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The Fundamentals,
Higher Criticism and Archaeology


[1] F. M. Szasz, The Divided Mind of Protestant America, 1880-1920 (University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1982), 99-100. For the Protestant struggles in the early twentieth century, see J. Barr, Fundamentalism (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977); K. Cauthen, The Impact of American Religious Liberalism (New York: Harper & Row, 1962); W. R. Hutchison, The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976); G. M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelism, 1870-1925 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); and M. E. Marty, The Irony of It All, 1893-1919, vol 1 of Modern American Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).

[2] R. A. Torrey and A. C. Dixon, eds., The Fundamentals, 4 vols (Grand Rapids: Baker House, 1917).

[3] Ibid., I:5.

[4] For the rise of higher criticism in the United States, see I. V. Brown, "The Higher Criticism Comes to America, 1890-1900," Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society 38 (1960): 193-212; W. F. Peterson, "American Protestantism and the Higher Criticism, 1870-1910," Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 50 (1962): 321-9; and Szasz, 15-29, 68-83.

[5] See Szasz, 27-9 and accompanying bibliography.

[6] Peterson, 326.

[7] G. A. Gordon, The New Epoch for Faith (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1901), 171.

[8] Ibid., 173.

[9] Ibid., 174.

[10] H. C. King, Reconstruction in Theology (New York: Macmillan, 1901), 111.

[11] Ibid., 118.

[12] Ibid., 78.

[13] Szasz, 78-9.

[14] R. A. Torrey and A. C. Dixon, eds., The Fundamentals, 4 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker House, 1917), I: 5.

[15] E. R. Sandeen, "The Fundamentals: The Last Flowering of the Millenarian-Conservative Alliance," Journal of Presbyterian History 47 (1969): 55-73. Sandeen has broken down and categorized the ninety articles in The Fundamentals in the following manner: "twenty-nine articles devoted to safe-guarding the Bible, another group of thirty-one articles providing an apologetic for doctrines other than the Bible, and a third group of thirty articles devoted to personal testimonies, attacks upon variant forms of belief, discussions of the relationship of science and religion, and appeals for missions and evangelism . . . [of] twenty-nine contributions devoted to the Bible . . . seven might be classified as panegyrics, and two others discussed archaeological confirmation of the biblical statements. But fifteen authors either directly attacked higher criticism or contested the critics’ interpretation of passages," 70-1.

[16] D. Hague, "The History of Higher Criticism," The Fundamentals, I: 10.

[17] W. H. G. Thomas, "Old Testament Criticism and New Testament Christianity," The Fundamentals, I: 128.

[18] J. Orr, "Holy Scripture and Modern Negations," The Fundamentals, I: 96.

[19] R. Anderson, "Christ and Criticism," The Fundamentals, I: 112.

[20] Thomas, 133.

[21] Hague, 35.

[22] Anderson, 121.

[23] Orr, 101.

[24] W. Craven, "The Testimony of Christ to the Old Testament," The Fundamentals, I: 227.

[25] See the following essays for examples: F. Johnson, "Fallacies of the Higher Criticism," The Fundamentals, I: 65-8; Anderson, 116; Thomas, 141-3; and D. Heagle, "Tabernacle in the Wilderness," The Fundamentals, I: 187-92.

[26] G. F. Wright, "The Testimony of the Monuments to the Truth of the Scriptures," The Fundamentals, I: 293-314; and M. G. Kyle, "The Recent Testimony of Archaeology to the Scriptures," The Fundamentals, I: 315-33.

[27] Wright, 300.

[28] Ibid., 307.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid., 309.

[31] Ibid., 314.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Wright briefly mentioned the excavations at Gezer and Tell el-Hesi, but his discussion was less than half a page, 308.

[35] M. G. Kyle, "The Bible Light of Archaeological Discovery," Bibliotheca Sarca 74 (1917) 2.

[36] Kyle, "The Recent Testimony," I: 315-33.

[37] Ibid., 319.

[38] Ibid., 320-3.

[39] Ibid., 323-4.

[40] Ibid., 325-6.

[41] Ibid., 327-9.

[42] Ibid., 322.

[43] Ibid., 328.

[44] Ibid., 330.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Sandeen, 65. Apparently, it was decades after the publication of Wright’s and Kyle’s essays in The Fundamentals that G. Ernest Wright was even aware of their existence. See G. E. Wright, "Archaeology, History and Theology," Harvard Divinity Bulletin 28 (1964), 86.

[47] Sandeen, 65.

[48] Ibid., 73.


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