The Heroes and Crises of Early Hebrew History from the Creation to the Death of Moses

The Heroes and Crises of Early Hebrew History from the Creation to the Death of Moses

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The Heroes and Crises of Early Hebrew History from the Creation to the Death of Moses

The Heroes and Crises of Early Hebrew History from the Creation to the Death of Moses

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Every man consciously or unconsciously makes his own working canon of the Bible. Sometimes this working canon includes everything that is found in the Scriptures, irrespective of relative values; sometimes it is pitiably limited, and fails to include many exceedingly important passages. To use the Bible intelligently and profitably it is important to realize that it is a great library, containing many different books, written by a great variety of authors, who lived in periods widely remote, and who wrote with diverse aims and points of view. Over twelve centuries lie between Moses and Paul, and each century contributed its part to the gradually growing records of God's revelation of his character and will in the experiences, the hearts and the minds of men.

The men of later ages, who have given us our present canons of the Old and the New Testaments, in their zeal to preserve all the existing records, included certain writings, which possess only a secondary historical and religious value. Sometimes, as in the case of the Gospels, they have also preserved three or four distinct yet parallel records of the same events; and sometimes, as in the case of the opening books of the Old Testament, they have closely blended together the older and later records into one continuous narrative.

The great service of modern, constructive biblical scholarship has been to distinguish and to restore the older records to their original form, and to make it possible again to study the heroic characters and stirring events in Israel's history as recorded by the earliest historians. In simplicity, literary beauty and historical value, the oldest history of Israel far surpasses the work of the later biblical historians. It includes practically all of the peerless narratives which have commanded the attention and moulded the faith and morals of humanity. When the later distracting parallels, the genealogical tables, the later Jewish traditions regarding the origin of institutions, and the popular legendary . . .

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