Part 3.

Literature on the Pentateuch

While many books have been written on this portion of Scripture, we call attention to those which we know to be of special value, and which, by the absence of false or distorted views of truth, can be confidently recommended.

We give them somewhat in graded order,beginning with those suited for a beginner and passing on to more advanced works.

Works on the Pentateuch as a Whole

1. Notes on the Pentateuch by C. H. Mackintosh — six volumes, 2470 pages.

These simple and unpretentious books have been the key which has opened to multitudes of God's people not only the stored treasures of this portion of His word, but the great mass of evangelic and Christian truth revealed in the New Testament.

Written in a singularly lucid and attractive style, the reader hitherto unacquainted with the typical and spiritual teachings of the Pentateuch finds himself in a new world. "Things new and old" are spread out before him in so delightful and attractive a way that he is led on unconsciously to himself. It is scarcely necessary for us to speak of these volumes in detail; one each being devoted to the first four books, and two to Deuteronomy.

In Genesis, we have perhaps the simplest presentation of the gospel of the grace of God, together with the unfolding of His ways as seen in the lives of the patriarchs.

Exodus presents in a most striking way the great fundamental truths of redemption, and dwells at large upon the sacrificial work of Christ.

Leviticus similarly enlarges upon its distinctive theme and in

Numbers, the dangers of the wilderness journey and God's sustaining mercy are brought out.

A feature of the two volumes on Deuteronomy is the strong insistence upon the absolute inspiration and inerrancy of the word of God and the responsibility of His people ecclesiastically, as well as individually.

The method of treatment throughout is the same. The author does not attempt to indicate the divisions of the book, but taking up each chapter, comments upon it in an attractive, lucid and helpful manner. An admirable characteristic of this work is that it furnishes and prepares the student for further study and search into this portion of Scripture. Indeed, Mr. Mackintosh has that best of all requisites for the teacher — he leads his scholars to do without his further assistance. How many have been enabled after a perusal of one of his volumes, to go on in a similar way in their study of God's word! These books, already well known, are unhesitatingly commended as an introduction to the whole subject.

2. "Synopsis of the Books of the Bible" by J. N. Darby, five volumes, 2778 pages.

This work covers the entire Scriptures. We refer, however, only to the notes on the Pentateuch contained in the first half of the first volume. The contrast between Mr. Darby's work and that of Mr. Mackintosh is great. In matter, method of treatment and style, he differs entirely from the latter. His style to many seems somewhat involved and obscure — which it certainly is, compared with the limpid flow of words from the pen of Mr. Mackintosh. There is, however, a lucidity of thought, a grasp of the salient outlines, and a rapid flow which the spiritual reader cannot fail to recognize as the product of a mind in the current of the Spirit's thought and purpose in each book. Mr. Mackintosh gathered most of what he learned from the teachings of Mr. Darby, and the latter's writings can be fully appreciated by those who have been prepared to enjoy them by the elementary instruction of the "Notes."

Other writings of Mr. Darby upon this portion of Scripture, to be found in various articles in his "Collected Writings," will furnish additional material for the student. If one is going on to the deeper apprehension of the word of God, he must not omit from his studies, the "Synopsis."

3. "Lectures Introductory to the Pentateuch," by W. Kelly.

Midway between the elementary teachings of the "Notes" and the deeper current of the "Synopsis," we have these lectures, going into more detail than the latter, but not so full as the former. They are a sober, helpful presentation of the subjects with many profitable comments in a lucid, scholarly style, characteristic of all the writings of this prolific author, a man of great accuracy and much spiritual discernment.

4. "The Numerical Bible," Volume 1, "Genesis to Deuteronomy," by F. W. Grant.

This volume occupies a unique place, as does indeed the whole work of which it forms a part. It is difficult to characterize its admirable qualities in the compass of a few sentences. Embracing the breadth and depth of the "Synopsis," with a minuteness and accuracy of detail far beyond the "Notes," it offers in its comments an exposition of the Pentateuch by far the most valuable written. This is particularly true of the last four books. When the notes on Genesis were first written, the beloved author did not expect to be enabled to go so fully into his subject as he did later on. It was always his regret that he could not rewrite Genesis. However, the Notes, though brief, are concise and luminous, and show a grasp and understanding of the position of the first book, which enables us to go more fully into its study for ourselves.

The characteristic feature of this work is its recognition of the divinely indicated divisions into which each portion falls. It will suffice here to say that all that is of value in the present handbook owes its origin and largely its details to the "Numerical Bible." The writer can claim no originality here, and would thankfully own his indebtedness to this work.

Mr. Grant believed absolutely in verbal inspiration to the last letter, an inspiration which extends to the form in which the books were written, as well as to their contents. His faith was richly rewarded, for he was granted to see details of wondrous beauty and importance, reaching down to the minutest portions of the written Word. Nor was he lacking in wideness of reach. His outlines of the entire Bible, as well as the sub-divisions of each book, show this.

Particular attention can be called also to his use of Hebrew etymology. The significance of names, both of persons and places, is brought out, and the student rises from the persual of these pages with a depth of conviction perhaps never had before, that the word of God is a priceless revelation of Himself in every detail. Little more need be said. We would simply urge upon the student of Scripture the necessity for including this book in his studies.

Separate Works upon Single Books of the Pentateuch

1. "The Patriarchs," by J. G. Bellett.

Mr. Bellett possessed a rare gift of keen spiritual insight and analysis, coupled with a lowly spirit of worship which imparts a fragrance to what he wrote peculiarly its own. Marked as he was by a deep apprehension of grace, and an adoring love for and worship of the Son of God, his book on the Patriarchs occupies a necessary place in helpful works on the the book of Genesis.

2. "In the Beginning," by Mr. Kelly, is a treatise upon the first chapters of Genesis, in the author's usual helpful manner.

3. "Genesis in the Light of the New Testament," by F. W. Grant, takes the place to some extent of the work the author hoped, before his lamented death, to write. It unfolds the spiritual teachings of the book, dwelling particularly upon the lives of the patriarchs in their individual and dispensational applications.

4. "Creation in Genesis and Geology," by the same author, dwells upon the creative work, in refutation of evolution.

5. "Typical Teachings of Exodus," by E. Dennett.

This is a helpful book, particularly the latter portion, where the teachings as to the tabernacle are unfolded.

A number of books have been written upon the subject of the Tabernacle, from which we select a few.

6. "Foreshadows," by E. C. Pressland. This little work is especially good in showing the way of approach to God.

7. "The Glories of Christ as seen in the Tabernacle," by H. F. Witherby, brief but lucid.

8. "Christ in the Tabernacle," by F. H. White, a good gospel exposition.

9. "The Tabernacle," by Samuel Ridout. A more minute and detailed study than the others.

10. "The Priesthood and Sacrifices," by Mr. Kelly, and

11. "The Day of Atonement," by the same author, are devoted to the book of Leviticus.

12. Helpful notes will be found in that part of "The Atonement," by F. W. Grant, which dwells upon this doctrine as unfolded in the Pentateuch.

These must suffice for the individual books. There are helpful pamphlets on portions of Numbers and Deuteronomy, but nothing covering those books as a whole that we would speak of here.

"The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch," by W. H. Green; "Moses and the Prophets," by the same author; and "The Unity of the Book of Genesis," by the same. These will furnish a scholarly, thorough and devout examination of the claims of higher criticism, leaving the reader more convinced than ever of the folly and underlying enmity in those attacks upon the word of God. It might be well to mention that they are for the more advanced student.

It remains only to refer to a few works of general reference.

The Commentaries by Murphy on Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are commended for their soundness and scholarly character, while lacking somewhat in the spiritual insight which marks the books first referred to.

Doubtless there are many other works which could be mentioned, but we think that these will give what will be found sufficient to furnish the student for his own research. It still remains true here, as throughout the entire word of God: "There remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."