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The Addendum

Concerning the Book of Professor Cartashev “The Old Testament Biblical Criticism”


The questions, raised in the book of professor Cartashev "The Old Testament Biblical Criticism" are tempting and need to be answered.

The books starts with the narration about that in spite "the rigid historical conservatism of the ecumenical church in all its confessions for enough time, almost for two thousands years, opposed any negative, profaned and critical attitude to the Biblical material," in the final run, such a critical attitude to the Bible wins everywhere, and even "in the Roman-Catholic Church these conclusions, if they are not accepted directly, then they are seriously discussed as methodological problems, as working hypotheses, and therefore free the Roman-Catholic science about the Old Testament from the bondage of infirm apologetics" (p.7).

Further, Professor Cartashev notes with sorrow that only in the Orthodox world these critical conclusions are not fully accepted. In the pre-revolutionary academies "there were only some informative hints, concerning the delicate issues of the articles of professors F. Eleonslky and V. Ryibinsky." Nowadays "the innovatory line is introduced into science by the second young professor of the Old Testament and Hebrew in the Athenian Theologian faculty Basil Vellas," about whom professor Cartashev tells further on, that Vellas is "the pupil of the German science, in particular of professor E. Zelling from Vienna" (p.10).

It is so sad to hear this, in realization that the Paris Theologian Institute and the Athenian Theologian Faculty, as far as we know, are the latest independent Orthodox highest theologian institutions. Could they not be really preserved authentically Orthodox? There exist so many Protestant schools!

About V. Vellas prof. Cartashev writes further: "In spite of this swallow, which does not make spring come, in totality one must assume that the question about the going of the Old Testament discipline through the crucible of the critical method in theologian schools of all Orthodox countries still remains untapped. And the so very old in science (?) topic as the Old Testament Biblical criticism, sounds as some novelty for the East. It is infinitely sad that our great Mother Russian Church is now so bent to the ground and absorbed in the most elementary questions of every-day existence "to baptize and bring Good News," that, maybe, it will not soon ascend to those aristocratic heights of the theologian flourishing, from which it was thrown down into the bottom of revolutionary existence" (p.12).

What proud words. How much professor’s pride and scorn towards this "Plebeian" activity of "baptizing and bringing Good News," which we together with all the apostles and saints consider the highest, unique matter in the universe, to which all these proud "aristocratic heights of the theologian bloom" can only serve as secondary support, is seen here. And if they stop being such a support, but reach for the non-belonging to them independent role and turn to the crooked paths of carnal wisdom, then the Divine hand mercilessly overthrows them: sometimes mercifully earlier than the mentioned disgrace will reach them, as it happened with Russian academic science, sometimes letting them talk till the Hercules’s columns of unbelief and insanity, as it happened with the Protestant, for example, Tubingen German, so-called theologian science.

What are these "conclusions of the Biblical criticism," about the lack of assimilation of which in the Orthodox theologian science grieves prof. Cartashev?

They are many. In the mentioned book they are given in brief.

First of all it turns out that the whole number of books of the Old Testament is "pseudo-epigraphic," i.e. these books belong not to the authors, they were assigned to. But prof. Cartashev hurries to specify that "the teaching to believe authority of holy books does not depend on the defined authorship." The thought is correct. The Church gives authority to the holy book only with the fact that including it in Its canon, It authorizes it, i.e. this holy book is admitted to be the Church book. That is why, for example, the authority of the corresponding books does not become less because of the fact that their writer was King Solomon, who from the "the lover of wisdom" turned into "the lover of loose women." But this means that the Church completely authorizes the given holy book. And for any unbiased believing person, not dazzled by a proud thought about the cultural superiority of his generation over the rest, the two thousand-year long testimony of the Church about this or that authorship, of this or that holy book is more convincing not only because of infallibility of its moral authority, but as well more convincing out of rational considerations, than because of the kaleidoscopically changing opinions on this question of various "scientific" authorities.

For example, for us King David is not "a legendary personality" (p.25), created on the conjecture of authorities, (in what professor Cartashev believes), in the circle of Hebrew scribes and rabbis of the post-Babylonian period, but the brightest lively personality, whom we love with living love. Through this love: living, and therefore understanding, penetrating inside of his emotional experiences, as in our own ones, we clearly understand his feelings, when after his downfall he composed his holiest psalm, which we often repeat in the minutes of our sinful falls: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions…" And we cannot take these sacred lines away from the well-known to us Psalmist—king and assign them to some unknown falsifiers of the 6th or 4th century BC, which on the supposition of prof. Cartashev and recognized by him authorities, so well imitated the repentant feeling of the invented by them legendary king, that for two thousand years the best and most clever of the Christians could not guess that they constantly repeat some forgery, with the confessionary feeling.

We also know that this loved by us king David knew, and not superficially, but as one of the basis of his faith, about the resurrection of the dead, believing in it so profoundly and correctly that we, believing into the same, till now meet the Compline of Sunday with words: "Arise, O God, judge the earth," and with his words rejoice in the night of the Resurrection: "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered...," "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

We know that all holy prophets believed in the resurrection of the dead, so that the words of prophet Hosea sound in the Pascal night as the most joyful expression of victory over death: "O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction" (Hos. 13:4).

That is why the proof, given by prof. Cartashev against the authorship of prophet Isaiah of his entire book (this is a very early surmise, proposed by the negative criticism) in the reference to the 24th and 32d chapters of the prophet, as at those that could be written only in the 2d century BC, because, as he said, there was expressed the belief in the Resurrection, and this dogma "glimmers in the darkness of the Old Testament ignorance only at the end of the Hellenistic époque" (p. 27-28) is not at all convincing.

Does prof. Cartashev really think that the holy prophets and forefathers of the Old Testament did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, if in this believes any religious man, even a heathen. What, in this case, would the words of Ap. Paul mean: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah became heir of the righteousness… By faith Abraham obeyed… Through faith also Sara herself received strength… These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them… But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly… By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead… By faith Moses… esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward… and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Hebr.11). Is it that the contemporary professors and those professors of the past century know better about the faith of holy righteous people of the Old Testament, than Ap. Paul?

On the testimony of the Gospel, and besides of J. Flavius we know that on the contrary, in the époque, close to Christ, i.e. exactly at the end of the Hellenist époque, among the Hebrew people appeared the nation (the Sadducees), who did mot believe in the resurrection of the dead, like now they appear among the nations, accepting the Christianity in a formal way.

Those people were exposed by the Lord not even with the words of prophet David or anyone of the later holy writers, but by the words of the one, whom Jesus Christ and the entire church, and with It we, sinners, accept and will accept as the first Old Testament writer — the God-Seeing Moses: "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Ex. 5:6; Math. 22:32; Marc 12:26; Luke 20:37).

We shall get back to the question about Moses.

But before that let us say about the question, which seems to us especially flagrant, about the attempt to discredit the fundamental for the whole Christianity prophesy of prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son" (Is.7:14).

This is how prof. Cartashev writes about that: ‘Isaiah "pointed at the forthcoming birth of a son with the name Immanuel by a young woman as at the sign of mercy of Yahweh … It is strange, and of course, not accidental, the translation of those pious Hebrew translators of this extract from Isaiah into Greek, who insisted on putting here the unexpected by its sense for a conceiving woman and unexpected at all for Judaism word "parthenos," i.e. a virgin, translating here such a Hebrew word as "ga-alma." The direct Hebrew word for the definition of a virgin and virginity is "betula." The word "alma" is wider in its meaning. It signifies a mature young woman, ready to marry or an already married young woman, in Russian — moloditsa" (p.35).

This question, unlike the rest of the conjectures of the professor, is not at all new. It appeared already in the first centuries of the Christianity. The Church responded to it long ago.

Really in the Hebrew texts in this extract of the prophesy of Isaiah there stands not the word "betula" — a virgin, but "alma" — a young woman. This is translated by the word "neanis," a young woman, in the latest Hebrew translations of the Old Testament into Greek. But in the first, most ancient translation from Hebrew into Greek, in the God-inspired and holy translation of the 70 (too be more exact, of the 72, 6 from each generation of Israel) interpreters, i.e. translators, made on the Divine direction and especially not like an individual act, but as the council exploit of the whole Old Testament church, in this translation without any double sense stands the word "parthenos" — a Virgin. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son."

A key to the correct understanding of that, how it happened, is given by very prof. Cartashev, when he says: ‘The Alexandrian translation of the 70 was accepted by the Church with love; and by the Judaism, which had created it, it was rejected with the mystical horror and substituted by others (Aquila and Symmachus), processed in the anti-Christian manner" (p.35). And prior to that, about the Hebrew original, from which those anti-Christianly processed translations were made, the professor says: "The Rabbis withdrew from the circulation all the ancient copies of the Synagogue and changed them by the copies of one list, which were admitted by them to be the best and sample-like. Thanks to this, unique in the history of the world literature, fanatically scrupulous operation, fulfilled in the end of the first or beginning of the second century of the Christian era, the Hebrew text, otherwise called as the Massorite, reached the most inert state" (p.17).

Only having prepared themselves in such a manner, exterminating all Hebrew texts beforehand, where the terrifying them word was, having prepared translations, akin to their idea, the Judaism published them with the refutation of the Christian understanding of the prophesy of Isaiah about the Holy Virgin.

But as an answer to all these thorough, scrupulous attempts the Christian apologists calmly answered that they could respond to prof. Cartashev: "If by prophet Isaiah there really stood the word "a young woman" instead of the word "a virgin," then there would be no prophesy in that. Every day young women give birth to children, and no one sees in that any wonder, any sign."

A professor of the highest theologian school should have known that the Church had already answered to the posed by him question, which he answers not according to Its spirit, but to the spirit of Its enemies.

The prophesy of the holy prophet of God Isaiah can be heard from every page of the New Testament, is the corner-stone of our faith and we can admit this prophesy to be the erroneous translation or a forgery, neither on the testimony of such ancient enemies of the Christianity as Aquila and Symmachus, nor on the conjectures of the new thinkers.

On page 46 of the discussed book we meet the central question of it, the question about the origin of the Pentateuch of Moses. The author bombards us with names of the know and unknown to us authorities of the Protestant German criticism and says:

" The main part, it can be said, of the most glorious achievements, was lifted upon its shoulders by the German Protestant science, and after it — by the Holland science, and with the help of the works of Eichgorn, Fatter, Evalds, Reiss, Graf, Kuenen, and Wellgausen it finally made the firm outline of the most probable hypothesis about the genesis of the Pentateuch of Moses… It began with the literary analysis of the Pentateuch, definition of its multi-content character and then went over to the profound rebuilding of the whole historical scheme of development of the religion of Israel, i.e. the whole customary holy history. Already in 1834 professor E. Reise of the Protestant Theologian Faculty in Strasburg proclaimed a thesis, which was diametrically opposite to this scheme: it was not that first appeared the Law of Moses, and then the prophets, but on the contrary: historically there came the prophets, and only then the written Laws of Moses. The whole sense of the literature-historic discovery of the Old Testament Biblical criticism fits into this formula" (p.47).

As the main proof of such an upside down rearrangement of the whole Old Testament is given the idea that from Joshua till Ezra the Biblical books as though did not undergo the existing legislation of Moses.

In fact, it is not correct. The quickest look through the Biblical pages points at the different fact. The book of Joshua from the very first pages means the existence of the Pentateuch and is inseparable from it. Without knowing the books of Moses, one can understand nothing in the book of Joshua. Look, chap. Т, 13, 17; chap. II, 13 and 17; chap. Ш, 4; chap. XI, 126 and so on, and so forth.

The story of daughter of Jepht with all its mysticism has other explanations, except that one, which is given by prof. Cartashev.

In the first book of Kings Anna, the mother of Samuel, appeals to the Lord with the words of St. Miriam, the sister of Moses. With the sacrifice of Elijah and his sons, they act according to the ritual, assigned in the 3d chapter of Leviticus and when the sons of Elijah deviate from this direction because of their covetousness and gluttony, then those bringing sacrifice expose them, referring to the written in the Law, i.e. in the Pentateuch of Moses. Look. I Kings. 2,1317. The books of Kings, in general, are aware of the narrated in the books of Moses. Look. 1 Kings 2:27 and 30; 10:2; 12:6-12; 14:32; 3 Kings. 1:50.

About the rights of the king, chapter 8 of the first book of Kings and the 17 chapter of the Deuteronomy are saying absolutely identical things.

About the warning of God about the violation of the Law Samuel says in the 12th chapter of the 1st book of Kings, basing his words on Deuteronomy. About the retribution for the robbed lamb David says to Nathan according to the rule, written down in Exodus. Compare 2 Kings 12:6 and Exodus 22:1. The plaintiff demands from David the execution of the murderers on the rules of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Compare 2 Kings 14:4 and Numbers 35:19,21 and Deuteronomy 19:12.

The Psalms are filled with hints, concerning the books of Moses about the Creation of the world till Deuteronomy. It is enough to see the margins of the Psalms, filled with references to the books of Moses, in the edition of the Bible with parallel extracts, for the refutation of the conjecture that the Psalms are not the work of King David, but the later creation of some unknown falsifiers of the 4th or 6th century BC; the books of Kings give in their context, in the description of life of David, his psalms, which exactly like those, given apart in the Psalms, are connected in their content with the whole Divine Testament. Look 2 Kings, chap.7 and 22.

Very significant are the words of the 3d book of Kings, ch.8:56: "Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant."

Horib is the Divine Mountain for Prophet Elijah. He knows about the Divine Testament. 3 Kings 19:8. The books of Kings are closely connected with the books of the prophets, in particular, with prophet Isaiah, who, as the Old Testament Evangelist, was mostly attacked by the negative critics. Look 4 Kings, ch.19 and 4 Kings 21:8-15.

The books of Proverbs and Wisdom of Solomon are filled with the words from the books of Moses. But the main thing is that the books of prophets, which prof. Cartashev so categorically assigns to the earlier time, than the Law of Moses, constantly give the words from the Pentateuch.

Isaiah knows well the book of Genesis. . Look. Ex. 29:22; 41:8; 51?2; and also: 1:10; 3:9 and 13:19. He knows Exodus: Ex. 10:26; 43:16-18; 48:21; 51310; 63:11-13. He knows the book of Numbers: Ex. 48:21, the book of Judges: Ex. 934 and 10:26. About the law of the Lord (and the Old Testament knows no other Law than that of Moses) Isaiah says the words, which are quite in time to be remembered in this case: "Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them" (Is. 34:16, as it seems, it is related to Deut.28:15).

Prophet Jeremiah knows the book of Genesis. Look. Ezek. 14:14-20; 16:3 и 45:62. He knows the book of Exodus. Look Ezek. 20:6-14; 18:68. He knows the book of Leviticus. Look Ezek. 4:14-16. He knows Deuteronomy. Look Ezek. 5:15. He knows the arrangement of a temple-tabernacle. Look Ezek. 41:4 and compare Ex. 26:33 and Lev. 16:2. Also compare the chapters of Ezekiel since 41 till 47 with the coinciding chapters of Numbers and Leviticus, telling about the arrangement of a tabernacle and about the temple service. Ezekiel knows that priests originate from the generation of Levi. Look Ezek. 43:19.

Prophet Amos, whom prof. Cartashev calls "the first of the prophetic writers" (p.55), knows the history of the defeat of the Amorites by the Hebrews, described in the book of Numbers. Look Am.2:9. He knows the book of Genesis. Look Am. 4:11 and 6:6. He knows the book of Exodus and all the circumstances of the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Look Am.2:10, 3:1, 4:10.

The words, which prof. Cartashev gives, citing prophet Amos: "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols" (Am.5:21-23), have quite another meaning than that, which prof. Cartashev assigns to them. These and the similar words of prophet Isaiah cited Christ the Savior, Whom no one dared to suspect of not knowing the Law of Moses (look, Math.15:7). For every Christian, remembering the Lord’s words — "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice," the given text of prophet Amos is absolutely clear.

This is how the last phrase, taken from the text and given by prof. Cartashev in his book in bold type, as seeming the best way fitting his conjectures, sounds in the authentic context: "Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus" (Am.5:25-27).

For any unprejudiced look, especially after the moment, when the given references made notable, how much prophet Amos knew the circumstances of exodus, it is absolutely clearly seen, that the Lord is indignant, expressing that through the mouth of the prophet, with the unworthy service of Israel to Him in the time of miraculous guidance of its people in the wilderness, but does not say that there was no service to Him at all.

Exactly with this sense these words are quoted by holy archdeacon Stephan in his God-inspired speech at the beginning of the Christianity, as it is said about it in the book of Apostolic Acts in chap.7:42-43. Would a Christian believe more in the concept of the Divine Law of prof. Wellgausen, then to the most inspired first-Christian commenter — Apostle and first martyr?

Prophet Hosea, the younger contemporary of prophet Amos, knows the book of Genesis and in enough detail narrates the whole story of holy Jacob. Look Hos.12:12. He knows the book of Exodus. Look, Hos. 2:15; 9:3; 12:13; 13:4 and further. We shall not pile up the references. We can add only one thing. Looking through the pages of holy prophetic scriptures one gets convinced one more time, how fully and perfectly the prophetic books are filled by the content of Divine Law, given hundreds years before the prophets to holy God-seeing Moses. One must be blind to doubt it.

The other words of prof. Cartashev more correspond to the truth: "All the narrated history of the Hebrew people happens, accompanied by a crying and therefore unclear contradiction with the very basic cult commandments of the written by Moses Law" (p. 46).

But can our time sincerely be surprised at such lack of correspondence between the Law and its fulfillment? Can an incidental observer of modern life check if we possess and formally respect the Evangelic law?

Can anyone, knowing our contemporary life, say that we belong to the Church, which professes that "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor.6:9-10) and if "any one does not fast in the Great Lent, Wednesday and Friday, let it be anathema" (the Apostolic rule 69).

This violation of the Lord’s law, which is absolute, and done even with kings, even "with the incomprehensible agreement of legal priesthood" (p.53) cannot surprise us, moreover in our time (and in all times) and cannot serve as a proof of knowing nothing about the violation of the Divine law by these kings, priests and people.

Unfortunately, prof. Cartashev is incorrect in thinking that "only the priests that have not read the 1st and 2d commandments, could cultivate on the whole land of Judea, in the capital and very temple of Yahweh such thistle of various heathen gods, superstitions and cults, including the disgrace of "priestly" fornication" (p.59). And not only has our époque, which violated all the Divine laws, refuted its optimistic conjecture. After the 4th Ecumenical Council (the rules of Which are admitted to be compulsory for the East and West), which with its 100th rule categorically prohibited to the Christians the drawing of any tempting pictures, the Christian Churches of the époque of Renaissance and Ludwig XIV were filled with the absolutely dubious pictures, which were passed off as icons.

Besides, in that time of weak technical progress, the fact that as a consequence of violation and lack of respect towards the Law, the Hebrew people could have no full list of holy books, could diminish the guilt of the violators of the Divine Law.

In the period of greater literature wealth and significantly developing literature technique, on the eve of appearance of book-printing, in the end of the 15th-beginning of the 16th century, in the time of fight against the heresy of "zhidovstvuyushie" in Russia, in the entire Orthodox Russian Church there were no more or less complete exemplars of the Bible. Does it mean that it did not exist at all for the Russian people?

We know not from the conjectures of scientists but from the very Bible that Its several books were lost on the criminal negligence throughout the centuries.

That is why we are not at all surprised or tempted by the story, told in the 22d and 23 d chapters of the book of 4 Kings and in the 34th chapter of the 2d book of Paralipomenon, where it is said that in the time of rule of king Josie in the house of the Lord, i.e. in the temple, there was found the book of Law, i.e. surely the whole Pentateuch, and not only Deuteronomy, as prof. Cartashev is convinced in his though (p.59). If to read the 35th chapter of the book of Paralipomenon, the reference to which is on some reason omitted by the professor, and not to remain content with the reference to the book of Kings, then we shall see that the whole ritual of the Passover, carried our then for the first time in many centuries, is taken not from Deuteronomy, but from Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.

And this is completely incorrect that "because of such confessions of the book of Kings the illusion of the school holy historical concept, the history of the original existence of the Pentateuch, disappears."

The Bible does not at all hush about human negligence, even when it has to do with the righteous representatives of mankind. For instance, in the book of Joshua it is said that while stepping on the promised land Joshua circumcised the sons of Israel, for "all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised: (Joshua 5:5). But that was the period of guidance of the Hebrews by the holiest leader of it, God-seeing prophet Moses; that one, to whom was strictly given the Law about the compulsory circumcision of the born Hebrew children. And it must not be thought that as it is according to the concept of prof. Cartashev, Joshua did not know the laws of Moses. The book of Joshua, especially its first chapters, is full of references to the époque of Moses and recollections about this époque, and the 24th chapter repeats the whole story of Moses in brief.

The Bible is not silent about the fact that throughout many centuries — it is hard to say how many — almost since the times of Joshua till those of Josie, the Passover, given by God "by an ordinance for ever" (Ex.12:17), was not carried out by the Jews, as well as many other things of the Law of Moses. Meanwhile, if the matter was set that way, as it seems to prof. Cartashev and other negative critics, i.e. if the history of the Jewish people was compiled artificially in the post-Babylonian period by skillful falsifiers, then would not they, inventing new, till that time unknown feasts and other settings, enter the remarks about them into the compiled by them chronicles?

Professor Cartashev asks himself: "When does the Pentateuch appear on the scene?"

And he answers: "Already since the times of king Josie, since 621, wee see the influence of the Pentateuch. The whole history of religion of Israel undergoes a sudden change… The heroic, creative work of the prophets, which first caused the creation of Deuteronomy, found the inspired followers of this activity in the bondage, in their majority — priests, what can be seen through the extreme interest, expressed in the Pentateuch to the codification of all every-day ritual details (as if the arrangement of the order of divine service can be interesting only for priests — bishop N). All this is brought up to the original source of the forefathers’ legends, to Moses, and implied in the stereotype formula, hundreds of times repeated in the multi-colored chaotic and non-sequential order of various commandments: "And God said to Moses" (obviously, the professor thinks this formula to be one of the non-corresponding to the truth, i.e. simply accuses the Divine Law of Sinai of lying — bishop N.). And then there came the moment when the characteristic silence about the written Law of Moses disappeared. The famous Jewish Torah, i.e. the Pentateuch, at once gets in the middle of attention of after-bondage Israel. There appears the person, with the name of which is connected the appearance of the Torah in Jerusalem. This is priest Ezra, who came there with the second big part of the returning in 398 BC…

As we see, finally, by the 4th century BC, we come onto the direct way out of the darkness and unbearable perplexity of a school legend about the course of the holy history.

Before us is the Pentateuch of Moses (p.60-63). It means that the books of Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, and it seems as well of Joshua, are compiled in the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries. All this lively, breathing with authentic life history of ancient shepherds-patriarchs and telling about the wandering of the shepherd nation in the wilderness, attracting the endless generations of believing people exactly with its natural simplicity, reason and taste, turns out to be the artificial invention of the Rabbis of the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries, in particular of Ezra (the style of writing of whom does not, by the way, remind of the style of the book of Genesis, for instance). Really, it is the greatest miracle. It can be compared to the miracle, which the other researchers want to convince us of, together with their invention, that the image of Christ was created in the 2d, 3d or 4th centuries by skillful falsifiers. Having stepped on this road once, one cannot stop. For not less scientific authorities than those, which remind of professor Cartashev to prove the falsity of the images of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph Judas, Moses — these brightest living personalities of the Old Testament, say about the artificiality of the image of Christ. And it happened that the Protestant "theologian" science, to which reverently resorts in citing prof. Cartashev, in the face of Tubingen theologians and Drews (Drews is a Protestant pastor), came to the conclusion that the personality of Jesus Christ is mythic.

What an emasculated, cabinet soul, absolutely deprived of the artistic and historical feelings must have one, to come to such conclusions!

To us both the ideas seem to be real insanity. Not only our faith, but the very primitive artistic instinct, the feeling of verity and history, insulted by such "theologian" conjectures, testify to us that the living images of Abraham and other patriarchs, Moses and Joshua could not be artificially created. Any great writer turns out to be powerless to create religious human images. Let us recall that neither Gogol, nor Dostoevsky could reproduce such an image. Let us compare the image of elder Zosima and his sermon, created by Dostoevsky, with the authentic images of our devotees, elders and their creations. We see at once where the original and the infirm imitation, even in such writing manner as of Dostoevsky, is.

But on the conjecture of prof. Cartashev, these Rabbi writers of the 5th and 6th centuries must have had absolute intuition and knowledge of the ancient, cut off from them by a century, primitive shepherd daily life, which now we reproduce only on the basis of archeological data, that the writers of the 4th century did not have.

In order to understand, how impossible the pretense of such archeological intuition by the writers of the 4th century BC is, it is enough to remember the operating by greater technical possibilities history époque of Titus Livius, in which, nevertheless, the époque of the ancient Roman kings is described in the forms, corresponding to the history of the times of Augustus. Moreover, let us remember our Russian pre-Karamzin historians, who wrote about the ancient Russian princes as about the Russian autocrats in the style of the latest kings and emperors. Did Ezra and his contemporaries-scribes possess to such an extent rare ability, which became accessible in our time, thanks to the development of archeology, — the ability to be transferred into a remote époque, absolutely different from the modern, and reproduce it so very artistically?

Here is one more opinion. The Samaritans separated from the Jews not after the Babylonian bondage, but during it. How did they take away during the separation the whole Pentateuch of Moses, as their holy book, if it was brought into Palestine by hated Ezra at the height of their separation?

Maybe, the Divine providence preserves through the darkness of ages till the present days the remains of the Samaritan nation, which huddles close to ancient Sychem at the foot of Mount Harisim, so that they could testify to the unbreakable truth of the being preserved by them Divine Old Testament?

About the psychological substantiation of such "scientific discoveries" the late writer D.Merezhkovsky says very well, mentioning the similar question about the artificiality of the image of Christ the Savior and about as if later creation of the New Testament. D. Merezhkovsky writes: "It would not enter anyone’s head, to ask if there was Christ, if before asking their mind was not already obscured by desire of His non-existence." And further on: "What is myth-mania? (The assertion that Christ is a myth. This is the false-scientific form of religious hatred to Christ and Christianity, as if a convulsion of human guts, vomiting this medicine. "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil" (John 7:7). And it is very obvious that anywhere, where they wanted to put an end to the Christianity, "the scientific discovery," that Christ is a myth, was accepted with enthusiasm, as if they just have been waiting for that" (D. Merezhkovsky, "Unknown Jesus").

We, surely, do not suspect the author of the discussed by us book of such hatred, but we incline to suspect the others, to whom he believed, these reverently cited by him German, Holland, Switzerland professors, who invented the proposed by him theory many years before, of these horrible feelings.

The taking by storm of the Christianity has a wide front. The world, which rejected Christ, needs to destroy His deed in the root. Some could be tempted by the thoughtless temptation of sin, the others should be confirmed that any religion is anti-scientific, and consequently, refuted by science, still others should be convinced that Christ the Savor never existed and the New Testament is a forgery of the latest authors, the fourth should be made sure of the same idea about the corner-stone of the Christianity — the Old Testament. There are many such staircases for attack against the stronghold of Christ.

The fact that the given by prof. Cartashev ideas about the artificiality of the creation of the Old Testament is one of such staircases for attacking the very heart of the Christianity becomes clear with the slightest plunging into the question.

Christ, as He Himself said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill," i.e. came make it complete (Math.5:17). Let us remember how many times Christ refers to the Law of Moses: Math. 8:4; 19:7; Mark 10:3; 12:26 and so on.

After the Resurrection, having appeared to the apostles on their way, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27).

Can one surmise that Christ had a concept about "the overturned" manner writing of the Old Testament? The task of a Christian is to understand the Divine Law the same way, as Christ did.

The best sample of such an understanding and presenting of such an understanding of the Old Testament, is the famous sermon of the holy First Martyr Stephan, conveyed in the 7th chapter of the Apostolic Acts. Those, who are interested in the conveyed here topic, should compare the concept of the Old Testament in the variant of apostle Stephan and the same concept in the variant of prof. Cartashev. They would be easily convinced in their difference and would be able to define, which of these concepts is more logical, successive, with more historical understanding and artistic intuition.

The authentic church understanding of this question nowadays is still absolutely identical to the understanding of it by Apostle Stephan in the first, one might say, minutes of the Christian church — Its council character and catholicity, as it was defined by the great teacher of the Church St. Vicente Lerinsky: "Council-catholic is that, in what the whole Church always and everywhere believes and believed." Because the Church and the church truth, necessary for the eternal salvation of the soul, cannot depend on the temporary historical and geographical factors.

Only such theology, which has roots in eternity, the Church considers to be Its own. In that case it does not ask from a theologian any scientific diplomas, but Itself confers them on Galilean fisherman John the Theologian and even on the malefactor on the cross: "for while the one was led down to hades by the heaviness of his blaspheming, the other was lightened of his sins, unto the knowledge of things divine."

Any other wisdom Church never thinks to be Its own and does not call by the holy and elevated name of Theology, accepting everything that does not belong to It — the mundane, converted into foolish wisdom, no matter how the outer world calls it.

The Protestant religion sank to the disgrace of the "theologians," akin to prof. B. Bauer, "pastor" Drews and others, who rejected the reality of Christ’s existence.

Missionary Leaflet # E113
Copyright © 2004 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

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