(a) This charge may be shown, in each single case, to rest upon a misapprehension of the aim and method of the book, and its connection with the remainder of the Bible, together with a narrowness of nature or of doctrinal view, which prevents the critic from appreciating the wants of the peculiar class of men to which the book is especially serviceable.
Luther called James ?a right strawy epistle.? His constant pondering of the doctrine ofjustification by faith alone made it difficult for him to grasp the complementary truth that we are justified only by such faith as brings forth good works, or to perceive the essential agreement of James and Paul. Prof. R. E. Thompson, in S. S. Times, Dec. 3, 1898:803, 804 ? ?Luther refused canonical authority to books not actually written by apostles or composed (as Mark and Luke) under their direction. So he rejected from the rank of canonical authority Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter, Revelation. Even Calvin doubted the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter, excluded the book of Revelation from the Scripture on which he wrote Commentaries, and also thus ignored 2 and 3 John.? G. P. Fisher in S. S. Times, Aug. 29, 1891 ? ?Luther, in his preface to the New Testament (Edition of 1522), gives a list of what he considers as the principal books of the New Testament These are John?s Gospel and First Epistle, Paul?s Epistles, especially Romans and Galatians, and Peter?s First Epistle. Then he adds that ?St. James? Epistle is a right strawy Epistle compared with them? ? ?ein recht strohern Epistel gegen sie,? thus characterizing it not absolutely but only relatively.? Zwingle even said of the Apocalypse: ?It is not a Biblical book.? So Thomas Arnold, with his exaggerated love for historical accuracy and definite outline, found the Oriental imagery and sweeping visions of the book of Revelation so bizarre and distasteful that he doubted their divine authority.
(b) The testimony of church history and general Christian experience to the profitableness and divinity of the disputed books is of greater weight than the personal impressions of the few who criticize them.
Instance the testimonies of the ages of persecution to the worth of the prophecies, which assure God?s people that his cause shall surely triumph. Denney, Studies in Theology, 226 ? ?It is at least as likely that the individual should be insensible to the divine message in a book, as that the church should have judged it to contain such a message if it did not do so.? Milton, Areopagitica: ?The Bible brings in holiest men passionately murmuring against Providence through all the arguments of Epicurus.? Bruce, Apologetics, 329 ? ?Old Testament religion was querulous, vindictive, philolevitical, hostile toward foreigners, morbidly self-
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