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Theodoret and the Law Book of Josiah. 



IN the last volume of the Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wis- 
senschaft, Professor Nestle 1 has called attention to the fact that 
several of the Church Fathers identified the law book, found in the 
reign of Josiah and referred to in 2 Ki. 2 2 8ff -, with Deuteronomy. He 
mentions three : Jerome, Procopius of Gaza, and Chrysostom. It is 
entirely unnecessary to repeat the details presented by Professor 
Nestle. However, his suggestion that other references along the 
same line might be found in the Patristic literature led the writer 
to investigate further. The search did not prove entirely futile, for 
in the commentary of Theodoret 2 on the Second Book of Kings, 
known as " Qucestiones in Librum IV Regnorum" the following pas- 
sage was found under Interrogate LIV : 6 8t exyovos ttjv aKpav 
7)<TKr)<rtv aptTr/v, kcu tov irpoyovov Aa/31B (KT^craro Tr/v evtrc'/Sciav. kou 
irp£>Tov filv to. Otpanrtias Sto/ucra tov deiov veto irdo-rjs cirificAeias rjiioxrev. 
eiruTa. tw Otiotv Xoyitav aKOvaas, tS>v iv tu> Aevrepovop-Lio Ktip.tvu>v, koI 
rrjv l(rOrJTa SUppr/i*, kcu im irAcicrTW l6pr}vr)<Tt, Kal ftadtiv to 7rpa.KTtov 
vtpl tov Otov tw oXojv it,Tyri)0-ev . 

This passage has apparently escaped the notice of investigators, as 
Holzinger, 3 although giving a quotation from Theodoret, makes no 
allusion to it in his chapter entitled " Geschichte der Kritik" § 6, 
where he discusses the apparent traces of later critical views in the 
writings of the Church Fathers. 

While Theodoret was a member of the celebrated Antiochian 
school of exegesis that rendered the cause of sound hermeneutics such 
signal service, it would be a serious historical anachronism to infer 
from the above quotation that he had even an inkling of the modern 
critical theory. Much less had he any conception of the part Deu- 
teronomy and the narrative of 2 Ki. 22 would play in the docu- 
mentary hypothesis. Notwithstanding this, it is of interest to know 
that Patristic testimony and modern scholarship agree in regard to 
the limits of the !"Hirn "ISO found in the reign of the godly Josiah. 

1 ZATW., 1902, pp. 170, 312. 2 Migne, Patrolog., vol. 80, p. 794. 

3 Holzinger, Einleitung in den Hexateuch, pp. 25 ff.