|MESSIAH: HIS FIRST COMING SCHEDULED, Preface||
THIS volume, Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled, is the fourth book of the Messianic Series. This set, when completed, deals with every phase of Messiah's redemptive work. The first book, The God of Israel, presents the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The second, Messiah: His Nature and Person, sets forth the teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the divine-human nature of King Messiah, who, according to the predictions, enters the world by virgin birth. The third, Messiah: His Redemptive Career, spreads before the reader in a panoramic form the entire redemptive work of King Messiah as it is outlined in certain key passages. This, the fourth volume, deals with the chronological question and the time of Messiah's first appearance. The fifth, to be entitled Messiah: His Historical Appearance, will give the full testimony of the evangelists in the form of a new translation and harmony of the four records of the gospel, followed by a fresh translation of Acts of the Apostles. It will present in concrete form the unimpeachable evidence proving the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. The sixth volume, Messiah: His Imminent Coming, will interpret the present world situation as the nations are gradually gravitating toward that final vortex which will engulf the entire civilization developed by man. It will in a sound way present "The Signs of the Times." The seventh and last book of the series, Messiah: His Final Call to Israel, will expound in a sane manner the predictions concerning Israel's acceptance of her long rejected Messiah and the confessions which she will make as a nation at some future time. When this is done her suffering will cease and the Golden Era will dawn.
For more than five years, I have been engaged in doing special research work on this present volume. I have spared neither time, means, nor labor in an effort to discover facts and truth on the various points in connection with the subject. I have worked in my own and various libraries in different sections of the country in search of information from every source possible. In 1936 and 1937, I took a young professor with me to Europe to do special research work in this field. We spent some time in the British Museum, London; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Vatican and Pontifical Biblical Seminary Libraries, Rome; the National Museum, Athens; and the Hebrew University and Franciscan Library, Jerusalem, Palestine.
I do not claim infallibility, but I do assert that I have made an honest, conscientious, and thorough effort to discover facts and truth in order that I may pass them on to others. I believe that it is impossible for anyone to make a more honest and diligent effort to discover facts than I have. Whatever flaws may be in the work are not due to an insincere, half-hearted effort to discover truth, but to the frailties of the flesh.
The explanation concerning the authorship of the book of Genesis and its real literary make-up may be new to some, but believing, conservative scholars have long recognized, in principle at least, the explanation that is herein set forth. For years we have known that Genesis presents unusual literary phenomena, which are not in evidence in any other book of the Scriptures. These facts demand an explanation. The exposition set forth in Chapter I is the only logical conclusion that accepts these many facts at their face value and that satisfies all the conditions. Many of these leading scholars in the conservative ranks who have studied the question (a man may be a specialist in one of the fields of Biblical Research and entirely unfamiliar with another) have recognized that there are certain literary phenomena peculiar to those places where the expression, "These are the generations of," occurs. The late Edouard Naville, who challenged the rationalistic, destructive critics, and who stood for the conservative position, was a strong advocate of the situation herein set forth. Mr. P. J. Wiseman in his small volume New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis, published by Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, presents in a very concise and telling way the facts relative to the composite nature of Genesis. Mr. Clarence H. Benson of the Moody Bible Institute in the Moody Monthly, October 1937, gave the following review of this most interesting and enlightening volume:
New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis, by Wing Commander R. J. Wiseman, R.A.F.
author was privileged while in government service in
to secure first-hand information of archaeological investigations. This volume
is the outcome of studies in the archaeology of Genesis. The illustrations are
taken from tablets in the author's own possession, and hitherto unpublished.
New archaeological and literary evidences of the truth of Genesis are
provided. The book is written in an interesting style and the arguments are
clear and convincing.
The years of the true chronology as it appears in the Scriptures are given in terms of the creation of man; hence they are designated A.H. which stands for Anno Hominis, the year of man. The symbol B.C.E. refers to the system of dates before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and means before the common era. The letters C.E. indicate the common era.
I do not pose as an original investigator in the field of chronology. No one today can lay claim to such distinction, because this field has been worked and reworked many times by earnest, sincere, scholarly men. Each, it seems, has improved upon the labors of others. They have used their predecessors as stepping-stones to higher things in the study of the chronological question. I am greatly indebted to the late Mr. Martin Anstey for much of the data given and for the tabular method of presenting the historical facts as they appear in the charts of two sections of the book. Believing the Hebrew Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God, he accepted them at their face value. He did a monumental work in presenting to us his two volumes The Romance of Bible Chronology. Not being infallible, however, he did make several errors, but not one of them affects his final results.
My special contribution to the development of the chart is to be found in the sabbatic scheme throughout the period of the disruption of the kingdom. This added feature lends absolute confirmation to the correctness of the chronology as worked out by Mr. Anstey. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan of London, England, wrote the preface to Mr. Anstey's volumes and commended them in the highest terms.
"It is with
pleasure, and yet with reluctance, that I have consented to preface this book
with any words of mine. "The reluctance is due to the fact that the work is so
lucidly done, that any setting forth of the method or purpose by way of
introduction would be a work of supererogation.
OF BIBLE CHRONOLOGY
There is no subject which will give one a more comprehensive grasp upon the Old Testament than a thorough study of the chronological problem. Mr. Anstey made a good selection in choosing the title for his volumes-The Romance of Bible Chronology. The study of Biblical chronology constitutes a romance. It presents the Old Testament as a living organism instead of a great heap of disconnected facts and historical data. Chronology may be compared to the skeleton of the human body. Without it one could neither walk, nor accomplish any work. As our skeletons are essential to the proper functioning of our bodies, so is the chronological scheme set forth in the Scriptures essential to the proper understanding and evaluation of the Word of God.
Some material which is not purely chronological but which has bearing upon the issues involved has been incorporated into the text. Figuratively speaking, this has been done in order not to picture the system of Biblical reckoning as a bare skeleton of uninteresting dates, but to present it as a living organism. This fact will, I trust, make the volume more interesting and profitable.
Great stress has been placed upon the date of the Exodus. The reason for this may readily be seen by noting the fact that Israel's national history begins with that most momentous event. The year of the Exodus was the birthday of the Hebrew nation. Their traditions look back to that time as the natal year. Many of her sages who have attempted to discover the time of Messiah's appearance begin their calculations from that date. In any discussion of the time of Messiah's advent, one must, as far as it is possible, establish by actual historical evidence the date of the Exodus in order to expose the fallacies of the various theories which are based upon the time of that mighty migration from slavery for the Promised Land where the people would enjoy their liberty.
It has likewise been necessary to trace the chronology through the entire history of the nation as set forth in the sacred Scriptures in order to clear the way for a scientific discussion of the crucial prediction-Daniel nine-which foretells the exact year when Messiah was to be cut off at His first coming to earth. This discussion has involved a thorough examination of much detailed material, which at first sight might appear irrelevant but which upon closer study proves essential to a proper evaluation of the main issues involved. A thorough examination of all the data herein presented will well repay the reader in giving him a clearer grasp not only upon the subject under discussion but upon the entire revelation of the Almighty.
I send forth this book on its mission, looking to God to use it to His Glory and to the salvation of many souls. All I ask of anyone is that he read and study it with an open mind for the one purpose of ascertaining facts and truth. The position here set forth may be contrary to the view of some of the readers. In that event I shall ask a patient, honest, conscientious hearing of the entire case as here presented.
All I ask of
any man is to be scientific. One of the outstanding leaders of Israel told me
during a personal conversation that such an attitude is the only one any man
can afford to take. Continuing he stated what he meant by being scientific. In
part he declared: "One must have an open mind and must make a diligent and
thorough investigation of all relevant facts. He must study his material in
the light of known facts bearing upon it ; then must honestly and
conscientiously before God evaluate everything to the best of his ability.
After this is done, he must make the deductions which are demanded by any
newly discovered facts. If the conclusions thus drawn are contrary to his
former views, he must be true to the new light, discard the beliefs previously
held, and espouse the truth as it has been made known by his research work."
This is the true scientific spirit. Anyone who does not approach the study of
a given subject in this manner is not a scientist. The real scientist welcomes
truth from any source.
İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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