had gone out of his work. His data were the human mind

3. Then there are in our King James version a few archaic and obsolete phrases. We have already spoken of them. Most of them have been avoided in the revised versions. The neuter possessive pronoun, for example, has been put in. Animal names have been clarified, obsolete expressions have been replaced by more familiar ones, and so on.

had gone out of his work. His data were the human mind

4. Then there were certain inaccuracies in the King James version. The fact is familiar that they transliterated certain words which they could not well translate. In the revised versions that has been carried farther still. The words which they translated "hell" have been put back into their Hebrew and Greek equivalents, and appear as Sheol and Hades. Another instance is that of an Old Testament word, Asherah, which was translated always "grove," and was used to describe the object of worship of the early enemies of Israel. The translation does not quite represent the fact, and the revisers have therefore replaced the old Hebrew word Asherah. The transliterations of the King James version have not been changed into translations. Instead, the number of transliterations has been increased in the interest of accuracy. At one point one might incline to be adversely critical of the American revisers. They have transliterated the Hebrew word Jehovah; so they have taken sides in a controversy where scholars have room to differ. The version would have gained in strength if it had retained the dignified and noble word "Lord," which comes as near representing the idea of the Hebrew word for God as any word we could find. It must be added that the English of neither of our new versions has the rhythm and movement of the old version. That is partly because we are so accustomed to the old expressions and new ones strike the ear unpleasantly. In any case, the versions differ plainly in their English. It seems most unlikely that either of these versions shall ever have the literary influence of the King James, though any man who will prophesy about, that affects a wisdom which he has not.

had gone out of his work. His data were the human mind

These, then, are the two differences between this lecture and the preceding ones, that in this lecture we shall deal with judgments as well as facts, and that we shall deal with the Bible of to-day rather than the King James version.

had gone out of his work. His data were the human mind

Passing to the heart of the subject, the question appears at once whether the Bible has or can have to-day the influence or the place which it seems to have had in the past. Two things, force that question: Has not the critical study of the Bible itself robbed it of its place of authority, and have not the changes of our times destroyed its possibilities of influence? That is, on the one hand, has not the Bible been changed? On the other hand, has it not come into such new conditions that it cannot do its old work?

It is a natural but a most mistaken idea that the critical study of the Bible is a new thing. From long before the childhood of any of us there has been sharp controversy about the Bible. It is a controversy-provoking Book. It cannot accept blind faith. It always has made men think, and it makes them think in the line of their own times. The days when no questions were raised about the Bible were the days when men had no access to it.

There are some who take all the Bible for granted. They know that there is indifference to it among friends and in their social circle; but how real the dispute about the Bible is no one realizes until he comes where new ideas, say ideas of socialism, are in the air. There, with the breaking of other chains, is a mighty effort to break this bond also. In such circles the Bible is little read. It is discussed, and time- worn objections are bandied about, always growing as they pass. In these circles also every supposedly adverse result of critical study is welcomed and remembered. If it is said that there are unexplained contradictions in the Bible, that fact is remembered. But if it is said further that those contradictions bid fair to yield to further critical study, or to a wiser understanding of the situations in which they are involved, that fact is overlooked. The tendency in these circles is to keep alive rather the adverse phases of critical study than its favorable phases. Some of those who speak most fiercely about the study of the Bible, by what is known as higher criticism, are least intelligent as to what higher criticism actually means. Believers regret it, and unbelievers rejoice in it. As a matter of fact, in developing any strong feeling about higher criticism one only falls a prey to words; he mistakes the meaning of both the words involved.

Criticism does not mean finding fault with the Bible.[1] It is almost an argument for total depravity that we have made the word gain an adverse meaning, so that if the average man were told that he had been "criticized" by another be would suppose that something had been said against him. Of course, intelligent people know that that is not necessarily involved. When Kant wrote The Critique of Pure Reason he was not finding fault with pure reason. He was only making careful analytical study of it. Now, critical study of the Bible is only careful study of it. It finds vastly more new beauties than unseen defects. In the same way the adjective "higher" comes in for misunderstanding. It does not mean superior; it means more difficult. Lower criticism is the study of the text itself. What word ought to be here, and exactly what does that word mean? What is the comparative value of this manuscript over against that one? If this manuscript has a certain word and that other has a slightly different one, which word ought to be used?

[1] Jefferson, Things Fundamental, p. 90.

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