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Archive for February 12th, 2010

In the beginning of our week long series on the usefulness of Google Books to the Christian apologist, two of the points I gave of it’s usefulness were the following:

  1. It allows instant access for verification of other people’s references.
  2. It allows instant access of the resource you are providing documentation of, to those whom you are presenting your case to.

Case in point is how an apologists preliminary critique of the popular Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP) can begin by demonstrating that Welllhausen’s popularization of this theory was not just simply a practice of “objective” science but a spiritual problem that contributed in the motivation of Wellhausen to adopt this hypothesis.

The work that popularized the Documentary Hypothesis was the “Prolegomena to the history of Israel: with a reprint of the article Israel”, published in 1885.

Now the English translation is available for full view on Google Books.

I think Wellhausen’s statement in the preface is chilling, to know that the Law convicted of his sin, and in attempting to get rid of his guilty conscience he decide to attack the law:

It may not be out of place here to refer to personal experience. In my early student days I was attracted by the stories of Saul and David, Ahab and Elijah; the discourses of Amos and Isaiah laid strong hold on me, and I read myself well into the prophetic and historical books of the Old Testament. Thanks to such aids as were accessible to me, I even considered that I understood them tolerably, but at the same time was troubled with a bad conscience, as if I were beginning with the roof instead of the foundation ; for I had no thorough acquaintance with the Law, of which I was accustomed to be told that it was the basis and postulate of the whole literature. At last I took courage and made my way through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and even through Knobel’s Commentary to these books. But it was in vain that I looked for the light which was to be shed from this source on the historical and prophetical books. On the contrary, my enjoyment of the latter was marred by the Law; it did not bring them any nearer me, but intruded itself uneasily, like a ghost that makes a noise indeed, but is not visible and really effects nothing. Even where there were points of contact between it and them, differences also made themselves felt, and I found it impossible to give a candid decision in favour of the priority of the Law. Dimly I began to perceive that throughout there was between them all the difference that separates two wholly distinct worlds. Yet, so far from attaining clear conceptions, I only fell into deeper confusion, which was worse confounded by the explanations of Ewald in the second volume of his History of Israel. At last, in the course of a casual visit in Gottingen in the summer of 1867, I learned through Ritschl that Karl Heinrich Graf placed the Law later than the Prophets, and, almost without knowing his reasons for the hypothesis, I was prepared to accept it; I readily acknowledged to myself the possibility of understanding Hebrew antiquity without the book of the Torah.

(SOURCE: Page 3-Page 4)

It’s amazing to see the Law’s work of conviction.  He should have read Galatians 3, on how the law should point him to the need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

19(AF)Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been (AG)ordained through angels (AH)by the agency of a mediator, until (AI)the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

20Now (AJ)a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? (AK)May it never be! For (AL)if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

22But the Scripture has (AM)shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, (AN)being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

24Therefore the Law has become our (AO)tutor to lead us to Christ, so that (AP)we may be justified by faith.

25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a (AQ)tutor.

26For you are all (AR)sons of God through faith in (AS)Christ Jesus.

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