William Foxwell Albright, the son of missionary parents, eagerly pursued his college education as a young man of faith. Finally, he received the coveted Ph.D.—but at a significant cost. His faith had been destroyed by the 19th-century German school of higher criticism. The leading exponents of this school of higher criticism, Julius Wellhausen and Franz Delitzsch, were out to prove that the Old Testament history of the Bible was mere fiction. Why?
Jeremiah began his ministry at about twenty years of age in the thirteenth year of Josiah, that is, 626 B.C. For the greater part of his life he lived in his hometown of Anathoth (for he was of a priestly family) and appeared at Jerusalem at the annual feast days of the Jewish religious year.
As recently as the eighth edition of Driver’s ILOT, the genuineness of Ezekiel had been accepted as completely authentic by the majority of rationalist critics. But in 1924 Gustav Hoelscher advanced the thesis that only a small fraction of the book was by the historical sixth-century Ezekiel (i.e., only 143 verses out of 1273) and the rest came from some later author living in Jerusalem and contemporaneous with Nehemiah (440–430 b.c.).
Redaction critics tend to favor a view that biblical books were written much later and by different authors than the text relates. Late theological editors attached names out of history to their works for the sake of prestige and credibility. In Old and New Testament studies this view arose from historical criticism, source criticism, and form criticism. As a result, it adopts many of the same presuppositions, including the documentary hypothesis in the Old Testament and the priority of Mark in the New Testament. A redactor edits or changes a text composed by another. Redaction criticism of the Bible claims that subsequent editors (redactors) changed the text of Scripture. If such alleged changes were substantial, it would seriously damage the credibility of Scripture. We could not be sure what was in the original text.
I am not going to enter into any general tirade against criticism, but it is useless to deny that a great deal of what is called criticism is responsible for the uncertainty and unsettlement of feeling existing at the present time about the Holy Scriptures.
For most who are concerned about the wellbeing of the church, they have missed the forest for the trees and the genie is out of the bottle is appropriate sayings. What do I mean?
NO ERRORS, MISTAKES OR CONTRADICTIONS IN THE ORIGINAL BIBLE MANUSCRIPTS They are Bible Difficulties 40+ authors writing 66 books over 1,600 years in three different ancient languages, from hundreds of historical settings and cultures. Then, you have a modern-day reader imposing his 21st century thinking into the Bible instead of taking the meaning out of... Continue Reading →
Higher critics have taught that much of the Bible was composed of legend and myth, that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, 8th century Isaiah did not write Isaiah, there were three authors of Isaiah, 6th century Daniel did not write Daniel, it was penned in the 2nd century BCE. Higher critics have taught that Jesus did not say all that he said in his Sermon on the Mount and that Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees in Matthew 23, as this was Matthew because he hated the Jews. These are just highlights for there are
World-renowned Bible scholars, such as Robert L. Thomas, the late Norman L. Geisler, Gleason L. Archer, F. David Farnell, and the late Gleason L. Archer Jr., among many others, have fought for decades to educate readers about the dangers of higher criticism.
What are the churchgoers, the Bible college students, and seminary students to do when one Bible scholar says one thing and another Bible scholar says something quite different, or worse still, as is the case with P52, several Bible scholars are saying different dates for the time when the Greek New Testament fragment P52 was written? P = Papyrus (a plant in Egypt), the material that was used to make sheets of papyrus paper that were written on by scribes to make copies of Bible books. 52 = the number assigned to that discovered manuscript. What makes it even more unnerving is when one is not an expert in the field of study, only having basic knowledge. How can they possibly know who is correct? Worse still, the Christian is put in the embarrassing position on social media of telling an atheist that P52 is dated to 100-150 C.E., and then the atheist responds to the Christian with, ‘no your evidence from 1935 is outdated, as recent research points to a date of 200 C.E. or later.’ What is the Christian to do?