7 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Revelation
This statement concerning a process which interrelates manifestation and inspiration, the permanent result of which is the word of God (C. J. Nitzsch; Rothe), produces itself as the expression of present experience. Just as soon as the thread of continuity is broken, as among the Jews after the exile and in the post-Apostolic Church, perception becomes readily darkened. That, however, not merely its Caput mortuum is present, is proved by the experience that this word may by proxy represent the manifestation more effectively than the manifestation itself, where there is a thorough activity of the Spirit. This statement of the selfrevelation of God does not explain how religion originated on the whole or primarily. The knowledge concerning God, who may then be sought and rediscovered in his world-activity, is presupposed in all revealing action; the Bible knows nothing concerning a monotheism discovered only in late times. The fact of religion is presupposed for all men, and not until the state of religious necessity appears does revelation come under observation. Revelation is fundamentally always the self-evidencing of God for the recognition of him, and only subsequently does it extend itself also to the correlative. Wherefore, the knowledge of God has just the opposite force, within these limits, of humanly found and humanly conditioned thoughts concerning the divine. For it no simpler or more absolute testimony can be given than that of the first petition of the Lord's Prayer. Neither are the depths of deity exhausted in every dimension nor are the means provided for the impenetration of the universe in detail (theosophy); only the reality and verity of the acquaintance with the self-revealing God are assured.
It has already become clear that the historicity of revelation is not alone to be proved in the fact that it fulfils itself in actuality that must first be understood in order to be described;
9. Philo- much rather the emphasis rests upon sophic Ad- the complex happening, evidently in justment of fulfilment of a purpose, in which thethis View. indicating word is involved in a cor responding onward movement. So it may well be said of revelation, that it generates a development; in a certain sense also that it devel ops in its results. Only that such revelation must not be taken as analogous to the process in nature, but is to be conceived as the manifestation of a training according to design; for otherwise there would be a becoming manifest by means of, but not a revelation to, human consciousness. If abstract metaphysics, to the extent of deism, has assumed too disparate a conception of the highest being for alternative activity with the finite, then modern anthropology takes too disparate a conception of the subjectivity of persons to get any farther with respect to influence upon them than a stimulus to self-propulsion. Both exclude such a revealing op eration of God, which is something else than a con dition of the well-ordering of the whole. Therefore the God-man must be, apart from the ethical, a cosmic ordering and with him and in him is revela tion (Dorner). At this point comes to view the de pendence of the various forms of the conception of
revelation upon cosmology. Something of this kind seems to be unavoidably bound up with the solution of the problem of the natural or the supernatural character of revelation through the generalizing of this idea, which is really indigenous only to the circle of New-Testament religions. Therefore, it is advisable, in its theological treatment, not to, overlook how, in its origins, revelation serves, not only to weigh the knowledge of God afforded by it over against other representations; but, much more, to. distinguish it as the true over against the deceptions; and not to forget how positively revelation is identified in thought, not merely with the reality of contact with God, but above all with the truth of the knowledge of God. In the restriction of the concept to this one side of the comprehensive activity of God, by which he founds the new life and within it the perfect religion, it preserves its peculiar significance, and is indispensable for the maintenance of the understanding of the religious relation on the high level of personal life, be it in the form of religiousness or of positive religion.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: For the Biblical side consult the literature named in and under BIBLICAL THEOLOGY; and for the dogmatic side the works on systematic theology named in and under APOLOGETICS; DOGMA, DOGMATICS; DOCTRINE, HISTORY OF; and INBPIRATIGN. Consult further: R. Seeberg, Revelation and Inspiration, New York, 1910; J. Leland, The Advantage and Necessity of Christian Revelation, shown from the State of Religion in the Ancient Heathen World, 2 vols., London, 1788, Philadelphia, 1818; H. Alford, Consistency of the Divine Conduct in Revealing the Doctrines of Redemption, 2 vols., London, 1842; F. D. Maurice, What is Revelation? A Series of Sermons on the Epiphany, i b. 1859; idem, Sequel, to the Inquiry, " What is Revelation f " Letters in Reply to Maned's Examination of Strictures on the Bampton Lectures, ib. 1880; K. A. Auberlen, Die gattliche· 08enbarung, Basel, 1881, Eng. tranel., Tho Divine Revelation, Edinburgh, 1887; E. Krauss, Die Lehre wonder Offenbarung, Gotha, 1888; A. B. Bruce, The Chief End of Revelation, London, 1881, new ed. 1887; R. W. Dale, Epistle to the Bphesians, its Doctrine and Ethics, lecture viii., ib. 1882; G. T. Ladd, The Doctrine of Sacred Scripture, 2 vols., New York. 1883; J. Robson, The Bible; its Revelation . . , London, 1883; C. A. Row, Revelation and Modern Theology, ib. 1883; J. H. A. Ewald, Revelation: its Nature and Record, Edinburgh, 1884; H. Rogers, The Superhuman Origin of the Bible, London, 1884; W. W. Olssen, Revelation, Universal and Special, New York, 1885; S. J. Andrews, God's Revelations of Himself to Men as successively made in the Patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian Dispensations and in the Messianic Kingdom, ib. 1888; R. H. Hutton, Essays Theo logical and Literary, 2 vols., London, 1888; J. F. Weir, The Way, the Nature, and the Means of Revelation, Edinburgh, 1889; G. P. Fisher, The Nature and Method of Revelation, New York, 1890; E. Cowley, The Writers of Genesis and Related Topics, Illustrating Divine Revelation, ib. 1890; W. D. Thomson, Revelation and the Bible. A popular Exposition for the Times, London, 1890; R. F. Hor ton, Revelation and the Bible. An Attempt at Reconstruction, ib., New York, 1892; E. R. Palmer, Development of Revelation, London, 1892; D. Van Home, Religion and Revelation, Dayton, Ohio, 1892; J. Macgregor, Revelation and the Record, London, 1893; S. J. Andrews, God's Revelations of Himself to Men, New York, 1901; C. B. Brewster, Aspects ofRevelation, London, 1901; J. R. Illingworth, Reason and Revelation, i b. 1902, new ed., 1908; T. Simon, Entwickluny and ofenbarung, Berlin, 1907; H. Bavinek, The Philosophy of Revelation, New York, 1909; J. Wilson, How God has spoken. Or, Divine Revelation in Nature, in Man, in Hebrew History and in Jesus Christ, Edinburgh, 1909; J. Orr, Revelation and Inspiration, London, 1910; G. Henderson, The Bible a Revelation from God, Edinburgh, 1910; DOG, ii. 520-528; Vigouroux. Dictionnaire, faso. xxxiv. 1080--83.