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PRESENT TASKS OP AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLAR- 
SHIP* 

James A. Montgomery 
University of Pennsylvania 

Duty always spells the present task, and the tasks crowd natu- 
rally so close upon each other's heels that we do not often enough 
raise our heads above the routine and take stock of new problems 
and fresh opportunities. 

But upon the whole world the Great War has brought stupen- 
dous duties with the compulsion of thinking out grand programs 
of action never before dreamed of. If in the past four years 
many of the nations have been compelled to think hard and fast 
and then turn to the grinding material duty in order to save 
themselves from a shameful despotism, now a breathing space has 
come. This might be given to fatigue and repose, but rather it 
is required for collecting our sadly disturbed minds, boldly pros- 
pecting the future, and realizing at least the outlines of its duties 
and responsibilities. 

Yet such a group as this, composed of students of the Bible, 
might think itself detached from the onward course of the world. 
If we are personally alive to this detachment and feel at all 
keenly our place first as citizens of the human polity and not as 
professional dilettanti, we must be keenly touched by the appar- 
ent vanity of much, of that in which we have been engaged. As 
professionals we have been able to contribute nothing to the 
salvation of the world, and some of us have chafed at the reins, 
that while almost every other profession has been called on to do 
its part in the wonderful organization of differentiated functions 
whereby the war has been won, we, along with similar groups of 
academics, have been exempted, exempt because we had nothing 
to give. In the S. A. T. C. courses we have not been wanted, and 
in the seminaries Hebrew and Greek and Latin have not appealed 
to men who as ministers of religion felt the war also to be a cru- 
sade in which the things of the spirit might be potent as well 

* Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical 
Literature at Columbia University, December 26, 1918. 



% JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

as the arms of the flesh. With what mind will they come back 
to their books? At best we can flatter ourselves that as Bible 
students and teachers we have made some contribution, however 
impalpable, to the nobler humanity that has fought out this war. 
Yet the evidence is very indirect. Have we even purposed that 
object? 

There may be those among us whose attitude towards the Great 
War has been one of impatience over the disturbance to our 
scholarly ease. We have not been able to correspond with 
foreign scholarship, to publish, or even to study with repose of 
mind. Such men may sigh a sigh of relief, and think that now 
it is all over, they may return to their accustomed tasks, to find 
them the same and to pick up the broken but still identical 
thread of their ways. It is such an attitude as this, which in the 
after-war enervation may affect the most patriotic scholar, that 
threatens grave danger to Biblical and similar sciences. While 
indeed their groups have been exempt from the great operations 
of the world in the past four years, I can see no greater peril 
lying before our studies and our very professions than the vain 
imagination that our paradise is to remain unchanged after the 
War. 

We academics flatter ourselves on what we call our pure 
science, and think we are the heirs of an eternal possession 
abstracted from the vicissitudes of time. We recall Archimedes 
working out his mathematical problem under the dagger of the 
assassin or Goethe studying Chinese during the battle of Jena. 
But we dare not in this day take comfort in those academic anec- 
dotes nor desire to liken ourselves to the monastic scholars who 
pursued their studies and meditations in their cells undisturbed 
by the wars raging without. The world has been unified, it is 
calling upon all to pool their interests and capitals, and those 
causes which can show no worth- value, spiritual or material, will 
no longer be quoted in the world's market. This is particularly 
true of Bible Knowledge. Despite all skepticism and varieties 
of religious belief, the world has fostered and propagated Bible 
study because of its assumed value to humanity. For the science 
of the Bible> — an un-English phrase, by the way — it has little 
care, as little care as for the mediaeval scholasticism, unless the 
technical study keeps the interpretation of the Bible up to 
modern needs as well as standards and vivifies it for the ever- 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 6 

changing life of society. We might be a polite group of students 
of the Koran or the Chinese Classics, and, as far as pure science 
goes, contribute more than can be drawn from the trite study of 
the Bible, but we may doubt whether our patrons would agree 
to such demands of science so-called. 

Merely as professional students of the Bible — for the majority 
of the active members of this Society are salaried teachers in 
colleges and seminaries — we must weigh with some misgivings 
the present economic status of our case. Dr. John P. Peters has 
sketched in a recent paper 1 the remarkable development of Bib- 
lical and Semitic studies in this country in the past thirty years 
and exhibited a record of which Americans may well be proud. 
But the conditions in the latter part of this period are rathei 
ominous. The promise given by Dr. Peters' own Babylonian 
enterprise of American capacity for great things has not been 
sustained by American vigor and finance. And at home the 
shifting of the centre of interest in the seminaries from the Bibli- 
cal to the sociological studies has severely affected the demand 
for Biblical scholarship. Hebrew is passing from the seminaries, 
a fait accompli in some of the greatest of them ; the exemption 
from Greek is being vigorously discussed, it is chiefly the con- 
servatism of the Churches that has kept it from being consigned 
to the scrap heap as a requisite of the minister's education. And 
this debacle of the philological sciences which lie at the base of 
Biblical study is but the toppling of the upper story of the whole 
fabric of the ancient classical education. With Greek and Latin 
out of the schools, or discounted by popular opinion and arro- 
gant pedagogical theory, it becomes increasingly impossible to 
raise up a scholarship which is worthy of the Bible. There is 
even the danger of developing a pseudo-Semitic scholarship 
which has not the solid substratum of the old education in the 
humanities, the result of which would be a narrow onesidedness 
which durst not face the scholarship of the past generations. 
This falling off in the students fitted in the "Sacred Languages" 
is already having its effect upon the upper classes of scholarship. 

1 In Thirty Years of Oriental Studies, issued in commemoration of the 
thirty years of activity of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia, edited by 
Dr. R. G. Kent, University of Pennsylvania, 1918. Compare Prof. R. W. 
Rogers' appended "Discussion" with its pessimistic outlook on the future 
of Hebrew studies. 



4 JOURNAL OP BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

Chairs are left unfilled, or when they are to be supplied it is 
difficult to find the man. I fear that the splendid band of Bibli- 
cal scholars which dates back to the era of the new Biblical 
scholarship inaugurated by Dr. Harper, and which has made its 
mark, despite the limitations circumscribing American scholar- 
ship, is not leaving behind an adequate progeny. We have 
been going on an elder momentum which seems to have spent 
itself, while adverse forces are further disintegrating our cause. 

There is a possibility which may check the present trend of 
our lower and so higher education. This possibly may come as 
a consequence of the Great War. The world has not been saved 
by science, so the man in the street is coming to observe. It was 
nigh to being ruined by the science of that nation which arro- 
gated all science to itself and which by that token cast down the 
gage to humanity. At awful cost to the world but more than 
worth all the blood shed and money spent, has been the pricking 
of this conceit of science. Not only has the German Terror 
collapsed, but also — for all modern education has been tarred 
with the same stick — some of the bubbles of our own conceit have 
been exploded, more quietly but we may hope with equal effect 
for good. The world has shaken off its scientistic prepossession 
and has denied on the field of battle that humanity is merely a 
scientific specimen, to be studied, experimented upon and 
exploited by professors, diplomats, despots and spies. The sup- 
posed cadaver has risen from its bed and smitten a deathblow 
to its tormentors. And this discovery may lead us back to the 
recognition of the discarded humanities, back to the notion the 
ancients had, and even uncivilized races still have, that life is 
something more than a mechanical unit to be expressed in known 
terms. The old humanities held this view of man, the Bible and 
its religions have enforced it, in long periods replacing the classic 
humanities, and there may be a reaction to those studies, if the 
thinking men in those departments know how to deflect and 
guide the tide. 

For after all — and I venture to speak of the philosophy of the 
Bible before a Biblical Society without offence — the Bible stands 
for just those things for which we and our Allies have fought 
and triumphed. From the story of the Tower of Babel to the 
Christ on the White Horse of the New Testament there is the 
constant challenge to every human thing which would set itself 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 5 

in the seat of God, be it force or despot or civilization. It has 
given guidance and inspiration to the souls groping after the 
Kingdom of God, held before them the ideals of right and peace 
as indissolubly related, of a natural humanity and a sane democ- 
racy, of an idealism always presented in its contrast to the reali- 
ties, yet ever seeking realization. Its transcendentalism, long 
unsympathetic to the modern world, finds an awakened echo in 
the present world of woe. The classicists make similar argu- 
ments for their studies, we Biblical students must not fail in 
presenting our claims. For our very livelihood's sake we must 
inquire how effectually we are commending our wares and 
wherein we have erred. For any cause whose champions cannot 
present it as worth while, must perish. 

In this connection I mark that our American Biblical scholar- 
ship has been in danger of drawing too hard and fast a line 
between what we call the scientific and the popular presentation 
of the Bible. The latter as the line of greatest demand and also 
of profit has deflected some scholarship from possible firstrate 
work, while the former duty has been assumed with too much 
self-conscioxisness, and hence the proper appeal has not been 
sufficiently made by the best equipped to even the intelligent 
public. It cannot be said that we American scholars have 
shown up as well as those of Great Britain, France and Germany 
in the production of ripe work, thought out on large lines, based 
not merely on a technically correct philology but also on a 
thorough education and humane sympathy. Our scholarship 
has been too much content to stand apart by itself, leaving what 
it calls the graces, which rather are as spirit an essential part 
of the living organism, too much to the popularizer and the 
preacher. This is a sophomoric attitude which might be cor- 
rected if there were in our community a greater mass of well- 
educated people, or more centres of positive intellectual 
breeding. But then all the greater reason why in our very 
democratic and not broadly educated circles the very best and 
most profoundly educated of our scholarship is needed to present 
the Bible in a congenial and sympathetic spirit. If it be only 
a volume of philology and archaeology, I doubt if appeal can 
be made for it, except to small groups. We are in danger of 
falling into the same educational fallacy which has injured the 
classical studies, where at the hand of so-called scientific stu- 



6 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

dents, often just out of college, the classics have been reduced 
to philological themes. They no longer appeal as humanities, 
and if we wonder how our forefathers were educated and grew 
great on those studies, it was not because they were simple- 
minded; to the contrary, our failure is due to our teaching, to 
the shifting of the centre of gravity to new but too often minor 
centres of gravity. Philology, criticism, history of religion, are 
necessary introductions to the study of the Bible and independ- 
ent as its by-products, but can never replace the higher introduc- 
tion, that by which the teacher leads his student con amore into 
the spirit and charm of the Bible. Mere flippancy of treatment 
of the greater issues of the Bible, a sorry kind of stage effect, has 
its own reward ; the world takes such a scholar at his quip and 
leaves him and his subject severely alone. 

In regard to Biblical criticism our American scholarship is 
itself to be criticized for remaining too long by the old baggage. 
It has often been said that British and American scholarship lags 
a generation behind that of Germany, and I believe that the 
reproach is true in comparison with Europe in regard to the 
advanced steps we need to take beyond the critical elements. 
These are not the ne plus ultra. It can hardly be said of us 
that we have contributed much to the reconstruction of the 
Biblical history and life. On the historical side our scholarship 
has been meagre. "We have carried on, often parrotwise, our 
analyses, but when we come to the reconstruction of the original 
picture, where the criticism should go into the footnotes, we have 
fallen short. American archaeology has indeed made important 
and striking historical contributions, this often without reck of 
criticism or even in defiance of it. But we have not been pliable 
enough to change the habit of mind from that of analysis to that 
of synthesis. "Whether we are too much under' the spell of our 
schoolboy masters, whether our mind fatigues and runs out 
early, whether we are afraid of results which will offend whether 
the radical or conservative, I know not. Here again we have 
to reckon with our patrons who employ us for their guides and 
teachers. They are not interested in the laboratory methods 
which so engross us, absolutely essential as these are. But they 
do, and rightly, inquire of us the products we have gained. If 
you have taken away our old views of the Bible; they ask, and 
these were faiths, what fresh organism of flesh and blood can you 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 7 

recreate for the history which we fondly imagined once beat 
under these fragments? The world does not care for the Bible 
as a pursuit of the ingenious mind, but it wants to be assured 
whether it once fitted into the web and warp of human history 
and still has something to say to human life. If we cannot prove 
that, the day of the Bible is over, at least its teaching will pass 
into other hands and conditions. 

To this I venture to add a word on the religious valuation of 
the Bible. We have essayed to treat it as philology, as archae- 
ology, as history, as literature, and as many new and fascinating 
phases of study have developed. But the Bible remains pri- 
marily a religious book, and the student must approach it with 
religious sympathy. As it is absurd to think of a student of art 
approaching his subject without the aesthetic sense, so it is 
equally absurd for the student of the Bible to handle it without 
some reaction upon his religious sensibilities, There is the 
danger of the scientific fetish of mind deadening this sensibility, 
as if the student of Greek art should think he has accomplished 
his task when he has minutely and painfully measured an Attic 
vase, while in spirit he falls infinitely behind the untutored soul 
that is ravished by its beauty. The mere measurements of the 
Bible must not deter us from the appreciation of it as that which 
it claims to be, a book of religion. And none can fully interpret 
it who is not possessed by that prepossession. Not the childish 
fear of the appearance of faith or confessionalism should keep 
us from this full approach to the Bible. It is after all, on the 
whole, those who have believed in it who have been its greatest 
interpreters. And the duty lies upon us Biblical scholars to 
show the world that we believe in its worth and assert its value 
with an enthusiasm that is tinged by emotion as well as mod- 
erated by reason. 

Such are some of the internal conditions of our American Bib- 
lical scholarship and the criticism that may be applied to it in 
the present circumstances. But there is also a foreign relation- 
ship to whose bearings upon our subject we cannot shut our 
eyes. Germany has been our mistress in Biblical scholarship, 
we have gone to school to her, her textbooks have been ours. 
Now the moral ties binding us with her have been broken, and 
with that has snapped the intellectual relationship. If it were 
otherwise, we were pedants, not men, no better than mummies. 



O JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

We can no longer go to school to a nation against which we feel 
a moral revulsion. It is not for us a question of politics, 
whereby we might try to distinguish between the military class 
and the so-called people. But the Intellectuals of Germany, 
including the men of our science, sided unanimously and with 
brazen effrontery with the despotism, through its scientific rela- 
tions with us tried to pull the wool over our eyes, have misinter- 
preted facts and history, the realm in which they were professed 
masters. It is not a question of forgiving but of forgetting. It 
will take a long time before our natural psychology can again go 
to school to Germany. As a prominent member of this Society 
wrote me in 1914, when I was in Jerusalem, "we can no longer 
accept an ethics made in Germany." And this revulsion must 
apply also to philosophy and theology and historical science. 
The men who prostituted their science to the Terror, even deceiv- 
ing some among us, cannot easily be taken as guides even in pure 
science. The past is a closed chapter, to be slowly opened and 
continued by the long hand of time. 

"We have hardly yet realized the results of this catastrophe, 
but it has vast implications for us. To begin with, the very 
social and educational relations are broken. There is a popular 
hatred of Germany which will condemn for long all things bear- 
ing its hallmark. The break in the teaching of German in our 
schools will have its material effect upon the study of German 
theology. For this taboo on a glorious language the possessors 
have themselves to blame. 

A break in long and cherished political and academic associa- 
tions such as we have experienced is a sad disaster. Many of 
us feel it deeply, because personally. For compensations there 
are the opportunities offered by the closer academic ties now 
presenting themselves with Great Britain and France. Negotia- 
tions have already been entered into between the American 
Oriental Society and the Societe Asiatique, looking forward to 
mutual cooperation among the learned societies of the Allies. 2 
We have still much to learn from those countries, which are 
racially, politically and intellectually our nearest neighbors, 
bound to us now by a brotherhood knit in blood, and a change of 
schooling may bring its compensations. But more than these 

2 For these negotiations see the current part of the Journal of the Ameri- 
can Oriental Society, 1918, p. 310. 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 9 

fresh attachments, the opportunity has come for American 
scholarship to assert its independence and to attempt to work 
out its equality with that of other nations of the earth. In this 
competition we have hitherto been, like the Greek before the 
Egyptian priest, a little too modest, if not as to our deserts at 
least as to our capabilities. We have no reason to be ashamed 
of what has been done in certain monumental ways, from 
Edward Robinson down. We can claim as particularly our own 
the Great English dictionaries of the two Testaments, ours is in 
large part the International Commentary, ours the undertaking 
of the Polychrome Bible. It is impossible to give even a sum- 
mary view of the work done by individual scholars, much of it 
of a calibre equal to any done abroad. 3 

Yet there are many deficiencies in our learned encyclopaedia, 
to which we have resigned ourselves, but which the new spirit 
of our independence must make us keenly alive to. Before the 
War the writer felt it was unnecessary for us to attempt to 
reduplicate the excellent elementary works so cheaply procur- 
able in German; the student should be required to learn the 
language. But now I am coming to hold that we should make 
ourselves self-sufficient in all essential literature. This ought to 
be deemed an integral part of the training of our scholarship 
that it be required to produce the necessary apparatus. We 
have at present, for instance, to go to Germany for our elemen- 
tary textbooks in Biblical Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic. We have 
no adequate Hebrew grammar or dictionary for school use. We 
have not supplied ourselves with anything like the Short Com- 
mentaries of the German scholars. As scholars we ourselves 
have not felt the need, but it is to be expected that if the popular 
interest is to be maintained and a native substratum "of learning 
is to be accumulated, we must develop a Biblical literature of 
our own make. Cosmopolitanism in science is a fair ideal for 
the upper strata, but it must be based upon deep-rooted national 
foundations. There are stirrings of this sense among us, pro- 
voked by the War, and we may hail the program of an Opus of 
Semitic Inscriptions which has been planned by our colleague 
Professor Clay. And as an asset to our American scholarship 
we must mark with great interest the establishment of the new 

3 See the paper by Peters cited above and the accompanying paper by 
Jastrow in the same volume. 



10 JOURNAL OP BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

Jewish Learning in our country. America may become the new 
home of Rabbinic studies; we shall watch with expectation for 
the enrichment that should come from this foundation to all our 
Biblical study. 

The scholarly lack in our output is conditioned by the mechan- 
ical and economical lack of proper printing facilities in this 
country. This fact may be focussed by recalling that up to the 
time of the Great War our own Journal and that of the Oriental 
Society had been printed for a few years in Germany. This 
business has come back to our shores, never I hope to return 
abroad. But the high rates of American printing have gone up 
steadily in the past four years. The Jewish Quarterly Review, 
now American, is still printed in England. The printing of 
scholarly books on this side of the Atlantic faces the tremen- 
dously high cost of bookmaking, which is aggravated by the lack 
of a sufficient corps of trained typesetters when it comes to the 
matter of Oriental types. Again, when such books are published 
they do not find the local demand to warrant them as in the 
more intensely educated lands of Europe. 

Further there is no national support for our kind of -literature 
and its auxiliaries, and while individual academies and museums 
have munificently published scientific series, the means for these 
have been generally supplied by private contributions, in many 
cases painfully secured through the solicitation of the indefati- 
gable scholars concerned. Our School in Jerusalem has suffered 
because it has never possessed the means to publish its memoirs, 
and so has nothing to show comparable with the learned and 
popular publications and journals of the European schools. It 
is an eternal credit to President Harper that he demanded that 
the Press should be part of his University. 

This tremendous drawback must be recognized in the first 
place by us scholars, and the duty lies upon us of forming initial 
resolutions to abate the evil. We might, for instance, following 
the trades-union-like rules of certain practical professions, insist 
that gifts, endowments, academic extensions, should always pro- 
vide for proper publication, and rather refuse them if their 
purposes are really to be made useless, if there is to be the pro- 
cess of gestation but no bringing to birth. We might collectively 
bring pressure to bear upon our schools to induce their patrons 
to recognize this need, as also upon the large funds that are 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 11 

being given to the cause of education in this country, but which 
ignore the humanities. The layman fails not in generosity but 
in imagination, and this it is our professional duty to stimulate. 
It is a pleasure in this connection to refer to a movement under- 
taken by our fellow member, President Cyrus Adler, looking 
towards an endowed Hebrew Press. 

One particular desideratum in our literature may be noticed : 
a current Biblical Bibliography and Review. This want has 
been supplied to us from Germany, and the necessity of our own 
operation in that line has been brought home to us by the famine 
of the past four years. Our journals have not the means to 
supply this need, at least apparently so, or else they have not 
duly weighed the matter, and we have been thrown upon the 
mercies of the national weeklies and dailies or ecclesiastical jour- 
nals for the learned reviews of learned books. The result is 
that in general the art of such reviewing has become a lost art 
in this country. The art may not make an appeal to many 
minds, but all agree that if it is practised at all it should be of 
the same calibre as the objects of criticism. Either such a 
Review for Biblical or general Semitic lines (but the latter would 
squeeze out the New Testament) should be financed as a separate 
venture, or to avoid the expense of a new undertaking, the 
present existing journals should be enabled to supply the need. 
It might be that this task could be simplified by parcelling the 
work out among the journals related to our cause, of which we 
have a highly meritorious list: those of our Society and the 
Oriental Society, the Journal of Semitic Languages and Litera- 
tures, the Jewish Quarterly Review, the Harvard Theological 
Review. In our present poverty some form of syndicalism may 
be necessary. 

Our American scholarship has taken its part in the duty of 
Biblical criticism, in some cases notably, but it may be asked 
whether this labor has not become too much an ingrowing pro- 
cess, tending to deaden spirit and petrify work. None can pore 
too long over the same material without losing the long sight and 
wide prospect. What we need is fresh raw material. In this 
Europe has the advantage over us. 

In the first place I would refer to the absence in this country 
of the materials of the Lower Criticism, the manuscripts. What 
American scholarship can effect in this line is demonstrated by 



12 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

the admirable work done by our own men, where chance has 
brought the original documents to our shores; I think particu- 
larly of the publication of the Freer manuscripts, done by a 
classicist whom we gladly welcome as also a Biblical scholar. 
But in general the absence of the visible, tangible material, at 
hand in a nearby museum, has impoverished our scholarship. 
We have a secondhand knowledge of the sigilla representing the 
Greek manuscripts ; a comprehension of a group of manuscripts 
like the nebulous Lucianic family, is in general void. It puts 
us in good society to name these things, but our talk is often jar- 
gon. Now this stuff is in Europe, we cannot loot it like the 
treatment of the Belgian churches and museums. And future 
finds will naturally remain in Europe or gravitate thither. 
There is, however, one practical thing we can do, which would 
enable us almost to see and touch those precious things them- 
selves, stimulate our direct knowledge of the sources of text 
criticism, and give us materal for original work. I refer to the 
procuring of copies by the photostat process of all important 
Biblical manuscripts, the so neglected cursives, etc. This is a 
work that might be undertaken through common understanding 
and cooperation by our academic and general libraries, with a 
distribution of the material through the country. I would sug- 
gest that the Library of Congress is the proper institution to lead 
in this work, and I believe it would be worth while to present the 
matter to the authorities of that Library. In the past years of 
war we have been made painfully alive to the destruction which 
barbarians can still work in the world's literary treasures, and 
it is the duty of booklovers to secure the permanence of the 
world's treasures by procuring and distributing their facsimiles. 
For the Bible this Society should take the initiative. 

But there is another field of raw material, lying still in its 
original beds of deposit, for which we can compete with the 
Europeans on equal, or even, considering our vigor and financial 
ability, on superior terms. I mean the raw stuff of archaeology. 
When we look back upon the history of American Biblical 
scholarship we see, if none else, Edward Robinson, who gave a 
glory to our name which none will ever dispute. As a great 
philologist, such as he was, his name would endure only as one 
of many in the course of learned bookmaking. No Higher Critic, 
but a devoted adherent to the canonical text of the Bible, and 



MONTGOMERY: AMERICAN BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP 13 

impatient of all which conflicted with it, he might have soon been 
dismissed from memory as antiquated. But he had the inspired 
idea of taking scholarship back to the home of the Bible, and 
opened to the world a new book, even though we have been remiss 
in perusing it through to the end. 

In the eighties one of our own number, still hale and active 
among us, conceived the expedition to Nippur and put the 
undertaking through undaunted. Its results are not strictly 
Biblical, and yet his finds, as the quarry of our American Assyri- 
ology and the school of a band of scholars whose names are 
known worldwide, have directly enriched the philology of the 
Bible. One other American has followed in the footsteps of 
Eobinson, Dr. Frederick J. Bliss. The great experiment at Nip- 
pur has not been duplicated, although it has had a worthy suc- 
cessor in the Harvard Expedition to Samaria, the results of 
which unfortunately still remain unpublished. It is the labors 
of the past alone to which we can point with peculiar pride. If 
first we took the leadership, our competitors have outstripped us. 
Yet America has the capacity, the means for still greater things. 

This or that large-minded institution, this or that beneficent 
patron, may be induced to revive such works. But I would 
remind you of an institution which, as a child of this Society, 
founded by its revered onetime President, Dr. Thayer, has a spe- 
cial claim upon us. I refer to the School in Jerusalem. Its 
work must primarily appeal to Biblical scholarship, its support 
must principally be drawn from those who love and care for the 
Bible. Its results have been outwardly small. But its possibili- 
ties of enrichment to our scholarship have been experienced and 
in some cases notably demonstrated by the scholars who have 
gone to school at Jerusalem. An enlarged field of activity lies 
before it now. May I commend it to your corporate as well as 
individual interest? In this day of unrest and stimulated 
energy such a field of archaeology may attract men of practical 
ability and exploring genius, and so save for us a type of student 
whom booklearning cannot satisfy. 

Duty implies action on the part of men and human organiza- 
tions, its spirit must have a body. The duties of American 
Biblical scholarship must be realized by us individuals, or in 
the mass by some corporation composed of us. This Society 
meets annually, a sympathetic group of students, feeling more 



14 JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE 

than rewarded by contact with like-minded men. We are known 
to the world through our scholarly Journal. But might we not 
do more as a corporate body, following the example of some of 
our European sisters'? Instead of resigning ourselves to our 
hard conditions, complaining of the American world's neglect, 
might not the organism of this Society be made to work more 
efficiently and concretely towards the aims of our quest? None 
can attain these by himself alone, but only through the union in 
which is strength. And for what purpose else exists the union!