Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
Spenser's Faerie Queene is another able allegory. From many standpoints the book of Revelation is an allegory, though not entirely throughout all its parts is it an allegory. From some standpoints we are warranted in calling some of the types of the Bible an allegory, e.g., Israel's Enslavement And Deliverance. David's and the Apostles' experiences from Pentecost onward are allegories of various experiences of that Servant. One of the less sustained allegories of the Bible is the picture of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones, in Ezek. 37, whereby, among other things, is pictured forth the experience of God's Parousia people and their preaching of Zionism and the consequent effects on dispersed Israel as the figurative dry bones. This allegory is immediately followed by another in the same chapter, that of the prophet and his two sticks. In fact, Ezekiel contains a number of allegories, like the shepherds and sheep, of Ezek, 34, but the most sustained of these is that of the temple, in Ezek. 40—48. Closely connected with Bible allegories are Bible visions. In fact, its allegories are in most cases visions. Its most notable vision, the grandest and most sublime of all visions, is the book of Revelation. Others of its notable visions are those of Paul in 2 Cor. 12: 1-7 and of Peter in Acts 10: 9-19. Nor should we forget as a notable vision the transfiguration scene (Matt. 16: 27—17: 9). Zechariah is full of visions, more so comparatively than any other Old Testament book, for it may be called the Old Testament book of Revelation. Isaiah saw a wonderful vision, recorded in Is. 6. In fact, most of the things revealed to the Old Testament prophets were revealed to them in the form of visions; for a vision may be defined as a representation to the eye of symbols of other things; for in a vision, as in an allegory or type, the things are symbolized, the differences being these: that in a vision the representation is to the physical eye, in the type real events and things are used to represent other matters and in an allegory
usually imaginary events and persons are used to picture forth certain truths and facts.
Antithesis is another figure of speech, i.e., one by which striking contrasts are brought out, and which, rightly used, is a literary ornament. Jesus was a master of antithesis. A number of antitheses appear in His denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees in Matt. 23: He charges that they bind heavy burdens on men's shoulders, but refuse to move them with one of their fingers (v. 4); they compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and then make him twofold more a child of gehenna than themselves (v. 15); they tithe the smallest seeds, but pass by the weightiest parts of the law, judgment [truth], mercy and faith (v. 23); they strain out a gnat from their cups and swallow a camel (v. 24); they cleanse away externals, but leave unclean the heart (vs. 25, 26); they are beautiful without, corrupt within, like the whited sepulchres (vs. 27, 28); they garnish the sepulchres of the prophets whom their fathers killed and went about to kill the greatest of all prophets, even the Son of God (vs. 29-35). The beautiful antitheses embedded in the similes of Matt. 10: 16, already quoted above, defy comparison. How often God uses antitheses in contrasting His graciousness toward Israel and Israel's irresponsiveness. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos and the rest of the prophets are full of such antitheses. But above all, the book of Proverbs abounds with such. Note the many antitheses in Prov. 10 merely, as some illustrations of the many in this book: The wise son and glad father; foolish son and sad mother (v. 1); wickedness unprofitable, righteousness salutary (v. 2); laziness impoverishes, industry enriches (v. 4); the Lord's blessing on the righteous; His chastisements on the wicked (v. 3); the fruitfulness of one taking advantage of his opportunities, and the unfruitfulness of the neglecter thereof (v. 5); prosperity upon the righteous, misfortune upon the wicked (v. 6); the blessedness of the righteous' memory,
the corruptibleness of that of the wicked (v. 7); the righteousness sustained, the wicked fall (v. 8), etc., through the 32 verses of this chapter, which is followed by chapter upon chapter of verses full of antitheses. And, surely, these antitheses add greatly to the strength and emphasis of the literosity of the Bible. Epigram, which is a short sententious saying, abounds in the Bible. The book of Proverbs is the finest illustration of this figure of speech; and we need cite no further illustration than to say that the speeches of Christ, notably His two greatest sermons (Matt. 5-7 and John 13-17), and the exhortations of the Apostolic epistles are filled with epigrams.
Metonymy, which means a change of name, i.e., one name or noun is used for another, is a frequently used figure of literature, and we find it used in the Bible. The change of name is due to some relation between the two names involved, like container for thing contained; cause for effect, or vice versa; the subject put for a thing pertaining to it, or vice versa, etc. Thus in Luke 22: 20, among other figures, Jesus uses a metonymy in the form of the container for the thing contained: This cup [its contents] is [represents, here a metaphor occurs] the New Covenant [here another metonymy occurs: the effect is put for the cause; the blood effects the New Covenant by sealing it]. Luke 16: 29 is another case of metonymy: Moses and the prophets here do not mean the persons involved, but that which they produced, the Old Testament Scriptures-cause for effect. In Gen. 25: 23 we find several metonomies in which the effect is put for the cause, the two nations produced by Esau and Jacob being put for their embryos, the two kinds of people for their embryos, the elder people for its embryo and the younger people for its embryo. In the first part of Acts 1: 18 we find that an original is put for an agent, i.e., actually not Judas, but the priests as his representatives bought the field of blood with Judas' reward of iniquity. A metonymy that shows a relation to a
subject is used in Gen. 41: 13. Actually, Joseph did not restore the butler to his office and hang the baker; he was merely related to these Acts as their forecaster. Again, in Deut. 28: 5: Actually not the basket and store were blessed; their owner and contents as the subjects related to them were; hence here is a metonymy involving subject and relation. In Job 32: 7: Actually not days do the speaking and multitude of years the teaching of wisdom, but those who have these so do. Here, again, the relation and subject form of metonymy is used. These cases, among others in the Bible, prove its use of the figure of metonymy.
Synecdoche is a figure much akin to metonymy, but differs from it in that it does not put one name for another, but puts one part of a thing for the whole, or the whole for a part, as when we say, Twenty sails are in line, when we mean ships—a part put for a whole, or as when we say, The American people elected him president, when, as a matter of fact, it was a part, the major part, of the American people who did it. So, whenever a part is put for the whole, or the whole for a part, we use what the science of rhetoric calls a synecdoche. The following will serve as Bible examples in which the whole is put for a part: Gen. 6: 12 says, All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. This is true of all except Noah and the seven members of his family. Matt. 3: 5 is another splendid illustration of the synecdochial feature of the whole being put for a part: Then went out to him Jerusalem [also metonymy, in the form of container for thing contained], and all Judea [also container for thing contained], and all the region around about Jordan [also container for thing contained]. As a matter of fact, not all, but many of the inhabitants of these regions came to John. The following examples use the synecdoche in the form of a part put for the whole: Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return [Adam was actually more than dust; he was a person who consisted of a body (dust) and life-principle (Gen. 3: 19)];
Give us this day our daily bread (Matt. 6: 11). Bread here stands for it as well as all else that we need for the support of our earthly and spiritual lives. Again, when Judas acknowledged our Lord's innocence (Matt. 27: 4) he did not refer to our Lord by an expression that meant literally the whole of Jesus, but by one that mentioned only a part of Him: "I have betrayed innocent blood." These examples will suffice to illustrate and to prove that the Bible, among others, uses the figure of synecdoche as a part of its literosity.
The next Bible figure to be studied is that of interrogation, whereby a question is asked, not to obtain information but to emphasize an affirmation or belief. St. Paul frequently in argument uses this figure, e.g., Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock (1 Cor. 9: 7)? St. Paul by these questions is not asking for information, but is stating the facts more strongly than he would have done by a simple affirmation of them. Some other illustrations will elucidate this thought more fully: What if some have not believed? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect? … Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? … For then how shall God judge the world (Rom. 3: 3, 5, 6)? Do we make void the Law through faith (Rom. 3: 31)? A peculiarity of this figure is that when we would affirm a thing we do it by making the question negative; and when we would deny a thing we make the question affirmative, e.g., Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ, our Lord? Are ye not my work in the Lord? Have we not power to eat and drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as the other apostles, even the brethren of the Lord and Cephas (1 Cor. 9: 1, 4, 5)? These questions affirm with the negative. The following deny without the negative: Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He (1 Cor. 10: 22)? Exclamation
is a Biblical figure much akin to interrogation in that it expresses a thought more strongly than by a simple affirmation, since it is admirably adapted to express surprise or emotion. Note the following: How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed (Lam. 4: 1)! O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out (Rom. 11: 33)! The next two verses are examples of negation by affirmative interrogatives.
The same kind of emotion that resorts to exclamation makes use of apostrophe on occasions. By apostrophe we speak in the second person to one who is absent as though he were present, to the inanimate as animate, or to the dead as living. One of the finest cases of apostrophe is David's address to dead Absalom: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son, Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son" (2 Sam. 18: 33)! David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan is even a finer and more extended case of personification (2 Sam. 1: 21-27). It is too long to transcribe here, hence we suggest that our readers turn to it in the Bible. Other fine apostrophes are found in Rev. 12: 12; 18: 10, 20; Neh. 6: 9; Joel 2: 22. Personification is a figure by which life is attributed to inanimate things and is closely related to apostrophe. Indeed in some cases they are identical. However, personification need not be in the second person, whereas apostrophe always is. Moreover, apostrophe always personifies when it is addressed to inanimate things. The prophets use personification very often, e.g., O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? Put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still (Jer. 47: 6)! O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory (1 Cor. 15: 55)? Jer. 4: 28; 22: 29; Lam. 2: 15 are other illustrations. An especially good one is Is. 55: 12: The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the
field shall clap their hands. The hyperbole (exaggeration) sometimes occurs in the Bible. When this occurs usually humans do the exaggerating, or a figurative or idiomatic expression is added to that of the hyperbole, e.g., in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls (Gen. 41: 47). The cities are great and walled up to heaven (Dent. 1: 28). And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers [also a simile], and so were we in their sight (Num. 13: 33). These examples illustrate the Bible's use of hyperbole.
Irony is another figure used in the Bible; and like the figure of interrogation its affirmations are negations and its negations are affirmations. The following are some good examples of Biblical irony: Job says, No doubt ye are the people and wisdom will die with you (Job 12: 2)! Elijah taunts the priests of Baal with the following barbs of irony: Cry aloud; for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing [hunting], or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked (1 Kings 18: 27)! St. Paul used it effectively in 1 Cor. 4: 8, 10: Now ye are full, now are ye rich, ye have reigned as kings without us … We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised! Climax is also used as a figure in the Bible. In climax the words in a clause or the clauses of a sentence or separate sentences continue to arise in successive importance. Several examples will elucidate this: Add to your faith fortitude, and to your fortitude knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control patience, and to patience piety, and to piety brotherly love, and to brotherly love charity (2 Pet. 1: 5-7). The messenger who brought Eli the news from the battle of Israel with the Philistines used climax in the clauses in which he clothed the message: Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God
is taken (1 Sam. 4: 17). Anticlimax, which puts the features of the sentence with continued successive less importance, is used by Phinehas' wife in speaking of the features of the disgrace of the pertinent situation: "She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband" (2 Sam. 4: 21). The dark sayings of the Bible come under the figure of enigma. These are very numerous in the Scriptures, e.g., Gen. 49: 10; Judges 14: 14; John 2: 19; 6: 32-58; Matt. 16: 28; Luke 13: 32, etc., etc. Apodioxis, used to express detestation, is frequent in the Bible, though often suppressed in the A.V., e.g., Matt. 16: 23; Rom. 3: 4, 6, 31; 1 Sam. 20: 2 [God forbid], 9 [Far be it from thee) [literally, a profanation!]. Thus we end our discussion of Bible figures, illustrating its literosity.
Just a word on special features of the Bible's literary style. The highest feature of literary style is sublimity; and the Bible exemplifies this literary excellence to the superlative degree. Its record of creation and the flood and its descriptions of matters on the part of the five disputants and on the part of God in the book of Job rise to the heights of sublimity. The deep feelings of the Psalms, the high raptures of Isaiah, the wide sorrows of Jeremiah and the vast visions of Ezekiel are a few among many examples of the sublimity of the thought and style in the Bible's Old Testament literosity. Jesus' wondrous discourses and pithy sayings in the Gospels, St. Paul's deep reasonings in Romans, his majestic periods in Hebrews, St. John's epistolary unfoldings and his deep, awful, vast and exalted visions in Revelation reach a degree of sublimity nowhere else seen. And since sublimity is the highest quality of literary style, the Bible certainly belongs in the forefront of literary composition. Beauty is another quality of good literary style and the Bible is full of beautiful thoughts beautifully expressed. Perhaps Isaiah contains, especially in its
second part, chapters 40-66, the most beautiful literature of the Bible: Is. 35, 60, 61, 62 and 65, especially vs. 17-25. Canticles is filled with beauty as its chief literary characteristic, abounding in figures which are one of the principal features of a beautiful style. The life of Samuel has many beautiful episodes in it; and the book of Ruth is filled with beautiful thoughts and episodes beautifully told. Jesus' sayings above all other New Testament sayings have in addition to the quality of sublimity that of beauty. The sermon on the mount, especially in the beatitudes, the Lord's prayer and the section against worry, reach a height of beauty rarely to be found. His conversation with the Samaritan woman is beautiful in thought and expression. His parables abound in beauty. Simplicity is another characteristic of a good style of composition; and in this respect the Bible fulfils the requirements of literary style so that it is preeminently entitled to the merit of literosity. Simplicity marks its histories and biographies, as its historical and biographical books abundantly prove. This is true of its lyrics, precepts, promises and exhortations. It is for its simplicity that children are fascinated by the Bible. Terseness is another attribute of a good style; and in this certainly the Bible abounds. Nowhere else are there so really pithy saying to be found. This is especially true of the Wisdom books, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, the sayings of Jesus and the epistles of the Apostles.
For a literature to be great it should have an inner connection of its parts that make it an expression of a united whole, i.e., there should be a unity in a literature that makes it a unit, not a disjointed and unrelated conglomeration. In this the Bible as a literature is immeasurably superior to any other literature; for it is a unit into whose ample folds great diversity and individuality blend into a perfect unity. Its component parts—doctrines, ethics, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types—exhibit unity amid diversity and individuality. It reveals as its great end
the glory of God; it presents as its hero the Lord Jesus and as its heroine His Bride; and the center out of which its beams radiate is the cross, as the poet has put it: "All the light of sacred story gathers 'round its head sublime!" Then, another feature of a great literature is practicability. This is certainly true of the Bible, as it is true of no other literature. It is the light that enlightens for practical purposes, first the elect, later the non-elect, and gives to each of these classes the help needed for its development: it does develop the elect, and will do it later with the non-elect. It is the power that operates each step of the salvation process now due, and that will in due time do the same with those not now due. It will achieve as the objects of its endeavor glory to God and the Lamb, by its contents the giving of life everlasting on various planes of being to those whom it will fit for life of such kinds, and destruction to all unfit for life, and thus will demonstrate its practicability by achieving the best and most desirable results.
And, besides all this, it should not be forgotten that this marvelous literature is worked out along the lines of Biblical numerics. Biblical numerics is possible because the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek letters are at the same time numerals and thus are indicated multiples by the constant re-occurrence of the number seven in the sum totals of the letters of the Bible's sentences, paragraphs, subdivisions, divisions and books, each in itself and each in its relations to other books. Then, there are elaborate multiples of other numbers occurring in similar ways, e.g., the numbers 9, 11, 13, 17, 19. It calls attention to mistakes of interpretations, that would rise, by neighborhood numerics. And in spite of these great elaborations of numerics from many standpoints, the Bible reads smoothly, as though there were no numerical design underlying it. E.g., Matt. 1 and 2 and Mark 16, including the disputed vs. 8-20, read so smoothly that one would think it impossible that very elaborate schemes of
sevens and its multiples run throughout their length and breadth. The same thing holds true of every other section of the Bible. To have achieved such stupendous results mathematically and at the same time to have embedded them in the supreme expressions of literosity of the world, is a literary feat of a kind wholly and absolutely unique. We, therefore, do not hesitate to claim for the Bible supremacy as literature. And this is an impressive evidence of its Divine Source and Authorship.
After our study of the generalities and the literosity of the Bible, the question naturally arises, What are the books that belong to the Bible? From our definition of the Bible as being God's inspired revelation (which excludes His uninspired revelation as contained in nature), given by Him through specially inspired agents, our answer to this question is: Every Divinely inspired book belongs to the Bible, i.e., is a book of the Bible. In ecclesiastical language from the second century onward the term canon (Greek for rule) is used synonymously with the Bible as the source of faith and rule of practice given as such by God to His people. Hence in various Christian authors, the sense of the above-mentioned question, What are the books that belong to the Bible? is put as follows: What are the books that belong to the Canon? Hence they speak of the Canon of the Jewish Church, thereby meaning the Old Testament, and of the Canon of the Christian Church, thereby meaning the Old and New Testaments. As our subject is extensive, first, the Canon of the Jewish Church will be discussed, i.e., What books did the Jewish Church accept as having been given by God as His inspired revelation to the Jewish Church, through His specially inspired agents? Or to put it in another form, What books did God give as His revelation to the Jewish Church, through His specially inspired agents? As a matter of fact, God could have made a revelation through His specially inspired agents, regardless of whether the Jewish or
Christian Church had accepted it or not (Rom. 3: 3), though as a matter of fact the Jewish Church accepted what He offered them as such (Rom. 3: 2); so, too, did the Christian Church accept what He offered to them as such, yet their accepting it as such did not make it a Divinely inspired revelation. Its being such depended on His making, not on their accepting, it as such; because He is the Revealer.
It is not disputed that in the day of Christ and the Apostles the Jews received as their Bible or Canon the same books—no more and no less—than are printed in all editions of the Hebrew Bible. We will offer some testimonies on his head: The first of these is from the pen of Josephus, who was born 37 A.D. and died about 100 A.D. Writing against Apion, an Alexandrian grammarian and an enemy of the Jews, in Book I, Chap. 8, he says the following: "We have not tens of thousands of books discordant and conflicting, but only 22 [he thus counted Ruth a part of judges and Lamentations a part of Jeremiah, while the usual practice of the Jews was to count them as separate books, thus making the total 24, which is one of the ways the Bible counts the number of the Old Testament books], containing the records of all time, which have been justly believed to be Divine. And of these five are the books of Moses [the Pentateuch], which embrace the laws and traditions from the creation of man until his [Moses'] death. This period is a little short of 3,000 years. From the death of Moses to the reign of Artaxerxes, the successor of Xerxes, king of Persia, the prophets who succeeded Moses wrote what was done in thirteen books. The remaining four books embrace hymns to God and counsels for men for the conduct of life. From Artaxerxes until our time everything has been recorded, but has not been deemed worthy of like credit with what preceded, because the exact succession of the prophets ceased [thus Josephus shows that the Jewish Church, recognizing the existence of the Apocrypha and other Jewish books, did not recognize them as a part of the
Canon or Bible]. But what faith we place in our own Scriptures is evident by our conduct; for though so long a time has now passed, no one has dared either to add anything to them, or to take anything from them, or to alter anything in them. But it is instinctive in all Jews at once from their birth to regard them as commands of God, and to abide by them, and, if need be, willingly to die for them." Such was their devotion!
According to this passage the Bible of the Jews was begun in the days of Moses and finished in the days of Artaxerxes I of Persia, who reigned from 474 to 425 B. C. He was Esther's husband (Esth. 2: 16, 17), who in the seventh year of his reign sent Ezra to Jerusalem to further the worship of Jehovah there (Ezra 7: 7, 11-28), who in his twentieth year sent Nehemiah there to rebuild the walls and the city of Jerusalem (Neh. 2: 1-8), and who again in his thirty-second year sent him there to continue his work of advancing the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea (Neh. 13: 6, 7). Josephus was a highly educated Jew of priestly lineage and the historian of his nation, who was therefore well qualified to state truly what books the Jews regarded as canonical. He wrote these words in a controversy with a learned enemy of the Jews and of their Bible; hence he took special care to be exact in his statements. He stated, in harmony with the testimonies of other Jewish authorities before and after him, that the spirit of prophecy—inspiration—ceased with Malachi, whose book was written between 443 and 425 B. C., i.e., toward the end of Artaxerxes' reign and after Nehemiah's second trip to Jerusalem from Persia. We have seen above that the Old Testament was expressly said to have been studied in its threefold division by Jesus, the son of Sirach, the author of the Apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus, who lived about 200 B. C. In the times of Judas Maccabees, about 167 B. C., he and others lamented that the spirit of prophecy—inspiration—no more existed in Israel since Malachi's death. Accordingly, the substance of Josephus' statements
quoted above was authoritatively accepted in Israel hundreds of years before Josephus in 93 A. D. wrote the above-quoted statement. About 75 years later than Josephus, the Talmudic tract, Baba Bathra, written by Judah Hakkodosh, set forth a catalogue of the sacred books. They are there classified as in our modern Hebrew Bibles—five books of the Law, eight of the prophets and eleven of the Kethubim, totaling 24. In this catalogue the two Samuels are counted as one, so are the two Kings, and also the two Chronicles. The twelve Minor Prophets are counted as one, so are Ezra and Nehemiah. It will be noted that Josephus gives the number as 22, while Judah Hakkodosh gives it as 24. The latter is right. How Josephus came to the count of 22 was explained above. From Josephus' description of his third division of four books, we infer that it consisted of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Canticles. Hence his second division of thirteen books must have been the following: (1) Joshua, (2) Judges (including Ruth); (3) 1, 2 Samuel; (4) 1, 2 Kings; (5) 1, 2 Chronicles; (6) Ezra and Nehemiah; (7) Esther; (8) Job; (9) Isaiah; (10) Jeremiah (including Lamentations); (11) Ezekiel; (12) Daniel; (13) the Minor Prophets. Josephus in his histories quotes from every Old Testament book except Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Canticles, which, of course, furnish no historical data, and hence were not available for his use, and Job, which lay outside the scope of his subject. While he quotes from 1 Maccabees, which treats historically of one of the periods treated by him, he does so with the distinct statement that it was not Divinely authoritative, because coming after inspiration ceased in Israel. He shows no acquaintance with the rest of the Apocrypha, though Judith and 2 Maccabees would certainly have been used by him, had he known of them and considered them trustworthy.
From a third Jewish source we can see what the Jewish Bible in the time of Jesus and the Apostles was: Philo, the learned Jewish scholar of Alexandria, of
priestly descent, born about 20 B. C., died about 42 A. D. He wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch. Of the Pentateuch he says: "After a lapse of more than 2,000 years [the Jews] have not changed a single word of what had been written by [Moses], but would sooner endure to die a thousand times than consent to violate his laws and customs." While stressing the Pentateuch above the other Old Testament books, he quotes from the other two divisions of the Old Testament as of Divine authority. Thus he quotes, as of the Former Prophets, from Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, as being of "the sacred word," "the Divine oracle." As of the Later Prophets he quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah, as of "the greater prophets," and from Hosea and Zechariah, as of "the lesser prophets," ascribing Divine inspiration to all of them. As of the third division of the Hebrew Bible he quotes from its historical books, Chronicles and Ezra, and from its poetical books, Psalms, Proverbs and Job. He never quotes from the Apocrypha, though he undoubtedly was acquainted with it. In speaking of the Therapeutae, an order of Jewish ascetics, Philo alludes to the threefold division of the Hebrew Bible in the words, "In each house of these ascetics there is a temple … in which they perform the rites of a holy life, introducing nothing … which is needed for … the body, but laws [of Moses] and oracles delivered by prophets, and hymns [Psalms, the first book of the third division of the Hebrew Bible] … by which knowledge and piety are mutually increased and perfected."
The parts of the Old Testament accepted and rejected by the Samaritans have a strong bearing here. The Samaritans were a race composed of parts of the ten tribes left in Palestine (when the Assyrian conqueror, Shalmaneser, according to his claim, carried away only 27,290 members of the ten tribes) and of various mixed races. Their religion was a mixture of Mosaism and of heathenisms (2 Kings 17: 24-41). Claiming to be Jews, Jehovah's people, they tried in the times of Zerubbabel
to join with the Jews in rebuilding the temple; but their co-operation was refused (Ezra 4). Thereupon enmity that endures to this day set in. These Samaritans received the Pentateuch from the apostate priest sent among them to teach them "the manner of the God of the land" (2 Kings 17: 27, 28). But please note that while they received the Pentateuch, the oldest copy of it in existence being now in their possession, they received no more of the Old Testament. Why did they not receive the Prophets and the Writings, the other two parts of the Hebrew Bible? Because both parts condemned them as non-Israelitish, despite their claims to be Israelites, some by blood, others by alleged adoption of their religion (Ezra 4: 2, 9, 10; John 4: 12). Of course, they would not accept the Prophets, since some of these books (2 Kings) condemned them as non-Israelitish. Nor would they accept the Writings, since some of these books condemned them as non-Israelitish (2 Chron., Ezra, Nehemiah). Accordingly, the fact of their accepting the Pentateuch and rejecting the Prophets and the Writings (Kethubim) proves that these three parts of the Hebrew Bible were not only the Bible of the Jews in the time of Christ, but very much earlier. We could also refer to some statements in the Babylonian Talmud that show the same lines of thought on the books and threefold division of the Hebrew Bible; but these were first written out about 450 A. D., though like other parts of that Talmud they were held for centuries before as parts of the oral tradition; hence we will lay no stress on them. They are found in the part of the Babylonian Gamara (commentary part of the Talmud) called Baba Bathra (another tract than that of the same name written by Judah Hakkodosh), which enumerates the books and divisions of the Hebrew Bible.
The testimonies that we have given from Jewish sources prove that the Jews of Christ's time and centuries earlier received as Divine oracles the books that we
now have as the Hebrew Bible. What results from this fact? This, that the Old Testament is a part of the Divinely inspired Scriptures, because God made the Jews the custodians of His Old Testament revelation, and therefore what they had and regarded as that revelation was the revelation of which they were the custodians, and therefore what the Christian Church received from them as the Divine oracles was deposited by God with them as a part of the Bible of the Christian Church. These two facts—(1) that the Jews in the time of Christ had and regarded the Hebrew Scriptures as the Divinely inspired oracles committed to their care, and (2) that these Hebrew Scriptures received from the Jews by the Christian Church are a part of the Divine oracles deposited by God with them as a part of the Bible of the Christian Church—are also proved by the testimonies of Christ and the writers of the New Testament. It is on all hands admitted that the Christian Church received from the Jews the Old Testament oracles. Hence the following parts of the two foregoing propositions are all that we will have to prove: (1) that the New Testament teaches that the Old Testament Scriptures are the Divinely inspired oracles committed to the Jewish Church's custodianship; and (2) that the New Testament teaches that these Old Testament Scriptures are a part of the Divinely inspired oracles of the Christian Church.
In proof of the first proposition we offer a variety of Scriptures which in various ways demonstrate it. One of the ways that this is proved is by the name oracles, given to parts and to the whole of the Old Testament: "Unto them [the Jews] were committed the oracles of God (Rom. 3: 2). Acts 7: 38; Heb. 5: 12; 1 Pet. 4: 11 are also passages that refer to the Old Testament as God's oracles. It will be more convincing on the point now under discussion for us to divide the New Testament writings into their three natural groups and then show how each of these three groups refers to the Torah (Law), Nebiim (Prophets) and Kethubim
(Writings), the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible. The first group of the New Testament writings consists of the first three (the Synoptic, i.e., common view) Gospels, Acts and the Epistles of James, Peter and Jude; the second group, the Epistles of Paul; and the third group, the writings of John. With these three groups in mind we desire to show how each of these three groups quotes from, and deals with each one of the three Old Testament's divisions as parts of the oracles of God. This point is very convincing.
Apart from the name oracles, the plainest designation of the Old Testament as God's oracles in the New Testament is the name Scripture or Scriptures. This name as applicable to the Hebrew Bible is found in each of the three groups of New Testament writings (Matt. 22: 29; Acts 17: 11; 1 Cor. 15: 3; John 5: 39). And that to which these passages apply this name is in these passages implied to be the Divine revelation (Matt. 26; 54; 1 Cor. 15: 3, 4); and it is appealed to as the authoritative source of faith and main rule of practice (Luke 24: 27; Acts 18: 28). Not only is the Old Testament called in these three groups of New Testament writings the Scriptures, or the Scripture, but it is also called in them the Law and the Prophets, or Moses and the Prophets (the term prophets here is used in its wide sense, i.e., to include also the inspired writings of those men who did not belong to the order of prophets—men like David, Daniel, Ezra, etc.; in other words, it includes all the books of the second and third divisions of the Old Testament). This is seen in the following passages: Matt. 7: 12; Luke 16: 29, 31; Rom. 3: 21; John 1: 45. In harmony with the Jewish custom of calling a scroll of the entire Old Testament the Torah, the Law, the New Testament calls the entire Old Testament the Law (John 12: 34); for this reason Jesus speaks of quotations that He made from the Psalms (the first book of the Old Testament's third division) as made from the Law (John 10: 34; 15: 25) and Paul speaks similarly of a passage quoted from the Prophets
(1 Cor. 14: 21). The threefold division of the Old Testament is clearly recognized in the words of Jesus, "All things must be fulfilled which are written in  the Law of Moses, in  the Prophets and in  the Psalms [the first book of the third division of the Old Testament is here made to stand for that third division by metonymy]" (Luke 24: 44).
Dr. B. F. Westcott, one of the ablest students of the New Testament Scriptures in the 19th century, speaking of the way the New Testament uses and refers to the Old Testament, says the following: "The existence of these collective titles [that the New Testament uses as names of the Old Testament], the universal assumption of their intelligibility, the absence of all trace of doubt as to their application in the districts over which the evidence extends, the unhesitating appeal to the writings described by them, the absolute equality of the different parts which are recognized in the whole collection, have an important bearing both positively and negatively upon the special testimonies to separate books. They extend the testimony from one book to a group of books; and they exclude the inference that a possible use of other books places them on the same footing with those which belong to the recognized collection. … There is not the slightest evidence to show that the Hebrew Bible ever included any more books than are now contained in it."
Never does the New Testament quote from the Apocrypha, which in the 16th century the Romanist Church declared to be a part of the Old Testament. While the Apocrypha was often previously to the 16th century used for edification, as any good book may be used, it was not regarded as a part of the Canon in the early or medieval Church. The catalogues of Old Testament books that Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, etc., drew up did not contain it. Jerome would not translate it in his Vulgate as a part of the Bible, but acceded to Pope Damasus' request to translate it as a sort of an appendix, to be used for edifying reading,
but not for authoritative Scripture, even as some editions of Protestant translations so treat it. But while the New Testament never quotes from the Apocrypha, its writers, as shown above, quote from every division of the Old Testament, and, what is more, from almost every one of its books. Our Lord quotes passages from Gen., Ex., Num., Deut., 1 Sam., Ps., Is., Dan., Hos., Jonah and Mal., stressing them as Divinely authoritative. Additionally, in their own, not in Jesus' words, Matt. and Luke quote from Lev., Jer., Mic., and Zech. The book of Acts quotes passages from Gen., Ex., Deut., Ps., Is., Joel, Amos and Hab. James, Peter and Jude quote from Gen., Is. and Prov. The wide extent of these quotations, considering the smallness of the books that do the quoting, makes this remarkable indeed. In Rom., 1 and 2 Cor. and Gal., Paul quotes from Gen., Ex., Lev., Deut., 2 Sam., 1 Kings, Job, Ps., Is., Jer., Hos., Hab. and Mal. Hebrews quotes from the Old Testament more than the other Epistles of Paul, and thus quotes from Gen., Ex., Deut., 2 Sam., Ps., Prov., Is., Jer. and Hag. John's Gospel quotes from Ex., Ps., Is. and Zech.; while Revelation is very largely constructed by piecing together disjointed parts of the Old Testament into a connected whole.
Besides the express quotations, which are the only ones referred to above, the New Testament writings are literally saturated with the adoption of shorter expressions taken from the Old Testament. Very few verses of the New Testament but contain some word or phrase taken from the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint). But apart from such shorter parts taken from the Old Testament, the express quotations taken from the Old Testament in the New Testament are from every one of the former's books, except Josh., Judg., Chron., Cant., Eccl., Ezra, Neh., Esth., Obad., Zeph. and Nah. These Old Testament books not quoted from in the New Testament refer almost exclusively to the Parousia, or the Epiphany or both, and, therefore, do not contain matters appropriate for proof texts pertinent