INSABATATI (SABOTIERS): A name given to the Waldenses (q.v.) from their sabots, marked with a painted cross, or from the sandals tied crosswise.
I. Egyptian Inscriptions.
Forms and Character (§ 1).
Number, Age, and Contents (§ 2).
The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment (§ 3).
Illustration of the Bible (§ 4).
II. Cuneiform Inscriptions.
The Name; Area Covered by the Script (§ 1).
Discoveries; Decipherment of Persian (§ 2).
Decipherment of Babylonian-Assyrian (§ 3).
Origin and Character of the Script (§ 4).
III. Christian Inscriptions.
1. Ancient Christian Inscriptions.
Methods of Writing (§ 1).
Languages Employed (§ 2).
Contents (§ 3).
Value of the Material (§ 4).
2. Medieval and Later Inscriptions.
3. History of Epigraphy.
The Early Period (§ 1).
The Nineteenth Century (§ 2).
The inscriptions of Egypt are no new discovery. The term most used to describe the characters employed in the inscriptions, "hieroglyphics," is of Greek origin (hieros, "sacred" + "glyphein, "to carve") and bears witness both to early knowledge of the existence of the writing and to the conception at that time that the priestly class was its executor. In more modern usage the term is not confined to the Egyptian inscriptions, but is used generally of any kind of picture-writing. The inscriptions on the monuments of Egypt are in the main in a picture-writing, the individual signs of which are representations of objects or actions more or less conventionalized. This detailed representation passed by the method of abbreviation into a shorter form called the hieratic script, and by the extension of this process to a still shorter form, the demotic. But in only the very late period of Egyptian history was either the hieratic or demotic form employed upon the monuments, though both were used on papyri from an early age. While originally the signs stood for the objects they pictured, at a very early stage they came to have phonetic quality, and from this to the development of an alphabet the steps were rapid and easy. While this process was going on, the signs were given values associated with those already customary and also others disconnected from the original connotation. The alphabet was of twenty-one letters (some authorities say twenty-two, others twenty-four), all consonants, though some of the letters were employed to indicate vowel sounds, as in the Semitic languages. The signs became also signs of syllables as well as of single letters, and, still further, signs of words or ideographs. In all, the number of symbols known from the monuments is slightly under 1,400. Since some of these symbols might express several ideas, it became necessary to use certain signs as determinatives to fix the meaning of the group in which they occurred, thus to remove ambiguity. The signs composing a word or idea are, grouped in quadrangular form, though the order of grouping is not invariable, being either perpendicular or horizontal, according to the shape of the components, the exigencies of the space at disposal or the artistic taste of the scribe. The groups were arranged in columns or in lines, according to the material used and the space and form available for the inscription. The writing runs either (preferably) from right to left or the reverse when arranged horizontally, or from above downward when it is in columns.
The area within which these inscriptions are found embraces the whole of the Nile valley as far as Nubia, parts of the peninsula of Sinai, and locations in Syria and Palestine. Records begin with the second dynasty; during the fourth, fifth and sixth dynasties they become numerous, though largely centralized around Memphis; then they become fewer until with the eleventh dynasty they again grow abundant and spread out over a wide area, continuing numerous till the fourteenth dynasty. Of the Hyksos kings few remains are found. With the seventeenth dynasty inscriptions once more become abundant and continue so, with exceptions in some dynasties or single reigns, till down into Roman times. The inscriptions were placed on the walls of temples, on stelæ and monuments set up within the temple courts, on obelisks, and in tombs both of the Pharaohs and of the nobility and the wealthier classes, and on gems, rings, and scarabs. Since the temples of the earlier period have vanished, it follows that the inscriptions of those times have for the most part perished. Yet while some of the earliest monuments were destroyed at a very early date, it sometimes occurs that the record which they bore wee copied on a more perishable material which has survived. A matter which often causes embarrassment to the decipherer is that it was the known habit of some Pharaohs, as in the case of Ramesea II., to remove the royal name in the cartouche of the original Pharaoh who ordered the inscription, and to in scribe their own in its place, thus claiming the deeds originally assigned to another and dislocating the order of history. The earliest inscriptions come from massive masonry tombs, where often little more than names, titles, and, sometimes, the legal provisions for maintenance of the tomb are preserved. Later, in addition to these bare statements, the lists of titles are extended to include something of the career of the deceased. Finally they contain records of achievement--whether of Pharaohs, generals, or administrators--of the occasion which the record commemorates, and may even include the royal patent for the work of which the inscription speaks. But, in general, a vagueness characterizes the content of the inscriptions and makes them illusive and difficult, not only in themselves but also in the historical matter to which they refer. Thus, in a story of conquest, the foe is often referred to not by name or country, but is described by some derogatory epithet: again, the events narrated were often contemporary and matters of general knowledge; it therefore did not seem to the maker
Since the fifteenth century attempts were made to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphics, though without success till the early part of the nineteenth century. But meanwhile a foundation was laid for a broader and sounder appreciation of Egyptian archeology by the work done on Coptic since the time of Athanasius Kircher, who published the first Coptic grammar (Rome, 1643-44). The epoch-making work of Champollion (see below) was in no small part due to his mastery of Coptic. But all attempts to read the hieroglyphics were complete failures until the key was furnished by the Rosetta Stone. This is a slab of black granite, three feet nine inches by two feet four and a half inches and eleven inches thick, bearing an inscription in hieroglyphic and demotic Egyptian and in Greek. It was found in 1799 by M. Bouasard, a French military officer, at Fort St. Julien, near Rosetta, on the Rosette branch of the Nile (40 m. n.e. of Alexandria), was taken to England after the fall of Alexandria, and was presented to the British Museum by George III. (1801). The upper portion and the lower right-hand corner are broken away. It contains a decree of the Egyptian priests in honor of Ptolemy V. Epiphanes (205-181 B.C.), and its date is Mar. 27, 195 B.C. It bears 100 lines of text, fourteen of hieroglyphic (about half of the original), thirty-two of demotic, and fifty-four of Greek (the ends of some of the lines broken off). Its significance is not in its contents, but in the fact that it proved to be the key to the decipherment of the hieroglyphic and demotic writing, and consequently opened up nearly all that is known of and through Egyptian texts. The results gained through the decipherment of this text were checked and confirmed by the trilingual stele of Canopus found by Lepsius at Tanis in 1866, containing a similar decree of the year 238 B.C., in honor of Ptolemy III. Euergetes I. (247-222 B.C.). Yet the process of decipherment was somewhat tedious. Sylvestre de Sacy (1802) detected several groups in the demotic text which corresponded to the Greek forms of the names Ptolemy, Berenice, and Alexander. The Swede J. D. Akerblad (1802) obtained the phonetic values of most of the demotic characters in the proper names and used the Coptic to determine the meaning of several words. Thomas Young (1814), an English scientist, determined the meanings of several groups of demotic characters and established four alphabetical hieroglyphic characters. Jean Francois Champollion put the crown upon all these efforts by reading from a bilingual obelisk in Philæ, in hieroglyphic and Greek, the names of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, deciphering the names of Greek and Roman rulers, making out all the characters, discovering ideograms and determinatives, gaining insight into the phonetic system, and discerning the relations of the three kinds of script. He made a statement of his discoveries and expounded his system to the Académie des Inscriptions, Sept. 22, 1822. Karl Richard Lepsiua worked on the lines of Champollion and corrected some mistakes, but proved the general soundness of Champollion's conclusions against the captious and envious criticism of several German writers. The science of Egyptology has been advanced by many later scholars, such as to name only a few, Emmanuel de Rougé, Auguste Mariette, Paul Pierret, Jacques de Morgan and Gaston Maspero in France, Heinrich Brugsch, Alfred Wiedemann, Georg Ebers, Adolf Erman and Georg Steindorff in Germany, John Gardner Wilkinson, Samuel Birch, Peter le Page Renouf, Edward Naville, Ernest Alfred Thompson, Wallis Budge, and William Matthew Flinders-Petrie in England, W. Max Müller and James Henry Breasted in the United States.
The scantiness of illustration of Biblical history afforded by the Egyptian monuments as compared with the abundance gained from the Assyro-Babylonian records has been to many a cause of great disappointment. The explanation of this scantiness is, however, not hard to discover. One reason is the vagueness of Egyptian records (see above). Another, which is on the surface, is that after the Hebrews settled in Palestine contact of Egypt with Palestine was occasional and not always of such a character as to dispose the monument-makers to speak of it--they recorded only victories, not failures or defeats. That mention of the Hebrews who had broken away from Egyptian control would appear in the inscriptions was hardly to be expected, nor that pre-Mosaic Israel would be differentiated from the numerous nomads of Semitic stock who occasionally sought refuge in the Nile land. Accordingly, apart from that general illustration of manners of living which is a consequence of a sort of commonality of life in the East, little of specific detail need be looked for from the Egyptian inscriptions either corroborating or contradicting Biblical statements, especially if, according to the view now generally accepted, the Hebrews were very few in numbers. What little specific illustration there is takes on either a geographical or ethnological character. The first comes through the mention of places conquered in Palestine by the Pharaohs. Thothmes III. (eighteenth dynasty), who made fifteen expeditions into Syria and Palestine has recorded in the temple of Amon at Karnak, on the wall of the southern pylon and on the northern
Shishak I. (twenty-second dynasty) also furnished on the south wall of the great temple at Karnak a list of geographical names in which there are 156 cartouches, not all legible (cf. W. M. Müller, Asien und Europa, Leipsic, 1893, pp. 166 sqq.).
The monuments of Seti I., Rameses II. and IV., and Meneptah contain references which are thought by the advanced school to bear on pre-Mosaic history. That the Aperiu (cf. Heb. 'Ibhri, "Hebrew" and the Habiri, of the Amarna Tablets, q.v.) were Hebrews is not yet assured, though it is possible. Seti I. and Rameaes II. speak of an Aseru or Asaru in western Galilee in the region assigned to the tribe Asher in the Hebrew records (Judges v. 17, cf. i. 32). Of this alternative explanations are given: the Asherites were a Canaanitic tribe absorbed later into the Hebrew confederation (which would go with the assumed eponymous derivation of the name and with the Biblical account of descent from a concubine) or the Hebrews who settled in the region took the name of the country (W. M. Müller, ut sup. pp. 236-239). On a stele of Meneptah discovered in 1895 occurs the only known mention of Israel on the Egyptian monuments (in the form I-si-r-'l) as a people whom Meneptah had reduced. This mention is complicated by the fact that Meneptah is now quite generally regarded as the Pharaoh of the Exodus; how, then, could Israel be in Palestine during his reign? Accordingly many commentators are disposed to see in the Israel of Meneptah's inscription a part of the Hebrews settled in Palestine who did not go down into Egypt and gave their name to the confederation in later times; these commentators regard as confirmation of this the occurrence of Yakob-el and Yosep-el (ut sup.). Light on the Exodus of the Hebrews comes not from the hieroglyphic, but from a combination of a Greco-Roman inscription with the identification of Succoth and Pithom through indications in the Coptic version of the Old Testament and through indications in Greek writers (see EGYPT). While the bearing of Egyptian inscriptions on Hebrew history and ethnology is thus vague and indecisive, if it has any value at all it is in the way of strengthening the case of the newer school of constructive history.
The first modern observer of cuneiform characters was Pietro della Valle, about 1618 A.D., who copied from the ruins of Persepolis in Persia a few characters in random but fairly accurate fashion. The material thus provided was too scanty to stimulate any earnest effort at decipherment. The first opportunity afforded European scholars for study of the cuneiform was given in 1774 by Carsten Niebuhr, a Dane, father of the famous Roman historian, who had copied at Persepolis a number of small inscriptions, grouped in threes upon the remains of the palaces of the Achamenian kings. Previous travelers had expressed the opinion that three languages were represented in these Persepolis texts, and later study has shown the three languages to be Persian, Susian, and Assyro-Babylonian. The task of decipherment was rendered difficult by the fact that no bilingual inscription was found in which a known language occurred. The method of decipherment was to be archeological rather than philological, and the process was necessarily slow and insecure. The first efforts in decipherment of the Persian inscriptions--the simplest in each group of three--put forth by Friedrich Christian Karl Heinrich Münter and Olaf Tychsen seemed to show that these texts contained only forty-two signs, which were therefore mainly alphabetic with some syllabic values, but only a few correct values for the signs were determined. The first decipherment of an entire text was made by George Frederick Grotefend, who was almost continuously engaged upon decipherment from 1802 until 1844. The facts with which he began were that these texts came from Persepolis, and that the ruins there were the remains of palaces erected by Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. He assumed, consequently, that each text began with the name of a king, and his success was achieved by comparison of two inscriptions, which Grotefend finally translated as follows: "I. Darius, the mighty king, king of kings . . . son of Hystaspes. II. Xerxes, the mighty king, king of kings . . . son of Darius, the king." This result was small in itself, but it afforded the clue for the decipherment of several languages, besides the three found at Persepolis. At the same time that Grotefend was engaged in
The decipherment of Persian was followed by determined attempt to solve the far more difficult problem of the Assyro-Babylonian cuneiform script, in which the third inscription in these groups of three was written. The first to attempt it was Grotefend, who identified the names of the kings, but was unable to go much further. Isidor Loewenstein secured the correct meanings of the signs for "king," "great" and the sign for the plural. He first suggested that Assyrian belonged to the Semitic family and was therefore related to Hebrew, Arabic and Aramean. Far more successful was the Rev. Edward Hincks (q.v.), who, in two papers during 1846 and a third in 1847, determined most of the numerals, assigned correct values to a number of signs, and seemed on the very verge of being able to read a whole text. His rigidly scientific spirit, however, restrained him from such an endeavor, and he worked steadily on with the patient solution of one difficulty at a time. When the immense mass of cuneiform documents which Emil Botta had discovered at Nineveh reached Paris, the hope of deciphering Assyrian increased because of the accession of material, but diminished when Botta pointed out the great difficulty of the problem. He made little effort to decipher or translate, but collated all the inscriptions which they contained and made lists of all the signs which he found, differentiating 642 separate signs. This great number proved that the Assyrian cuneiform script was not alphabetic; some of the characters must be syllabic, some must be ideographs and represent a word or an idea. Botta's discoveries were carried further by Edward Hincks. In a paper read before the Irish Academy on June 25, 1849, he showed that there was a sign for RA, another for RI, and yet another for RU. He proved the sign for AR, and presumably also for IR and UR, though he did not fully define the last two. This represented a great advance in the study of the problem. Rawlinson soon dared to do what Hincks would not, and ventured to translate the great Behistun text. There was needed then only the minute study of the characters until the entire syllabic system with its polyphones and ideographs should yield up its secrets. To this not only Rawlinson, but in even greater degree Hincks, contributed, and also the distinguished French Assyriologist, Jules Oppert. Contemporaneously with the decipherment of Assyrian went forward the decipherment of the Susian, or second language of the groups of three found at Persepolis. In this work the chief leaders were Niels Ludwig Westergaard, Hincks, Félicien Caignart de Saulcy, and Archibald Henry Sayce. When Persian, Susian, and Assyrian (or Babylonian) had been deciphered, the foundations of the new science of Assyriology had been laid.
The cuneiform method of writing originated among the Sumerians, the earliest known inhabitants of Babylonia. When the Semites entered the land they found in possession a round-headed people, of small stature and with black hair, whose origin and racial connections are unknown. A small though learned company of scholars has maintained that the supposed Sumerians had no existence, and that their script, civilization and religion were all originated by Semites. This view has lost support, and can hardly be longer regarded as seriously disputing the current view as stated above. The cuneiform characters were originally a form of picture-writing. At first the pictures represented natural objects; they then became associated with certain words, and were used phonetically to represent the sound of the words without the meaning. In very early times, these rude pictures were scratched on any material that came to hand. Later stone was used for permanent records. But as stone is scarce in Babyonia, the easily worked clay took its place, and the straight lines made by a single pressure on the stylus tended to become wedges. The pictures therefore lost their original character and gradually became groups of wedges which were so thoroughly conventionalized that it is now impossible to determine their origin save in a very few cases. Even to the Assyrians themselves the original form of but very few characters was known, though a few tablets still preserved (cf. TSBA, vi. 454 and Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in British Museum, part v., London, 1898) show that the Assyrians retained a consciousness of the pictorial origin of their script. The Assyrians never developed a consonantal alphabet. They had only a syllabary, with separate signs for the vowels a, i or e, and u. The syllabic signs consisted, in the first instance, of a separate sign for each consonant with each separate vowel, thus, ab, ib, ub, ba, bi, bu, ag, ig, ug, ga, gi, gu, the former serving also for ap, ip, up, etc. In addition to these simple syllables, the script had a large number of compound signs, such as bal, bit, kak, may, kun, etc. There were also very many ideograms, a sign being used as the symbol for a whole idea; thus there was a single sign for ilu, "god," belu, "lord" aplu, "son," duppu, "tablet," umu, "day." Difficulties are further increased by the fact that many signs are polyphonous; a single sign may have several syllabic values, and besides may stand as an ideogram for several ideas. The difficulties were somewhat lessened by the use of signs called determinatives placed before a word to show the class to which it belonged.
By Christian inscriptions in this article are meant non-literary writings executed or provided by Christians which have some relation to the Christian religion. Christian epigraphy is concerned with inscriptions carved, scratched, painted, or stamped on various materials,
(1) Letters and figures. The workmen who made the earliest Christian inscriptions adopted the letters and numeral system of their predecessors, which was already old, and continued its development steadily, except in cases of deliberate archaism. Thus by degrees new forms arose, more slowly in some places than in others, and usually later in the provinces than in Rome. At the date of the earliest Christian inscriptions, there were three principal types of characters: one used for carving on stone or metal, one for painting on walls or woodwork, which corresponded to that inscribed on parchment or papyrus, and the vulgar or cursive script, which was either impressed on soft material such as wax, fresh clay, or plaster, or scratched on a hard surface, especially walls (the so-called graffito). These three types were not always sharply distinguished, and Christian epigraphy shows examples that can with difficulty be assigned to any of the three classes, and others in which the forms appear in a confused mixture--sometimes even one half of a letter being in monumental and the other half in painter's script. The most important class of letters, in the Christian as in the older pagan inscriptions, is the capitals, including the largest number of symbols for letters and numbers. Besides these there were the uncial forms, developed from the capitals by the rounding off of sharp angles, and the cursive form, which sought for speed in writing by using as few separate strokes as possible. This last form occurs among the dated inscriptions in Rome as early as 291. (2) Ligatures. In the formation of words the letters are sometimes separate, sometimes two or more are united into a single symbol. These ligatures were originally peculiar to coins, where the limited space made them useful, and then were adopted in in scriptions. The rule for reading them was that each element entering into their composition was to be read only once. From the ligatures developed the monogrammatic signs, which continued even in the Middle Ages to be employed for imperial signatures and the like. (3) Abbreviations. The words may be either written in full or abbreviated, sometimes to a single letter. The omission of letters is indicated by strokes or projections above, below, or beside the letters, or by periods and other signs following them. Connected with these signs are the strokes frequently, though not invariably, placed over numbers to distinguish them from ordinary letters. (4) Punctuation. A large number of various punctuation-marks were used. The commonest is the period, usually written, not on the line, but half-way up the letters; its shape is generally round or approximately so; sometimes it is represented by a small circle, and less often by two sides of a triangle in various positions. Out of this latter form developed leaves, somewhat like ivy-leaves, which used to be considered as intended for pierced hearts, and thus as signs of martyrdom. Occasionally the Greek cross, or even the Chi Rho, is used as a punctuation-mark. It was the rule in the classical period to place punctuation-marks only within lines, not at the end, but in many Christian monuments this rule is not observed; indeed, in many the entire system of punctuation is irregular, points being placed even in the middle of words though this is to be distinguished from "syllabic punctuation," where the syllables were divided to facilitate reading. (5) Direction of the writing. Writing from right to left had become very rare among the Greeks and Romans at the date of the earliest Christian inscriptions, and only a few instances of it occur among them. While no certain example of the ancient boustrophedon form is known, there are a number which are read downward, and arrangements still less usual exist, dictated sometimes by the shape of the space at command, but in other cases probably by nothing more than a love of singularity.
The great majority of extant early Christian inscriptions are in Latin, Greek coming next. Even in the West there is a considerable number of Greek inscriptions, generally for or by people who were not Greeks, but Romans. This phenomenon finds a parallel in the fact that the earliest Christian literature was in Greek, even when the authors lived in the West. The parallel, however, must not be pressed too far, since they were educated men, while most of those to whom the inscriptions are due belonged to the lower classes. The number of Greek inscriptions, even in Rome, is to be explained by the fact that in the primitive Church Greek was the official language. All the third-century popes who are buried in the catacombs of St. Calixtus have Greek inscriptions, while Cornelius, whose grave is in his family burying-ground, has a Latin one. The mixture of Greek and Latin in a number of inscriptions is probably due less to defective education than to an instinctive opposition in people's minds to the use of a language which was really foreign to them. An interesting light is thus thrown upon the final struggle of the two languages in the West, beginning while Greek was still the ecclesiastical tongue. After the second century Greek inscriptions and those showing a mixture of Greek and Latin become increasingly rare, and Pope Damasus uses nothing but Latin. The linguistic qualities of the inscriptions deserve careful study as giving an insight which cannot be obtained from literature into the speech of the common people. While departures from classical orthography are to be attributed partly to ignorance or carelessness, this is not so much the case with the vocabulary and the grammar, which in many of the later Latin inscriptions clearly show the transition to the Romance languages. The inscriptions are, like the pagan ones, either in prose or in verse, prose inscriptions being the more numerous,
(1) To inscriptions in the narrower sense belong honorific inscriptions and a large class of eulogies of saints and martyrs, especially those of Damasus. Partly to this class and partly to the dedicatory belong numerous inscriptions on public buildings, especially churches and parts of churches, such as altars and ambones. But the largest class is composed of funeral inscriptions, on tablets, gravestones, or sarcophagi. Those on stone are usually carved or scratched, sometimes painted in addition, most often in red. Relatively few occur with the painted script, which was more often used on tiles, in red, black, and occasionally white. The wooden tablets which in Egypt Christians and non-Christians alike placed near the mummies of the departed are usually inscribed with a dark ink, or painted. Other methods are occasionally employed, such as the frequent use of mosaic in North Africa and Spain. An equally great diversity is visible in the style of the inscriptions, though a careful study reveals a more or less regular development of definite formulas. In many cases the influence of the custom and taste of the period or locality is discernible, others show traces of a conscious adherence to ancient tradition. Thus the phrase Dis Manibus, so frequently used on pagan tombs to dedicate them to the manes of the deceased, occurs in no less than 134 cases of undoubted Christian inscriptions--not, of course, with the old meaning, but merely as a traditional formula; and the same is true of the phrases domus aeterna, aeternalis, perpetua. for the grave. Belonging also to the class of inscriptions in the narrower sense are the large number of those on objects of domestic use; but their infinite variety makes it impossible to enter upon a detailed discussion of them. (2) Of inscriptions in the broader sense (documents) the most numerous in the primitive Christian period are attestations of the purchase of a grave or agreements between the relatives of the deceased and the fossores or other church officials. These are sometimes exceedingly explicit, giving the names of witnesses, the purchase price, and the location of the grave. Documents expressing a gift in the giver's name become frequent in the Middle Ages, but examples are not lacking toward the end of the early period. Another class of inscriptions gives the fasts, calendars, cycles, or lists of saints; of this kind one of the most famous is the Easter cycle on the base of the statue of Hippolytus. Under this general head also come the graffiti, or inscriptions scratched upon the walls of the Catacombs.
Christian inscriptions, especially those of the early Church, deserve careful attention by students of history. While not a single original manuscript of this the period is extant, and a succession of copyists has introduced a variety of difficulties into the text of literary works, the inscriptions are practically in their original shape. It has therefore long been admitted, in theory at least, that inscriptions deserve the first place among the sources for the history of their period. Again, the literature of a period is practically all the work of learned or at least well-educated men, and gives only a second-hand account of the thoughts and feelings of the populace; while the inscriptions, the majority of which come from the lower classes, present these directly and faithfully, at least in religious and ethical matters. Much valuable historical material is found in them which would have been almost or quite unknown from the literary sources. Thus the schism of Heraclius in Rome is known solely from an inscription in the catacomb of St. Calixtus, and knowledge of an African schismatic community and its head, Trigarius, is confined to the notice of another inscription. The history of the planting and earliest growth of the Church in Gaul as told by the historians is fragmentary, and a complete idea of it can be gained only from inscriptions. Until recently almost nothing was known of the history of Christianity on the islands of the Ægean in the second century; but it is now possible, on the basis of inscriptions lately discovered, not only to show the existence of Christianity there, but even to determine its nature, a mixture of Christian, Jewish, and pagan elements. A list of the writings of Hippolytus can be made complete only by the help of the inscription on the back of his statue. The frequent use of Scripture in inscriptions gives not only valuable indications of the manner in which it was employed in the early Church, but also useful points of departure for textual criticism. Not a few particulars of the marriage system are gained in the same way, especially as to the legal age, remarriage, and the marriage of clerics. The inscriptions are a more trustworthy authority for early Christian nomenclature than the manuscripts; and of course the customs connected with death and burial may be much more fully known in this way.
From the Carolingian period down into the eighteenth century Christian epigraphy was as a science far behind classical epigraphy. But the nineteenth century has quite a different story to tell.Christian 'inscriptions are now collected with the same care and thoroughness as the classical, a result due in the first instance to the initiative especially of August Böckh and Theodor Mommsen; and they found in Giovanni Battista de Rossi a master who elevated the study of them from a mere dilettante amusement to a serious science. After Gaetano Marini had published, in 1785, his Iscrizioni antiche delle ville e de' palazzi Albani, and ten years later Gli atti e monumenti de' fratelli Arvali, scholars looked forward eagerly to the publication of his great collection of Christian inscriptions, which now fills thirty-one volumes in the Vatican library. But he died in 1815, and none of it saw the light until, in 1831, Angelo Mai published one of the four volumes planned by him (Nova collectio, v.), having in some places condensed the manuscript, and in some enlarged it from his collection. But no great loss to the science was involved in the failure of the others to appear, since (apart from other defects) his classification by subjects had now been finally discredited by Böckh. The German scholar, insisting on geographical arrangement, persuaded the Berlin Academy of Sciences to take up the gigantic task of uniting in one all the Greek inscriptions. In the great Corpus inscriptionum Graecarum (Berlin, 1825 sqq.) some scattered Christian inscriptions appeared in the first three volumes, but the main body of them was united in the second part of Vol. IV., under the editorship of Adolf Kirchhoff. In the revised form of this great work, the parts of especial value for Christian inscriptions are that including Italy, Sicily, Gaul, Spain, Britain, and Germany (ed. Kaibel, 1890), and that on the islands of the Ægean (ed. Hiller de Gaertringen, 1895-98). A complete Corpus inscriptionum Graecarum christianarum is hoped for from the French School at Athens, under the direction of Laurent and Cumont. Even more than Böckh accomplished for Greek epigraphy, Mommsen did for Latin. While he was not the first to conceive the idea of a Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum, in his memorial (1847) on its plan and scope he laid down the proper lines for its execution and carried out a great part of the work himself, the rest being done by his friends and scholars. An account of new discoveries made since the appearance of the various volumes is given in the Ephemeris epigraphica,1872 sqq. Until the Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum is complete, it will still be necessary to make use of the older collections (which, indeed, will always have a value for their notes and illustrations) as well as of the works of the greatest authority in this subject west of the Vosges, Edmond Le Blant: Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule (Paris, 1856-65); Nouveau recueil des inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule (1892). Long before De Rossi was requested by the Berlin Academy of Sciences to take part in the Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum (from 1854 until his death he was one of the editors of vol. vi. on the Latin inscriptions of Rome), he had planned
BIBLIOGRAPHY: On I., besides the literature under Egypt, much of which is pertinent, consult: J. Dümichen, Historische Inschriften altägyptischer Denkmäler, Leipsic, 1867-1869; idem, Altägyptische Tempelinschriften, ib. 1868; P. Ie P. Renouf, Egyptian Phonology, London, 1889; E. Revillout, Cours de langue démotique, Paris, 1883; C. Abel, Zur Geschichte der Hieroglyphenschrift, Leipsic, 1890; Aegyptische Inschriften aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin, 2 parts, Berlin, 1901-05; G. Karlberg, Den langa . . . inskriftten i Ramses Ill.'s tempel i Medinet-Habu, Upsala, 1903 C. R. Honey, The Egyptian Hieroglyph, Boscombe, 1904; R. Weill, Recueil des inscriptions du Sinai, Paris, 1904; and especially numerous papers in PSBA and TSBA, in the Memoirs of the Egypt Exploration Fund, in ZDMG, JA, Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Alterthumskunde, and the Revue égyptologique. On the Rosetta Stone consult H. Brugsch, Die Inschrift von Rosetta, Berlin, 1850; F. Chabas, L'Inscription hiéroglyphique de Rosetta, Paris, 1867; S. Sharpe, The Rosetta Stone in Hieroglyphics and Greek, London, 1871; J. J. Hess, Der demotische Teil der . . . Inschrift von Rosette übersetzt, Freiburg, 1902; E. A. T. W. Budge, The Decrees of Memphis and Canopus, 3 vols., London, 1904, On the Meneptah inscription consult Spiegelberg, Sitzungaberichte der Berliner Akademie 1896, pp, 593 sqq.; G. Steindorff, in ZATW, 1896, pp. 330 sqq.; A. Wiedemann, in Muséon, 1898, pp, 1-19. On the relation of the inscriptions to the Bible the most sober and scientific discussion is by S. R. Driver in Authority and Archaeology, Sacred and Profane, ed. D. G. Hogarth, London, 1899.
II. A great deal of the literature under ASSYRIA; BABYLONIA bears on the inscriptions, and some of the principal collections are named there. Consult further: R. E. Brünnow Classified List of All Simple and Compound Cuneiform Ideographs, Leyden, 1889-97; P. T. Dangin, Recherches sur l'origine de l'écriture cunéiforme, Paris, 1898-99; F. Delitzseh, Die Entstehung des ältesten Schriftsystems oder der Ursprung der Keilschriftzeichen Leipsic, 1896-98; P. Toscanne, Les Signes sumériens dérivés, Paris, 1905; A. V. W. Jackson, Persia Past and Present, New York, 1906; H. Pognon, Inscriptions sémitiques de la Syrie, de la Mesopotamie, et de la région de Messoul, Paris, 1907; A. H. Sayce, The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions, New York, 1907. On the decipherment: R. W. Rogers, History of Babylonia and Assyria, vol. i., New York, 1900; A. J. Booth, The Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions, London, 1902; L. Messerschmidt, Die Entzifferung der Keilinschrift, Berlin, 1903 C. Fossey, Manuel d'assyriologie, vol. i., Paris, 1904.
III. The most important literature is named in the text. A most useful article will be found in DCA, i., 841-862, which includes a list of the abbreviations occurring most frequently in the inscriptions and the way they are to be read. Further consult: E. le Blant, Manuel d'épigraphie chrétienne d'aprés les marbres de la Gaule, Paris, 1869; idem, L'Epigraphie chrétienne en Gaule et dans l'Afrique romaine, ib. 1890; J. McCaul, Christian Epigraphs of the First Six Centuries, London, 1869; G. Petrie, Christian Inscriptions in the Irish Language, ed. M. Stokes, Dublin, 1870 sqq.; J. A. Martigny, Dictionnaire des antiquités chrétiennes, pp, 357 sqq., Paris, 1877; F. X. Kraus, Roma sotterranea, pp. 431 sqq., Freiburg, 1879; idem, Real-Encyklopädie der christlichen Alterthümer, ii. 39 sqq., ib. 1886; V. Schultze, Die Katakomben, pp. 233 sqq., Leipsic, 1882; H. Otte, Handbuch der kirchlichen Kunst-Archäologie des deutshen Mittelalters, i., 395 sqq., ib. 1883; J. R. Allen, Christian Symbolism in Great Britain and Ireland before the 13th Century, London, 1888; E. Hübner, lnscriptiones Hispaniae Christianae, 2 vols., Berlin, 1900; Haddan and Stubbs, Councils (for inscriptions in Great Britain) and the literature under CEMETERIES, particularly that on the Catacombs given there.
Jewish Doctrine (§ 1).
Early Christian Doctrine (§ 2).
The Scholastic Period (§ 3).
The Reformation (§ 4).
Post-Reformation Development (§ 5).
Modern Development (§ 6).
The Bible and Inspiration (§ 7).
Nature and Method of Inspiration (§ 8).
The Theory of Plenary Inspiration (§ 9).
The Theory of Partial Inspiration (§ 10).
Criteria of Inspiration (§ 11).
Modern Tendencies and Development (§ 12).
In theological language, inspiration signifies the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the writers of the Bible, by which the Bible becomes the expression of the will of God binding upon us, or the Word of God. The term originated from the Vulgate version of II Tim. iii. 16, Omnis scriptura divinitus inspirata. The Greek word theopneustos--of which it is at least doubtful whether divinitus inspirata is an accurate translation--belongs only to Hellenistic and Christian Greek, and may have been coined by Paul. Other post-classical uses of it show that it signifies "filled with the Spirit of God" or "breathing out the Spirit of God," from which it follows that the Scripture so designated has come into being under the operation of the Spirit. The preference of the Greek commentators for the meaning expressed by divinitus inspirata would have less importance if it were not explicable by the prevalent view, for which the corresponding term was thought to be found in II Tim. iii. 16, which was more or less an inheritance from Alexandrian Judaism or from paganism.
The church doctrine--or rather the oldest views
held in the Church, since it is inaccurate to speak
of any distinct church doctrine on the
point, either before or since the Reformation,
outside of the single statement
that the Scripture is inspired, without
saying how it is inspired--is much closer to the
Alexandrian or pagan view than to that of Jewish
theology. Both Talmudic and Alexandrian Judaism
agreed in attributing unique authority to the
Old Testament. The Talmud claims an immediate
divine origin for the "Law," asserting that God
wrote it with his own hand, or dictated it to Moses
as his amanuensis. A secondary revelation is contained
in the "Prophets" (from Joshua on, including
Psalms, Canticles, Job, Ecclesiastes, Ezra), as
Kabbalah, or tradition as distinguished from the
Law. In the case of the prophets, their personality
is not so absorbed by the Spirit of God as to render
them mere unconscious organs. The medieval
Jewish theologians were the first to attribute a
special kind of inspiration to the Hagiographa, as
written by the spirit of holiness, while the prophetical
books were written by the spirit of prophecy.
Jewish antiquity knows nothing of such a distinction;
and Matt. xxii. 43 shows that the origin of
these books too was referred to the Spirit of God.
That the personality of the authors was still more
prominent in them than in the prophets may be
inferred from their place in the canon, as well as
from various expressions which put them, in relation
to the Law, in the lowest place. Alexandrian
Judaism took a different view. It is true that
Josephus maintains that the Spirit was absent from
the second Temple, and designates the reign of
Artaxerxes Longimanus as the end of canonical
authorship; but he, as well as Philo and the author
of Wisdom (vii. 27), believes none the less in a
continuance and diffusion of the prophetic gift.
Upon this theory rest the legend of the origin of
the Septuagint and the acceptance of the Apocrypha.
Thus, while apparently broader and freer
than Talmudic Judaism, the Alexandrian school
represents a doctrine of inspiration which is really
much more strict. All the Old-Testament writers
are prophets; but with the prophetic illumination
human consciousness ceases. The prophet is merely
an organ of God, who speaks through him; he
knows nothing of what he is doing, and has no will
of his own. He is in a state of ecstasy, even when
he writes down what he has been commissioned to
reveal. This condition Philo believes that he can
describe from his own experience. There is an
ecstasy mentioned in the Bible, but it is not this
kind of ecstasy, nor is it the normal vehicle of
inspiration, but something extraordinary; and the
communication of the message to others does not
take place in this state, with the possible exception
of an involuntary prophecy like that of Balaam
[but cf. II Kings iii. 15-19,
and see ECSTASY]. The
Biblical conception of ecstasy is that of a state in
which supernatural revelations are imparted to men
who, in their natural state, are incapable of perceiving
them--either by divinely exhibited symbols, as
in Acts x. 10; Jer. i. 11 13, or by the communication
of supernatural realities and images of future
events, as in Num. xxiv. 3, 4, xxii. 31;
II Kings vi. 17;
cf. II Cor. xii. 1 sqq.;
The same pagan conception is encountered once more in the first definite expressions from Christian writers as to the nature and method of inspiration. In the Apostolic Fathers is found merely a simple expression of the fact of inspiration in the way in which they cite the Old Testament. But the second-century apologists emphasize the divine origin of the knowledge contained in Holy Scripture, and unquestionably teach an inspiration which is not merely mechanical, but mantic. In order to understand this, it must be remembered that these men, brought up in paganism, got at the same time their first impression of Christian truth and of the divine origin of the primary revelation and so of the Scriptures. The more Christianity claimed to be not the result of a logical process of thought, but a revelation made under the operation of the Spirit of God, the easier it was for them to apply to it the Greek conception of the origin of such knowledge; and the process was further facilitated by the respect paid to the Sibylline prophecies (see SIBYLLINE BOOKS). If this last fact be taken in connection with the prominent place which prophecy holds in Scripture, the importance which the apologists attached to prophecy can be understood, and that it was natural for them to refer all ancient prophecy to the working of the Spirit of God. There was no need of an acquaintance with Philo (of whom Justin speaks with great respect) to lead to this view, which finally found its most definite representation in Montanism. The opposition of the Church to Montanism was responsible for the fact that the doctrine of ecstasy as the form of inspiration found no continued recognition in the Church. Clement of Alexandria placed ecstasy among the marks of false prophets, and from Origen on, the doctors of the Church rejected the conception of prophecy which originated in paganism. In direct opposition to Montanism, the unconscious action of the
By a natural process, the operation of the Holy Ghost occupied an increasingly prominent place, and the independent personality of the writers was less and less considered. When Agobard of Lyons dwelt upon the external signs of this independence, and remarked that the sacred writers had not always observed the strict rules of grammar, the Abbot Fridugis of Tours (q.v.) went so far as to assert that the Holy Spirit had formed "even the very verbal expressions in the mouth of the Apostles." And Agobard did not think of limiting the operation of the Spirit; he preferred to explain the phenomenon by a condescension on the part of the Holy Spirit to human weakness.
No deeper interest in the question was displayed by scholasticism, which discussed it, indeed, with its accustomed minuteness in connection with the rest of the system, but showed no sense of its importance in relation to revelation. Here and there, as from Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, it received more serious consideration. The latter treats the subject under the head of gratiae gratis datae, or charismata, distinguishing between the gift of knowledge and the gift of the word, without which the gift of knowledge would be useless to others. To express the right word, the Holy Ghost makes use of the tongue of men "as of an instrument, but he himself perfects the inner working." The blessing is sometimes diminished by the fault of the hearer, sometimes by that of the speaker. The operation of the Holy Ghost thus does no violence to the independence of the agent. The authority of the Scriptures was not questioned, but the impulse to use and to investigate them was not yet awakened. Mysticism had a deep feeling for the divine power of the Word and a clear understanding of the operation of the Holy Ghost. A belief in the continuance of the gift left the Scriptural inspiration not so radically different, in spite of its admitted precedence, from experiences which were possible to others; and so, even while its authority was firmly maintained, there was a certain indifference to its unique character. The assertion of Abelard, based upon Gal. ii. 11 sqq., that the prophets and apostles were not infallible, was employed with some hesitation by him; but when Renaissance scholarship pointed to defects in detail as results of the human limitations of the Scriptural writers, neither the Church nor scholars thought of the authority of the Bible as any less assured.
Never since the apostolic age had so admirable a use been made of its pages, and never had its authority been so decidedly upheld as in the Reformation period; but for this very reason there was little speculation on the way in which it had come to be. No one disputed its authority; the only question was as to the manner of its use. This explains the fact that among the Reformers and their immediate successors the old conception of inspiration is still found without any further discussion of the mutual relations of the two factors in the formation of the Scriptures, and without any attempt to define the limits within which inspiration
When it became necessary to argue not only against Rome, but against syncretism, and Calixtus, in approximation to Roman Catholic theologians, distinguished between inspiration in the strict sense, in regard to the essential truths of salvation, and a directio divina in regard to those things "which came by sensation or were otherwise known" for which no revelation but only guidance was needed, the time had come for a more rigid definition, for an assurance against the dangers which seemed to threaten the Bible among the very men who claimed to deduce their belief from it. Calovius was the founder of the new doctrine intended to serve this purpose. According to him, inspiration is the form of revelation. Nothing can be in the Scriptures "which was not to the writers divinely suggested and inspired." The doctrine was pushed to its extreme consequences by the Buxtorfs, who asserted the inspiration of even the Hebrew vowels, and by Voet, who made the same claim for the punctuation. All this was absolutely new. If the idea of ecstasy had been included, it might have seemed a revival of the mantic theory of Philo and the old apologists; but the lack of this conception made the process purely mechanical, not only without analogy, but in direct contradiction to the other operations of the Holy Spirit. The self-preparation of the writers, required on the ecstatic theory, was no longer necessary; nor was there any place for the personal witness which the apostles claim to give. The logical consequences of the doctrine were not, indeed, drawn by its supporters, but they are none the less inevitable. Against this hard and fast theory the freer view of the Roman Catholic theologians (such as Bellarmine, Canus, and Simon) was less effective than it might have been on account of their tendency to subordinate Scripture to the Church; and little more followed the maintenance of a less rigid theory by the Arminians and some French and German Calvinists. The first marked influence was exerted by Pietism, with its personal experience of the workings of the Spirit, in which it was joined by some kindred souls among the English dissenters, such as Baxter and Doddridge. By degrees the official theology of Protestantism took a freer attitude, and the human factor in inspiration assumed a new prominence.
The modern development of the doctrine may be traced partly from Schleiermacher and partly from the school of Bengel. The former emphasized the special spirit of the Scriptures, of which rationalism had altogether lost eight; but this spirit was to him not the Spirit of God, independent of humanity, but his own conception of the term "Holy Spirit"--the common spirit of the Christian Church, the source of all its spiritual gifts and good works, as of all its processes of thought. Even the apocryphal writings are inspired, in so far as they show any trace of connection with the life of this spirit. The Old Testament, on the other hand, as the product not of the Christian but of the Jewish spirit, shares neither the dignity nor the inspiration of the New. The main emphasis is laid upon the human writers, who, by reason of their relation to Christ, are the authorized original witnesses to Christian truth. Schleiermacher's doctrine of inspiration is thus both formally and materially the exact opposite of the doctrine developed by the seventeenth-century theologians. It represents, however, a distinct and permanent progress, in the qualification of inspiration according to the period of history in which it appears, in the value placed upon the human factor for the attestation and communication of divine truth, in the proper placing of inspiration in the uniform and yet manifold working of the Holy Spirit, and of the literary work produced under its influence in the total of the authors' official activity. The first of these points, the relation of inspiration to history, is the one in which Schleiermacher's services were the most important. This is a point of departure for the modern development of the doctrine of inspiration, as represented by Rothe and Hofmann--though the connection is not always directly with Schleiermacher, but partially through the school of Bengel, whose most useful result is that formulated in 1793 by Menken in these words: "The Bible is no dogmatic treatise . . . it is much rather a historical, harmonious whole. All that it teaches, it teaches either immediately in history, or upon a basis of history, with its foundation and its interpretation in history." Space forbids to trace here the gradual development through the writings of individual modern authors who have handled this subject. As a rule they have renounced the theory of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit on the creation of the Scriptural books. They have replaced the
The attempt to explain the peculiar character of the Bible leads sooner or later to inspiration--i.e., to the belief that it owes this peculiar character to the operation of the Spirit of God upon its origin. It would be easy, but unjustifiable, to deny inspiration on the assumption that this must necessarily mean mantic inspiration. In order to understand the manner of the operation of the Holy Spirit, it must be known what Scripture says of this operation on its own origin; and to understand this again, the meaning of Paul's question in Gal. iii. 2 must be apprehended. There is nothing to justify drawing a sharp dividing-line between the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and his special operation upon the origin of Scripture. And some other answer to the question as to the true nature of the Bible than that it is merely a record of revelation is obligatory. From this point Kähler proceeds, and makes possible a successful attempt to answer the question as to the nature and value of the Bible and the nature and manner of inspiration. According to him, the Bible (primarily the New Testament, the Old only in conjunction with it) is the record of the fundamental Gospel of Christ and of salvation in him. In it exists the memorial of the primitive Christian assurance of salvation, intended to promote the salvation of the reader or hearer. This definition includes both the purpose and the content of the Bible, whereas that which regards it as merely a record of revelation neglects its immediate purpose, and moreover requires the formation of a historical judgment, for which not every one is competent. No such equipment is required in order to know that the New Testament is primarily the record of the fundamental Gospel of Christ, or that it bears the same witness of him as that with which Christianity began its conquering progress through the world. Whether men are willing to accept this salvation, so attested, is another question; but this Gospel is the Christian proclamation, in regard to which man must take one side or the other. This is the point so strongly insisted on by Frank, that every witness of Christ and of God's redeeming will is credible only in the measure in which it is in harmony with or confirmed by the Scriptures. These have the power in a special way to create obligation and to make him guilty before God who rejects their message. This power, this authority, is independent of the recognition of them, and through it they show themselves to be in a unique measure filled with the Spirit of God. It is this connection between the Holy Ghost and the witness of the Bible to which (in harmony with the Scriptural expressions themselves) is given the name of inspiration. It is this operation of the Spirit that Paul means when he says (I Cor. ii. 13) that he speaks "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth," and to which Christ himself refers when he tells his disciples (John xvi. 13) of the Spirit of truth that shall guide them "into all truth"--an operation which does not exclude, but empowers, the action of those who are to be the witnesses of the truth.
If the fact of inspiration is admitted in the sense of a special operation of the Holy Spirit on the origin of the Scriptures, on the ground of their unique significance as the primary record of the fundamental preaching of Christ, and their unique power to impose obligation, the neat question which arises concerns the nature and method of this inspiration. To answer this, the first thing to notice is what this message tells--the redeeming acts of God in behalf of man, summed up and realized in Christ before the eye. It is with this that the entire Bible has to do. Its content is a history of the relations which have existed, or are to exist, between God and man, of the origin and execution of the plan of salvation. From this special connection between the Bible and the revelation of the redemption, faith easily perceives that its writers stand themselves in a special relation to the Holy Spirit. But of what nature this relation is can be determined only from the course of the history contained in their works, since it is a historical relation. Now, the relation varies with the period of history. The distinction between the Old- and New-Testament revelation is that between
One more characteristic point of the manner of inspiration must be mentioned. The qualification of witnesses includes the presentation of historical events; but that which the Spirit of God here effects, whether in the Old or in the New Testament, is the understanding of history, not the knowledge of it. The latter is to be obtained in the ordinary way of life, by the witnessing of events or their collection from written or oral tradition. This explains certain phenomena in sacred history which resemble those of all other historical writing--discrepancies in minor details or in chronological order and the like. The question is not how such errors are possible in the inspired word of God, but how far the equipment named inspiration is meant to extend. The knowledge of and witness to the purest eternal truth is not only not inconsistent with human limitations, but stands out all the more strikingly when they are admitted. Inspiration is not the abolition of independent human personality, but rather a reenforcement of it; it is not condescension to human weakness, but a hallowing or transformation of it, that the human personality may take its part in the divine work. There is nothing in it foreign to Christian experience or to knowledge of the other operations of the Holy Spirit. It takes its own place in the system of the charismata, the gifts of grace operative in the Church of God.
Views of inspiration may be grouped in two general classes--those of plenary or verbal inspiration, and those of partial inspiration. Advocates of plenary inspiration hold that the writers of Scripture had the immediate influence of the Spirit to such an extent that they could not err in any point; every statement is accurate and infallible, whether "religious, scientific, historical, or geographical" (Charles Hodge, Theology, i. 163; cf. F. L. Patton, Inspiration, p. 92). Besides Hodge and Patton, Gauasen, Shedd, Given, and others represent this view. It is admitted, however, that there may be errors in the Scriptures as we now possess them and infallibility is asserted "only for the original autographic text " (A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield in the Presbyterian Review, ii., 1881, p. 245). This class of views has in its favor (1) the difficulty of conceiving how the thought could have been suggested by the Spirit without the language; and (2) the support it gives to the authority of the Scriptures as a system of truth and a guide of action. On the other hand, the following objections are urged; (1) It is hard on this general theory to account for the individual peculiarities of the writers. The style of Hosea differs from that of Isaiah , that of John from that of Paul, although the same Spirit suggested the language of each. It is urged, however, that the Spirit accommodated himself to the peculiarities of the writers. (2) There are differences of statement in the Scriptures concerning the same facts (cf.
The theory of partial inspiration is, that the writers of Scripture enjoyed the influence of the Spirit to such an extent, that it is the Word, and contains the Will, of God (Luther, Calvin, Baxter, Doddridge, Wm. Lowth, Baumgarten, Neander, Tholuck, Stier, Lange, Hare, Alford, Van Oosterzee, Plumptre, F. W. Farrar, Dorner, and others). It admits mistakes, or the possibility of mistakes, in historical and geographical statements, but denies error in matters of faith or morals. In favor of this view it may be said: (1) that it lays stress upon the sense of Scripture as a revelation of God's will, and leaves room for the full play of human agency in the composition. (2) It helps to understand the divergences in the accounts of our Lord's life, and the inconsistencies in historical statement of different parts of the Bible. (3) It is more in accord with the method of the Spirit's working in general. The apostles were not perfect in their conduct and judgment as rulers and teachers of the Church (Acts xv. 39, xxiii. 3; Gal. ii. 12; I Cor. xiii. 12; Phil. iii. 12). (4) It removes a hindrance out of the way of many who would gladly believe the Bible to contain the word of God, if it were not necessary to give their assent to all its historical statements. Many can believe the discourses of our Lord in John (xii. sqq.) to be divine who can not so regard the list of the dukes of Edom (Gen. xxxvi. 15-43), or all the tables of the Books of Chronicles. (5) This view makes the absence of an absolutely pure text intelligible.
The present canon does not necessarily measure the extent of inspiration. Both must be determined by the same process, upon the basis of the contents of the books, the statements of their authors, their relation to Christ (in the New Testament), and the judgment of the Church. A book belonging to the present canon may not be inspired. Seven books of the New Testament were disputed in the Church of the first four centuries (see CANON OF SCRIPTURE). The Roman Catholic canon of the Old Testament includes the Apocrypha, which are rejected by Protestants. Luther doubted the inspiration of Esther and held an unfavorable view of the Epistle of James and the Apocalypse. Calvin expressed doubts about II Peter. The Bible is an organism; and the inspiration of the whole is not necessarily affected if inspiration be denied to one part. The question of the inspiration of the Gospel of John, for example, may be independent of the proof that the Books of Chronicles are inspired. The sufficient witness of the heavenly origin of the Scriptures is their inherent excellences, as in the case of the person of Christ. The unity of the book, unfolding a single purpose; its elevated tone; the faultless character of Christ; the nature of the facts revealed of God, the soul, and the future--all stamp it as a work of more than ordinary human genius or insight. This testimony is, for most minds, the strongest of all. It is the testimony of the Holy Spirit in experience.
The history of the doctrine of inspiration in Great Britain and America has followed the general fortunes of the same doctrine on the Continent, as indicated above; that is, it has oscillated between an interpretation which found its principle in a proponderating influence of the Spirit of God and a recognition in the human consciousness of a larger degree of free ethical action. In Great Britain and America the Calvinistic interest has declared for the first of the views referred to. In more recent times attention and interest have shifted to other aspects of this question. A distinction between Revelation (q.v.) and inspiration has been made, in which revelation stands for the objective side or content of the divine will or truth, inspiration for the subjective condition is which that will becomes known. Evolution has made men familiar with a law of development according to which the consciousness is in part determined by previous stages of thought and will. Comparative Religion (q.v.) has revealed phenomena of a similar character to Hebrew and Christian inspiration in the ethnic faiths, and a study of these has aided in a better apprehension of this fact. The history of the Christian religion with its earlier roots in the Hebrew religious life has made possible a truly historical interpretation of the rise and progress of the apprehension of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. The new study of psychology has shown the nature and place of inspiration is the consciousness of the sacred writers and speakers an ultimate certainty and enthusiasm which gave to their message much of its authority and power. Biblical criticism has provided a broad basis of incontestable facts which have had to be reckoned with, and have thus forced here and there a fresh investigation of the whole question from an inductive point of view. Inspiration is seen to be an essential affair of personality and is therefore ethical, with conditions of its appearance which lie deep in character as well as in native endowment. Finally, the tests of inspiration are moral and spiritual--the degree to which the message of the speaker or writer answers to the ethical and religious needs of advancing human life.
On the history of the doctrine consult: G.
F. N. Sonntag, Doctrina inspirationis, ejusque ratio, historia
et usus popularis, Heidelberg, 1809; G. F. N. Credner,
De Librorum N. T. inspirations quid statuerint Christiani
ante saeculum tertium medium, vol. i., Jena, 1828; idem,
Beiträge zur Einleitung in die biblischen Schriften, i 1-91,
Halle, 1832; A. G. Rudelbach, in Zeitschrift für lutherische
Theologie und Kirche, i. 1-60, ii. 1-66, iv. 1-40; F. A.
Tholuck, in Deutsche Zeitschrift jür christliche Wissenschaft,
1850, pp. 16-18, 42-44; J. Delitzsch, De inspiratione
scriptorum quid statuerint patres apostolici, Leipsic, 1872;
K. F. A. Kahnis, Dogmatik, i. 268, Leipsic, 1874; K. R.
Hagenbach, History of Christian Doctrine, i. 75, 115, ii.
14, 20, 166, iii. 55, 62, 314, Edinburgh, 1880-81; B. F.
Westcott, Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, London,
1888; W. Rohnert, Was lehrt Luther von der Inspiration
der Heiligen Schrift? Leipsic, 1890; A. Zöllig. Die lnspirationslehre des Origens, Freiburg, 1902; and in general
the works on the History of Dogma.
From the standpoint of dogmatics the subject is discussed in all the great treatises on that subject. The following may be taken as representative of the treatment in the "Systems of Theology": F. D. E. Schleiermacher, §§ 128-132, Berlin, 1821; A. D. C. Twesten, i., § 23, Hamburg, 1826; C. I. Nitzsch, §§ 37 sqq., Bonn, 1844, Eng. transl., Edinburgh. 1849; T. Dwight, New York, 1846; C. G. Finney, ib. 1851; R. Rothe, pp. 121 sqq., Gotha, 1863; H. Martensen, Edinburgh, 1866; J. T. Beck, §§ 88-101, Stuttgart, 1870; F. H. R. Frank, System der christlichen Gewissheit, ii., §§ 43-49, Erlangen, 1873; idem, System der christlichen Wahrheit, ii., § 43, ib. 1885; C. Hodge, 3 vols., New York, 1873; H. Voigt, Fundamentaldogmatik, § 21, Gotha, 1874; J. J. van Oosterzee, 2 vols., London, 1876; I. A. Dorner, Glaubenslehre, §§ 57-59, Berlin, 1879, Eng. transl., 4 vols., Edinburgh, 1880-82: W. B. Pope, New York, 1880; F. A. Philippi, i. 204 sqq., Gütersloh, 1881; A. E. Biedermann, §§ 179 sqq., Berlin, 1884-85; A. H. Strong, Rochester, 1886; W. G, T. Shedd, New York, 1888-94; S. Buell, ib. 1890; E. V. Gerhart, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ib. 1891; H. B. Smith, ib., 1890; J. Miley, London, 1892; M. A. Kähler, Wissenschaft der christlichen Lehre, pp. 448 sqq., Leipsic, 1893; R. A. Lipsiue, $§ 198 sqq., Brunswick, 1893; L. F. Stearns, New York, 1893: J. Bovon, 2 vols., Lausanne, 1895-96; H. Bawink, 4 vols.. Kampe, 1895-1901; R. V. Forster, Nashville, 1898; N. Burwash, 2 vols., London. 1900; A. Bouvier, Paris, 1903; H. E. Jacobs, Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia, 1905; A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, i. 196-242, Philadelphia, 1907; F. J. Hall, Dogmatic Theology, vol. ii., New York, 1908.
Special treatises on the subject are: R. Baxter, Catechising of Families, London, 1683; R. Simon, Traité de l'inspiration des livres sacrés, Paris, 1687; W. Lowth, Vindication of the Old and New Testaments, Oxford 1692; P. Doddridge, The Inspiration of the New Testament, in vol. iv. of his Works, Leeds, 1802; J. J. Griesbach, Stricturarum in locum de theopneustia librorum sacrorum, parts i -v., Jena, 1784-88; J. D. Morell, Phil. qf Religion, chaps. v., vi., New York, 1849; E. Henderson, Divine Inspiration, London, 1852; F. de Rougemont, Christ et ses témoins: . . . révélation et inspiration, 2 vols., Paris, 1856; C. A. Row, The Nature and Extent of Divine Inspiration, London, 1864; L. Gaussen, Théopneustie, Paris, 1862, Eng. transl., London, 1888; C. Wordsworth, On the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, ib. 1867; F. L. Patton, The Inspiration of the Scriptures, Philadelphia, 1869; E. Elliott, Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, Edinburgh, 1877; W. E. Atwell, The Pauline Theory of Inspiration, London, 1878 H. Schultz, Die Stellung des christlichen Glaubens zur heiligen Shrift, Braunsberg, 1877; E. M. Goulburn, On the lnspiration . . . of the Holy Scriptures, London 1878; W. R. Browne, Inspiration of the New Testament, ib. 1880: J. J. Given, Truth of Scripture in connection with Revelation, Inspiration, and the Canon, Edinburgh, 1881; J. G. W. Herrmann, Die Bedeutung der Inspirationslehre, Halle, 1882; G. T. Ladd, The Doctrine of Holy Scripture, New York, 1883; F, W. Farrar, J. Cairns, and others, Inspiration: a Clerical Symposium, London, 1884; R. Watts, The Rule of Faith and the Doctrine of Inspiration, ib. 1885; A. Cave, The Inspiration of the Old Testament, ib. 1888; C. A. Briggs, Whither, New York, 1889; A, Ritschl, Lehre von der Rechtfertigung und Versöhnung, ii. 9 sqq., Bonn, 1889; W. KöIling, Prolegomena zur Lehre von der Theopneustie, ib. 1891; C. A. Briggs, Ll. J. Evans, H. P. Smith, Inspiration and Inerrancy, Edinburgh, 1891; E, Haupt, Die Bedeutung der heiligen Schrift, Bielefeld, 1891; W. Sanday, The Oracles of God, London, 1891; idem, Inspiration, ib. 1896; F. J. Sharr, The Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, London, 1891; J. Clifford, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, ib. 1892; W. F. Gees. Die Inspiration der Helden der Bibel, Basel, 1892; W. Lee, Inspiration of Holy Scripture, New York, 1892; J. DeWitt, What is lnspiration? ib. 1893: J. Denney, Studies in Theology, London, 1895; M. A. Kähler, Unser Streit um die Bibel, Leipsic, 1895; M. von Nathusius, Ueber die Inspiration der heiligen Schrift, Stuttgart, 1895; H. Cremer, Glaube, Schrift, und heilige Geschichte, Gütersloh, 1896; G. S. Barrett, The Bible and its Inspiration, London, 1897; P. Gennrich, Der Kampf um die Schrift in der deutsch-evangelischen Kirche des 19. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1898 (contains a rich bibliography of the German literature on the subject); C. Chauvin. Die Inspiration der heiligen Schrift nach der Lehre der Tradition, Regensburg, 1899; O. P. Zanecchia, Divina inspiratio sacrarum scripturarum, Rome, 1898; M. Arnold, Literature and Dogma, London, 1902; A. Loisy, L'Évangile et l'eglise, Paris, 1902, Eng. transl., New York, 1904; H. H. Kuyper, Evolutie ov revelatie, Amsterdam, 1903; J. E. McFadyen, O. T. Criticism and the Christian Church, pp. 268-312, New York, 1903: J. A. Robinson, Some Thoughts on Inspiration, London, 1905; R. F. Horton, Inspiration and the Bible, ib. 1906; C. Pesch, De inspiratione sacrae scripturae, Freiburg, 1906; J. M. Gibson, Inspiration and Authority of Holy Scripture, London, 1908; DB, i, 296-299, ii. 475-476; DCG, i. 831-835; Farrar, in Biblical Educator, vols, i.-ii.
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