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Trampling the Serpent

Trampling the Serpent

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A,

"I will put enmity between thee and the woman and
between thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shall bruise his heel — Gen. iii. 15.
BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A,

"I will put enmity between thee and the woman and
between thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shall bruise his heel — Gen. iii. 15.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 07, 2014
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TRAMPLING THE SERPENT BY REV. R. J. CAMPBELL, M.A,"I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel — Gen. iii. 15. This part of the Bible is not preached from so much as it used to be, because, I suppose, both preachers and hearers have become somewhat be-wildered as to what they ought to think about it. Time was when the difficulty did not exist to the devout Christian. He was brought up to believe that the Garden of Eden was an historical spot, just as real as, say, Hyde Park, and that Adam and Eve were personalities just as distinctive as his own grandparents, and with similar failings. The exe-gesis of my text would not have troubled him at all. He would have taken for granted that the serpent was the devil ; that the seed of the woman here alluded to was Jesus Christ; and that the bruising which was to take place would be that which was finally accomplished at Calvary. Jesus bruised the devil by redeeming mankind from his fateful grip,
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and the devil bruised Jesus by rendering His suffer-ing and death a necessity. Any other explanation than this of the passage which forms our text would have been deemed unthinkable. 30 TRAMPLING THE SERPENT 31 But for some time past this explanation has ceased to satisfy intelligent people, no matter how orthodox they may think themselves to be in other respects. So the subject simply disappears from the pulpit. Preachers let it alone. And yet there is no need that they should ; if the cruder explana-tion has ceased to be possible, it has only made way for a larger and truer. In what I am now about to say, therefore, I wish you to understand that my main object is to bring out and apply to present-day conditions the essential spiritual truth under-lying this and all such-like Bible narratives. If there were no spiritual truth here; if it were simply
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a meaningless fable, I should say so with perfect frankness, for I do not believe there is anything whatever to be gained by pretending to see what does not exist. But there is a great truth here, a truth which was really present to the minds of those who originally told the story, as well as those who made literature of it. The critical problem is a very complicated one, and is still to a large extent un-solved, but we can get near enough to a solution to be able to see the main ideas declared in our text. Legend or legends and literature, the story in its present form draws upon two main sources — the Babylonian and the North Arabian, and these two were originally so different that they have pro- jected inconsistent elements into the Genesis ver-sion. Probably, if we could get back far enough into the dim regions of Semitic legend and folk-lore, we should find that the serpent was at one time the personification of wisdom, and at another the personification of evil. In one part of this nar-32 TRAMPLING THE SERPENT
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