From the extensive publicity attending the publication of the Revised Standard Version in 1951, one might easily gain the impression that the controversy which “modern scholarship” has precipitated over the Bible is of recent origin. The very word “modern” seems to suggest it. The sponsors of RSV state it has been designed to “embody the best results of modern scholarship as to the meaning of the Scriptures.”

The recent publication of a large number of books on the subject of biblical criticism gives further support to the presumption that the controversy is something new. J. K. S. Reid’s The Authority of Scripture, Edward J. Young’s Thy Word Is Truth, Wick Broomall’s Biblical Criticism, John W. Walvoord’s Inspiration and Interpretation, Dom Celestin Charlier’s Christian Approach to the Bible (English translation), the second volume of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: the Doctrine of the Word of God (English translation), and Revelation and the Bible (Carl F. H. Henry, ed.), have all appeared in the last five years, most of them between 1957 and 1959. These authors engage in lively discussion of all aspects of the subject, some taking positions for, and some against it.

Conferences are being held in many places, lectures in vast numbers are being given, on the Bible, its nature, its inspiration, its authority—all these, as though important new discoveries, have made “the controversy over the Bible” the subject of the hour.

Enthusiasts for a so-called “new approach” to the Bible disparage the older view of Scripture as “a superstitious veneration of the Bible” and as “bibliolatry”; they denounce verbal inspiration, ridicule the doctrine of inerrancy, and emphasize the human element in the Scriptures at the expense of the divine. ...

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