A Critical Introduction to the Old Testament

A Critical Introduction to the Old Testament

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A Critical Introduction to the Old Testament

A Critical Introduction to the Old Testament

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Excerpt

In spite of the fact that it is customary to bind it in a single volume, the Old Testament contains a considerable body of literature. Yet, if that literature were simply and unquestionably the product of the Small number of authors recognised by 'tradition,' though there would be a place for histories of Hebrew literature, there would be little or none for what it has become customary to call critical introductions.

But 'tradition' is no longer really accepted even by conservative' scholars: they may, indeed, maintain, for example, that the Pentateuch is the work of Moses, but they recognise at the same time that it has received additions from later hands than his, additions, too, of considerably greater extent than the record of Moses' death, which even Jewish 'tradition' admitted, though not unanimously, to have been written by another.

The inquiries, then, with which critical introductions are concerned, are necessary, and the real difficulty is to do justice to them within the compass of a small volume. What I have attempted is to show first of all that a problem exists, that tradition is inadequate to explain the facts which are revealed by any careful study of the several books. The actual solution of the various problems can often be but very partial; and the answers to many of the questions that arise tentative, and far from certain. To many of the problems many different solutions or variations of the same solution have been given. It . . .

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