The Evolution of the Hebrew People and Their Influence on Civilization

Excerpt

It was not so very many years ago that the word evolution was occasioning much discussion, especially in the circles of bible students. Violent opposition was aroused to the idea. bible teaching was supposed to be overthrown if the thought of evolution was accepted. All that has passed away, at least among intelligent people. Evolution is an accepted fact not only biologically but in a much wider sense than its original meaning seemed to signify. Men are applying it to every branch of knowledge. When one approaches any subject of investigation the immediate presupposition is that the present is evolved out of the past. Moreover, the future is wrapped up in the present. Whatever the future is to be in any line of work or life depends upon what the present holds. Upon no branch of knowledge has this idea thrown greater illumination than upon history. History is simply the unfolding of this evolutionary process; it is the story of the evolution of races and nations. And at no point in the study of history has this idea been more enlightening than at the point of bible history. Thus the meaning of the bible itself has become so much more significant that within the last few years the bible has become a new book, and to-day the desire to approach it from the modern point of view is manifest not simply among scholars but in churches and bible schools, in literary clubs, and among people at large.

If Hebrew history were the mere history of an ancient race it would, indeed, be interesting when approached from this standpoint. Where did Abraham come from? Why did he leave his native land? How did he become the father of a nation? All are questions doubly fascinating to any eager student of history. The evolution of any ancient race, as, for example, the Cretans or the Hittites, is a problem affording keenest pleasure to any historically trained mind of the present . . .

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1917

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