The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day: A Study in Moral Development

The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day: A Study in Moral Development

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The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day: A Study in Moral Development

The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day: A Study in Moral Development

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Two views of the Old Testament still contend for mastery among the adherents of Christianity. The one regards it as a sort of talisman, miraculously given and divinely authoritative on the subject of God, religion, and morals, in every part. The other regards it as a growth, in which the moral sanctions of each stage of development were succeeded and displaced by the next higher one.

A former generation called into question chiefly the historical difficulties presented by the traditional view. The present generation is troubled by the crudity of its moral implications, and by what Matthew Arnold rather severely characterized as "its insane license of affirmation about God." Even the late Henry Drummond, who came close to the thinking youth of his day, observed that the difficulty which young men had in accepting the Old Testament was no longer intellectual, but moral.

Under the traditional scheme of the Bible its moral content is all of one piece. To quote one of its defenders, "The Bible itself knows of but one kind of inspiration, and that is an inspiration which extends to every chapter, verse, word, and syllable of the original Scriptures, using the mind and mouth, the heart and hand of the writers, guiding them in the least particu-

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