| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 246 of 297 INDEX | |
Authentic. A book is authentic if the matters of fact with which it
deals actually occurred.
Authoritative. In the case of the Scriptures, by their very nature, if
they are both genuine and authentic, they necessarily become authoritative.
Now a book may be genuine but not authentic as, for instance,
Gulliver's Travels by Dean Swift. There is no doubt as to its genuineness,
but no one believes that the events described by Dean Swift ever occurred. A
book may be authentic without being genuine, that is, it may contain actual
facts, but be written by a person pretending to be another, and in another
age. If, however, it is established that Moses wrote the books of the law,
and if it is further established that the things recorded actually took
place, then the very nature of the books once so proved, makes them of
supreme authority. Matters of fact such as these, depend for their proof
upon external and internal evidences, the external evidence being the
testimony of witnesses; the internal, the evidence of language, style,
reflected colour, etc.
At the time of Christ the canon of the Old Testament was fixed, and we
remember how He endorsed its threefold composition when He spoke of 'The Law,
the Prophets and the Psalms' (Luke 24:44). There is a consistent testimony
to this canon of the Old Testament extending from the days of the Prophets to
the days of Christ. Let us call some of the witnesses.
The witness of Josephus
Flavius Josephus, a Jew of distinguished priestly line, was born in
a.d. 37. He wrote The Wars of the Jews, The Antiquities of the Jews, an
autobiography, and a treatise against Apion. The following is the weighty
opinion of Bishops Porteous and Scalliger:
'The fidelity, the veracity and the probity of Josephus are universally
allowed; and Scalliger in particular declares that, not only in the
affairs of the Jews, but even of foreign nations, he deserves more
credit than all the Greek and Roman writers put together'.
Here is the testimony of Josephus concerning the Old Testament
'For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us,
disagreeing from and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two
books,* which contain the records of all the past times; which are
justly believed to be divine; and of them, five belong to Moses ... the
prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times
in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and
precepts for the conduct of human life.
See the chart on page 408.
... how firmly we have given credit to those books of our nation is
evident by what we do; for during so many ages as have already passed,
no one has been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any
thing from them, or to make any change in them; but it becomes natural
to all Jews, immediately and from their very birth, to esteem those