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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Biblical and Literary Essays – A.B. Davidson

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

The following public domain collection of essays is now available for free download in PDF:

A.B. Davidson [1831-1902], Biblical and Literary Essays, 2nd edn. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1903. pp.320.

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902) was Professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages in New College, University of Edinburgh. This volume was edited by his successor at New College, Prof. J.A. Paterson (1851-1915).

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Table of Contents

I – Biblical Theology

II – The Wisdom of the Hebrews

III – The Prophet Hosea

IV – The Prophet Amos

V – The Second Psalm

VI – Psalm LXXII

VII – Psalm CX

VIII – The English Bible and its Revision

IX – Mohammed and Islam

X – Arabic Poetry

XI – Modern Religion and Old Testament Immortality

XII – The Rationale of a Preacher

XIII – The Uses of the Old Testament for Edification

Ryle’s Canon of the Old Testament

The following public domain book is now available on-line in PDF.

Herbert Edward Ryle [1856-1925], The Canon of the Old Testament, 2nd edn. London: MacMillan & Co. Ltd, 1899. pp.316.

The Canon of the Old Testament

Introduction

Recent Biblical discussion has familiarised English readers with many of the chief problems raised by modern phases of Old Testament Criticism. But the interest, which is naturally felt in the investigation of the structure of the Sacred Books, has tended to throw into the background that other group of problems, which concerns their admission into the Canon. To the Christian student the latter, though a less attractive, or, at least, a less promising field of investigation, must always be one of first-rate importance. For, after all, whether a book has had a simple or a complex history, whether or no the analysis of its structure reveals the existence of successive compilation, adaptation and revision, are only secondary questions, of great literary interest indeed, but yet of subordinate importance, if they do not affect the relation of Scripture to the Church. They are literary problems. They need not necessarily invite the interest of the Christian student. Whether they do so or not, will depend upon his habits of mind. A better knowledge of the structure of a book will not, as a rule, affect his view of its authority. His conviction, that a book is rightly regarded as Holy Scripture, will not be shaken, because it proves to consist of elements whose very existence had been scarcely imagined before the present century.

Other problems, however, arise before the Biblical student. He never ceases to wish to learn more accurately, nay, he is compelled, against his will, to reflect more seriously upon, the process, by which the books of Holy Scripture have obtained recognition as a sacred and authoritative Canon.

The process, by which the various books of the Old Testament came to be recognised as sacred and authoritative, would, if we could discover it, supply us with the complete history of the formation of the Old Testament Canon. By that process, we know, books, believed to be divine, were separated from all other books. By that process, we know, writings, containing the Word of God, became recognised as the standard of life and doctrine. These are only the results which lie at our feet. We instinctively inquire for the causes which led to them. How were these writings separated from all other Hebrew literature? When did the separation take place? What was the test of Canonicity, which determined, in one case, admission into, in another, exclusion from, the sacred collection ? Questions such as these, cannot fail to suggest themselves to every thoughtful Christian mind. Indeed, the literature of the Old Testament is itself so varied in character, that an inquiry into the formation of a Canon, which includes writings so different as Genesis and the Song of Songs, Esther and Isaiah, Judges and the Psalter, needs no justification. It is demanded by the spirit of the age. It is even demanded, as just and necessary, by the requirements of reverent and devout study.

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Website Visitor Numbers Double

The statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk in October make very encouraging reading.

BilbicalStudies.org.uk Website Statistics

Website Statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk 2013-2014

In October 2013 the site received 46,347 visitors; this October it received 92,240 visitors – a 100% increase! The month by month figures over the year also indicate a steady growth. This means that the 20,000+ theological articles and books currently hosted are being distributed at a phenomenal rate.

Website Statistics by Month

Websites statistics for BiblicalStudies.org.uk 2013-2014

I was also greatly encouraged to see that the site is being used Internationally, including countries where these theological resources are otherwise difficult or impossible to obtain (see table below).

Top 30 countries of visitors to BiblicalStudies.org.uk

Top 30 countries of visitors to BiblicalStudies.org.uk

The only downside of the dramatic increase in site usage is that the demand on server resources now regularly exceeds the capacity of the shared server in which it resides. This can be seen on the usage chart below. When the blue line on the chart meets the red line, this indicates that server cannot meet the demand being placed upon it.

Server Usage for BiblicalStudies.org.uk

Server Usage for BiblicalStudies.org.uk Oct. 2014

None of this tremendous growth would have been possible without your support. Thank you to everyone who has prayed, financially supported, lent resources and given permission for material to be hosted here. We give thanks to God that there is every indication that visitor numbers will continue to climb.