The ancient writers used no inverted commas, no brackets, no side-notes. We have absolutely nothing to go by but the text itself; but we cannot separate the letter from the spirit, the text from the tendency. The theological cast of the whole, and the fact that it has proved to be anticipatory of the mission of Christ, and that the books are stamped by His authority, must be allowed to weigh. The exceeding antiquity of the great mass of the materials must be recognized and granted, even if some things which seem inconsistent with the most ancient date have to be bracketed as later additions.

The following pages will produce a shock on some minds, because of the numerous textual variations which are prominently marked, -and certainly the task of marking them has not been an easy or a pleasant one; but further reflection on the results attained will tend to a conviction in the reader's mind (as it certainly has done in the case of the writer) that the Biblical record from Genesis onwards is trustworthy and authoritative.

None of the original authors of the Old Testament wrote for gain or for personal honour. It was pressed home upon them by a Spirit higher than their own that they must write. We have not the documents exactly as they left the hands of the prophetic composers, but judging from what we possess in A. [1st and 2nd Samuel and 1st and 2nd Kings] and B. [1st and 2nd Chronicles], after deducting for errors of scribes and copyists, the impression produced on the mind is that we may attribute to the writers the same qualifications of honesty and knowledge as St. Luke claims in the introduction to his Gospel.

 

from page xxviii, Deuterographs