Studies in the Book of Daniel: A Discussion of the Historical Questions

G. P Putnam's sons



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G. P Putnam's sons
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Dec 31, 1917
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Robert Dick Wilson
A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament By ROBERT DICK WILSON. PREFACE: IT IS the purpose of the present volume to show that intelligent Christians have a reasonable ground, for concluding that the text of the Old Testament which we have is substantially correct, and that, In its true and obvious meaning, it has a right to be considered a part of the infallible rule of faith and practice that we have in the Holy Scrip tures. I have not gone into a discussion of miracles and prophecy, either as to their possibility or as to their actuality. All believers in the incarnation and the resurrection must accept this possibility and this ac tuality. I seek rather to show that, so far as anyone knows j the Old Testament can be and is just what the authors claimed it to be, and what the Christ and the New Testament writers thought it to be. The theory of kenasis so far as it affects the Lords knowledge of the Old Testament, is, I hope, shown to be unnecessary, because the facts and the evidence bear ing upon the Old Testament support the testimony of Jesus. I have not said much about the chronology and the geography of the Old Testament, because in neither of these two departments of history are the facts and the evidence sufficiently well established to give us re- 5 liable testimony upon the details of the Biblical rec ords as they bear upon these two important subjects. As to the first chapters of Genesis, the extra-Biblical sources now known show that before the time of Abraham the minds of men were much occupied with the origin of the universe and also, that the account in Genesis is the only one which is clearly monotheistic, and that it is incomparably superior in rationality to the ten or more accounts from Egypt and Babylonia. The Babylonian account of the flood confirms the probability that the Biblical records de scribe a real historical occurrence and, as Professor Sayce said long ago, shows by its similar combination of the so-called J and P documents of the Pentateuch that the radical hypothesis of the post-captivity com position of the Biblical record of the deluge is abso lutely contrary to the facts. The time, the extent, and many of the circumstances of the flood are still debatable but that there was a flood before the time of Abraham and that the Genesis account of it is cor rect is abundantly supported in substance by the evi dence of the eleventh tablet of the Babylonian record The method followed may be called the evidential method because I have sought to follow the Laws of Evidence as applied to documents admitted in our courts of law. I presume that the prinia facie evi dence of the documents of the Old Testament is to be received as true until it shall have been proved false. I hold, further, that the evidence of manuscripts and 6 versions and of the Egyptian, Babylonian and other documents outside the Bible confirms the pnma facie evidence of the Biblical documents in general both as to text and meaning and that this text and meaning cannot be corrected or changed simply in order to be brought into harmony with the opinions of men of our generation. To demand that we should verify every statement of any ancient document or modern for that matter before we can reasonably believe it, is demanding the impossible...
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