nonexistence, nor have been induced unanimously to pretend that they were ancient and genuine. Inasmuch, however, as other accounts of their origin, inconsistent with their genuineness, are now current, we proceed to examine more at length the most important of these opposing views.
The genuineness of the New Testament as a whole would still be demonstrable, even if doubt should still attach to one or two of its books. It does not matter that Plato, or Pericles did not write 2nd Alcibiades by Shakespeare. The Council of Carthage in 397 gave a place in the Canon to the Old Testament Apocrypha but the Reformers tore it out. Zwingli said of the Revelation: ?It is not a Biblical book,? and Luther spoke slightingly of the Epistle of James. The judgment of Christendom at large is trustworthier than the private impressions of any single Christian scholar. To hold the books of the New Testament to be written in the second century by other than those whose names they bear is to hold, not simply to forgery, but to a conspiracy of forgery. There must have been several forgers at work and since their writings wonderfully agree, there must have been collusion among them. Yet these able men have been forgotten, while the names of far feebler writers of the second century have been preserved.
G.F. Wright, Scientific Aspects of Christian Evidences, 343 ? ?In civil law there are ?statutes of limitations? which provide that the general acknowledgment of a purported fact for a certain period shall be considered as conclusive evidence of it. If, for example, a man has remained in undisturbed possession of land for a certain number of years, it is presumed that he has a valid claim to it, and no one is allowed to dispute his claim.? Mair, Evidences, 99 ? ?We probably have not a tenth part of the evidence upon which the early churches accepted the New Testament books as the genuine productions of their authors. We have only their verdict? Wynne, in Literature of the Second Century, 58 ? ?Those who gave up the Scriptures were looked on by their fellow Christians as ?traditores,? traitors, who had basely yielded up what they ought to have treasured as dearer than life. But all their books were not equally sacred.
Some were essential, and some were nonessential to the faith. Hence arose the distinction between canonical and non-canonical. The general consciousness of Christians grew into a distinct registration.? Such registration is entitled to the highest respect, and lays the burden of proof upon the objector. See Alexander, Christ and Christianity, introduction; Hovey, General Introduction to American Commentary on New Testament.
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