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A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF RELIGION, THEOLOGY, SOCIAL SCIENCE, AND LITERATURE.
EGBERT C. SMYTH, WILLIAM J. TUCKER, J. W. CHURCHILL, GEORGE HARRIS, EDWARD Y. HINCKS,
Professors in Andover Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass., with the coöperation and active support of their colleagues in the Faculty.
THE ANDOVER REVIEW exists to represent progressive thought in the maintenance and development of Evangelical Theology, and to promote Christianity in its practical relations to individual and social life and to the work of the Church. Some of the special features which lend value and interest to THE ANDOVER REVIEW FOR 1889 are as follows:
A SERIES OF CHURCH PAPERS.
1. THE PROBLEM OF THE SECOND SERVICE OF THE SABBATH.
2. THE SECULAR WORK OF THE CHURCH.
3. THE RECOVERY OF THE DEVOTIONAL ELEMENT IN WORSHIP AND WORK. 4. THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE IN THE CHURCHES.
Competent writers, including Rev. ALEXANDER MCKENZIE, D. D., Rev. CHARLES A. DICKINSON, and Rev. DEWITT S. CLARK, treat these subjects, and others comment on their articles.
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION IN RELIGION.
This important subject, just now demanding wise consideration, is discussed by prominent educators, who will treat of Religious Instruction, both in Common Schools and in Colleges.
THE WORKING IDEA OF INSPIRATION.
Several articles upon this topic appear from Biblical scholars and pastors of wide study and experience.
SOCIALISM IN ITS PRESENT ASPECTS
in Germany, England, and America, is treated by writers who can speak with peculiar authority by virtue of their ample information.
The Elective Course in Social Economics at Andover Theological Seminary, covering many important subjects on which intelligent citizens should be thoroughly informed, is described in outline from month to month, and authorities are indicated. This course is presented in response to requests from ministers and laymen.
LITERATURE AND RELIGION.
The REVIEW Continues to discuss Literary Questions, and special works and authors, in their relations to Morals and Religion.
LESSONS FROM CHURCH HISTORY.
Prof. EGBERT C. SMYTH contributes several papers, entitled "Studies in Christian Life - Three Great Types of Faith."
THE EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT
contains in each number articles treating subjects of special importance and current interest relating to religion and society.
THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS
are maintained by writers of aptitude and experience. Sociological Notes are furnished by Rev. S. W. DIKE, LL. D., and Mr. D. COLLIN WELLS; Mr. MATTOON M. CURTIS, of Leipsic, supplies valuable Notes on German Theological Literature; Archæology is under the charge of Professor JOHN PHELPS TAYLOR; Missionary Intelligence is contributed by Rev. C. C. STARBUCK; and important New Books are carefully reviewed.
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A RELIGIOUS AND THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY.
VOL. XII.-OCTOBER, 1889.-No. LXX.
THE MINISTER'S STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.1
THE minister I have in mind is one who has as much Hebrew as is usually got in a seminary course, and who wants to know more of the Old Testament. The daily duties of his calling, the preparation of sermons, his pastoral and social visiting, and the thousand and one miscellaneous demands on his time and thought, set narrow limits to his studious leisure; yet by wise economy of time, hard work, and patience, the busiest pastor can accomplish a great deal. But his time is too precious to be wasted in misdirected effort, or by working with poor tools. If these suggestions about apparatus and methods, which are the fruit of some experience both as a pastor and as a teacher, help any minister to get more out of his Old Testament study my object will be attained.
I have taken it for granted that this study will be, in part at least, upon the original text. But my assumption will no doubt be met with a question, Is it worth while for the ordinary minister to keep up his Hebrew? Would not the same time given to the study of the Old Testament in translation, with the help of good commentaries, be more profitable? And, for that matter, is it wise to insist on the study of Hebrew in the seminary? Would not the labor now spent in acquiring a meagre knowledge of the language be better spent on the branches of Old Testament study which are too often crowded out by mere grammar grinding?
1 This paper is the second in a series of articles, designed for this REVIEW, on the Methods and Results of Biblical Science, under the direction of Professors Hincks, Moore, and Ryder. The first article appeared in the June number for the current year under the title, "The Gospel Miracles and Historical Science," and was prepared by Professor Hincks. — EDS.
It is certainly a great defect in our system of education, that the study of Hebrew is begun in the seminary. If students preparing for the ministry took Hebrew in the last two years of their college course, say two hours a week, the seminary being relieved of the drudgery of the elements could do its proper work far more satisfactorily, and perhaps the greatest cause of complaint would be removed. For the rest, the overcrowding of the curriculum, resulting from the multiplication of branches of study, will compel not only a readjustment of the course, but in all probability a modification of the system in the direction of greater freedom of choice on the part of the student. In some form or other the elective system is inevitable, in the professional school as well as in the college, and the experiment is now being tried in more than one of the seminaries.
But these questions raise a larger one. What is the object in studying the Old Testament in the original? What has the minister to gain by it? The answer which our fathers gave was definite and conclusive. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the rule of faith and life. Inspiration, in any proper sense, belongs only to the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, which by God's singular care and providence have been kept pure in all ages. These alone are authoritative; to them the final appeal must lie. For the common man who seeks in the Scriptures his own instruction and edification, translations are a necessity; but the minister of the Word, whose tremendous commission is to proclaim to his fellow-men, "Thus saith the LORD," to teach them what they must believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of them, must not be dependent on translations and commentaries; he must read the very words which were immediately inspired of God, without the intervention of any human medium. The churches of the Reformation, therefore, with the exception of a few fanatical sects, all insisted that their ministers should know the original languages in which God's revelation was given, not only as a part of their general culture, "because it is highly reproachful to religion and dangerous to the church to entrust the holy ministry to weak and ignorant men," but as a specific requirement of their calling. For those who hold the Protestant doctrine of Scripture and the corresponding conception of the Christian ministry, this answer must still be sufficient. That there should be modern enthusiasts who decry the study of Greek and Hebrew, along with all other learning, as useless or harmful, is not strange; but it is