This is the inspiration question, and while so many have 
taken in hand to discuss the others, may not one be at liberty 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

to discuss this? It is an old question, so old, indeed, as again 
in the usual recurrence of thought to become new. Our 
fathers discussed it, it was the great question once upon a 
time, it was sifted to the bottom, and a great storehouse 
of fact, and argument, and illustration has been left for us to 
draw upon in a day of need. 

For a long while the enemy s attack has directed our ener 
gies to another part of the field, but victory there will drive 
us back here again. The other questions are outside of the 
Bible itself, this is inside. They lead men away from the con 
tents of the book to consider how they came, this brings us 
back to consider what they are. Happy the day when the in 
quiry returns here, and happy the generation which has not 
forgotten how to meet it. 


1. Inspiration is not revelation. As Dr. Charles Hodge 
expressed it, revelation is the art of communicating divine 
knowledge to the mind, but inspiration is the act of the same 
Spirit controlling those who make that knowledge known to 
others. In Chalmer s happy phrase, the one is the influx, the 
other the efflux. Abraham received the influx, he was granted 
a revelation ; but Moses was endued with the efflux, being in 
spired to record it for our learning. In the one case there was 
a flowing in and in the other a flowing out. Sometimes both 
of these experiences met in the same person, indeed Moses 
himself is an illustration of it, having received a revelation at 
another time and also the inspiration to make it known, but it 
is of importance to distinguish between the two. 

2. Inspiration is not illumination. Every regenerated 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

Christian is illuminated in the simple fact that he is indwelt 
by the Holy Spirit, but every such an one is not also inspired, 
but only the writers of the Old and New Testaments. Spir 
itual illumination is subject to degrees, some Christians pos 
sessing more of it than others, but, as we understand it, inspi 
ration is not subject to degrees, being in every case the breath 
of God, expressing itself through a human personality. 

3. Inspiration is not human genius. The latter is simply 
a natural qualification, however exalted it may be in some 
cases, but inspiration in the sense now spoken of is super 
natural throughout. It is an enduement coming upon the 
writers of the Old and New Testaments directing and ena 
bling them to write those books, and on no other men, and at 
no other time, and for no other purpose. No human genius 
of whom we ever heard introduced his writings with the 
formula, "Thus saith the Lord," or words to that effect, and 
yet such is the common utterance of the Bible authors. No 
human genius ever yet agreed with any other human genius 
as to the things it most concerns men to know, and, there 
fore, however exalted his equipment, it differs not merely in 
degree but in kind from the inspiration of the Scriptures. 

In its mode the divine agency is inscrutable, though its 
effects are knowable. We do not undertake to say just how 
the Holy Spirit operated on the minds of these authors to pro 
duce these books any more than we undertake to say how He 
operates on the human heart to produce conversion, but we 
accept the one as we do the other on the testimony that 
appeals to faith. 

4. When we speak of the Holy Spirit coming upon the 
men in order to the composition of the books, it should be 
further understood that the object is not the inspiration of 


The Higher Criticism and The AVzc/ Theology 

the men but the books not the writers but the writings. It 
terminates upon the record, in other words, and not upon the 
human instrument who made it. 

To illustrate : Moses, David, Paul, John, were not always 
and everywhere inspired, for then always and everywhere 
they would have been infallible and inerrant, which was not 
the case. They sometimes made mistakes in thought and 
erred in conduct. But however fallible and errant they may 
have been as men compassed with infirmity like ourselves, 
such fallibility or errancy was never under any circumstances 
communicated to their sacred writings. 

Ecclesiastes is a case in point, which on the supposition of 
its Solomonic authorship, is giving us a history of his search 
for happiness "under the sun." Some statements in that 
book are only partially true, while others are altogether false, 
therefore it cannot mean that Solomon was inspired as he 
tried this or that experiment to find what no man has been 
able to find outside of God. But it means that his language 
is inspired as he records the various feelings and opinions 
which possessed him in the pursuit. 

This disposes of a large class of objections sometimes 
brought against the doctrine of inspiration those, for exam 
ple, associated with the question as to whether the Bible is 
the Word of God or only contains that Word. If by the 
former be meant that God spake every word in the Bible, 
and hence that every word is true, the answer must be no; 
but if it be meant that God caused every word in the Bible, 
true or false, to be recorded, the answer should be yes. There 
are words of Satan in the Bible, words of false prophets, 
words of the enemies of Christ, and yet they are God s words, 
not in the sense that He uttered them, but that He caused 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

them to be recorded, infallibly and inerrantly recorded, for our 
profit. In this sense the Bible does not merely contain the 
Word of God, it is the Word of God. 

Of any merely human author it is the same. This paper 
is the writer s word throughout, and yet he may quote what 
other people say to commend them or dispute them. What 
they say he records, and in doing so he makes the record his 
in the sense that he is responsible for its accuracy. 

5. Let it be stated further in this definitional connec 
tion, that the record for whose inspiration we contend is the 
original record the autographs or parchments of Moses, 
David, Daniel, Matthew, Paul or Peter, as the case may be, 
and not any particular translation or translations of them 
whatever. There is no translation absolutely without error, 
nor could there be, considering the infirmities of human copy 
ists, unless God were pleased to perform a perpetual miracle 
to secure it. 

But does this make nugatory our contention? Some 
would say it does, and they would argue speciously that to 
insist on the inerrancy of a parchment no living being has 
ever seen is an academic question merely, and without value. 
But do they not fail to see that the character and perfection 
of the God-head are involved in that inerrancy? 

Some years ago a "liberal" theologian, deprecating this 
discussion as not worth while, remarked that it was a matter 
of small consequence whether a pair of trousers was origin 
ally perfect if they were now rent. To which the valiant 
and witty David James Burrell replied, that it might be a 
matter of small consequence to the wearer of the trousers, 
but the tailor who made them would prefer to have it under 
stood that they did not leave his shop that way. And then 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

he added, that if the Most High must train among knights 
of the shears He might at least be regarded as the best of 
the guild, and One who drops no stitches and sends out no 
imperfect work. 

Is it not with the written Word as with the incarnate 
Word? Is Jesus Christ to be regarded as imperfect because 
His character has never been perfectly reproduced before 
us? Can He be the incarnate Word unless He were abso 
lutely without sin? And by the same token, can the scrip 
tures be the written Word unless they were inerrant? 

But if this question be so purely speculative and value 
less, what becomes of the science of Biblical criticism by 
which properly we set such store to-day? Do builders drive 
piles into the soft earth if they never expect to touch bot 
tom? Do scholars dispute about the scripture text and 
minutely examine the history and meaning of single words, 
"the delicate coloring of mood, tense and accent," if at the 
end there is no approximation to an absolute? As Dr. George 
H. Bishop says, does not our concordance, every time we 
take it up, speak loudly to us of a once inerrant parchment? 
Why do we not possess concordances for the very words of 
other books? 

Nor is that original parchment so remote a thing as some 
suppose. Do not the number and variety of manuscripts and 
versions extant render it comparatively easy to arrive at a 
knowledge of its text, and does not competent scholarship 
to-day affirm that as to the New Testament at least, we have in 
999 cases out of every thousand the very word of that 
original text? Let candid consideration be given to these 
things and it will be seen that \ve are not pursuing a phan 
tom in contending for an inspired autograph of the 


The Inspiration of the Biblr 


I. The inspiration of scripture includes the whole and 
every part of it. There are some who deny this and limit it 
to only the prophetic portions, the words of Jesus Christ, 
and, say, the profounder spiritual teachings of the epistles. 
The historical books in their judgment, and as an example, do 
not require inspiration because their data were obtainable 
from natural sources. 

The Bible itself, however, knows of no limitations, as 
we shall see: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." 
The historical data, most of it at least, might have been ob 
tained from natural sources, but what about the supernatural 
guidance required in their selection and narration? Com 
pare, for answer, the records of creation, the fall, the deluge, 
etc., found in Genesis with those recently discovered by ex 
cavations in Bible lands. Do not the results of the pick-axe 
and the spade point to the same original as the Bible, and yet 
do not their childishness and grotesqueness often bear evi 
dence of the human and sinful mould through which they 
ran? Do they not show the need of some power other than 
man himself to lead him out of the labyrinth of error into the 
open ground of truth? 

Furthermore, are not the historical books in some re 
spects the most important in the Bible? Are they not the 
bases of its doctrine? Does not the doctrine of sin need for 
its starting point the record of the fall ? Could we so satis 
factorily understand justification did we not have the story 
of God s dealings with Abraham? And what of the priest 
hood of Christ? Dismiss Leviticus and what can be made 
of Hebrews? Is not the Acts of the Apostles historical, but 
can we afford to lose its inspiration? 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

And then, too, the historical books are, in many cases, 
prophetical as well as historical. Do not the types and sym 
bols in them show forth the Saviour in all the varying aspects 
of His grace? Has not the story of Israel the closest rela 
tion as type and anti-type to our spiritual redemption? Does 
not Paul teach this in I Cor., 10:6-11? And if these things 
were thus written for our learning, does not this imply their 

Indeed, the historical books have the strongest testimony 
borne to their importance in other parts of the Bible. This 
will appear more particularly as we proceed, but take, in 
passing, Christ s use of Deuteronomy in His conflict with the 
tempter. Thrice does He overcome him by a citation from 
that historical book without note or comment. Is it not diffi 
cult to believe that neither He nor Satan considered it in 
spired ? 

Thus without going further, we may say, with Dr. De- 
Witt of Princeton, that it is impossible to secure the religions 
infallibility of the Bible which is all the objector regards as 
necessary if we exclude Bible history from the sphere of its 
inspiration. But if we include Bible history at all, we must 
include the whole of it, for who is competent to separate its 
parts ? 

2. The inspiration includes not only all the books of the 
Bible in general but in detail, the form as well as the sub 
stance, the word as well as the thought. This is sometimes 
called the verbal theory of inspiration and is vehemently spoken 
against in some quarters. It is too mechanical, it degrades 
the writers to the level of machines, it has a tendency to make 
skeptics, and all that. 

This last remark, however, is not so alarming as it 
Bounds. The doctrine of the eternal retribution of the wicked 

The ln.^\:a i< ii of the 

is said to make skeptics and also that of a vicarious atone 
ment, net to mention other revelations of Holy Writ. The 
natural mind takes to none of these things. But if we are 
not prepared to yield the point in one case for such a reason, 
why should we be asked to do it in another? 

And as to degrading the writers to the level of machines, 
even if it were true, as it is not, why should fault he found 
when one considers the result? Which is the more impor 
tant, the free agency of a score or two of mortals, or the 
divinity of their message? The whole argument is just a 
spark from the anvil on which the race is ever trying to 
hammer out the dei5cation of itself. 

But we are insisting upon no theory not even the verbal 
theory if it altogether excludes the human element in the 
transmission of the sacred word. As Dr. Henry B. Smith 
says, "God speaks through the personality as well as the lips 
of His messengers," and we may pour into that word "per 
sonality" everything that goes to make it the age in which 
the person lived, his environment, his degree of culture, his 
temperament, and all the rest. As Wayland Hoyt expressed 
it, "Inspiration is no< a mechanical, crass, bald compulsion of 
the sacred writers, In t rather a dynamic, divine influence over 
their freely-acting families" in order that the latter in rela 
tion to the subject-m itter then in hand may be kept inerrant, 
i. e., without mistake or fault. It is limiting the Holy One 
of Israel to say th?t He is unable to do this without turning 
a human being inio an automaton. Has He who created 
man as a free agent eft Himself no opportunity to mould his 
thoughts into form-; of speech inerrantly expressive of His 
will, without destrc v ? ng that which He has made? 

And, indeed, \\ ~i :rein resides man s free agency? In his 
mind or in his mouth? Shall we say he is free while God 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

controls his thought, but that he becomes a mere machine 
when that control extends to the expression of his thought ? 

But returning to the argument, if the divine influence 
upon the writers did not extend to the form as well as the 
substance of their writings; if, in other words, God gave 
them only the thought, permitting them to express it in their 
own words, what guarantee have we that they have done 

An illustration the writer has frequently used will help 
to make this clear. A stenographer in a mercantile house 
was asked by his employer to write as follows : 

"Gentlemen : We misunderstood your letter and will now 
fill your order." 

Imagine the employer s surprise, however, when a little 
later this was set before him for his signature: 

"Gentlemen : We misunderstood your letter and will not 
fill your order." 

The mistake was only of a single letter, but it was en 
tirely subversive of his meaning. And yet the thought was 
given clearly to the stenographer, and the words, too, for that 
matter. Moreover, the latter was capable and faithful, but 
he was human, and it is human to err. Had not his employer 
controlled his expression down to the very letter, the thought 
intended to be conveyed would have failed of utterance. 

In the same way the human authors of the Bible were 
men of like passions with ourselves. Their motives were 
pure, their intentions good, but even if their subject-matter 
were the commonplaces of men, to say nothing of the mys 
terious and transcendent revelation of a holy God, how could 
it be an al.solute transcript of the mind from which it came 
in the absence of miraculous control? 

In the last analysis, it is the Bible itself, of course, which 

7 lie Inspiration oj the Bible 

must settle the question of its inspiration and the extent of 
it, and to this we come in the consideration of the proof, but 
we may be allowed a final question. Can even God Himself 
give a thought to man without the words that clothe it? Are 
not the two inseparable, as much so "as a sum and its figures, 
or a tune and its notes"? Has any case been known in human 
history where a healthy mind has been able to create ideas 
without expressing them to its own perception? In other 
words, as Dr. A. J. Gordon once observed : "To deny that the 
Holy Spirit speaks in scripture is an intelligible proposition, 
but to admit that He speaks, it is impossible to know what 
He says except as we have His Words." 


1. The inspiration of the Bible is proven by the philos 
ophy, or what may be called the nature of the case. 

The proposition may be stated thus: The Bible is the 
history of the redemption of the race, or from the side of the 
individual, a supernatural revelation of the will of God to 
men for their salvation. But it was given to certain men of 
one age to be conveyed in writing to other men in different 
ages. Now all men experience difficulty in giving faithful 
reflections of their thoughts to others because of sin, ignor 
ance, defective memory and the inaccuracy always incident to 
the use of language. 

Therefore it may be easily deduced that if the revelation 
is to be communicated precisely as originally received, the 
same supernatural power is required in the one case as in the 
other. This has been sufficiently elaborated in the foregoing 
and need not be dwelt upon again. 

2. // may be froren b\ the history and character of tht 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Bible, i. e., by all that has been assumed as to its authenticity 
and credibility. All that goes to prove these things goes to 
prove its inspiration. 

To borrow in part, the language of the Westminster Con 
fession, "the heavenliness of its matter, the efficacy of its doc 
trine, the unity of its various parts, the majesty of its style 
and the scope and completeness of its design" all indicate the 
divinity of its origin. 

The more we think upon it the more we must be con 
vinced that men unaided by the Spirit of God could neither 
have conceived, nor put together, nor preserved in its integrity 
that precious deposit known as the Sacred Oracles. 

3. But the strongest proof is the declarations of the 
Bible itself and the inferences to be drawn from them. Nor 
is this reasoning in a circle as some might think. In the case 
of a man as to whose veracity there is no doubt, no hesitancy 
is felt in accepting what he says about himself; and since the 
Bible is demonstrated to be true in its statements of fact by 
unassailable evidence, may we not accept its witness in its 
own behalf? 

Take the argument from Jesus Christ as an illustration. 
He was content to be tested by the prophecies that went 
before on Him, and the result of that ordeal was the estab 
lishment of His claims to be the Messiah beyond a perad- 
venture. That complex system of prophecies, rendering col 
lusion or counterfeit impossible, is the incontestable proof 
that He was what He claimed to be. But of course, He in 
whose birth, and life, and death, and resurrection such mar 
velous prophecies met their fulfilment, became, from the hour 
in which His claims were established, a witness to the divine 
authority and infallible truth of the sacred records in which 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

these prophecies are found. (The New Apologetic, by Pro 
fessor Robert Watts, D. D.) 

It is so with the Bible. The character of its contents, the 
unity of its parts, the fulfilment of its prophecies, the miracles 
wrought in its attestation, the effects it has accomplished in 
the lives of nations and of men, all these go to show that it 
is divine, and if so, that it may be believed in what it says 
about itself. 


To begin with the Old Testament, (a) consider how the 
writers speak of the origin of their messages. Dr. James H. 
Brookes is authority for saying that the phrase, "Thus saith 
the Lord" or its equivalent is used by them 2,000 times. Sup 
pose we eliminate this phrase and its necessary context from 
the Old Testament in every instance, one wonders how much 
of the Old Testament would remain. 

(6) Consider how the utterances of the Old Testament 
writers are introduced into the New. Take Matthew 1 : 22 as 
an illustration, "Now all this was done that it might be ful 
filled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet." 
It was not the prophet who spake, but the Lord who spake 
through the prophet. 

(c) Consider how Christ and His apostles regard the 
Old Testament. He came "not to destroy but to fulfill the 
law and the prophets." Matt. 5: 17. "The Scripture cannot 
be broken." John 10:35. He sometimes used single words 
as the bases of important doctrines, twice in Matthew 22 at 
verses 31, 32 and 42-45. The apostles do the same. See 
Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 2:8, n and 12:26, 27. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

(d) Consider what the apostles directly teach upon the 
subject. Peter tells us that "No prophecy ever came by the 
will of man, but men spake from God, being moved by the 
Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21, R. V.). "Prophecy" here ap 
plies to the word written as is indicated in the preceding 
verse, and means not merely the foretelling of events, but the 
utterances of any word of God without reference as to time 
past, present or to come. As a matter of fact, what Peter 
declares is that the will of man had nothing to do with any 
part of the Old Testament, but that the whole of it, from 
Genesis to Malachi, was inspired by God. 

Of course Paul says the same, in language even plainer, 
in 2 Timothy 3 : 16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of 
God, and is profitable." The phrase "inspiration of God" 
means literally God-breathed. The whole of the Old Testa 
ment is God-breathed, for it is to that part of the Bible the 
language particularly refers, since the New Testament as 
such was not then generally known. 

As this verse is given somewhat differently in the Re 
vised Version we dwell upon it a moment longer. It there 
reads, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable," 
and the caviller is disposed to say that therefore some scrip 
ture may be inspired and some may not be, and that the 
profitableness extends only to the former and not the latter. 

But aside from the fact that Paul would hardly be guilty 
of such a weak truism as that, it may be stated in reply first, 
that the King James rendering of the passage is not only 
the more consistent scripture, but the more consistent Greek. 
Several of the best Greek scholars of the period affirm this, 
including some of the revisers themselves who did not vote 
for the change. And secondly, even the revisers place it in 
the margin as of practically equal authority with their pre- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

ferred translation, and to be chosen by the reader if desired. 
There are not a few devout Christians, however, who would 
be willing to retain the rendering of the Revised Version as 
being stronger than the King James, and who would inter 
polate a word in applying it to make it mean, "Every scrip 
ture (because) inspired of God is also profitable." We be 
lieve that both Gaussen and Wordsworth take this view, two 
as staunch defenders of plenary inspiration as could be 


We are sometimes reminded that, however strong and 
convincing the argument for the inspiration of the Old Testa 
ment, that for the New Testament is only indirect. "Not 
one of the evangelists tells us that he is inspired," says a cer 
tain theological professor, "and not one writer of an epistle, 
except Paul." 

We shall be prepared to dispute this statement a little 
further on, but in the meantime let us reflect that the inspira 
tion of the Old Testament being assured as it is, why should 
similar evidence be required for the New ? Whoever is com 
petent to speak as a Bible authority knows that the unity of 
the Old and New Testaments is the strongest demonstration 
of their common source. They are seen to be not two books, 
but only two parts of one book. 

To take then the analogy of the Old Testament. The 
foregoing argument proves its inspiration as a whole, al 
though there were long periods separating the different 
writers, Moses and David let us say, or David and Daniel, the 
Pentateuch and the Psalms, or the Psalms and the Prophets. 
As long, or longer, than between Malachi and Matthew-, or 
Ezra and the Gospels. If then to carry conviction for the 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

plenary inspiration of the Old Testament as a whole, it is 
not necessary to prove it for every book, why, to carry con 
viction for the plenary inspiration of the Bible as a whole is 
it necessary to do the same? 

We quote here a paragraph or two from Dr. Nathaniel 
West. He is referring to 2 Timothy 3 : 16, which he renders, 
"Every scripture is inspired of God," and adds: 

"The distributive word Every is used not only to par 
ticularize each individual scripture of the Canon that Timothy 
had studied from his youth, but also to include, along with 
the Old Testament the New Testament scriptures extant in 
Paul s day, and any others, such as those that John wrote after 

"The Apostle Peter tells us that he was in possession, 
not merely of some of Paul s Epistles, but all his Epistles, 
and places them, canonically, in the same rank with what he 
calls the other scriptures, i. e., of equal inspiration and 
authority with the words spoken before by the Holy Prophets, 
and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour, through the 
Apostles. 2 Peter 3:2, 16. 

"Paul teaches the same co-ordination of the Old and 
New Testaments. Having referred to the Old as a unit, in 
his phrase Holy Scriptures, which the revisers translate Sa 
cred Writings, he proceeds to particularize. He tells Tim 
othy that every scripture, whether of Old or New Testament 
production, is inspired of -God. Let it be in the Pentateuch, 
the Psalms, the Prophets, the Historical Books, let it be a 
chapter or a verse; let it be in the Gospels, the Acts, his own 
or Peter s Epistles, or even John s writings, yet to be, still 
each part of the Sacred Collection is God-given and because 
of that possesses divine authority as part of the Book of 


The Inspiration of the Bible 

We read this from Dr. West twenty years ago, and re 
jected it as his dictum. We read it to-day, with deeper and 
fuller knowledge of the subject, and we believe it to be true. 

It is somewhat as follows that Dr. Gaussen in his exhaus 
tive "Theopneustia" gives the argument for the inspiration 
of the New Testament. 

(a) The New Testament is the later, and for that 
reason the more important revelation of the two, and hence 
if the former were inspired, it certainly must be true of the 
latter. The opening verses of the first and second chapters 
of Hebrews plainly suggest this : "God, who at sundry times 
and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by 
the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His 
Son * * * Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest 
heed to the things which we have heard." 

And this inference is rendered still more conclusive by 
the circumstance that the New Testament sometimes explains, 
sometimes proves, and sometimes even repeals ordinances of 
the Old Testament. See Matthew i : 22, 23 for an illustra 
tion of the first, Acts 13:19 to 39 for the second, and Galatians 
5 : 6 for the third. Assuredly these things would not be true 
if the New Testament were not of equal, and in a certain 
sense, even greater authority than the Old. 

(b) The writers of the New Testament were of an 
equal or higher rank than those of the Old. That they were 
prophets is evident from such allusions as Romans 16:25-27, 
and Ephesians 3:4, 5. But that they were more than proph 
ets is indicated in the fact that wherever in the New Testa 
ment prophets and apostles are both mentioned, the last- 
named is always mentioned first (see i Cor. 12:28, Ephesians 
2:20, Ephesians 4:11). It is also true that the writers of 
the New Te.f.imcnt had a higher mission than those of the 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Old, since they were sent forth by Christ, as he had been 
sent forth by the Father (John 20:21). They were to go, 
not to a single nation only (as Israel), but into all the world 
(Matthew 28: 19). They received the keys of the kingdom 
of heaven (Matthew 16:19). And they are to be pre-emi 
nently rewarded in the regeneration (Matthew 19:28). Such 
considerations and comparisons as these are not to be over 
looked in estimating the authority by which they wrote. 

(c) The writers of the New Testament were especially 
qualified for their work, as we see in Matthew 10:19, 2O 
Mark 13:11, Luke 12:2, John 14:26 and John 16:13, 14. 
These passages will be dwelt on more at length in a later 
division of our subject, but just now it may be noticed that 
in some of the instances, inspiration of the most absolute 
character was promised as to what they should speak the 
inference being warranted that none the less would they be 
guided in what they wrote. Their spoken words were limited 
and temporary in their sphere, but their written utterances 
covered the whole range of revelation and were to last for 
ever. If in the one case they were inspired, how much more 
in the other? 

(rf) The writers of the New Testament directly claim 
divine inspiration. See Acts 15:23-29, where, especially at 
verse 28, James is recorded as saying, "for it seemed good to 
the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden 
than these necessary things. Here it is affirmed very clearly 
that the Holy Ghost is the real writer of the letter in ques 
tion and simply using the human instruments for his pur 
pose. Add to this I Corinthians 2 : 13, where Paul says : 
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man s 
wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, com 
paring spiritual things with spiritual." or as the margin of the 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

Revised Version put? it, "imparting spiritual things to spirit 
ual men." In I Thessalonians 2:13 the same writer says: 
Tor this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because 
when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye 
received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth the 
word of God." In 2 Peter 3:2 the apostle places his own 
words on a level with those of the prophets of the Old Testa 
ment, and in verses 15 and 16 of the same chapter he does 
the same with the writings of Paul, classifying them "with 
the other scriptures." Finally, in Revelation 2:7, although 
it is the Apostle John who is writing, he is authorized to 
exclaim : "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit 
saith unto the churches," and so on throughout the epistles to 
the seven churches. 


The evidence that the inspiration includes the form as 
well as the substance of the Holy Scriptures, the word as well 
as the thought, may be gathered in this way. 

I. There were certainly some occasions when the zvords 
were given to the human agents. Take the instance of Balaam 
(Numbers 22:38, 23:12, 16). It is clear that this self- 
seeking prophet thought, i. e., desired to speak differently 
from what he did, but was obliged to speak the word that 
God put in his mouth. There are two incontrovertible wit 
nesses to this, one being Balaam himself and the other God. 

Take Saul (i Samuel 10: 10), or at a later time, his mes 
sengers (19:20-24). No one will claim that there was not 
an inspiration of the words here. And Caiaphas also (John 
ii : 49-52), of whom it is expressly said that when he prophe 
sied that one man should die for the people, "this spake he 


The Higher Criticism and The Nciv Theology 

not of himself." Who believes that Caiaphas meant or realty 
knew the significance of what he said? 

And how entirely this harmonizes with Christ s promise 
to His disciples in Matthew 10: 19, 20 and elsewhere. "When 
they deliver you up take no thought (be not anxious) how or 
what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that hour 
what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak but the 
Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." Mark is even 
more emphatic : "Neither do ye premeditate, but whatsoever 
shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye, for it is not ye 
that speak, but the Holy Ghost." 

Take the circumstance of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 
4-11), when the disciples "began to speak with other tongues 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Partisans, Medes, Elam- 
ites, the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea, Cappadocia, 
Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, in the parts of 
Libya about Cyrene, the strangers of Rome, Cretes and Ara 
bians all testified, "we do hear them speak in our tongues 
the wonderful works of God !" Did not this inspiration in 
clude the words? Did it not indeed exclude the thought? 
What clearer example could be desired ? 

To the same purport consider Paul s teaching in I Corin 
thians 14 about the gift of tongues. He that speaketh in an 
unknown tongue, in the Spirit speaketh mysteries, but no man 
understandeth him, therefore he is to pray that he may inter 
pret. Under some circumstances, if no interpreter be pres 
ent, he is to keep silence in the church and speak only to 
himself and to God. 

But better still, consider the utterance of I Peter i : 10, 
n, where he speaks of them who pro;>l.esied of the grace 
that should come, as "searching what, or what manner o| 
time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify whe 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

lie testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory 
that should follow, to whom it was revealed," etc. 

"Should we see a student who, having taken down the 
lecture of a profound philosopher, was now studying dili 
gently to comprehend the sense of the discourse which he 
had written, we should understand simply that he was a 
pupil and not a master ; that he had nothing to do with 
originating either the thoughts or the words of the lecture, 
but was rather a disciple whose province it was to under 
stand what he had transcribed, and so be able to communicate 
it to others. 

"And who can deny that this is the exact picture of what 
we have in this passage from Peter? Here were inspired 
writers studying the meaning of what they themselves had 
written. With all possible allowance for the human peculi 
arities of the writers, they must have been reporters of what 
they heard, rather than formulators of that which they had 
been made to understand." A. J. Gordon in "The Ministry 
of the Spirit," pp. 173, 174. 

2. The Bible plainly teaches that inspiration extends to 
its words. We spoke of Balaam as uttering that which God 
put in his mouth, but the same expression is used by God 
Himself with reference to His prophets. When Moses would 
excuse himself from service because he was not eloquent, He 
who made man s mouth said, "Now therefore go, and I will 
be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thoti shalt say" (Exo 
dus 4: 1012). And Dr. James H. Brookes comment is very 
pertinent. "God did not say I will be with thy mind, and 
teach thee what thou shalt think ; but I will be with thy mouth 
and teach thee what thou shalt say. This explains why, forty 
years afterwards, Moses said to Israel, Ye shall not add unto 
the word I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought 

Thf Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

from it. (Deut. 4:2.)" Seven times Moses tells us that the 
tables of stone containing the commandments were the work 
of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven 
upon the tables (Exodus 31 : 16). 

Passing from the Pentateuch to the poetical books we 
find David saying, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and 
His word was in my tongue" (2 Samuel 23: I, 2). He, too, 
does not say, God thought by me, but spake by me. 

Coming to the prophets, Jeremiah confesses that, like 
Moses, he recoiled from the mission on which he was sent 
and for the same reason. He was a child and could not 
speak. "Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my 
mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put My 
word in thy mouth" (Jeremiah 1:6-9). 

All of which substantiates the declaration of Peter quoted 
earlier, that "no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but 
man spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." 
Surely, if the will of man had nothing to do with the prophecy, 
he could not have been at liberty in the selection of the 

So much for the Old Testament, but when we reach the 
New, we have the same unerring and verbal accuracy guar 
anteed to the apostles by the Son of God, as we have seen. 
And we have the apostles making claim of it, as when Paul in 
I Corinthians 2:12, 13 distinguishes between the "things" 
or the thoughts which God gave him and the words in which 
he expressed them, and insisting on the divinity of both ; 
"Which things also we speak," he says, "not in the words 
which man s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 
teacheth." In Galatians 3: 16, following the example of His 
divine Master, he employs not merely a single word, but a 
single letter of a word as the basis of an argument for a 

llic Inspiration of the Bible 

great doctrine. The blessing of justification which Abraham 
received has become that of the believer in Jesus Christ. "Now 
to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith 
not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy 
seed, which is Christ." 

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews bases a similar 
argument on the word "all" in chapter 1 : 8, on the word 
"one" in 1:11, and on the phrase "y et once more" in 12: 
26, 27. 

To recur to Paul s argument in Galatians, Archdeacon 
Farrar in one of his writings denies that by any possibility 
such a Hebraist as he, and such a master of Greek usage could 
have argued in this way. He says Paul must have known 
that the plural of the Hebrew and Greek terms for "seed" is 
never used by Hebrew or Greek writers to designate human 
offspring. It means, he says, various kinds of grain. . 

His artlessness is amusing. We accept his estimate of 
Paul s knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, says Professor 
Watts ; he was certainly a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and as 
to his Greek, he could not only write it but speak it as we 
know, and quote what suited his purpose from the Greek 
poets. But on this supposition we feel justified in asking Dr. 
Farrar whether a lexicographer in searching Greek authors 
for the meanings they attached to spermata, the Greek for 
"seeds," would not be inclined to add "human offspring" on 
so good an authority as Paul? 

Nor indeed would they be limited to his authority, since 
Sophocles uses it in the same way, and Aeschylus. "I was 
driven away from my country by my own offspring" (sptr- 
niata) literally by my own seeds, is what the former makes 
one of his characters say. 

Dr. Farrar s rendering of spermata in Galatians 3 : 16 on 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

the other hand would make nonsense if not sacrilege. "He 
saith not unto various kinds of grain as of many, but as of 
one, and to thy grain, which is Christ." 

"Granting then, what we thank no man for granting, 
that spcrmata means human offspring, it is evident that des 
pite all opinions to the contrary, this passage sustains the 
teaching of an inspiration of Holy Writ extending to its very 

3. But the most unique argument for the inspiration of 
the words of scripture is the relation which Jesus Christ bears 
to them. In the first place, He Himself was inspired as to 
His words. In the earliest reference to His prophetic office 
(Deut. 18:18), Jehovah says, "I will put My words in His 
mouth, and He shall speak * * * all that I shall command 
Him." A limitation on His utterance which Jesus every 
where recognizes. "As My Father hath taught Me, I speak 
these things;" "the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a 
commandment what I should say, and what I should speak ;" 
"whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto 
Me, so I speak ;" "I have given unto them the words which 
Thou gavest Me ;" "the words that I speak unto you, they 
are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63; 8:26, 28, 40; 12: 

49, 50.) 

The thought is still more impressive as we read of the 
relation of the Holy Spirit to the God-man. "The Spirit of 
the Lord is upon Me because He hath anointed Me to preach 
the gospel to the poor;" "He through the Holy Ghost had 
given commandments unto the apostles;" "the revelation of 
Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him ;" "these things saith 
He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand ;" "He that 
hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the 
churches" (Luke 4:18; Acts 1:2; Rev. 1:1; 2:1, n.) If 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

the incarnate Word needed the unction of the Holy Ghost 
to give to men the revelation He received from the Father in 
Whose bosom He dwells; and if the agency of the same 
Spirit extended to the words He spake in preaching the gos 
pel to the meek or dictating an epistle, how much more must 
these things be so in the case of ordinary men when en 
gaged in the same service? With what show of reason can 
one contend that any Old or New Testament writer stood, so 
far as his words were concerned, i" need of no such agency." 
The New Apologetic, pp. 67, 68. < 

In the second place He used the scriptures as though they 
were inspired as to their words. In Matthew 22:31, 32, He 
substantiates the doctrine of the resurrection against the skep 
ticism of the Sadducees by emphasizing the present tense of 
the verb "to be," i. e., the word "am" in the language of 
Jehovah to Moses at the burning bush. In verses 42-45 of 
the same chapter He does the same for His own Deity by 
alluding to the second use of the word "Lord" in Psalm CX. 
"The LORD said unto my Lord * * * If David then call 
him Lord, how is he his son?" In John 10:34-36, He vindi 
cates Himself from the charge of blasphemy by saying, "Is it 
not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If He called 
them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scrip 
ture cannot be broken ; say ye of him, whom the Father hath 
sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; be 
cause I said, I am the Son of God?" 

We have already seen Him (in Matthew 4) overcoming 
the tempter in the wilderness by three quotations from Deuter 
onomy without note or comment except, "It is written! Re 
ferring to which Adolphe Monod says, "I know of nothing in 
the whole history of humanity, nor even in the field of divine 
revelation, that proves more clearly than this the inspiration 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

of the scriptures. What ! Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven 
and earth, calling to his aid in that solemn moment Moses 
his servant ? He who speaks from heaven fortifying him 
self against the temptations of hell by the word of him who 
spake from earth? How can we explain that spiritual mys 
tery, that wonderful reversing of the order of things, if for 
Jesus the words of Moses were not the words of God rather 
than those of men? How shall we explain it if Jesus were 
not fully aware that holy men of God spake as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost? 

"I do not forget the objections which have been raised 
against the inspiration of the scriptures, nor the real obscurity 
with which that inspiration is surrounded ; if they sometimes 
trouble your hearts, they have troubled mine also. But at 
such times, in order to revive my faith, I have only to glance 
at Jesus glorifying the scriptures in the wilderness ; and I 
have seen that for all who rely upon Him, the most embarrass 
ing of problems is transformed into a historical fact, palpable 
and clear. Jesus no doubt was aware of the difficulties con 
nected with the inspiration of the scriptures, but did this pre 
vent Him from appealing to their testimony with unreserved 
confidence ? Let that which was sufficient for Him suffice for 
you. Fear not that the rock which sustained the Lord in the 
hour of His temptation and distress will give way because 
you lean too heavily upon it." 

In the third place, Christ teaches that the scriptures are 
inspired as to their words. In the Sermon on the Mount He 
said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the 
prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily 
I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one 
tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." 

Here is testimony confirmed by an oath, for "verily" on 

/ /;,- Insf iriitiini >/ I lie l>iblc 

the lips of the Son of Man carries such force. lie affirms the 
indestructibility of the law, not its substance merely but its 
form, not the thought but the word. 

"One jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." 
The "jot" means the yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew 
alphabet, while the "tittle" means the horn, a short projection 
in certain letters extending the base line beyond the upright 
one which rests upon it. A reader unaccustomed to the He 
brew needs a strong eye to see the tittle, but Qirist guaran 
tees that as a part of the sacred text neither the tittle nor the 
yod shall perish. 

The elder Lightfoot, the Hebraist and rabbinical scholar 
of the Westminster Assembly time, has called attention to an 
interesting story of a certain letter yod found in the text of 
Deut. 32: 18. It is in the word teshi, to forsake, translated in 
the King James as "unmindful." Originally it seems to 
have been written smaller even than usual, i. e., undersized, 
and yet notwithstanding the almost infinite number of times 
in which copies have been made, that little yod stands there 
to-day just as it ever did. Lightfoot spoke of it in the middle 
of the seventeenth century, and although two more centuries 
and a half have passed since then with all their additional 
copies of the book, yet it still retains its place in the sacred 
text. Its diminutive size is referred to in the margin, "but no 
hand has dared to add a hair s breadth to its length," so that 
we can still employ his words, and say that it is likely to re 
main there forever. 

The same scholar speaks of the effect a slight change in 
the form of a Hebrew letter might produce in the substance 
of the thought for which it stands. He takes as an example 
two words, "Chalal" and "Halal," which differ from each 
other simply in their first radicals. The "Ch" in Hebrew is 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

expressed by one letter the same as "H," the only distinction 
being a slight break or opening in the left limb of the latter. 
It seems too trifling to notice, but let that line be broken 
where it should be continuous, and "Thou shalt not profane 
the Name of thy God" in Leviticus 18:21, becomes "Thou 
shalt not praise the Name of thy God." Through that aper 
ture, however small, tne entire thought of the Divine mind 
oozes out, so to speak, and becomes quite antagonistic to what 
was designed. 

This shows how truly the thought and the word express 
ing it are bound together, and that whatever affects the one 
imperils the other. As another says, "The bottles are not the 
wine, but if the bottles perish, the wine is sure to be spilled." 
It may seem like narrow-mindedness to contend for this, and 
an evidence of enlightenment of liberal scholarship to treat it 
with indifference, but we should be prepared to take our stand 
with Jesus Christ in the premises, and if necessary, go out 
side the camp bearing our reproach. 


That there are difficulties in the way of accepting a view 
of inspiration like this goes without saying. But to the finite 
mind there must always be difficulties connected with a revela 
tion from the Infinite, and it can not be otherwise. This has 
been mentioned before. Men of faith, and it is such we are 
addressing, and not men of the world, do not wait to under 
stand or resolve all the difficulties associated with other mys 
teries of the Bible before accepting them as divine, and why 
should they do so in this case? 

Moreover, Archbishop Whately s dictum is generally ac 
cepted, that we are not obliged to clear away every difficulty 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

about a doctrine in order to believe it, always provided that 
the facts on which it rests are true. And particularly is this 
the case where the rejection of such a doctrine involves 
greater difficulties than its belief, as it does here. 

For if this view of inspiration be rejected, what have its 
opponents to give in its place? Do they realize that any ob 
jections to it are slight in comparison with those to any other 
view that can be named ? And do they realize that this is 
true because this view has the immeasurable advantage of 
agreeing with the plain declarations of Scripture on the sub 
ject? In other words, as Dr. Burrell says, those who assert 
the inerrancy of the scripture autographs do so on the author 
ity of God Himself, and to deny it is of a piece with the denial 
that they teach the forgiveness of sins or the resurrection 
from the dead. No amount of exegetical turning and twist 
ing can explain away the assertions already quoted in these 
pages, to say nothing of the constant undertone of evidence 
we find in the Bible everywhere to their truth. 

And speaking of this further, are we not justified in re 
quiring of the objector two things? First, on any fair basis 
of scientific investigation, is he not obliged to dispose of the 
evidence here presented before he impugns the doctrine it 
substantiates? And second, after having disposed of it, is he 
not equally obligated to present the scriptural proof of what 
ever other view of inspiration he would have us accept ? Has 
he ever done this, and if not, are we not further justified in 
saying that it can not be done? But let us consider some of 
the difficulties. 

I. There are the so-called discrepancies or contradictions 
between certain statements of the Bible and the facts of his 
tory or natural science. The best way to meet these is to 
treat them separately as they are presented, but when you 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ask for them you arc not infrequently met with silence. They 
are hard to produce, and when produced, who is able to say 
that they belong to the original parchments ? As we are not 
contending for an inerrant translation, does not the burden 
of proof rest with the objector? 

But some of these "discrepancies" are easily explained. 
They do not exist between statements of the Bible and facts 
of science, but between erroneous interpretations of the Bible 
and immature conclusions of science. The old story of Gali 
leo is in point, who did not contradict the Bible in affirming 
that the earth moved round the sun but only the false theo 
logical assumptions about it. In this way advancing light has 
removed many of these discrepancies, and it is fair to presume 
with Dr. Charles Hodge that further light would remove all. 

2. There arc the differences in the narratives themselves. 
In the first place, the New Testament writers sometimes 
change important words in quoting from the Old Testament, 
which it is assumed could not be the case if in both instances 
the writers were inspired. But it is forgotten that in the 
scriptures we are dealing not so much with different human 
authors as with one Divine Author. It is a principle in or 
dinary literature that an author may quote himself as he 
pleases, and give a different turn to an expression here and 
there as a changed condition of affairs renders it necessary or 
desirable. Shall we deny this privilege to the Holy Spirit? 
May we not find, indeed, that some of these supposed mis 
quotations show such progress of truth, such evident appli 
cation of the teaching of an earlier dispensation to the cir 
cumstances of a later one, as to afford a confirmation of their 
divine origin rather than an argument against it? 

We offered illustrations of this earlier, but to those would 
now add Isaiah 59:20 quoted in Romans 11:26, and Amos 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

9:11 quoted in Acts 15: 16. And to any desiring to further 
examine the subject we would recommend the valuable work 
of Professor Franklin Johnson, of Chicago University, en 
titled "The Quotations in the New Testament from the Old." 

Another class of differences, however, is where the same 
event is sometimes given differently by different writers. Take 
that most frequently used by the objectors, the inscription on 
the cross, recorded by all the evangelists and yet differently 
by each. How can such records be inspired, it is asked. 

It is to be remembered in reply, that the inscription was 
written in three languages calling for a different arrange 
ment of the words in each case, and that one evangelist may 
have translated the Hebrew, and another the Latin, while a 
third recorded the Greek. It is not said that any one gave the 
full inscription, nor can we affirm that there was any obliga 
tion upon them to do so. Moreover, no one contradicts any 
other, and no one says what is untrue. 

Recalling what was said about our having to deal not 
with different human authors but with one Divine Author, 
may not the Holy Spirit here have chosen to emphasize some 
one particular fact, or phase of a fact of the inscription for a 
specific and important end? Examine the records to deter 
mine what this fact may have been. Observe that whatever 
else is omitted, all the narratives record the momentous cir 
cumstances that the Sufferer on the cross was THE KING 

Could there have been a cause for this? What was the 
charge preferred against Jesus by His accusers? Was He 
not rejected and crucified because He said He was the King 
of the Jews? Was not this the central idea Pilate was provi 
dentially guided to express in the inscription ? And if so, 
was it not that to which the evangelists should bear witness? 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

And should not that witness have been borne in a way to dis 
pel the thought of collusion in the premises? And did not 
this involve a variety of narrative which should at the same 
time be in harmony with truth and fact? And do we not 
have this very thing in the four gospels? 

These accounts supplement, but do not contradict each 
other. We place them before the eye in the order in which 
they are recorded. 




Jesus of Nazareth THE KING OF THE JEWS 

The entire inscription evidently was "This is Jesus of 
Nazareth the King of the Jews," but we submit that the fore 
going presents a reasonable argument for the differences in 
the records. 

3. There is the variety in style. Some think that if all 
the writers were alike inspired and the inspiration extended 
to their words, they must all possess the same style as if 
the Holy Spirit had but one style! 

Literary style is a method of selecting words and putting 
sentences together which stamps an author s work with the 
influence of his habits, his condition in society, his education, 
his reasoning, his experience, his imagination and his genius. 
These give his mental and moral physiognomy and make up 
his style. 

But is not God free to act with or without these fixed 
laws? There are no circumstances which tinge His views or 
reasonings, and He has no idiosyncrasies of speech, and no 
mother tongue through which He expresses His character, or 
leaves the finger mark of genius upon His literary fabrics. 

It is a great fallacy then, as Dr. Thomas Armitage once 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

said, to suppose that uniformity of verbal style must have 
marked Cod s authorship in the Bible, had He selected its 
words. As the author of all styles, rather does He use them 
all at His pleasure. He bestows all the powers of mental in 
dividuality upon His instruments, for using the scriptures, 
and then uses their powers as He will to express His mind j 
bv them. 

Indeed, the variety of style is a necessary proof of the 
freedom of the human writers, and it is this which among 
other things convinces us that, however controlled by the 
Holy Spirit, they were not mere machines in what they wrote. 

Consider God s method in nature. In any department of 
-ble life there may be but one genus, while its members 
are classified into a thousand species. From the bulbous root 
come the tulip, the hyacinth, the crocus, and the lily in every 
shape and shade, without any cause either of natural chem 
istry or culture. It is exclusively attributable to the variety 
of styles which the mind of God devises. And so in the 
sacred writings. His mind is seen in the infinite variety of 
expression which dictates the wording of every book. To 
quote Armitage again, "I cannot tell how the Holy Spirit 
suggested the words to the writers any more than some other 
man can tell how He suggested the thoughts to them. But 
if diversity of expression proves that He did not choose the 
words, the diversity of ideas proves that He did not dictate 
the thoughts, for the one is as varied as the other." 

William Cullen Bryant was a newspaper man but a poet ; 
Edmund Oarence Stedman was a Wall Street broker and 
also a poet. What a difference in style there was between 
their editorials and commercial letters on the one hand, and 
their poetry on the other! Is God more limited than a man? 

4. There are certain declarations of scripture itself. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Does not Paul say in one or two places "I speak as a man," 
or "After the manner of man"? Assuredly, but is he not 
using the arguments common among men for the sake of 
elucidating a point? And may he not as truly be led of the 
Spirit to do that, and to record it, as to do or say anything 
else? Of course, what he quotes from men is not of the 
same essential value as what he receives directly from God, 
but the record of the quotation is as truly inspired. 

There are two or three other utterances of his of this 
character in the 7th chapter of I Corinthians, where he is 
treating of marriage. At verse 6 he says, "I speak this by 
permission, not of commandment," and what he means has 
no reference to the source of his message but the subject of 
it. In contradiction to the false teaching of some, he says 
Christians are permitted to marry, but not commanded to do 
so. At verse 10 he says, "Unto the married I command, yet 
not I, but the Lord," while at verse 12 there follows, "but to 
the rest speak I, not the Lord." Does he declare himself in 
spired in the first instance, and not in the second? By no 
means, but in the first he is alluding to what the Lord spake 
on the subject while here in the flesh, and in the second to 
what he, Paul, is adding thereto on the authority of the Holy 
Spirit speaking through him. In other words, putting his 
own utterances on equality with those of our Lord, he simply 
confirms their inspiration. 

At verse 40 he uses a puzzling expression, "I think also 
that I have the Spirit of God." As we are contending only 
for an inspired record, it would seem easy to say that there 
he records a doubt as to whether he was inspired, and hence 
everywhere else in the absence of such record of doubt the 
inspiration is to be assumed. But this would be begging the 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

question, and we prefer the solution of others that the answer 
i? found in the condition of the Corinthian church at that 
time. His enemies had sought to counteract his teachings, 
claiming that they had the Spirit of God. Referring to the 
claim, he says with justifiable irony, "I think also that I have 
the Spirit of God" (R. V.)- "I think" in the mouth of one 
having apostolic authority, says Professor Watts, may be 
taken as carrying the strongest assertion of the judgment in 
question. The passage is something akin to another in the 
same epistle at the I4th chapter, verse 37, where he says, "If 
any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him 
acknowledge that the things I write unto you are the com 
mandments of the Lord." 

Time forbids further amplification on the difficulties and 
objections, nor is it necessary, since there is not one that 
has not been met satisfactorily to the man of God and the 
child of faith again and again. 

But there is an obstacle to which we would call atten 
tion before concluding not a difficulty or objection, but a 
real obstacle, especially to the young and insufficiently in 
structed. It is the illusion that this view of inspiration is 
held only by the unlearned. An illusion growing out of 
still another as to who constitute the learned. 

There is a popular impression that in the sphere of the 
ology and religion these latter are limited for the most part 
to the higher critics and their relatives, and the more rational 
istic and iconoclastic the critic the more learned he is esteemed 
to be. But the fallacy of this is seen in that the qualities 
which make for a philologist, an expert in human languages, 
or which give one a wide acquaintance with literature of any 
kind, in other words the qualities of the higher critic, depend 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

more on memory than judgment, and do not give the slightest 
guarantee that their possessors can draw a sound conclusion 
from what they know. 

As the author of "Faith and Inspiration" puts it, the 
work of such a scholar is often like that of a quarryman to 
an architect. Its entire achievement, though immensely valu 
able in its place, is just a mass of raw and formless material 
until a mind gifted in a different direction, and possessing 
the necessary taste and balance, shall reduce or put it into 
shape for use. The perplexities of astronomers touching Hal- 
ley s comet is in point. They knew facts that common folks 
did not know, but when they came to generalize upon them, 
the man on the street knew that he should have looked in the 
west for the phenomenon when they bade him look in the 

Much is said, for example, about an acquaintance with 
Hebrew and Greek, and no sensible man will underrate them 
for the theologian or the Bible scholar, but they are entirely 
unnecessary to an understanding of the doctrine of inspira 
tion or any other doctrine of Holy Writ. The intelligent 
reader of the Bible in the English tongue, especially when 
illuminated by the Holy Spirit, is abundantly able to decide 
upon these questions for himself. He cannot determine how 
the Holy Spirit operated on the minds of the sacred penmen 
because that is not revealed, but he can determine on the 
results secured because that is revealed. He can determine 
whether the inspiration covers all the books, and whether it 
includes not only the substance but the form, not only the 
thoughts but the words. 

We have spoken of scholars and of the learned. Let us 
come to names. We suppose Dr. Sanday, of Oxford, is a 
scholar, and the Archbishop of Durham, and Dean Burgon, 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

and Professor Orr, of Glasgow, and Principal Forsyth, of 
Hackney College, and Sir Robert Anderson, and Dr. Kuyper, 
of Holland, and President Patton, of Princeton, and Howard 
Osgood, of the Old Testament Revision Committee, and Mat 
thew B. Riddle of the New, and G. Frederick Wright and 
Albert T. Clay, the archaeologists, and Presidents Moorehead 
and Mullins, and C. I. Scofield, and Luther T. Townsend, for 
twenty-five years professor in the Theological School of Bos 
ton University, and Arthur T. Pierson, of the Missionary Re 
view of the World, and a host of other living witnesses 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, 
Lutherans, Methodists, Reformed Dutch. 

We had thought John Calvin a scholar, and the dis 
tinguished Bengel, and Canon Faussett, and Tregelles, and 
Auberlen, and Van Oosterzee, and Charles Hodge and Henry 
B. Smith, and so many more that it were foolishness to recall 
them. These men may not stand for every statement in 
these pages, they might not care to be quoted as holding 
technically the verbal theory of inspiration for reasons already 
named, but they will affirm the heart of the contention and 
testify to their belief in an inspiration of the Sacred Oracles 
which includes the words. 

Once when the writer was challenged by the editor of a 
secular daily to name a single living scholar who thus be 
lieved, he presented that of a chancellor of a great university, 
and was told that he was not the kind of scholar that was 
meant! The kind of scholar not infrequently meant by such 
opposers is the one who is seeking to destroy faith in the 
Bible as the Word of God, and to substitute in its place a 
Bible of his own making. 

The Outlook had an editorial recently, entitled "Whom 
Shall We Believe?" in which the writer reaffirmed the plati- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

tude that living is a vital much more than an intellectual 
process, and that truth of the deeper kind is distilled out of 
experience rather than logical processes. This is the reason, 
he said, why many things are hidden from the so-called wise, 
who follow formal methods of exact observation, and are 
revealed to babes and sucklings who know nothing of these 
methods, but are deep in the process of living. No spectator 
ever yet understood a great contemporary human movement 
into which he did not enter. 

Does this explain why the cloistered scholar is unable 
to accept the supernatural inspiration of the scriptures while 
the men on the firing line of the Lord s army believe in it even 
to the very words? Does it explain the faith of our mission 
aries in foreign lands? Is this what led J. Hudson Taylor 
to Inland China, and Dr. Guinness to establish the work upon 
the Congo, and George Mueller and William Quarrier to 
support the orphans at Bristol and Bridge of Weir? Is 
this the belief in the plenary inspiration of the Bible the 
secret of the evangelistic power of D. L. Moody, and Chap 
man, and Torrey, and Gipsy Smith, and practically every 
evangelist in the field, for to the extent of our acquaintance 
there are none of these who doubt it? Does this tell why 
"the best sellers on the market," at least among Christian 
people, have been the devotional and expository books of An 
drew Murray, and Miller and Meyer, and writers of that 
stamp? Is this why the plain people have loved to listen to 
preachers like Spurgeon, and McLaren, and Campbell Mor 
gan, and Len Broughton and A. C. Dixon and have passed 
by men of the other kind ? It is, in a word, safe to challenge 
the whole Christian world for the name of a man who stands 
oui as a winner of souls who does not believe in the in- 

The Inspiration of the Bible 

spiration of the Bible as it has been sought to be explained in 
these pages. 

But we conclude with a kind of concrete testimony that 
of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Amer 
ica, and of a date as recent as 1893. The writer is not a 
Presbyterian, and therefore with the better grace can ask 
his readers to consider the character and intellect represented 
in such an Assembly. Here are some of our greatest mer 
chants, our greatest jurists, our greatest educators, our great 
est statesmen, as well as our greatest missionaries, evangelists 
and theologians. There may be seen as able and august a 
gathering of representatives of Christianity in other places 
and on other occasions, but few that can surpass it. For 
sobriety of thought, for depth as well as breadth of learning, 
for wealth of spiritual experience, for honesty of utterance, 
and virility of conviction, the General Assembly of the Pres 
byterian Church in America must command attention and 
respect throughout the world. And this is what it said on 
the subject we are now considering at its gathering in the 
city of Washington, the capital of the nation, at the date 
named : 





It is well known that the last ten or twenty years have 
been marked by a determined assault upon the truth of the 
Virgin birth of Christ. In the year 1892 a great controversy 
broke out in Germany, owing to the refusal of a pastor named 
Schrempf to use the Apostles Creed in baptism because of 
disbelief in this and other articles. Schrempf was deposed, 
and an agitation commenced against the doctrine of the Virgin 
birth which has grown in volume ever since. Other tenden 
cies, especially the rise of an extremely radical school of his 
torical criticism, added force to the negative movement. The 
attack is not confined, indeed, to the article of the Virgin 
birth. It affects the whole supernatural estimate of Christ 
His life, His claims, His sinlessness, His miracles, His resur 
rection from the dead. But the Virgin birth is assailed with 
special vehemence, because it is supposed that the evidence 
for this miracle is more easily got rid of than the evidence 
for public facts, such as the resurrection. The result is that 
in very many quarters the Virgin birth of Christ is openly 
treated as a fable. Belief in it is scouted as unworthy of the 
twentieth century intelligence. The methods of the oldest 
opponents of Christianity are revived, and it is likened to the 

The yirgin Birth of Christ 

Greek and Roman stories, coarse and vile, of heroes who had 
gods for their fathers. A special point is made of the silence 
of Paul, and of the other writers of the New Testament, on 
this alleged wonder. 


It is not only, however, in the circles of unbelief that 
the Virgin birth is discredited ; in the church itself the habit 
is spreading of casting doubt upon the fact, or at least of 
regarding it as no essential part of Christian faith. This is 
the unhappiest feature in this unhappy controversy. Till re 
cently no one dreamed of denying that, in the sincere pro 
fession of Christianity, this article, which has stood from the 
beginning in the forefront of all the great creeds of Christen 
dom, was included. Now it is different. The truth and value 
of the article of the Virgin birth are challenged. The article, 
it is affirmed, did not belong to the earliest Christian tradition, 
and the evidence for it is not strong. Therefore, let it drop. 


From the side of criticism, science, mythology, history 
and comparative religion, assault is thus made on the article 
long so dear to the hearts of Christians and rightly deemed 
by them so vital to their faith. For loud as is the voice of 
denial, one fact must strike every careful observer of the 
conflict. Among those who reject the Virgin birth of the 
Lord few will be found I do not know any who take in 
other respects an adequate view of the Person and work of 
the Saviour. It is surprising how clearly the line of division 
here reveals itself. My statement publicly made and printed 


The Higher Criticism "and The AV;v Theology 

has never been confuted, that those who accept a full doctrine 
of the incarnation that is, of a true entrance of the eternal 
Son of God into our nature for the purposes of man s sal 
vation with hardly an exception accept with it the doctrine 
of the Virgin birth of Christ, while those who repudiate or 
deny this article of faith either hold a lowered view of Christ s 
Person, or, more commonly, reject His supernatural claims 
altogether. It will not be questioned, at any rate, that the 
great bulk of the opponents of the Virgin birth those who 
are conspicuous by writing against it are in the latter 


This really is an answer to the cavil often heard that, 
whether true or not, the Virgin birth is not of essential im 
portance. It is not essential, it is urged, to Christ s sinless- 
ness, for that would have been secured equally though Christ 
had been born of two parents. And it is not essential to the 
incarnation. A hazardous thing, surely, for erring mortals 
to judge of what was and was not essential in so stupendous 
an event as the bringing in of the "first-begotten" into the 
world ! But the Christian instinct has ever penetrated deeper. 
Rejection of the Virgin birth seldom, if ever, goes by itself. 
As the late Prof. A. B. Bruce said, with denial of the Virgin 
> birth is apt to go denial of the virgin life. The incarnation 
is felt by those who think seriously to involve a miracle in 
Christ s earthly origin. This will become clearer as we ad 


It is the object of this paper to show that those who take 
the lines of denial po the Virgin birfh just sketched do great 

The I irgiii Birth of Christ 

injustice to the evidence and importance of the doctrine they 
reject. The evidence, if not of the same public kind as that 
for the resurrection, is far stronger than the objector allows, 
and the fact denied enters far more vitally into the essence of 
the Christian faith than he supposes. Placed in its right set 
ting among the other truths of the Christian religion, it is 
not only no stumbling-block to faith, but is felt to fit in with 
self-evidencing power into the connection of these other 
truths, and to furnish the very explanation that is needed of 
Christ s holy and supernatural Person. The ordinary Chris 
tian is a witness here. In reading the Gospels, he feels no 
incongruity in passing from the narratives of the Virgin birth 
to the wonderful story of Christ s life in the chapters that 
follow, then from these to the pictures of Christ s divine dig 
nity given in John and Paul. The whole is of one piece : the 
Virgin birth is as natural at the beginning of the life of such 
an One the divine Son as the resurrection is at the end. 
And the more closely the matter is considered, the stronger 
does this impression grow. It is only when the scriptural 
conception of Christ is parted with that various difficulties 
and doubts come in. 


It is, in truth, a very superficial way of speaking or think 
ing of the Virgin birth to say that nothing depends on this 
belief for our estimate of Christ. Who that reflects on the 
subject carefully can fail to see that if Christ was virgin 
born if He was truly "conceived," as the creed says, "by 
the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary" there must of 
necessity enter a supernatural element into His Person ; while, 
if Christ was sinless, much more if He was the very Word 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

of God incarnate, there must have been a miracle the most 
stupendous miracle in the universe in His origin? If Christ 
was, as John and Paul affirm and His church has ever be 
lieved, the Son of God made flesh, the second Adam, the new 
redeeming Head of the race, a miracle was to be expected 
in His earthly origin ; without a miracle such a Person could 
never have been. Why then cavil at the narratives which 
declare the fact of such a miracle? Who does not see that 
the Gospel history would have been incomplete without them ? 
Inspiration here only gives to faith what faith on its own 
grounds imperatively demands for its perfect satisfaction. 


It is time now to come to the Scripture itself, and to look 
at the fact of the Virgin birth in its historical setting, and its 
relation with other truths of the Gospel. As preceding the 
examination of the historical evidence, a little may be said, 
first, on the Old Testament preparation. Was there any such 
preparation? Some would say there was not, but this is not 
God s way, and we may look with confidence for at least some 
indications which point in the direction of the New Testament 


One s mind turns to that oldest of all evangelical prom 
ises, that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the 
serpent. "I will put enmity," says Jehovah to the serpent- 
tempter, "between thee and the woman, and between thy seed 
and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise 
his heel" (Genesis 3:15. R. V.)- It is a forceless weaken 
ing of this first word of Gospel in the Bible to explain it of a 

The I irgin Birth of Clvist 

lasting feud between the race of men and the brood of ser 
pents. The serpent, as even Dr. Driver attests, is "the repre 
sentative of the power of evil" in later Scripture, "he that 
is called the Devil and Satan" (Rev. 12:9) and the defeat 
he sustains from the woman s seed is a moral and spiritual 
victory. The "seed" who should destroy him is described em 
phatically as the ivoman s seed. It was the woman through 
whom sin had entered the race; by the seed of the woman 
would salvation come. The early church writers often pressed 
this analogy between Eve and the Virgin Mary. We may re 
ject any element of over-exaltation of Mary they connected 
with it, but it remains significant that this peculiar phrase 
should be chosen to designate the future deliverer. I cannot 
believe the choice to be of accident. The promise to Abraham 
was that in his seed the families of the earth would be blessed ; 
there the male is emphasized, but here it is the woman the 
woman distinctively. There is, perhaps, as good scholars have 
thought, an allusion to this promise in I Timothy 2:15, where, 
with allusion to Adam and Eve, it is said, "But she shall be 
saved through her (or the) child-bearing" (R. V.). 


The idea of the Messiah, gradually gathering to itself the 
attributes of a divine King, reaches one of its clearest ex 
pressions in the great Immanuel prophecy, extending from 
Isaiah 7 to 9 :/, and centering in the declaration : "The Lord 
Himself will give you [the unbelieving Ahaz] a sign; behold, 
a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name 
Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14; Cf. 8:8, 10). This is none other than 
the child of wonder extolled in chapter 9:6, 7: "For unto us 
a child is born, unto us a son is given ; and the government 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Won 
derful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, 
[Father of Eternity], The Prince of Peace. Of the increase 
of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the 
throne of David, and upon his kingdom," etc. This is the 
prophecy quoted as fulfilled in Christ s birth in Matt. I :23, 
and it seems also alluded to in the glowing promises to Mary 
in Luke I 132, 33. It is pointed out in objection that the term 
rendered "virgin" in Isaiah does not necessarily bear this 
meaning ; it denotes properly only a young unmarried woman. 
The context, however, seems clearly to lay an emphasis on 
the unmarried state, and the translators of the Greek version 
of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) plainly so understood 
it when they rendered it by parthenos, a word which docs 
mean "virgin." The tendency in many quarters now is to ad 
mit this (Dr. Cheyne, etc.), and even to seek an explanation 
of it in alleged Babylonian beliefs in a virgin-birth. This last, 
however, is quite illusory 1 . It is, on the other hand, singular 
that the Jews themselves do not seem to have applied this 
prophecy at any time to the Messiah a fact which disproves 
the theory that it was this text which suggested the story of a 
Virgin birth to the early disciples. 


It was, indeed, when one thinks of it, only on the supposi 
tion that there was to be something exceptional and extraor 
dinary in the birth of this child called Immanuel that it could 
have afforded to Ahaz a sign of the perpetuity of the throne 
of David on the scale of magnitude proposed ("Ask it either 

1 For the evidence, see my volume on "The Virgin Birth," 
Lecture VII. 


The I irgin Birth of Christ 

in the depth, or in the height above." VP-. 10). We look, 
therefore, with interest to see if there are any echoes or sug 
gestions of the idea of this passage in other prophetic scrip 
tures. They are naturally not many, but they do not seem to 
be altogether wanting. There is, first, the remarkable Beth 
lehem prophecy in Micah 5 :2, 3 also quoted as fulfilled in 
the nativity (Matt. 2:5, 6) connected with the saying: 
"Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she who 
travaileth hath brought forth" ("The King from Bethlehem," 
says Delitzsch, "who has a nameless one as mother, and of 
whose father there is no mention"). Micah was Isaiah s con 
temporary, and when the close relation between the two is con 
sidered (Cf. Isa. 2:2-4, with Micah 4:1-3), it is difficult not 
to recognize in his oracle an expansion of Isaiah s. In the 
same line would seem to lie the enigmatic utterance in Jer. 
31:22: "For Jehovah hath created a new thing in the earth: 
a woman shall encompass a man" (thus Delitzsch, etc.). 


The germs now indicated in prophetic scriptures had ap 
parently borne no fruit in Jewish expectations of the Messiah, 
when the event took place which to Christian minds made them 
luminous with predictive import. In Bethlehem of Judea, as 
Micah had foretold, was born of a virgin mother He whose 
"goings forth" were "from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 
5:2; Matt. 2:6). Matthew, who quotes the first part of the 
verse, can hardly have been ignorant of the hint of pre-exist- 
ence it contained. This brings us to the testimony to the 
miraculous birth of Christ in our first and third Gospels the 
only Gospels which record the circumstance* of Christ s birth 
at all. By general consent the narrative? in Matthew (chap- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ters I, 2) and in Luke (chapters i, 2) are independent that 
is, they are not derived one from the other yet they both 
affirm, in detailed story, that Jesus, conceived by the power 
of the Holy Spirit, was born of a pure virgin, Mary of Naz 
areth, espoused to Joseph, whose wife she afterwards became. 
The birth took place at Bethlehem, whither Joseph and Mary 
had gone for enrollment in a census that was being taken. The 
announcement was made to Mary beforehand by an angel, and 
the birth was preceded, attended, and followed by remarkable 
events that are narrated (birth of the Baptist, with annuncia 
tions, angelic vision to the shepherds, visit of wise men from 
the east, etc.). The narratives should be carefully read at 
length to understand the comments that follow. 


There is no doubt, therefore, about the testimony to the 
Virgin birth, and the question which now arises is What is 
the value of these parts of the Gospels as evidence ? Are they 
genuine parts of the Gospels? Or are they late and untrust 
worthy additions ? From what sources may they be presumed 
to be derived? It is on the truth of the narratives that our 
belief in the Virgin birth depends. Can they be trusted ? Or 
are they mere fables, inventions, legends, to which no credit 
can be attached? 

The answer to several of these questions can be given in 
very brief fprm. The narratives of the nativity in Matthew 
and Luke are undoubtedly genuine parts of their respective 
Gospels. They have been there since ever the Gospels them 
selves had an existence. The proof of this is convincing. 
The chapters in question are found in every manuscript and 
version of the Gospels known to exist. There ar hundreds 

The Virgin Birth of Christ 

of manuscripts, some of them very old, belonging to different 
parts of the world, and many versions in different languages 
(Latin, Syriac, Egyptian, etc.), but these narratives of the 
Virgin birth are found in all. We know, indeed, that a section 
of the early Jewish Christians the Ebionites, as they are 
commonly called possessed a Gospel based on Matthew from 
which the chapters on the nativity were absent. But this was 
not the real Gospel of Matthew : it was at best a mutilated and 
corrupted form of it. The genuine Gospel, as the manuscripts 
attest, always had these chapters. 

Next, as to the Gospels themselves, they were not of late 
and non-apostolic origin; but were -written by apostolic men, 
and were from the first accepted and circulated in the church 
as trustworthy embodiments of sound apostolic tradition. 
Luke s Gospel was from Luke s own pen its genuineness has 
recently received a powerful vindication from Prof. Harnack, 
of Berlin and Matthew s Gospel, while some dubiety still 
rests on its original language (Aramaic or Greek), passed 
without challenge in the early church as the genuine Gospel 
of the Apostle Matthew. Criticism has more recently raised 
the question whether it is only the "groundwork" of the dis 
courses (the "Logia") that comes directly from Matthew. 
However this may be settled, it is certain that the Gospel in 
its Greek form always passed as Matthew s. It must, there 
fore, if not written by him, have had his immediate authority. 
The narratives come to us, accordingly, with high apostolic 


As to the sources of the narratives, not a little can be 
gleaned from the study of their internal character. Here two 
facts reveal themselves. The first is that the narrative of Luke 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

is based on some old, archaic, highly original Aramaic writing. 
Its Aramaic character gleams through its every part. In 
style, tone, conception, it is highly primitive emanates, appar 
ently, from that circle of devout people in Jerusalem to whom 
its own pages introduce us (Luke 2:25, 36-38). It has, there 
fore, the highest claim to credit. The second fact is even 
more important. A perusal of the narratives shows clearly 
what might have been expected that the information they 
convey was derived from no lower source than Joseph and 
Mary themselves. This is a marked feature of contrast in the 
narratives that Matthew s narrative is all told from Joseph s 
point of view, and Luke s is all told from Mary s. The signs 
of this are unmistakable. Matthew tells about Joseph s diffi 
culties and action, and says little or nothing about Mary s 
thoughts and feelings. Luke tells much about Mary even 
her inmost thoughts but says next to nothing directly about 
Joseph. The narratives, in short, are not, as some would have 
it, contradictory, but are independent and complementary. The 
one supplements and completes the other. Both together are 
needed to give the whole story. They bear in themselves the 
stamp of truth, honesty, and purity, and are worthy of all 
acceptation, as they were evidently held to be in the early 


Against the acceptance of these early, well-attested narra 
tives, what, now, have the objectors to allege? I pass by the 
attempts to show, by critical elimination (expurging Luke 
i 135, and some other clauses), that Luke ::- narrative was not 
a narrative of a Virgin birth at all. This is a vain attempt in 
face of the testimony of manuscript authorities. Neither 
need I dwell on the alleged "discrepancies" in the genealogies 

The 1 irgm Birth of Christ 

and narratives. These are not serious, when the independence 
and different standpoints of the narratives are acknowledged. 
The genealogies, tracing the descent of Christ from David 
along different lines, present problems which exercise the 
minds of scholars, but they do not touch the central fact of the 
belief of both Evangelists in the birth of Jesus from a vir 
gin. Even in a Syriac manuscript which contains the certainly 
wrong reading, "Joseph begat Jesus," the narrative goes on, 
as usual, to recount the Virgin birth. It is not a contradiction, 
if Matthew is silent on the earlier residence in Nazareth- *vhich 
Luke s object led him fully to describe. 


The objection on which most stress is laid (apart from 
what is called the evidently "mythical" character of the narra 
tives) is the silence on the Virgin birth in the remaining Gos 
pels, and other parts of the New Testament. This, it is held, 
conclusively proves that the Virgin birth was not known in 
the earliest Christian circles, and was a legend of later origin. 
As respects the Gospels Mark and John the objection would 
only apply if it was the design of these Gospels to narrate, as 
the others do, the circumstances of the nativity. But this was 
evidently not their design. Both Mark and John knew that 
Jesus had a human birth an infancy and early life and that 
His mother was called Mary, but of deliberate purpose they 
tell us nothing about it. Mark begins his Gospel with Christ s 
entrance on His public ministry, and says nothing of the period 
before, especially of how Jesus came to be called "the Son of 
God" (Mark 1:1). John traces the divine descent of Jesus, 
and tells us that the "Word became flesh" (John I 114) ; but 
how this miracle of becoming flesh was wrought he does not 

The Higher Criticism and Th$ New Theology 

say. It did not lie within his plan. He knew the church tradi 
tion on the subject : he had the Gospels narrating the birth of 
Jesus from the Virgin in his hands: and he takes the knowl 
edge of their teaching for granted. To speak of contradiction 
in a case like this is out of the question. 


How far Paul was ; cquainted with the facts of Christ s 
earthly origin it is not eai y to say. To a certain extent these 
facts would always be regi rded as among the privacies of the 
innermost Christian circles- -so long at least as Mary lived 
and the details may not have been fully known till the Gospels 
were published. Paul admittedly did not base his preaching 
of his Gospel on these private, interior matters, but on the 
broad, public facts of Christ s ministry, death, and resurrec 
tion. It would be going too far, however, to infer from this 
that Paul had no knowledge of the miracle of Christ s birth. 
Luke was Paul s companion, and doubtless shared with Paul 
all the knowledge which he himself had gathered on this and 
other subjects. One thing certain is, that Paul could not have 
believed in the divine dignity, the pre-existence, the sinless 
perfection, and redeeming headship, of Jesus as he did, and 
not have been convinced that His entrance into humanity was 
no ordinary event of nature, but implied an unparalleled 
miracle of some kind. This Son of God, who "emptied" Him 
self, who was "born of a woman, born under the law," who 
"knew no sin" (Phil. 2:7, 8; Gal. 4:4; 2 Cor. 5:21), was not, 
and could not be, a simple product of nature. God must have 
wrought creatively in His human origin. The Virgin birth 
would be to Paul the most reasonable and credible of events. 


The Virgin Birth of Christ 

So also to John, who held the same high view of Christ s 
dignity and holiness. 


It is sometimes argued that a Virgin birth is no aid to the 
explanation of Christ s sinlessness. Mary being herself sinful 
in nature, it is held the taint of corruption would be conveyed 
by one parent as really as by two. It is overlooked that the 
whole fact is not expressed by saying that Jesus was born 
of a virgin mother. There is the other factor "conceived 
by the Holy Ghost." What happened was a divine, creative 
miracle wrought in the production of this new humanity which 
secured, from its earliest germinal beginnings, freedom from 
the slightest taint of sin. Paternal generation in such an origin 
is superfluous. The birth of Jesus was not, as in ordinary 
births, the creation of a new personality. It was a divine Per 
son already existing entering on this new mode of exist 
ence. Miracle could alone effect such a wonder. Because His 
human nature had this miraculous origin Christ was the "holy" 
One from the commencement (Luke I :35). Sinless He was, 
as His whole life demonstrated; but when, in all time, did 
natural generation give birth to a sinless personality? 


The history of the early church is occasionally appealed to 
in witness that the doctrine of the Virgin birth was not primi 
tive. No assertion could be more futile. The early church, so 
far as we can trace it back, in all its branches, held this doc 
trine. No Christian sect is known that denied it, save the Jew- 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ish Ebionites formerly alluded to. The general body of the 
Jewish Christians the Nazarenes as they are called accepted 
it. Even the greater Gnostic sects in their own way admitted 
it. Those Gnostics who denied it were repelled with all the 
force of the church s greatest teachers. The Apostle John is 
related to have vehemently opposed Cerinthus, the earliest 
teacher with whom this denial is connected. 


What more remains to be said? It would be waste of 
space to follow the objectors into their various theories of a 
mythical origin of this belief. One by one the speculations 
advanced have broken down, and given place to others all 
equally baseless. The newest of the theories seeks an origin 
of the belief in ancient Babylonia, and supposes the Jews to 
have possessed the notion in pre-Christian times. This is 
not only opposed to all real evidence, but is the giving up of 
the contention that the idea had its origin in late Christian 
circles, and was unknown to earlier apostles. 


Doctrinally, it must be repeated that the belief in the Vir 
gin birth of Christ is of the highest value for the right appre 
hension of Christ s unique and sinless personality. Here is 
One, as Paul brings out in Romans 5 :i2 fT, who, free from sin 
Himself, and not involved in the Adamic liabilities of the race, 
reverses the curse of sin and death brought in by the first 
Adam, and establishes the reign of righteousness and life. 
Had Christ been naturally born, not one of these things could 
be affirmed of Him. As one of Adam s race, not an entrant 

The Virgin Birth of Christ 

from a higher sphere, He would have shared in Adam s cor 
ruption and doom would Himself have required to be re 
deemed. Through God s infinite mercy, He came from above, 
inherited no guilt, needed no regeneration or sanctification, 
but became Himself the Redeemer, Regenerator, Sanctifier, 
for all who receive Him. "Thanks be unto God for His un 
speakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15). 






The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the 
corner stone of Christian doctrine. It is mentioned directly 
one hundred and four (or more) times in the New Testa 
ment. It was the most prominent and cardinal point in the 
apostolic testimony. When the apostolic company, after the 
apostasy of Judas Iscariot, felt it necessary to complete their 
number again by the addition of one to take the place of 
Judas Iscariot, it was in order that he might "Be a witness 
with us of His resurrection." (Acts 1 :2i, 22.) The resur 
rection of Jesus Christ was the one point that Peter empha 
sized in his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost. His whole 
sermon centered in that fact. Its keynote was "This Jesus 
hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses" (Acts 2 132 
cf. vs. 24-31). When the Apostles were filled again with the 
Holy Spirit some days later, the one central result w r as that 
with "great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrec 
tion of the Lord Jesus." The central doctrine that the Apostle 
Paul preached to the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers on 
Mars Hill was Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:18 cf. 
Acts 23:6; i Cor. 15:15.) The resurrection of Jesus Christ 
is one of the two fundamental truths of the Gospel, the other 
being His atoning death. Paul says in i Cor. 15:1, 3, 4, 
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you THE GOSPEL which I 
preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

ye stand. For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I 
also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to 
the Scriptures ; and that he was buried, and that he rose again 
the third clay, according to the Scriptures." This was the 
glad tidings; first, that Christ died for our sins and made 
atonement, and second, that He rose again. The crucifixion 
loses its meaning without the resurrection. Without the resur 
rection, the death of Christ was only the heroic death of a 
noble martyr. With the resurrection, it is the atoning death 
of the Son of God. It shows that death to be of sufficient 
value to cover all our sins, for it was the sacrifice of the Son 
of God. In it we have an all-sufficient ground for knowing 
that the blackest sin is atoned for. Disprove the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ and Christian faith is vain. "If Christ be not 
risen," cries Paul, "then is our preaching vain, and your 
faith is also vain" (i Cor. 15:14). And later he adds: "If 
Christ be not risen, your faith is vain. You are yet in your 
sins." Paul, as the context clearly shows, is talking about 
the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ is the one doctrine that has 
power to save any one who believes it with the heart. As 
we read in Rom. 10:9: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth 
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath 
raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." To know 
the power of Christ s resurrection is one of the highest ambi 
tions of the intelligent believer, to attain which he sacrifices 
all things and counts them but refuse (Phil. 3:8-10. R. V.). 
While the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is 
the corner stone of Christian doctrine, it is also the Gibraltar 
of Christian evidence and the Waterloo of Infidelity and Ra 
tionalism. If the Scriptural assertions of Christ s resurrection 
can be established as historic certainties, the claims and doc- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

trines of Christianity rest upon an impregnable foundation. 
On the other hand, if the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead cannot be established, Christianity must go. It was 
a true instinct that led a leading and brilliant agnostic in Eng 
land to say, that there is no use wasting time discussing the 
other miracles-, the essential question is, Did Jesus Christ 
rise from the dead? adding that if He did, it was easy enough 
to believe the other miracles ; but if He did not, the other mir 
acles must go. 

Are the statements contained in the four Gospels, regard 
ing the resurrection of Jesus Christ, statements of fact, or are 
they fiction, fables, myths? There are three separate lines of 
proof that the statements contained in the four Gospels, re 
garding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, are exact statements 
of historic fact. 



This is an altogether satisfactory argument. The ex 
ternal proofs of the authenticity and truthfulness of the 
Gospel narratives are overwhelming, but the argument is long 
and intricate, and it would take a volume to discuss it satis 
factorily. The other arguments are so completely sufficient 
and overwhelming and convincing to a candid mind that we 
can do without this, good as it is in its place. 



This argument is thoroughly conclusive, and we shall 
state it briefly in the pages which follow. We shall nc| 


The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

assume anything whatever. We shall not assume that the 
four Gospel records are true history. We shall not assume 
that the four Gospels were written by the men whose names 
they bear, though it could be easily proven that they were. 
We shall not even assume that they were written in the century 
in which Jesus is alleged to have lived and died and risen 
again, nor in the next century, nor in the next. We will 
assume absolutely nothing whatever. We will start out 
with a fact which we all know to be a fact, namely, that we 
have the four Gospels to-day, whoever wrote them and when 
ever they were written. We shall place these four Gospels 
side by side and see if we can discern in them the marks of 
truth or of fiction. 

i. The first thing that strikes us, as we compare these 
Gospels one with another, is that they are four separate and 
independent accounts. This appears plainly from the apparent 
discrepancies in the four different accounts. These apparent 
discrepancies are marked and many. It would have been im 
possible for these four accounts to have been made up in 
collusion with one another, or to have been derived from one 
another, and so many and so marked discrepancies to be found 
in them. There is harmony between the four accounts, but 
the harmony does not lie upon the surface ; it comes out 
only by protracted and thorough study. It is precisely such 
a harmony as would exist between accounts written or related 
by several different persons, each looking at the events re 
corded from his own standpoint. It is precisely such a har 
mony as would not exist in four accounts manufactured in 
collusion or derived one from the other. In four accounts 
manufactured in collusion, whatever of harmony there might 
be would appear on the surface : whatever discrepancy there 
might be would only come out by minute and careful study. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

But with the four Gospels the case is just the opposite. The 
harmony comes out by minute and careful study, and the 
apparent discrepancy lies upon the surface. Whether true or 
false, these four accounts are separate and independent from 
one another. The four accounts supplement one another, the 
third account sometimes reconciling apparent discrepancies 
between two. 

These accounts must be either a record of facts that ac 
tually occurred, or else fictions. If fictions, they. must have 
been fabricated in one of two ways. Either independently of 
one another or in collusion with one another. They cannot 
have been fabricated independently of one another; the agree 
ments are too marked and too many. It is absolutely incredible 
that four persons, sitting down to write an account of what 
never occurred, independently of one another, should have 
made their stories agree to the extent that these do. On the 
other hand, they cannot have been made up, as we have al 
ready seen, in collusion with one another; the apparent dis 
crepancies are too numerous and too noticeable. It is proven 
they were not made up independently of one another; it is 
proven they were not made up in collusion with one another. 
So we are driven to the conclusion that they were not made 
up at all ; that they are a true relation of facts as they actually 
occurred. We might rest the argument here and reasonably 
call the case settled, but w r e will go on still further. 

2. The next thing that we notice is that each of these 
accounts bears striking indications of having been derived 
from eye witnesses. 

The account of an eye witness is readily distinguishable 

from the account of one who is merely retailing what others 

have told him. Any one who is accustomed to weigh evidence 

in court or in historical study soon learns how to distinguish 


The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

the report of an eye witness from mere hearsay evidence. Any 
careful student of the Gospel records of the resurrection will 
readily detect many marks of the eye witness. Some years 
ago, when lecturing at an American University, a gentleman 
was introduced to me as being a skeptic. I asked him : "What 
line of study are you pursuing?" He replied that he was pur 
suing a post-graduate course in history, with a view to a pro 
fessorship in history. I said: "Then you know that the ac 
count of an eye witness differs in marked respects from the 
account of one who is simply telling what he has heard from 
others ?" "Yes," he replied. I next asked : "Have you care 
fully read the four Gospel accounts of the resurrection of 
Christ?" He replied: "I have." "Tell me, have you noticed 
clear indications that they were derived from eye witnesses?" 
"Yes," he replied; "I have been greatly struck by this in 
reading the accounts." Any one who carefully and intelli 
gently reads them will be struck with the same fact. 

3. The third thing that we notice about these Gospel 
narratives is their naturalness, straightforwardness, artlessncss 
and simplicity. The accounts, it is true, have to do with the 
supernatural, but the accounts themselves are most natural. 
There is a remarkable absence of all attempt at coloring and 
effect. There is nothing but the simple, straightforward tell 
ing of facts as they actually occurred. It frequently happens 
when a witness is on the witness stand, that the story he tells 
is so artless, so straightforward, so natural, there is such an 
entire absence of any attempt at coloring or effect that his tes 
timony bears weight independently of anything we may know 
of the character or previous history of the witness. As we 
listen to his story we say to ourselves : "This man is telling 
the truth." The weight of this kind of evidence is greatly 
increased and reaches practical certainty when we have scv- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

eral independent witnesses of this sort, all bearing testimony 
to the same essential facts, but with varieties of detail, one 
omitting what another tells, and the third unconsciously recon 
ciling apparent discrepancies between the two. This is the 
precise case with the four Gospel narratives of the resurrec 
tion of Christ. The Gospel writers do not seem to have re 
flected at all upon the meaning or bearing of many of the 
facts which they relate. They simply tell right out what they 
saw, in all simplicity and straightforwardness, leaving the 
philosophizing to others. Dr. William Furness, the great Uni 
tarian scholar and critic, who certainly was not over-much dis 
posed in favor of the supernatural, says : "Nothing can exceed, 
in artlessness and simplicity, the four accounts of the first 
appearance of Jesus after His crucifixion. If these qualities 
are not discernible here, we must despair of ever being able to 
discern them anywhere." 

Suppose we should find four accounts of the battle of 
Monmouth. Suppose, furthermore, that nothing decisive was 
known as to the authorship of these four accounts, but when 
we laid them side by side we found that they were manifestly 
independent accounts. We found, furthermore, striking indi 
cations that they were from eye witnesses. We found them 
all marked by that artlessness, straightforwardness and sim 
plicity that always carries conviction ; we found that, while 
apparently disagreeing in minor details, they agreed substan 
tially in their account of the battle even though we had no 
knowledge of the authorship or date of these accounts, would 
we not, in the absence of any other accounts, say : "Here is a 
true account of the battle of Monmouth"? Now this is ex 
actly the case with the four Gospel narratives. Manifestly 
separate and independent from one another, bearing the clear 
marks of having been derived from eye witnesses, character- 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

ized by an unparalleled artlessness, simplicity and straight 
forwardness, apparently disagreeing in minor details, but in 
perfect agreement as to the great central facts related. If 
we are fair and honest, if we follow the canons of evidence 
followed in court, if we follow any sound and sane law of 
literary and historical criticism, are we not logically driven to 
say : "Here is a true account of the resurrection of Jesus" ? 
Here, again, we might rest our case and call the Resurrec 
tion of Jesus from the Dead proven, but we go on still further. 

4. The next thing we notice is the unintentional evi 
dence of words, phrases, and accidental details. 

It oftentimes happens that when a witness is on the stand, 
the unintentional evidence that he bears by words and phrases, 
which he uses, and by accidental details, which he introduces, 
is more convincing than his direct testimony, because it is not 
the testimony of the witness, but the testimony of the truth 
to itself. The Gospel accounts abound in evidence of this sort. 

Take, as the first instance, the fact that in all the Gospel 
records of the resurrection, we are given to understand that 
Jesus was not at first recognized by His disciples when He 
appeared to them after His resurrection (e. g. Luke 24:16; 
John 21 14.) We are not told why this was so, but if we will 
think a while over it, we will soon discover why it was so. 
But the Gospel narratives simply record the fact without 
attempting to explain it. If the stories were fictitious, they 
certainly would never have been made up in this way, for the 
writer would have seen at once the objection that would arise 
in the minds of those who did not wish to believe in His resur 
rection, that is, that it was not really Jesus whom the disciples 
saw. Why, then, is the story told in this way? For the self- 
evident reason that the evangelists were not making up a 
story for effect, but simply recording events precisely as they 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

occurred. This is the way in which it occurred, therefore this 
is the way in which they told it. It is not a fabrication of 
imaginary incidents, but an exact record of facts carefully ob 
served and accurately recorded. 

Take a second instance : In all the Gospel records of the 
appearances of Jesus after His resurrection, there is not a 
single recorded appearance to an enemy or opponent of Christ. 
All His appearances were to those who were already believ 
ers. Why this was so we can easily see by a little thought; 
but nowhere in the Gospels are we told why it was so. If the 
stories had been fabricated, they certainly would never have 
been made up in this way. If the Gospels were, as some 
would have us believe, fabrications constructed one hundred, 
two hundred or three hundred years after the alleged events 
recorded, when all the actors were dead and gone and no one 
could gainsay any lies told, Jesus would have been represented 
as appearing to Caiaphas and Annas and Pilate and Herod, 
and confounding them by His reappearance from the dead. 
But there is no suggestion even of anything of this kind in the 
Gospel stories. Every appearance is to one who is already 
a believer. Why is this so? For the self-evident reason that 
this was the way that things occurred, and the Gospel narra 
tives are not concerned with producing a story for effect, but 
simply with recording events precisely as they occurred and as 
they were observed. 

We find still another instance in the fact that the re 
corded appearances of Jesus afttr His resurrection were only 
occasional. He would appear in the midst of His disciples and 
disappear and not be seen again, perhaps, for several days. 
Why this was so, we can easily think out for ourselves : He 
was evidently seeking to wean His disciples from their old- 
time communion with Him in the body and to prepare them 


The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

for the communion with Himself in the Spirit that was to 
follow in the days that were to come. We are not, however, 
told this in the Gospel narratives. We are left to discover 
it for ourselves, and this is all the more significant for that 
reason. It is doubtful if the disciples themselves realized the 
meaning of the facts. If they had been making up the story 
to produce effect, they would have represented Jesus as being 
with them constantly, as living with them, eating and drinking 
with them day after day. Why, then, is the story told as re 
corded in the four Gospels? Because this is the way in which 
it had all occurred. The Gospel writers are simply con 
cerned with giving the exact representation of the facts as 
witnessed by themselves and others. 

We find another very striking instance in what is re 
corded concerning the words of Jesus to Mary at their first 
meeting (John 20:17). Jesus is recorded as saying to Mary: 
"Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father." 
We are not told why Jesus said this to Mary. We are left 
to discover the reason for it if we can, and the commentators 
have had a great deal of trouble in discovering it. Their ex 
planations vary widely one from another. I have a reason of 
my own, which I have never seen in any commentary, but 
which, I am persuaded, is the true reason ; but it would prob 
ably be difficult to persuade others that it was the true reason. 
Why, then, is this little utterance of Jesus put in the Gospel 
record without a word of explanation, and which it has taken 
eighteen centuries to explain, and which is not altogether sat 
isfactorily explained yet? Certainly a writer making up a 
story would not put in a little detail like that without appar 
ent meaning and without an attempt at an explanation of it. 
Stories that are made up are made up for a purpose; details 
that are inserted are inserted for a purpose a purpose more 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

or less evident but eighteen centuries of study have not 
been able to find out the purpose why this was inserted. Why, 
then, do we find it here? Because this is exactly what hap 
pened. This is what Jesus said; this is what Mary heard 
Jesus say; this is what Mary told, and, therefore, this is what 
John recorded. We cannot have a fiction here, but an ac 
curate record of words spoken by Jesus after His resurrec 

We find still another instance in John 20 .4-6. "So they 
ran both together : and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and 
came first to the sepulchre. And he, stooping down and look 
ing in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then 
cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepul 
chre, and seeth the linen clothes lie." This is all in striking 
keeping with what we know of the men from other sources. 
Mary, returning hurriedly from the tomb, bursts in upon the 
two disciples and cries : "They have taken away the Lord out 
of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him." 
John and Peter sprang to their feet and ran at the top of 
their speed to the tomb. John, the younger of the two disciples 
(it is all the more striking that the narrative does not tell 
us here that he was the younger of the two disciples), was 
fleeter of foot, and outran Peter and reached the tomb first, 
but, man of retiring and reverent disposition that he was 
(we are not told this here, but we know it from a study of his 
personality as revealed elsewhere), he did not enter the tomb 
but simply stooped down and looked in. Impetuous, but older, 
Peter comes lumbering on behind as fast as he can ; but when 
once he reaches the tomb, he never waits a moment outside 
but plunges headlong in. Is this made up, or is it life? He 
was indeed a literary artist of consummate ability, who had 
the skill to make this up, if it did not occur just so. There is, 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

incidentally a touch of local coloring in the report. When 
one visits today the tomb which scholars now accept as the 
real burial place of Jesus, he will find himself unconsciously 
obliged to stoop down to look in. 

Still another instance is found in John 21:7: "Therefore 
that disciple, whom Jesus loved, saith to Peter, It is the 
Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, 
he girt his fisher s coat unto him (for he was naked) and 
did cast himself into the sea." Here, again, we have the 
unmistakable marks of truth and life. The Apostles had gone, 
at Jesus commandment, into Galilee to meet Him there, but 
Jesus does not at once appear. Simon Peter, with the fisher s 
passion still stirring in his bosom, says : "I go a-fishing." The 
others replied : "We also go with thee." They fished all night 
and with characteristic fishermen s luck, caught nothing. In 
the early dawn Jesus stands upon the shore, but the disciples 
did not recognize Him in the dim light. Jesu-s calls to them : 
"Children, have ye any meat?" And they answer : "No." He 
bids them cast the net on the right side of the ship and they 
would find. When the cast was made, they were not able to 
draw it for the multitude of fishes. In an instant, John, the 
man of quick spiritual perception, says : "It is the Lord." No 
sooner does Peter, the man of impulsive action, hear it than 
he grasps his fisher s coat, casts it about his naked form and 
throws himself overboard and strikes out for shore to reach 
his Lord. Is this made up, or is it life? This is not fiction. 
If some unknown author of the fourth Gospel made this up, he 
is the master literary artist of the ages, and we should take 
down every other name from our literary pantheon and place 
his above them all. 

We find a still more touching instance in John 20:15: 
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith 
unto Him, "Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where 
Thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away." Here is 
surely a touch that surpasses the art of any man of that 
day or any other day. Mary had gone into the city and noti 
fied John and Peter that she had found the sepulchre empty. 
They start on a run for the sepulchre. As Mary has already 
made the journey twice, they easily far outstrip her, but with 
heavy heart and slow and weary feet, she makes her way back 
to the tomb. Peter and John have been long gone when she 
reaches it, broken-hearted, thinking that not only has her be 
loved Lord been slain, but that His tomb has been desecrated. 
She stands without, weeping. There are two angels sitting 
in the tomb, one at the head and the other at the feet where 
the body of Jesus had lain. But the grief-stricken woman has 
no eye for angels. They say unto her : "Woman, why weepest 
thou?" She replies: "Because they have taken away my 
Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." A rustle 
in the leaves at her back and she turns around to see who 
is coming. She sees Jesus standing there, but blinded by tears 
and despair she does not recognize her Lord. Jesus also says 
to her: "Why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" She, 
supposing it to be the gardener who is talking to her says : 
"Sir, if Thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where Thou 
hast laid Him and I will take Him away." Now, remember, 
who it is that makes the offer, and whit she offers to do 
a weak woman offers to carry a full-grown man away. Of 
course, she could not do it, but how true to a woman s love 
that always forgets its weakness and never stops at impossi 
bilities. There is something to be done and she says : "I \vill 
do it! Tell me where Thou hast laid Him, and I will take 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

Him away." Is this made up? Never! This is life; this is 
reality ; this is truth. 

We find another instance in Mark 16:7: "But go your 
way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you 
into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you." , 
What I would have you notice here are the two words "and 
Peter." Why "and Peter"! Was not Peter one of the dis 
ciples? Surely he was, the very head of the Apostolic com 
pany. Why, then, "and Peter"? No explanation is given 
in the text, but reflection shows it was the utterance of love 
toward the despondent, despairing disciple, who had thrice de 
nied his Lord. If the message had been simply to "the dis 
ciples" Peter would have said : "Yes, I was once a disciple, but 
I can no longer be counted such. I thrice denied my Lord 
on that awful night with oaths and cursings. It does not 
mean me." But our tender, compassionate Lord, through His 
angelic messenger, sends the message : "Go, tell His disciples, 
and whoever you tell, be sure you tell poor, weak, faltering, 
backslidden, broken-hearted Peter." Is this made up, or is this 
a real picture of our Lord? I pity the man who is so dull 
that he can imagine this is fiction. Incidentally, let it be noted 
that this is recorded only in the Gospel of Mark, which, as is 
well known, is Peter s Gospel. As Peter dictated to Mark one 
day what he should record, with tearful eyes and grateful heart 
he would turn to him and say : "Mark, be sure you put that 
in, Tell His disciples and Peter! " 

Take, still, another instance in John 20:27-29: "Then 
saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My 
hands ; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side ; 
and be not faithless but believing. And Thomas answered 
and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. Jesus said unto 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed : 
blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." 
Note here two things : The action of Thomas and the rebuke 
of Jesus. Each is too characteristic to be attributed to the art 
of some master of fiction. Thomas had not been with the 
disciples at the first appearance of our Lord. A week had 
passed by. Another Lord s Day had come. This time Thomas 
makes sure of being present ; if the Lord is to appear, he will 
be there. If he had been like some of our modern doubters, 
he would have taken pains to be away; but doubter though 
he was, he was an honest doubter, and wanted to know. Sud 
denly Jesus stands in the midst. He says to Thomas : "Reach 
hither thy finger, and behold My hands, and reach hither thy 
hand, and thrust it into My side : and be not faithless but be 
lieving." At last Thomas s eyes are opened. His faith long 
dammed back bursts every barrier and, sweeping outward, 
carries Thomas to a higher height than any other disciple had 
as yet reached exultingly and adoringly, he cries, as he looks 
up into the face of Jesus : "My Lord and my God !" Then 
Jesus, tenderly, but oh, how searchingly, rebukes him. 
"Thomas," He says, "because thou hast seen Me, thou hast 
believed. Blessed are they [who are so eager to find and so 
quick to see, and so ready to accept the truth that they do 
not wait for actual visible demonstration, but are ready to 
take truth on sufficient testimony] that have not seen and 
yet have believed." Is this made up, or is this life ? Is it a rec 
ord of facts as they occurred or a fictitious production of some 
master artist? 

Take still another instance. In John 21:15-17 we read: 

"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, 

son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith 

unto Him, Yea, Lord ; Thou knowest that T Jove Thee. He 


The Resurrection of Jesus Chi 1st 

saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith unto him again 
the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thoti Me? He 
saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowcst that I love Thee. 
He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the 
third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was 
grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou 
Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; 
Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed 
My sheep." Note especially here the words: "Peter was 
grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou 
Me." Why did Jesus ask Peter three times "Lovest thou 
Me?" And why was Peter grieved because Jesus did ask 
him three times? We are not told in the text, but if we read it 
in the light of Peter s thrice repeated denial of his Lord, we 
will understand it. As Peter had denied his Lord thrice, Jesus 
three times gave Peter an opportunity to reassert his love. 
But this, tender as it was, brings back to Peter that awful 
night when, in the courtyard of Annas and Caiaphas, he thrice 
denied his Lord, and "Peter was grieved because He said 
unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me." Is this made up? 
Did the writer make it up with this fact in view? If he 
did, he surely would have mentioned it. It cannot have been 
made up. It is not fiction. It is simply reporting what actually 
occurred. The accurate truthfulness of the record comes out 
even more strikingly in the Greek than in the English ver 
sion. Two different words are used for "love." Jesus, in 
asking Peter "Lovest thou Me" uses a strong word, denoting 
the higher form of love. Peter, replying: "Lord, Thou know 
est that I love thee," uses a weaker word, but one denoting 
a more tender form of love. Jesus, the second time uses the 
stronger word, and the second time, in his reply, Peter uses 
the weaker word. In His third question, Jesus conies down 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

to Peter s level and uses the weaker word that Peter had used 
from the beginning. Then Peter replies : "Lord, Thou know- 
est all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee," using the same 
weaker word. This cannot be fiction. It is accurately re 
ported fact. 

Take still another instance. In John 20 :i6 we read : "Jesus 
saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, 
Rabboni ; which is to say, Master." What a delicate touch of 
nature we have here. Mary is standing outside the tomb 
overcome with grief. She has not recognized her Lord, 
though He has spoken to her. She has mistaken Him for 
the gardener. She has said, "Sir, if Thou hast borne Him 
hence, tell me where Thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him 
away." Then Jesus utters just one word, He says, "Mary." 
As that name came trembling on the morning air, uttered with 
the old familiar tone, spoken as no one else had ever spoken it 
but He, in an instant, her eyes were opened. She falls at His 
feet and tries to clasp them, and looks up into His face, and 
cries: "Rabboni, My Master." Is this made up? Impossible! 
This is life! This is Jesus, and this is the woman who loved 
Him. No unknown author of the second, third or fourth 
century could have produced such a masterpiece as this. We 
stand here, unquestionably face to face with reality, with life, 
with Jesus and Mary as they actually were. 

One more important illustration. In John 20 7 we read : 
"And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the 
linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself." How 
strange that such a little detail as this should be added to the 
story with absolutely no attempt at explaining why. But how 
deeply significant this little unexplained detail is. Recall the 
circumstances. Jesus is dead. For three days and three 
nights, from Wednesday evening at sunset until Saturday 

77i* Resurrection of Jesus Clirist 

evening at sunset (l!:e evidence for Christ being crucified on 
Wednesday and not on Friday seems to be overwhelming, but 
it does not matter for the purpose of our present argument), 
His body is laying cold and silent in the sepulchre, as truly 
dead as any body was ever dead; but at last the appointed 
hour has come, the breath of God sweeps through the sleep 
ing and silent clay, and in that supreme moment of His own 
earthly life, that supreme moment of human history when 
Jesus rises triumphant over death and grave and Satan, there 
is no excitement rpon His part, but that same majestic 
self-composure and serenity that marked His whole career, 
that same Divine calm that He displayed upon storm-tossed 
Galilee when His affrighted disciples shook Him from His 
slumbers, and said: "Lord, carest Thou not that we perish?" 
and He arose serenely on the deck of the tossing vessel and 
said to the wild, tempestuous waves and winds: "Be still," 
and there was a great calm. So now, again, in this sublime, 
this awful moment, He does not excitedly tear the napkin from 
His face and fling it aside, but absolutely without human haste 
or flurry, or disorder, He unties it calmly from His head, rolls 
it up and lays it a\vay in an orderly manner in a place by 
itself. Was that made up? Never! We do not behold here 
an exquisite masterpiece of the romancer s art we read here 
the simple narrative of a matchless detail in a unique life 
that was actually lived here upon earth, a life so beautiful 
that one cannot rea-1 it with an honest and open mind with 
out feeling the tears coming into his eyes. 

But some one will say, all these are little things. True, 
and it is from that very fact that they gain much of their sig 
nificance. It is just in such little things that fiction would 
disclose itself. Fie ion displays its difference from fact in 
the minute; in the ;;reat outstanding outlines you can make 

1 he Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

fiction look like truth, but when you come to examine it mi 
nutely and microscopically, you will soon detect that it is not 
reality, but fabrication. But the more microscopically we ex 
amine the Gospel narratives, the more we become impressed 
with their truthfulness. There is an artlessness and natural 
ness and self-evident truthfulness in the narratives, down to 
the minutest detail, that surpasses all the possibilities of art. 

III. The third line of proof that the statements con 
tained in the four Gospels regarding the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ are exact statements of historic fact, is the CIRCUM 
are certain proven and admitted facts that demand the resur 
rection of Christ to account for them. 

I. Beyond a question, the foundation truth preached 
in the early years of the church s history was the resurrec 
tion. This was the one doctrine upon which the apostles were 
ever ringing the changes. Whether Jesus did actually rise 
from the dead or not, it is certain that the one thing that the 
apostles constantly proclaimed was that He had risen. Why 
should the apostles use this as the very corner stone of their 
creed if not well attested and firmly believed. But this is not 
all : they laid down their lives for this doctrine. Men never 
lay down their lives for a doctrine which they do not firmly 
believe. They stated that they had seen Jesus after His resur 
rection, and rather than give up their statement, they laid 
down their lives for it. Of course, men may die for error, 
and often have, but it was for error that they firmly believed. 
In this case they would have known whether they had seen 
Jesus or not, and they would not merely have been dying far 
error but dying for a statement which they knew to be false. 
This is not only incredible but impossible. Furthermore, if 
the apostles really firmly believed, as is admitted, that Jesus 

The Resurrection of JCMIS Christ 

rose from the dead, they had some facts upon which they 
founded their belief. These would have been the facts that 
they would have related in recounting the story. They cer 
tainly would not have made up a story out of imaginary inci 
dents when they had real facts upon which they founded their 
belief. But if the facts were, as recounted in the Gospels, 
there is no possible escaping the conclusion that Jesus actually 
arose. Still further, if Jesus had not arisen there would have 
been evidence that He had not. His enemies would have 
sought and found this evidence ; but the apostles went up and 
down the very city where He had been crucified and pro 
claimed, right to the faces of His slayers, that He had been 
raised and no one could produce evidence to the contrary. The 
very best they could do was to say the guards went to sleep 
and the disciples stole the body while the guards slept. Men 
who bear evidence of what happens while they are asleep are 
not usually regarded as credible witnesses. Further still, 
if the apostles had stolen the body they would have known 
it themselves and would not have been ready to die for what 
they knew to be a fraud. 

2. Another known fact is the change in the day of rest. 
The early church came from among the Jews. From time 
immemorial the Jews had celebrated the seventh day of the 
week as their day of rest and worship, but we find the early 
Christians, in the Acts of the Apostles and also in early Chris 
tian writings, assembling on the first day of the week. Noth 
ing is more difficult of accomplishment than the change in a 
holy day that has been celebrated for centuries and is one 
of the most cherished customs of the people. What is espe 
cially significant about the change is that it was changed by no 
express decree, but by general consent. Something tremen 
dous must have occurred that led to this change. The apostles 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

asserted that what had occurred on that day was the resur 
rection of Christ from the dead, and that is the most rational 
explanation. In fact, it is the only reasonable explanation 
of the change. 

3. But the most significant fact of all is the change in 
the disciples themselves, the moral transformation. At the 
time of the crucifixion of Christ, we find the whole apostolic 
company filled with blank and utter despair. We see Peter, 
the leader of the apostolic company, denying his Lord three 
times with oaths and cursings, but a few days later we see this 
same man filled with a courage that nothing could shake. 
We see him standing before the council that had condemned 
Jesus to death and saying to them: "Be it known unto you 
all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus 
Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised 
from the dead, even by Him doth this Man stand before you 
whole." (Acts 4:10.) A little further on, when commanded 
by the council not to speak at all nor teach in the name of 
Jesus we hear Peter and John answering: "Whether it be 
right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than 
unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things 
which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19, 20.) A little 
later still, after arrest and imprisonment, in peril of death, 
when sternly arraigned by the council, we hear Peter and 
the apostles answering their demand that they should be silent 
regarding Jesus, with the words : "We ought to obey God 
rather than man. The God of our faikers raised tip Jesus 
Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted 
with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give 
repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His 
witnesses of these things." (Acts 5:29-32.) Something tre 
mendous must have happened to account for such a radical and 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

astounding moral transformatiom as this. Nothing short of 
the fact of the resurrection and of their having seen the risen 
Lord will explain it. 

These unquestionable facts are so impressive and so con 
clusive that even infidel and Jewish scholars now admit that 
the apostles believed that Jesus rose from the dead. Even 
Ferdinand Baur, father of the Tiibigen School, admitted this. 
Even David Strauss, who wrote the most masterly "Life of 
Jesus" from the rationalistic standpoint that was ever writ 
ten, said: "Only this much need be acknowledged that the 
apostles firmly believed that Jesus had arisen." Strauss evi 
dently did not wish to admit any more than he had to, but 
he felt compelled to admit this much. Schenkel went even fur 
ther and said : "It is an indisputable fact that in the early morn 
ing of the first day of the week following the crucifixion, the 
grave of Jesus was found empty. It is a second fact that the 
disciples and other members of the apostolic communion 
were convinced that Jesus was seen after the crucifixion." 
These admissions are fatal to the rationalists who make them. 
The question at once arises : "Whence these convictions and 
belief?" Renan attempted an answer by saying that "the pas 
sion of a hallucinated woman (Mary) gives to the world a 
resurrected God." (Renan s "Life of Jesus," page 357.) By 
this Renan means that Mary was in love with Jesus; that 
after His crucifixion, brooding over it, in the passion of her 
love, she dreamed herself into a condition where she had a hal 
lucination that she had seen Jesus risen from the dead. She 
reported her dream as a fact, and thus the passion of a hal 
lucinated woman gave to the world a resurrected God. But 
the reply to all this is self-evident, viz., the passion of a hal 
lucinated woman was not competent to this task. Remember the 
make-up of the apostolic company; in the apostolic company 

The Higher Criticism and The 

were a Matthew and a Thomas to be convinced, outside was a 
Saul of Tarsus to be converted. The passion of a halluci 
nated woman will not convince a stubborn unbeliever like 
Thomas, nor a Jewish tax-gatherer like Matthew. Whoever 
heard of a tax-gatherer, and, most of all, of a Jewish tax- 
gatherer, who could be imposed upon by the passion of a 
hallucinated woman? Neither will the passion of a halluci 
nated woman convince a fierce and conscientious enemy like 
Saul of Tarsus. We must look for some saner explanation 
than this. Strauss tried to account for it by inquiring whether 
the appearances might not have been visionary. Strauss has 
had, and still has, many followers in this theory. But to this 
we reply, first of all, there was no subjective starting point 
for such visions. The apostles, so far from expecting to see 
the Lord, would scarcely believe their own eyes when they 
did see Him. Furthermore, whoever heard of eleven men 
having the same vision at the same time, to say nothing of 
five hundred men (I Cor. 15:6) having the same vision at the 
same time. Strauss demands of us that we give up one rea 
sonable miracle and substitute five hundred impossible miracles 
in its place. Nothing can surpass the credulity of unbelief. 

The third attempt at an explanation is that Jesus was not 
really dead when they took Him from the cross, that His 
friends worked over Him and brought Him back to life, and 
what was supposed to be the appearance of the risen Lord 
was the appearance of one who never had been really dead 
and was now merely resuscitated. This theory of Paulus has 
been brought forward and revamped by various rationalistic 
writers in our own time and seems to be a favorite theory 
of those who, today, would deny the reality of our Lord s 
resurrection. To sustain this view, appeal has been made 
to the short time Jesus hung upon the cross and to the fact 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

that history tells us of one, in the time of Josephus, taken down 
from the cross and nursed back to life. But to this we an 
swer: (i) Remember the events preceding the crucifixion; 
the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane ; the awful ordeal of 
the four trials ; the scourging and the consequent physical con 
dition in which all this left Jesus. Remember, too, the water and 
the blood that poured from His pierced side. (2) In the sec 
ond place, we reply, His enemies would take, and did take, 
all necessary precautions against such a thing as this happen 
ing. (John 19:34.) (3) We reply, in the third place, If 
Tesus had been merely resuscitated, He would have been so 
weak, such an utter physical wreck, that His reappearance 
would have been measured at its real value, and the moral 
transformation in the disciples, for which we are trying to 
account, would still remain unaccounted for. The officer in the 
time of Josephus, who is cited in proof, though brought back 
to life, was an utter physical wreck. (4) We reply, in the 
fourth place, If brought back to life, the apostles and friends 
of Jesus, who are the ones who are supposed to have brought 
Him back to life, would have known how they brought Him 
back to life, and that it was not a case of resurrection but of 
resuscitation, and the main fact to be accounted for, namely, 
the change in themselves, would remain unaccounted for. The 
attempted explanation is an explanation that does not explain. 
(5) In the fifth place, we reply, that the moral difficulty is 
the greatest of all, for if it was merely a case of resuscitation, 
then Jesus tried to palm Himself off as one risen from the 
dead when, in reality, He was nothing of the sort. In that 
case He would be an arch-impostor and the whole Christian 
system rests on a fraud as its ultimate foundation. Is it pos 
sible to believe that such a system of religion as that of Jesus 
Christ, embodying such exalted principles and precepts of 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

truth, purity and love "originated in a deliberately planned 
fraud?" No one whose own heart is not cankered by fraud 
and trickery can believe Jesus to have been an impostor and 
His -religion to have been founded upon fraud. A leader of 
the rationalistic forces in England has recently tried to prove 
the theory that Jesus was only apparently dead by appealing 
to the fact that when the side of Jesus was pierced blood 
came forth, and asks: "Can a dead man bleed?" To this the 
sufficient reply is that when a man dies of, what is called in 
popular language, a broken heart, the blood escapes into the 
pericardium and after standing there for a short time it 
separates into serum (the water) and clot (the red corpuscles, 
blood), and thus, if a man were dead, if his side were pierced 
by a spear, and the point of the spear entered the pericardium, 
"blood and water" would flow out just as the record states it 
did ; and what is brought forth as a proof that Jesus was not 
really dead, is, in reality, a proof that He was, and an illus 
tration of the minute accuracy of the story. It could not have 
been made up in this way if it were not actual fact. 

We have eliminated all other possible suppositions. We 
have but one left : namely, Jesus really was raised from the 
dead the third day, as recorded in the four Gospels. The des 
perate straits to which those who attempt to deny it are driven 
are themselves proof of the fact. 

We have, then, several independent lines of argument 
pointing decisively and conclusively to the resurrection of 
Christ from the dead. Some of them taken separately prove 
the fact, but taken together they constitute an argument that 
makes doubt of the resurrection of Christ impossible to the 
candid mind. Of course, if one is determined not to believe, 
no amount of proof will convince him. Such a man must 
be left to his own deliberate choice of error and falsehood, 

Tlic Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

but any man who really desires to know the truth and is will 
ing to obey it at any cost, must accept the resurrection of 
Christ as an historically proven fact. 

A brilliant lawyer in New York City some time ago 
spoke to a prominent minister of that city asking him if he 
really believed that Christ rose from the dead. The minister 
replied that he did, and asked the privilege of presenting the 
proof to the lawyer. The lawyer took the material offered 
in proof away and studied it. He returned to the minister 
and said: "I am convinced that Jesus really did rise from 
the dead But," he then added, "I am no nearer being a Chris 
tian than I was before. I thought that the difficulty was with 
my head. I find that it is really with my heart." 

There is really but one weighty objection to the doctrine 
that Jesus arose from the dead, and that is, "There is no con 
clusive evidence that any other ever arose." To this a suffi 
cient answer would be, even if it were certain that no other 
ever arose, it would not at all prove that Jesus did not arise, 
for the life of Jesus was unique. His nature was unique. His 
character was unique, His mission was unique, His history 
was unique, and it is not to be wondered at, but rather to 
be expected, that the issue of such a life should also be 
unique. However, all this objection is simply David Hume s 
exploded argument against the possibility of the miraculous 
revamped. According to this argument, no amount of evi 
dence can prove a miracle, because miracles are contrary to 
all experience. But are miracles contrary to all experience? 
To start out by saying that they are is to beg the very question 
at issue. They may be outside of your experience and mine, 
they may be outside the experience of this entire generation, 
but your experience and mine and the experience of this en 
tire generation is not "all experience." Every student of ge- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

ology and astronomy knows that things have occurred in the 
past which are entirely outside of the experience of the present 
generation. Things have occurred within the last ten years 
that are entirely outside of the experience of the fifty years 
preceding it. True science does not start with an a priori 
hypothesis that certain things are impossible, but simply 
examines the evidence to find out what has actually occurred. 
It does not twist its observed facts to make them accord 
with a priori theories, but seeks to make its theories accord 
with the facts as observed. To say that miracles are impos 
sible, and that no amount of evidence can prove a miracle, 
is to be supremely unscientific. Within the past few years, 
in the domain of chemistry, for example, discoveries have been 
made regarding radium, which seemed to run counter to all 
previous observations regarding chemical elements and to 
well-established chemical theories. But the scientist has not, 
therefore, said that these discoveries about radium cannot 
be true; he has, rather, gone to work to find out where the 
trouble was in his previous theories. The observed and re 
corded facts in the case before us prove, to a demonstration, 
that Jesus rose from the dead, and true science must accept 
this conclusion and conform its theories to this observed fact. 
The fact of the actual and literal resurrection of Jesus Christ 
from the dead cannot be denied by any man who will study 
the evidence in the case with a candid desire to find what the 
fact is, and not merely to support an a priori theory. 





I well remember that when I was examined for license to 
preach, one of the questions put to me was, "What are the 
proof texts for the Divinity of Christ?" And in answering 
the question I racked my brain for a few proof texts, but 
when I came to study the Bible in a thorough way, I dis 
covered, to my surprise, that there were not merely a few 
proof texts, but that the doctrine of the Deity of Christ was 
found everywhere. There are at least six distinct lines of 
proof in the Bible that Jesus Christ is not merely divine, but 
that He is GOD, God manifest in the flesh. 

I. The first line of proof is that sixteen names clearly 
implying Deity are used of Christ in the Bible, some of them 
over and over again, the total number of passages reaching far 
into the hundreds. These names are : 

1. "The Son of God." That this was a distinctly divine 
name appears from John 5:18, where we are told, "Therefore 
the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He had not 
only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His 
Father, making Himself equal unth God." 

2. "The only begotten Son." This occurs five times. It 
is evident that the statement that Jesus Christ is the Son 
of God only in the same sense that all men are the sons of 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

God is not true. In Mark 12 :6, Jesus says : "Having yet 
therefore One Son, His well-beloved, He sent Him also last 
unto them, saying, They will reverence My Son." Here Jesus 
Himself, having spoken of all the propl.ets as servants of 
God, speaks of Himself as "One," a "beloved SON/ 

3. "The First and the Last ." Rev. 11:17. That this is a 
distinctly divine name is evident from Is. 41:4, and Is. 44:6, 
where it is used of Jehovah. 

4. "The Alpha and Omega." 

5. "The Beginning and the Ending." These two last 
names are used of Jesus Christ in Rev. 22:12, 13, 16, and in 
Rev. i :8, it is the Lord God Who is called "The Alpha and 

6. "The Holy One." Acts 3:14. In Hos. 11:9, and 
many other passages, it is God, who is "The Holy One." 

7. "The Lord." This name or title is used of Jesus 
several hundred times. The name translated "Lord" is used 
in the New Testament in speaking of men nine times, but not 
at all in the way it is used of Christ. When used of men 
the definite article is omitted. Jesus is spoken of as "TiiE 
Lord," just as God is. In Acts 4:26, God, the Father, is 
spoken of as "The Lord," and eight verses further on Jesus is 
called "The Lord." If any one doubts the attitude of the 
apostles of Jesus toward Him as Divine, tl ey would do well to 
read one after another the passages which speak of Him as 

8. "Lord of all," Acts 10:36. 

9. "The Lord of Glory," i Cor. 2:8. In Ps. 24:8-10, 
"The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory." 

10. "Wonderful." Is. 9:6; cf. with this Judges 13:18; 
R. V., where it is the Angel of Jehovah, who says His nam* 
is Wonderful. And it would be easy to prove, from O1<J 


The Deity of Our Lord and Saviour 

Testament Scripture, that the Angel of Jehovah was a Divine 
Person, namely, Christ, before His incarnation. 

11. "Mighty God," Is. 9:6. 

12. "Father of Eternity," Is. 9:6; R. V. Margin. 

13. "God." In Heb. i :8 Jesus is called "God" in so 
many words, "But Thy throne, O GOD, is forever and ever." 
In John 20 :28 when Thomas fell at the feet of our Lord and 
cried to Him: "My Lord and MY GOD/ Jesus accepted the 
ascription of Deity to Himself and gently rebuked Thomas 
for not believing it before. 

14. "God with us," Matt. 1 :23. 

15. "Our Great God," Titus 2:13, R. V. 

16. "God blessed forever," Rom. 9:5. 

II. The second line of proof of the Deity of our Lord is 
that five or more distinctively diiwc attributes are ascribed 
to Jesus Christ and all the fullness of the Godhead is said to 
du dl in Him. 

i. In Heb. 1 13 and Eph. 1 :2o OMNIPOTENCE is ascribed 
to Jesus Christ. In many passages we are taught that He 
had power over disease, that it was subject to His Word; He 
had power over death, that it was subject to His Word ; that 
He had power over the winds and the sea, that they were 
subject to His Word; that He had power over demons, that 
they were subject to His Word. 2. In John 21 117 and 16, 
30, OMNISCIENCE is ascribed to Jesus Christ. In many 
passages we are taught that He knew the secret thoughts of 
men ; that He knew all men ; that He knew what was in man. 
Whereas, in Jer. 17:9, 10, we are taught that Jehovah only 
knows the hearts of men. We are also taught in the New 
Testament that Jesus knew, from the beginning, man s present 
thoughts and their future choices ; that He knew what they 
wtre doing at a distance; that He knew the future, not only 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

regarding God s acts, but regarding the minute specific acts 
of men, and even regarding the fishes of the sea. And in 
Col. 2 13, we are taught that in Him "are hid all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge." 

3. In Matt. 18:20 and 28:30 and John 3:13; 14:20; 2 
Cor. 13:5; Eph. 1:23, OMNIPRESENCE is ascribed to Jesus 
Christ. 4. In John i :i ; Micah 5 -.2; Col. i =17; Is. 9:6; John 
17 :5 ; John 8 155 ; i John i :i ; Heb. 13 :8 ; ETERNITY is ascribed 
to Jesus Christ. 5. In Heb. 13:8; 1:12, IMMUTABILITY is 
ascribed to Jesus Christ. 6. In Phil. 2:6, we are taught 
that Jesus Christ, before His incarnation, was IN THE FORM 
OF GOD. The Creek word translated "form" means "the 
form by which a person or thing strikes the vision, the exter 
nal appearance." (Thayer s Greek-Eng. Lexicon of the N 
T.). Summing it all up under this head, Paul declares in 

III. The third line of proof of the Deity of our Lord is 
that seven distinctively divine offices are predicated of Jesus 
Christ, i. In Heb. 1:10; John 1:3; Col. i :i6, CREATION is 
ascribed to Jesus Christ. 2. In Heb. i :3, THE PRESERVATION 


CHRIST. 3. In Mark 2:5-10; Luke 7:48, and many other 
CHRIST. In this connection it is worthy of note that in Luke 
7 40-47, Jesus says that sins are against Himself. He speaks 
of both Simon and the woman as sinners, being debtors to 
Himslf. But sin can only be committed against God. We 
can wrong others, but not sin against them in the strict 
sense of the word (cf. Ps. 51:4). 4. In John 6:39-44, THE 




I he Deitv of Our Lord and Sainour 


DEAD is ASCRIBED TO JESUS CHRIST. Jesus Himself empha- 
sized the divine character of these offices in John 5 :22, 23. He 
says, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all 
judgment unto the Son : That all men should honor the Son, 
crcn as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son 
honoreth not the Father, which hath sent Him." 7. In John 

IV. The fourth line of proof of the Deity of our 
Lord Jesus is that statements which, in the Old Testament, 
arc made distinctly of Jehovah, God, are taken in the New 
Testament to refer to Jesus Christ. That is, IN NEW TESTA 

AND DOCTRINE. For example, in Heb. i : 10-12, we read these 
words, "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the 
foundation of the earth ; and the heavens are the works of Thy 
hands ; they shall perish, but Thou remainest ; and they shall 
all wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou 
fold them up, and they shall be changed ; but Thou art the 
same, and Thy years shall not fail." This is a quotation of a 
statement made about God in Ps. 102:24-27. In Luke 
1 :68, 69, 76, we read : "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; 
for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath 
raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of 

His servant David And Thou, Child, shalt be 

called the prophet of the Highest; for Thou shalt go before 
the face of the Lord to prepare His ways." Here, it is evident, 
that Jesus is the Lord before whose face the messenger goes 
to prepare His way before Him, but in Is. 40:3, 4 (see Amer. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

R. V.) it is Jehovah whose way the messenger is to prepare 
before Him. In Rev. 2:23, we read, "And I will kill her 
children with death; and all the churches shall know that 
I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts : and I will give 
unto every one of you according to your works." Here it is 
Jesus who searcheth the reins and hearts", but in the Old 
Testament, in Jer. 11:20; 17:10, Jehovah is represented as 
saying that He is the One who tries the reins and heart. 
In Luke 2 132, we read of Jesus, "A light to lighten the Gen 
tiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel" ; but in Is. 60 :i9, we 
read (Am. R. V.), "Jehovah will be unto thee an everlasting 
light and thy God thy glory." In Is. 6:1, 3, 10, we read cer 
tain words that Isaiah spoke -when He saiv the glory of Je 
hovah of hosts, but in John 12:37-41, John says it was when 
Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus Christ that he said this. Of 
course, the inference is plain. There are many other passages 
of a similar character where statements which, in the Old 
Testament, are made unmistakably of Jehovah God are taken 
in the New Testament to refer to Jesus Christ. "Lord" in the 
Old Testament always refers to God, except where the context 
clearly indicates otherwise. "Lord" in the New Testament 
always refers to Jesus Christ, except where the context clearly 
indicates otherwise. 

V. The fifth line of proof of the Deity of our Lord 


FINITE BEING. Illustrations of this can be found in 2 Cor. 
13:14; Matt. 28:19; i Thess. 3:11 ; I Cor. 12:4:6; Tit, 3 -.4, 5 ; 
Rom. 1:7; Jas. I :i ; especially John 14:13; 2 Pet. I :i ; cf. 
R. V.; Col. 2:2 (see R. V.); John 17:3; John 14:1; cf. Jer. 
Z7--5-7; ^v. 7:10; 5:13 


The Deity of Our Lord and Saviour 

VI. The last, and, if possible, the most decisive proof 
of the Deity of our Lord Jesus is that WE ARE TAUGHT IN 
SHIPPED AS GOD HY AXGKLS AND MEN. Passages in point are 
Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:52; Matt. 14:33 cf. Acts 10:25, 26; 
Rev. 22:8, 9; Matt. 4:9, 10. In these passages we see that 
Jesus Christ accepted, without hesitation, the worship which 
men and angels declined with fear and horror. It is often 
said that the verb translated "worship" in these passages 
is sometimes used of reverence paid to men in high position. 
We are so told in the margin of the American R. V. The 
statement is true, but it is misleading. The word is used 
of reverence paid to men in high position, but it is not used in 
this way by worshippers of Jehovah, as is seen by the way 
in which both Peter and the angel drew back when such wor 
ship was offered to them. In Heb. 1 :6 we read, "And again, 
when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he 
saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him." There 
can be no possible mistaking of the meaning of this passage. 
And in Phil. 2:10, u, we read, "That at the name of Jesus 
every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in 
earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue 
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, 
the Father." And from all these passages it is evident that 
Jesus Christ is a Person to be worshipped by angels and men, 
even as God, the Father, is worshipped. 

To sum it all rp, by the use of numerous Divine names, 
by the ascription of all the distinctively Divine attributes, by 
the predication of several Divine offices, by referring state 
ments which, in tl.e Old Testament, distinctly name Jehovah 
God as their subject to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, by 
coupling the name of Jesus Christ with that of God, thf 

1 he Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

Father, in a way in which it would be impossible to couple that 
of any finite being with that of the Deity and by the clear 
teaching that Jesus Christ should be worshipped even as God, 
the Father, is worshipped in all these unmistakable ways 
God, in His Word, distinctly proclaims that Jesus Christ is a 
Divine Being is GOD. 




A recent writer has remarked that our assured conviction 
of the Deity of Christ rests, not upon "proof-texts or passages, 
nor upon old arguments drawn from these, but upon the gen 
eral fact of the whole manifestation of Jesus Christ, and of 
the whole impression left by Him upon the world." The an 
tithesis is too absolute, and possibly betrays an unwarranted 
distrust of the evidence of Scripture. To make it just, we 
should read the statement rather thus : Our conviction of the 
Deity of Christ rests not alone on the Scriptural passages 
which assert it, but also on His entire impression on the world ; 
or perhaps thus : Our conviction rests not more on the Scrip 
tural assertions than upon His entire manifestation. Both 
lines of evidence are valid ; and when twisted together form 
an unbreakable cord. The proof-texts and passages do prove 
that Jesus was esteemed divine by those who companied 
with Him; that He esteemed Himself divine; that He was 
recognized as divine by those who were taught by the Spirit; 
that, in fine, He was divine. But over and above this Biblical 
evidence the impression Jesus has left upon the world bears 
independent testimony to His Deity, and it may well be that 
to many minds this will seem the most conclusive of all its 
evidences. It certainly is very cogent and impressive. 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 


The justification which the author we have just quoted 
gives of his neglecting the scriptural evidence in favor of that 
borne by Jesus impression on the world is also open to criti 
cism. "Jesus Christ," he tells us, "is one of those essential 
truths which are too great to be proved, like God, or freedom, 
or immortality." Such things rest, it seems, not on proofs 
but on experience. We need not stop to point out that this 
experience is itse,lf a proof. We wish rather to point out that 
some confusion seems to have been fallen into here between 
our ability to marshal the proof by which we are convinced 
and our accessibility to its force. It is quite true that "the 
most essential conclusions of the human mind are much wider 
and stronger than the arguments by which they are sup 
ported" ; that the proofs "are always changing but the beliefs 
persist." But this is not because the conclusions in question 
rest on no sound proofs ; but because we have not had the skill 
to adduce, in our argumentative presentations of them, the 
really fundamental proofs on which they rest. 


A man recognizes on sight the face of his friend, or his 
own handwriting. Ask him how he knows this face to be that 
of his friend, or this handwriting to be his own, and he is 
dumb, or, seeking to reply, babbles nonsense, Yet his recog 
nition rests on solid grounds, though he lacks analytical skill 
to isolate and state these solid grounds. We believe in God 
and freedom and immortality on good grounds, though we 
may not be able satisfactorily to analyze these grounds. Xo 
true conviction exists without adequate rational grounding in 

The Deity of Christ 

evidence. So, if we are solidly assured of the deity of Girist, 
it will be on adequate grounds, appealing to the reason. But 
it may well be on grounds not analyzed, perhaps not analyz- 
able, by us, so as to exhibit themselves in the forms of formal 

We do not need to wait to analyze the grounds of our 
convictions before they operate to produce convictions, any 
more than we need to wait to analyze our food before it nour 
ishes us ; and we can soundly believe on evidence much mixed 
with error, just as we can thrive on food far from pure. The 
alchemy of the mind, as of the digestive tract, knows how to 
separate out from the mass what it requires for its support; 
and as we may live without any knowledge of chemistry, so 
we may possess earnest convictions, solidly founded in right 
reason, without the slightest knowledge of logic. The Chris 
tian s conviction of the deity of his Lord does not depend for 
its soundness on the Christian s ability convincingly to state 
the grounds of his conviction. The evidence he offers for it 
may be wholly inadequate, while the evidence on which it 
rests may be absolutely compelling. 


The very abundance and persuasiveness of the evidence of 
the deity of Christ greatly increases the difficulty of adequately 
stating it. This is true even of the scriptural evidence, as pre 
cise and definite as much of it is. For it is a true remark of 
Dr. Dale s that the particular texts in which it is definitely 
asserted are far from the whole, or even the most impressive, 
proofs which the Scriptures supply of our Lord s deity. He 
compares these texts to the salt-crystals which appear on the 
sand of the sea-beach after the tide has receded. "These 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

are not," he remarks, "the strongest, though they may be 
the most apparent, proofs that the sea is salt ; the salt is 
present in solution in every bucket of sea-water." The deity 
of Christ is in solution in every page of the New Testament. 
Every word that is spoken of Him, every word which He is 
reported to have spoken of Himself, is spoken on the assump 
tion that He is God. And that is the reason why the "criti 
cism" which addresses itself to eliminating the testimony of 
the New Testament to the deity of our Lord has set itself a 
hopeless task. The New Testament itself would have to be 
eliminated. Nor can we get behind this testimony. Because 
the deity of Christ is the presupposition of every word of the 
New Testament, it is impossible to select words out of the 
New Testament from which to construct earlier documents in 
which the deity of Christ shall not be assumed. The assured 
conviction of the deity of Christ is coeval with Christianity it 
self. There never was a Christianity, neither in the times of 
the Apostles nor since, of which this was not a prime tenet. 


Let us observe in an example or two how thoroughly 
saturated the Gospel narrative is with the assumption of the 
deity of Christ, so that it crops out in the most unexpected 
ways and places. 

In three passages of Matthew, reporting words of Jesus, 
He is represented as speaking familiarly and in the most 
natural manner in the world, of "His angels" (13:41; 16:27; 
24:31). In all three He designates Himself as the "Son of 
man" ; and in all three there are additional suggestions of His 
majesty. "The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and 
they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause 

The Deity of Christ 

stumbling and those that do iniquity, and shall cast them into 
the furnace of fire." 

Who is this Son of Man who has angels, by whose instru 
mentality the final judgment is executed at His command? 
"The Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with 
His angels ; and then shall He reward every man according to 
his deeds." Who is this Son of man surrounded by His an 
gels, in whose hands are the issues of life? The Son of man 
"shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, 
and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, 
from one end of heaven to the other." Who is this Son of 
man at whose behest His angels winnow men? A scrutiny of 
the passages will show that it is not a peculiar body of angels 
which is meant by the Son of man s angels, but just the angels 
as a body, who are His to serve Him as He commands. 
In a word, Jesus Christ is above angels (Mark 13:32) as is 
argued at explicit length at the beginning of the Epistle to 
the Hebrews. "To which of the angels said he at any time, 
Sit thou on my right hand, etc." (Heb. 1 113.) 


There are three parables recorded in the fifteenth chapter 
of Luke as spoken by our Lord in His defence against the 
murmurs of the Pharisees at His receiving sinners and eating 
with them. The essence of the defence which our Lord offers 
for Himself is, that there is joy in heaven over repentant sin 
ners ! Why "in heaven," "before the throne of God" ? Is He 
merely setting the judgment of heaven over against that of 
earth, or pointing forward to His future vindication? By no 
means. He is representing His action in receiving sinners, in 
seeking the lost, as His proper action, because it is the normal 

The Higher Critfcism and The New Theology 

conduct of heaven, manifested in Him. He is heaven come 
to earth. His defence is thus simply the unveiling of what the 
real nature of the transaction is. The lost when they come to 
Him are received because this is heaven s way; and He can 
not act otherwise than in heaven s way. He tacitly assumes 
the good Shepherd s part as His own. 


All the great designations are not so much asserted as as 
sumed by Him for Himself. He does not call Himself a 
prophet, though He accepts this designation from others : He 
places Himself above all the prophets, even above John, the 
greatest of the prophets, as Him to whom all the prophets 
look forward. If He calls Himself Messiah, He fills that 
term, by doing so, with a deeper significance, dwelling ever on 
the unique relation of Messiah to God as His representative 
and His Son. Nor is He satisfied to represent himself merely 
as standing in a unique relation to God : He proclaims Him 
self to be the recipient of the divine fullness, the sharer in all 
that God has (Matt. 11:28). He speaks freely of Himself 
indeed as God s Other, the manifestation of God on earth, 
whom to have seen was to have seen the Father also, and who 
does the work of God on earth. He openly claims divine 
prerogatives the reading of the heart of man, the forgive 
ness of sins, the exercise of all authority in heaven and earth. 
Indeed, all that God has and is He asserts Himself to have 
and be ; omnipotence, omniscience, perfection belong as to the 
one so to the other. Not only does He perform all divine 
acts ; His self-consciousness coalesces with the divine con 
sciousness. If His followers lagged in recognizing His deity, 
this was not because He was not God or did not sufficiently 

The Deity of Christ 

manifest His deity. It was because they were foolish and slow 
of heart to believe what lay patently before their eyes. 


The Scriptures give us evidence enough, then, that Christ j 
is God. But the Scriptures are far from giving us all the 
evidence we have. There is, for example, the revolution which 
Christ has wrought in the world. If, indeed, it were asked 
what the most convincing proof of the deity of Christ is, per- 
ihe best answer would be, just Christianity. The new 
life He has brought into the world; the new creation which 
lie has produced by His life and work in the world; here are 
at least His most palpable credentials. 

Take it objectively. Read such a book as Harnack s "The 
Expansion of Christianity," or such an one as Von Dob- 
schiitz s "Christian Life in the Primitive Church" neither 
of which allows the deity of Christ and then ask, Could these 
things have been wrought by power less than divine? And 
then remember that these things were not only wrought in that 
heathen world two thousand years ago, but have been wrought 
over again every generation since; for Christianity has re 
conquered the world to itself each generation. Think of how 
the Christian proclamation spread, eating its way over the 
world like fire in the grass of a prairie. Think how, as it 
spread, it transformed lives. The thing, whether in its objec 
tive or in its subjective aspect, were incredible, had it not 
actually occurred. "Should a voyager," says Charles Darwin, 
"chance to be on the point of shipwreck on some unknown 
coast, he will most devoutly pray that the lesson of the mis 
sionary may have reached thus far. The lesson of the mis 
sionary is the enchanter s wand." Could this transforming in- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

fluence, undiminished after two millenniums, have proceeded 
from a mere man ? It is historically impossible that the great 
movement which we call Christianity, which remains unspent 
after all these years, could have originated in a merely human 
impulse; or could represent today the working of a merely 
human force. 


Or take it subjectively. Every Christian has within him 
self the proof of the transforming power of Christ, and can 
repeat the blind man s syllogism : Why herein is the marvel 
that ye know not whence He is, and yet He opened my eyes. 
"Spirits are not touched to fine issues who are not finely 
touched." "Shall we trust," demands an eloquent reasoner, 
"the touch of our fingers, the sight of our eyes, the hearing 
of our ears, and not trust our deepest consciousness of our 
higher nature the answer of conscience, the flower of spirit 
ual gladness, the glow of spiritual love ? To deny that spiritual 
experience is as real as physical experience is to slander the 
noblest faculties of our nature. It is to say that one half of 
our nature tells the truth, and the other half utters lies. The 
proposition that facts in the spiritual region are less real than 
facts in the physical realm contradicts all philosophy." The 
transformed hearts of Christians, registering themselves "in 
gentle terms, in noble motives, in lives visibly lived under 
the empire of great aspirations" these are the ever-present 
proofs of the divinity of the Person from whom their inspira 
tion is drawn. 

The supreme proof to every Christian of the deity of his 

Lord is then his own inner experience of the transforming 

power of his Lord upon the heart and life. Not more surely 

does he who feels the present warmth of the sun know that the 


The Deity of Christ 

sun exists, than he who has experienced the re-creative power 
of the Lord know Him to be his Lord and his God. Here 
is, perhaps we may say the proper, certainly we must say the 
most convincing, proof to every Christian of the deity of 
Christ ; a proof which he cannot escape, and to which, whether 
he is capable of analyzing it or drawing it out in logical state 
ment or not, he cannot fail to yield his sincere and unassailable 
conviction. Whatever else he may or may not be assured of 
he knows that his Redeemer lives. Because He lives, we shall 
live also that was the Lord s own assurance. Because we 
live, He lives also that is the ineradicable conviction of every 
Christian heart. 




There is no doctrine of the faith of our fathers which 
is more widely questioned at the present day than that con 
cerning the future destiny of those who reject Jesus Christ 
in the life that now is. Even in circles that have little sym 
pathy with the destructive criticism, or with the denial of the 
Virgin birth of our Lord and His bodily resurrection from 
the dead and other phases of thought which are characteristic 
of "the new theology," there is widespread denial, or at least 
doubt, of the endless, conscious suffering of the persistently 
impenitent. Where there is no denial or doubt regarding this 
doctrine, there is at least silence concerning it. Very grave evils 
have arisen from the general questioning regarding the reality 
and awfulness of a future hell. A firm belief that there is a hell 
and that men would receive, in a future life, punishment for 
the sins that went unpunished in the life that now is, exerted 
a mighty restraining influence over the lives of men. With 
the weakening of that belief there has been an appalling 
increase in suicide, social impurity, unfaithfulness of husbands 
to wives and wives to husbands, divorce, and all kinds of 
lewdness, lawlessness and anarchy. There has also been an 
appalling decrease in the churches of separation from the 
world and of concern and prayer for the salvation of the lost, 

Future Punishment 

at home and abroad. A strong belief in a stern doctrine, 
regarding the future punishment of the impenitent, drives 
Christians to prayer and to effort for the salvation of the lost 
as almost nothing else docs. 

The only really important question regarding future pun 
ishment is, What does the Bible teach ? Human speculations on 
such a subject as this have no value whatever. All we know 
about it is what God has been pleased to reveal. Of ourselves 
we know nothing of the life beyond the grave. God knows all 
about it. God has been pleased to reveal to us much that 
He knows, and on a subject like this, one ounce of God s reve 
lation is worth ten tons of man s speculation. Most of the 
false theories regarding future punishment are built upon the 
proposition that God is love. To this fact they constantly ap 
peal to give force to their arguments. But how do we know 
that God is love? Only from the Bible. Human reason can 
not prove that God is love if we discard the Bible. The phy 
sical universe and human history teach that there is a God 
who is a wise and beneficent being, but they do not teach 
that God is love. We learn this entirely from that revelation 
of Himself which God has made in the Bible. Discredit the 
Bible and w r e have no satisfactory proof that God is love. 
Now the teaching of the Bible is true, or else it is not true. 
Now if the teaching of the Bible is true, then we must accept 
all that it teaches, and we must accept what it teaches about 
future punishment. It is utterly illogical to take out of 
the Bible the things that we like and reject the things we do 
not like. To take a statement out of the Bible and to draw 
from it inferences that contradict other plain teachings of 
the Bible is to be utterly illogical. On the other hand, if the 
Bible is not true, \ve have no proof that God is love, and all 
the arguments built upon that fundamental proposition fall to 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

the ground, and consequently all the theories of future 
punishment, which start out with the love of God as their 
premise, collapse. We may take whichever horn of the dilemma 
that we please that the teaching of the Bible is true, or that 
the teaching of the Bible is not true and in either case, the 
doctrine of the ultimate salvation of all men can be shown 
to be untrue. 

Many seek to discredit the Bible in order to get relief 
from this stern doctrine regarding future retribution, but no 
relief can be obtained by discrediting the Bible. There are 
two absolutely certain facts of experience and observation. 
The first fact is that whoever sins must suffer, and suffer 
more or less for every sin which he commits. We all know 
that to be true. The second certain fact of experience and 
observation is that the longer one sins, the more deeply he 
sinks down into sin and into the moral bondage and blindness 
and misery and shame and agony and despair which are the 
consequence of sin. Now put these two facts together, that 
whoever sins must suffer, and the longer he sins the deeper 
he sinks down into the moral bondage, blindness, misery, 
shame, agony and despair which are the consequence of sin, 
and when the possible day of repentance has passed (and it 
must be passed some time), what have we left but an ever 
lasting hell. The only change that the Bible introduces into 
the problem is that it points out the way of escape and salva 
tion from sin and its consequences, and those who seek to do 
away with the doctrine of an awful and eternal hell by dis 
crediting the Bible are guilty of the incredible folly of trying 
to .<?hut up hell by closing the only door of escape. Loose 
doctrines, regarding future punishment, do not come from 
consulting reason but consulting our prejudices and our un- 
sn.nctified wishes. 


Future Ptlltithinfhl 


I. That there is a Hell. In Matt. 5:29, R. V., Jesus 
says, "And if thy richt eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it 
out, and cast it from thee : for it is profitable for thee that 
one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be 
cast into hell." These words certainly teach that there is a 
hell. If there is no hell, these words of Christ s are without 
meaning, and the One who uttered them is a fool, so whoever 
denies that there is a hell makes Jesus out to have been a fool. 
Again our Lord Jesus says, in Matt. 25 141, "Then shall he say 
also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels." 
And in the forty-sixth verse of the same chapter, "And 
thes shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the 
righteous into life eternal." These words also certainly 
teach that there is a hell. The Apostle Paul says, in 2 Thess. 
I 7-9, R. V., "And to you that are afflicted rest with us, at 
the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels 
of His power in filling fire, rendering vengeance to them 
that know not God, rnd to them that obey not the Gospel of 
our Lord Jesus : v h ) shall suffer punishment, even eternal 
destruction from tl e face of the Lord and from the glory 
of His might." Wh?n we come to see later what destruc 
tion means in the Bible we will see that these verses 
also plainly teach that there is a hell. The Apostle Peter 
says, in 2 Pet. 2:4, Q, "For if God spared not the angels 
that sinned, but ca:t them down to hell, and delivered 
them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto 
judgment . . . The Lord knoweth how to deliver the 
godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

day of judgment to be punished." These words certainly 
teach that there is a hell. The Apostle John says, in Rev. 
20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of 
life was cast into the lake of fire." These words teach that 
there is a hell. Our Lord Jesus says once more, in Rev. 21 :8, 
after He Himself has died and gone down into the abode of the 
dead and come up therefrom and risen and ascended to the 
right hand of the Father He certainly knows now what 
He is talking about "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and 
the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and 
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in 
the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : which is the 
second death." These words certainly teach that there is a 
heH. All these passages, taken in their context, point unmis 
takably to a hell, and to a hell that is not merely a condition, 
but a place, and a place of awful and prolonged conscious 

II. In the second place, the Bible teaches that HELL is 
many passages in the New Testament. But a few illustra 
tions will serve our present purpose. The commonest words 
used in the Bible to express the doom of the impenitent are 
"death" and "destruction." They constantly recur. Now what 
do "death" and "destruction" mean ? God always takes pains 
to define His terms and He has defined these terms. We will 
find God s definition of destruction by a comparison of Rev. 
17:8 with Rev. 19:20 and Rev. 20:10. In Rev. 17:8 we are 
told that the beast shall "go into perdition." The word here 
translated "perdition" is the same word which is elsewhere 
translated "destruction," and ought to be so translated here, 
or else it ought to be translated differently in the other 
passages. Now if we can find where the beast goes, we will 

Future Punishment 

have God s own definition of "perdition" or "instruction." In 
Rev. 19:20 we are told that the beast "was cast alive into the 
lake of fire burning with brimstone" (R. V.)- Now if we turn 
to Rev. 20:10 we are told that a thousand years after the beast 
was cast into the "lake of fire burning with brimstone" that 
the Devil is cast into the same "lake of fire burning with 
brimstone" where the beast and false prophet still "are" (that 
is, they are there still after a thousand years) and "shall be 
tormented day and night forever and ever." By God s own 
definition "perdition" or "destruction" is a portion in a place 
defined as a "lake of fire burning with brimstone," whose in 
habitants are tormented consciously forever and ever. 

\Ye will find God s definition of "death" in Rev. 21 :8, 
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and 
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, 
and all liars, shall have their part in the lake, which burneth 
with fire and brimstone : which is the second death." God s 
definition of death, therefore, is a portion in the lake which 
burneth with fire and brimstone, just the same as His defini 
tion of "perdition." It may be said that these statements 
are highly figurative. Very well, let it go at that, but we must 
remember that God s figures always stand for facts, and God 
is no liar and God s figures never overstate the facts, and if 
these words be figures, they mean at least this much, bodily 
suffering, and that of the intensest kind. We should remem 
ber, furthermore, that in the next life we do not exist as dis 
embodied spirits. All this theory, so common today of the 
immortality of the soul independent of the body, where we 
float about as disembodied spirits, is ethnic philosophy, and not 
New Testament teaching. According to the Bible, in the world 
to come the redeemed spirit is clothed upon with a body, 
not this same body, it is true, a radically different body, but 

The Higher Criticism and The Xeii Tfaology 

still a body, perfect counterpart cf the redeemed spirit that 
inhabits it and partaker with it in all its blessedness. On the 
other hand, according to the Bible, there is a resurrection of 
the unjust as well as of the just (John 5 128, 29), and the lost 
spirit is clothed upon with a body, not the same body with 
which it is clothed in the present life, but a body, perfect coun 
terpart of the lost spirit that inhabits it and partaker with it 
in all its misery. 

II. The Bible teaches that HELL IS A PLACE OF 
MEMORY AND REMORSE. Our Lord Jesus has given 
us a picture in Luke 16:19-31 (there is no indication in 
the narrative that it is merely a parable) of the condi 
tion of a lo-l man after death. It is true that this pic 
ture has to do with the intermediate state, that is, the 
condition of the lost before the final judgment of the 
great White Throne, but it clearly indicates what will be 
the condition after that also. In the picture which Christ 
has given us of the rich man in Hades, Abraham said to the 
rich man "Remember." The rich man had not taken much 
that he had on earth with him into Hades, but he had taken 
one thing; he had taken his memory. And men and women 
today who go on in sin and therefore are doomed to spend 
eternity in hell, will not take much with them that they 
have in their present life, but they will take one thing, they 
will take their memories. Men will remember the women 
whose lives they have blasted and ruined, and women will 
remember the lives they have squandered in fashion and fri 
volity and foolishness that they ought to have lived for God. 
Everyone will remember the Christ they have rejected and 
the opportunities for salvation which they have despised. 
There is no torment known to man like the torment of an 
accusing memory. I have seen, in my office in Chicago, strong 

Future Punishment 

men weeping: like children. What was the matter ? Memory ! 
I have seen one of the brainiest, nerviest, strongest men I 
ever knew throw himself upon the floor of my office and roil 
and sob and groan and wail. What was the matter? Mem 
ory ! I have had men and women hurry up to me at the close 
of a service with pale cheeks, with drawn lips, with haunted 
eyes and beg a private conversation. What was the matter? 
Memory! And the memory and the conscience that are not 
set at peace in the life that now is by the atoning blood of 
Christ and the pardoning grace of God, never will be. Hell 
is a place where men remember and suffer. 

III. The Bible teaches that HELL IS A PLACE OF 
tells us that the rich man in Hades, cried, "Send Laza 
rus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water that 
he may cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this 
flame." (R. V.) These are dreadful words, appalling 
words, but they are the words of Jesus. Hell is evidently 
a place where desire and passion exist in their highest 
potency and where there is nothing to gratify them. The men 
and the women who, in this present life, are living in sin, or 
living in worldliness, are developing into ruling power pas 
sions and desires for which there is no gratification in that 
world toward which they are hastening on, and where they 
must spend eternity. Happy is that man or woman who, by 
setting their affection on things above in the life which now 
is, cultivates into ruling power desires and aspirations for which 
there is abundant satisfaction in the eternal world to which 
we are all going. Wretched, indeed, is that man or woman, 
who, by living for sin or living for the world, cultivates into 
ruling power passions and desires for which there is no grati 
fication in that eternal world toward which they are hastening 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

on. What could more accurately represent their condition 
than the picture of a man in a scorching flame with parched 
tongue longing for one drop of water to cool his tongue, but 
no water to be had. 

V. The Bible teaches that Hell is a place of shame and 
contempt. We read in Daniel 12:2, "And many of them that 
sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlast 
ing life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." How 
heart breaking is the agony of shame. How many it drives to 
despair, insanity and suicide. Hell is a place of universal 
shame where every inhabitant is dishonored, disgraced and 
exposed to everlasting contempt and abhorrence. 

VI. The Bible teaches that Hell is a place of vile com 
panionships. Jesus Christ Himself has given us a picture 
of the society of hell in Rev. 21 :8, "But the fearful, and un 
believing, and the abominable and murderers, and whore 
mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have 
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." 
That is the society of hell. It may be said that some men and 
women of brilliant gifts and attractive character reject Christ, 
and, therefore, according to the teaching of the Bible, must 
spend eternity in hell. This is true, but how long will it take 
the most gifted man or woman to sink in such a world as 
that beneath the level of the vilest moral leper that now walks 
our streets. I can go to the lowest dives in Chicago and pick 
you out men who were once physicians, lawyers, congressmen, 
college professors, leading business men, and even ministers 
of the Gospel, but who are now living with thugs, drunkards, 
whoremongers and everything that is vile and bad. How did 
they get there ? They began to sink. And in such society as 
that of hell, the best man or woman that ever enters there will 


Future Punishment 

soon sink beneath the level of the vilest that we know here 
upon earth. 

VII. The Bible teaches that HELL IS A WORLD 
WITHOUT HOPE. There are those that contend that there 
is hope even in hell, and that men and women who die im 
penitent will have another chance to repent and be saved. For 
many years men have been seeking to prove this from the Bible. 
I do not wonder that men try to prove it. I would to God that 
they could prove it. If any one could give me one good proof 
(i. e. Bible proof, for no other proof on this subject is of any 
value) that there is hope, even in hell, and that those that die 
impenitent will have another chance, and that all will ulti 
mately repent and accept Christ, it would be the happiest day 
of my life. If any one could show me one single passage of 
Scripture that, properly interpreted in its context taught that, it 
would bring unspeakable gladness to my heart, but they can 
not do it. I have carefully examined every passage on this 
subject that has ever been produced to prove that proposition. 
I once thought that I had discovered one that really taught 
this, and I taught it, but the time came when I found that the 
passage would not bear the burden that I put upon it and, with 
great reluctance, I gave up my doctrine of eternal hope and 
that all men would ultimately be saved. I have read and pond 
ered the best literature on this subject in English and in Ger 
man with the hope that I might find proof that was really 
satisfying, that even after death men might repent and be 
saved, but at last I had to give up the hope. It is said by 
those who would have us believe that there is hope even in 
hell, that the word Aionios, translated "everlasting," does not 
necessarily mean never-ending. It is true that it does not 
necessarily mean never-ending. This is its natural meaning 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

and its usual meaning, but there are places where it is used 
without the full significance of never-ending. What it does 
mean, therefore, in any given instance, must be determined 
by the context. In Matt. 25 46, we read, "These shall go away 
into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eter 
nal." The word which is translated "everlasting" in the first 
part of the verse is the same as the word translated "eternal" 
in the latter part of the passage, and what it means in the last 
half of the verse, it must also mean in the first part of the 
verse. But no one doubts that in the last part of the verse 
it means absolutely endless; therefore, it must mean that in 
the first part of the verse. We must admit that our Lord was 
at least an honest man and He was too honest to use a word 
with one meaning in one half of a verse and with another 
meaning in the other half of the verse. Our Lord Jesus then 
teaches the absolute endlessness of the future punishment of 

But this is not the worst of it. There is another expres 
sion, Eis tous aionas ton aionon (or as it is sometimes found, 
Eis aionas aionon). This expression is used twelve times in 
one book, the last book in the Bible. Eight times it is used 
of the existence of God and the duration of His reign ; once 
of the duration of the blessedness of the righteous ; and in 
every remaining instance of the punishment of the beast, the 
false prophet and the impenitent. It cannot be doubted, then, 
that it means absolute endlessness. It is the strongest known 
expression for absolute endlessness. It represents not merely 
years tumbling upon years, or centuries tumbling upon centu 
ries, but ages tumbling upon ages in endless procession. I 
have hunted my Bible through again and again and again for 
one ray of hope for men that died impenitent just one ray 
of hope that can be called such when the passage is properly 

Future Punishment 

interpreted by the right laws of exegesis and I have failed 
after years of search to find one. The Bible does not hold 
out one ray of hope for men and women who died without 
Christ. Any one who dares to do so dares to do what God 
has not done, and takes a fearful responsibility upon himself. 
VIII. The Bible teaches that THE ETERNAL FU 
LIFE THAT NOW IS. Jesus says in John 8:21, "Ye shall 
die in your sins : Whither I go, ye cannot come." Thus 
settling it that a man who dies in sin, dies unsaved, 
cannot go where He does. In Heb. 9:27, we read, "It 
is appointed unto men once to die, and after this [that is, after 
death, without an opportunity of further repentance] the 
judgment." We read in 2 Cor. 5 :io, that "We must all ap 
pear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may 
receive the things done in his body, according to that which 
he has done whether it be good or bad." That is to say, the 
things done in the body," the things done this side of the grave ; 
the things done before we shuffle off this mortal coil, are the 
basis of eternal judgment. The same truth is clea. ly implied 
in the words of our Lord in John 9 14, "I must work the works 
of Him that sent Me while it is day ; the night cometh when 
no man can work." The clear implication of these words, 
taken in their context, is that the time when a man must 
work is this side the grave. We read in Rev. 20:12, "And 
I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the 
books were opened : and another book was opened, which is 
the book of life : and the dead were judged out of those things 
which were written in the books, according to their works." 
The clear teaching of this passage is that the eternal judgment 
of the Great White Throne is decided by what one has been 
and done in the life that now is. The Bible does not con- 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

tain one hint of another chance. The only passage that 
might seem to imply the possibility of another chance is I Pet. 
3:18, 19, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just 
for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to 
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit : by which also 
He went and preached unto the spirits in prison." This has 
been taken to mean that Christ, after His crucifixion and His 
death, went in His spirit into that part of Hades where lost 
spirits dwell and there preached the Gospel to them, and it is 
thought by some to imply that there was a chance of their re 
pentance. I formerly so interpreted the passage, but, on fur 
ther study, I found out that it did not so teach. In the first 
place, "the spirits in prison" are, presumably, the fallen angels 
who sinned in the days of Noah (See Gen. 6:1, 2 cf. Jude 
6, 7). The word "spirits" is not used of men anywhere in 
the Bible in this way. However, this does not greatly mat 
ter, for, in the second place, there are two words translated 
"preach" in the New Testament. One means to herald, as, for 
example, to herald the kingdom, and the other means to 
preach the Gospel. The word used in this passage is not the 
word that means to preach the Gospel, but the word which 
means to herald, and the utmost that the passage can teach 
is that Jesus went to the abode of the lost dead and heralded 
there the triumph of the kingdom. It was not a Gospel proc 
lamation, neither is there the slightest indication that any one, 
either angel or man, repented and was saved. 

Some one may ask, may not those who have never heard 
of Christ in this world have another opportunity. To this 
we must answer, that there is not a line of Scripture upon 
which to build such a hope. All men have sufficient light to 
condemn them if they do not obey it. We read in Rom. 2:u. 
16, "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish 

Future Punishment 

without law : and as many as have sinned in the law shall be 
judged by the law. ... in the day when God shall judge 
the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel." 
It is sometimes strangely imagined that this passage was given 
to show how men are saved by the light of nature. Any one 
who will study the context will discover that it was given 
to show not how man was saved by the light of nature, but 
how the Gentile is under condemnation by the law written in 
his heart, just as the Jew is under condemnation by the 
law of Moses. The conclusion of the whole matter is found 
in Rom. 3 119, 20, 21, 22, 23, "Now we know that what things 
soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law : 
that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become 
guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law there 
shall no flesh be justified in His sight : for by the law is the 
knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without 
the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the 
prophets ; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of 
Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there 
is no difference : for all liave sinned, and come short of the 
glory of God." 

The conclusion of the whole matter is that the future 
state of those who reject the redemption offered to them in 
Jesus Christ is plainly declared to be a state of conscious, un 
utterable, endless torment and anguish. This conception is 
an awful and appalling one. It is, however, the Scrip 
tural conception and also the reasonable one, when we 
come to see the appalling nature of sin and especially the 
appalling nature of the sin of trampling under foot God s 
mercy toward sinners and rejecting God s glorious Son Whom 
His love has provided as a Saviour. Shallow views of sin and 
of God s holiness and of the infinite glory of Jesus Christ 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

and of His claims upon us lie at the bottom of weak theories 
of the doom of the impenitent. When we see sin in all its 
hideousness and enormity, the holiness of God in all its per 
fection, and the majesty and glory of Jesus Christ in all its 
infinity, nothing but a doctrine that those who persist in the 
choice of sin, who love darkness rather than light and who 
persist in the rejection of the Son of God, shall endure ever 
lasting anguish, will satisfy the demands of our own moral 
intuitions. Nothing but the fact that we dread suffering 
more than we loathe sin and more than we love the glory 
of Jesus Christ makes us repudiate the thought that beings 
who eternally choose sin shall eternally suffer, or that men 
who despise God s mercy and spurn His Son shall be given 
over to endless anguish. 

But some one will ask, What about our impenitent friends 
and loved ones? To these we would answer, it is better to 
recognize facts, no matter how unwelcome they may be and 
to try to save those friends from the doom to which they are 
certainly hurrying on, than to quarrel with facts and seek 
to remove them by shutting our eyes to them. Furthermore, 
if we love Christ supremely, as we should love Him, and 
realized His infinite glory and His supreme claims upon man, 
as we should realize them, then will we say, if even the dearest 
friend we have on earth persists in trampling this infinitely 
glorious Christ under foot, he ought to be banished from 
the presence of God and to suffer forever and ever. If some 
one you greatly love should commit some hideous wrong 
against one whom you loved still more and persist eternally 
in that wrong, would you not consent to his eternal separa 
tion from the one whom he seeks to wrong and to his eternal 
suffering? If, after men have sinned against God and God 
still offers them mercy and makes the tremendous sacrifice of 

Future Punishment 

His Son to save them, if they still despise that mercy and 
trample God s Son under foot, if then they are consigned to 
everlasting torment, all right-minded people, all persons who 
are in sympathy with God and His righteous government, 
must exclaim, "Amen ! Hallelujah ! True and righteous are 
Thy judgments, O Lord !" 

At all events, the doctrine of the conscious, endless suf 
fering of persistently impenitent man is clearly revealed in 
the Word of God, and whether we can defend it on philo 
sophical grounds or not, it is our business to believe it and 
to proclaim it and to leave it to the clear light of eternity to 
explain what we cannot now understand, realizing that an 
infinitely wise God may have many infinitely wise reasons for 
doing things for which we, in our ignorance, can see no 
sufficient reason at all. It is the most unpardonable conceit 
for beings, so limited in knowledge, and so foolish, as the 
wisest of men are, to attempt to dogmatize how a God of 
infinite wisdom must act. All we know about how God will 
act is what God has been pleased to reveal to us. 

Two things are certain. First, the more closely men 
walk with God and the more devoted they become to His ser 
vice, the more likely are they to believe this doctrine. There 
are many who tell us that they love their fellowmen too much 
to believe this doctrine, but the men who show their love in 
more practical ways than sentimental protestations about it, 
the men who show their love for their fellowmen as Jesus 
Christ showed His love, by laying down their lives for them, 
they believe the doctrine. And what is more to the point, 
Jesus Christ Himself believed it and taught it, and surely no 
one of us would think of comparing our love to our fellow- 
men with His love to man. As professed Christians become 
worldly and easy-going they grow loose in their doctrine 


The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

concerning the doom of the impenitent. The fact that loose 
doctrines regarding future punishment are spreading so rap 
idly and so widely in the church in our day is nothing in their 
favor. It is rather against them, for who can deny that 
worldliness is also spreading in the church. (See I Tim. 4:1 ; 
2 Tim. 3:1; 4:2, 3.) Increasing laxity of life and increas 
ing laxity of doctrine go arm in arm. The church that 
dances and frequents theatres and plays cards and lives in all 
manner of self-indulgence during the week, enjoys a doctrine 
on the Lord s Day that makes the punishment of the wicked 
not so awful after all. 

The second thing that is certain is that those who accept 
a loose doctrine regarding the ultimate penalty of sin (whether 
it be restorationism, or universalism or annihilation, or mil 
lennial dawnism, or whatever it may be) lose their power for 
God. They often are very clever at argument and zealous in 
proselyting, but they are always poor at soul-saving. They 
are seldom found beseeching men to be reconciled to God. 
They are far more likely to be found trying to upset the faith 
of those already won by the efforts of others than trying to 
win men who have no faith at all. If you really believe the 
doctrine of the endless, conscious suffering of the persist 
ently impenitent, and the doctrine really gets hold of you, 
you will work as you never worked before for the salvation 
of the lost. If you, in any wise abate the doctrine, it will 
abate your zeal. Time and time again, the writer of these 
pages has come up to this appalling doctrine and tried to find 
some way to escape from it, but when he has failed to find 
such a way of escape (as he always has in the final outcome 
when he was honest with the Bible and with himself) he has 
returned to his work with an increased burden for souls and 
an intensified determination to spend and be spent for their 



"Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies them 
selves being fudges." Deut. 32:31. 


"Young man, my advice to you is that you cultivate an 
acquaintance with and firm belief in the Holy Scriptures, for 
this is your certain interest. I think Christ s system of morals 
and religion, as He left them with us, the best the world ever 
saw or is likely to see." 


"I have said and always will say that the studious perusal 
of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, 
and better husbands." 


"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our 
country will go on prospering and to prosper; but, if we and 
our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can 
tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all 

The Higher Criticism and The AYzc r Theology 

our glory in profound obscurity. The Bible is the book of all 
others for lawyers as well as divines, and I pity the man who 
cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and rule of conduct. 
I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. The miracles 
which He wrought establish, in my mind, Jlis personal au 
thority and render it proper for me to believe what He as 


"I know men, and I tell you Jesus Christ was not a man. 
Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the 
founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That 
resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and 
other religions the distance of infinity. Alexander, Caesar, 
Charlemagne and myself founded empires. But on what did 
we rest the creations of our genius ? Upon sheer force. Jesus 
Christ alone founded His empire upon love ; and at this hour 
millions of men will die for Him. In every other existence but 
that of Christ how many imperfections! From the first day 
to the last He is the same; majestic and simple; infinitely firm 
and infinitely gentle. He proposes to our faith a series of mys 
teries anci commands with authority that we should believe 
them, giving no other reason than those tremendous words, 
I am God. 

"The Bible contains a complete series of acts and of his 
torical men to explain time and eternity, such as no other re 
ligion has to offer. If it is not true religion, one is very 
excusable in being deceived ; for everything in it is grand and 
worthy of God. The more I consider the Gospel, the more 
I am assured that there is nothing there v:hich is not beyond 
the march of events and above the human mind. Even the 
impious themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of 

Tributes to Christ ant! the Bible 

the Gospel, which inspires them with a sort of compulsory 
veneration. What happiness that Book procures for those 
who believe it !" 


"It is a belief in the Bible which has served me as the 
guide of my moral and literary life. No criticism will be able 
to perplex the confidence which we have entertained of a 
writing whose contents have stirred up and given life to our 
vital energy by its own. The farther the ages advance in 
civilization the more will the Bible be used." 


"Jesus is our divinest symbol. Higher has the human 
thought not yet reached. A symbol of quite perennial, infinite 
character : whose significance will ever demand to be anew in 
quired into and anew made manifest." 


"The most perfect being who has ever trod the soil of this 
planet was called the Man of Sorrows." 


"I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, and exhort my dear children humbly 
to try to guide themselves by the teachings of the New Testy 


The Higher Criticism and The Neu> Thculo^\ 


"I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, 
hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of 
Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life ever 


"If ever man was God, or God man, Jesus Christ was 


"To the Bible men will return because they cannot do 
without it. The true God is and must be pre-eminently the 
God of the Bible, the eternal who makes for righteousness, 
from whom Jesus came forth, and whose spirit governs the 
course of humanity." 


"No better lessons can I teach my child than those of the 


"I have always been strongly in favor of secular educatioi 
without theology, but I must confess that I have been no less 
seriously perplexed to know by what practical measures the 
religious feeling, which is the essential basis of moral conduct, 
is to be kept up in the present utterly chaotic state of opinion 
on these matters without the use of the Bible." 

Tributes to Christ and the Bible 


"Who among His disciples, or among their proselytes, 
was capable of inventing the sayings of Jesus, or imagining the 
life and character ascribed to Him? Certainly not the fisher 
men of Galilee; as certainly not Saint Paul, whose character 
and idiosyncrasies were of a totally different sort ; and still 
less the early Christian writers. When this pre-eminent 
genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest 
moral reformer and martyr to His mission who ever existed 
upon earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice 
in pitching on this man as the ideal representative and guide 
of humanity; nor even now would it be easy, even for an 
unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue 
from the abstract into the concrete, than to endeavor so to 
live that Christ would approve his life." 


"Can it be possible that the sacred personage whose his 
tory the Scriptures contain should be a mere man ? Where is 
the man, where the philosopher, who could so live and so 
die without weakness and without ostentation? When Plato 
describes his imaginary righteous man, loaded with all the 
punishments of guilt, yet meriting the highest rewards of vir 
tue, he exactly describes the character of Jesus Christ. What 
an infinite disproportion between the son of Sophroniscus and 
the Son of Mary. Socrates dies with honor, surrounded by his 
disciples listening to the most tender words the easiest death 
that one could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonor, mock 
ery, the object of universal cursing the most horrible death 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

that one could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, 
Socrates blesses him who could not give it to him without 
tears; Jesus, while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His 
most bitter enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a phi 
losopher, Jesus lived and died like a god. 

"Peruse the books of philosophers with all their pomp of 
diction. How meager, how contemptible are they when com 
pared with the Scriptures? The majesty of the Scriptures 
strikes me with admiration." 


"Christ s moral character rose beyond comparison above 
that of any other great man of antiquity. No one was ever so 
gentle, so humble, so kind as He. In His spirit He lived in the 
house of His heavenly Father. His moral life is wholly pene 
trated by God. He was the master of all, because He was 
really their brother." 


"All history is incomprehensible without Him. He cre 
ated the object and fixed the starting point of the future faith 
of humanity. He is the incomparable man to whom the uni 
versal conscience has decreed the title of Son of God, and 
that with justice. 



(To those who have believed that faith in the Bible and 
the God of the Bible does not harmonize with the modern 
scientific spirit the following testimony from a distinguished 
physician and surgeon should be of great value. 

The Editor of Appleton s Magazine says of Dr. Kelly : 

"Dr. Howard Kelly, of Baltimore, holds a position almost 
unique in his profession. With academic, professional, and 
honorary degrees from the Universities of Pennsylvania, 
Washington and Lee, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, his rank as 
a scholar is clearly recognised. For some twenty years Pro 
fessor of obstetrics and gynccology at Johns Hopkins Univer 
sity, his place as a ivorker and teacher in the applied science of 
his profession has been beyond question the highest in Amer 
ica and Europe. At least a dozen learned societies in England, 
Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, France and the 
United States have welcomed him to membership as a master 
in his specialty in surgery. Finally, his published works have 
caused him to be reckoned the most eminent of all authorities 
in his own field.") 

I have, within the past twenty years of my life, come out 
of uncertainty and doubt into a faith which is an absolute 
dominating conviction of the truth and about which I have 

The Higher Criticism and The New Theology 

not a shadow of doubt. I have been intimately associated with 
eminent scientific workers ; have heard them discuss the pro- 
foundest questions ; have myself engaged in scientific work, 
and so know the value of such opinions. I was once pro 
foundly disturbed in the traditional faith in which I have been 
brought up that of a Protestant Episcopalian by inroads 
which were made upon the book of Genesis by the higher 
critics. I could not then gainsay them, not knowing Hebrew 
nor archaeology well, and to me, as to many, to pull out one 
great prop was to make the whole foundation uncertain. 

So I floundered on for some years trying, as some of my 
higher critical friends are trying today, to continue to use the 
Bible as the Word of God and at the same time holding it 
of composite authorship, a curious and disastrous piece of 
mental gymnastics a bridge over the chasm separating an 
older Bible-loving generation from a newer Bible-emancipated 
race. I saw in the book a great light and glow of heat, yet 
shivered out in the cold. 

One day it occurred to me to see what the book had to 
say about itself. As a short, but perhaps not the best method, 
I took a concordance and looked out "Word," when I found 
that the Bible claimed from one end to the other to be the 
authoritative Word of God to man. I then tried the natural 
plan of taking it as my text-book of religion, as I would use 
a text-book in any science, testing it by submitting to its con 
ditions. I found that Christ Himself invites men (John 7:17) 
to do this. 

I now believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, 
inspired in a sense utterly different from that of any merely 
human book. 

I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, without 

A Personal Testimony 

human father, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Vir 
gin Mary. That all men without exception are by nature 
sinners, alienated from God, and when thus utterly lost in sin 
the Son of God Himself came down to earth, and by shedding 
His blood upon the cross paid the infinite penalty of the guilt 
of the whole world. I believe he who thus receives Jesus 
Christ as his Saviour is born again spiritually as definitely as 
in his first birth, and, so born spiritually, has new privileges, 
appetites and affections ; that he is one body with Christ the 
Head and will live with Him forever. I believe no man can 
save himself by good works, or what is commonly known 
; s a "moral life," such works being but the necessary fruits 
and evidence of the faith within. 

Satan I believe to be the cause of man s fall and sin, and 
his rebellion against God as rightful governor. Satan is the 
Prince of all the kingdoms of this world, yet will in the end be 
cast into the pit and made harmless. Christ will come again 
in glory to earth to reign even as He went away from the 
earth, and I look for His return day by day. 

I believe the Bible to be God s Word, because, as I use it 
day by day as spiritual food, I discover in my own life as well 
as in the lives of those who likewise use it a transformation 
correcting evil tendencies, purifying affections, giving pure de 
sires, and teaching that concerning the righteousness of God 
which those who do not so use it can know nothing of. It is 
as really food for the spirit as bread is for the body. 

Perhaps one of my strongest reasons for believing the 
Bible is that it reveals to me, as no other book in the world 
could do, that which appeals to me as a physician, a diagnosis 
of my spiritual condition. It shows me clearly what I am by 
nature one lost in sin and alienated from the life thai is in 

The Higher Criticism and The Nciv Theology 

God. I find in it a consistent and wonderful revelation, from 
Genesis to Revelation, of the character of God, a God far re 
moved from any of my natural imaginings. 

It also reveals a tenderness and nearness of God in Christ 
which satisfies the heart s longings, and shows me that the 
infinite God, Creator of the world, took our very nature upon 
Him that He might in infinite love be one with His people to 
redeem them. I believe in it because it reveals a religion 
adapted to all classes and races, and it is intellectual suicide 
knowing it, not to believe it. 

What it means to me is as intimate and difficult a question 
to answer as to be required to give reasons for love of father 
and mother, wife and children. But this reasonable faith gives 
me a different relation to family and friends ; greater tender 
ness to these and deeper interest in all men. It takes away 
the fear of death and creates a bond with those gone before. 
It shows me God as a Father who perfectly understands, who 
can give control of appetites and affections, and rouse one to 
fight with self instead of being self-contented. 

And if faith so reveals God to me I go without question, 
wherever He may lead me. I can put His assertions and 
commands above every seeming probability in life, dismissing 
cherished convictions and looking upon the wisdom and ratio 
cinations of men as folly if opposed to Him. I place no limits 
to faith when once vested in God, the sum of all wisdom and 
knowledge, and can trust Him though I should have to stand 
alone before the world in declaring Him to be tru. 


Date Due 

Library Bureau Cat. No. 1137 

Torroy. : 


The hih- i and