BIBLICAL CRITICISM AND
AMONG THE EARLIEST of Theodore Parker's scholarly interests was his study of Biblical writings from the viewpoint of historical and literary criticism. He was one of the first theologians in America to appreciate the farreaching significance of this "scientific" methodology. He was convinced that from it would come a general advance in all the sciences, that it would give dignity to free inquiry in the most conservative areas of human learning, and that it Would support both moral and ecclesiastical reform.
His first introduction to the methods and scope of Biblical criticism was a result of his editorial work for The Scriptural Interpreter1 during his senior years at the Divinity School. in the course of his preparation of exegetical and historical articles, Parker became aware of the writings of such foremost German' scholars of the Old and New Testaments as Johann Gottfried Eichhorn and Wilhelm M. L. De Wette. This early interest, together with the encouragement he was given by his lifelong friend, Dr Convers Francis,2 and by such colleagues as George Ripley____________________