A Guidebook to the Biblical Literature

A Guidebook to the Biblical Literature

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A Guidebook to the Biblical Literature

A Guidebook to the Biblical Literature

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This book is meant to be just what its title names it: a guidebook to the Biblical literature, not a substitute for it. Its office is subsidiary, not principal. One does not study a guidebook for its own sake. The familiar little redcovered volumes that deck the traveled man's shelf bear witness not to erudition in that species of literature but to intimate memories and experiences wherein the useful manual that pointed out the scene of them is forgotten. So may it fare with the guidebook herewith introduced to the reader. The desired stimulus of it, if indeed it can lay any claim to such effect, is meant to be toward the straight study of the Bible itself, as one would study a virgin object of science, without deflection, without denial, without surrogate. Its postulate is that the Bible, reverently and constructively interrogated, is its own best interpreter. It bears the same relation, accordingly, to the wealth and width of the literature to which it would direct its readers that Murray and Baedeker bear to the lands and cities and treasures of their research; and its best hopes will be met if it succeeds, in some deserving measure, in placing them at the fair and free point of view whence, surveying with open eye the rich realm of the Biblical literature, they may see and know it as it essentially is.

In essaying, on the scale and scope here contemplated, to be a guide through so vast a tract of literary wealth, the author's most exacting problem has risen not from the difficulty or abstruseness of the subject but from its largeness, its sheer embarras de richesses. Here in a single volume is a book covering the life of many centuries which, as . . .

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