For some time now I have been uploading articles from the Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute (JTVI) that are in the Public Domain (see here). The articles are of very mixed quality, as F.F. Bruce observed in 1954:
A study of the back numbers of our Transactions, however, shows that not infrequently matters of Biblical scholarship have been dealt with by men whose special claims to eminence did not lie in the Biblical field at all; and sometimes (it must be said) the results were not such as to raise the prestige of the Institute. We should immediately realize the unwisdom of inviting a specialist in Biblical philology to discourse on (say) organic evolution, but the equal unwisdom of inviting a distinguished biologist to read a paper on (say) the Seventy Weeks of Daniel has not always been appreciated (as it certainly would be to-day).
I have long been struck by the widespread view that any man’s opinion on Biblical subjects is as valid as any other man’s, but the prevalence of this idea has been brought home to me with special force since I exchanged the teaching of classical philology for the teaching of Biblical history and literature seven years ago, because I do not remember meeting a comparable idea in the field of classical studies. I know that this idea in the Biblical field to some extent reflects a healthy instinct which will not permit the Bible to become the preserve of specialists, but insists on its remaining (as it is) Everyman’s book. Sometimes, however, this idea takes the extreme form of a conviction that the specialized study of Biblical subjects positively disqualifies a man from expressing an acceptable opinion on the Bible. It is possible that this conviction has even been ventilated in our Institute; at any rate, as I read some back numbers, I get the impression at times that some experts in other realms of study who have read papers on Biblical subjects are persuaded that Biblical specialists very often do not really know their own business.
For that reason I will try to select the better articles as I begin a new phase of digitisation. If you have any suggestions as to articles that you would like to see on-line, then please do let me know.
A.H. Finn, “Types in Scripture,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 63 (1931): 199-222. Click here to read the article.
My thanks to members of the Association of British Philosophical and Theological Libraries (ABTAPL) for this assistance with this digitisation project, which is expected to take some time to complete.