Critical Study

1884 The Old Testament Student  
tions cannot constitute them Higher critics or the reverse. Higher criticism is to be distinguished from Textual (Lower) Criticism, and if the name Lower had been applied to the introductory science, confusion would not have arisen in regard to the one appropriately designating the advanced science. A Delitzsch, or a Green, or a Bissell, who seeks to answer the above questions is a Higher Critic; so is a Wellhausen, or a Smith, or else a scholar who is conducting such investigations cannot be
more » ... gations cannot be placed at all until he has reached his conclusions; and, then, from the point of view of such scholars as attach a stigma to the term, he is to be called a Higher Critic, should he have departed in his conclusions from conservative views; while with those who deny the right of Wellhausen and his school to the name Higher Critic, our enquirer would be excluded from the class. The confusion on both sides is removed by making the term refer, not to the results, and not altogether to the methods, but to the character of the questions, which the critic of all beyond the mere text proposes. Iigher critics may be divided into conservative critics, evangelical critics, extreme critics, rationalistic critics, etc. If a term is desired to describe the extreme critics of Germany and elsewhere, "newer" is temporarily unobjectionable; but it is not right to destroy the meaning of a carefully chosen word by applying the term Higher exclusively to Wellhausenism, nor, on the other hand, should we exclude from our class men of his stamp simply on account of their conclusions, and this not because Wellhausenism is praiseworthy, but because the term Higher is to be used as distinguished from Textual and refers to a special form of eniquiry. C. +EDIFTO1I Ih . IOTES.* Critical Study.-Why should theological students and ministers who are to devote their lives to the practical work of saving souls, spend time either in working out, or in following out questions which demand careful and exhaustive study, and which do not have a direct and practical bearing upon the work they have in hand? Is not such work to be done by specialists? Can anything more be expected than a knowledge, perhaps, of the more important of the results reached by specialists? Away then with all study which looks toward a familiarity with the meaning of Hebrew words, or with the niceties of Greek syntax. Who has not heard such thoughts expressed again and again? But have those who feel thus ever stopped to consider all that is involved in this? It would be difficult, we believe, to find a train of thought more demoralizing, or more vicious in its tendency. No man is fair to himself, or true to the religion which he professes, who does not avail himself of all possible means to ascertain the exact meaning of the Book which he preaches, or, at least, of the particular text which is under treatment. It is no excuse to say that he has no time for the critical and exegetical study of the Bible. The clergyman who will substitute for this study, the study of science, or of literature, or of history, or who will allow the direct and pressing work of his parish, important though it be, to cause him to give up or neglect critical and thorough study of the Bible, comes far short of being a true minister. tions cannot constitute them Higher critics or the reverse. Higher criticism is to be distinguished from Textual (Lower) Criticism, and if the name Lower had been applied to the introductory science, confusion would not have arisen in regard to the one appropriately designating the advanced science. A Delitzsch, or a Green, or a Bissell, who seeks to answer the above questions is a Higher Critic; so is a Wellhausen, or a Smith, or else a scholar who is conducting such investigations cannot be placed at all until he has reached his conclusions; and, then, from the point of view of such scholars as attach a stigma to the term, he is to be called a Higher Critic, should he have departed in his conclusions from conservative views; while with those who deny the right of Wellhausen and his school to the name Higher Critic, our enquirer would be excluded from the class. The confusion on both sides is removed by making the term refer, not to the results, and not altogether to the methods, but to the character of the questions, which the critic of all beyond the mere text proposes. Iigher critics may be divided into conservative critics, evangelical critics, extreme critics, rationalistic critics, etc. If a term is desired to describe the extreme critics of Germany and elsewhere, "newer" is temporarily unobjectionable; but it is not right to destroy the meaning of a carefully chosen word by applying the term Higher exclusively to Wellhausenism, nor, on the other hand, should we exclude from our class men of his stamp simply on account of their conclusions, and this not because Wellhausenism is praiseworthy, but because the term Higher is to be used as distinguished from Textual and refers to a special form of eniquiry. C. +EDIFTO1I Ih . IOTES.* Critical Study.-Why should theological students and ministers who are to devote their lives to the practical work of saving souls, spend time either in working out, or in following out questions which demand careful and exhaustive study, and which do not have a direct and practical bearing upon the work they have in hand? Is not such work to be done by specialists? Can anything more be expected than a knowledge, perhaps, of the more important of the results reached by specialists? Away then with all study which looks toward a familiarity with the meaning of Hebrew words, or with the niceties of Greek syntax. Who has not heard such thoughts expressed again and again? But have those who feel thus ever stopped to consider all that is involved in this? It would be difficult, we believe, to find a train of thought more demoralizing, or more vicious in its tendency. No man is fair to himself, or true to the religion which he professes, who does not avail himself of all possible means to ascertain the exact meaning of the Book which he preaches, or, at least, of the particular text which is under treatment. It is no excuse to say that he has no time for the critical and exegetical study of the Bible. The clergyman who will substitute for this study, the study of science, or of literature, or of history, or who will allow the direct and pressing work of his parish, important though it be, to cause him to give up or neglect critical and thorough study of the Bible, comes far short of being a true minister. tions cannot constitute them Higher critics or the reverse. Higher criticism is to be distinguished from Textual (Lower) Criticism, and if the name Lower had been applied to the introductory science, confusion would not have arisen in regard to the one appropriately designating the advanced science. A Delitzsch, or a Green, or a Bissell, who seeks to answer the above questions is a Higher Critic; so is a Wellhausen, or a Smith, or else a scholar who is conducting such investigations cannot be placed at all until he has reached his conclusions; and, then, from the point of view of such scholars as attach a stigma to the term, he is to be called a Higher Critic, should he have departed in his conclusions from conservative views; while with those who deny the right of Wellhausen and his school to the name Higher Critic, our enquirer would be excluded from the class. The confusion on both sides is removed by making the term refer, not to the results, and not altogether to the methods, but to the character of the questions, which the critic of all beyond the mere text proposes. Iigher critics may be divided into conservative critics, evangelical critics, extreme critics, rationalistic critics, etc. If a term is desired to describe the extreme critics of Germany and elsewhere, "newer" is temporarily unobjectionable; but it is not right to destroy the meaning of a carefully chosen word by applying the term Higher exclusively to Wellhausenism, nor, on the other hand, should we exclude from our class men of his stamp simply on account of their conclusions, and this not because Wellhausenism is praiseworthy, but because the term Higher is to be used as distinguished from Textual and refers to a special form of eniquiry. C. +EDIFTO1I Ih . IOTES.* Critical Study.-Why should theological students and ministers who are to devote their lives to the practical work of saving souls, spend time either in working out, or in following out questions which demand careful and exhaustive study, and which do not have a direct and practical bearing upon the work they have in hand? Is not such work to be done by specialists? Can anything more be expected than a knowledge, perhaps, of the more important of the results reached by specialists? Away then with all study which looks toward a familiarity with the meaning of Hebrew words, or with the niceties of Greek syntax. Who has not heard such thoughts expressed again and again? But have those who feel thus ever stopped to consider all that is involved in this? It would be difficult, we believe, to find a train of thought more demoralizing, or more vicious in its tendency. No man is fair to himself, or true to the religion which he professes, who does not avail himself of all possible means to ascertain the exact meaning of the Book which he preaches, or, at least, of the particular text which is under treatment. It is no excuse to say that he has no time for the critical and exegetical study of the Bible. The clergyman who will substitute for this study, the study of science, or of literature, or of history, or who will allow the direct and pressing work of his parish, important though it be, to cause him to give up or neglect critical and thorough study of the Bible, comes far short of being a true minister.
doi:10.1086/469432 fatcat:lii2be7lhvclbp2ydb2fmyumuy