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In recent years, many have written general histories of Israel and more have discussed her writings; but, thus far, little attempt has been made to tell the connected story of the growth of Israel's thought in its changing forms of expression and in relation to other aspects of her history. It is now possible to arrange the writings of ancient Israel in their historical connections with more of detail and certainty than in the case of most early literatures, and the time seems ripe for writing a history of the literature of this nation similar to those written for ancient Greece, Rome, India, Persia, Arabia, and more modern peoples.
Some excuse for the undertaking of this high task by the present writer may be found in the fact that he has waited a dozen years since it first seemed to him full time for the history, and has not ventured to write this volume before proving, in university and general lectures, that such treatment of Israel's literature can be made intelligible and helpful to constructive thinking.
Confidence is felt that the historical order set forth rests upon a firm basis, since it varies in only a few particulars from that presented in “Outlines for the Study of Biblical History and Literature," published nearly six years ago by F. K. Sanders and H. T. Fowler. Constant reëxamination of the Hebrew writings themselves and consideration of the critical discussions published in the intervening years indicate few and slight changes in the outline of Israel's literary history, then assumed as presenting the consensus of scholarship
Special acknowledgment of indebtedness is due to Rabbi Nathan Stern, Ph.D., who has read and criticised the present work; to Hon. John C. Rose, of the Federal Bench, for similar service in the portions that treat of the eighth century reformers and the law books Deuteronomy and Leviticus; and to Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., Ph.D., for a thorough revision, almost a new translation, of his version of the Babylonian Deluge narrative, made expressly for this work and most generously placed at the service of the author. Indebtedness is cordially acknowledged also to Thomas Nelson and Sons for permission to quote The American Standard Version of the Bible at length, and to the Delegates and Syndics of the University Presses of Oxford and Cambridge for similar permission to use the Revised Version of a portion of the Apocrypha; to Charles Scribner's Sons, Lemcke and Buechner, Luzac and Company, Dodd, Mead, and Company, and the George H. Doran Company for permission to print certain translations of Hebrew and other Semitic literature published by them.
The author alone is to be held responsible for any errors in the statement of facts or in the copying of translations which may appear in the present volume.
HENRY THATCHER FOWLER. Brown UNIVERSITY,
17 June, 1912.
NOTE ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE
IN “Outlines for the Study of Biblical History and Literature," F. K. Sanders and H. T. Fowler (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $1.25), the writings of ancient Israel are analyzed and arranged in their historical connections with explicit references to the best critical literature.
Dr. Karl Budd in his “Geschichte der althebräischen Litteratur" (Leipzig: C. F. Amelang, m. 8.50) discusses the writings of ancient Israel in their general chronological order, though grouping topically more than the present work. Dr. Alfred Bertholet contributes the chapter on the Apocrypha in this volume.
The volumes of “The Student's Old Testament,” C. F. Kent, offer a new critical translation of the books, analyzed into their component documents, with historical introductions and copious notes and bibliographies. The arrangement is in part chronological and in part topical. The successive volumes are: “Narratives of the Beginnings of Hebrew History"; "Israel's Historical and Biographical Narratives”; “Sermons, Epistles, and Apocalypses of Israel's Prophets”; “ Israel's Laws and Traditional Precedents”; “Songs, Psalms, and Prayers"; "Proverbial and Didactic Poems" (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $ 2.75 per volume).
The standard Old Testament “Introductions” discuss the literary history of each book, but do not arrange the books and documents in historical order The best of these include: “ An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament," S. R. Driver (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $2.50); “ Introduction to the Canonical Books of the Old Testament,” C. H, Cornhill (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. London: Williams and Norgate. $3); “A Bibli. cal Introduction," W. H. Bennett and W. F. Adeney (New York: Thomas Whittaker. $2); “Introduction to the Old Testament,” J. E. McFadyen (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son. London: Hodder and Stoughton. $1.75).
Thorough articles on each Old Testament book are given in: “Encyclopædia Biblica” (New York and London: Macmillan and Company. 4 vols. $5 each); “A Dictionary of the Bible," James Hastings (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark. 5 vols $6 each). Briefer, but excellent, articles are given in the Hastings “One Volume Bible Dictionary” (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $5); “The Standard Bible Dictionary (New York: Funk and Wagnalls. $6); “The Encyclopædia Britannica.”
Recent commentaries, such as “The Bible for Home and School” (New York : Macmillan and Company); “The International Critical Commentary” (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons); “Westminster Commentaries” (New York: Edwin S. Gorham. London: Methuen and Company); “Göttinger Handkommentar zum Alten Testament,” W. Nowack (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht); “Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament,” K. H. C. Marti (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr), treat the literary history of the books in the introductions of the several volumes.
Various aspects of the English Bible as literature are discussed in “ Life and Literature of the Ancient Hebrews,” Lyman Abbott (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. $2); “The Bible as English Literature," J. H. Gardiner (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $1.50); “The Literary Study of the Bible,” R. G. Moulton (Boston: D. C. Heath and Company. $2); “ A Short Introduction to the Literature of the Bible,” R. G. Moulton (Boston: D. C. Heath and Company. $1); “Hebrew Life and Thought,” L. S. Houghton (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. $1.50).