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John William Colenso Pentateuch Collection (17 vols.)

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Collection value: $92.37
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Creating a firestorm of controversy in 1862 with its publication, John William Colenso’s The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined sparked the revival of scholarly study into the first five books of the Bible. A South African missionary appointed as Bishop to Natal, Colenso began questioning the historicity of the Pentateuch while performing his missionary duties with the Zulu natives. Feeling it was his duty to God and to the Church to seek the “ultimate truth,” Colenso not only challenged the historical accuracy of the Pentateuch, he also challenged its Mosaic authorship. One of the first respected theologians to pursue this line of inquiry, his published work fomented a flurry of historically significant scholarship in response to his assertions that helped solidify a classical understanding of the Pentateuch.

This seventeen-volume collection contains Colenso’s contentious books, and twelve critical responses from distinguished theological writers stirred to counter his radical claims. These distinctive critiques of Colenso’s work form a comprehensive study of the Pentateuch and a striking defense of their Mosaic authorship.

An invaluable addition to your Logos library, the John William Colenso Pentateuch Collection (17 vols.) is packed with resourceful and erudite exegesis easily searchable using Logos Bible Software: scripture passages appear on mouse-over and you can double-click any word—in any language—and your preferred lexicons open to the exact entry you are looking for.

Resource Experts
  • Detailed examination of the Pentateuch
  • Detailed examination of Mosaic authorship
  • Includes introductions by the authors
  • Title: John William Colenso Pentateuch Collection (17 vols.)
  • Volumes: 17
  • Pages: 2,663
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The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined (vols. 1–5)

  • Author: John William Colenso
  • Publisher: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Publication Date: 1888
  • Pages: 460

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

When a “simple-minded, but intelligent, native” questioned the veracity of the story of Noah and the ark, missionary John William Colenso hesitated in his response. This hesitation led him to critically examine his beliefs and the following book is the written culmination of his inward journey. Questioning the historicity of the Bible and its authors but still advocating its teachings, Colenso’s book became the focal point of controversy for its heterodox content and because of his station as an active Bishop in The Church of England. Provoking an astonishing amount of debate and condemnation, the end result is the work that forever changed his scholarly reputation and status within the church.

Bishop Colenso's Objections to the Historical Character of the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined

  • Author: Abraham Benisch
  • Publisher: Jewish Chronicle
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 178

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Originally appearing as a series of articles in the Jewish Chronicle, Abraham Benisch’s scathing refutation of Colenso’s work is divided into four sections containing his objections: philology, geography, arithmetic, and morality. Using these headings as a starting point, Benisch endeavors to demonstrate that none of Colenso’s ideas are original or credible.

Abraham Benisch (1811–1878) published several works on Hebrew literature and was the editor of the Jewish Chronicle for twenty years.

A Full Review and Exposure of Bishop Colenso's Errors

  • Author: Judge Marshall
  • Publisher: William Freeman
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 200

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Citing the “fallacies and falsities” of Colenso’s book, John George Marshall felt compelled to challenge Colenso’s assertions with a chapter-by-chapter repudiation of his book, starting with an in-depth examination into Colenso’s Preface. A highly meticulous and acutely researched rebuttal, Marshall’s scholarly authority of the Scripture is clearly evident.

John George Marshall (1786–1880) was a writer, lawyer, and judge from Nova Scotia who wrote extensively on legal, political, religious, and social topics.

Reply to Bishop Colenso's Attack upon the Pentateuch

  • Author: Jacob L. Stone
  • Publisher: Bell & Lampman
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 123

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Believing Colenso’s work to be shallow, “mischievous and dangerous,” and severely lacking in religious and scientific scholarship, Jacob L. Stone nevertheless felt a rebuttal was in order primarily because of Colenso’s station as a Bishop in the Church of England. Finding eighteen critical mistakes in Colenso’s book, Stone addresses each inaccuracy thoroughly “however absurd and unworthy of serious refutation some of them might be.”

Jacob L. Stone was the author of several prominent books, including Collection of Thoughts, or Key to Scripture and Slavery and the Bible.

Bishop Colenso and the Descent of Jacob into Egypt: An Analysis

  • Author: W. J. Spry
  • Publisher: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt
  • Publication Date: 1862
  • Pages: 132

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

W. J. Spry divided his counter-argument to Colenso’s book into two parts: an exploration of the book of Luke and a thorough examination of Jacob and his sons. Analyzing Colenso’s ideas and comparing them to key passages in the Scripture, Spry frames a sharp critique of Colenso’s conclusions.

W. J. Spry is a noted theologian and the author of Modern Skepticism Exposed: Two Orations, a book originating from his lectures delivered at Temperance Hall, Davenport.

The Pentateuch Vindicated from the Objections and Misinterpretations of Bishop Colenso

  • Author: Peter Davidson
  • Publisher: Andrew Elliot
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 244

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In addition to examining the “fallacies” contained in Colenso’s work, Peter Davison’s book, divided into five lectures, also examines the possible motives behind Colenso’s decision to write his controversial book. Davidson presents a thorough investigation of Colenso’s questionable politics and actions while serving as a Bishop in South Africa.

Peter Davidson graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 1861 and was a minister in the United Presbyterian Church of Edinburgh.

An Examination of Bishop Colenso's Difficulties with Regard to the Pentateuch

  • Author: Alexander McCaul
  • Publisher: Rivingtons
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 260

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

An astute analysis of John William Colenso’s book, Alexander McCaul’s Examination scrutinizes each of Colenso’s arguments and negates them assertively. Starting with the Colenso’s Preface, McCaul moves chapter-by-chapter and notes the numerous flaws he finds in Colenso’s assertions. A confident work, McCaul pulls no punches in his repudiation of Colenso’s controversial book.

Alexander McCaul, a prodigious and noted scholar of Hebrew, was professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis at King’s College in London.

Moses Right and Bishop Colenso Wrong

  • Author: John Cumming
  • Publisher: John Bradburn
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 288

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Believing Colenso’s book on the Pentateuch to be illogical and unsubstantiated but gaining in unwarranted popularity, John Cumming felt compelled to write Moses Right and Bishop Colenso Wrong because he worried that uneducated men and “young persons especially ignorant of the facts of the subject in discussion are apt to be misled and deceived.” An assailment of Colenso’s scholarship, Cummings refutation of Colenso’s methodology is carefully elucidated.

John Cumming (1807–1881) was minister of the Scottish National Church at Crown Court, Covent Garden and the author of numerous books and papers on Christianity.

The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua

  • Author: Robert Moon
  • Publisher: Rivingtons
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 188

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Focusing on Colenso’s claim that portions in the Pentateuch are not historically true, Robert Moon’s concentrated, searing analysis of Colenso’s book attempts to demonstrate it as “ignorant of the principles of criticism, the rules of evidence, and the properties of language.” Attacking Colenso’s methodology as “simplistic and narrow,” Moon questions the reliability of Colenso’s mathematical and geological assertions and provides examples of their inconsistency and fallibility.

Robert Moon was a Fellow of Queens’ College at Cambridge.

Christ or Colenso?

  • Author: Micaiah Hill
  • Publisher: Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 1862
  • Pages: 96

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Micaiah Hill’s refutation of Colenso’s book is divided into three parts: Popular Statistics, The Exodus and its Difficulties, and The Camp and its Difficulties. Addressing each of Colenso’s assertions in great detail, Hill argues that Colenso “has studiously closed his eyes to all moral and historical evidence of the authenticity and genuineness of the Pentateuch.”

Micaiah Hill and his wife founded the London Missionary Society outpost in Berhampur, India. He died in 1849.

The Pretensions of Bishop Colenso

  • Author: James R. Page
  • Publisher: Rivingtons
  • Publication Date: 1862
  • Pages: 186

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

A vigorous and uncompromising incursion on Colenso’s work, James R. Page dives head-first into Colenso’s controversial claims and endeavors to dismantle them. Page is particularly concerned over Colenso’s position as a Bishop in the Church of England and the danger that his criticism of the Pentateuch poses, being voiced from a respected position of authority. This is a firm condemnation of Colenso’s book and character.

James R. Page was a prolific writer and editor, publishing dozens of books and pamphlets on Christianity while serving as a professor and lecturer at Cambridge University.

The Scriptures Defended: Being a Reply to Bishop Colenso's Book

  • Author: J. M. Hirschfelder
  • Publisher: Henry Rowsell
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 228

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hirschfelder’s absorbing work is prefaced with an interesting introduction on the art of translation and a short history of the Bible’s translation. It then proceeds to argue that one of Colenso’s many blunders is judging the Scriptures in their translated forms as opposed to their original Hebrew for the purpose of rendering them inconsistent and improbable in their genuineness. A firm condemnation of Colenso’s methodologies, Hirschfelder’s The Scriptures Defended is a highly accomplished and diligent rebuttal to Colenso’s book.

Jacob M. Hirschfelder (1819–1902) was a professor of Hebrew and German, and was appointed as a lecturer in Oriental Languages at King’s College.

Bishop Colenso's Criticism Criticised

  • Author: Joseph B. McCaul
  • Publisher: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt
  • Publication Date: 1863
  • Pages: 80

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Would John W. Colenso’s work require loud condemnation and strong refutation if he did not chair an exalted position? Is the notoriety of his work completely coupled with his position as Bishop in the Church of England? Charging that Colenso “is philologically and critically incompetent,” Joseph B. McCaul’s work explores these questions and more.

Joseph B. McCaul was an assistant to the Library of the British Museum, and appointed as Censor and Divinity Lecturer at King’s College in London.

John William Colenso, born in 1814, was a noted theologian, scholar, and social activist. After becoming the first Bishop of Natal in South Africa, Colenso translated the first Zulu Grammar and English/Zulu dictionary. While performing his missionary work in Natal, Colenso began to publish his controversial work known for its non-orthodox underpinnings. He died in 1883.


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  1. Larry Proffitt

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  2. Daniel Caballero.


Collection value: $92.37
Save $27.38 (29%)