Wardle’s History and Religion of Israel on-line

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser

Walter L. Wardle’s The History and Religion of Israel forms the first volume in the Clarendon Bible series. It contains numerous plates which are included in greyscale to preserve their quality. The supplement “The Old Testament Chronologically Arranged” by Evelyn Waters Hippisley [1878-1968] is not included as it is still in copyright. This title is in the public domain.

Walter Landsell Wardle [1877-1946], The History and Religion of Israel. Thomas Strong [1861-1944], Herbert Wild [1865-1940] & George Herbert Box [1869-1933], General Editors, The Clarendon Bible. Old Testament, Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936. Hbk. pp.228. [Click to visit the main download page]

Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Preface
  • Author’s Preface
  1. Introductory
  2. Israel’s Origins
  3. The Period of the Judges
  4. Thr Rise of the Kingdom
  5. The Divided Kingdoms
  6. The Exile and the Perian Period
  7. The Background of the Religion
  8. Moses and Yahweh
  9. THe Influence of Canaanite Religion on the Religion of Israel
  10. Law
  11. The Development of Prophecy
  12. The Writing Prophets
  13. The Later Literature
  14. Israel’s Debt to Other Nations
  • Index
  • Chronological Table [Not included]

Editor’s Preface

The problem of the teaching of Holy Scripture at the present time presents many difficulties. There is a large and growing class of persons who feel bound to recognize that the progress of archaeological and critical studies has made it impossible for them to read, and still more to teach, it precisely in the old way. How-ever strongly they may believe in inspiration, they cannot any longer set before their pupils, or take as the basis of their interpretation, the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of Holy Scripture. It is with the object of meeting the requirements not only of the elder pupils in public schools, their teachers, students in training colleges, and others engaged in education, but also of the clergy and the growing class of the general public, which, we believe, takes an interest in Biblical studies, that the present series has been projected….

Archiving the United Kingdom’s Church History

Journal of the United Reformed Church Historical Society

Theology on the Web’s primary function has always been to provide a comprehensive and free online theological library for those without access to physical books around the world. However, an unexpected benefit of digitising over 30,000 theological articles has made the Biblical Studies website into an official archive of British church history.

Over the last few years I have been approached, first by the Baptist Historical Society, then by the Methodists and, this month, by the United Reformed Church to digitise and host their journals. This material has proved extremely popular with church historians – as you would expect – but also with those tracing their ancestry, as the articles often contain a wealth of biographical information.

I am hopeful that at some point the site might also host the historical journals of the Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches.

Babylonian Creation and Flood Stories (1915)

A tablet from the Atrahasis Epic - a Babylonian account of the Flood.
A tablet from the Atrahasis Epic – a Babylonian account of the Flood. [Source: Wikipedia]
The following public domain article is now available on-line in pdf:

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “The Old and New Versions of the Babylonian Creation and Flood Stories,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 47 (1915): 301-329.

The Old and New Versions of the Babylonian Creation and Flood Stories

Forty years have passed since the late George Smith published his Chaldean Account of Genesis, dedicated to Sir Henry Rawlinson, the great English pioneer of Assyriology. We all remember, or at least realize, what a sensation Smith’s discoveries made, especially the account of the Flood, which traversed the same ground, point by point, as the Hebrew version in Genesis. It was a triumph for our self-taught countryman, and we all know, moreover, to what it led-namely, the despatch of the enterprising Museum – official to the East, first for the Daily Telegraph, and later for the trustees of the British Museum. He was favoured with a fair amount of success, for he found a fragment which was at first supposed to fill a gap of the eleventh tablet of the Gilgames-series, which gives the story of the Flood in reality it was a portion of another version-as well as fragments of Creation-stories. His third and last trip to the nearer East, however, had fatal results, and he never saw his native land again. He had acquired, nevertheless, a large amount of chronological material, and Biblical scholars are his debtors for that as much as for his acquisitions in the realm of Babylonian tradition.

Though the two legends which Smith discovered were written in Semitic Babylonian-now known to be Akkadian-it was clear to all, from the names of the deities and other personages, that they were of non-Semitic or Sumerian origin. The Creation series, which seems to have been written on six tablets, later increased to seven, recorded how everything was at first created and brought forth by Tiawath,” the sea,” and Apsft, “the Deep” or “Ocean.” From these came an only son, named Mummu. Other primeval deities, however, were later regarded as the children of Tiawath-Laymu and Layamu: Ansar and Kisar, the host of heaven and the host of earth; and then came Anu, the god of the heavens (with, it may be supposed, his spouse Anatum). At this point the record breaks off, but Damascius supplies the wanting portion, namely, the information that the successors of Anu were lllinos (cuneiform Illila) and Aos (i.e., Ea or Aa). Of Illila, the god of the earth, the spouse was called Ninlila: and the spouse of Ea or Aa is given by Damascius as Dauke, the Dam-kina of the inscriptions. “And of Aos and Dauke,” adds Damascius, “was born a son called Belos, who, they say, is the fabricator of the world – the Creator.”

Click here to continue reading.