SIR ROBERT ANDERSON
Secret Service Theologian
Preface to the
"CONCORDANCE to the Names and Titles of the Lord of Glory".
by Ada R. Habershon
This little Concordance of the names and titles of our
Divine Lord will be valued by Bible students; for it supplies a real want. When
writing the book to which the Introductory Chapter refers, I felt the need of
such a Concordance, and my task was greatly facilitated by being supplied with
a MS. copy of the present work. And if I refused to avail myself of permission
kindly offered me to incorporate it in the Appendix to my own book, it was
because my appreciation of its value made me press for the publication of it in
a separate form.
It is an extraordinary fact that even in this twentieth century of the Christian era, we are still without a New Testament Concordance of phrases. If, therefore, we wish to make a comparative study of the passages in which, ex. gr., "Eternal life," or "children of God" occur, we must enter on the preliminary task of framing a list with the help of 101 ordinary Concordance. And this is the more strange because of the amazing care and labour that have been devoted to the preparation of Concordances. That which lies before me as I write - a book of more than 1800 large and closely-printed pages - contains a complete list of "passages in which a few unimportant particles are found." One and twenty pages of the work are thus devoted to that is absolutely worthless: for these and's, but's, for's, ofs, &c., have often no counterpart whatever in the original text. And a moiety of the time and labour spent on this perfectly useless work would have sufficed to supply us with a much needed Concordance of phrases.
The student who knows where to look for them can find lists of the passages where certain of the Lord's names and titles are used. But I do not know of any lists that are complete, or that give the particulars that are here supplied. The presence or absence of the Greek article, for example, may help us to understand the significance of His titles as used in various passages. Here, moreover, we need to take account of the Revised Text. And this is shown at a glance in the present work.
Even those who study the New Testament merely as "literature" will not deem details of this kind unimportant. And the hold it has upon the minds even of men who reject its spiritual teaching is strikingly exemplified by the recent publication of a Jewish commentary on "The Synoptic Gospels "an event without a parallel in the history of the Jewish people during all the Christian centuries.
And by no one are its intensely human qualities more prized than by those who reverence it as Divine. And in our day its Divine character has been newly accredited by the triumphs of missionary work in heathen lands. In many parts of "Darkest Africa," and in islands of the Pacific, which within living memory were peopled by naked savages, sunk in the lowest degradation of paganism, peaceful and happy communities of Christians exist to-day. This is neither poetry nor fiction. The facts are matter of public knowledge. How can they be accounted for?
European civilisation? Such an answer would be strangely unintelligent. In the opinion of competent observers the immediate effect of introducing Western civilisation into savage heathendom is that the natives assimilate all its vices. Civilisation does not turn cannibals into Christians. It cannot change the hearts of men. If appeal be made to those whose labours have led to these marvellous results, they will testify with united voice that " the Word of God written" has been the power to which alone they can be ascribed. And let us not forget that they are results that have no parallel even in the Apostolic records, for the Book of the Acts makes no mention of evangelistic effort among savage tribes.
While, therefore, in the universities of Christendom the Bible is now disparaged by men who make it the subject of academic study, it is accredited, as never before, by the triumphs of the mission-field. And those who will bring to bear upon the sacred page the microscope, not of academic criticism, but of spiritual research, will ever find new proofs of its Divine authorship.
The words of God, like the works of God, often need a microscopic study to enable us to appreciate them. This is strikingly exemplified by the Scriptural use of the Lord's names and titles. In human speech and writing, accident or euphony, caprice or rhythm, seems to decide in what way the Lord shall be designated, but in Holy Scripture there is always a special fitness, and often a doctrinal significance, in the choice of the name or title employed. And as I have sought to show in the book above referred to, our neglect of all this is apt to betray us into giving a meaning which is at least inadequate, if not wholly false, to such familiar phrases as " the only begotten Son," "the Son of Man," "the Son of God," &c. &c. And truth of principal importance may thus be perverted or lost. For while "only begotten" is etymologically the equivalent of the Greek monogenes, the use of that word in Scripture gives proof that our English term misleads us as to its real significance. And this error may blind us to the fact that in claiming to be "the Son of God" the Lord Jesus implicitly asserted His Deity. Then, again, the use of "Son of Man" in the New Testament refutes the common error of explaining that title by reference to the Lord's human birth.
I will only add that all who have sufficient spiritual intelligence to appreciate the interest and importance of studies of this kind will value the help afforded by Miss Habershon's book.
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