Full Text for CTM Book Review 14-5 (Text)

TH • 5 ------45 .. -----------------378 Book Review Book Review All books rttviewed in this periodical rnay be procured from or through Con­cordIa Publishing House, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, Mo. Exposition of Genesis. By H. C. Leupold. 1220 pages, 5~X8%. The Wartburg Press, Columbus, Ohio. Price, $4.50. "Satisfactory commentaries on the books of the Old Testament in English are few in number. This volume," the publishers state, "is a praiseworthy effort toward furnishing the English-reading Bible student a book on Genesis." We welcome this commentary from the pen of the learned author, who is widely known as a conservative Lutheran scholar standing foursquare on the verbal inspiration of the Bible. Time and again he briefly but convincingly refutes the arguments of modern critics and shows up the folly of dissecting the text and assigning the portions to the various sources existing only in the mind and imagina­tion of these critics. We have not found the time to read the entire commentary, but what we did read has time and again proved the learn­ing, the thoroughness, the soundness of his interpretation. While he constantly refers to the original Hebrew, yet his style is vivid, clear, fascinating. It is refreshing to find here a commentary that really seeks to present the thoughts of the text as we have it in the Hebrew Bible instead of changing the text according to what the commentator thinks it ought to say, as is the vogue with so many modern theologians, so called. Space will permit us to call attention to only a few items proving the thoroughness and practical value of this commentary. In his notes on Gen. 2: 9 the author refutes the vagaries of commentators who speak of "the confusion regarding the two trees," of "magical properties," of a physical, "a sex connotation" in connection with the tree of knowledge, of a later interpolation, and makes the following apt remarks: "The church has always understood in reference to these trees that, in the nature of the case, eating of the fruit of one tree cannot impart life, just as little as partaking of the fruit of another can impart a sense of moral distinctions. However, we have an analogy to these cases in the matter of the sacraments. As in the sacraments by virtue of the divine Word the visible means become vehicles of divine grace, so here by virtue of the divine Word, which designates the one tree as 'the tree of life,' 'life' can in reality be imparted by its use when and under whatever circumstances God decrees. In like manner, the second tree, as its name implies, becomes an agency through which under certain circumstances, divinely appointed, man may come to an experi­mental knowledge of good and evil." Pp. 120, 12l. In connection with Gen. 10 he has inserted three diagrams which help materially in understanding the tribal connections of the various nations. Commenting on Gen. 15: 6, the author writes, "Abram cannot as a spiritual man have thought of this seed only as Book Review 379 numerous descendants; for already in 12:3b that seed had been shown as involving" [we would say as referring to] ''the one who would bring salvation to mankind. . .. In essence it [his faith] is trust in the Savior sent by God." P.478. On chapter 20 we read: "It would be foolish to deny the similarity of this episode with those other episodes recorded in Gen. 12: 10 ff. and 26: 1 ff. It is equally foolish to claim the identity of the incidents on the ground that they merely represent three different forms of the original event, forms assumed while being transmitted by tradition. Critics seem to forget that life just hap­pens to be so strange a thing that certain incidents may repeat them­selves in the course of one life or that the lives of children often con­stitute a strange parallel to those of their parents." P.579. Shiloh, Gen. 49: 10, the author regards as a proper noun: Rest or Restgiver; to Him people shall willingly tender obedience. P.1179. We cannot, however, agree with the author's translation of Gen.4:1 "I have gotten a man-child with Yaweh." There is no grammatical reason why Luther's translation ''I have gotten the man, (namely) the Lord" must be rejected. Grammar, in fact, forces us to give Luther's translation the preference. Dr. Leupold writes, "Grammatically we must object to this original rendering on the score that 'eth., being the sign of the definite object, sets the definite object Yah.weh. by the side of the very indefinite object 'ish, 'a man.''' P.l90. Delitzsch correctly calls this construction, to which the learned author objects, a frequent one and lists Gen. 6:10; 26:34; Is. 7:17; we might add 1 Kings 11:14; J er. 4: 1 and the frequent instances where an apposition with 11~ follows a personal pronoun, e. g., Ex. 2: 6; 35: 5; Lev. 13: 57b; 1 Kings 21: 13, etc. Dr. Leupold tells us that the preposition 'eth has the meaning "with" or ''with the help of' also in Gen. 49:25a; Judges 8:7b; Esther 9:9. Delitzsch says that the phrase "'eth Jehovah" never occurs in the sense of "with the aid of Jehovah," the prepositions used are tl~ and~. I have failed to find an '''eth'' with any term for God in the sense of '''with the help of God." Delitzsch also states that the passage Gen. 49: 25 "'eth shaddai," which the A. V. translates "by the Almighty," and Dr. Leupold "with the help of the Almighty," is a questionable reading. Kittel in the Third Edition of Biblia Hebraica, 1937, notes, "Read ~~ ["God Almighty" instead of l1N] with the Samaritan Text, the Septuagint, the Syrian, and three Hebrew manuscripts." Hence Gen. 49: 25 is too doubtful a reading over against the overwhelming testimony against "'eth Jehovah" ever occurring in the sense of "with the help of Jehovah." Esther 9: 9 does not mean "with the help"; authority did not help them in the writing, but the writing was accompanied by authority. Judges 8: 7 'eth simply denotes the instrument; and Eve, Gen. 4:1, certainly did not mean to say that the Lord was the instrument, the means, whereby she ob­tained a man-child. Dr. Leupold continues, "In the second place, nothing had as yet in­dicated to Eve the divine character of the seed of the woman. To claim that she could quite naturally have anticipated that fact, would prac­tically make revelation unnecessary: man could adequately surmise the 380 Book Review most vital of truths." P.190. There was no need for Eve to anticipate that fact. God certainly did not mean to say that all the seed, the off­spring, i. e., all mankind, would crush the serpent's head. Dr. Leupold himself holds that this refers to an individual within a larger circle, p.166 ff., though his explanation there is rather involved. God had in mind and spoke of one individual, the only Deliverer, His Son, the Lord. And Eve could understand His promise as pointing to the Lord. God had definitely stated that He would put enmity between the woman and the serpent. That was impossible for man; God had to call them back to Himself. Gen. 3: 8, 9. And just as impossible was it that a human offspring, sinful as Adam and Eve were sinful, could deliver them from the power of Satan. If Eve's seed was to crush Satan's head, he must be more than sinful man, more than holy, sinless Adam and Eve before the Fall, stronger than the devil, must be the Lord God. And in her first-born son she thought to have given birth to., have gotten, a man­child, even the Lord. The word of promise implied the Deity of the deliverer. Irrespective of the translations of the Septuagint and other versions, the almost unanimous consensus of modern commentators and the fact that Luther "wavered on this point," and "in his commentary stands, 'der Mann des HErrn,''' we regard on grammatical and lexicographical grounds the translation "I have gotten a man, even the Lord," as the only correct one. We repeat that this is the best recent commentary on Genesis in the English language and recommend it very highly to our pastors. They will find the book very practical for sermonizing, since "Homi-letical Suggestions" are added to every chapter. ThEO. LAETSCH Faith Under Fire. By Michael Coleman. Charles Scribner's Sons. 160 pages, 5VzX8. Price, $1.50. The Christian faith cannot be defended by the thoroughgoing Liberal. He does not want to defend it. He has surrendered all the essentials of the Christian faith. But neither can it be defended by the half-way Liberal. The talks incorporated in our book, given by the acting vicar of All Hallows to the men and women of the Civilian Defence Service during the bombings of London, aimed "to meet questions of every kind, from the atheist, from the agnostic, as well as from the humble but deeply anxious learner." But the defense of Faith under FiTe as here attempted is hopeless from the start. It starts with surrendering the citadel of the faith, the verbal 'inspiration and absolute trustworthiness of the Bible. The Bible "is the gradual unfolding record of man's understanding of God's character"; it is not "the word of God" as though "God wrote it Himself." "So in the Bible we shall expect to find not only God's truth, which is always eternally true, but also man's some­times erring ways of expressing truth. Needless to say, there are two elements in the Bible-the divine and the human. One is always com­plete truth, and one is sometimes faulty in expression." The writers "sometimes only half understood the truth that was there." (pp. 27, 48.) It is certainly a hopeless undertaking to win the unbeliever for the teachings of the Bible by telling him that this "record" is not altogether Book Review 381 irustworthy. Nor is the position of the defender of the Christian faith bettered when he tells the unbeliever and the anxious learner to ask his reason how much of the Bible is trustworthy. ("Religion, while being based on faith, must also include the acceptance by reason, as far as reason can go." (P.119.) Reason being the judge, man will not accept any of the distinctive teachings of the Christian faith. :Must the defender of the Christian faith stand for the miracles re­corded in the Bible? He need not, we are here told. "It seems that. today these same miracles, which once were accepted as proofs of His Divinity, now have become serious stumbling blocks for those who otherwise would find themselves able to believe. What are the argu­ments used? (1) Are the Gospel records really trustworthy? Surely the Feeding of the Five Thousand, for instance, cannot be believed seriously as an actual happening." (P.85.) You must tell the unbeliever and anxious learner that no miracle really occurred, rather that "many others in the crowd, seeing the lovely selfless act of the small boy who shared his store with others were won to offer their food, too; the miracle is no less a miracle thus explained," and that at Cana "our Lord made everything, including the water, acceptable to the guests," and that "possession by devils is Eastern imagery," and that "no one who has been out East would deny the fakir's power of 'levitation.''' (P. 87 fl.) The agnostic will, on hearing this, certainly say that if he is permitted to reject the miracles because they are unreasonable, he has, on the same grounds, the right to reject the miracle of the Virgin Birth and of the Resurrection and the doctrine of the Deity of Christ and of the Trinity and of the Vicarious Atonement. The workers assembled in the crypt of the ruined church of All Hal­lows and other places were asked to accept the Biblical teaching of the Virgin Birth, of the Resurrection, and of the Deity of Christ, "God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God." Thank God for that! But those that accepted these teachings did it not on the basis of the principles set up by the half-way Liberals but because of the divine power inherent in Scripture. They did it in spite of the objection raised by their agnostic companions: if reasonableness be the criterion of truth, no teaching of the Bible need be accepted. On the supreme question of the Atonement, the half-way Liberal becomes a thoroughgoing Liberal. He does not teach Vicarious Atone­ment. His teaching is s1Lmmarized in the vague statements: "Just be­cause Love can endure forever, it must outlast and ultimately conquer sin. . .. The Lord Christ is One who portrays the love of God to them in perfection .... In the person of Jesus Christ Almighty God had ful­fIlled His promise of finally revealing His love towards mankind." (Pp.95, 113, 115, 30, 39.) -It is significant that the title "Savior" is never used in our book. "Leader" is the title most often used. TH. ENGELDER Preaching from the Prophets. By Kyle M. Yates. Harper and Brothers, New York. 225 pages, 5%X8ljz. Price, $2.00. This is not a book of sermons, but it contains material for many sermons. The author, Kyle M. Yates, has for twenty years taught Old Testament Interpretation, and since 1922 has been teaching large classes 382 Book Review in Hebrew in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville. ''He studied Semitic languages under John R. Sampey of Louisville and received his doctorate in this field from the University of Edinburgh. He is now serving on the committee of six to revise the American Re­vised Edition of the Old Testament." Dr. Yates presents studies on the following eighteen Old Testament prophets: Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Joel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Dr. Yates gives the historical background of the time in which the prophet lived and taught, discusses the prophet and his book, and adds notes which serve as preaching values and as prac­tical lessons for our day. In his Preface he says: "The Old Testament prophets were preachers who had color, courage, and dynamic qualities. Twentieth century preachers can learn much from them. Their books will provide material for effective preaching. The truths they pre­sented are the ones needed for this generation. This volume has grown out of twenty years' experience in the Old Testament classroom. En­thusiastic students have joined in an investigation to determine the rich preaching values which may come from the prophets. Graduate men have contributed their best efforts in this task. I have sought to arrange the material so that a busy minister or teacher or student may find in one place the help that will make it possible for him to preach or teach the truths so sorely needed in our day." (P. VII.) The Old Testament is a book much neglected not only by the average Christian, but, we fear, also by the average preacher. However, Paul tells us, that also the Old Testament was "written for our learning," Rom. 15: 4. It contains valuable sermon material which can be used not only as texts for regular services and special occasions, but also con­tains much illustrative material for sermons. From this viewpoint we also treat the Old Testament in one of the homiletical courses at our Seminary. Dr. Yates intentionally does not enter upon critical questions and problems of the Old Testament. He says: "I have tried to steer clear of the critical questions and problems that come up in connection with the study of some of the prophets. It will be easy to find material on these problems in any of the good Introductions. The aim is to provide the background, the picture of the man, the contents of his book, and the messages of permanent value that may be used today. If these studies can give added power and effectiveness to the teachers and preachers of our generation, they will have served their purpose." (P. VII.) The author, however, makes some statements along these lines which we cannot fully approve, as, for instance, when he says that the second part of the Book of Isaiah has been written by one or even two writers other than Isaiah himself; for Acts 8:28-33 and Rom.10:16 ascribe also that portion of the prophet's book to Isaiah. The author does teach the Messianic content of the Old Testament prophecies. If by our recom­mendation of Dr. Yates's book we can stimulate a greater interest in the study and use of the Old Testament on the part of the preacher, this review will have served a good purpose. J. H. C. FRITZ Book Review 883 The Rich Young EuIer. By Gunner Engberg. Translated by Harold C. Jensen. Danish Lutheran Publishing House, Blair, Nebr. 82 pages, 5X7Jh. Price, 20 cents. Christ and His Men. By Olfert Ricard. Translated by Harold C. Jensen. Central Committee of Young People's Leagues, United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 329 pages, 5V2X8. Price, 50 cents. The Book of Yonth. By Skovgaard-Petersen. From the Danish by Jens Dalbo. Danish Lutheran Publishing House. 280 pages, 5Jhx8. Price, 50 cents. Here are three books intended chiefly for the use of young people. On the whole they serve this purpose very well. The first one presents lessons or meditations on the basis of the story of the rich young ruler. The chapter headings are: What Jesus Loves in a Young Person; Pay the Price! How One May Conquer in Temptation; To Receive and to Give: This Is Life. The book will offer fine reading for young people. It may also be used to good advantage by youth leaders who are looking for suitable topics for meditations. The following present themselves in the book: The Danger of the Divided Heart; The Problem of Tempta­tions; Youth the Time of Receiving; The Secret of Happiness: To Re­ceive Thankfully and to Give Gladly. A stimulating book! -The second book offers twelve chapters, most of which are built up around some great character in the neighborhood of Jesus, four of the Apostles being included in the list. The work is cleverly done, which at the same time accounts for its chief defect. The brilliancy of the writer causes him to become guilty of small inaccuracies in the description, most of which are not too serious and will readily be discovered by the careful reader. There are doctrinal lapses which detract from that side of the book, as when the author states that the God-consciousness of the Logos was extinguished at His incarnation, and that this God-consciousness began to dawn as the Child grew older. This is, to say the least, not a very acceptable way to picture the difficulties of the state of humiliation. A discriminating pastor will be able to use most of the meditations with small changes. -The third book comes under the heading of adolescent psychology, not in the modern scientific form, indeed, but obviously based on careful observation and a great deal of extraneous material. On page 24 there is a strange statement concerning free will: "The soul God created in His own image -that is to say: He endowed it with a free will, thus leaving the soul the ability to choose either of two momentous alternatives: by the agency of a free will to form itself according to His likeness -or to that of the father of lies." It would seem to take a great deal of explaining to make such statements conform to the Word of God as to the status of man after the Fall, or even before the FalL The wrong thought is continued on page 25: "While the soul, through de­liberate choice, forms itself in accordance with one likeness or another, our visible shape changes, too." Some sections of the book, especially under the caption "The Years of Transformation," are very valuable, and the' power of the Gospel is referred to time and again. In this in­stance, also, the text suggests some fine topics for meditations: Curbing 384 Book Review Impatience; In the Keeping of a Loving Fathe.r; The Hand of God in the Affairs of His Children; Keeping in Touch with Heaven. Leaders of young people will do well to make a study of this book. P. E. KRETZMANN General Course of Study for Lutheran Elementary Schools. With Sup­plement. Published under the auspices of the Board of Christian Education, Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States. St. Louis, Mo. Concordia Publishing House, 1943. X and 339 pages, 6X9. Price, $1.50. Regardless of whether a pastor is ever personally engaged in teach­ing a Lutheran parish school or not, this volume ought to be studied by him. Compiled in the office of Synod's Board of Christian Education and edited by Mr. Wm. Kramer, it represents, in summary, as fine a guide for Christian teaching as could be found anywhere today, not only in the field of the secular subjects, but in particular also in that of religion, to which approximately one fourth of the volume is devoted. There is no part of educational work in elementary schools that is not so ade­quately treated as to give complete guidance to the pastor or teacher who is confronted with the task of doing justice to this most important part of a congregation's activity. Whatever will increase the efficiency of our Lutheran parish schools should receive the serious attention of our pastors. P. E. KRETZMANN The Story of the Church. A Brief History of Christianity by Thea. Hoyer. Concordia Teacher Training Series. Concordia Publish­ing House, 1942. 131 pages, 5X7%. Price, 25 cents. Instructors Guide, 70 pages, 8ljzX11. Price, $1.00. Test Sheets, 25 cents. This latest set of material for the training of Sunday school teachers offers an excellent text for a brief course in the history of the Christian Church, a text which really stresses the most important points in the development of Christianity, in a simple, yet comprehensive manner. Even such pastors as prefer to guide the instruction in their parishes in their own way will do well to examine this material. The textbook may well be used in topic work before the various organizations of a Christian congregation. P. E. KRETzMANN BOOKS RECEIVE)) From John Knox Press, Richmond, Va.: What Is Your Need? And Other Sermons. By Stuart R. Oglesby, D. D. 118 pages, 5X7ljz. Price, $1.00. Reserves of the Soul and Other Sennons. By J. Calvin Reid, Ph. D., D. D. 156 pages, 5X7ljz. Price, $1.50. From Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Sermon Outlines and Illustrations. Compiled and Edited by Theo­dore W. Engstrom. 168 pages, 5lJ4x73f4. Price, $1.00. From Association Press, 347 Madison Ave., New York: Finding Your Way in Life. Edited by Sidney A. Weston. 134 pages, 5% x9lJ4. Price, $1.50. Understanding Myself. By Roy E. Dickerson. 180 pages, 5%X8. Price, $2.00.