Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 21-1 (Text)

Concol2()io Theological Mont I JANUARY • 1950 60 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER divisions. Sentences are sometimes separated by spaces and paragraphs are indicated by new beginnings at the margin. The latter are usually not indented, however, unless the previous line is full. Some unfamiliar marginal markings occur, which may represent sectarian reading aids. Chapter forty is distinguished from thirty-nine only by a new, un­indented paragraph and the presence of one of the marginal symbols. ''The date of the Isaiah scroll, near the close of the second pre­Christian century, classes it not only as the oldest extensive manuscript of the Bible existing in any language, but also places it approximately a millennium earlier than the oldest Hebrew scrolls of the Old Testa­ment which were previously known to exist. We now have a Hebrew witness, practically contemporary with the Septuagint, to the early text of the Prophet. This early date, plus the completeness of the scroll, makes it an extremely important instrument for the textual criticism of the canonical book. The point of chief significance in this connec­tion is the remarbble degree to which it suPPOrtS the fidelity of the Masoretic Text. The standardization of the traditional text is herein indicated to have been accotnplisht:d much earlier than was previously supposed. Furthermore, a comparison of the Masoretic and Jerusalem texts [Hthe Jerusalem texts" is a term applied to all the scrolls dis­covered in 1947} reveals that, in spite of the extreme antiquity of the latter, the former may actually preserve the text in earlier form. The Masoretic superiority, plus its more archaic orthography, suggests that the archetype of the Masorah of the traditional text was based on a pre­Maccabean manuscript of the Prophet .... On the other hand, the older traditions of grammar and prom:nciation preserved by the Isaiah scroll will be of inestimable value in the reconstruction of pre-Masoretic grammar. "Though some proposed emendations of the Masoretic Text are strik­ingly confirmed by the Isaiah scroll, textual variants in the latter are far less numerous than radical critics might have desired. Disappointed, too, are those who seek here for evidence resolving difficulties of unity and date of composition. The First and Second Isaiah question is left unanswered; the beginning of chapter forty is distinguished only by an unindented paragraph and a marginal sectarian symbol. This was to be expected, however, since our scroll is certainly later than the canoni­zation of the Prophets. On the other hand, those who would date chapter 65, for example, as late as 200 B. C. are definitely shown to be in error. Such a date leaves an insufficient margin of time for the canonical book to have assumed its present form." P. M. B. THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 61 LUTHERANISM IN AUSTRALIA In its issue of Nov. 9, 1949, The Lutheran reports that "Dr. Herman Sasse of Germany has arrived in Australia to teach at the seminary of the United Evangelical lutheran Church in Australia at Adelaide. Dr. Sasse visited the United States in 1948 as a guest of the lutheran Church -Missouri Synod." The same paper reports in its issue of Nov.2, 1949: "The chances were good this month that Lutherans of Australia could form a united church long before such a thing is achieved in America. In the Queens­land district a meeting is scheduled this month for pastors of the Evan­gelical Lutheran Church of Australia (associated with the Missouri Synod, U. S. A.) and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Aus­tralia. Successful meetings had already been held in the New South Wales and South Australia districts. "These were the first meetings held together by the two groups in 60 years. Statements regarding theological differences are being studied. A heavy tide of immigration from Europe is affecting the Lutheran situation in Australi(l., More than 160,000 arrived in the last two years, and 170,000 more are expected by June 30, 1950." P. M. B. SOUTH AMERICA THROUGH LUTHERAN EYES The Lutheran World Review (October, 1949), published by the Lu­theran Wodd Federation, contains a very interesting article, written by Stuart W. Herman, Geneva, Switzerland, on the Lutheran church union outlook in South America. Dr. Herman personally visited all the South American republics with the exception of five and found there is some Lutheran work in all but two, namely, Ecuador and French Guiana. The article is objective and aims at ways and means by which Lutheranism in South America might be consolidated in its efforts and thus strengthened, a thing which should be done if at all possible. What aroused our major interest in the article was the author's statement about the work of the Missouri Synod. He finds much to praise about the Missouri churches. "They are, as usual, well-disciplined and evangelistically aggressive" (p. 92). He has high praise also for the work of the Lutheran Hour, which reaches not only Brazil and Ar­gentina, but also many other countries, and for the Missouri Synod seminaries in Porto Alegre and Buenos Aires. But there is in the article also what may appear as a criticism. For example, Dr. Herman writes: "In many Brazilian towns of German origin there are today three churches: one Roman Catholic, one 'Evangelical,' and one Missouri lutheran. This situation did not develop without hard feelings on both 62 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER sides, but today some of the old wounds have begun to heal; although many Missourians are still inclined to stake absolute claim to the name 'Lutheran' (ibid.)." Now, the undersigned has for some time closely followed the hard struggle and excellent work of our brethren in South America. To say that "this situation did not develop without hard feelings on both sides" is putting it very mildly. The so-called Evan­gelical Synods of South America, of which the author has much to say, actually did everything in their power to render our work impossible, misrepresenting by oral and written word both our doctrinal position and the reason that brought our Synod to South America. Evidence that our brethren were inclined "to stake absolute claim to the name Lutheran" does not appear in any of their publications, though time and again (and rightly so) they marked the liberal "Evangelical Synods," which in many instances totally rejected the Gospel of Christ, as "non-Lutheran" and such Lutheran units as fraternized with them and other Protestants in South America, and as also otherwise in word and practice were disloyal to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, as "erring Lutherans." On the other hand (and this he article does nor say) our brethren have always been ready to discuss matters of doctrine and practice with any Protestant group in South America and have even solicited such discussions. And today our brethren are still ready to discuss matters of church unity as also to co-operate with Lutheran and other Protestant groups in externals. We write this for the sake of the publication of the whole truth (which the writer perhaps could not learn on his visit) , as also in the interest of fostering true church union. Dr. Herman himself admits such readiness of co-operation when he writes: "One of the unforgettable experiences of my trip was the meet­ing of representative leaders of the La Plata Synod, the United Lu­theran Church of Argentina, and the Missouri Synod around a big table in Concordia Seminary on the edge of Buenos Aires to discuss ways and means of coping with the problem of Lutheran refugees and of in­tegrating the technical aspects of this task through an inter-denomina­tional reception committee in Argentina" (p. 88) . We recommend such "gettings together" both in South America and in North America, but not merely to co-operate in extemis, but primarily to foster true oneness both in doctrine and church practice. J. T. MUELLER "SONGS IN THE NIGHT" According to the Lutheran. Oct. 26, 1949, Dr. Karl Ihmels has been dismissed from his post as professor of Mission History at Leipzig on the basis of an anonymous accusation that he served as a member of THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 63 the S. S. under the Nazi regime; furthermore, that his sixteen-year-old son had disappeared mysteriously about a year ago and that he was accidentally found by Bishop Hugo Hahn in a concentration camp. Dr. Karl Ihmels is the son of the late Bishop Ludwig Ihmels, the last of the so-called Erlangen theologians. Dr. Arndt and the undersigned met an older son of Dr. Karl Ihme1s at Valbonne, France, in 1947, where he attended a conference of German Prisoners of War who were rendering spiritual service to their fellow prisoners. The son had just completed his theological training at Montpelier, an emergency sem­inary, where theological smdents continued their interrupted studies while still prisoners of war. According to Christ und Welt (Sept. 29, 1949) the church gov­ernment of the Berlin-Brandenburg diocese has submitted a list of 14 churches and parsonages which have been dismantled, though there was no urgent reason for this action. When one thill_ks of aU' the heartaches to which Christians behind the Iron Curtain are subjected, one is constrained to remember them regularly in one's prayers. The heroic faith of many Lutherans was expressed beautifully by Bishop Beste, who, when asked, What do your people do in the face of all their dangers, answered: "They sing doxologies." F. E. M. THEOLOGICAL STUDENTS IN GE&'VfANY Christ und Welt (Sept. 22, 1949) reports that 3,559 evangelical theological students are attending universities and theological "high schools" in the four zones of Germany. This total includes 473 female students who are preparing themselves for specific work in the Church. Der Lutheraner (Frankfurt) states that almost 1,000 students are en­rolled at "Theologische Hochschulen," seminaries which are detached from the state-supported universities, for example, the Theologische Hochschule at Ober-Ursel, at Neuendettelsau, Bethel, Berlin. We con­sider this a healthy sign. While the traditional pattern of European theological training developed theological specialists, it failed to a large extent to prepare men in the real sense for the parish ministry. F.E.M. "THE SAVIOR'S ETERNAL WORK" Under this caption, Professor Otto A. Piper of Princeton Theological Seminary published an exegetical study of Col. 1:9-29, in Interpretation (July, 1949). In this study, the author demonstrates with considerable effectiveness that the term "Christological digression," which has been frequently applied to Col. 1: 15-20, is "misleading and prejudices a 64 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER sound interpretation from the very outset." He then shows that this section is an integral part of the entire Christological argument in Col. 1:9-29. He also notes that Col. 1:15-20 is not merely a defense of Christ's true nature and work directed against Gnostic interpretations, but that the work of Christ spoken of in CoL 1: 15-20 is most closely related to the Savior's redemptive work. In discussing, on the basis of CoL 1: 15-20, the Savior's eternal ac­tivity in this physical universe, Dr. Piper fearlessly lashes out against some present-day existentialists. Referring to the difficulty of the nat­ural mind to understand the mysteries of this universe, the author writes: "How ridiculous modern existentialism looks when measured by Paul's insights! Those little Sartres et al. think they are wise when they talk intelligent nonsense, whereas their whole attitude proves that they do not believe in their own words, bur rather build their lives upon the high opinions they have of themselves, and upon the flatteries of their admirers. But the rea! greatness of Paul as a thinker is not to be found in the criticism to which he subjected the philosophical and 'gflostic' views, but rather in his interpretation of the Word of God as the disclosure of the eternal purpose of God" (p. 291). The author also finds Col. 1: 15-20 most relevant in a Christian's criticism of an­cient and modern teleological, materialistic, and idealistic views. He writes: 'The vexing problem of whether the universe should be ex­plained in terms of causality or teleology is solved in Him [Christ]. Both views are right, because He is a living being. He is not merely the efficient cause through whom the universe came into being but every­thing is also to be subjected to Him. Materialism or positivism as an explanation of the universe is wrong, but so is idealism. It is only in this redemptive personalism that the elements of truth found in both of those philosophical views can be brought to a satisfactory synthesis." (P.205.) Perhaps because the author was held to a prescribed number of words when he wrote the study, he could not discuss such pregnant words occurring in Col. 1 as %'daL~ (v. 15),