I should be sorry to ignore the debt I am under to the author of ‘Supernatural Religion’ for the copious materials he has supplied to criticism. I have also to thank him for his courtesy in sending me a copy of the sixth edition of his work. My obligations to other writers I hope will be found duly acknowledged. If I were to single out the one book to which I owed most, it would probably be Credner’s ‘Beitrage zur Einleitung in die Biblischen Schriften,’ of which I have spoken somewhat fully in an early chapter. I have used a certain amount of discretion and economy in avoiding as a rule the works of previous apologists (such as Semisch, Riggenbach, Norton, Hofstede de Groot) and consulting rather those of an opposite school in such representatives as Hilgenfeld and Volkmar. In this way, though I may very possibly have omitted some arguments which may be sound, I hope I shall have put forward few that have been already tried and found wanting.
As I have made rather large use of the argument supplied by text-criticism, I should perhaps say that to the best of my belief my attention was first drawn to its importance by a note in Dr. Lightfoot’s work on Revision. The evidence adduced under this head will be found, I believe, to be independent of any particular theory of text-criticism. The idea of the Analytical Index is taken, with some change of plan, from Volkmar. It may serve to give a sort of coup d’oeil of the subject.
It is a pleasure to be able to mention another form of assistance from which it is one of the misfortunes of an anonymous writer to find himself cut off. The proofs of this book have been seen in their passage through the press by my friend the Rev. A.J. Mason, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, whose exact scholarship has been particularly valuable to me. On another side than that of scholarship I have derived the greatest benefit from the advice of my friend James Beddard, M.B., of Nottingham, who was among the first to help me to realise, and now does not suffer me to forget, what a book ought to be. The Index of References to the Gospels has also been made for me.
The chapter on Marcion has already appeared, substantially in its present form, as a contribution to the Fortnightly Review.
[Greek epigraph: Ta de panta
elenchoumena hupo tou photos
phaneroutai pan gar to phaneroumenon phos estin.]