A critical history of the New Testament
A critical history of the text of the New Testament : wherein is firmly establish'd the truth of those acts on which the foundation of Christian religion is laid [with] A critical History of the Old Testament in three books 2 volume set.
Richard Simon; Richard Hampden
London : Printed for Walter Davis + R. Taylor, 1682.
2 complimentary volumes. A critical history of the text of the New Testament : wherein is firmly establish'd the truth of those acts on which the foundation of Christian religion is laid (1689) + A critical History of the Old Testament in three books (1682) bound with: The critical history of the versions of the New Testament. Newborough and Bennet, 1699. Divided into three books, each with separate paging. Bound in contemporary Cambridge style calf. Renhinged and rejointed, wear to edges. Occasional spotting. Old Methodist library stamp on front paste down.
Richard Simon (1638-1712) was a French controversialist and influential biblical critic, often called the "father of biblical criticism." Simon was an Oratorian and worked as the cataloguer of the library's Oriental books as an eastern language specialist. His criticism of the Old Testament (Histoire critique du Vieux Testament, 1678) was censored (and destroyed) in France, due to Simon's statements that Moses could not have been the author of the Pentateuch and his criticism of the early church fathers. "One of Simon's goals in this work was to prove to Protestants that the Hebrew OT (and all versions and translations) and its text were too unreliable and uncertain to be the basis of the faith, thus affirming the long-held Catholic view." Watson Mills, Mercer Commentary on the New Testament (2003), p. 42. Simon was heavily influenced by Spinoza's historical methods and he responds to Spinoza's criticism in this text. While persecuted by Boussuet and the French authorities, Simon's suppressed work had considerable influence because it used a historical-critical methodology for Biblical criticism. Simon's attempts to reaffirm the soundness of the Catholic Church on a historical - scientific basis by opening the Bible up to criticism and interpretation was self defeating, because it allowed for more radical revisions and reassessment of faith and scripture. The English translation was widely read. Newton and Locke both read and wrote extensively on Simon's work. See: Westfall, Never at Rest: A biography of Isaac Newton 1983, p. 490. Wing S3798