Robert Dick Wilson
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5
 

Robert Dick Wilson (1856-1930) was fluent in 45 languages and dialects, including all of the Biblical and cognate languages, such as Hebrew, Greek, Babylonian, Phoenician, Coptic, various Aramaic dialects, French, German, and so forth. 45 languages and dialects in all.

Wilson could already read at the early age of four, and by the age of five he had read, among other books, Rawlinson's Ancient Monarchies. Wilson graduated from Princeton University at the age of 20, and he read the New Testament fluently in nine languages by the time he got to seminary. He had memorized the entire New Testament in Hebrew, along with portions of the Old Testament, and it is said the he could recite the New Testament in Hebrew without missing so much as a syllable.

Dick Wilson demolished the critics of his day, especially the likes of the heretic S. R. Driver and the Graf-Wellhausen School. Wilson's major publications, in which he not only annihilated the liberal critics, but also fortified the foundations of the study of the Old Testament with brilliant elucidations and conclusions, like nobody before or since, were, The Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament, Is Higher Criticism Scholarly, Studies In the Book Of Daniel (a two-volume masterpiece, and THE classic defence of the book of Daniel), and a host of papers and treatises in various publications. An example of Wilson's genuis and scholarship can be seen in this short paper -- The Veracity Of The Old Testament -- which delivers conclusive evidence for the accuracy of the foundation and transmission of the Hebrew Text.

Wilson became the leading professor at Princeton Theological Seminary where he spent many years defending the Bible against all comers, as well as turning out students with a sound foundation of rare learning. Nearing the age of seventy, Wilson nevertheless produced a stirring moment for his students when, after a dissertation on the complete trustworthiness of Scripture, the renowned scholar said with tears streaming down his face --

"Young men, there are many mysteries in this life I do not pretend to understand,
many things hard to explain. But I can tell you this morning with the fullest assurance that:

Jesus loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so!"

 

 "As to the first chapters of Genesis, the extra-Biblical sources now known show that before the time of Abraham the minds of men were much occupied with the origin of the universe; and also, that the account in Genesis is the only one which is clearly monotheistic, and that it is incomparably superior in rationality to the ten or more accounts from Egypt and Babylonia." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"The most that we can reasonably require is that the author of the document and the document itself shall stand the test of veracity wherever their statements can be examined in the light of other testimony of the same age and provenance and of equal veracity. Examined in this way, I contend that our text of the Old Testament is presumptively correct, that its meaning is on the whole clear and trustworthy, and that we can as theists and Christians conscientiously and reasonably believe that the Old Testament as we have it is what it purports to be and what Christ and the apostles thought it to be, and what all churches have always declared it to be -- the Word of God and the infallible rule of faith and practice." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"The conservative position is, in general, that the Canon of the books of the Old Testament was completed in the fifth century B.C., before the succession of the prophets ceased." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

“In conclusion, let me reiterate my conviction that no one knows enough to show that the true text of the Old Testament in its true interpretation is not true. The evidence in our possession has convinced me that at sundry times and in divers manners God spake unto our fathers through the prophets, that the Old Testament in Hebrew being immediately inspired by God has by his singular care and providence been kept pure in all ages; and that, when the wisdom of men and the law of God had alike failed to save humanity, in the fullness of time, when all the preparation was complete, God sent forth His Son to confound the wisdom of man and to redeem those who come under the Law. Thank God for the Holy Oracles. Thank Him yet more for the unspeakable gift of His love, who brought life and immortality to light in His gospel.” Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

“One of the most outstanding examples of the inquisitorial method of criticism is Gen. Xiv, where we have the account of the expedition of Chedorlaomer against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. Of this expedition and of the defeat of it by Abraham, Wellhausen says that they are simply impossibilities. When it is shown that the kings of Babylonia had made similar expeditions as far as the Mediterranean in the time of Lugal-zaggizi and Sargon the First (cir. 3000 B.C.), and in the time of Hammurabi (2000 B.C.), and that in the time of Hammurabi, there were kings with the names of Arioch, Tidal, and with at least the first part of the name Chedorlaomer, that a man with the name of Abram is mentioned as early as 1950 B.C., the critics reply that some unknown Jewish archaeologist of some time between 900 and 300 B.C., who happened to be in Babylon, concocted this little story in glorification of Abraham and succeeded in inducing Ezra and Nehemiah, or some later Jewish authorities before 280 B.C. (when the Septuagint translation was made), to accept the fabrication as fact and to embody it among the archives of the Jewish people, by whom it has ever since been considered to be authoritative history. In favor of the historical character of this narrative we have the evidence that it suits the time and the place, that the names of some of the principal actors are known to be names of persons living in the time of Hammurabi, that the names of the three kings confederated with Chedorlaomer have been identified as kings of the time of Hammurabi, that Elam had at that time and never afterwards the hegemony of Western Asia, that expeditions of the kind were common from 4000 B. C. to the time of the Persians and that oriental armies have again and again been put to flight by a sudden attack of inferior forces. Against the historical character of this narrative we have the assertion of Wellhausen and other critics of our times (only about 4,000 years after the supposed expedition!) That the expedition was simply impossible, and that it is probable that the account may have been fabricated (or forged) by some person unknown, at some time unknown, in some way unknown, and accepted as true history by some persons unknown, at some time unknown, for reasons unknown. Not one item of evidence in the way of time, place, logic, psychology, language, or customs, has been produced against the trustworthiness of the document. The prima facie evidence is supported by the circumstantial evidence. But a German professor says it is simply impossible; English followers echo simply impossible, and the Americans echo again simply impossible. And this assertion of simply impossible is called an assured result of scientific criticism!” Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"Why must we suppose that Moses would have avoided all inconsistencies, but that Ezra and all the numerous unknown but cunning redactors who are alleged to have composed the Pentateuch should have retained or inserted them? It is passing strange, also, that the Pharisees and Rabbis who tried to observe fully all the laws of the Pentateuch and actually thought they were doing so, should have failed to find in them those inconsistencies which to the modern critic seem so numerous and incomprehensible and irreconcilable." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"Is it likely that a forger of a document would, scores of times, use phrases that occurred seldom, if ever, in the documents recognized as having been written by the author whose works he was imitating? Would not the perpetrator of a pseudepigraph, intended to be accredited as a genuine work of the author whose name was falsely attached to it, have had the prudence or common sense to avoid as far as possible all indications of recognizable variations from the acknowledged originals of the man whose name he had attached? To attempt to prove a forgery by showing the alleged writer never existed, or that the dates of events and peculiarities of language are wrong, is fair and according to the law of evidence; but to expect us to believe that the forger of a document which was designed to be accepted as genuine should have made its language differ repeatedly, obtrusively and unnecessarily from that of another document by the author whom he is trying to imitate or personate, is contrary to common sense as well as to common law." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"The Jews and the Samaritans, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Rabbis, Aristeas, Josephus, Philo, Christ and the Apostles, all accepted the combined work [of the Penteuch] as of real Mosaic authorship. But no amount of camouflage could deceive the critical eyes of the German professors and their scholars (all of whom agree with them; hence the phrase, All scholars are agreed). To them the imperfections of the codes and their disagreements, yes, even the particular half century in which each law was promulgated, are as clear as the spots on the sun, if only you will look through their glasses, and are not blinded by prejudice occasioned by faith in Jehovah, or Christ, or by the rules of evidence." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"No one can deny that the idea of a unique God was first obtained from the Israelites nor that their literature always ascribes the first clear and full apprehension of this idea to Moses... And whatever Israelites were the first to be possessed with the Old Testament idea of an only God, let us remember that some Israelite certainly must have been thus possessed, seeing that the idea is to be found in ancient literature in the Old Testament and there alone... The universe with all its rolling years, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth with its seas and islands, its plants and living creatures, must all be correlated to the great I AM, who made them all." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"In the next place, all the laws of the Pentateuch attributed to Moses are either expressly, or impliedly, said in the record to have been given at certain places, that is, either in Egypt, or somewhere on the way from Egypt to the Jordan. This evidence, as to the localities in which the documents were written, so important in establishing the genuineness of any document, is almost absolutely ignored by the assailants of Mosaic authorship... Now, the critics adverse to Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch have been sharp enough to see that if they can throw doubt upon the accuracy of the documents with regard to these places, they will impugn the veracity of the accounts. So, after a hundred and fifty years of diligent search they find one apparent flaw. It seems that E and D use Horeb in place of the Sinai of J and P as the locality of the giving of the law. Horeb is said to be the designation of the mountain of God used in the northern part of Palestine where E is assumed to have been written and that Sinai was used in Judea, where J and P were written... Perhaps, the simplest and most obvious explanation is the best. Horeb and Sinai were in a sense the same, just as the Appalachian chain and the Alleghany Mountains and Chestnut Ridge are the same. I was born near the Chestnut Ridge of the Alleghany Mountains of the Appalachian chain. In Europe I might speak of the Appalachian Mountains as my birthplace; in California, of the Alleghanies; in Western Pennsylvania, of the Chestnut Ridge. But I was born in only one place." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"But lastly, not merely are all of the documents of the Tetrateuch (with the exception of a few ascribed to Aaron) ascribed to Moses, and the place where most of them originated indicated, many of them are dated as to year, month, day. The critics quietly ignore these dates. They would possibly attribute them to the cunning of the forger, and assert that they were inserted with the express purpose of giving to the documents in which they occur the appearance of verisimilitude. Think of a counsel arguing before a court that the fact that a document -- a will, a contract, a letter, a cheque -- was correctly dated was prima facie evidence, not that it was genuine, but that it was a forgery! Let the critics show at least that the dates are not in the form of the dates used in the time of Moses. But this they cannot do. But, on the other hand, it can be shown that in every particular the dates are of the same form as those that were used before 1500 B.C. There are two full forms of dates in the Pentateuch The first gives the order of day, month, year, as in Num. i. 1; the first day of the second month of the second year after their going out from Egypt; and the second, the order of year, month, day, as in Num. x. 11, in the second year, in the second month, in the twentieth day of the month, and Deut. i. 3, in the fortieth year in the eleventh month on the first day of the month, and Num. xxxiii. 38, in the fortieth year of the going out of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt in the fifth month on the first day of the month. The distinguishing feature of these two systems of dating is that the former puts the year last and the latter the year first. The first system was used in Babylon and Ninevah from the earliest documents down to the latest, and the second system was used in Egypt in like manner from the earliest dynasties down to the time of the Ptolomies... So that in respect to dates, as well as in respect to names and places, we find that the genuineness of the documents of the Pentateuch cannot be successfully assailed. In regard to no one of these great prima facie marks of genuineness in documents -- names, places, dates -- have the destructive critics been able to show that the statements of the Pentateuch are false. As to these three specifications of the indictment, the assured result of scientific criticism, in strict adherence to the law of evidence, is that Moses gave the laws which have his name at the times and places indicated in the documents attributed to him as the mouthpiece of Jehovah." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"There are numerous cases in which events which are mentioned in the documents of one country are entirely wanting in those of another. For example, the Tel-el-Amarna letters give us much information about the relations existing between Egypt on the one hand and Assyria and Babylonian documents of that time are devoid of any reference to Egypt. After the time of Amenophis IV, however, the Egyptians make no explicit reference whatever to either Assyria or Babylon. Ashurbanipal gives lengthy accounts of his campaigns, and of that of his father, against Egypt, giving us the names of the kings and governors of Egypt; but the Egyptian records are silent as to the Assyrian invasions and dominations, unless indeed there be an allusion to them in the inscriptions of Mentemhet -- a prince of the Theban principality -- from the time of Taharka, where he speaks of the whole land as having been overturned as a divine chastisement. Of the Babylonian invasion of Egypt, the Egyptians have left no record. In fact, outside the Scriptures, the only reference to it is in the fragment of Nebuchadnezzar found near the Suez Canal and written in Babylonian... In view of this, what an astounding statement is that which was made in Dean Farrar’s Daniel, that Daniel could not have existed, inasmuch as his name does not appear on the Median monuments!" Studies In The Book Of Daniel, Vol I

"I remember that some years ago I was investigating the word 'Baca,' which you have in the English Bible -- Passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well. I found in the Hebrew dictionary that there was a traveller named Burkhart, who said that 'Baca' meant mulberry trees. That was not very englightening. I could not see how mulberries had anything to do with water. I looked up all the authority of the scholars in Germany and England since Burkhart's time and found they all quoted Burkhart! Just one scholar at the back of it! When I was travelling in the Orient, I found that we had delicious water here and there. The water sprang up apparently out of the ground in the midst of the desert. I asked my brother who was a missionary where this water came from. He said, 'They bring the water from the mountains. It is an underground aqueduct. They cover it to prevent it from evaporating.' Now the name of that underground aqueduct was Baca!" What Is An Expert

"If God spake through the prophets, His revelations of His will could not have been bound by the shackles of time and circumstance. The prophets who spake for Him spake not merely as the men of their own time, but as men of all time, as men who were spokesmen of Him who knows the end from the beginning, and has all power in heaven and on earth." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"God with us! This is the key to unlock the mysterious chambers of the Old Testament." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"As to the ceremonial and ethical laws of the Old Testament, they are distinguished from those of all ancient peoples, especially by the fact that they are monotheistic and unicentral. That the ceremonial laws cannot have been derived from the other Semites is shown by the almost absolutely different vocabulary employed to express the acts and forms of religious service. The vocabulary corroborates the statements of the records by showing that the Hebrew religion was of unique origin and of internal development." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"To one who believes in the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and in the preparation of the world for His coming, the predictions of the Old Testament are but the glimmerings of rosy-fingered dawn before the full-orbed sun bursts forth as the light of a darkened world." Scientific Investigation Of The Old Testament

"We know, also, that the Hebrew language was used in Palestine before the time of Moses. This is clear not merely from more than a hundred common words embedded in the Amarna letters but from the fact that the names of the places mentioned in them are largely Hebrew. In the geographical lists of the Egyptian king, Thothmes III, and of other kings of Egypt we find more than thirty good Hebrew words as the names of the cities of Palestine and Syria that they conquered." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"Here we find, first, that the nations mentioned in the Scriptures as having flourished at one time or another are exactly the same as those that profane history reveals to us... Now, into this framework of world history, the history of Israel fits exactly. The Bible records in succession the relations of Israel with Babylon, Elam, Egypt, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians; and the smaller nations, or powers, appear in their proper relation to these successively great powers. These are facts that cannot be denied and they afford a foundation for reliance upon the statements of the Biblical documents." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"The whole fabric of the historic structure of the Old Testament harmonizes beautifully in general outline and often in detail with the background of the general history of the world as revealed in the documents from the nations surrounding Israel." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"The time at which any document of length, and often even of small compass, was written can generally be determined by the character of its vocabulary, and especially by the foreign words which are embedded in it... Now, if the Biblical history be true, we shall expect to find Babylonian words in the early chapters of Genesis and Egyptian in the later; and so on down, and ever-changing influx of new words from the languages of the ever-changing dominating powers. And, as a matter of fact, this is exactly what we find." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly 

"In the study of the Hebrew literature in the light of the foreign elements that are embedded in it, we find that the truthfulness of the history is incidentally but convincingly confirmed. In each state of the literature the foreign words in the documents are found to belong to the language of the peoples that the Scriptures and the records of the nations surrounding Israel unite in declaring to have influenced and affected the Israelites at that time. The critics of the Old Testament have never given sufficient weight to the totality of this evidence." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"The great German critic, Ewald, said it was unnecessary and contrary to contemporary usage to call the kings of Persia by the title "King of Persia" during the time that the kings of Persia actually ruled; and that consequently the presence of this title in a document shows that the document must have been written after the Persian empire had ceased to exist. The present writer [Robert Dick Wilson] has shown by a complete induction of all the titles of the kings of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece, and all the other nations of that part of the world including the Hebrews themselves, from 4000 B.C. down to Augustus, that it was the custom in all times, languages, and kingdoms to use titles similar to this. Further, he has shown that the title "King of Persia" was given by Nabunaid, king of Babylon, to Cyrus in 546 B.C., seven years before the first use of it in the Bible, and that it is used by Xenophon in 365 B.C., probably forty years after it is used for the last time in the Bible. Further, he has shown that, between 546 and 365 B.C., it was used thirty-eight different times by eighteen different authors, in nineteen different documents, in six different languages, and in five or six different countries; and that it is used in letters and dates in Scripture just as it is used in the extra-Biblical documents. Lastly, he has shown that it was not usual for the Greek authors after the Persian period to employ the title. Thus, with regard to this title, by a MASS of incontestable evidence, the writers of Chronicles and Ezra, and of Daniel, also, are shown to be in harmony with the contemporaneous usage of documents written in the Persian period and to be out of harmony with the common usage in Greek times. The Bible is right, and Professor Ewald of Gottingen, the greatest German Old Testament scholar of his time, and Professors Driver and Gray of Oxford, the writers of many books and of many articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Hastings, and the Expository Times, are proved to be wrong. They all might have read that part of the evidence which is found in Herodotus, Thucydides, Aeschylus, Xenophon, and other Greek authors. Drs. Driver and Gray ought, also, to have read for themselves, or to have had Professor Sayce, or Dr. King, or Dr. Budge, read or gather for them the evidence on the subject to be found in the Babylonian, Persian, Susian, and Egyptian. Unless one has sufficiently mastered the languages in which the texts containing the evidence on such subjects as the titles of the kings of Persia are written, he cannot be called an expert witness and should be ruled out of court. Having read carefully and repeatedly what these critics have to say on this title, I have failed to find any hint indicating that they have ever appealed for their information to any original sources outside of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic; and as to these, they pay no attention to the great Greek writers mentioned above. If they are so careless and unreliable where their assertions can be investigated, what ground have they for expecting us to rely upon them where their assertions cannot be tested? If the statements of the Biblical writers are found to be confirmed when they can be tested by outside evidence, is it not right to presume that they are correct when no evidence for, or against, their statements is within our knowledge?" Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"A believer in Theism can accept the statements of the Old Testament books, especially in the light of the New, as being what they appear on the face of them to be. If any statements of the Old Testament are proved to be false, he lays the blame to a corruption of the text or to a wrong interpretation of the evidence. For he is convinced that the Bible contains the revelation of the divine plan for the redemption of humanity from sin unto holiness and everlasting life. All that he wants, or needs, to have established, is that this plan has been handed down to us in a sufficiently reliable form to insure the purpose of the divine author. The reasonable Christian can rejoice and believe that the Bible has thus been handed down." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly

"The history of Israel is continued in the history of the Christian church. He who attacks one attacks both. United they stand; divided they fall. Unitedly they present a reasonable foundation for the belief that God has never left himself without a witness that he loves mankind and will have all men to believe and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Looked at in the light of the whole world's history from the beginning until now, the history of religion of the Old Testament as given in the books themselves, unrevised and fairly interpreted, is rational and worthy of trust. In this faith we live; in this faith let us die." Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly