King's Business - 1917-10



GENERALLY IGNORED Turning to other Dictionaries of the Bible, there is found generally the same omission of this subject, except in the most recent works. Smith’s Bible Dictionary (Kitto), Encyclopaedic of Biblical Litera­ ture (Hamburger), Real-Encyclopaedic (Eadie), Biblical Encyclopaedia, have noth­ ing on this subject. McClintock and Strong, Encyclopaedia of Biblical and Ecclesiastical Literature, has an article' on “Biblical Archaeology” consisting entirely of Bib­ lical geography, also an article of a general character under the title “Sacred Antiqui­ ties.” Coming to works of more recent date, the Catholic Encyclopaedia has an able' and comprehensive article on “Bibli­ cal Antiquities.” The Jewish Encyclo­ paedia has also; a helpful article of five pages on .“Biblical Archaeology.” The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia has an article. But even in these Bible Dictionaries, where the subject of archaeology is presented, it is almost always treated in a general -way. On the function of archaeology in criticism, the right, power and authority of archaeol­ ogy in critical discussion, there is almost nothing, certainly nothing approaching an acknowledgment that archaeology is counted upon for very much in the settle­ ment of critical controversies. But what have the critics to say upon the subject? Since encyclopaedias have lit­ tle to say on the subject of archaeology and criticism, it is to be expected that critics, who are contributors to all the encyclo­ paedias, will have as little to say in their own individual writing. The expectation is not disappointed. Where they have said anything at all on the subject, they have varied much in their estimate of the value of archaeology in criticism, according to their individual predilections and the pre­ conceptions of their critical theories, but for the most part, until very recently, archaeology has not been given a com­ manding, or even a prominent, place by critics. Most use was made of it formerly by conservative critics but latterly it has

been much used by a few who would be shocked to be so designated. AVOIDING THE FIRE Wellhausen, it is true, seems to declare, indeed does declare, for the dominance of certain phases of archaeology in criticism, in the beginning of -his History of Israel when he says: “Fròm the place where the conflagration was first kindled, the firemen keep away. I mean the domain of religious antiquities and dominant religious ideas, that whole region as Vatke in his Biblical Theology has marked it out. But only here where the conflict was kindled, can it be brought to a definite conclusion !” But this is one of the canons of criticism which Wellhausen found it convenient, for some reason, to leave in almost complete desue­ tude in the delevolpment of his brilliant theory. Driver, in his admirable essay on Hebrew tradition in Authority and Archaeology, when discussing the value of various kinds of evidence on critical questions, says : “The testimony of archaeology sometimes deter­ mines the question decisively,” but rather amusingly adds a manifest saving device to the effect that archaeological testimony is “often strangely misunderstood,” and then hastens to take refuge in his own ark by declaring the defeats' of criticism at the hands of archaeology often “purely imag­ inary.” It is interesting to note that Driver maintained this same attitude in his Intro­ duction in its early editions, he seemed to abandon it in later editions, but has now returned to it in the recent seventh edition of Genesis. Cheyne admits the former disposition of critics to make little use of archaeology, especially Assyriology. In his Bible. Prob­ lems he says : “I have no wish to deny that the so-called ‘higher critics' in the past were as a rule suspicious of Assyriol­ ogy as a young, and, as they thought, too self-assertive science, and too sceptical as to the influence of Babylonian culture in relatively early times in Syria, Palestine and even Arabia.”

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