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Volume 10 - Page 24 of 162 Index | Zoom | |
Studies in Ecclesiastes.
The Question of Authorship.
Who is "The Preacher"?
pp. 56 61
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Tim. 3: 16, 17).
Two important considerations arise out of the application of the above quotation of
Scripture to the book of Ecclesiastes.
1. Seeing that Ecclesiastes was included in the Hebrew Scriptures long before the
time of our Lord's earthly testimony, it received His approval when He referred in
Luke 24: to the complete O.T. by using the accepted title, "The Law of Moses, the
Prophets, and the Psalms". The book of Ecclesiastes therefore is canonical Scripture, and
if "Scripture", it is inspired. 2. To omit this book from our study is to deprive
ourselves of one aspect of truth which will prevent us from being "perfect" and
"thoroughly furnished". This book, being inspired Scripture, will be "profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".
The adverse critics of the book may be concluded under two headings, those whose
theological opinions do not agree with some of its teaching, and those who on the
grounds of "higher criticism" and literary examination pronounce the book either a pious
forgery or something inconsistent with its place in the canon of inspired truth. The
former can hardly have carefully pondered the nature of their criticism, for if books, or
even verses, of Scripture may be rejected according as they agree or disagree with the
individual's creed, there is hardly a book of either Old or New Testament that sooner or
later will not fall outside the universally accepted Canon. The latter class of critics bring
with them a variety of methods and motives. Those which are connected with the
criticism of a literary and historical nature we may be able to consider, for the original
language is open for all to search, and the careful comparison of scripture with scripture
requires neither genius nor inspiration.
While the criticism of the former class says in effect, "Solomon's wisdom led him no
higher than `under the sun', poor soul; we however know better!" the criticism of the
latter school usually commences with a most emphatic repudiation of the possibility that
Solomon could be the author of the book. One great authority declares that if this book
were written by Solomon, or in Solomon's time, then there is no such things as the
history of the Hebrew language! The discoveries of man in any field of research are not
final by any means, and even in the science of language it seems scarcely proper for such
assumption of finality to be made. We propose therefore to ask the reader to consider the
following collection of parallel passages (collected by other than ourselves), and then to