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pronounced by God himself to have said the thing that is “not right.” Another has been led by his studies to cast off the authority of the Bible, and he will not look for literary pleasure to that which has for him associations with a yoke from which he has been delivered. A third approaches Scripture with equal reverence and scholarship. Yet even for him there is a danger at the present moment, when the very bulk of the discussion tends to crowd out the thing discussed, and but one person is willing to read the Bible for every ten who are ready to read about it.

Now for all these types of readers the literary study of the Bible is a common meeting-ground. One who recognises that God has been pleased to put his revelation of himself in the form of literature, must surely go on to see that literary form is a thing worthy of study. The agnostic will not deny that, if every particle of authority and supernatural character be taken from the Bible, it will remain one of the world's great literatures, second to none. And the most polemic of all investigators must admit that appreciation is the end, and polemics only the means.

The term literary study of the Bible' describes a wide field of which the present work attempts to cover only a limited part. In particular, the term will include the most prominent of all types of Bible study, that which is now universally called the

Higher Criticism. There is no longer any need to speak of the splendid processes of modern Biblical Criticism, nor of the magnitude even of its undisputed results. I mention the Higher Criticism only to say that its province is distinct from that which I lay down for myself in this book. The Higher Criticism is mainly an historical analysis ; I confine myself to literary investigation. By the literary treatment I understand the discussion of what we have in the books of Scripture ; the historical analysis goes behind this to the further question how these books have reached their present form. I think the distinction of the two treatments is of considerable practical importance; since the historical analysis must, in the nature of things, divide students into hostile camps,

while, as it appears to me, the literary appreciation of Scripture is a common ground upon which opposing schools may meet. The conservative thinker maintains that Deuteronomy is the personal composition of Moses; the opposite school regard the book as a pious fiction of the age of Josiah. But I do not see how either of these opinions, if true, or a third intermediate opinion, can possibly affect the question with which I desire to interest the reader, — namely, the structure of Deuteronomy as it stands, whoever may be responsible for that structure. And yet the structural analysis of our Deuteronomy, and the connection of its successive parts, are by no means clearly understood by the ordinary reader of the Bible.

The historical and the literary treatments are then distinct : yet sometimes they seem to clash. There are two points in particular as to which I find myself at variance with the accepted Higher Criticism. Historic analysis, investigating dates, sometimes finds itself obliged to discriminate between different parts of the same literary composition, and to assign to them different periods; having accomplished this upon sound evidence, it then often proceeds, no longer upon evidence, but by tacit assumption, by unconscious insinuations rather than by distinct statement, to treat the earlier parts of such a composition as 'genuine' or 'original,' while the portions of later date are made interpolations,' or accretions,' — in fact, are alluded to as something illegitimate. Thus, in the case of Job, few will hesitate to accept the theory that there is an earlier nucleus (to speak roughly) in the dialogue, while the speeches of Elihu and the Divine Intervention have come from another source. But nearly all commentators who hold this view seem to treat these later portions as if they were on a lower literary plane, and sensitive is taste to external considerations — they soon find them in a literary sense inferior. This whole attitude of mind seems to me unscientific: it is the intrusion of the modern conception of a fixed book and an individual author into a totally different literary age. The phenomena of floating poetry, with community of authorship and the perpetual revision that goes with oral tradition, are not only accepted but insisted upon by biblical scholars. But


in such floating literature our modern idea of originality' has no place; the earliest presentation has no advantage of authenticity over the latest ; nor have the later versions necessarily any superiority to the earlier. Processes of floating poetry produced the Homeric poems, and in this case it is the last form, not the first, that makes our supreme Iliad. My contention is that, whatever may be the truth as to dates, all the sections of such a poem as Job are equally 'genuine.' And as a matter of literary analysis, I find the Speeches of Elihu and the Divine Intervention, from whatever sources they may have come, carrying forward the previous movement of the poem to a natural dramatic climax, and in literary effect as striking as any part of the book.

My second objection to the characteristic methods of the Higher Criticism has to do with the divisions of the text. In analysing the contents of a book of Scripture many even of the best critics betray an almost exclusive preoccupation with subject matter, to the neglect of literary form ; a powerful search-light is thrown upon minute historic allusions, while even broad indications of literary unity or diversity are passed by. I will take a typical example. In the latter part of our Book of Micah a group of verses (vii. 7-10) must strike even a casual reader by their buoyancy of tone, so sharply contrasting with what has gone before. Accordingly Wellhausen sees in this changed tone evidence of a new composition, product of an age long distant from the age of the prophet : “ between v. 6 and v. 7 there yawns a century." What really yawns between the verses is simply a change of speakers. The latter part of Micah is admittedly dramatic, and a reader attentive to literary form cannot fail to note a distinct dramatic composition introduced by the title-verse (vi. 9): “The voice of the LORD crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom will fear thy name.” The latter part of the title — “and the man of wisdom will fear thy name - prepares us to expect an addition in the Man of Wisdom' to the usual dramatis persone of prophetic dramas, which are confined to God, the Prophet, and the ruined Nation. All

i Quoted in Driver's Introduction, in loc.

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that follows the title-verse bears out the description. Verses 10–16 are the words of denunciation and threatening put into the mouth of God. Then the first six verses of chapter seven voice the woe of the guilty city. Then the Man of Wisdom speaks, and the disputed verses change the tone to convey the happy confidence of one on whose side the divine intervention is to take place :

But as for me, I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation :

: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise, etc.

The sequence of verses follows quite naturally the dramatic form indicated by the title, and no break in the text is required. I have no objection in the abstract to the hypothesis of defects in textual transmission ; but in judging of any alleged example it is reasonable to give to indications of literary form a weight not inferior to that of suggestions drawn from subject matter.

Besides this historic analysis other obvious lines of literary treatment are omitted from this book. I have scarcely touched such poetic criticism as was admirably illustrated by the digest of Hebrew imagery which Mr. Montefiore contributed some time since to the Jewish Quarterly Review. I have little or nothing to say about the style of biblical writers, although I welcome Professor Cook's introduction of the Bible as a model in the teaching of Rhetoric. I have even felt compelled to drop the survey of subject matter which was at first a part of my plan. The more I have studied the Bible from a literary standpoint, and considered also the conditions for making such a standpoint generally accessible, the more one single aspect of the subject has come into prominence — the treatment of literary morphology: how to distinguish one literary composition from another, to say exactly where each begins and ends; to recognise Epic, Lyric, and other forms as they appear in their biblical dress, as well as to distinguish literary forms special to the Sacred writers. Hence the book is “An account of the leading Forms of Literature represented in the Sacred Writings.” The whole works up to what I

have called a Literary Index of the Bible.” This ranges from Genesis to Revelation, including the apocryphal books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus; it marks off exactly each separate composition (or integral parts of the longer compositions), indicates the literary form of each, and, where suitable (as in the case of an essay or sonnet), suggests an appropriate title. My idea is that a student might mark these divisions and titles in the margin of his Revised Version, and so do for his Bible what the printer would do for all other literature. I believe it is almost impossible to overestimate the difference made to our power of appreciation when the literary form of what we are reading is indicated to the eye, instead of our having to collect it laboriously from what we read. The underlying axiom of my work is that a clear grasp of the outer literary form is an essential guide to the inner matter and spirit.

I am of course not so sanguine as to suppose that the arrangement of the Sacred Writings in this Index involving, as it must, critical questions in relation to every book of the Bible — will be accepted. I desire nothing better than to set every student to make such an arrangement for himself, getting help from every source that is open to him ; and so to tide over the period before public opinion permits the Bible to be issued with such aids to intelligent reading from the printed page as are taken for granted in all other literature.

I have spoken so far from the point of view of the general or the religious reader. But a consideration of a different kind has had weight with me in the production of this book : the place in liberal education of the Bible treated as literature. It has come by now to be generally recognised that the Classics of Greece and Rome stand to us in the position of an ancestral literature, the inspiration of our great masters, and bond of common associations between our poets and their readers. But does not such a position belong equally to the literature of the Bible? if our intellect and imagination have been formed by the Greeks, have we not in similar fashion drawn our moral and emotional training from

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