Davidson’s Commentary on Ezekiel

A.B. Davidson's Commentary on Ezekiel
Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

A.B. Davidson [1831-1902], The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892. Hbk. pp.368.

Chapter 1. The Book of Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel is simpler and more perspicuous in its arrangement than any other of the great prophetical books. It was probably committed to writing late in the prophet’s life, and, unlike the prophecies of Isaiah, which were given out piecemeal, was issued in its complete form at once. The prophecies are disposed upon the whole in chronological order, though the book may contain much that was never actually spoken, and even the prophecies that were orally delivered may have undergone considerable modification under the pen of the prophet when reproducing them. None of the prophets shews any anxiety to record his discourses in the precise form in which he delivered them. The aim of the prophets in their writings was not literary but practical, as it was in their speeches. It was their purpose to influence the minds of the people when they spoke, and this was equally their purpose when they wrote, and, if in the interval the circumstances of the people had to some extent changed, they did not hesitate to accommodate their former discourses to the new situation. The book of Ezekiel is occupied with two great themes: the destruction of the city and nation; and the reconstitution of the people and their eternal peace. The book thus falls into two equal divisions of 24 chapters each:-
First Division, ch. i.-xxiv., Prophecies of the destruction of the city and nation, its certainty and necessity.
Second Division, ch. xxv.-xlviii., Prophecies of the restoration of the people, their regeneration .and eternal peace as the people of the Lord.
These prophecies are for the most part symbolical actions, of which the explanation is added; or allegories and riddles, the meaning of which is read to the people. Though a good many actual events are referred to, the book contains little that is historical. It is rather a book of general principles. These principles are all but deductions from the prophet’s conception of Jehovah, God of Israel and God over all. In this respect Ezekiel resembles the author of Is. xl-lxvi, though he has neither the breadth of sympathy nor the glow of emotion that distinguish the Evangelist of the Old Testament.

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James Orr’s The Problem of the Old Testament

James Orr (1844–6th September 1913)
James Orr (1844–6th Sept. 1913) [Source:  Wikipedia]
The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

James Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament Considered with Reference to Recent Criticism. London: James Nesbit & Co. Ltd., 1906. Hbk. pp.562.

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James Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament

Contents

I. Introductory: The Problem Stated

II. The Old Testament From its Own Point of View

III. The Old Testament as Affected by Criticism – I. The History: Argument from Critical Premises

IV. The Old Testament as Affected by Criticism – I. The History: Counter-Theories Tested

V. The Old Testament as Affected by Criticism – II. Religion and Institutions: God and His Worship

VI. The Old Testament as Affected by Criticism – II. Religion and Institutions: Ark, Tabernacle, Priesthood, etc.

VII. Difficulties and Perplexities of the Critical Hyposthesis: I. The JE Analysis

VIII. Difficulties and Perplexities of the Critical Hyposthesis: The Question of Deuteronomy

IX. Difficulties and Perplexities of the Critical Hyposthesis: The Priestly Writing. I. The Code

X. Difficulties and Perplexities of the Critical Hyposthesis: The Priestly Writing. I. The Document

XI. Archaeology and the Old Testament

XII. Psalms and Prophets: The Progressiveness of Revelation

Notes

Indexes

Davidson’s Commentary on Hebrews

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)
Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

A.B. Davidson [1831-1902], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, n.d. Hbk. pp.260.

Commentary on Hebrews – Introduction

Chapter 1

The Readers of the Epistle

1. The readers themselves.-ln our English Bibles the Epistle has the heading: “Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews;” and at the end there stands the remark: “Written to the Hebrews from Italy by Timothy.” In the best MSS. the heading reads simply, To the Hebrews, and the remark at the end is wanting, or agrees with the superscription. The heading “To the Hebrews” is the proper heading of the Epistle, and is found from the time that the Epistle is historically mentioned in connection with other New Testament books. It has been supposed that the Epistle was also known under other designations, as, To the Laodiceans, or, To the Alexandrians, but this seems incapable of proof. Though as old as the first historical mention of the Epistle in connection with other New Testament books, the inscription To the Hebrews does not come from the hand of the original writer of the Epistle. It originated, no doubt, in the course of transcription, and whether it rests on tradition or was suggested by the contents of the Epistle cannot be ascertained. Any one reading the Epistle now would stamp it with the same title, apart from all tradition respecting its origin or destination. The term u Hebrews” is used in a wider and in a narrower sense. In a wider sense, it describes all who were descendants of Abraham, wherever they resided, and whatever language they spoke. In this sense it is equivalent to Israelites and opposed to Gentiles (comp.2 Cor. xi. 22; Phil. iii. 5). In its narrower sense, it describes Jews living in Palestine and using the native language of that country. In this sense it is opposed to “Grecians” or Hellenists, that is, foreign Jews, speaking Greek (Acts vi. 1, ix. 27). There is nothing to determine in which of these senses the term is used in the superscription to the Epistle. The Alexandrians understood by it Palestinian Jews; but this is merely their interpretation, and can hardly be assumed to rest on tradition. The phrase “To the Hebrews” might mean of itself that the Epistle was addressed to all Christians of Jewish extraction; but the local colour of the Epistle is very distinct, and the allusions are of such a kind as to make it certain that the Epistle was addressed to “Hebrews” in a particular locality. No allusion is made in the Epistle to Gentile believers, and this seems to imply that it was written to a community consisting exclusively of Jewish Christians, or one at least in which the Hebrew element very greatly predominated. The Author’s view is no doubt that the Hebrews to whom he writes are the true and rightful successors of the Old Testament church; they are “the People” of God, and they are so as believing Hebrews. But this way of regarding them, even though it be based on principles recognised in other New Testament writings (Rom. xi.), would have had something unnatural in it if they had been a minority in the church or circle of churches to which the letter was addressed. Thus all the information which we gather from the inscription to the Epistle is, that it was addressed to Christian believers of the race of Israel-a conclusion which we could have reached apart from any inscription.

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