the way to get at our fellow-countrymen
The Bible for 'To-clae. Edited by JGhi, Sti rling, with illustrations by Rowland Heiler and other artists, with full text or
Authorised Version. (OxIord University Press, 21s.), Renewed by REV. C. LATTEY, Si.
Tir is certainly a sign of the times, and brings with it a message of hope, that such a book as this should be published, and, being published, should be an enormous success. There are a few features that cannot please Catholics, hut we must take a large view of the matter, and realise that they are not intended to be contro
Perhaps the most astonishing of them is the aroemocernent that the volume " takes the Bible as it stands, the whole of it, in the familiar Aulhotised Version." For Catholics this is emplielically not " the whole of it," seeing that the deutero canonical books and parts are omitted, and such a round assertion seems to imply some ignorance ,even of the Authorised Version, which as a matter of fact did not omit them. The sixth of the thirty-nine articles of the Church or England follows St. Jerome, who was misled by his Jewish teachers into abandoning the Christian canon, and even apart front that. this sixth, article contradicts itself twice over in its treatment of the canon. However, since the making of the thirty-nine articles the Protestant tendency has been to omit the deutcro-canonical books from the Bible altogether. and we realise that it must have seemed impossible to include them in such a work as this. Only, why this very explicit claim to be printing the whole of the Bible? A Catholic reviewer cannot but reel it as something of a challenge; but he must be prepared to make allowances, THERE is so much to be said for the book A when we consider what is actually in it. In the first place, the reel of the Bible is preeented in the fine old music or the Authorised Version. It is true that the text is not a very accurate one, but it is substantially Faithful, and delivers the essential message ia an attractive form. Even nova the scientific textual criticism of the Old Testament is only in its infancy ; and if in the New Testament the Revised Version shows a great improvement in this respect, on the other hand, it was written before the discovery of the papyri, and therefore was forced somewhat pedantically into the littleease of the classical Greek. ft is easier to catch the real spirit of the Scriptures in the Authorised Version, faulty as it is. And here we have it to the hest advantage, hcaii
Li fully minted in paragraphs, and with headings and little introduetions to help the reader out.
But the purpose of this volume goes far beyond any mere attempt to Preeent a wellprinted or accurate text. It quite definitely speaks or the Sacred Scriptures es a revelation, and a vigorous cant is made to push the lesson home. In a Catholic commentary we should expect more emphasis on the dogmatic side; but sound doctrine is to he round ill the hook. and there is no attempt eke
to explain the sacred text away.
Even if we turn to the Petrine text in Matt. xvi, I7-19—surely an acid test in this tegard—we find nothing really controversial, but only thisi—" The 'cords suggest to us Mot the Ilisc'orery of the first titan of the new i.ace. the sure iokeir of the success of His was the signal for throwing open the gates of the Kingdom. Bat the words out,' mean much mare." This COMment has too much or a non-committal character about it to please a Catholic: but he cannot complain that his own interprelotion has been excluded, " Aspeck, word," we read in the preface, " must he added about the illustrations. They differ Iron, the usual type of Bible picture in that they portray, not the Bible scene. hut the companion picture that rises to the mind of the modern reader whee he looks at the Bible scene in the way
we hare suggested. They are, in effect, an application of the Bible's message."
This is an original idea, skilfully and forcibly carried out, and it helps to bring a larger Part of the Bible within the sphere of easy and practical meditation. Mr. Rowland Wilder and his fellow-artiels, and likewise the Oxford University Press, are to be congratulated upon the high quality of the work. which is reinforced by some very pointed captions. It can hardly be possible to look at this' edition of the Sacred Scriptures without realising that they contain 'a momentous lesson for our own age and the present crisis.
The edition contains a peculiar lesson for Catholics. This is the way to get at our fellow-countrymen: the one way which it is so difficult to get Catholics to take seriously. is it altogether surprising if Protestants look upon Catholicism as a more or less unbibtical or evert anli-biblical religion? And ought it to be so? Would not such a state of affairs he an oetrage on the Divine Author or Holy Writ? For the average Englishman religion means the Bible. arid it is not so very -difficult to show that the Bible means the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, the standard or biblical knowledge is rising among Catholics, but apostolic motives, to speak of no others, require that it should rise more rapidly and make iraelf more powerrolly felt.