Monday, April 19, 2021

Handling an Inspired Work

There are not a few readers who seem to approach the Gospels, for instance, in a purely critical spirit. From the style of their inquiries, it would scarcely be supposed that they are handling an inspired Work. They treat it exactly as if it were an ordinary narrative. To be warned against some popular mistake: to be furnished with a correct translation; to have the events it records, reduced to true historical order; and to understand the allusions to manners, and natural phenomena:--such seem to be the chief objects of their desire. Readers of this class find writers of their own mental complexion: writers, who can be eloquent enough about the Pharisees and Sadducees; indeed, who have much to say on the subject of Jewish antiquities generally; are very exact in speaking of the Herods; very communicative concerning the geography of Palestine, and the observations of modern travelers; but who have little to communicate besides. They seem to make it a point of honor to be very dry on points of living interest.
John William Burgon, A Plain Commentary on the Four Holy Gospels, Intended Chiefly for Devotional Reading, p. iii

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