http://www.godstruth.org

For Johnny

 

God's Truth!

A scientist shows why it makes

sense to believe the Bible

圣经-神可信的话语!

一位科学家告诉我们为什么相信圣经合乎情理

作者:Alan Hayward

 

I wish there was space to name all the people who deserve my thanks. But at least I must mention my friends Arthur Gibson, David Godfrey and Harry Whittaker, who went through the first draft with a fine-toothed comb and pointed out all its shortcomings. (Those that remain are not due to their inefficiency, but to my obstinacy!)

Then there is Prof. F. F. Bruce of Manchester University who advised me on the text of chapters 16 to 18, and Mr. Alan W. Fowler of Bridgend General Hospital on the sections dealing with medicine and anthropology.

And I shall never forget how Miss Rita Dyson typed the whole thing twice, and bits of it three or four times, accurately and-believe it or not - cheerfully.

To them and many other willing helpers I owe a great deal. I won't say that I don't know what I should have done without them, because I do know.

I should have failed to produce this book.

A.        H.

我希望能够有地方列出所有值得我感谢的人的名字。但是至少我要提到我的朋友,他们最早看到我的手稿,并且为我指出缺点。这本书依然存在很多缺点,不是因为他们的不仔细,而是因为我的固执!

曼彻斯特大学的F. F. Bruce 教授为本书的16-18章提出了建议,Bridgend General Hospital Alan W. Fowler 先生与我讨论了医疗和人类学方面的问题。

我将永远不会忘记Rita Dyson 小姐为我两次将手稿打字,有些部分三次甚至四次,

我非常感谢其他与愿意帮助我的人,我不会说没有他们也能够写出这本书来,因为我知道没有他们我就不会写出这本书。

Acknowledgements

The author and publishers are grateful for permission to reproduce the following copyright material:

Quotations from the New English Bible, second edition © 1970, by permission of the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses Quotations from the Revised Standard Version Bible used by permis­sion of the Division of Christian Education, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Extract from the Introduction by Dr. W. R. Thompson to the Every-man Library edition of Darwin's Origin of Species by permission of J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.

Passages from Science is God by David Horrobin, by permission of Medical and Technical Publishing Co. Ltd.

Extract from Why I Believe the Bible by A. J. Pollock, by permission of Central Bible Hammond Trust

Line drawing of Zin janthro pus) drawn by Maurice Wilson for Dr. K. P. Oakley, reproduced by kind permission of Dr. Oakley Drawing of Zin janthro pus by Neave Parker, reproduced by per­mission of the London Electrotype Agency (The Illustrated London News & Sketch Ltd.)

Drawing of Brontosaurs by Neave Parker, reproduced by permission of the British Museum (Natural History)

 

Contents目录

PART ONE第一部分

Facts are awkward things

1 Why bother?                                                     2

2 A modern miracle                                              7

3 More history written in advance                        14

4 Preview of Calvary                                          22

5 Jesus foretells twentieth-century problems

6 Who could have invented Jesus?                      42

7 The evidence of the empty tomb

8 A law ahead of its time                                     61

9 The ring of truth                                              69

10 Harmony doesn't just happen                         77

11 It can't all be coincidence                               87

 

PART TWO 第二部分

But what about. ..?

12 Problems? Of course!                                    94

13 Can we trust the experts?                               98

14 All or nothing                                               110

15 Falling between two stools                           122

16 When were the books written?                      132

17 How did the Bible come down to us?           150

18 Bible history-true or false?                            171

19 Does the Bible contradict itself?                    181

20 The nasty objections                                    191

 

21 Is the Bible unscientific?                            201

22 Why some biologists think
Darwin was wrong                                     215

23 How the human race began                           227

24 The problem of suffering                       237

25 The real problems                                      248

 

PART THREE 第三部分

Now what?

26 First steps in Bible study                              256

27 A power in the earth                                     269

Notes and References                                       275

Index                                                                                  296

I

Why Bother?

为什么要打搅?

The next time you scratch your finger and raise a tiny drop of blood, don’t just wipe it off and forget about it. Pause for a moment and reflect. That red blob the size of a pin head is one of the wonders of the world.

如果你下次不小心擦破手指,还流了一滴血,不要擦去就忘了。停下来观察一会儿,针尖大小的一滴血就是一个奇妙的世界。

Floating around in it like a shoal of microscopic jellyfish are some five million red cells. Every one of them is a distinct living creature. It is born, it lives and works for about four months, and then grows old and dies.

这一滴血液中浮动着大约500万只红血球细胞,在显微镜下观察它们就像是一群飘游的水母,每一只红血球都是独特的活着的生命体,它们出生、生活和工作,四个月就老了,然后死亡。

Scattered thinly among the red cells are about ten thousand white cells. There are five different types of these, and their average life span is only a few days. Then there are another quarter of a million float­ing specks called platelets, and hundreds of different chemicals in solution, all mixed up in an apparently hopeless confusion-and all contained in a spot no bigger than a pin’s head.

红细胞周围松散地分布着大约1万只白细胞。白细胞有五种不同的类型,平均寿命只有几天。血液中还有二十五万只游动的血小板,以及数百种不同的化学物质。这些东西都包容在一个比针头还小的范围内。

Yet in the midst of this seeming chaos there is order and purpose. The blood surging ceaselessly round your body provides a better transport system than all the world’s postal services put together. Those red cells are like miniature gas cylinders. They collect oxygen from your lungs and deliver it to practically all your cells - and there are far more cells in your body than there are people on earth.

它看起来有点混乱,其实是有次序、有目的地。血液在你的身体中不停地流动,比世界上所有邮政系统加起来都要优秀。红细胞就像是一个微缩的高压气筒,它们采集你肺部呼入的氧气,然后把氧气传递给所有的细胞——红细胞的数量比地球的人口总数还要多。

Almost every one of the vast array of chemicals in your bloodstream is on its way to one of a myriad destinations. Some of the sugar and glucose derived from your last meal is heading for your muscles, there to be consumed as fuel. If you ate too much of that chocolate cake, the excess sugar is being sent to your liver, to be stored until your muscles need it.

大批化学物质通过血液循环被送往无数个目的地。从食物吸收的糖、葡萄糖被送到肌肉作为燃料,如果你吃了太多的巧克力蛋糕,多余的糖份会被送到肝脏中储存,直到肌肉需要它们为止。

Other kinds of food products are needed for body-building; they are speeding in all directions to the organs that will make use of them. Iodine is destined for the thyroid, phosphorus for the teeth, calcium for the bones, amino acids for the tissues.

还有其它食物为身体结构所需要,它们被送到所需要的各个器官。碘被送到甲状腺,磷被送到牙齿,钙送到骨骼,氨基酸被送到各个组织。

Carbon dioxide is travelling to the lungs to be breathed out. Urea and other waste products are making for the kidneys to be excreted. Millions of red blood cells die every minute, but although their work is finished they are not expelled from the body. They contain an element - iron - that the body does not acquire very easily. It is too precious to be thrown away. So most of these cells are consigned to one of the body’s chemical factories to be broken up.  There the molecules of iron are carefully preserved, to be used again in the manufacture of new red cells.

二氧化碳通过肺部被呼出,尿素和其它废物被送到肾脏排出体外,每一分钟都有数百万只红细胞死亡,尽管它们的工作已经结束,它们的尸体并不是马上就排除出体外,因为它们包含着铁,铁离子对人体是很宝贵的,不应该抛弃。大部分细胞被送到人体的化学工厂去处理,铁离子却被很好地保存,用来制造新的红血球。

A wide variety of hormones travels along the red river carrying messages. Created in one part of the body, they instruct some other part of the body how to behave. A youth’s voice breaks, for instance, and his beard begins to grow, when the hormones from his sex glands tell his throat and his face that it is time for him to sound and to look like a man.

携带信息的荷尔蒙也在这条红色的河流中旅行。它们由身体的某一器官产生,指示身体其它部位的行为。例如男生都经过变声期,会长胡须,这是因为从性腺中分泌出的荷尔蒙告诉他的脸和喉咙应该这样的时候到了。

Other components of the blood are there just to keep us from harm. It carries its own puncture repair kit. Its watery base, the plasma, contains a protein called fibrinogen. Aided by the suspended platelets this forms a leak-plugging clot whenever it comes into contact with the air. Without fibrinogen we should bleed to death from a cut finger.

血液中的一些成分是为了让我们免受伤害,它们是水基的血浆,携带着外伤急救包,含有一种被称为纤维蛋白原的蛋白质。在血小板的支持下,它们能够在任何血液接触空气的地方起到凝固和修补的作用。没有这种纤维蛋白原,一旦我们割破了手指就会流血直到死亡。

The most common type of white blood cell provides a mobile defence force. When infection strikes one part of the body, millions of these white warriors converge on the scene and slaughter the invading bacteria. Other defenders, the antibodies, have a more limited role. Each antibody spells death to only one kind of deadly organism. Fortunately for us the blood contains many different kinds of antibody, so that between them they protect us from a multitude of diseases.

白细胞是流动的卫士。当身体受到感染的时候,数以百万计的白色勇士就会出来与外来细菌进行战斗。其它卫士,例如抗体,也有该功能。但是一种抗体只能杀死一种致命的有机体。幸运的是,血液中包含多种不同的抗体,帮助我们抵御很多疾病。

 

 

Facts Worth Finding Out值得探讨的事实

 

Just a tiny bloodstain on a handkerchief. Something so common­place that you would not normally give it a second glance. Yet when you examine it more closely, it has a fascinating tale to tell.

仅仅只是在手帕上的一滴血,如此普通,你不愿意多看它一眼。但是当你仔细看它的时候,你会发现它的迷人之处。

The Bible is rather like that. It is so well known that everybody takes it for granted. Yet very few people really know what it is like inside. One purpose of this book is to open up the Bible, and show how interesting it is to those who look beneath its surface.

圣经和它很类似。圣经是如此有名,很多人都理所当然地对待它。很少有人真的知道从内部仔细看它是什么样子。本书的目的之一就是打开圣经,显示这本书内在的吸引人之处。

But there is an even better reason for looking into the Bible. Unlike ordinary books the Bible makes an astonishing claim. “Read me, believe me, and do what I say,” says the Bible, in effect, “and the Creator of this wonderful universe will give you a priceless reward.”

但是有更好的理由让我们来探讨圣经。与任何其它的书不同,圣经发表了一项令人惊奇的声明,实际上是说:“阅读它,相信它,照它所说的去做,宇宙的创造者会给你无价的赏赐”。

In these days of slick salesmen and confidence tricksters, this seems altogether too good to be true. Many people take the easy way out. They dismiss the Bible’s claims out of hand, without giving them a second thought. Others behave more thoughtfully. Perhaps they are motivated by a sense of fair play, and do not wish to condemn anything without first giving it a hearing. Perhaps they are moved by that powerful urge, the spirit of curiosity which lies behind all research and discovery.  Whatever the reason, they are prepared to examine a few facts about the Bible. This book is for people like them.

这个时代人们已经习惯了圆滑的推销员和杂耍的人,太好的事情反而让人不敢相信。很多人轻易把圣经打发掉,不去再看第二眼。另外一些人更富有思考性,可能是他们相信公平竞赛的原则,不喜欢先入为主的判断。他们这样做,有可能是受到某种力量的敦促,也许是为了满足自己的好奇心,不管是什么原因,他们已经准备检查圣经所声明的事实。圣经就是为这样的人而写的。

Discovering facts and weighing their implications is always a worth­while job. But it is not always an easy one. Facts can be such awkward things at times.

发掘事实,找到其中的意义永远是一件有价值的工作,但并不永远是简单的。有时候事实是非常令人尴尬的。

For example, if the postman comes one morning with an electricity bill for thirty pounds and a statement from the bank indicating that you have a credit balance of eleven pounds and fourpence, you naturally feel rather uncomfortable. Here are some unpleasant facts demanding to be faced. What’s to be done about it?

例如,假如有一天邮递员给你寄来一份账单,告诉你欠费11英镑4便士,很自然你不会感到舒服。这仅仅是我们需要面对的令人不快的事情中的一些。应该怎样对待它们?

People react differently in a situation like that. Some people would push the two letters out of sight, go off to work, and forget all about it. They seem to think that if they ignore the problem it will go away.

在这种情况下,人们的态度是不同的。有人会把账单扔到一边,完全忘记它们。似乎他们忘记了问题,问题就会自己走开。

Others might get hot under the collar about it. Who’s to blame, they wonder. Did that stupid man from the Electricity Board read the meter wrongly? Have the boys secretly been keeping the electric fire in their bedroom burning all night? Or has that computer system at the bank slipped up?

有人会感到愤怒,他们想,到底是谁出了差错,是电力公司的那个抄表员出了错,还是有人在偷自己家的电,或者是银行的计算技术系统坏掉了?

You can only feel sorry for people like that. Their prejudiced out­look sticks out like a television aerial on a minicar. That’s the funny thing about prejudice. The other fellow’s prejudices are always so obvious, but it is often very hard indeed to see our own.

对这样的人你只能感到惋惜。他们带有偏见外观看上去就像客车上的电视天线一样笔直。别人的偏见是容易看到的,通常人们不会看到自己的偏见。

 

 

The Layout of this Book本书的布局

 

That is why this book has been divided into two main parts. There is probably more prejudice about the Bible than about any other subject on earth. So many fantastic untruths have been told about the Bible that it is practically impossible for a newcomer to approach it with an unbiased mind. The Nazi propaganda minister, Dr. Goebbels, knew a thing or two when he declared, “The bigger the lie, the more readily people will swallow it,” If enough mud is thrown, some of it is bound to stick.

本书分为两个主要部分。圣经可能是世界上受到偏见最多的书,对初学者来说,他们已经被知道了很多不真实的东西,不带偏见地学圣经是不可能的。纳粹的宣传部长戈培尔说:“谎言越大,人们相信的程度越深”。谎言重复一千次就会变成真理。

Consequently, the average man starts off with the assumption that the Bible cannot possibly be true. This puts the writer of a book like this in a fix. What should he do? Start on the defensive, and show how weak are the arguments used to attack the Bible? Or plunge straight in with the positive evidence that the Bible is true?

结果是,很多人一开始就假定圣经不可能是真理。这让本书的作者进退两难。他应该怎样做?从防御开始,批驳那些攻击圣经的论点,或者是从正面来证明圣经是正确的?

In making my decision, I have been guided by the advice of a nineteenth-century enthusiast. “Defend the Bible?” he asked indig­nantly. “I’d as soon try to defend a lion! All the Bible needs is a fair chance, and it is well able to defend itself.”

此时我想起十九世纪一位激情者的建议:“捍卫圣经?圣经不需要捍卫!圣经需要的是公平的机会,因为圣经能为自己辩护。”

So I decided to make Part One of this book a statement of some remarkable facts about the Bible. To me there is only one possible ex­planation of these facts: that the Bible is just what it claims to be, a true

and infallible message from God to mankind.  But then I am biased in favour of the Bible, and you, perhaps, are biased against it.

 因此我决定在第一部分谈论与圣经有关的一些值得注意的事实。对我来说,这些事实只有一个解释:圣经的声明是对的,圣经是上帝对人的启示,是没有错误的。

I am not going to ask you to read Part One with an open mind. We all start with convictions of one sort or another, so that there can be no such thing as a truly open mind. As you read Part One, you are likely to find yourself thinking, “Yes, this all sounds very plausible on its own

我没有要求你敞开心怀在阅读第一部分。每个人都有根深蒂固的信仰,真正的敞开心怀是不存在的。在阅读第一部分时你可能想:“是啊,听起来像是那么回事”。

 

-but what about all the damning evidence against the Bible?”

如何对待那些反对圣经的证据呢?

To this perfectly reasonable question there is a simple answer: that is where Part Two comes in. Part Two attempts to deal with all the most popular objections to the Bible, and you may be surprised to see how unfair and how trivial most of them are.

这是非常好的一个问题,答案非常简单,第二部分将讨论最常见的反对证据,你会惊奇地发现这些证据是不公平的,大部分是微不足道的。

If you are one of those people who can’t stand the suspense of read­ing a “whodunnit” from beginning to end, but have to have a peep at the ending before you get halfway through, you may be tempted to read Part Two first. But this is not a good idea. You would do better to read Part One keeping all your problems in reserve; then read Part Two, to see how many of those problems can be disposed of; and then go back to Part One again, to reconsider the positive evidence with an easier mind.

很多人在看书的时候不喜欢带着悬念从头看到尾,如果你想急切地看到结论,打算从第二部分看起,这不是好的阅读办法。你最好从第一部分开始阅读,并且记下有疑问的地方,然后再来看第二部分,看看有多少疑问已经被打发掉了,回头再来看第一部分,这样就会容易重新思考积极的证据。

And what of Part Three? That is for people whose minds are half made up. If, when you have read Parts One and Two, you think there might be something in the Bible after all, Part Three will tell you how you can settle the matter once and for all.

第三部分呢是为那些还没有下决心的人写的。如果你已经阅读了第一和第二部分,你可能认为在圣经有一些东西值得关注,第三部分告诉你应该怎样下定决心。

 

Not Just for Eggheads 本书不是仅为受过教育的人写的

 

This book is written for ordinary men and women. After all, it was to such folk that Jesus Christ preached. “The common people heard Him gladly,” said Mark, with evident satisfaction.1 Jesus Himself took pleasure in the fact that “to the poor the gospel is preached”.2

这本书是为普通人写的,耶稣传教的对象就是普通老百姓:“众人(普通人)都喜欢听他” (马可福音1237。耶稣为“穷人有福音传给他们”感到快乐。路加福音722

For this reason I shall stick to simple English and try to avoid what might be called “scholarly language”. The only places where language of that kind will occur will be in passages quoted from other authors.

我尽量避免在写作过程中使用“学术语言”,多使用简单语言。学术语言只在引用他人的文章时出现。

In the parts of this book that deal with scientific matters, the kind of language used will probably make my fellow scientists weep. The fact is, you simply cannot talk accurately about science without using the correct, long, scientific terms. But then, as the foreword to an excellent non-technical book3 published by a British Government scientific laboratory says, “it is more important to be nearly right and understandable, than academically accurate and incomprehensible.” 

在诉述科学现象时,使用简单语言只能会叫人难受。不用正确、冗长的科学术语,就不能够准确地表达科学事实。但是,“采取正确易懂的语言要比深奥难懂的学术语言更重要”。

In any case, I am not writing this book from the point of view of a scientist, but as a student of the Bible. Being a scientist might help you to spot the mistakes of other scientists when they condemn the Bible.

不管是什么情况,我写这本书不是从科学家的角度,而是以圣经学生的身份。作为一名科学家有助于我发现其他科学家指责圣经时所犯的错误。

But it would not help you to decide whether the Bible is a message from God. Studying the Bible for ourselves is the only way we can do that. And we can study the Bible without knowing any science, or even any of the more useful subjects like Hebrew and Greek and ancient history. The only essential equipment is a thoughtful, enquiring mind.

但是这不能帮助你断定圣经是否真的是从  神那里来的信息。为了自己而学习圣经是唯一做到这一点的方法。即使我们没有任何科学知识,不知道古希伯莱人、希腊人的文化、语言或历史,我们依然能够研究圣经。尽管这些知识对于学习圣经是有帮助的。学习圣经唯一的重要条件是要有勤于思考和探求的大脑。

Many of the arguments in this book, especially in Parts One and Three, are based on the text of the Bible itself. Because most people are more familiar with the so-called Authorised (or King James) Version of the Bible than with any modern version, the majority of the Bible quotations are from that version. To make the quotations easier to read I have modernised the punctuation in some places. Sometimes I have slipped into the words of the English Revised Version without mentioning it, where this gives the sense of the Scriptures more clearly. Whenever any other translation has been used I have said so.

本书中的很多论点,特别是在第一和第三部分,是根据圣经本身的经文来的。因为大部分的人对钦定本更加熟悉,大部分的引文是来自这个版本。为了帮助读者理解,我在一些地方加上了现代标点符号。有的时候我也使用了别的圣经版本,以便更明确地表达自己视为意思。

In other places I have had to base arguments on facts (and opinions) drawn from many sources. For the sake of any readers who may wish to consult the original sources of information, details of all the more important ones are given in the notes.

还有一些地方,我不得不根据多个来源的事实(和意见)为论据的基础。在角注中我都给出了引文的来源,方便读者找到原始的文件。

Where a book referred to in this way is marked with a star (*), it means that I regard it as particularly helpful-and that it is written in language a layman can understand. Some of these starred books were written a long time ago, and may be out of print now. But they are worth the trouble of tracking them down, if you can manage it.

引文中我在自己认为特别有帮助的地方标注了星号(*),这些地方不需要专业知识就能够看明白。其中很多书是多年以前出版的,现在已经不再印刷了。如果可以的话,我认为还是值得去查找的。

 

2

A Modern Miracle

现代奇迹

Norman is a research physicist who does not believe the Bible and refuses to read it. Whenever I mention Bible prophecy to him, he smiles condescendingly.

罗曼从事物理学研究工作,他不信也不读圣经。每次我提起圣经预言,他都是笑笑而已。

“Of course Bible prophecies have been fulfilled,” he says. “They were bound to be. They remind me of the astrology pages in Old Moore’s Almanac. You know how it goes: in January, ‘Bad weather increases road deaths’; in February, ‘There will be many strikes in the engineering industry’; in March, ‘There will he many crimes of violence and a sensational bank robbery.’

“圣经中的预言当然会实现了”,他说,“有些事情注定是这样的,这让我想起古老的占星术,你也知道该怎么说:1月份,坏天气让更多的人死于交通事故,2月份,机械行业可能有很多罢工,3月份,暴力和抢劫银行的犯罪会有很多。”

“You can’t lose when you prophesy such obvious things in such vague terms. Something is sure to happen that can be made to fit each prophecy, in retrospect. And that’s how it is with the Bible.”

“当你用暧昧的语言来预言这些很明显的事情时,你不可能失败,有些事情是肯定要发生的,随便怎样预言都行。圣经不也是这样吗?”

Poor Norman. He only exposes his own ignorance when he talks like that. The astonishing thing about the Bible is that it has pro­phesied the most unlikely things. And although some prophecies are worded in an obscure way, many others are as clear as crystal.

可怜的罗曼。这些话只能表明他的无知。圣经预言的是那些最不可能发生的事情。尽管有一些预言是用模糊的方式写的,但是有很多预言就像水晶一样清晰。

A good example to begin with is the way the Bible has foretold the entire history of the Jewish people over a period of more than two thousand years.

很好的一个例子是,在2000年以前,圣经就已经预言了犹太人的整个历史。

 

A Strange History独特的历史

 

It is quite possible that you dislike Jews. Many people do. But that is beside the point at the moment. Whatever we may think about the Jews we cannot deny that they exist, and that they have a very long and a very strange history.

很可能你不喜欢犹太人,也有很多人喜欢他们。但这不是此刻的话题。不管我们怎样看待犹太人,我们都不能否认他们的存在,不能否认他们漫长而独特的历史。

In the days of Jesus Christ there was a thriving Jewish nation in the land of Israel. Hundreds of years earlier the nation had been independent, but long before Jesus was born it became a part of the Roman Empire.

在耶稣基督的年代,犹太人生活在自己的土地上。他们曾经是一个独立的民族,然而在耶稣出生之前他们就沦为罗马帝国的一部分。

The Jews did not take kindly to being ruled by foreigners. For many years the country seethed with discontent and rebellion.

犹太人不愿意被外来民族统治。多年以来这个国家一直充满着不满和反叛。

Between A.D. 66 and A.D. 135  the Jews fought three fierce wars of independence. But each time they were defeated, and by A.D. 135 the Romans had had enough trouble. They were determined to stop these revolts once and for all.

在公元66年到公元135年之间,犹太人为了独立而进行激烈地抗争,但是他们每次都被打垮。公元135年,罗马人感受到太多的麻烦以后,他们决定一劳永逸地解决这个问题。

 

With typical Roman thoroughness they utterly destroyed Jerusalem and ploughed up its site. Then they erased its name from their maps, and sent all the inhabitants of Judaea (the main part of the land of Israel) into exile.

罗马人典型的完全彻底精神在摧毁耶路撒冷时体现出来。整个城市就像被犁耕过一遍,他们让耶路撒冷的名字从地图上消失,将在犹大(以色列的主要部分)的所有居民流放到其它国家。

And that, thought the Romans, was that.

这些都是罗马人干的事情。

 

But they were wrong. For century after century the Jews survived as a nation without a country. Wherever they went they were hated, treated as an inferior race, made to live in ghettos.

但是罗马人想错了。犹太人不再成为一个国家,但是作为一个民族,犹太人一代又一代生存下来。不管犹太人走到哪里,他们被仇恨,被当成一个劣等民族,被安置在隔离区。

Take for example their history in just one country - England. We first hear of Jews coming to England in the reign of William the Con­queror. They were never made very welcome, and in 1190 a fearful wave of massacres spread from city to city, wiping out Jewish men, women and children.

我们以英国为例。犹太人最早来到英国是在征服者威廉统治时代。一开始他们就不怎么受欢迎。公元1190年,一场可怕的集体大屠杀从一个城市席卷另一个城市,犹太人不分男女老少被杀害。

For another hundred years the survivors lived an uneasy existence. Then, in 1290, Edward I expelled all the Jews from Britain.

在接下来的几百年里,犹太幸存者过着艰难的生活。接着在1290年,爱德华一世将所有犹太人赶出英国。

In 1492 all Jews were expelled from Spain, and some of them came to live secretly in England, living in fear of their lives if they should be found out. It was not until 1656 that Jews were officially readmitted to England, by Oliver Cromwell.

1492年所有的犹太人被赶出西班牙,其中的一些人又偷偷来到英格兰,他们生活在恐惧中,因为害怕被别人发现,直到1656年克伦威尔-奥利弗正式宣布允许犹太人在英格兰居住。

Even then they were forced to accept the role of second-class citizens, somewhat like the coloured people in South Africa today. After many years of trying to obtain political freedom, it was only in 1858 that Jews were first allowed to sit in Britain’s parliament.

即使在那个时候,犹太人被迫接受二等公民的角色,就像南非种族隔离时期的有色人种一样。在经过漫长的要求政治自由以后,1858年犹太人才被允许在英国议会拥有席位。

In other countries they often fared worse. As recently as the 1880s Jews had to flee for their lives from Russia; in the 1930s (if they were wise) from Germany.

在其它国家,通常他们的待遇更糟。发生在近代的事件就有:1880—1890年犹太人不得不逃离俄罗斯,在20世纪30年代逃离德国(如果他们聪明的话)。

In short, for seventeen centuries, on and off, the exiled Jews were persecuted, massacred, or made to flee for their lives from one country to another. Yet somehow they survived it all.

总之,在漫长的十七个世纪中,流浪的犹太人被迫害、被屠杀,或者是从一个国家逃往另一个国家。然而他们生存下来了。

Then, at the end of the last century, nearly eighteen hundred years after their ancestors were exiled from it, a few Jews began to trickle back to their homeland. Within the twentieth century the Jewish population of the land of Israel has risen from a few thousand to more than two million. By 1948 the Jews there felt sufficiently powerful to proclaim their independence. The following year the sovereign state of Israel was admitted to membership of the United Nations.

他们在外流浪了将近1800年。上个世纪末,一些犹太人开始回到自己的故乡。从20世纪开始,在以色列的犹太人口总数从几千人上升到二百万。1948年,犹太人觉得有能力宣布独立,他们也这样做了。第二年,联合国承认了以色列的会员资格。

 

History Written in Advance提前书写的历史

 

With this brief summary of Jewish history in mind, look at what the Old Testament said would happen to the Jews. As you read the following Bible passages, ask yourself: “Are these prophecies vaguely worded, or are they clear and plain? And have they been fulfilled, or not?”

在简短地总结了犹太人的历史以后,我们来看旧约中是怎么说到犹太人的遭遇的。在我们读到以下段落的时候,我们需要问问自己:“这些预言是含糊地说,还是明确的成述?这些预言实现了没有?”

                                 

(1)               They would be scattered all over the world, hated, persecuted, and driven from country to country.

1 他们将被分散到世界的各个地方,被人憎恨,迫害,而且要从一个国家赶到另外一个国家。

“The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other.... Among these nations thou shalt find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest, but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind.

“And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life. ... And thou shalt become astonishment, a proverb and a byword among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.”1

   “耶和华必使你们分散在万民中,从地这边到地那边,…. 在那些国中,你必不得安逸,也不得落脚之地;耶和华却使你在那里心中跳动,眼目失明,精神消耗。

    你在耶和华领你到的各国中,要令人惊骇、笑谈、讥诮。”(申命记2864-637

(2)               Meanwhile, their land, once so fruitful, would lie desolate.

2 在这段时期,他们曾经居住的富饶土地,将会成为一片荒凉。

“I will scatter you among the nations ... and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land.”2

   “你们在仇敌之地居住的时候,你们的地荒凉,要享受众安息;正在那时候,地要歇息,享受安息。地多时为荒场,就要多时歇息;地这样歇息,是你们住在其上的安息年所不能得的。”(利未记2633-4

(3)               They would survive all these troubles, and would actually out­live their persecutors.

3 他们将经过各种艰难困苦生存下来。

“Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee”3

“因我……也要将所赶散你到的那些国灭绝净尽,却不将你灭绝净尽”。

(耶利米书3011

“The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king and without a prince and without a sacrifice - . . Afterward shall the children of Israel return.”4

    “以色列人也必多日独居,无君王,无首领,无祭祀,无柱像,无以弗得,无家中的神像。後来以色列人必归回。”(何西阿书34-5

(4)               Eventually, while still disobeying God, they would go back to their own land again.

尽管他们依然不听  神的话,他们还是可以回到自己的土地上.

 

“I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”5

“我必从万民中招聚你们,从分散的列国内聚集你们,又要将以色列地赐给你们。”(以西结书1117

“I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine Holy Name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye went.... For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”6

主耶和华如此说:以色列家啊,我行这事不是为你们,乃是为我的圣名,就是在你们到的列国中所亵渎的……我必从各国收取你们,从列邦聚集你们,引导你们归回本地。” 以西结书3622-24

“It is even the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. . . . I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall return.”7

   “这是雅各遭难的时候,但他必被救出来……因我要从远方拯救你,从被掳到之地拯救你的後裔;雅各必回来得享平靖安逸,无人使他害怕。”(耶利米书307-10

These seven extracts, taken from five different books, are typical of all Old Testament teaching about the future of Israel. Everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, agrees that the Old Testament was written before the time of Christ. Consequently, it is absolutely cer­tain that the prophecies about the Jews were written hundreds of years before they were fulfilled.

这些从圣经5本书选出来的7个摘录,是关于以色列将来的典型论述。任何人,不管他是否相信圣经,都同意旧约写在耶稣出生以前。所以,我们可以绝对有把握地说,关于犹太人的预言早在事情发生之前至少几百年的时间就写成了。

  For the prophecies about the exile of the Jews were not fulfilled until the second century after Christ. The prophecies about their wanderings were fulfilled continuously from the second to the nine­teenth centuries. And the prophecies about the return of the Jews to their homeland were not fulfilled until the twentieth century.

犹太人被流放的预言到了公元2世纪才得以实现。关于犹太人要成为流浪的民族从公元2世纪一直到19世纪一直都在应验,而犹太人最后要回到故土的预言一直到20世纪才实现。

 

 

Uncanny Detail神奇的细节

 

For many centuries-since long before the prophecies about the Jews’ return to the land of Israel began to be fulfilled-men have mar­velled at the way Bible prophecy and Jewish history have tallied. It is no wonder that when Frederick II of Prussia asked his physician for a proof that God exists, he replied, “The Jews, Your Majesty.”

在犹太人回到以色列这块土地的预言得到应验之前,在这段长达十几个世纪的日子里,人们就已经对圣经中关于犹太人的历史的预言中感到惊奇。难怪普鲁士国王弗雷德里克二世(Frederick II)询问他的医师关于 神存在的证据时,他回答说:“犹太人就是证明,陛下”

The broad correspondence between the prophecies and their fulfil­ment is wonderful enough. But some of the detail is enough to make the mind boggle.

圣经的预言和预言的实现本身就令人感到惊奇不已,其中的一些细节甚至是让人感到难以置信.

In the first passage quoted above, Moses said, “thou shalt become a proverb and a byword among all nations.” How was he to know that, thousands of years later, Englishmen would use the expression, “You miserable old Jew!” when they wanted to condemn someone’s meanness? And that similarly, in nearly every major language on earth, “Jew” has been used as a term of contempt?

在我们前面引用的一段经文中,摩西说:“你在耶和华领你到的各国中,要令人惊骇、笑谈、讥诮”。摩西如何知道,在几千年以后,英国人在指责某个人自私,吝啬时说:“你这个可怜的犹太佬!”类似地,几在乎所有的语言中,“犹太”都是一个带有轻蔑意味的词?

In the second passage, Moses declared that the land would lie desolate while the Jews were in exile. This was a most unlikely thing to suggest. It was then a prosperous, fertile land. If the Jews were driven out, you would expect their conquerors to take full advantage of their pleasant land. But did they? Listen to the words of one of Israel’s official historians, describing the period of Jewish exile:

在第二段中,摩西宣布在犹太人被放逐以后,他们的土地将成为荒凉。这也是让人最难以接受的。当时以色列的土地繁荣、丰收。如果犹太人被赶出去了,你可以猜测征服者将会利用这块肥沃的土地。但是这些征服者都干了些什么?我们来看看一个犹太拉比,以色列的官方历史学家的话:

 

“Meanwhile, the Land of Israel slumbered on and lay waste.

Of the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’, as it is so often lauded in Holy Writ, much became barren. The garden was now a desert and malarial swamps collected where once were smiling plains.”8

“在以色列被流放期间,这块土地被抛弃了,成为荒凉的废墟。圣书通常称这块地为 “流奶与蜜之地”,大部分成为不毛之地。花园成为沙漠,平原成为沼泽”。

(选自1964年在耶路撒冷出版的以色列文摘)

The third passage must have sounded equally preposterous when Jeremiah wrote it. God would do away with the mighty nations that persecuted Israel, but little Israel would outlive them all.

在耶利米的时代,第3段预言一定显得非常荒谬。  神将来要消灭那些迫害以色列的国家,小小的以色列却要比这些国家生存得更久。

When the mighty Roman Empire crushed Jerusalem under its heel and made slaves of its inhabitants, a sacred copy of the Old Testa­ment from the temple was carried in triumph to Rome. Just suppose that one of the Roman Emperor’s courtiers had read from that Book, and said to the most powerful man on earth, “O Caesar, it prophesies here that our great Empire shall come to an end, but that these miser­able Jews will live on.” How the Emperor would have laughed! But the incredible prophecy came true.

当强大的罗马军队的铁蹄践踏耶路撒冷时,所有的居民被当成奴隶出卖,罗马人将神殿中珍藏的旧约版本当作战利品运到罗马。以色列成为罗马统治下的一个国家。假设当时有一个罗马人看了这本书,他向世界上最有权力的人汇报说:“凯撒,一个预言说我们伟大的帝国会灭亡,而那些可怜的犹太人的国家会继续存在”。这个皇帝会怎样大笑!但是这个难以置信的预言竟然成了现实!

Now look at the sixth passage quoted. It says that God would bring Israel back to their own land, not because of their godliness, but despite their ungodliness. What ordinary writer would have written such an unflattering thing about his countrymen? Yet, once more, every detail of the prophecy has come true, as the following incident shows.

现在来看看第6处刚才引用的圣经。它说, 神将带领以色列人回来,不是因为他们的心归向  神,而是“尽管他们的心依然没有归向  神”。普通人是不会写这些不讨好自己同胞事情的。然而预言的每一个细节再次得以实现。下面的一些小插曲也告诉我们的。

A few years ago I had dinner at a scientific conference in Italy with a world-famous scientist from Haifa, in Israel. I asked him what it felt like to be fulfilling Bible prophecy as a member of God’s own nation.

几年以前,我在意大利参加一次科学大会,在宴会上我遇见了一位来自以色列海法市的著名的科学家。我问他,圣经中关于以色列的预言实现了,作为以色列人,他有什么看法。

He gave a polite little laugh. “We don’t look at it like that,” he said. “Most of us who are building up the State of Israel are doing so for economic or political reasons, not because we have any religious convictions.”

His words are frequently confirmed by reports from journalists visiting Israel. For example:

他给我一个政治家的微笑,“我们自己并不这样看待,”他说:“我们中间的大部分人回来建国是出于政治或者经济的原因,而不是出于宗教方面的原因。”

很多访问过以色列的记者也多次证实了这种现象。例如,1970217日在伦敦出版的时代杂志说:

“One can see that the founders of the political State of Israel were for the most part sceptics or non-practising Jews.

“Mrs Meir [the Prime Minister] told me, as she had said in the Knesset [Israel’s parliament] that she herself is ‘a non-observant Jewess’... Many of the Israelis one meets are lax in their practices and agnostic in their... views.”9

     “以色列国家的奠基者大部分都是怀疑论者。”

   “梅耶夫人(时任以色列总理)告诉我,她在议会就说她自己并不是一个严格遵守犹太教教规的女人。很多以色列人相信不可知论”。

 

Why Hitler Failed希特勒为什么会失败

 

There is another kind of prophecy about the Jews that has been ful­filled again and again, at different periods of history. The most spectacular fulfilment of it occurred quite recently. It related to the late Adolf Hitler and his Nazis.

还有另一种类型的与犹太人有关的预言实现过很多次。最独特的事情发生在现代,与希特勒和纳粹帝国有关:

In the middle 1930s Hitler’s scheme to conquer the world was al­ready in motion. By the summer of 1940s everything had gone accord­ing to plan. The whole of the mainland of Western Europe was bowing to the Nazis, and it looked as though the German war machine was unstoppable.

20世纪30年代中期开始,希特勒就酝酿征服世界的计划。1940年夏季之前的一切事情都按照他的计划进行。欧洲大陆的大部分落在德国手中,看起来任何人都不能阻止德国战争机器运行。

Yet within five years Hitler’s mutilated body lay in the ruins of his Berlin headquarters, and Nazi Germany was no more. What went wrong? How did Hitler fail, after coming so close to success?

然而不到5年希特勒就葬身于柏林的指挥中心,纳粹德国不复存在。为什么德国会在如此接近成功之后迅速走向失败?

Historians usually explain Hitler’s failure by listing a series of extraordinary blunders (like bombing British civilian targets instead of airfields in 1940, and invading Russia in 1941) when Hitler over­ruled the carefully laid plans of his own generals. But this only throws the problem a stage further back. Why did a brilliant leader like Hitler make so many fatal mistakes?

历史学家通常会解释说,希特勒的失败是由自己的一系列失误造成的(例如下令轰炸英国的平民而不是英国飞机场,在1941年的秋天进攻俄国)。但是像希特勒这样的一个聪明人又怎么会犯如此多的致命错误?

The real answer to these questions is a very simple one, but so unexpected that historians usually miss it. God had said of Israel:

“Cursed be every one that curseth thee,

And blessed be he that blesseth thee.”10

   真正的答案很简单,但是却超出历史学家的预料。  神这样说以色列:

  “凡咒诅你的,愿他受咒诅;为你祝福的,愿他蒙福”。

(创世记2729,同样见创世记123,民数记249

 

When the Nazi party adopted Hitler’s plan to wipe out the Jewish nation, it signed its own death warrant. God had warned the world that He would oppose those who opposed His nation, Israel. By murdering millions of Jews the Nazis were challenging the Almighty to His face. No wonder they lost the war!

纳粹德国在按照希特勒的计划清除犹太人的时候,他们也是在给自己下死亡通知书。  神已经向世人宣告,压迫  神的选民——以色列的,同样会被 神所咒诅。纳粹德国谋杀了数百万的犹太人,实际上是在向全能者挑战,难怪他们会输掉战争!

But the German nation as a whole was ashamed of what the Nazis had done to the Jews. After the war the new German government decided to make amends for Hitler’s crimes. At a time when they could ill afford to be so generous, the Germans made what has been called the greatest act of national generosity in all history.

但是德国作为一个民族的整体,他们对纳粹向犹太人所作事情的感到羞愧。战后德国政府决定为希特勒所犯的罪行向犹太人做出补偿。有一段时间,他们自己负担不起如此的慷慨,德国人行为称得上是人类历史上最慷慨补偿行为。

Picture the situation in 1945. All over Germany, houses and fac­tories lay in ruins. The cream of the nation’s youth was dead or in captivity. The country was bankrupt, the people were starving. The victorious allies were demanding compensation for what they had suffered. The future for Germany looked altogether hopeless.

1945年,德国人的家和工厂都是一片废墟。年轻人阵亡、或被囚禁,国家处于破产状态,人民在挨饿。盟军胜利者要求德国作出战争赔偿。德国的将来看起来没有希望。

Yet the West German Government decided, despite their own people’s desperate need for goods and money, to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation to Jews who had suffered through the war. They did not lose by their generosity. The land that lay in ruins in 1945 was, by 1965, almost the richest in Europe.

尽管百姓也迫切需要商品和金钱,西德政府却决定向在战争中遭受折磨的犹太人补偿数亿英镑。然而他们的慷慨并没有让他们失去什么。在1945年,他们的国家还是一片废墟,到了1965年,却差不多成了欧洲最富裕的地方。

Hitler had learnt that God keeps His threats: “Cursed be every one that curseth thee (Israel).”

Post-war Germany learnt that God also keeps His promises: ‘Blessed be he that blesseth thee.”

希特勒应该学到了  神的咒诅,“凡咒诅你(以色列)的,愿他受咒诅”。

战后的德国明白了  神会信守自己的承诺:“为你祝福的,愿他蒙福”。

 

For Every Effect, A Cause 有结果必有原因

 

A very large number of scientists believe in God. There is a reason for this. America’s leading space scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun, has put it in a nutshell:

很多科学家相信  神。这是有原因的。美国最顶尖的航天科学家Wernher von Braun博士曾经对公众说:(本书的引用得到了他的许可)。

“One of the most fundamental laws of natural science is that nothing in the physical world ever happens without a cause. There simply cannot be a creation without some kind of spiritual creator.

-  . . Anything as well ordered and perfectly created as is our earth and universe must have a Maker, a master designer.”11 (The italics are mine.)

“自然科学最根本的原则之一是:物质世界中没有一样事情的发生是没有原因的。如果没有一个创造者,就不可能有创造物。

在我们地球,在整个宇宙,一切都创造得那么完美,那么有次序,因此,造物主肯定存在,这一切肯定有一位设计者。”

Even if you are not yet ready to agree with von Braun’s conclusion about the existence of God, you are bound to accept his first sentence. Nothing ever happens without a cause. This is a fundamental law of science. It is also plain common sense.

即使你不同意他的结论,你一定同意他的第一句话。任何事情都不会无缘无故地发生。这是一条科学原则,也是简单的常识。

Now apply this principle to the facts outlined in this chapter.

现在我们要在事实运用这一原则。

Thousands of years ago Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea (whose words have been quoted) and several other Old Testament prophets foretold the future history of the Jewish people. Their prophecies were expressed in clear language and were full of detail. Throughout the past two thousand years everything has happened just as they said it would.

几千年以前,摩西、耶利米和何西阿以及其他的旧约先知们都提前书写了以色列将来的历史。预言使用非常明确的语言详细地表达。过去两千年的历史一直按照圣经所说的向前发展。

This astonishing fact cries out for an explanation. “Nothing ever happens without a cause.” What was the “cause” that led all those Hebrew writers to foretell the history of their race with such uncanny accuracy?

这些惊人的事实呼唤解释。“任何事情都不会无缘无故地发生”。这些希伯来人准确地预言了将来,为什么?

Ask an atheist that question, and then watch his reactions. If he is an intelligent man, well informed of the facts, he is most unlikely to say, “Oh, it just happened.” He knows that would only invite the rejoinder, “If you can believe that, you can believe anything!”

如果你问一个无神论者,如果他是聪明人,对事实已经有了清楚地了解,他最不可能说:“这只是巧合”。他知道这样的回答只能招来反驳:“如果你相信这些仅仅是巧合,你就会相信任何事情!”

Instead, he will probably look very learned, and suggest that it is “the natural outcome of the religious genius of the Hebrew race”. This sounds almost convincing-until you think about it. Then it reminds you of the Russian general who was asked by a Western journalist how the Russian engineers had succeeded in building rockets more powerful than anything the Americans had produced. He replied: “Quite simple. It is the inevitable consequence of a Marxist-Leninist society.”

他很可能看起来很有学问地说:“这是因为希伯来人天生就很聪明”。在你仔细思考之前,你会认为这些话是有道理。就像一位西方记者采访某位俄罗斯将军:“为什么苏联能够制造比美国运载能力更大得火箭”,他回答说:“非常简单,这是马克思-列宁主义的必然结果”。

Answers like that are clever. They sound very impressive. They completely dodge the awkward question. And they explain nothing.

回答者看起来很聪明,也给人留下了非常深刻的印象。他完全躲避了尴尬的处境,然而也没有解释任何问题。

Yet this sort of evasion is the only answer that you are likely to get from an atheist. I say this from personal experience, because in my younger days I spent many a Saturday afternoon on a soapbox at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park, surrounded by crowds of atheists. Time and again I used to put forward these facts about the Jews, and challenge the audience to explain them. But never once did I get a reasonable answer.

你可能只能从无神论者那里得到这样的答案,这是我个人的体会。我年轻时常常参加星期六下午的海得公园辩论会。我要求无神论者解释有关犹太人的问题,但是从来没有得到合理的解答。

No, there is only one answer that fits the facts. That is the answer given by the Bible itself:

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but (unless) He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.”12

“And if thou say in thine heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken.”13

因为只有一个能够符合事实的答案。这个答案来自圣经:

“主耶和华若不将奥秘指示他的仆人众先知,就一无所行。”(阿摩斯书37

“你心里若说:『耶和华所未曾吩咐的话,我们怎能知道呢?』先知托耶和华的名说话,所说的若不成就,也无效验,这就是耶和华所未曾吩咐的,是那先知擅自说的,你不要怕他。”(申命记1821-2

It is as if the Bible says to us: “I will prove to you that I am a message from Almighty God. False prophets cannot foretell the future. But God’s true prophets can. So I will foretell the whole history of the Jewish race.”

这好像是圣经对我们说:“我要向你证明这些信息是从全能的  神那里来的。假先知不能预知未来。来自  神的先知能够预知未来。因此我要预先告诉你关于犹太民族的整个历史”。

并且已经。

And it has.

 

3

More History Written in Advance

提前书写的其它相关国家的历史

While the Old Testament was being written Israel was surrounded by a number of nations, most of which no longer exist. Some of them were great powers, like Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria and Phoenicia. Others were quite small nations (just as Israel herself was a small nation) such as Syria, Edom, Moab, and Ammon.

在旧约书写年代,以色列周围有很多国家,大部分现在已经不复存在。其中有强大的,例如埃及、巴比伦、亚述和腓尼基。也有小国(以色列自己就是),例如亚述、以东、摩亚、亚们。

Israel had a great deal of contact with these nations. She traded with them; sometimes she went to war with them; and all too often she was corrupted by their idolatrous religions.

以色列和这些国家有很多联系。他们之间有贸易往来,有时候相互打仗,以色列的信仰常常被这些国家崇拜偶像的宗教所败坏。

Consequently the prophets of Israel sometimes mentioned these other nations. They condemned them when they behaved wickedly, and occasionally praised them when they did what God required of them. And as with Israel, only much more briefly, their future history was sometimes foretold. Whenever such prophecies were made, as John Urquhart has shown,1 they were fulfilled with great accuracy.

以色列的先知们常常提到这些国家。他们作恶的时谴责这些他们,按照神的要求去做的时称赞他们。就像圣经预言了以色列民族的将来一样,对这些国家的将来圣经也有预言。无论预言是在什么时候写下的,后来的历史证明它们的准确性。

 

A Tale of Two cities 有关两个城市的故事

 

Two of the most splendid cities of the ancient world were Babylon and Tyre. Babylon was the capital of the land we now call Iraq. Eventually she conquered so much territory that she ruled the mightiest empire the world had then seen. Tyre, a seaport, was the capital city of the Phoenicians. Her navy dominated the Mediter­ranean, and her traders owned the greatest fleet of merchant ships in the ancient world.

古巴比伦和推罗都在最辉煌的古代城市之列。巴比伦是现在的伊拉克过去的首都,巴比伦王国逐步吞并了周围的国家,成为当时世界上最强大的帝国。推罗是一个港口城市,也是腓尼基的首都,她的海军主宰了整个地中海地区,同时还拥有古代最大的商船船队。

The Bible said plainly that each of these cities was to be punished for its wickedness. But the nature of their punishments was to be very different.

圣经明确地宣布,因为这两个城市作恶多端,它们将来都要受惩罚,但是受惩罚的方式是不一样的。

Babylon was to be destroyed, and to remain a collection of un­inhabited ruins.

巴比伦要被摧毁,变成无人居住的废墟。

Tyre was also to be destroyed, but not to remain as ruins. In her case, the very stones of the city were all to be cast into the sea.

推罗也要被摧毁,不是成为废墟,而是它的每一块石头都要抛到大海去。

Here are the actual words of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

下面是以赛亚书、耶利米书、以西结书中的话:

 

BABYLON:       “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom andGomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there.”2

“It shall be no more inhabited for ever, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. . .. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations, but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the Lord.... And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for jackals, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.”3

TYRE:       “And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise. And they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses, and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.... And I will make thee like the top of a rock. Thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon. Thou shalt be built no more.”4

关于巴比伦:“巴比伦素来为列国的荣耀,为迦勒底人所矜夸的华美,必像神所倾覆的所多玛、蛾摩拉一样。其内必永无人烟,世世代代无人居住。亚拉伯人也不在那里支搭帐棚;牧羊的人也不使羊群卧在那里,只有旷野的走兽卧在那里;咆哮的兽满了房屋。鸵鸟住在那里;野山羊在那里跳舞”(以赛亚书1319-21

“所以旷野的走兽和豺狼必住在那里,鸵鸟也住在其中,永无人烟,世世代代无人居住。……人必不从你那里取石头为房角石,也不取石头为根基石;你必永远荒凉。这是耶和华说的……巴比伦必成为乱堆,为野狗的住处,令人惊骇、嗤笑,并且无人居住。(耶利米书5039512637

关于推罗:“人必以你的财宝为掳物,以你的货财为掠物,破坏你的墙垣,拆毁你华美的房屋,将你的石头、木头、尘土都抛在水中。Eze 26:14  我必使你成为净光的磐石,作晒网的地方;你不得再被建造,因为这是主耶和华说的。”(以西结书261214

You can visit the sites of both these cities today, and see how precisely the prophecies have been fulfilled. Babylon, whose hang­ing gardens were once one of the seven wonders of the world, and whose surrounding countryside was then a fertile plain, now lies deserted.

今天你可以去参观这两座城市,看看这些预言是如何准确地应验的。巴比伦的空中花园曾经是世界七大奇观之一,它的周围的是一片富饶的平原,现在却成了不毛之地。

Many other ancient cities have had modern cities built on top of them. But not Babylon. As far as the eye can see lie the deserted heaps of ruins, an archaeologist’s paradise, just waiting to be excavated. Not even a Bedouin encampment breaks the monotony, for the ruins are too inhospitable to provide grazing for their flocks, and in any case they have a reputation of being haunted. Only wild beasts and birds find a dwelling place among the fallen towers of Babylon.

很多其它古代城市现在发展成为了现代都市,但巴比伦不是。现在在巴比伦能够看到的只有废墟。巴比伦是考古学家的乐园,现在甚至连贝都应人都不愿意在这里搭帐篷,因为那里太荒凉,羊群找不到吃草的地方。巴比伦现在因被传说闹鬼而出名,只有野兽和飞鸟在巴比伦的废弃的倒塌的塔上歇息做窝。

Now read again the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah quoted above.

请再次阅读刚才我们引用的预言。

Ask yourself: how were they able to describe this scene so accurately?  For more than a thousand years their words have, in effect, challenged the world: “Re-inhabit Babylon, and you will prove the Bible false!”  But nobody has taken up the challenge.

问问自己:这些描写为什么如此准确?这些话写出来以后,至少有一千年的时间世界一直都在挑战:“重建巴比伦,你就可以证明圣经是错误的”。但是没有人出来挑战。

If you wish to survey the ruins of ancient Tyre, however, you really should have a frogman’s suit. History tells how the ruins of the city really were cast into the sea, hundreds of years after Ezekiel had said they would be. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great wanted to subdue an island fortress off the coast, near the ruins of the former city. He achieved his aim by building a causeway Out to the island, and he used the remains of ancient Tyre for material.

Every scrap of rubble from the ruins of Tyre was used by Alexander, so that the site really was, as Ezekiel put it, “made like the top of a rock”. Moreover, as the prophet foretold, the site of the old city was never built on again. The city of Tyre mentioned in the New Testament, and which still exists today, stands on an entirely different site.

When they were first uttered, these prophecies about Babylon and Tyre must have sounded most unlikely to be fulfilled. Yet fulfilled they were, down to the last detail.

如果你希望调查古推罗的废墟,你需要一套潜水装备。历史已经记载了这个城市是如何被抛到海中的,发生的时间在以西结写下预言以后的数百年。在公元前332年,亚历山大大帝想征服这个远离陆地的海岛要塞。他使用古推罗的遗留物作为材料,修建一座堤靠近海岛成功地实现了自己的目标。推罗废弃的城市的每一块能够搬运的石头都被亚历山大所利用,甚至石头渣子也不例外。这个城市真的如以西结所预言的那样,“成为净光的磐石”,而且,这个城市以后一直没有重建,这也是以西结所预言的。(新约提到的推罗和旧推罗完全不是同一个地方)。

这些预言在当初写出来的时候,都像是最不可能发生的事情。然而,这些预言都完全彻底地实现了。

 

World History in a Nutshell 简而言之的世界历史

 

One of the most fascinating prophecies in the whole Bible is contained in Daniel chapter 2. Here, in the space of only 49 verses, we are given a bird’s-eye view of world history, from about 600 B.C. down to the present day and beyond.

但以理书第二章的预言是圣经中最吸引人的地方之一。通过简短的49节经文,我们就能够看清从大约公元前600年开始,到现在甚至是将来的世界历史大纲。

The late Mr. Henry Ford is often quoted as having said, “History is bunk.” But according to his friends, what he actually said was this:

人们经常引用美国汽车大王亨利.福特的名言:“历史就是睡觉”。但是他的朋友说,亨利.福特实际上说的是:

“上历史课的时候,学生们通常在睡觉。”

“History as it is generally taught in schools is bunk.”

If this really was what he said, he was right. Badly taught history can be deadly dull. Perhaps this is why the history lesson-in-advance of Daniel 2 is given to us in such an unusual and interesting way. It is in the form of a parable. But we do not have to guess at its meaning. Like some of the parables of Jesus, this one is accompanied by an explanation.

假如亨利.福特真的这么说过,他说的对极了。历史课讲得不好的话是很乏味的。这也许是但以理书让我们感兴趣的地方,因为但以理书是在事情没有发生之前就将世界历史简要地写了出来,而且是采用比喻的形式。正如耶稣也作了很多比喻,接着又把比喻的意义告诉了我们,但以理书也不需要我们来猜测预言的含义。

You really ought to read the whole chapter for yourself. But in case you don’t feel like doing so just now, here is a summary.

你应该阅读但以理书这一章的整个内容。但是如果你还没有读的话,我可以为你将整章作大致的介绍:

King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the mighty Babylonian Empire, had a dream. It was a strange dream, and it worried him. He felt sure that it was no ordinary dream, but that it meant something. So he called for the royal astrologers and soothsayers and asked them to explain the dream.  

尼布甲尼撒是强大的巴比伦王国的国王。有一天,他做了一个非常奇怪的梦,让他感到不安。他觉得这个梦非同寻常,应该有很深的含义。于是他将自己国家中有智慧的人召集在一起,要他们解释梦的含义。

The astrologers then made the obvious request. “Tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.”5

这些人当然会请求国王说:“请将那梦告诉仆人,仆人就可以讲解。”但以理书25

But the king was no fool. He was not going to play into their hands. Any self-styled magician with a good imagination could concoct an “explanation” if he were told the dream. So he put them to the test. “You show me the dream-and its interpretation!”6 he demanded. As an inducement to do so he added the interesting information that, if they failed, they would all be cut in pieces.

但是国王不是傻瓜。他不想被这些人欺骗。如果他告诉这些人他做的梦是什么,这些人就有发挥自己想象力的余地“解释”。国王首先想测试一下这些聪明人,他对他们说:“梦我已经忘了,你们若不将梦和梦的讲解告诉我,就必被凌迟”。

Fortunately for the gentlemen whose bluff had been called, there was a young Jewish captive in Babylon. He saved their lives (and his own) by going to the king and saying: “The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king. But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.”7

幸运的是,在这些被逼到墙角的人当中,有一个是犹太人俘虏。他救了这些人的命,他告诉国王说:“王所问的那奥秘事,哲士、用法术的、术士、观兆的都不能告诉王;只有一位在天上的神能显明奥秘的事。他已将日後必有的事指示尼布甲尼撒王。”但以理书22728

Daniel explained that what the king had seen was a great, fearsome statue of a man. But it was no ordinary statue. Its construction was weird and wonderful. It was like this:

    但以理解释说,国王梦见的是一尊巨大而可怕的像,它不是普通的,它的构造是神秘和奇妙的。这个像是这样的:

 

(1)    Its head was made of gold. 它的头是金的

(2)       Its chest and arms were silver. 胸膛和膀臂是银的

(3)  The lower part of the trunk and the thighs were brass. 肚腹和腰是铜的

(4)  The legs were iron. 腿是铁的。

(5)  The feet were an awkward mixture of iron and clay. 脚是半铁半泥的

 

The dreaming king had stared in wonder at this strange figure for a while. Then he noticed something beginning to happen. Some distance away from the statue a stone was being quarried. But there were no quarrymen to be seen. It was as if the stone were being carved out by invisible hands.

在梦中尼布甲尼撒王王对这个像感到奇怪。接着他注意到,从远处一块石头被采集出来,但是看不见任何采石头的人,这块石头好像是被看不见的手采集的。

Then the fresh-hewn stone moved towards the statue, and struck it violently upon its brittle feet of iron and clay. This brought the statue crashing down, and then the stone attacked the ruins. It broke the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron and the clay into tiny pieces. Then the wind sprang up and blew all the debris away in a cloud of dust, so that the stone was left alone.

这块刚采集下来的石头砸向人像,“打在这像半铁半泥的脚上,把脚砸碎;於是金、银、铜、铁、泥都一同砸得粉碎,成如夏天禾场上的糠秕,被风吹散,无处可寻。打碎这像的石头变成一座大山,充满天下。”

Finally, the triumphant stone began to expand. It grew and grew and grew until it had become a great mountain. Before the king awoke, he saw the stone become so vast that it filled the whole world.

   最后,这块胜利的石头开始膨胀。它越变越大,直到最后成为一座大山。国王醒来的之前,这块石头变得非常巨大,以至充满了全世界。

 

Daniel Explains但以理的解释

 

“This is the dream, and we will tell the interpretation thereof”,8 said Daniel.

但以理接着说:“这就是那梦。我们在王面前要讲解那梦。”(但以理书236

The king listened intently to Daniel’s explanation. He realised that Daniel was the possessor of superhuman knowledge. Within a few minutes the mighty man would be kneeling down before Daniel, and saying, “Of a truth, it is that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.”9

国王认真听了但以理的解释。他认识到但以理具有超人的知识。尼布甲尼撒王——这位有权势的人俯伏在地,向但以理下拜,并且说:“你们的神诚然是万神之神、万王之主,又是显明奥秘事的。”247

Meanwhile, this was the secret that Daniel had revealed. The statue was a kind of “map” of world history, with a time scale running from top to bottom. Like any small-scale map, this one could not attempt to show any detail, but only the broad outline of history. And the outline was this:

这也是但以理所揭示的秘密。这尊像是另一种形式的世界历史“地图”,时间刻度从头到尾。就像任何大比例尺地图的目的不是为了显示细节一样,这幅图画是为了显示广阔的历史大纲。这个大纲就是:

 

(1)  The golden head was Nebuchadnezzar’s own great empire.10

金头代表尼布甲尼撒自己的帝国。(但以理书23738

(2)  His empire was to be followed by a second (the silver chest and Arms).11

  他的帝国将被第二个帝国所取代。(但以理书239

(3)  After that would come “another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth”.12

(Note how the words in italics show that Daniel is not talking about local kingdoms, but about what might be called “world empires”-bearing in mind that the known world in those days was a great deal smaller than it is today.) 接下来的另一个帝国,“就是铜的,必掌管天下。”(但以理书239(请注意:但以理讨论的是当时的世界性帝国, 因为当时的世界要比今天世界小的多。)

(4)       The iron represented a fourth great empire, which would be the strongest of them all.13

铁代表着第四个大帝国,它将是4个帝国之中最强大的。

(5) But after this the world empire would be divided, never to be reunited by human hands. As Daniel put it, “The kingdom (empire) shall be divided . . as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken... they shall not cleave (join) one to another, even as iron is not mixed (joined) with clay.”14

在这些世界性的帝国分裂之后,它们将来决不会经过人的手统一。正如但以理说的:“既见像的脚和脚指头,一半是窑匠的泥,一半是铁,那国将来也必分开。你既见铁与泥搀杂,那国也必有铁的力量。那脚指头,既是半铁半泥,那国也必半强半弱。你既见铁与泥搀杂,那国民也必与各种人搀杂,却不能彼此相合,正如铁与泥不能相合一样。”(但以理书241-43

(6)  Eventually, at a time when the world was still full of disunited nations, God would intervene. “In the days of these (disunited) kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand for ever.”15

最终,当某个时候来临,世界依然充满了分裂的国家。 神会亲自干预世界的事务。“当那列王在位的时候,天上的神必另立一国,永不败坏,也不归别国的人,却要打碎灭绝那一切国,这国必存到永远”。(但以理书244

 

Has it Happened? 这些事情已经发生了吗?

 

Since God has not yet intervened openly in world affairs, Stage 6 must still lie in the future. But what of the first five sections of the prophecy; have they been fulfilled, or not?

因为  神还没有公开地干预世界事务,第6阶段还停留在将来。但是预言中其它5部分是不是已经实现了呢?

We cannot all be historians, so we must compare the prophecy with a history book. H. G. Wells’ Short History of the World16 is doubly suitable for this purpose. First, because it is very brief (250 pages) 50 that, like Daniel 2, it gives a bird’s-eye view-”shorn of elaborations and complications”, as the author says in his preface. Secondly, since Wells was famous for his anti-religious views, we can be quite certain that he did not frame his book to fit Daniel 2.

我们不可能每个人都是历史学家,因此我们可以将历史学家威尔(H. G. Wells)写的世界简史(Short History of the World)和圣经进行对照。我选择这本书的原因,第一是这本书很简短,只有250页;其次,威尔以反对宗教信仰而闻名,因此我们可以肯定威尔的书不会故意按照但以理书第二章的框架来写。

Yet a careful look at the contents page of Wells’ book shows that he recognised four, and only four, great empires in the ancient world. Until modern times, when he speaks of the colonial “empires” of the European powers (which were, of course, quite unlike the world-empires of the past) the only chapter headings that mention empires are these:

如果我们仔细看看威尔写的这本书的目录,就可以看出他已经确定了在古代世界存在的四个帝国,仅仅是四个。直到现代,威尔将欧洲的殖民帝国也看成是帝国,(欧洲的殖民帝国与古代的帝国是有很大的不同)。他这样提到它们:

 

XX     The Last Babylonian Empire and the Empire of Darius I

XXVI      The Empire of Alexander the Great

XXXIII  The Growth of the Roman Empire

XXXV     The Common Man’s Life under the Early Roman Empire

XXXVI    Religious Developments under the Roman Empire

XXXIX    The Barbarians Break the Empire into East and West

XL The Huns and the End of the Western Empire

XLI The Byzantine and Sassanid Empires

 

第20章  巴比伦帝国的后期以及大流士1世的帝国

24  亚历山大大帝和他的帝国

33  罗马帝国的兴起

35  罗马帝国早期普通人的生活

36  罗马帝国统治下的宗教发展

39  蛮族人的进攻,罗马帝国的分裂

60  匈族人结束西罗马帝国

61  拜占庭帝国和萨桑王朝

 

What are these empires that Wells mentions?

威尔提到的是那四个帝国呢?

He begins, like Daniel, with the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchad­nezzar.

他从尼布甲尼撒王的巴比伦帝国的开始,和但以理书的记载相同。

His second empire is “the Empire of Darius I”. In the text of his book he explains that this was the Empire of the Medes and Persians, which swallowed up and succeeded the Babylonian Empire. A later chapter in Daniel17 also names the conquerors as the Medes and Persians, and their emperor as Darius.

第二个帝国从“大流士I世”开始。在威尔的书中,他解释这个帝国就是玛代和波斯帝国,这个国家吞并了巴比伦帝国。但以理书的52831同样给出了玛代和波斯征服者的姓名,例如大流士。  

Another chapter in Daniel18 stated that the Medes and Persians would be conquered in their turn by the Greeks. This ties up with Wells’ next chapter heading, “The Empire of Alexander the Great”, who was the greatest of the Greek rulers.

根据但以理书的另外一章记载,玛代和波斯帝国被希腊帝国所征服,这和威尔下一章的标题“亚历山大大帝”是有联系的。亚历山大大帝是希腊最伟大的君王。

Fourthly, Wells comes to the Roman Empire, which was so impor­tant and lasted so long that it occupies several chapters. (A hint of its greatness was given by Daniel when he said, “the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron”.)

接下来,威尔记载了罗马帝国,这个帝国的历史是非常重要的,以至他用了好几章的篇幅来描写。(这个帝国和但以理书中的“第四国,必坚壮如铁”有联系)。

In Chapter xxxix Wells speaks of the splitting of the Roman Empire into two halves, East and West. Chapter XL tells what, happened to the Western Empire, and Chapter XLI the Eastern Empire (the Byzantine-Sassanid half of the Roman Empire). Here again is a remarkable correspondence with Daniel: the empire that ended its day split into two parts is represented in Daniel by two legs.

在第39章中,威尔谈到了罗马帝国一分为二,成为东罗马帝国和西罗马帝国。第60章告诉我们发生在东罗马的事情,在61章记载了发生在西罗马帝国的事情。这样威尔的书又和但以理书发生了很强的联系。因为罗马帝国分裂成了两个部分,而但以理书中的第四个帝国有两条腿。

Daniel was quite emphatic that this fourth empire would be per­manently divided. He was right. Wells’ book makes it perfectly clear that after the final extinction of Rome there has never been another all-powerful world empire.

但以理非常明确地判断,第四个帝国将来会永久地分裂。他是对的。威尔的书中也非常清楚地表明,在罗马帝国灭亡以后,不再有另一个世界性的帝国。

But this conclusion-that the empire of Rome was the last world empire-is too important to rest upon the testimony of Wells alone. So here are some words by one of the greatest of all historians, Gibbon. He, like Wells, did not believe in the Bible, and certainly did not write this passage with the intention of supporting Daniel.

但是,罗马帝国将是最后一个世界性的帝国这个结论是如此重要,决不是靠威尔一个人可以证明了的。Gibbon也是一位伟大的历史学家,同威尔一样不相信圣经,他下面这一段话也不是为了支持但以理书而写的:

 

“The division of Europe into a number of independent states, connected, however, with each other by the general resemblance of religion, language and manners, is productive of the most beneficial consequences to the liberty of mankind. A modern tyrant... would soon experience a gentle restraint from the example of his equals, the dread of present censure, the advice of his allies, and the appre­hension of his enemies.

... But the empire of the Romans filled the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world became a safe and dreary prison for his enemies.”19 (The italics are mine.)

“欧洲分裂成为一系列独立国家,被宗教、语言和行为的相似性联系在一起,这是人类追求自由的最大成果。现代的独裁者会受到下列因素制约:其它权力机关的限制,同盟者的建议,以及政敌的攻击。 

但是当整个帝国掌控一个人的手中,罗马帝国充满了当时的世界。世界变成了一个人的监狱”

Here, then, is another remarkable fact about the Bible that demands explanation. The prophet declared that there would be four world empires, and only four. A twentieth-century historian, unbeliever though he was, admitted that this has happened.

在这里,有一件与圣经有关的事实需要解释。这位先知宣布将来会有4个世界性的帝国,并且只有4个。而且有一位20世纪的历史学家,尽管他不相信圣经,也承认事情的发生确实是这样的。

How did the prophet manage to foresee this? How did he know that the fourth empire would be the strongest of them all? That it would be divided into halves? And, above all, how did he know that never again would some power-hungry conqueror unite western civilisation under one rule?

先知是如何预先看到这一点的?他怎样才能知道第四个帝国是最强盛的?而且第四个帝国要分裂成为两个部分?最重要的是,他怎么知道世界决不会有这样的帝国出现?

The unbelievers’ attempts to explain the facts are pathetic. The best they can do is to argue (despite a lack of conclusive evidence) that the prophecy was not written by Daniel, but by an unknown forger writing in the days of the Greeks.

那些不信仰圣经的人的解释是站不住脚的。他们能够做的事情就是否认但以理书是但以理书写的(尽管他们没有令人信服的证据),而是由希腊帝国时期的一位假冒但以理的人写成的。

All this does is to evade the facts, not to explain them. Even if the unbelievers were right in saying that the book of Daniel was written in the third century B.C. instead of the sixth, what of it? That would still leave 2,200 years of fulfilled prophecy to account for!

他们这样做是为了逃避事实,而不是解释事实。即使这些人说的是对的,但以理书是在公元前3世纪而不是公元前6世纪写成的,那又能够说明什么问题?这本书依然预言了2200年之后发展的历史!

Once again the only explanation that really fits the facts is the Bible’s own explanation: “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known... what shall be in the latter days.”20

我们会再次发现,只有圣经自己的解释才能符合事实:“那就是至大的 神把后来必有的事给王指明”。 (但以理书244

 

Another Reason for Prophecy预言的另一个理由

 

The motto of one politician (his friends call him George) is this:

有一句政治格言这样说:

“When you can’t reasonably answer an opponent, poke fun at him. The audience will laugh, and forget that he has a better case than you.”

“如果你不能够正确回答你的对手提出得问题,那就取笑你的对手。观众们哄堂大笑,就会忘记了你的对手比你更有理由。”

George, who is an unbeliever, applies the same tactics to the Bible. When he is faced with arguments based on fulfilled prophecy, he makes no attempt to answer them. He just grins, and talks like this.

乔治不相信圣经,他也采取这样的策略对待圣经。每一次我提到已经实现的圣经预言时,他就开口笑,然后用这样的方式来回答问题:

“So the Bible is like a racing tipster, is it? The horsey fellow says, ‘I picked the winners of the last two races, didn’t I? So you can trust me to give you a good tip for the three-thirty’. And the Bible says, ‘I’ve foretold a few things about this world. So you can trust me to give you a few tips about the next.’”

“这样说,圣经就像是一个透露内幕消息的人。这位消息灵通人士说:‘最近两场赛马我都猜对了,因此你可以相信我,按照我的猜想投注。’而圣经也这样说:‘我提前告诉了你世界的将来的一些事情,因此你可以信任我告诉你以后的事情。’”。

Poor George. His crude caricature only reveals his complete ignorance of the Bible. For one thing, unlike the racing tipster, the Bible is right every time. But there is an even more important fallacy in his attitude. Bible prophecy is not just a matter of: “Such-and-such will happen; it has happened; therefore I was right.” Bible prophecy is not just a lot of bits and pieces. Bible prophecy is a vital part of God’s message to mankind.

可怜的乔治,他的讥讽只能证明他对圣经的完全无知。和猜测赛马不一样,圣经每一次都是正确的,而赛马消息灵通人士做不到。但他最错误的地方是他的态度。圣经预言不仅仅是说:“这些事情要发生,现在已经发生了,因此我是对的。”圣经预言不仅仅只是一些零碎的片断,而是来自  神的与人类生死攸关的信息。

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible tells one connected story. It starts with the creation of a beautiful world, and says how man brought tragedy into it. It goes on to explain how God introduced a wonderful Plan to put things right. How He first raised up a chosen people; then provided a Saviour from among the chosen race; then sent that Saviour’s followers to preach the gospel to all nations; and how at last that Saviour will return to earth, to judge the living and the dead, and to fill the earth with God’s glory.

从创世纪到启示录,圣经诉说的是一个完整的故事。它以创造一个美丽的世界开始,后来又告诉我们人类是如何将悲剧带进这个世界的。接下来解释 神如何实施一个奇妙的计划,让一切事情都回到正常的状态中来。  神从他选择的那个民族中差遣一位弥赛亚(救世主)到世界,这位救世主的追随者将福音传遍整个世界,最后这位救世主将来要再次降临在地球上,审判活人和死人,并且让“全地都充满 神的荣耀”。

But the Bible was not written all at once. It was written a book at a time, over a period of some fifteen hundred years.

圣经不是一次全部写完的。在一段时间只书写一本书,整本圣经书写的时间跨度长达约1500年。 

During that time God’s Plan was steadily unfolding, step by step. And all the time the Bible was gradually telling how the Plan was getting on. It recorded each important step in the working out of the Plan. And it frequently foretold future developments in the Plan, many of which have already happened, although some have still to take place.

在这个时间, 神的计划在稳定地展开。在这个期间,圣经一直在逐步地告诉整个计划进行的程度。它记录了每一个期间的重要阶段,还经常提前告诉将来计划,很多计划中的事情是已经发生的,还有一些计划是将来要发生的。

Now we can look at Daniel 2 in a new light. Previously it was nothing more than powerful evidence that “there is none like God, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done”.21 But now we can see it as a picture of human history guided by God, moving towards a wonderful climax.

    现在我们可以用一种新的眼光看待但以理书第二章。从前我们将它看成是一种证据,证明“我是神,再没有能比我的。我从起初指明末後的事,从古时言明未成的事,说:我的筹算必立定;凡我所喜悦的,我必成就。”(以赛亚书46910。现在我们看到,整个人类的历史好像一幅画卷,是在 神的指导下一步一步地步入高潮的。

The stone that grinds the statue to pieces, and then grows until it fills the whole earth, is Jesus Christ. He quoted the words of Daniel about that stone, and applied them to Himself.22 This last scene in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to the earth.

这个打碎雕像并充满全地的石头就是耶稣基督。他曾经引用了但以理的经文,告诉人们这块石头就是他自己。(路加福音2018尼布甲尼撒梦中的最后一个情节是耶稣将来要回到地上,这个事件将在将来实现。

But this is going too fast. There are many interesting Bible prophecies about the events leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. They must have a chapter to themselves.

  我们的叙述可能太快了一点。有很多关于导致耶稣的第二次降临的预言,需要一章的篇幅进行介绍。

And before the Second Coming there had to be a First Coming. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about that. We must have a look at those first.

   但是第二次来之前肯定有第一次。旧约中充满了耶稣第一次来的预言,我们首先要看的是这些预言。

 

4

Preview of Calvary

关于耶稣的受难的预言

One evening a few years ago I carried out an interesting experiment. I was with a friend who did not believe the Bible, and, like most unbelievers, knew very little about it. But at least he was willing to discuss it.

几年以前的一个晚上,我和一个朋友在一起。他不相信圣经,同大部分这样的人一样,他也知道圣经一点点。最后他愿意和我一起讨论圣经。

So I said to him: “Excuse me, Arthur. Do you mind if I give you a little Bible quiz? I’d like to read to you a well-known Bible passage about Jesus, and then see if you can tell me whereabouts in the New Testament it comes from? Will you have a try?”

我对他说:“亚瑟,我对你进行一次圣经知识小测验,好吗?我对你读一段关于耶稣的经文,你告诉我在那本书中能够找到。你想试一试吗?”

“O.K., I’m game. I don’t mind exposing my ignorance,” said Arthur. So I read him a few verses about the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, and then stopped.

“好吧。只是一个游戏,就是不知道也无所谓。”他说。于是我阅读到了一些关于耶稣受难和死亡的经文,然后停下来。

Arthur wrinkled his brows. “I know the words all right. But I’ve no idea which gospel they come from. Or maybe they even come from one of Paul’s epistles,” he added as an afterthought.

亚瑟开始皱眉头。“我知道这些话,但是我不知道来自哪本福音书。也有可能是保罗写的书信。”他想了一会说。

 

“No, they don’t originally come from any of those places, although they are quoted by several New Testament writers,” I said. “I was reading to you from the book of Isaiah, in the Old Testament.”

 “不对,这些话并不来自其中你提到的任何一本书,尽管后来在新约中曾经引用了这些话。”我对他说:“我刚才向你读的是以赛亚书,在旧约中。”

“In the Old Testament? You’re kidding!”

But I wasn’t kidding. I was satisfying myself that some of the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus really do fit Him so well that they can be mistaken for New Testament passages.

“在旧约中?你在开玩笑吧!”

我可不是在开玩笑。只是旧约的一些关于耶稣的预言被当成是在新约中,我自己觉得很好笑。

 

Jesus Knew About Prophecy耶稣知道关于他的预言

 

On a number of occasions Jesus reminded His followers that the Old Testament was full of prophecies about Himself. Here is just one example:

耶稣曾经多次告诉他的门徒旧约中关于他的预言会实现。下面的仅仅是一个例子:

“He (Jesus) took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on. And they shall scourge Him and put Him to death. And the third day He shall rise again.’”

   “耶稣带着十二个门徒,对他们说:「看哪,我们上耶路撒冷去,先知所写的一切事都要成就在人子身上。他将要被交给外邦人,他们要戏弄他,凌辱他,吐唾沫在他脸上,并要鞭打他,杀害他;第三日他要复活。」”(路加福音1831-33

Jesus was not exaggerating. Most of the dreadful things that hap­pened to Him during the last twenty-four hours of His mortal life were foretold in the Old Testament. So was His resurrection, and His ascension to heaven, too. Yet the whole of the Old Testament was already yellow with age when Jesus was born.

耶稣并没有夸大。在他作为一个人在世界上的最后24小时,大部分可怕的事情发生在他身上。他也照着圣经所预言的复活、升天。而旧约在耶稣出生之前已经至少存在了好几百年。

You may perhaps wonder whether the early Christians might have cunningly altered the wording of the Old Testament prophecies, to make them fit the events. But there is no fear of that. The Christians kept their own copies of the Bible in the Greek language, while the Jews kept their copies of the Old Testament in Hebrew.

你可能在想,是不是早期的基督徒改变了圣经旧约的预言,好让事情的发展正好和预言相吻合。但是你不用害怕这种可能性。因为基督徒拥有的版本是希腊文,而犹太人拥有的旧约版本是希伯来文。

The best copies of the Old Testament, upon which our English Bible is based, are the Jewish ones. It is quite certain that the Jews would never have altered their copies of the Scriptures, so as to further the claims of a rival religion.

最好的旧约版本是希伯来文版本,英文圣经的旧约就是根据希伯来文版本翻译而来的。犹太人从来没有改变过他们的圣经版本,更不用说是为了迎合一种与他们的信仰相抗衡的宗教了。

We need to look in detail at two of the chapters that Jesus would have had in mind. If you want to appreciate fully the wonder of these prophecies, turn them up in your own Bible. As you read them, keep asking yourself this question: how could the writers have foreseen these things, unless God inspired them?

我们需要仔细看看下面两章,这也是耶稣曾经牢记的经文。如果你希望完整地欣赏这些预言的奇妙,可以打开自己的圣经来阅读。在阅读的时候,你需要一直问自己:如果没有  神的启示,谁能够预知这些事情?

PSALM 22 describes the Man of God being put to death by His enemies. Instead of using the common Jewish method of execution (stoning) they “pierce his hands and feet”.2 He is tormented by thirst as he dies.3 His enemies stand round him.4 They stare at him.5 They laugh at him.6 They jeer at him, asking why God does not rescue him.7 They strip off his clothes and share them out, casting lots for the odd one left over.8

诗篇22章描写了  神的儿子被敌人害死的情景。犹太人判处死刑的方法使用石头将罪犯砸死,但是耶稣死的时候,“犬类围著我,恶党环绕我;他们扎了我的手,我的脚。”。(诗篇2216)他感到饥渴,“我的精力枯乾,如同瓦片;我的舌头贴在我牙床上。” (诗篇221他的敌人站在他的周围,他们看着他,他们嘲笑他。“ 有许多公牛围绕我,巴珊大力的公牛四面困住我。” (诗篇2216他们讽刺他,问为什么  神不来救他。(诗篇221“”他们嘲笑他说:“他把自己交托耶和华,耶和华可以救他吧!耶和华既喜悦他,可以搭救他吧!” (诗篇228

If you are familiar with the gospels, you will recognise each of these details. It all adds up to a picture of Calvary, painted hundreds of years before it happened.

如果你对福音书比较熟悉的话,会辨认出其中的每一个细节。它们都为耶稣受难的画面增加了色彩,而且这幅画是在事情发生前几百年就已经画好。

ISAIAH 53 fills in more of the details. He was to be “despised and rejected” by his fellow men, a “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”.9  He would be wounded and flogged,10 led as a condemned prisoner to his execution.11 Yet he would accept his fate meekly and without speaking in his own defence,12 although he was innocent of any crime.13

以赛亚书53章充满了更多的细节。“他被藐视,被人厌弃;多受痛苦,常经忧患。(以赛亚书533“他为我们的过犯受害,为我们的罪孽压伤”(以赛亚书535他像羊羔被牵到宰杀之地”。(以赛亚书538 尽管他从来没有做过任何犯罪的事情,他接受了自己的命运,也不曾为自己辩护。(以赛亚书539-12

The chapter insists that this was not just another martyrdom. Seven times over (in verses 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12) it explains that this righteous man’s death would be an atonement for the sins of others. Because of this, God would raise him from the dead,14 and give him a position of great honour.15

这一章强调的不仅仅是耶稣的受难。有超过7节(4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 12节)的篇幅解释了他是个完全的义人,他的死可以赎别人的罪。 因为这样,  神让耶稣从死亡中复活,并且给他极大的尊荣。

It is no wonder that when I read this chapter to Arthur, he thought it occurred in the New Testament. If it did so, people would accept it as a great piece of Christian literature, a beautiful poetic description of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. But it is not a Christian writing. It is found in the Old Testament, the Holy Book of the Jews - a nation that had always hated the thought of human sacrifice, and has never accepted Jesus.

难怪当我在阅读这一章的时候,Arthur以为这些话出现在新约。如果是这样的话,人们就会认为这些话属于基督教文学,用诗歌般的语言描写了基督的受难。但是这些话不是一个基督徒写的,这些话出现在圣经旧约。旧约是犹太人的神圣的典章,犹太民族一直仇视用人来献祭的想法,从来没有接受耶稣。

The official Jewish interpretation is that this chapter describes the’ Jewish race, not Jesus. One look at the chapter is enough to show how absurd this interpretation is. Every verse fits Jesus; half of then could not possibly be applied to the Jews. Try fitting these extract to the Jews (or, for that matter, to any other nation):

犹太人的官方解释是,这一章描写的是以色列这个民族。一个人如果已经阅读了这一章的话,就会明白这一解释是多么可笑。这里的每一句话都适合耶稣,其中的一半可能可以用在犹太人身上。如果尝试将这些经文用在犹太人(或其它任何民族)身上:

 

“He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

(verse 9)

“By his knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.” (verse 11)

   “他虽然未行强暴,口中也没有诡诈”(第9节)

   “有许多人因认识我的义仆得称为义;并且他要担当他们的罪孽。”(第11节)

Even the Jews are not comfortable with their own interpretation. They dislike this chapter, and avoid reading it in their synagogue But though they try to ignore it they cannot destroy it. Isaiah 5 remains a lasting proof of the superhuman origin of the Bible.

犹太人自己也不对这些解释感到满意。它们不喜欢这一章,在会堂中避免读它。尽管这一章被犹太人忽视,但是他们不能将它们从圣经中抹去。以赛亚书第53章依然是圣经超人类起源的永久证据。

 

Who Was Messiah? 弥赛亚是谁?

 

It is difficult for us to appreciate the full significance of these prophecies without knowing what the Old Testament word “Messiah” meant to the Jews at the time of Jesus. Even today, it still means quite a lot to them. A Jewish encyclopaedia says this about what it calls “Messianism”:

如果我们没有理解旧约中的弥赛亚对犹太人意味着什么,我们就很难体会到这些预言的完整意义。即使是在今天,这个词汇的含义依然很丰富。犹太人的一本百科全书是这样形容“弥赛亚主义”的:

“The term ‘Mashiah’ is used in the Bible . . . it was applied an ideal king, who would bring salvation to Israel and a regeneration of the human race . .”16

“弥赛亚是一个圣经词汇,用来形容一个完美的君王,他将拯救以色列,也将拯救全人类。”

Historians tell us that in the first century Israel was positively buzzing with excitement at the prospect of Messiah’s coming. They we convinced that the time for Messiah to appear was “now, or never”.  Their conviction was based upon the following passage in the book of Daniel:

历史学家告诉我们,公元世纪的以色列人对于弥赛亚即将到来感到兴奋。他们相信弥赛亚要么马上出现,要么永远不会来。他们的确信建立在但以理书中的一些预言之上:

 

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.”17

     “为你本国之民和你圣城,已经定了七十个七。要止住罪过,除净罪恶,赎尽罪孽,引进(或作:彰显)永义,封住异象和预言,并膏至圣者(者:或作所)。你当知道,当明白,从出令重新建造耶路撒冷,直到有受膏君的时候,必有七个七和六十二个七。正在艰难的时候,耶路撒冷城连街带濠都必重新建造。过了六十二个七,那受膏者必被剪除,一无所有”(但以理书924-26

The Jews paid no attention to the words in italics, because they did not understand them. “Cut off” was a common Old Testament expression meaning “killed”,18 and the Jews did not see how Messiah could possibly be killed. They knew lots of splendid prophecies about the coming Messiah: he was going to be a great and glorious leader, the deliverer of Israel, and king of the whole world. So they turned a blind eye to the passages (including Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53) that spoke of Messiah’s death.

犹太人没有注意到用斜体字表示的这些话 ,因为他们不明白。“受膏者必被剪除”在旧约中的意思是“被杀死”,犹太人不明白弥赛亚怎么会被杀。他们知道很多关于弥赛亚来到时的辉煌场景,弥赛亚将会是伟大的荣耀的君王,以色列的拯救者,也是整个世界的王。圣经中有很多预言关于弥赛亚的死亡,包括诗篇第22章,以赛亚书第53章,但犹太人对于这些章节熟视无睹。

But what did excite them was Daniel’s promise that Messiah would appear some 69 or 70 “weeks” after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem (which in Daniel’s day was lying in ruins). The Hebrew word for “week” is the ordinary word for “seven”, and they knew that in the prophets it could mean either seven days or seven years.19

但是让犹太人感到兴奋的是,但以理书预言弥赛亚将出现在下令重新建造耶路撒冷之后的大约697或者是707。(在但以理的日子耶路撒冷是一片废墟)。希伯来文“7”是一个很普通的词汇,他们知道在7预言中表示7天,或者是7年。(见民数记1434,以西结书44-6

So the Jews had long been waiting for Daniel’s period of 483 to 490 years (69 to 70 “weeks”) to elapse. They were not sure of the exact starting point of the prophecy, because there had been several “com­mandments to restore and to build Jerusalem” around the end of the sixth and the beginning of the fifth centuries B.C.

因此犹太人一直盼望着这483490年快点过去。他们不确信应该从什么时候计算开始的时间,因为在公元前6世纪和5世纪之间,有好几个国王“下令重新建造耶路撒冷”。

But one thing at least was clear to them: Messiah would have to come sometime in the earlier part of what we now call the first centuryA.D.

   但是至少有一点他们是清楚的:弥赛亚将在被我们称为公元1世纪的初期来到世上。

From Daniel 9, therefore, we can add two more to the growing list of prophecies fulfilled when Jesus first came:

在但以理书第9章中,我们可以在已经实现的有关耶稣第一次来到世上的预言单中,另外加上两处:

 

(1)       He came at just about the right time in history.他在已经预言的历史时刻出现。

(2)       He was killed, just as Daniel foretold the Messiah would be. 他将被杀害,因为但以理书预言了这件事情会发生。

But, what is even more important, we have learnt something about the way the Jews understood the Old Testament. There are scores of Old Testament passages that speak about a Very Important Person who was to come. This Person was occasionally referred to as “Messiah” in the Hebrew Bible (although the word appears in the English Old Testament only in Daniel 9), but in most cases he is un­named. Nevertheless the Jews accepted all these passages as prophecies of the Messiah

更重要的是,我们明白了犹太人理解旧约的方式。在旧约中数十次提到了将来会有一个伟大的人物要来。这个人就是“弥赛亚”,尽管这个圣经词汇只在但以理书中出现过。在大部分的情况下是没有给出名字或称呼的。然而犹太人接受了所有关于弥赛亚的预言。

It is essential that we keep this fact in mind. Some of those passages may not look to an English reader as if they are prophecies of the Messiah. But the Bible was not written, in the first place, for English-speaking people. It was written by Hebrews, for Hebrews. And the ancient Hebrews had a very different literary style from modern Europeans.

将这些事实放在脑海中,这是很重要的一点。其中有一些段落对于英国读者来说,不像是有关弥赛亚的预言。但是圣经起初并不是为说英语的人而写的。圣经最早是由希伯来人写的,为希伯来人而写。而古希伯来语和现代欧洲人的语言习惯有很大的区别。

The ancient Jews themselves had no doubt at all that those passages were prophecies of the Messiah. Consequently we are bound to take the Jews’ word for it, and look at the prophecies in the same way as they did.

   古代的犹太人自己从来没有怀疑这些段落是有关弥赛亚的预言。我们也只能用犹太人的语言习惯、方式看待这些预言。

 

More Prophecies of Messiah更多的关于弥赛亚的预言

 

There are so many of these prophecies that it is difficult to know when to stop. Here are five more to add to the list:

这类预言有很多,以至我们不知道选择。下面5个例子就是一些:

(1)  He was to be born in Bethlehem.他出生在伯利恒

 

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”20

  “伯利恒、以法他啊,你在犹大诸城中为小,将来必有一位从你那里出来,在以色列中为我作掌权的;他的根源从亘古,从太初就有。”(弥迦书52

We all know that Jesus actually was born in Bethlehem. That an established fact. Even those arch-enemies of the Christian faith the Pharisees and Sadducees, never denied it. But has it ever occurred to you how unlikely it was for that prophecy to have been fulfilled by accident?

我们都知道耶稣出生在伯利恒。这是明白无误的事实。即使是基督教的最主要敌人法利赛人和撒都该人从来也不曾否认过。但你思考过这个预言是巧合的可能性有多大?

Bethlehem was, as the prophecy mentioned, a very small place. some unscrupulous gentleman wanted to establish a reputation for himself as a prophet, he might take a gamble and say, “The next president of the United States will be a man born in New York.” many leading Americans are New Yorkers that at least he would stand a sporting chance of being right.

正如预言提到的,伯利恒是一座非常小的城市,假如某位先生自称是先知,他打赌说:“美国的下一届总统将出生于纽约。”因为纽约市一个人口很多的大都市,他说话成立的可能性还是比较大的。

But suppose that he said “The next president of the United States will be born in Piketon, Ohio.” Since Piketon has only a few thousand inhabitants the odds against his guess being right would be enormous. Yet Micah picked a similarly insignificant village as the birthplace of the Messiah-and his prophecy came true.

但如果他说:“美国的下一任总统将出生在俄亥俄州的皮克顿”。由于这个小镇只有几千居民,预言成功的可能性非常小。然而,弥迦的预言却选择了一个微不足道的小城市作为弥赛亚的出生地,而且这个预言真的实现了。

How did Micah manage it, unless he was inspired by God?

如果不是  神的启示,弥迦怎么会知道?

 

(2) He was to enter Jerusalem on an ass.耶稣骑着驴子进入耶路撒冷

I can imagine your reaction to that statement. “Well, so what? Lots of people entered Jerusalem on asses, didn’t they? Why shouldn’t Jesus do so, too-especially if He had read the prophecy that said He had to?”

我可以想象你的反应:“这有什么可奇怪的,很多人是骑着驴子进入耶路撒冷的。为什么耶稣这样做就很特别呢?”

For a very good reason. Lots of people did indeed enter Jerusalem on asses, but they were all ordinary, humble folk. Conquering kings were far too high and mighty to ride asses. They rode on mules warhorses, or in chariots. And the prophet said that it was as King of Jerusalem, King of the World, that Jesus would arrive at His capital city on a humble donkey. Here are Zechariah’s words: 

确实有很多人是骑着驴子进入耶路撒冷的,但是这些人都是一般的老百姓。有权力高高在上的国王是不会骑着驴子进城的,他们都骑着战马,或坐着战车。先知的预言说耶稣是耶路撒冷的王,也是世界的王,耶稣进入他的首都的时候是骑着驴子,以下就是撒迦利亚的话:

 

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass . . . and he shall speak peace unto the nations,  and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”21

  “锡安的民哪,应当大大喜乐;耶路撒冷的民哪,应当欢呼。看哪,你的王来到你这里!他是公义的,并且施行拯救,谦谦和和地骑著驴,就是骑著驴的驹子…..他必向列国讲和平;他的权柄必从这海管到那海,从大河管到地极”。(撒迦利亚书9910

When these words were written, they would have seemed utterly ridiculous. What king would ever become “lowly, and riding upon an ass”? And if he ever did approach his capital in such an improper fashion, would his people “rejoice greatly” and “shout” their approval of such behaviour? How absurd it must all have sounded!

这些话写的时候看起来是多么可笑。有哪一位国王会“谦谦和和地骑著驴”?如果有这样的国王用这样的低姿态进入自己的首都,他的百姓会对此“大大喜乐”、赞扬?这些话听起来非常荒谬!

And yet, when it happened, it all seemed perfectly natural. Jesus was a poor man, a humble man, a man of peace. It would have been unthinkable for Him to have mounted a warhorse. Yet at the same time He had the bearing, the strength of character, the dynamic personality and the personal magnetism of a mighty king.

然而,当事情就是这样发生时,一切看起来都是那么自然。耶稣是一个穷人,一个谦卑的人,一个带来和平的人。对他来说,骑着高头大马是不可想象的,尽管他具有一位君王的品德。

So when Jesus deliberately rode into Jerusalem in the way that Zechariah had said He must, nobody laughed. Instead, great crowds carpeted His path with their own clothing, and shouted their acknowledgement that He was their King.22

因此,当耶稣故意起着“骑著驴”沿着撒迦利亚预言的道路进入耶路撒冷的时候,没有人笑话他。相反地,他们欢呼,因为他们知道他就是他们的王。(马可福音11910

Without this response from the crowd, any attempt by Jesus to fulfil Zechariah’s prophecy would have been a farce. But as it turned Out, an utterly improbable prophecy came true.

   如果没有群众的配合,任何耶稣自己想实现撒迦利亚预言的尝试都是一场闹剧。已经发生了的事情证明,完全不可能的预言变成了现实。

                                                                                                                          

(3)  He was to be uniquely righteous.他是世界上唯一的义人

Suppose we ask the question: “Why should God bless Messiah so richly, by making him so much greater than anyone else?”

Several correct answers could be given. This is the reason given in Psalm 45:

假定我们问这个问题:“为什么  神会如此丰盛地赐福给他,让他比其他任何人都伟大?”

这个问题有很多种正确答案。诗篇45章给出的理由是:

 

“Thou art fairer than the children of men

Grace is poured into thy lips

Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.”23

“Thou hast loved righteousness and hated wickedness

Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee

With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”24

  “你比世人更美;在你嘴里满有恩惠;

所以神赐福给你,直到永远。”(诗篇452

  “你喜爱公义,恨恶罪恶;

所以神,就是你的神用喜乐油膏你,

胜过膏你的同伴。”(诗篇457

The answer is clear. God would bless Messiah so richly because of his perfect speech and his perfect behaviour. Consequently, only a perfect man could claim to be Messiah. An unrighteous self-styled Messiah would soon have been exposed as a fraud.

答案很清楚。 神如此赐福给他,因为他完美的言行。只有完全的义人才能自称弥赛亚。其他自称是弥赛亚的人只能很快露出原形。

Jesus made this claim. “Which of you convicteth Me of sin?” He asked.25 No one took up His challenge.

耶稣说:“你们中间谁能指证我有罪呢?”(约翰福音846没有人敢接受这样的挑战。

His disciples, who knew Him intimately, were clearly convinced of His utter sinlessness. The whole Christian gospel of salvation was based upon a belief in a sinless sacrifice. As Peter put it:

    他的门徒了解他,相信他是完全无罪的。基督教福音是建立在一个无罪的羔羊的身上。正如彼得所说的:

“Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot . . . who did no sin . . . For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust.”26

  “你们得赎……乃是凭著基督的宝血,如同无瑕疵、无玷污的羔羊之血他并没有犯罪因基督也曾一次为罪受苦就是义的代替不义的”。(彼得前书11819222318

Now suppose that this had not been true. Suppose that Jesus had actually been as imperfect as everybody else. Isn’t it obvious that in that case Christianity would have been stillborn? The Pharisees and Sadducees stopped at nothing-not even at persecution and murder

假设这些都不是真的。假设耶稣和其他任何人一样都有缺点,这样还会有基督教产生吗?法利赛人和撒都该人不惜以陷害和谋杀为手段,难道只是为阻止一个不存在的人?

-in their attempts to stifle the preaching of the early disciples. Yet they could have destroyed the very foundation of Christianity by bringing evidence that Jesus was a sinner. 

 他们阻止使徒们传教的过程中,如果他们能找到证据证明耶稣是罪人,他们就可以将基督教的根基完全摧毁。

But they failed to do it.

但是他们没有能够做到这一点。

Why?为什么?

One answer stands out as being far more likely than any other. They could not. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that Messiah would be a sinless man.

有一种答案比其它任何答案的可能性更大。因为他们做不到。耶稣应验了以赛亚书的预言:弥赛亚将是一个无罪的人。

 

(4)  He was to rise from the dead 他将来要从死亡中复活。.

Did Jesus rise from the dead? This question is so important that a whole chapter must be devoted to it. For now, it is enough to put on record that the Old Testament prophesied that He would.

耶稣从死里复活了吗?这个问题是如此重要,以至我们要在本书后面用一整章的篇幅来阐述。

“My flesh also shall rest in hope

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,

Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life.

In thy presence is fulness of joy;

At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”27

“因此,我的心欢喜,我的灵快乐;

我的肉身也要安然居住。

因为你必不将我的灵魂撇在阴间,也不叫你的圣者见朽坏。

你必将生命的道路指示我。

在你面前有满足的喜乐;在你右手中有永远的福乐”。(诗篇169-11

This prophecy is easier to understand in the original Hebrew than in the English. The word translated “hell” in the second line is the Hebrew word Sheol which simply means “the place of the dead”. In about thirty places in our Old Testament it is translated “the grave”.

预言的希伯来文比英文翻译更容易懂。“阴间”(Sheol在希伯来文中的意思是“死人所在的地方”,在旧约中大约有30处“阴间”(Sheol被翻译为“坟墓”。

As the Apostle Peter pointed out28 the Psalm clearly means that, although Messiah would be buried, his body would not rot away in the grave. He would be raised up by God to a new life of everlasting Joy

正如使徒彼得指出的(使徒行传222-24,诗篇清楚地告诉我们,尽管弥赛亚会被埋葬在坟墓中,他的身体却不会再坟墓中腐烂。他会被  神复活,而且  神将赐给他永远喜乐的新生命。

At this stage you must reserve your judgement as to whether this prophecy was fulfilled, or not. After you have read Chapter 7, you may be able to decide.

在这个阶段,需要你自己判断这些预言是否已经实现。本书第7章可能会帮助你自己下结论。

 

(5)  He was to ascend to heaven.他要升到天堂。

Another prophecy which must have been impossible to understand at the time was written by King David:

当大卫王写下这些话的时候,人们不可能理解其中的含义:

 

“The Lord said unto my lord, ‘Sit thou at My right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool’.”29

“The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever

After the order of Melchizedek.”30

“耶和华对我主说:你坐在我的右边,等我使你仇敌作你的脚凳。”(诗篇1101

“耶和华起了誓,决不後悔,说:你是照著麦基洗德的等次永远为祭司。”(诗篇1104

The astonishing thing about this Psalm of David is that it exists in the Jewish scriptures at all. Humanly speaking, it has no business to be there. From a Jewish point of view, it should never have been written, or, if written, it should have been burnt at once, as heresy.

让人惊奇的是,这些诗篇一直保存在圣经之中。用犹太人的观点来看,这些话本来就不应该写。如果已经写了,应该马上被当成是异端烧掉。

Many prophecies declare that Messiah was to be a descendant of David. In accordance with oriental custom, this meant that he should be subordinate to David. Yet in the opening line, David refers to Messiah as “my lord”.

有很多圣经经文已经宣布弥赛亚将是大卫的后裔。按照东方的传统,弥赛亚应该比大卫的地位低。然而在这个时候,大卫却称呼弥赛亚为“我主”。

Whatever made David do that? Jesus asked this question of the rabbis, and they could not answer.31 It did not make sense to them.

大卫为什么这样说呢?耶稣曾经问犹太人的拉比这个问题,但他们回答不出来。(马太福音2241-46对他们来说这句话不符合常识。

The next two lines were (and still are) equally baffling to the Jews. Since Messiah is to be king of the world, why should he have to ascend to heaven and wait there for some time before being given power on earth?

接下来的两行圣经同样使犹太人感到困惑(至今也是这样)。既然弥赛亚是世界的王,为什么他必须升天,并在那里等待以后,才能回到地上作王?

The last three lines of the passage quoted above are even more surprising, if you know the Old Testament background. This Messiah who Sits in heaven is to be an everlasting priest, “after the order of Melchizedek”.

如果你知道圣经旧约的背景的话,最后三行应该让犹太人感到更加吃惊:坐在天上的弥赛亚将成为永远的大祭司,而且是“按照麦基冼德的等次”。

The point of this is that Messiah, like all Jewish kings, had to be of the tribe of Judah. But Jewish priests could only come from the tribe of Levi, and consequently a king could not possibly be a priest. King Uzziah tried to do a priest’s job once, and God immediately punished him for it.32

   问题的要点在于,犹太人的王来自犹大支派。而祭司只能来自利未支派中。因此犹太人的国王不可能同时是祭司。有一位犹大国王想做祭司做的工作,结果他马上受到了  神的惩罚。见历代志下2616-20

How, then, could Messiah be a priest? The answer lies in the reference to Melchizedek. This man is mentioned only once before in the Bible, and that in the very beginning, way back in the book of Genesis. Melchizedek was a priest to Abraham, and he was also a king.33

弥赛亚可以成为祭司吗?答案在有关麦基冼德的解释中。这个人在圣经的前半部分中只提到过一次,在创世记,就是圣经的第一本书中。 麦基冼德以祭司的身份出现在亚伯拉罕面前,他同时还是一位国王。(创世记1418-20

Moreover, as one New Testament writer pointed out,34 he was an even greater man than Abraham who paid him tithes. Consequently his priestly order must have been far higher than that of the priests descended from Abraham.

而且,正如在新约圣经中提到的,耶稣比亚伯拉罕更加伟大。(希伯来书71-4因此,耶稣的祭司职位也远远比亚伯拉罕的后代所担任的更加伟大。

 

The priests of Israel must have winced every time they read that psalm. It was both baffling and painful. It implied that their own order of priesthood would come to an end, and give way to a greater order when Messiah came. Yet those same priests had somehow been compelled to keep that uncomfortable psalm for centuries, safely preserved along with the rest of their Scriptures.

以色列人的祭司每次在阅读这一段诗篇的时候肯定会感到迷惑,也感到痛苦。这段经文暗示了他们的祭司身份将来要让位于比他们更伟大的弥赛亚。尽管他们对这段经文感到不舒服,他们还是将它同其它经文安全地保存在一起。

Once more we have a strange fact that demands an explanation. How did a psalm that could never have made sense to its writer come to be written? How did it come to be accepted as part of the Jewish Scriptures? Why did the priests, who must have found it so embarrassing-mg, keep it and not destroy it?

这些奇怪的事实同样需要解释。为什么是诗篇的作者会写下这些似乎是毫无意义的话?为什么这些话会成为圣经经文的一部分?尽管犹太人的祭司对这些话管道感到尴尬,为什么他们会将这些话保留,而不是销毁它?

And above all, how does it happen that the events recorded in the New Testament fit the psalm so perfectly? That they, and they alone, bring the psalm to life and fill it with meaning?

更重要的是,究竟有什么事情发生,让圣经新约完美地适合这些预言?是这些事实让诗篇具有意义。

I have heard only one explanation that fits all the facts. The psalm must be a prophecy given by God. The New Testament account of Jesus ascending to heaven, to be a priest for His followers and to await the time of His Second Coming, must be true.

    只有一种解释能够符合所有事实。诗篇中的预言肯定是  神的启示。新约中关于耶稣升天的记载,他现在是大祭司的记载,以及他要第二次降临的记载,一定是正确的。

 

Taking Stock 事实归纳

 

Some very important facts have been established in this chapter.

在本章中我们确定了一些重要的事实。

There is clear evidence that most of the main events described in the gospels were foretold in the Old Testament. These include the crucifixion (with very much detail), the approximate date of Christ 5 appearance, His birthplace, the extraordinary nature of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, His perfect character, His resurrection, His ascension to heaven, His heavenly priesthood, and the promise of His Second Coming.

我们有明确的证据证明,福音书记载的大部分事件在圣经旧约中都有预言。其中包括耶稣的受难(非常详细的细节),他出生的大约时间、明确的地点、他进入耶路撒冷的方式、他完美的品德、他的复活、他的升天,他在天上成为我们的大祭司,以及他向我们应许他还要再次回到地上。

How do the unbelievers explain these facts?

那些不相信圣经的人该如何解释这些事实?

Not very well. I think I am being fair to them in saying that these are the alternatives they offer you:

  他们的解释都不太好,而且不外乎下面几个:

(1)  Perhaps Jesus deliberately fulfilled the prophecies.可能是耶稣故意使预言得到实现

One theory is that He spent years swotting up the Old Testament until He knew all the Messianic prophecies, and then went around fulfilling them. But this bristles with difficulties. To begin with, how did Jesus contrive to get Himself born in Bethlehem? How did He manage to achieve what no other human being has managed: a sinless life? Did He really arrange to be tortured to death, just because prophecy required it? And if so, how did He persuade His executioners to comply with all the detailed requirements of the prophecy? And what about His resurrection and ascension to heaven?

这种理论说,耶稣花费了好几年的时间来,最后他明白了所有的关于弥赛亚的预言,然后自己去实现这些预言。但是这种情况太难以办到了:首先,耶稣怎样才能设法让自己出生在伯利恒?没有人能够从不犯罪,耶稣怎样做到其他任何一个人都做不到的事情?难道他真的故意安排自己的死亡,仅仅是因为预言说过?而且他又怎样劝说那些杀死他的人按照预言的每一个细节去做?他又怎么能够复活,升天?

Obviously that won’t do.

   很显然这种假设行不通。

 

(2)  Perhaps the early Christians twisted the Old Testament.可能是早期的基督徒歪曲了旧约

It has been suggested that the first Christians “saw” prophecies in the Old Testament where no prophecies really existed-that they twisted the meaning of the Old Testament to bolster up their own preaching.

这种理论说,最早的基督徒看见了旧约的预言,他们歪曲了旧约的意义来支撑自己的教义。

But that won’t do, either. The early Christians interpreted their Old Testament in the same way that Jews had always done. Even the unbelieving Jews never denied that the Old Testament was full of Messianic prophecies. The Jews merely denied that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, because He did not behave as they thought the Messiah ought to behave.

但是这种理论也不成立。早期的基督徒是按照犹太人的传统来翻译旧约圣经的。即使是不相信耶稣的犹太人也从不否认旧约中充满了关于弥赛亚的预言。犹太人仅仅是否认拿撒勒人耶稣是弥赛亚,因为耶稣的行为和他们所认为弥赛亚不一样。

 (3). Perhaps the early Christians distorted the facts of history .有可能是早期的基督徒歪曲了历史事实

According to this theory the events recorded in the gospels never took place at all. This treats the New Testament as nothing more than a collection of legends, compounded to make it look as if Old Testa­ment prophecy was being fulfilled.

按照这种理论,福音书记载的事件从来没有发生过。这种理论将新约仅仅看成是一系列传说的集合,有人将这些故事组合起来,看起来好像是旧约预言真的得到实现。

That was a popular excuse in Queen Victoria’s day, but it does not hold water nowadays. We know now that the gospels were written while plenty of eyewitnesses were still alive. (Chapter 16 gives the evidence for this.) And besides, the moral tone of the New Testament is so high that it simply cannot be the work of men who cooked up stories to deceive the public.

在维多利亚的时代它是不相信圣经的人常见的借口,但现在行不通了。我们知道,在福音书书写的年代,有大量的见证人还活着,编造故事欺骗大众的人写不出新约充满高尚道德情操的作品。

 

Well, what do you think?

Which is easier? Which is more reasonable?

To believe that the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth?

Or to believe the feeble explanations of the unbelievers?

 

那么,你是怎样看待这个问题的呢?

那一种更容易接受,那一种更合理?

是相信耶稣已经实现了旧约中的预言,还是相信那些不相信耶稣的人的虚妄的解释?

 

5

 

Jesus Foretells Twentieth-Century Problems

耶稣已经预言了二十世纪的问题

 

Very few people ever think of Jesus Christ as a prophet. Yet He was. He made many predictions about the future, all of which have either come true already, or are beginning to come true now.

只有少数人把耶稣看成是先知,其实他是。耶稣作了很多关于未来的预言,这些预言要么已经实现,要么正在实现。

Some of His predictions must have sounded utterly improbable at the time He made them. Yet they came true. Take this one, for instance:

有些预言在当时看起来是完全不可能的,然而它们已经变成了现实。现在举一个例子说明:

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.”1

    “这天国的福音要传遍天下,对万民作见证,然后末期才来到(马太福音2414

When Jesus spoke those words, He had only a handful of followers, and those were mostly uneducated working-class men. He had com­pletely failed to convert His own small nation. The ordinary people were mostly unmoved by His message, and the leaders hated Him like poison. Within a few weeks they would have Him hanging on a cross.

耶稣说这些话的时候,跟从他的只有一小部分人,大多数是没有受过教育的劳动阶层。他们不能够改变自己少数派的特性。大部分普通人对耶稣的传道无动于衷,统治阶级视耶稣为毒药,在几个星期以前,他们曾经将耶稣钉死在十字架上。

By all the laws of human probability, that should have been the end of it. Those who watched Him die must have thought, “Well, we shan’t hear any more of Him and His confounded gospel!”

按照人类的概率法则,耶稣的福音完全会被抹杀。那些看见耶稣死的人心里可能想:“好了,我们再也不会听见这个人说话,这个人讲的讨厌的福音也该到头了!”

But they were wrong. Within their own lifetime, His gospel was being preached over most of the Roman Empire. Since then it really has been preached to every nation on earth-the only religion that has. The words of Jesus have been translated into more than a thous­and different languages.

但是他们错了!这些人还活着的时候,耶稣的福音就传遍了罗马帝国的大部分地区。从那时起,耶稣的话被传到地球的每个民族,基督教是唯一能做到这一点的宗教。耶稣的话被翻译成了多种语言,超过一千种版本。

Bibles by the million are spread abroad each year. They go by ship to the tropics, by air to the arctic, by rail and road and forest trail to the farthest corners of the earth. Brave men and women risk life and liberty smuggling Bibles into the communist countries of Eastern Europe.

圣经以每年数百万计的速度扩展。通过轮船它被带到热带地区,通过飞机传到了北极,通过铁路和公路传到地球最偏远的角落。一些勇敢的人冒着失去生命和自由的危险,将圣经偷运进到东欧的共产主义国家。

 

 

Facts and Fashions事实和潮流

 

Yes, Jesus was a prophet whose words came true. This is a good reason for listening carefully to what He has to say about our own day.

是的,耶稣是一个先知,他的预言曾经实现过。他还预言过我们的时代,对这些预言我们要认真地听。

But first, a word of warning. Fashions come and fashions go. Yet facts are stubborn things. Facts remain the same while fashions change and change.

在开始这个话题之前,我先要写一些告诫的话。潮流来来往往,变化无常,只有事实是永不改变的。

And fashions are not restricted to the way people dress. There are changing fashions in the way people behave and think. There are even fashions in scientific thought and in religious outlook.

潮流并不是局限于人们衣着打扮的方式,人们行为和思考方式的潮流也在变化,甚至科学和宗教的外观也有潮流。

So beware of thinking that today’s fashion is necessarily right. Remember that tomorrow’s fashion will probably be quite different. “Everybody’s doing it” may be a good excuse for going along with the crowd, but it is a very poor reason.

因此我们要对当今潮流保持警惕。要记住明天的潮流很可能和今天大不一样。“别人都这样做”很可能成为随大流的很好借口,但是这个借口是站不住脚的。

A hundred years ago it was quite fashionable to believe in the Second Coming of Christ. Today it is fashionable to ridicule the idea of the Second Coming.

一百年以前,相信耶稣马上要回来成为一股潮流。而今天,认为耶稣会回来的观点受到嘲笑。

But what of it? Don’t let the fashion-mongers beguile you. It is only the fashion that has changed. The basic facts are the same as they always were. And such new facts as have come to light in recent years make it easier to believe in the Second Coming, not harder.

这是怎么会事?不要让潮流迷惑了你自己。潮流永远在变化,然而基本事实永不改变。而且最近发生的事件让我们更容易地相信耶稣会再来。

The first great fact is that Jesus promised, very plainly and emphatically, that He would come again.

第一重要的事实是耶稣已经非常明白而且强调地承诺,他要再次回来。

The second great fact is that He described what would be happen­ing in the world at the time of His return.

第二件重要的事实是耶稣描绘了他再次回来时这个世界要发生的事情。

And the third great fact is that the events He foretold are develop­ing in our world today.

第三件重要的事实是耶稣已经预言了当今世界要发生的事件。

So don’t be put off by the force of public opinion. Remember how often in the past public opinion has been proved wrong. The facts are so important that they deserve to be looked at squarely, to see what lies behind them.

我们不必被公众舆论的力量分心。很多时候公众的意见被证明是错误的。事实是如此重要,我们要严肃地看待事实后面所隐藏的东西。

Do not be put off, either, because in the past a number of cranks have believed in the Second Coming, and have persuaded some people to do some very foolish things. There have always been plenty of unbalanced people in the world, but their foolish actions are best forgotten.

也不要上当,过去很多人相信耶稣会再来的人,他们劝说别人做过很傻的事情。世界上永远存在着一些失去平衡的人,我们最好还是忘记这些人做的傻事。

Quite a lot of lunatics killed themselves trying to fly before aircraft were invented-but that is no reason to dispute the fact of modern aviation. Similarly, quite a number of poor deluded people have been known to dispose of all their possessions and climb a mountain “to wait for Jesus”-but that is no reason to dispute the actual facts about the Second Coming.

    飞机发明之前,有很多狂人想让自己飞起来,结果死于非命。同样,有很多可怜的受欺骗的人,他们抛弃了自己的财产,爬到山上去“等待耶稣”,但这些行为无损耶稣将来要再次回来的事实。

 

World in a Mess 困境之中的世界

 

We had better face it: the world is in a terrible predicament. While life in our affluent society goes gaily on, the most appalling forces are building up behind the scenes. The world is heading, helter-skelter, for a crisis too horrible to contemplate.

我们最好面对现实:世界正处在可怕的困境之中。在我们这个富裕社会,人们的生活依然舒适,但有一种令人恐惧的力量正隐藏在舞台后面。灾难总是在报纸的头条新闻,超过我们的预计。

But we must contemplate it for a few moments, however horrible it may be, because there is no other way to get at the facts. Here, then, is a summary of the six great problems facing the world today.

不管灾难是如何可怕,我们必须思考,因为我们没有逃避事实的道路。下面我列举当今世界所面临的6大可怕问题:

(1) Terrible Weapons. On August 6th 1945 the Japanese city of Hiroshima was wiped out by an atomic bomb. The same day Sir Winston Churchill made a statement about it, which was published a few days later in a British Government white paper. His statement ended like this:

(1)大规模杀伤性的武器194586,日本广岛受到原子弹的袭击。同一天,英国首相丘吉尔发表白皮书,白皮书声明的结尾说:

 

“We must indeed pray that these awful agencies will be made to conduce to peace among the nations, and that instead of wreaking measureless havoc upon the entire globe, they may become a peren­nial fountain of world prosperity.”2

   “我们必须虔诚地祷告,让这些可怕的武器不要成为威胁各国和平的手段,不要成为给整个世界带来巨大浩劫,而成为世界永在和平的根基。”

But the bomb that filled Churchill with awe and dread seems like a mere firework compared with the bombs of today. In 1968 Lord Ritchie-Calder did a few sums, and estimated the explosive power of all the atomic weapons existing then. It worked out at the equivalent of 100 tons of old-fashioned explosive (TNT) for every man, woman and child on earth.3

这种让丘吉尔感到恐怖的武器和现在的核武器相比较,就像是焰火一样。根据1968Ritchie-Calder爵士的估计,当年全世界核武器的当量,相当于平均每人(不管男女老幼)分配100吨的TNT炸药。

To put it another way, if we assume, that the average street has 200 people living in it, then there was already enough atomic explo­sive in 1968 to provide one Hiroshima-sized bomb for every street in the world.

   换句话说,大街上每200个人所分配到的核武器当量就相当于1968年广岛核武器爆炸的规模。

But bombs are not all. Nobody knows what horrors are being pre­pared in the secret germ-warfare laboratories of the great powers. A few years ago a British scientist in one of these labs died from a new germ he had helped to cultivate. “Good job he didn’t sneeze before he died,” a colleague is reported to have said. “He might have started an epidemic that would have wiped out the human race.”

不仅仅有原子弹。没有人知道一些秘密的生化武器试验室正在研究什么样的细菌武器。多年以前,一位英国科学家死于自己所培养的细菌,他的一位同事说:“太好了,他连一个喷嚏都没打就死了。要知道他正在研究如何制造给人类带来毁灭性打击的瘟疫。”

One thing is quite certain. World war would mean world catas­trophe. The vital question is: can man preserve world peace?

有一件事情是肯定的:世界大战意味着世界大灾难。问题的关键是:人类能够维持世界和平吗?

(2) Political Tension. The goal of all communists has always been clear. They are determined to turn the whole world communist. America and the Western Powers are equally determined to stop them. Unless one side gives way, sooner or later a head-on collision must occur. And so far neither side shows any sign of giving in.

(2) 政治紧张。共产主义国家的目标是非常明确的,他们要把整个世界变成共产主义。而美国和西方国家尽力在阻止共产主义。除非一方让步,正面冲突迟早会爆发。而在目前还没有一方显示出让步的迹象。

The danger of all-out war between Russia and China is also much greater than most people realise. In a book with the grim title, The Coming War Between Russia and China,4 a foreign affairs expert reveals the frightening facts. Communists always have quarrelled among themselves, and the two great communist countries are al­ready fully prepared to fight each other with atomic weapons.

中国和俄罗斯之间爆发全面战争的危险性大大超过人们的预料。一位外交专家在他的著作“中国和俄罗斯即将爆发的战争”,揭露出了令人震惊的事实。共产主义国家之间经常互相争吵,中国和俄罗斯这两个共产主义大国甚至准备在战争中动用核武器。

(3) Exploding Populations. More than half the population of the world is underfed now. Every year there are fifty million more mouths to feed. In thirty-five years time the world’s population is expected to be double what it is today.

(3)人口膨胀。现在过半数的人口处于营养不良状态。每年世界需要增加1500万人口的粮食供应,预计35年以后世界的人口会在今天的基础上增加一倍。

It is the poor nations whose populations are growing the fastest.其中穷国的人口增加速度最快。

Every year they grow poorer, while the rich nations grow richer. Sooner or later the cry is bound to come, “Shall we starve-or fight?”

结果会导致穷国变得更穷,富国更富。迟早有一天人们会说:“要么饿死,要么战斗!”

(4) Plundered Resources. Man has already cut down more than half the world’s forests, and turned vast areas of fertile land into desert. He is exterminating much of the earth’s wildlife, and using up mineral deposits at an alarming rate. As the world’s remaining resources dwindle, nations will become more and more tempted to fight for what is left.

(4) 对资源的掠夺。世界上已经有过半的森林被砍伐,大片的肥沃土地变成了沙漠。人类已经使超过半的野生动物灭绝,还以惊人的速度浪费矿产资源。随着世界的资源越来越少,国与国之间为了争夺资源爆发战争的可能性越来越大。

(5) Pollution. Man has turned many of the world’s rivers into sewers, and one of its greatest lakes into a cesspool where few fish can survive. By filling the air with fumes he has impaired the health of millions, and is in danger of changing the climate of the whole planet. If he goes on like this for another century, man could easily make the earth uninhabitable.

(5) 环境污染。很多河流已经被人类变成了臭水沟,最大的湖泊变成了污水池,只有少量的鱼儿在挣扎。现在空气污染已经影响到数百万人的身体健康,而且还会改变地球的气候。如果这种现状持续到下一个世纪,地球就不再是一个适合于人类居住的地方。

(6) Loss of Moral Sense. A little while ago I met a Chinese scientist from Formosa. “What’s the religious situation in the more prosperous parts of Asia today?” I asked him over lunch.

6)缺乏道德观点。不久前我遇见一位来自台湾的中国科学家,午餐时我问他:“亚洲一些的地方经济越来越繁荣,那里人们的宗教信仰状况如何?”

“Just the same as it is in Europe,” he replied. “Many people still claim to hold the old Eastern religions, just as England still calls itself a Christian country’. But as with you, so with us: the old religions no longer mean anything to most people. We have our ‘permissive society’ just like yours.”

“和欧洲的情况一样”,他说。“很多人声称自己信仰传统的东方美德,就像现在英国仍然声称自己是一个基督教国家一样。你们的情况就是我们的状况。传统的宗教对于大多数人来说已经不重要,我们的社会变成了一个“宽容的社会”,这一点也和你们一样。

When faith goes, morals are bound to slip. So all the advanced nations have a crime wave, rapidly growing problems of alcoholism, drug addiction and juvenile violence.

没有信仰,道德自然会滑坡。所有的发达国家都遇到犯罪率就会上升,酗酒、吸毒、青少年犯罪增加的难题。

One day in 1969 the police in Montreal went on strike for just twelve hours. Yet that was long enough for the city to be terrorised, when thousands of normally law-abiding citizens went berserk. The “civilised” world today is only one step away from a return to the jungle.

1969年的一天,加拿大蒙特利尔市的警察仅仅罢工12小时,然而已经足够让这个城市陷于恐怖之中,甚至数千名普通遵守法的公民也开始疯狂。今天,从“文明世界”到土著部落,中间相差只有一步。

 

 

Jesus Answers a Question耶稣对一个问题的回答

 

“Well, so what?” said my friend Norman one day, when I was telling him about these things. “The world’s in a mess, right enough. But then it’s often been in a mess. Jesus didn’t need to be a prophet to foretell that the world would have a load of trouble. Anybody could have foreseen that. And, anyway, what makes you think it was our particular, twentieth-century, mess that Jesus spoke about?”

“好了,这又怎样?”我们朋友罗曼说:“这个世界是一团糟,但是一直都是一团糟。耶稣不需要预言这个世界会遇到麻烦,任何人都可以预见这一点。还有,是什么让你认为耶稣说的就是我们二十世纪的独特现状?”

There is a very satisfactory answer to Norman’s question. To appreciate it we must take a close look at what Jesus said, and how He came to say it.

回答罗曼的问题有一中非常令人满意的方法。这就是我们必须先仔细地看耶稣说过什么,是怎样说的。

One day, not long before He was crucified, His disciples referred to the magnificent Temple that was Jerusalem’s pride and joy. Jesus startled them by commenting that it was going to be utterly destroyed.

耶稣受害前不久的某一天,他的门徒指向耶路撒冷的圣殿,圣殿是耶路撒冷的骄傲。耶稣告诉他们这座圣殿将来要完完全全地被拆毁。

  

So they asked Him the obvious question-when? And then they added a second question. They said:

   门徒们因此会情不自禁地问这些事情什么时候发生。他们说:

“Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”5

请告诉我们,什么时候有这些事?你降临和世界的末了有什么预兆呢?(马太福音243

In reply Jesus talked at great length. He described how there would be a period of trouble for the nation, and of persecution for His disciples. Then, He said, an enemy army would besiege Jerusalem, and terrible events would follow.6 He continued:

    耶稣用了比较长的篇幅回答这个问题。他描绘了以色列民族将来要被压迫,自己的门徒要受到迫害。他还告诉他们,耶路撒冷将来要被敌人所围困,还有及其可怕的事情发生,因为:

“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”7

“这是报应的日子,使经上所写的都得应验。”(路加福音2122

The words in italics are very important. When Jesus spoke of things “written”, as He did many times, He always meant “written in the Old Testament”. Many Old Testament prophecies about the Jews were quoted in Chapter 2 of this book. Jesus was evidently referring to them, and others like them. He said that all of those things must be fulfilled. 

这些斜体字非常重要。耶稣在提到“经上所写的”时候,通常是指“记载于旧约中的话。”本书第2章引用了很多旧约关于犹太人的预言。耶稣说的就是这些犹太人,他说所有圣经记载的事情都要实现。

If you refer back to Chapter 2 you will see that those prophecies about the Jews were in three groups: (1) Expulsion, (2) A long period of exile, (3) Return to their homeland. In the next verse but one, Jesus summarised all those Scriptures which “must be fulfilled”:

如果你参考本书第二章,你就会看到有关犹太人的预言被分成3个阶段:(1).被赶出故土。(2).漫长的流放时期。(3).回到故土。耶稣总结说,这些预言“都得应验”。

 

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations [that is (1), Expulsion] and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles [that is (2), A period of exile] until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”8

“他们要倒在刀下,又被掳到各国去。耶路撒冷要被外邦人践踏,直到外邦人的日期满了。”(路加福音2124

The key word “until” implies that the Gentiles would not always occupy Jerusalem. This was Christ’s way of referring to the third group of Old Testament prophecies, which spoke of the Jews eventu­ally returning to their homeland. He spoke another two verses des­cribing the state of the world at that future day, and then made a momentous promise:

 直到”是一个关键词,暗示外邦人不会永远占领耶路撒冷。这也是基督表达犹太人会回到自己本国的方式,和旧约中的预言一致。耶稣谈到了将来世界的状态,然后作出了重大的承诺:

 

“And then shall they see the Son of Man [Himself] coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.”9

“那时,他们要看见人子(耶稣自己)有能力,有大荣耀驾云降临。”(路加福音2127

In other words, Jesus taught that when the Jews went back to their homeland (and Jerusalem in particular) His Second Coming would soon follow.

用另外的话来说,在犹太人回到他们的故土(特别是耶路撒冷)以后,耶稣才有可能再来。

This is how we know that Jesus was speaking of our day. For about 1800 years the Jews lived in exile. About seventy years ago they began to go home. In 1948 the State of Israel was set up. In 1967 Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem (they already owned the New City). At last Jerusalem was no longer “trodden down of the Gentiles”.

从这里我们可以知道耶稣说的是我们这个时代。犹太人流浪在外大约1800年,70多年以前他们开始回到故土。在1948年以色列建国。在1967年,他们夺回了耶路撒冷旧城,(现在新城也在他们的控制之下)。耶路撒冷终于不再“被外邦人践踏”。

Whether we agree with Israel’s policy of occupying Arab lands is beside the point. What matters is that Christ’s words unmistakably give us one vital piece of information. Recent events in the Holy Land have provided a sure sign that Christ’s return is near.

不管我们是否赞同以色列占领阿拉伯领土,这是另外一个问题,重要的是耶稣已经提前告诉我们这一重要信息。在以色列这片神圣的土地上所发生的事情,向我们保证耶稣再次降临的时间不会太久。

Do not be surprised if some other great changes have taken place in the land of Israel by the time you read these words. These are to be expected. For example, Ezekiel said that after God’s unworthy people had returned to their land, something miraculous would happen to convert them:

如果你已经看过这些话,就不会对以色列发生的一些其它大的变化感到惊奇。这些事情是早就可以预料到的。例如,以西结说, 神还是让这些不配的百姓回到自己的家乡,然后有一些神奇的事情会发生,使他们转变心意:

“I will gather you out of all countries and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.”10

   “我必从各国收取你们,从列邦聚集你们,引导你们归回本地。我必用清水洒在你们身上,你们就洁净了。我要洁净你们,使你们脱离一切的污秽,弃掉一切的偶像。我也要赐给你们一个新心,将新灵放在你们里面,又从你们的肉体中除掉石心,赐给你们肉心”。(以西结书3624-26

How was the ungodly nation of Israel going to be changed so suddenly? Another prophet explains:

“I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem . . . And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him... And one shall say unto him, ‘What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Then he shall answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends’.”11

以色列人大多数时候都是不敬神的,他们是怎样突然转变?另一位先知解释说:

      “我要从东方从西方救回我的民。我要领他们来,使他们住在耶路撒冷中……我必将那施恩叫人恳求的灵,浇灌大卫家和耶路撒冷的居民。他们必仰望我,就是他们所扎的;必为我悲哀,如丧独生子,又为我愁苦,如丧长子。那日,耶路撒冷必有大大的悲哀,如米吉多平原之哈达临门的悲哀….. 必有人问他说:『你两臂中间是什麽伤呢?』他必回答说:『这是我在亲友家中所受的伤。』”(撒迦利亚书878121011136

So that is how the unbelieving Israelis are to be converted so suddenly. Their Messiah will come to them. If you read the whole of Zechariah 12 you will see that he is to come to save them from a national disaster, which might even involve them in military defeat and a temporary captivity.

这是一个不信仰耶稣的民族突然转变的原因,因为他们的弥赛亚来到他们中间。如果你仔细阅读撒迦利亚书第12章,你会看到当弥赛亚降临的时候,以色列这个民族正在遇到一场大的灾难,他们的军队被击败,甚至城市中的百姓被暂时俘虏到别的地方。

This will be the most poignant moment in Israel’s 4,000-year his­tory. They look at this Messiah who has just delivered them from their misery. They see he bears the marks of crucifixion. At long last the truth dawns upon them. and the Jews finally accept Jesus as their Messiah.

这将是以色列4000年历史上最痛苦的时刻。他们的弥赛亚将拯救他们,他们将仰望他,他们明白弥赛亚为了他们而上十字架。最后,真理会浇灌他们使他们明白真理,犹太人最终会接受耶稣是他们的弥赛亚。

 

 

Meanwhile, in the World Outside...与此同时,在外面的世界

 

But this has been looking ahead. The return of Jesus is near, but it is still future. Our task at the moment is to see what Jesus says about our day, the time after the Jewish return to Jerusalem (reference 8, above) and before the Second Coming (reference 9). I left out the two verses separating those two passages. They said:

耶稣回来的日子近了,但是还是在将来。我们此刻的目的是看看耶稣关于我们的时代说过什么,在犹太人回到耶路撒冷以后,在他回来以前。我在这里引用两句经文:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity,the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. For the powers of heaven shall he shaken.”12

  “日、月、星辰要显出异兆,地上的邦国也有困苦;因海中波浪的响声,就慌慌不定。天势都要震动,人想起那将要临到世界的事,就都吓得魂不附体。”

(路加福音212526

Each phrase here is full of meaning. But it is no use looking at them with twentieth-century European eyes, and guessing at the mean­ing that seems likely to us. These words were spoken to first-century Jews, men steeped in Old Testament knowledge. We need to ask ourselves, “How would they have understood Christ’s words?” The answer undoubtedly is, “In the light of the Old Testament passages that Jesus was referring to.”

这里的每一句话都充满意义,但是用现代欧洲人的眼光来猜测这些话的含义是没有用的。这些话是耶稣对公元1世纪的犹太人说的,他们的圣经知识仅仅限于旧约。我们应该问一问我们自己:“他们怎样理解耶稣的话?”答案当然是:“要根据耶稣提到的圣经旧约知识”

It is therefore necessary to examine each phrase in that light.

我们要根据这一点查考每一段经文:

First, “Signs in the sun, moon and stars”. This language was a familiar Old Testament figure of speech for national disaster. Isaiah used it of the military conquest of Babylon13 and Ezekiel of the military defeat of Egypt.14 But it is the prophet Joel to whose words Jesus is most probably referring. Joel uses similar expressions twice:

首先,要看到“日、月、星辰要显出异兆”是我们熟悉的语言,这些语言用来形容一个国家的灾难。以赛亚在描叙巴比伦被征服(以赛亚书1310、以西结在提到埃及被别的国家打败时(以西结书327,都用到这些词汇。但是耶稣在这里引用这个词主要是根据约珥书中来的。约珥曾经两次使用了这个词:

once of the disaster coming upon Israel15 and again of the disaster coming upon the whole world.16 But in both chapters Joel is speaking of “the day of the Lord”, when Israel shall return to their land17 and Messiah shall appear to establish God’s kingdom.18

第一次是描写灾难降临在以色列这块土地上约珥书315,还有一次描写这个灾难后来扩散到了整个世界(约珥书31。约珥在这两章中都谈到了“耶和华的日子”,是以色列回归土地以后,弥赛亚将来会出现,建立  神的国。

 

Evidently by this expression Jesus was saying, “The great world disaster foretold by the Prophets will burst upon the world.”

耶稣用这种表达方式实际上是说:“这些先知已经早就预言过的世界性的大灾难将来会突然降临在世界上。”

His next phrase: “Upon the earth, distress of nations, with per­plexity.” Again He refers to the Old Testament prophecies about His Second Coming, such as one in Daniel that says it would be accom­panied by:

我们在来看接下来的经文:“地上的邦国也有困苦”,在这里他提到了旧约关于他第二次降临的预言,但以理书也提到过,他说,这个时刻是以色列最艰难的时刻:

“A time of trouble such as never was, since there was a nation to that same time.”19

    “从有国以来直到此时,没有这样的。”(但以理书121

A standard authority on the Greek language20 says that Christ’s word “perplexity” means, in the Greek New Testament, “a state of not knowing which way to turn”. This describes exactly the position of the world’s governments today. They know the problems threaten­ing the human race with extinction. But they do not know which way to turn to solve them.

一位希腊文权威解释说,耶稣所言的“困苦”,意思是“不知道往哪个方向去”,这也是今天世界各国政府所要面临的难题。我们知道人类生存所面临的威胁,但是不知道解决的方法。

H. G. Wells spoke for many of his fellow unbelievers, when he wrote in his last book:

  威尔是不相信圣经的代表人物。他在一本书的最后写道:

“This world is at the end of its tether. The end of everything we call life is close at hand and cannot be evaded - . - there is no way out, or round, or through the impasse. It is the end.”21

  “世界正在面临自己的尽头。我们称为生命的每一样东西都到了尽头,不能逃避,没有回头,不能转弯,也不能打破僵局。世界到了尽头”。

If he had not been an unbeliever, you might almost think that Wells was deliberately echoing Jesus - “not knowing which way to turn”.

如果他不是一位不相信  神的人,你一定会认为是在故意地迎合耶稣的观点:“不知道往哪个方向去”。

The next words of Jesus are puzzling to many Western minds: “The sea and the waves roaring”. To the careful Bible reader they present no difficulty. Behind them lies the figurative language of Isaiah, who likened the behaviour of masses of wicked people to the raging of a restless sea.22 If world catastrophe occurs, and law and order breaks down, it is not difficult to visualise the “roaring waves” of mob violence that will follow.

“因海中波浪的响声,就慌慌不定”,接下来的这句话会让很多西方人感到难以理解。但是对于认真阅读圣经的人来说,这些话是不难理解的。这句话应用了以赛亚书中的比喻,象征很多做坏事的人引起的骚乱。(以赛亚书572021如果灾难发生,法律和次序被破坏,不难想象“愤怒的波涛”后面将紧跟着暴力和抢劫。

No wonder that Jesus continues, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” It only needs one newspaper headline, such as, “American Ultimatum to Russia Expires at Midnight!” for those words to start coming true.

难怪耶稣会接下来说:“人想起那将要临到世界的事,就都吓得魂不附体。”如果那一天报纸的头条新闻是“美国向苏联发出最后通牒”,它就可能会变成现实。

The verses quoted conclude, “for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”. This also is well-established Old Testament language, used to describe governments crashing under the impact of war.23

这句经文结论是:“天势都要震动”,在旧约中也经常使用这样的话,描写了受战争的影响下的政府。(例如以赛亚书341-5

What does all this add up to? That Jesus foretold, in language that was perfectly clear to the Jews who first heard Him, and that can be equally clear to us if we trouble to get acquainted with the figures of speech used in the Old Testament, a world just like ours.

  耶稣用当时犹太人一听就能够明白的话预言,如果我们能够了解圣经旧约中的象征意义,我们同样也能够明白,这样的世界就像我们现在的时代。

He said, in effect, that in the days when the Jews went back to the Land of Israel, the world would be facing frightful problems. World catastrophe would be looming up, but men would not know how to prevent it. When disaster came, governments would fall, law and order would go, mob violence would take its place. And then-thank God-He would return “to destroy them which destroy the earth” (to quote a phrase used in another New Testament book).24

耶稣实际上是说,在犹太人回到耶路撒冷以后,世界将会面临一系列可怕的难题。世界灾难临近,没有人知道怎样去阻止他们。在灾难来到的时候,政府垮台,法律和次序荡然无存,暴力会取代法律。然而我们应该感谢  神,因为他最终将“败坏那些败坏世界之人”。(启示录1118

How did Jesus manage to foretell so clearly the problem facing our world?

This is the explanation He gave Himself:

耶稣如何能清楚地预言我们这个世界所遇到的问题?

耶稣自己的解释是:

“The word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”25

   “你们所听见的道(即  神的话)不是我的,乃是差我来之父的道。”(约翰福音1424

Can you think of another explanation that fits the facts so well?

    你能想到其它符合事实的解释吗?

 

Peter Continues彼得的陈述

 

The right hand man of Jesus was His apostle, Peter. After Jesus left the scene, Peter became a leader of the Christian church. He wrote two books of the New Testament, and in one of them he enlarged on the Master’s prophecy about our age. He said:

彼得是耶稣最亲近的门徒之一。在耶稣升天离开门徒以后,彼得就成为教会的领导者。新约收录了他写的两封书信,其中之一预言了我们今天这个时代:

 

“In the last days mockers shall come with mockery) walking after their own lusts and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming, for from the day that the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation’. For this they wilfully forget, that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same Word, are kept in store reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment - . The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat”.26

    “第一要紧的,该知道在末世必有好讥诮的人随从自己的私欲出来讥诮说:「主要降临的应许在那里呢?因为从列祖睡了以来,万物与起初创造的时候仍是一样。」他们故意忘记,从太古,凭神的命有了天,并从水而出、藉水而成的地。故此,当时的世界被水淹没就消灭了。但现在的天地还是凭著那命存留,直留到不敬虔之人受审判遭沉沦的日子,用火焚烧……. 但主的日子要像贼来到一样。那日,天必大有响声废去,有形质的都要被烈火销化,地和其上的物都要烧尽了。”(彼得后书33-710

The words printed in italics show that Peter foresaw four distinct features about our age.

斜体字代表了彼得预言的、不同于以往时代的我们这个时代;

(1) Men would mock at the idea of Christ’s return, They do mock, don’t they? So much so that I had to appeal to you at the beginning of this chapter not to follow the fashion, but to give the facts a fair hearing.人们会讥笑耶稣会来的观点 现实生活中我们确实看到这些嘲笑的声音,难道不是吗? 在本章中我一开始就呼吁您不要随着潮流的风向变化,要留心事实。

(2) Their excuse would be, “All things continue as they were.” In other words, “Natural laws carry on without changing; why should we believe that a Creator ever has intervened in the world’s affairs, or will do so again?” 他们的理由是:“万物与起初创造的时候仍是一样”,用另外的话来说,“自然法则一直运行不息,没有改变,为什么我们要相信有一位造物主曾经干预世界事务,或者是将来还要这样做?”

Only a scientist could be expected to recognise this as a remarkable prophecy. But it is. As Col. Merson Davies, a scientist of some dis­tinction (he was awarded two doctorates for research in geology) has pointed Out, Peter’s words exactly describe the modern scientific principle of “uniformitarianism” (or “uniformity”, if you prefer short words to long ones).27

只有科学家才能分辨出彼得的预言。著名的科学家Merson Davies(他曾在地质学领域获得过双博士学位)指出,彼得描写的现象就是现代科学的“地质均变说”原则。

“Uniformity” is the foundation upon which the science of geology, and much else besides, is built. It leads directly to the popular philosophy, “Evolution has explained everything-therefore we needn’t believe in God any more. Hooray!”

“地质均变说”是地质学的基础,地质学就是在“地质均变说”的基础上建立的。“地质均变说”还直接导致一种流行哲学的出现,“进化论已经解释了一切,因此我们不需要相信上帝了。万岁!”

“Uniformity” is very much a modern invention. It was totally opposed to the thinking of the world in which Peter lived. Yet Peter foresaw its uprise, many centuries beforehand.

“地质均变说”是一种非常现代的理论。它完全不同于彼得时代的思维方式。然而彼得在很久以前就已经预言了这种理论会出现:

(3) Men would deny that the Flood ever occurred. This also was a most unlikely prophecy when it was written. Until a couple of hundred years ago the reality of Noah’s Flood was never questioned. Yet today it is fashionable to regard it as a myth. Peter foresaw this complete change of thought, more than a thousand years before it began. 人们会故意否认曾经发生过的大洪水。彼得在写这些话的时候,似乎也是最不太可能发生的事情,因为两百年以前,没有人质疑挪亚时代的大洪水,直到现代人流行将大洪水看成是一种神话。彼得在几千年以前就已经预见了人们的思想变化。

(4) The final world catastrophe would be associated with fire. This also is a surprising prophecy. The Old Testament which Peter knew so well generally associated the future world-wide catastrophe with war.26 In Peter’s day war was a matter of iron blades and flowing blood. How did he know that in our day the whole image of war would be different?   世界末日的灾难与火有关这也是令人惊讶的。旧约通常将未来的世界大灾难和战争联系在一起的。(例如以西节书36-39;约饵书23;撒迦利亚书14彼得非常熟悉这一点,在他的年代,战争是冷兵器时代。他是怎样想象将来战争的形态是完全不同的?

First, firearms; then incendiary bombs; then napalm; finally, The Bomb. These have entirely changed the image of war. Now, more than anything else, we associate war with fire. How did Peter know that modern weapons would make “the elements melt with fervent heat”?

首先是火器,接下来是燃烧弹,在接下来是凝固汽油弹,最后是原子弹。这些武器完全改变了战争的形态。现在提到战争,我们首先想到的是火。彼得是怎么想到现代战争会使“有形质的都要被烈火销化”?

 

Once again the decision is up to you. This book can only put the facts before you. You are the one who must weigh them in your mind, and try to reach a decision.

你如何回答这个问题取决于你自己。本书只能将事实摆在你的面前。但是你应该在大脑中掂量这些事实,然后试图作出选择。

Is there some other explanation for these facts?

对这些事实还有别的解释吗?

Or did Jesus, and Peter, and the prophets of the Old Testament, really foresee the frightful predicament of our generation? And if so, can’t we trust them as true prophets, and believe that God who fore­saw our problems will solve them for us as He promised-by sending Jesus back to put the world right?

或者,耶稣、彼得以及旧约时代的先知们真的预言我们这个时代可怕的困境?如果是这样,我们就应该相信他们是真正的先知,并且相信  神会预见我们的困难,会按照自己的应许差遣耶稣回来拯救世界。

 

6

Who Could Have Invented Jesus?

谁能虚构耶稣?

Now we have left the evidence of fulfilled prophecy behind, and must go on to look at a very different kind of evidence. This will involve making a study of Jesus Christ Himself.

现在我们将已经应验的预言放在一边,来看看另一种证据,它涉及到研究耶稣基督本人。

“Ah,” you may say, “but this begs the question. How do we know that there ever was such a person? What’s the use of assuming that the gospels tell the truth about Jesus, and then building conclusions on such a shaky foundation?”

你可能会说,“咳,我们怎么才能知道有这样一个人?如果福音书告诉我们有关耶稣的真相是建立在假设耶稣存在的基础上,然后根据这个不可靠的假设下结论,这样做又有什么用?”

Quite so. Very true. And I have no intention of doing any such thing. All I shall assume is that the gospels are either fact, or fiction, or a mixture of the two. (You won’t disagree with that, will you?) Then we shall examine the gospels critically to see which of those three alternatives seems most likely. Fair enough? 

确实有这样的可能性,但是我不打算这样做。我现在的假设是:福音书要么是事实,要么是虚构的,或者是事实加上虚构。(这一点应该不会有异议,是吗?)接下来我们采取挑剔的眼光严格检查福音书,看看三种可能性中那种的可能性最大。这样做算是公平,可以吧?

But before we begin, it is worth noting that even unbelievers generally recognise that the gospels are not pure fiction. One of the most learned of all unbelievers was Sir James Frazer. His classic history of magic and religion, The Golden Bough, was a landmark in twentieth century scholarship. He wrote:

在开始之前我们有必要注意,即使是不相信圣经的人通常也不认为福音书纯粹是虚构的。James Frazer爵士是一位非常有学识的人,他的有关历史和宗教的经典剧作《The Golden Bough,是二十世纪标志性的学术著作。他写道:

“My theory assumes the historical reality of Jesus of Nazareth as a great religious and moral teacher [not, you will notice, as the Son of God] who founded Christianity and was crucified at Jerusalem under the governorship of Pontius Pilate. The testimony of the gospels, confirmed by the hostile evidence of Tacitus (Ann. 15,44) and the younger Pliny (Epist. 10,96) appears amply sufficient to establish these facts to the satisfaction of all unprejudiced enquirers. It is only the details of the life and death of Christ that remain, and will probably always remain, shrouded in the mists of un­certainty. The doubts which have been cast upon the historical reality of Jesus are, in my judgment, unworthy of serious attention. Quite apart from the positive evidence of history and tradition, the origin of a great religious and moral reform is inexplicable without the personal existence of a great reformer.”1 (The italics are mine.)

“我自己的理论把拿撒勒人耶稣看成是一个历史真实人物,也是伟大的宗教和道德教师(请注意,他没有说耶稣是  神的儿子”),他建立了基督教,并且后来在耶路撒冷被罗马总督比拉多钉死在十字架上。有福音书的以及塔西佗(古罗马元老院议员, 历史学家)提供的书面材料可以证明。这些证据可以满足所有怀有偏见的怀疑者的质疑。只有耶稣的出生和死亡细节是一个谜,也许永远会是一个谜。这些谜团并不能否认耶稣是一个真实的人物,我认为怀疑者论的观点不值得严肃的关注。除了历史和传统的正面证据以外,基督教的起源和道德革命证明了一定存在着一位伟大的改革者。  

 

Inventing the Uninventable 发明不可能发明的

 

About 500 years ago there lived in Italy one of the greatest geniuses of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Besides painting some of the world’s greatest pictures, he was a research scientist of the first rank. He is often said to have “invented” the aeroplane, the steamship, and the submarine.  

达芬奇是生活在500年以前的意大利天才。除了画画,他还是当时一流的科学家。人们常常说他“发明”了飞机、气垫船、潜水艇。

Perhaps “invented” is too strong a word, because he never built any such machines. He did, however, first hatch out the ideas that hundreds of years later led to the development of those modern marvels. So we can give him the benefit of the doubt and say that, in a sense, he did invent them.

 “发明”这个词对于他来说可能过分了一些,因为他没有真正地造出这些机器来。然而,他大脑中存在的这些构想导致了几百年以后对这些现代机器的开发。尽管存在一些疑问,我们还是可以说,从某种程度上他发明了这些机器。

His inventions were brilliant, but not impossible. All the back­ground knowledge that he needed was to hand. But there were certain things that he did not invent, because in his day they were uninvent­able. He could not invent a heart-lung machine, because he did not know about the circulation of the blood; more than a century was to elapse before Harvey discovered that. Nor could Leonardo invent an atom bomb, because he regarded matter as solid stuff; until modern scientists discovered that atoms were not solid lumps after all, but hollow spheres peppered with electric particles, the atom bomb was uninventable.

他的发明是非常聪明的,但不是不可能的。所有需要的背景知识都是他可以掌握的。有很多事情他没有发明,因为在那个时代是不可能发明的。他不可能发明心肺机(心脏手术时临时代替病人心肺的机器),因为他不知道血液循环,这种机器是在一百年以后由Harvey发明的。达芬奇也不可能发明原子弹,因为他认为没有物质和能量互相转化的知识,而且他认为物质是实心的,直到现代科学家才揭示了物质根本不是实心的,而是空心的,外面自由分布着电子。如果没有这些知识,发明原子弹是不可想象的。

Now the argument I shall put forward in this chapter is this: the Jesus of whom we read in the gospels was, at the time the gospels were written, uninventable. Consequently the Jesus of the gospels must have been a historical character, not a fictional one.

现在我提出本章的论点:我们在福音书中读到的耶稣,在福音书书写的年代是不可能被发明的。因此福音书中的耶稣一定是一个历史性的真实人物,而不是虚构的人物。

The first thing to note is that nobody wanted a person like the Jesus of the New Testament. (To avoid repetition I shall not keep saying “the Jesus of the New Testament” but simply “Jesus”-while, for the time being, leaving completely open the question whether He was a historical character or a fictitious one.) Paul summed up the situation when he wrote:

首先我们要注意的是,没有人想要新约中耶稣这样的人物。(为了避免重复,我简单地用耶稣来代替福音书中的耶稣)。保罗总结当时的情况说:

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness.”2

   “我们却是传钉十字架的基督,在犹太人为绊脚石,在外邦人为愚拙”。(哥林多前书123

Nearly all the Jews had no time for Him. They were bigots, com­pletely set in their religious ways. This man turned all their religious ideas upside down. He was nothing like the conquering king of a Messiah that they wanted. No Jew would have wanted to invent such an improbable, unacceptable kind of Messiah.

 几乎所有的犹太人都没有时间听耶稣的话。他们顽固地坚持自己所认为是正确的事情。耶稣这个人完全颠倒了他们的宗教观点,一点也不像他们所需要的弥赛亚。没有犹太人会发明一个他们不可能、也不接受的弥赛亚。

Nearly all the Gentiles had no use for Him, either. He was altogether unlike the kind of men they admired. Theirs was a cruel, selfish, lustful world. Human life was cheap. They would leave un­wanted babies (girls, usually) to die with as little compunction as we drown unwanted kittens.

Their pleasures were mostly immoral ones: watching gladiators fighting to the death, or worshipping at idolatrous temples which were often only glorified brothels. It is hard to imagine any Gentile inventing a Jesus whose teaching was so full of condemnation for the Gentile way of life.

犹太人以外的民族几乎都认为耶稣对他们没有用。他不像他们所羡慕的类型。他们的世界是残酷的、自私的,人的生命是廉价的。他们会抛弃他们不喜欢的婴儿,例如女婴,就像他们淹死一个他们不喜欢的猫。

他们的喜欢的娱乐方式是最不道德的:观看格斗者互相搏斗直到死亡,崇拜偶像,和神庙中的妓女发生性关系。很难相信这些外邦人会发明一个耶稣,这个人的教导充满了对他们生活方式的谴责。

Into this harsh world came Jesus, teaching things that made men marvel. He preached the necessity of unselfish love, love that stopped at nothing, love that led men to lay down their lives rather than use force against others. He preached it, and He set the example Himself. He refused to defend Himself, or even to let His disciples defend Him.Instead, He went meekly to a horrible death.

耶稣在这个时候来了。他的教导让人们感到惊奇。他宣传无私的爱,没有止境的爱,他为别人献出自己的生命而不是用武力征服他人。他宣传自己的教义,并且实践自己的教义。他拒绝用武力来保护自己,甚至不让自己的门徒来保护自己,最后他平静地接受了可怕的死亡。

We are not now concerned with the weighty question of whether Christians today should be pacifists. My personal opinion is in favour of Christian pacifism today, but that is beside the point. At the moment we are not concerned with opinions but with facts. The relevant facts are:

我们现在没有涉及基督徒是否应该是和平主义者。我个人的观点是赞同和平主义的,但是这不是我们现在要讨论的话题。现在我们要讨论的不是个人的看法,而是事实。

相关的事实有:

(1) That Jesus introduced to a hostile world the entirely new teaching of “Love to the uttermost”. 耶稣在一个充满敌对思想的世界宣传“没有限度的爱”。

(2) In keeping with this, He and His apostles preached pacifism. 4

和耶稣的观点一样,他和他的门徒们宣传和平主义。

(3) He constantly lived up to His own teaching, even though it led Him to a cruel death.

耶稣一直按照自己宣传的那样生活,即使这种方式导致他受到残酷的死亡。

(4) There is plenty of historical evidence that the early Christian Church followed His difficult teaching, including pacifism.5

有足够的历史证据证实早期的基督教教会跟随耶稣的教义,包括和和平主义。

It is not surprising that the originator of these unpopular teach­ings made few converts at first. In the very early days Christianity was a small sect “everywhere spoken against”.6 It was an unpopular minority religion.

毫不奇怪,由于这些教训不受欢迎,最开始耶稣只有少数的追随者。在教会的初期阶段,基督教“是到处被毁谤的”(使徒新传2822)。基督教在当时是少数人信仰的不受欢迎的宗教。

True, by the fourth century it had grown great. But only because the standards had been lowered, the fine new teaching had been watered down. Yet even despite this watering down, despite the wickedness that has been done in the name of Christ by millions of unworthy professors of Christianity-despite everything, the teaching of Jesus has met the world’s need.

确实如此,在公元4世纪基督教开始发展壮大,仅仅是因为标准降低了,基督教的教义被添加了水分。尽管如此,尽管有很多不配称为基督徒的教授们以基督教的名义作了很多坏事,尽管有这样多的事情出现,耶稣的教义满足了世界的需要。

Where men have truly followed the teaching of the gospels, all that is best in the sad story of mankind has followed. Even unbelievers admit that. Here are the words of a famous American who did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, Theodore Parker:

    在那些有真正的听从耶稣教训的人地方,也是人类悲惨的历史中出现的仅有的好时期,即使是那些不相信圣经的人也承认如此。Theodore Parker就是这样一位,他说: 

“Consider what a work his [Christ’s] words and deeds have wrought in the world. Remember that the greatest minds, the rich­est hearts, have set no loftier aim, no truer method than his of perfect love to God and man. Shall we be told that such a man never lived-the whole story is a lie! Suppose that Plato and Newton never lived. But who did their wonders, and thought their thought? It takes a Newton to forge a Newton. What man could have fabricated a Jesus?”7

   “考虑到耶稣的言行对世界有多么大的影响,要牢记最伟大的思想、最富有的心肠都比不上耶稣对  神、对人的爱。难道有人会告诉我们说,历史上从来就没有这样一个人?难道整个历史都是编造的?谁能够假定伯拉图这个人不存在,牛顿不存在,但是这些人的新观点、新思想是从哪里来的?难道是一个牛顿来假冒另外一个牛顿,谁能够假冒耶稣?”

Besides paying tribute to all that the Christian message has done for mankind, Parker takes up the question with which we began: could anyone have invented Jesus? And although he regarded Jesus as a mere man, he answered with a resounding, “No!”

    Parker在高度赞扬了基督教对人类的贡献以后,他又重新提问我们开始的问题:“谁能够发明耶稣?”尽管Parker认为耶稣仅仅是一位人,但是他的回答是响亮的:“没有!”

Another famous writer who was a complete unbeliever, John Stuart Mill, backs him up:

      还有一位著名的作家,John Stuart Mill他也不是基督徒,他也有同样的观点:

“It is of no use to say that Christ as exhibited in the gospels is not historical, and that we know not how much of what is admirable has been superadded by the tradition of his followers. Who among his disciples or among their proselytes was capable of inventing the sayings ascribed to Jesus, or of imagining the life and character revealed in the gospels? Certainly not the fishermen of Galilee, still less the early Christian writers.”8

   “不承认在福音书中出现的基督是历史事实,这样做是行不通的。我们不知道有多少他可羡慕之处是他的追随者加上去的,在他的门徒中间谁能够发明或者是编造出福音书中所描写的耶稣来,或者是能够想象出福音书中展现的耶稣的生活或品德出来?这些加利利湖边的那些渔夫肯定不会,早期的基督教作家更不太可能。”

 

His Sublime character耶稣崇高的品德

 

So far so good. The idea that any lesser men could have “invented” Jesus begins to look unlikely. But the evidence is not yet conclusive. We must go a little further, and study more closely the character of this Jesus.

好了,有人发明耶稣看起来是不太可能的。但是证据还不是结论性的。我们需要进一步准确地来分析耶稣的品德。

To save space, we shall only be able to consider the last twenty-four hours of His life. As we do this, it is important that you bear two things in mind:

为了节省篇幅,我们来看耶稣生命中的最后24小时。在我们这样做的时候,我们需要一直惦记着非常重要的两点:

(1) We shall be dodging about between all four gospels, because this is the only way we can build up a complete picture of Him. So, if Jesus was invented’’, He had not one inventor but four, all skil­fully co-operating to produce a realistic result.

我们要在本福音书中来回穿梭,因为只有这样我们才能形成关于耶稣的整体画面。如果耶稣是被人捏造出来的人物,他应该是4个人同时发明出来的,而且这4个人要彼此有高超的协作技巧才能制造出可信的效果来。

(2) Many of the facets of His character that we shall examine are not on the surface of the record. We have to look very carefully, to dig them out from where they lie, half-buried in the text. Does this look like fiction, or fact? Novelists do not usually hide all their best points, so that only a diligent student can find them!  很多耶稣的品德并不能从表面上表现出来。我们必须非常仔细地观察,才能挖掘出隐藏在经文中的内涵。这看起来是虚构的,还是事实?小说家通常不会将他们最精彩的观点刻意地隐藏起来,而圣经的要点只有勤奋的学生才能发现。

We enter the gospel story on the evening before He is crucified. He is in an upstairs room with the twelve apostles, where they are about to have supper. He knows that this will be the last meal of His mortal life, and He intends to make it a memorable one. Two passages summarise one aspect of this meal:

我们来考察耶稣被害之前的那个晚上。他和十二个门徒在一座房子的楼上一起吃晚餐。他知道这将是他此生最后的晚餐,也是他想让他们纪念的一次晚餐。两段经文总结了这次晚餐的一个方面:

 

“When Jesus knew that His hour was come . . . having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”9

“And He said unto them, ‘With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer’ ... And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’” 10

逾越节以前,耶稣知道自己离世归父的时候到了。他既然爱世间属自己的人,就爱他们到底”。(约翰福音131

  “耶稣对他们说:「我很愿意在受害以先和你们吃这逾越节的筵席。我告诉你们,我不再吃这筵席,直到成就在神的国里。」耶稣接过杯来,祝谢了,说:「你们拿这个,大家分着喝。我告诉你们,从今以后,我不再喝这葡萄汁,直等神的国来到。」又拿起饼来,祝谢了,就擘开,递给他们,说:「这是我的身体,为你们舍的,你们也应当如此行,为的是记念我。」饭后也照样拿起杯来,说:「这杯是用我血所立的新约,是为你们流出来的”。(路加福音2215-20

From these two passages, we can deduce:

从这两段经文中我们可以得出以下结论:

(1) That He knew what was coming to Him. He had often said that one day He would be crucified,11 and now the time had arrived.耶稣自己知道即将发生在自己身上的事情。他多次说自己要被钉死在十字架上,现在这个时刻已经来到了。

(2) Nevertheless, He was not thinking of the frightful pain that would soon be racking His own body. His only concern was love for His disciples: “He loved them unto the end.” 尽管如此,他没有考虑即将来到的对于他的身体所带来的折磨和疼痛,他考虑的仅仅是他的门徒。“他既然爱世间属自己的人,就爱他们到底”。(约翰福音131

(3) By comparing similar expressions in the Old Testament, we can see that “with desire I have desired” is a Jewish way of saying, “with a very intense desire”. For their sakes He was terribly keen to hold that ceremonial meal with them.耶稣说:“我很愿意在受害以先和你们吃这逾越节的筵席”,表明他非常愿意和他们一起参加这次纪念晚餐。

(4) He turned that meal into a dramatised parable. He broke bread, and used it to represent the next day’s tearing of His own flesh. He poured wine, and made it a symbol of His blood that would soon be flowing from a multitude of wounds.他用晚餐作比喻。他掰开饼,用它来代表第二天他的就要分开的他的身体。他倒酒,用酒来代表他第二天就要留出的鲜血。

Any other man would have wanted to forget about the torture that was coming to him tomorrow. But Jesus was prepared to bring it vividly to mind. Although it was so painful to Himself, He knew that this simple ceremony would benefit His disciples for centuries to come. And so He performed it with eager desire.

除他之外的任何人都喜欢忘记明天的痛苦。但是耶稣却准备给门徒们留下鲜明的记忆。尽管对于自己是如此的痛苦,但他知道这个简单的仪式会让门徒终生受益。

A further group of verses shows up another aspect of that meal:

一些经文告诉我们最后的晚餐的另外一个方面:

 

“He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded... So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.’ 12

“And as they did eat, He said, ‘Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray Me.’ And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one to say unto Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’”13

    “随后把水倒在盆里,就洗门徒的脚,并用自己所束的手巾擦干。….. 耶稣洗完了他们的脚,就穿上衣服,又坐下,对他们说:「我向你们所做的,你们明白吗?你们称呼我夫子,称呼我主,你们说的不错,我本来是。我是你们的主,你们的夫子,尚且洗你们的脚,你们也当彼此洗脚”。(约翰福音13512-14

    “正吃的时候,耶稣说:「我实在告诉你们,你们中间有一个人要卖我了。」他们就甚忧愁,一个一个的问他说:「主,是我吗?」”(马太福音262122

One aspect of His character lies right on the surface here. He was an exceedingly humble man. He was willing to do a very tiring and unpleasant job. But why did He do it? Couldn’t they all wash their own feet?

这些事情表露出耶稣高尚品德的一个侧面。他是一个特别谦卑的人,愿意做别人不喜欢干的事情。但是他为什么要这样做?难道门徒们不能自己洗脚吗?

He was not the sort of man to show off. Nor was He doing an un­necessary chore just so that He could give them a lecture about help­ing one another. There was a very good reason for His action, but it takes a careful student of the gospels to discover it.

耶稣不是那种喜欢炫耀的人。他也不是在做不必要的家务事,他想的是给他们一个生动的教训,让他们互相帮助。

We learn the reason from another gospel. Soon after supper the disciples found themselves unable to stay awake.14 Evidently they were all utterly weary with overwork and lack of sleep. So the Master’s work upon their tired feet was a real and necessary act of loving kindness.

But there is yet another lesson lying under the surface. It lies behind that chorus of astonishment, “Is it I?” which rose up when He said, “One of you shall betray Me.”

我们从另一本福音书中找到了理由。在晚餐之后,门徒们觉得自己不能保持清醒,因为过分劳累和缺乏睡眠,他们特别疲劳。耶稣给他们洗脚是对他们关心和爱的表现。

但是在故事的后面还隐藏着另外一个教训。它深藏在门徒们的惊叫中,当耶稣说他的一个门徒即将出卖他的时候,他们都问:“是我吗?”

Obviously they had not the slightest idea who the traitor was. But Jesus knew. John says so, explicitly.15 A few minutes before, Jesus had washed the feet of Judas. And He must have washed the traitor’s feet with the same loving care that He bestowed upon the other eleven. Otherwise someone would have noticed, and said, “Have you seen how the Master is looking at Judas? I wonder what’s wrong.”

显然他们不知道是谁出卖了耶稣。耶稣知道,并且很明确地指出是犹大。几分钟以前,耶稣还给犹大洗过脚,在给这个叛徒洗脚的时候,耶稣一定是带着于其他11个门徒相同的爱来做的。否则就会有门徒说:“你看见主是怎样看着犹大的吗?我想是不是有什么问题。”

But nobody noticed any difference-hence that repeated question, “Is it I?”

但是没有人注意到有什么不同,因此他们一个个的问:“主,是我吗?”。

What superhuman love, if these records really are true and Jesus really did behave like that!

如果福音书记载的是真实的,耶稣真的做过这些事情,那么他表现出来的是多么高超的爱!

But what superhuman artistry if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were four deceivers, weaving together the most elaborately hidden pen portrait in the history of fiction!

    如果马太、马可、路加和约翰四个人都是骗子,他们故意地天衣无缝地将虚构的耶稣生活场景交织在一起,那么他们四个人该是什么样的超人艺术家!

 

Gethsemane在客西马尼园

 

Supper is over. Judas Iscariot has gone off alone to earn his blood money. Jesus and the faithful eleven go out into the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane. In one part of the garden the disciples drop to the earth exhausted, and sleep.

晚餐结束了。犹大为了三十块钱偷偷地告密去了。耶稣和忠于他的11个门徒走进黑暗中的客西马尼园,门徒们感到疲倦,他们睡着了。

In another part, Jesus begins His last great struggle against His mortal body.

在花园的另一个角落,耶稣开始最后一次巨大的对抗自己的肉体的战斗:

 

“He kneeled down, and prayed, saying ‘Father if Thou be will­ing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.’ And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”16

   (他)“跪下祷告,说:「父啊!你若愿意,就把这杯撤去;然而,不要成就我的意思,只要成就你的意思。」有一位天使从天上显现,加添他的力量。耶稣极其伤痛,祷告更加恳切,汗珠如大血点滴在地上。”(路加福音2241-44

This does not read like fiction. No gospel writer would want to invent an incident like that. Inventors of propaganda might have told a tale about Jesus facing death with unruffled calm. But the gospel writers were not inventors of propaganda. They record how the Son of God admitted that one side of Him would have liked to escape crucifixion. They portray Him as fighting a terrific battle to overcome His human desire-a battle so great that He was in agony, while the sweat poured off Him like blood.

这些经文读起来不像是虚构的小说。福音书的作者并不希望有这样的情节出现。某些教会的传教者说,耶稣面临死亡的时候特别平静。但是福音书的作者不是这些传教士。他们记录了  神的儿子也承认自己希望能够逃脱死亡的情景。他们描绘了耶稣经历了一场特别可怕的战斗,他战胜自己个人的欲望。这场战斗是如此激烈,他陷于了剧烈的痛苦之中,汗水同血水一起留出来。

How easily this story could have been (yes, and has been) mis­interpreted by the immature as something unworthy of the Son of God. But the apostles wrote it just the same. They wrote with the candour of men who have nothing to hide, who are only concerned to record the plain, unvarnished facts.

这些故事很容易被那些对  神的儿子的理解不成熟的人所歪曲,而且已经被歪曲。门徒们的记载是一致的。他们记载的公正程度让人感到其中没有隐藏什么,他们只是在用平白的、未加修饰的语言记载事实。 

No sooner has Jesus won His battle than lights appear, coming through the olive trees towards His little band. They hear the clink of steel, and the tramp of many men. Unless something is done quickly there will be twelve arrests instead of one, and eleven extra crosses on Calvary tomorrow.

耶稣结束自己的战斗之后不久,天就快亮了,他穿过橄榄树走向自己的门徒。他们听见了刀和棍子碰撞的声音,还有走路的脚步声。除非他们赶快采取行动,否则被捕的就不止耶稣一个人。

The next act of Jesus always reminds me of Captain Oates of the Antarctic, who said goodbye to his friends and walked off into the blizzard to die, hoping that through his sacrifice they might survive. “It was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman,” wrote Captain Scott in his diary.

耶稣接下来的行为总是让我想起了在南极洲的Oates上校,他希望自己的死亡会使同伴们增加活下来的机会。他向自己的伙伴说声再见,然后走进暴风雨中去接受死亡。Oates上校在自己的日记中说:“这是勇敢的人和英国绅士们应该作的事情”。

When Scott’s diary was found, he and his fellows were all dead. Yet everybody takes it for granted that Scott was telling the truth. His account bears all the marks of a true record. And similarly John’s gospel reads like sober fact, not glamourised fiction.

当斯科特的日记被发现的时候,他和他的伙伴都死了。然而每个人都认为斯科特说的是真的。他的日记中有能够经受考验的印记。同样约翰福音读起来好像是冷静的陈述事实,而不是迷惑人的虚构故事。

“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth and said unto them, ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, ‘I am He,’ they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked He them again, ‘Whom seek ye?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way.’”17

   “耶稣知道将要临到自己的一切事,就出来对他们说:「你们找谁?」他们回答说:「找拿撒勒人耶稣。」耶稣说:「我就是。」卖他的犹大也同他们站在那里。耶稣一说「我就是」,他们就退後倒在地上。他又问他们说:「你们找谁?」他们说:「找拿撒 勒人耶稣。」耶稣说:「我已经告诉你们,我就是。你们若找我,就让这些人去吧。」”(约翰福音185-8

But what lies behind that strange statement in the middle of the passage, “they went backward and fell to the ground”? The reader inevitably wonders what made a strong force of armed men do that. If John had been writing fiction, would he have left that question unanswered? Surely not. By stating the fact, and leaving us to draw our own conclusions, John shows that he is no embroiderer of fancy tales 

这段经文说:“他们就退后倒在地上”,这让人感到奇怪,读者不可避免地想,他们是身强力壮的人,又带着武器,为什么会这样呢?如果约翰是在编造故事,他为什么不去解释原因呢?约翰在通过陈述事实,让我们去得出结论,我们可以看出他不是在编造故事。 

As so often happens, another book of the Bible supplies the prob­able explanation for us. When Christ’s first martyr, Stephen, was in a somewhat similar position, his executioners “saw his face as it had been the face of an angel”.18 If the face of Jesus similarly shone with angelic glory for a moment, it is not surprising that His enemies staggered backwards in terror.

和平常的情况一样,圣经中的其它部分为我们提供了的答案。基督徒的第一个殉难者司提反也遇到和耶稣类似的情况,那些杀死他的人“见他的面貌,好像天使的面貌”。(使徒行传615如果那时耶稣的脸上同样显示出天使的荣耀来,我们不会奇怪他的敌人会惊恐地向后退。

 

To the Cross在十字架的路上

 

So the innocent man was led away, to be sentenced on a trumped-up charge with the aid of bribed witnesses. Yet He would not argue in His own defence.19 When He spoke it was for the sake of others.

这位无辜的人被带走以后,他受到指控,还有一些被收买的证人作伪证陷害他,然而他没有为自己争辩。(马可福音153-5如果他说话,那也是为了别人。

He even showed a measure of sympathy for Pilate, to whom He said: “Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above. Therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.”20

    他甚至对彼拉多表示出一定程度的的同情。他说:“若不是从上头赐给你的,你就毫无权柄办我。所以,把我交给你的那人罪更重了。”(约翰福音1911

With the rough heavy cross upon His shoulder, He struggled along the road to Calvary. Even then, His thoughts were upon others rather than Himself.

肩膀上扛着沉重的十字架,耶稣挣扎着走向受难场。即使是在那个时候,他也是在为别人而不是自己考虑。

 

“And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning unto them said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts which never gave suck.”’”21

    “有许多百姓跟随耶稣,内中有好些妇女;妇女们为他号陶痛哭。耶稣转身对他们说:「耶路撒冷的女子,不要为我哭,当为自己和自己的儿女哭。因为日子要到,人必说:『不生育的,和未曾怀胎的,未曾乳养婴孩的,有福了!』”(路加福音2327-29

It was to be thirty-odd years before the Roman armies came to destroy Jerusalem. But to Jesus, that dreadful day to come was even more tragic than His own immediate plight.

三十多年以后,罗马军队过来摧毁了耶路撒冷。但是对于耶稣来说,三十年后的可怕日子要比自己马上面临的死刑更加紧迫。

Even while He hung on the cross, in His final awful pain, He could still help others.

在他被悬挂在十字架上,全身疼痛的时候,他依然能够帮助被人。

He cried with a loud voice, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”22  Though at first sight this looks like weakness or despair it was nothing of the kind. Those words are actually the first line of Psalm 22, which, as we saw in Chapter 4’ is a wonderfully detailed prophecy of the events on that dreadful day. By reciting this title-line of a well-known Jewish hymn, Jesus was as good as saying, “Look everybody! See how Messianic prophecy is being fulfilled today. See, and believe!”

他大声呼喊:“我的神,我的神!为什麽离弃我?”(诗篇221,马太福音2746这些话听起来好像是虚弱或绝望的呼喊,实际上它是诗篇22章的第一句话。在本书第4章中我们看到,诗篇22章所预言的每一个细节都分毫不差地实现了。通过背诵这句犹太人所熟悉的圣歌,耶稣好像在对他们说:“大家来看!看看诗篇关于弥赛亚的预言是如何实现的!相信  神!”

He prayed for His executioners to be forgiven, because they did not understand the enormity of their offence.23

他为他的行刑人祷告,“父啊!赦免他们;因为他们所做的,他们不晓得。”

He arranged for a faithful disciple to take care of His heartbroken mother.24

他安排一个有忠心的门徒照看自己伤心的母亲。(约翰福音1925-27

He comforted the dying thief who had come to believe in Him at the eleventh hour.25

他安慰了一个在生命的最后一刻相信了自己的罪犯。(路加福音2346

When there was nothing else left for Him to do, He gave a shout of triumph-”It is finished!”26 Then, with quiet dignity, He died:

  当没有需要他可以做的事情的时候,他发出胜利的喊声:“成了!” (约翰福音1946然后他带着尊严死去。

“He said, ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.’ And having said thus, He gave up the ghost.”27

   “耶稣大声喊着说:「父啊!我将我的灵魂交在你手里。」说了这话,气就断了”(路加福音2346

We have not been able to look at more than a fraction of the gospel records of the crucifixion. But what we have seen is a picture of a man like no other man, a man that no first-century legend-spinner could possibly have invented. No wonder that the centurion who watched it all said, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!”28

     我们只看了福音书记载的一小部分。我们看出这个人和其他任何人都不一样,他绝不是任何一个公元1世纪的小说家可以编造出来的;难怪看见了整个过程的罗马百夫长说:

    “这人真是 神的儿子!”(马可福音1539

 

Did the Gospel Writers Exaggerate?福音书的作者夸大事实了吗?

 

We have disposed of one possibility. The gospels are not pure fiction. But there is that other possibility, that they might be a mixture of fact and fiction. Could the gospel writers have described an “ordinary” good man, and then added all sorts of imaginary sayings and events, just as a modern writer might write a novel about Napoleon or Julius Caesar?

我们已经排除了一种可能性,福音书并不是纯粹的虚构出来的。但是还有别的可能性,福音书可能是事实和虚构的混合体。福音书可能描写的是一个普通的好人,然后在此基础上加上各种想象的传说和事件,就像现代的作家书写拿破仑和凯撒的传记时所做的那样?

This suggestion also runs against the facts. Here are four solid reasons for believing that the gospels are all fact, not a mixture of fact and fiction.

这个假设同样也不符合事实。以下的理由可以说明福音书完全是事实,而不是事实和想象的混合物:

(1)     The gospel writers sound like reliable men. You will need to read all four gospels for yourself to appreciate that this is so. Then you will see that these books were obviously not written by men out to create a sensation. They each tell their tale in a simple, straightforward way. Where it is appropriate they point out how Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. Apart from this, they write like men reporting facts, not like men determined to impress their readers.福音书的书写者看起来像一个可信赖的人。你需要阅读所有4本福音书才会得出这样的结论。你会明白这些书不是为了引起轰动的人写的。每一本福音书都是以一种平白的、简单的诉说方式书写的,在合适的地方会告诉我们旧约的预言是如何在耶稣身上应验的。除此以外,福音书读起来好像在陈述事实,而不是想故意给读者留下深刻的印象。

They are not afraid to mention things that, to a casual reader, may seem unfavourable to their cause. They report some surprising acts and sayings of Jesus which, at first glance, seem to show Him in an unfavourable light. We have to study these passages very closely, often by comparing one gospel with another, before we can see that Jesus did in fact have good reason for everything He said and did. (We have seen several examples of this already in this chapter.)

他们并不害怕将一些普通读者认为是不利的事情写下来。福音书记载的某些事情,起初看来似乎对耶稣不利,我们不得不将福音书仔细研究,通常要将福音书对照起来看,才能明白耶稣这样做、这样说的理由。在这一章中,我们已经给出了好几个这样的例子。

Again, they are not at all like four dishonest witnesses determined to present a united front. Each tells his story from his own point of view, regardless of what the others have said. Sometimes it even looks as if they contradict each other. Only when you study the records closely can you see that there is real harmony behind the apparent contradictions, as Chapter 19 shows.

还有,这些人不像是不诚实作假证的人,互相勾结。每个人记载故事是根据自己的观察点,不管别人是怎样说的。有的时候甚至看起来与其他人的记载相矛盾。只有非常仔细地进行观察,才能发现在这些表面矛盾的下面隐藏着真正的和谐,正如本书第19章将要告诉读者的那样。

All these things are the marks of honest men, telling a true story.

这些都是诚实人所特有的标记,他们诉说的故事也是真实的。

(2)    Their stories hang together as a whole. If the gospels are a mixture of fact and fiction, then which bits are the factual bits? Hundreds of unbelievers and half-believers have tried to answer this question to their own satisfaction. 这些故事是一个整体。如果福音书是事实和虚构的混合物,那么那一部分是事实呢?很多不信和半信半疑的人都想找出自己满意的答案。

But no two have ever reached exactly the same conclusion. They have been attempting the impossible. It can’t be done. The gospels do not read like a patchwork album. They read like a consistent, unified record. (If you should think that modern scholars have shown that the gospels are in fact a patchwork album, please reserve your judgment until you have read Part Two of this book.)

这些人中从来没有两个人的结论是相同的,他们在做自己不可能完成的事情,所以不可能成功。福音书读起来并不像是一个拼凑的画册,它们是连贯的、一个整体的纪录。(如果你认为有些现代学者已经证实了福音书是拼凑出来的话,请在阅读本书第二部分以后再下结论)。

Our character study showed that the Jesus of the gospels had a character far above that of any other man. Take away all the passages that indicate a superhuman character for Jesus, and there is very little left. The four gospels are absolutely consistent in their message that Jesus was a uniquely righteous person; consequently, it makes sense to accept that He was.

福音书中耶稣的品德远远要高于其他任何一个人。去掉描写耶稣具有超人品德的部分,福音书中的内容就所剩无几。四本福音书在描写耶稣是一个独一无二的正直的人的时候,是绝对协调的,接受福音书所记载的耶稣是合乎情理的。

Once you grant this, everything else in the gospels follows naturally. Despite His quiet humility He had a serene confidence that He was sinless, that He was Messiah, that He was Son of God. All this ties up with His perfect character; it is what we might have expected.

一旦你能领会这一点,福音书中的其它一切事情都会显得自然起来。尽管耶稣是一个非常谦卑的人,但是他非常平静地相信他是无罪的,他就是弥赛亚,就是  神的儿子。所有这些都和他的完美的品德联系在一起,这也是我们可以预料到的。

So are the stories of His miracles. The very presence of the Son of God on earth was itself a miracle. Nothing could be more natural than that He should work some miracles for the good of mankind while He was here.

关于耶稣所作的奇迹也是如此。  神的儿子出现本身就是一个奇迹,如果他没有作什么奇迹的话,反而是奇怪的了。

If you have an old, worn-out Bible to spare, try this little experi­ment. Blot out all the miracles from your four gospels, and see what is left. You will find that the remaining fragments often fail to make sense. This clearly shows that the miracle stories are not something added as an afterthought, but are an integral part of the original record.

假如你有一本多余的圣经,将其中所有的奇迹( 神迹)除掉,你会看到剩余的部分通常不合情理。这说明圣经中的奇迹不是后来加上去的,它们和其余的部分一样是一个整体。

(Please don’t shut your mind to these facts because some people argue that it is unscientific to believe in miracles. We shall be looking at miracles from a scientific viewpoint in Chapter 21.)

 (有些人说,相信奇迹是不科学的,我希望读者在这个问题上要自己思考,我们将在本书的21章从科学的角度看待奇迹这个问题。)

(3) They did not keep on writing. These four books are the best sellers of all the world’s literature. Yet they are extremely brief. They occupy only twenty or thirty pages each, in the average printed Bible. No other writings by Matthew or Mark are known, and only about another thirty pages by Luke and twenty by John.他们并没有写续集。,四本福音书非常简练,可它们是世界上销售最多的书籍,每一本福音书只有二三十页,马太和马可没有留下其他的书籍,马可还留下另外30页左右的书籍,约翰留下大约20页左右。

If their writing were the product of their own genius, why didn’t they keep on writing? Creative geniuses cannot bear to stop after one short outburst. But since the gospel writers did stop so soon, they were evidently not men of genius eager to express themselves in creative work. Nor could they have been spurred on by the desire for fame.

如果这些书是书写者自己天才的想象物,为什么他们不继续写作呢?对于有创作天才的人来说,要他们在灵感爆发之后停下来时不可忍受的。但是这些书写者们在完成福音书之后很快停止写作。证明这些人所写的不是表达自己的创作,也不可能是他们自己的愿望。

Some unbelievers suggest that they did keep on writing, but that their other works were not preserved. But this only creates another problem: why did their readers not bother to keep the other works of these brilliant authors? Hundreds of pages of the writings of less gifted Jews and Greeks of that period have survived, but only a hand­ful of pages by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Why? 

一些不信圣经的人认为他们以后还写了一些书,但是没有保存下来。但是这种解释只能带来另一个问题:这些作品为什么没有保存下来?同时期有数百页的犹太人和希腊人所书写的其他书记被保存下来了,这些作品远远没有他们所写的具有价值。

If we regard these men as mere literary geniuses the problem is insoluble. Bestseller writers have seldom or never been known to burst into full flower with one brief work of superb artistry, and then stop. If only one gospel writer had done so, we might perhaps explain it as a remarkable exception to the general rule. But since two have done it, and the other two have added only a few more pages by way of sequel,29 we need some better explanation.

如果我们认为这些人仅仅是文学天才,依然解释不通。畅销书的作者很少或者是从来不会像花儿爆发开放之后就结束, 如果只有一个福音书的作者这样做,我们可以说这是例外。但是4位福音书作者中有两个人以后没有写过作品,另外两个人只是写了一些简单的续篇,我们需要更好的解释。

There is only one explanation that makes psychological sense. They must have been single-minded men with one purpose: to set down a few facts of tremendous importance. They told their tale briefly and accurately-and then stopped.

只有一种合理的解释:所有这些福音书是受同一个大脑、相同的目的支配,记载了这些重要的事实。他们受到短暂而准确地启示之后,就停了下来。

(4)   They do not tell us what Jesus looked like. Fiction writers almost always give us some sort of picture of their great heroes. If Matthew, Mark, Luke and John really were adding fiction to fact, surely one of them would have dropped some hint about the appear­ance of Jesus. Yet none of them gives us a clue.他们都没有告诉我们耶稣的模样。虚构小说的作者通常总是先给我们描写他心目中英雄的模样,如果马太、马可、路加和约翰是在虚构,他们中间总有一个人会描写耶稣的外貌。然而没有一个人这样做。

We have no idea whether He was short or tall, fat or thin, dark or fair, handsome or ugly. Why not? There is one obvious explanation which fits the facts. God said to an Old Testament prophet:

我们不知道耶稣是高还是矮,胖或者瘦,白或者黑,是不是很英俊。为什么福音书不告诉我们?只有一种解释符合事实,  神告诉一位先知说:

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the Out­ward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”30

 “耶和华不像人看人:人是看外貌;耶和华是看内心。”(撒母耳记上167

The evidence before us suggests that Jesus really was the Son of God. How very fitting that God should guide the pens of the four men who described His Son, to ensure that they gave us a perfect picture of His “heart”, but not the slightest idea of His “outward appearance”.

从这些事实来看,耶稣真的是  神的儿子。 神指导福音书的四位书写者最恰当地描写了他的儿子,让我们最好的了解的他的“内心”,而不是他的外表。

 

7

The Evidence of the Empty Tomb

空坟墓的证据

Before you read this chapter, let me give you a friendly warning.

If you are an unbeliever and want to remain one, don’t read this chapter. Or, if you do read it, forget it as quickly as possible. Don’t think about it. Whatever you do, don’t follow it up by studying in detail the evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.

在阅读本章之前,希望你能听听我的一些忠告:

如果你不相信  神,而且还打算继续这样做,你就不要阅读本章。或者是你已经读了,那就要尽快忘记它。不管你做什么,都不要思考耶稣复活的细节问题。

I say this because experience shows that it is a very perilous thing for unbelievers to do. Take two actual case histories, one ancient, one modern.

我这样说,是因为经验告诉我,对于不信的人来说思考这些问题是非常危险的事情。让我举两个实际例子来说明,一个发生在古代,一个发生在现代。

Two upper-class Englishmen of the eighteenth century were Lord Lyttleton and his friend Gilbert West. They were both trained lawyers. They knew how to weigh evidence and how to argue a case.

18世纪的英国,有一个名叫Lyttleton贵族,他和他的朋友Gilbert West都是经过训练的律师。他们知道在打官司辩论时如何衡量证据,如何在法庭上辩论。

As young men they were both unbelievers. It is said that in their early days they had hopes of publishing propaganda against the truth of Christianity. At any rate, it is known that they both set their agnostic minds to work studying the evidence for and against Christ’s resurrection.

两人年轻的时候都不相信  神。他们曾经打算出版一些抵制基督教的宣传册,并且准备否认耶稣的复活开始寻找证据。

The same thing happened to them both. Despite their early antagonism to the Bible, despite their deepest prejudices, the sheer weight of evidence made them change their minds. West and Lyttle­ton published the results of their separate studies in a joint book.1 They argued that Christ really did rise from the dead, and that Paul was converted in consequence. 

但是后来同样的事情发生在他们身上。尽管他们早期反对圣经,对圣经怀有很深的偏见,然而大量的证据却改变了他们的看法。WestLyttle­ton两个人联合出版了一本书,在书中他们承认耶稣真的从死亡中复活了,保罗从犹太教转变成基督徒也是因为耶稣的复活。

If I mention this to Norman, he brushes it on one side with the remark, “Oh yes, but that was all a long time ago.” This is a curious objection. Shakespeare was a long time ago, but his plays are still worth more than all the paperbacks on the station bookstall. The facts that Lyttleton and West faced are just as formidable in the twentieth century as in the eighteenth, as the following story shows.

如果我向罗曼提起这些事情,他总是不屑一顾地评论说:“是啊,但是这是很久以前的事情了。”这种反对意见很奇怪,莎士比亚也是很久以前的作家,但是他的戏剧仍然非常有价值,至今在舞台上演。18世纪WestLyttle­ton两个人所面对的事实和现在是一样强大的,正如下面的故事告诉我们的:

In 1930 Frank Morrison published a very unusual book.2 In his preface he stated:

1930年,弗兰克-莫里森(Frank Morrison出版了一本不同平常的书。在书中的扉页他声明:

“It [his book] is essentially a confession, the inner story of a man who set Out to write one kind of book and found himself compelled by the sheer force of circumstances to write another.”

  “这本书的本质是一份内心告白,是一个人在内心经历的故事,这个人想写某种书,但是却发现自己被一种纯粹的力量所牵引,被迫写成了另外一种类型的书”。

He explained what he meant in the first chapter, which was entitled, “The Book that Refused to be Written”. When he set out to write a book he did not believe that Jesus performed miracles, nor that He rose from the dead. His book was intended to be called, “Jesus, the Last Phase”. It was to be a study of the last week of Christ’s life. He intended to sift out the “fiction” from the gospel records, and report what was left.

    书中第一章的标题是:“写不下去的书”。他解释说,他开始写书的时候,他不相信耶稣,不相信耶稣的奇迹,也不相信耶稣的复活。本来他想给书起的名字是:“耶稣的最后时刻”。他想研究耶稣生命的最后一周,详细审查福音书中的“虚构成分”并向外公布。

So Morrison sat down to do his homework. He made a very thorough and scholarly study of all the available evidence. At the end of it all he wrote a very different book, which with irresistible logic leads up to a final paragraph:

Morrison这样开始自己研究工作。他对所有能够找到的证据作了一番完全的、学者式的研究,在后来他写成了一本非常不同的书,以无可辩驳的逻辑宣布:

 

“There may be, and, as the writer thinks, there certainly is, a deep and profoundly historical basis for that much disputed sen­tence in the Apostles’ Creed-’The third day He rose again from the dead.’

   “可能有(作者认为肯定有)更深刻更复杂的历史事实,支持使徒信经所宣布的备受争议的事实——耶稣在死亡后的第3天复活。”

In other words, Morrison declared, “Having studied the evidence, I now believe what I formerly denied: Jesus really did rise from the dead.”

用另外的话来说,Morrison是在宣布:“经过研究证据,我现在相信我曾经拒绝承认的:耶稣真的从死亡中复活了”。

 

 

How Do We Know? 我们怎么知道?

 

Well, what is the nature of this evidence that convinces so many people? How can anyone possibly know whether Jesus rose from the dead or not?

是一些什么性质的证据让这么多人相信耶稣复活?他们怎么可能知道耶稣是否真的复活?

There are several ways of tackling this question. One way is to begin with the broader question of what constitutes historical evidence.

有好几种方法可以确定这个问题。其中的方法之一就是,将问题放在更广阔的历史背景中。

How do we know any of the facts of history? For example, how do we know that the American War of Independence began in 1775 with the Battle of Bunker Hill, and that although the English won the battle the losses they suffered were disastrous?

我们怎样才能知道某个历史事实?例如,我们怎样才能知道美国独立战争是从1775年开始?而且在第一次战斗中,尽管英国人取得了胜利,但是他们的损失也是巨大的?

Nobody doubts these facts, although all the people who saw the battle have been dead for more than a hundred years. We rely upon the written accounts left behind by a few of those eyewitnesses.

尽管事情发生至少100年以前,而且所有经历过战争的人都已经去世,然而没有人会怀疑这个事实。我们能够靠一些亲眼见过这场战争的人遗留的书写记录相信这一点。

It is like that with the resurrection of Jesus. Four gospel writers give us a written account of it. Two of them were eyewitnesses, the others were intimate friends of eyewitnesses. Two more eyewitnesses, Peter and Paul, add their testimony in their New Testament epistles.

耶稣复活也是这样。四本福音书都记载了这件事,其中两个人是亲眼看见过,另外两个人都是目击者非常亲近的朋友。另外还有两个亲眼见证人——彼得和保罗,他们所写的书信也提供了证据。

Don’t make the mistake of looking upon the New Testament as “just a lot of books”. It was the product of a group of real, live men. We saw in the previous chapter that it is difficult to read the gospels without concluding that Jesus was a real person, with real disciples, who wrote the truth about Him.

不要仅仅将新约只看成是一系列书籍。它们是由一些真实存在的人所写的。在前面几章中我们不难看到,福音书中的耶稣是一个真实的人物,耶稣的门徒也是真实的人物,耶稣的门徒将真实的耶稣通过自己的写作介绍给我们。

We shall see in Chapter 16 that most of the New Testament was almost undoubtedly written while people who remembered Jesus were still alive. Its authors were certainly not men of the second century writing down legends. They were men of the first century writing about their own experiences.

我们在第16章中将看到,在书写圣经新约的大部分文章的时候,那些记得耶稣复活的人仍然活着。肯定不会是公元2世纪的人在写他们所听到的传说故事,他们是生活在公元1世纪的人写他们自己亲身经历的事情。

We must therefore treat the New Testament as the written testi­mony of a number of witnesses. The only question is: were those witnesses telling the truth or not?  

我们当然应该将新约看成是一系列亲眼目击者的书面证据。唯一的疑问是:这些证明是不是真的?

Before attempting to answer that question, we must consider a parallel question from modern history. How do we know that Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa, Tensing, conquered Mount Everest in 1953?

在回答这个问题的时候,我想让大家回答一个现代的问题:我们怎么知道Edmund HillarySherpa Tensing1953年登上了珠穆朗玛峰?

There were no independent witnesses of their achievement, and Hillary and Tensing might be regarded as two very biased men. Yet nobody doubts the truth of their claim to have reached the summit.

没有独立见证人证明他们的行为,然而没有人声明怀疑他们真的爬上了珠峰的顶点。

Is it possible that Hillary and Tensing were bluffing? Could they have been beaten by the last stretch of ice and rock, and then decided to cover up their disappointment with a false tale of victory and a faked photograph?

这两个人有没有欺诈的可能性?他们有没有可能凿几块冰,带着假冒的照片冒充胜利?

Surely not. Mountain climbers have a very strong code of honour, and it goes against all past experience to suppose that two dedicated mountaineers would behave like that.

当然不会。登山运动员是非常光荣的职业,我们不可能违背过去的经验去猜测这两个献身于登山运动的人人会做出这样的事情来。

Well, then, is it possible that they were genuinely mistaken? Could the awesome majesty of their surroundings, or the bottled oxygen they were breathing, have given them hallucinations and made them think that some lesser needle of rock was the summit?

好了,那么有没有可能是他们不小心弄错了?有没有可能他们将一座小山峰看成了顶点?

This possibility, too, must be dismissed. These two hardened men of action were not the type to make a hysterical blunder like that.

这种可能性也可以排除。这两个顶尖的运动员不会犯这样的错误。

So the world takes their word for it, and firmly believes that they really did reach the top.

因此世界会相信他们的话,相信他们真的登上了山的顶点。

 

 

Reliable Witnesses可靠的证据

There are equally good grounds for accepting the apostles’ word and believing that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

同样有很多的理由让我们相信使徒们的话,相信耶稣真的是从死里复活。

Were Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul all deliberately lying?

马太、马可、路加、约翰,以及彼得和保罗有没有可能都在故意撒谎?

Of course not. Men only lie when they stand to gain something from it. What did the apostles gain from their testimony to the resurrection? Imprisonment, torture and death! Men do not lie for rewards such as these. And besides, the lofty moral tone of their New Testament writings shows that they were men of high principles.

当然不会。人们只有从撒谎中得到好处时才会这样做。使徒们见证耶稣复活得到了什么?他们被监禁、被折磨,甚至失去生命!人们不会为了得到这些而撒谎。新约高尚的言辞证实了使徒们具有高尚的道德规范和道德准则

What, then, of the possibility that they were genuinely mistaken? Could they have been the victims of a great delusion?

那么,有没有可能是他们不小心弄错了?是不是他们被幻觉所蒙蔽?

This suggestion goes right against the facts. On their own admission the apostles all had a marked prejudice against the idea of Christ’s resurrection. It took time to overcome this prejudice and convince them that Jesus really had risen.

这种猜想也不符合事实。在使徒们自己的陈述中,他们都曾经一度难以接受耶稣复活的事实,在经过一段时间以后才战胜了偏见,接受了复活的事实。

Wishful thinking might have led Mary Magdalene to mistake the gardener for Jesus, if she had been expecting Him to rise from the dead. But the record says that the opposite happened-she mistook the resurrected Jesus for the gardener.3

如果说,玛丽是因为过于急切盼望耶稣的复活,她有可能误将看守坟墓的人当成耶稣。但是圣经记载正好相反,玛利亚误将耶稣当成是看守坟墓的人。(约翰福音2015

Wishful thinking might have led the two disciples travelling to Emmaus to mistake a stranger for Jesus, if they had wanted to believe in His resurrection. Instead of that, they mistook the resurrected Jesus for a stranger.4

两个门徒走在通往以马忤斯的路上,如果他们出现幻觉的话,可能将一个不认识的人看成耶稣。但是实际情况是他们将耶稣看成了一位陌生人。(路加福音2413-18

When He appeared to His sorrowing apostles, even they thought He was a phantom-until they were invited to touch Him, putting their hands into the wound in His side, and their fingers into the holes where the nails had fastened Him to the cross.5

当耶稣出现在那些为他悲伤的人面前的时候,他们甚至认为耶稣是一个“魂”,直到耶稣让他们摸自己在十字架的伤口,他们才真正明白。(路加福音2439,约翰福音202025-28

They thought they were imagining His presence-until He joined them in a meal, and they saw food disappearing into His mouth.6 He spent many, many hours with them, enlarging their understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures.7 And finally they all watched Him ascend into heaven.8

他们以为耶稣是出现在他们的想象当中,直到他和他们一起吃饭,直到他把食物吞下去,这才相信是真实的耶稣。他和他们呆了很长的时间,帮助他们理解圣经(指旧约)。最后他们看着他升天。(路加福音2451,使徒行传19

No, all the evidence suggests that we must treat these contempor­aries of Jesus with the same respect as Hillary and Tensing. We have no reason to suspect them of lying. There are no grounds for thinking of them as poor, deluded simpletons.

不是。所有的证据显示,我们应该像尊敬这两个登上运动员那样,尊敬这些和耶稣同时代的人。我们没有理由怀疑他们在撒谎。没有任何理由让我们认为他们是在迷惑别人的傻瓜。

There is only one view of them that fits the facts. They were honest, intelligent men, reporting a very wonderful event.

    他们的观点是符合事实的。他们是诚实的,有智慧的人,他们向大家报道了这件非常奇妙的事情。

 

Cause and Effect原因和效果

In Chapter 2 we noted a fundamental law of science, that nothing ever happens without a cause. In Chapter 6 we saw how Christianity came into existence in a most unfavourable environment.

本书第二章中我们注意到一条根本的科学原则:任何一件事情都不可能是无缘无故地发生的。在第6章中我们看到了基督教是如何在最不利的条件下生存的。

Now these are two facts that simply cannot be denied. Even if you are not yet convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, you cannot reasonably disagree with the statements in the previous paragraph.

这两件事情是不可能轻易被否认的。即使你现在还不相信耶稣的复活,你不能够否定我们刚才的陈述。

Put those two statements together, and immediately a question arises. What was the cause that gave birth to Christianity? Whatever that cause was it must have been something tremendous, judging by the results it achieved.    

如果把这两个陈述放在一起,新问题马上会冒出来:基督教诞生的原因是什么?这个原因一定是非常巨大的,因为它的结果是如此不同凡响。

Remember, as Chapter 6 showed, what an unpopular religion Christianity was, among both Jews and Gentiles. Nevertheless quite a few Jews and Gentiles did accept it. And those few accepted it with such tremendous vigour that they changed the face of the world.

还记得在第6章我们讲过,当时不管是犹太人还是在非犹太人(外邦人)中间,基督教是非常不受欢迎的。然而还是有一些犹太人、外邦人接受了基督教,这一小部分人带着巨大的热情改变了世界的面貌。

The unbelieving Jews accused the early Christian Jews of having “turned the world upside down”.9 And from a Jewish point of view, they had. The Jewish religion was the oldest, strictest, narrowest, most self-confident religion on earth. It was a religion first given to their fathers by God Himself, and how they prided themselves on that fact!

那些不相信耶稣的犹太人指责早期的基督徒犹太人是“那搅乱天下的”。(使徒行传176从犹太人的观点来看,确实是这样。犹太教是世界最古老、严格、封闭、自信的宗教,而且是  神将这种宗教最早传给他们的祖宗,犹太人对此感到多么自豪!

True, they were not a united body. They had their various sects and schools of thought. But on certain things they were all agreed. These were such vital parts of the Jewish religion, and had been unchanged for so many centuries, that they clung fanatically to them. Their basic dogmas included:

犹太教确实不是一个整体,他们有多种门派,但是有一件事情是一致的,犹太人宗教的核心部分,多个世纪以来一直没有变化,他们的立场从没有改变。这些基本的教义包括:

(1) The belief that there was only one God. In a world where every other nation worshipped many gods, this was the great distinguishing mark of the Jewish faith.

他们相信只有一位  神。世界上的其他民族都相信有很多  神,这是犹太教和其它宗教最明显的区别。

(2) A superior attitude to the Gentiles. The God that the Jews believed in had no interest in the Gentiles, unless they were prepared to adopt the Jewish religion and way of life completely.

犹太民族对其他民族的优越感。他们认为犹太人信仰的  神对外邦人不感兴趣,除非他们准备结受犹太教,并且完全按照犹太人的生活方式生活。

(3) A fanatical insistence on keeping the Sabbath Day (Saturday) as a day of complete rest from work and a day of worship. 对坚持守安息日(星期六)特别狂热,将那一天看成是崇拜上帝的日子,完全不可以工作。

(4) A determination not to eat those foods (such as pork) that were forbidden by the Law of Moses. 坚决不吃摩西律法所禁止的食物,例如猪肉。

(5) A deep hatred of human sacrifice.

对于用人来献祭的想法深恶痛绝。

From among this ultra-conservative people sprang the leaders of a new faith. They were not irreligious men. They were men of the very highest moral principles. Yet their teaching cut right across the cherished dogmas of the Jews.

从这些特别保守的人中间产生了一种新信仰的领导人。他们不是不虔诚的人,他们是具有最高尚的道德准则的人。然而他们的新教导却使他们站在犹太人保守教条的对立面。   

The Christians claimed that they still believed in only one God. But most Jews regarded that claim as absurd. How could these Christ­ians say they had only one God, when their Lord Jesus was supposed to be sitting in heaven at God’s right hand? To the orthodox Jew, such a doctrine was blasphemous nonsense; it reminded them of the deified heroes that the pagans believed in.

基督教声称他们依然信仰只有一位  神,但是大部分犹太人认为这种声明是荒谬的。基督教承认只有一位  神,然而升天以后坐在  神的右边的耶稣如何也曾了  神?对于正统的犹太人来说,这种教条不仅仅是荒谬的,而且也亵渎了  神,他们将这种教条归纳于邪教之列。

Then there was that question of sacrifice. To the devout Jew, sacrifice could mean only one thing. A priest would slay an animal in the temple at Jerusalem, and offer it to God in the way that Moses had prescribed. These Christians had the audacity to say that Jesus Christ, who was executed as a criminal, was really a human sacrifice for sins. “Disgusting!” said the Jews.

其次就是有关献祭的问题。在虔诚的犹太人看来,献祭就是按照摩西律法所规定的,犹太人的祭师在耶路撒冷的神殿宰杀一个动物献给  神。然而基督徒却说,被当成罪犯处死的耶稣,是为了人的罪成了献祭的祭物。犹太人认为这种观点是令人厌恶的。

To the orthodox Jews the practices of the early Christians were as evil as their beliefs. They admitted Gentiles to full membership of their Church, without first making Jews of them. They dropped the Sabbath, and worshipped God on Sunday instead. They allowed people to eat whatever food they fancied.

按照正统的犹太人看来,早期基督教的活动和他们的信仰一样邪恶。基督教完全接纳外邦人,而且外邦人和犹太人完全平等他们抛弃了安息日,在星期天举行礼拜仪式,他们允许人们吃摩西律法禁止的食物。

But despite all these objections a fair sprinkling of Jews, including quite a number of priests,10 did join the early Church. What happened to cause this? What shook these people out of their deep-seated prejudices, based on a thousand years of national pride and tradition?

但是尽管存在着这些让犹太人拒绝的理由,还是有很多犹太人,其中包括一些祭司加入了教会。这是什么原因呢?是什么理由让这些人抛弃了由几千年的传统和自负所造成的根深蒂固的的偏见?

To produce such a staggering result, something extraordinary must have happened. What could it have been? The New Testament pro­vides an answer. It says that Peter stood up in Jerusalem and proved that Jesus had risen from the dead; in consequence 3,000 Jerusalemites were baptised.11

令人惊奇的结果后面一定有不同平常的事情发生。到底发生了什么?新约圣经为我们提供了答案。新约记载说,彼得在耶路撒冷向犹太人证明耶稣已经从死亡中复活,结果导致了3000耶路撒冷人受洗。

The New Testament’s explanation fits the facts beautifully. A tremendous Act of God like the resurrection of Jesus, if clearly estab­lished, could well have overcome the prejudices of so many devout Jews. It is hard to imagine what else could have produced such a dramatic result.

新约的解释完美地和事实相符。如果人们看到  神的奇妙作为,例如耶稣的复活,将会使他们克服犹太人固有的偏见。很难想象会有其它别的事件能够导致这样的结果。

One Jew to be converted was called Paul. Nowadays no one seriously doubts that he was a real historical character, who wrote at least some of the New Testament books bearing his name. He was a brilliant man, with a phenomenal understanding of the Old Testament. (Just study his epistles if you have any doubt about that.)

在从犹太教转变成基督徒的人当中,有一位名叫保罗的人。现在没有人否认保罗是一个真实的历史人物,新约中的大部分书信是他自己写的,他是一个有智慧的人,而且对圣经旧约有非常深刻的理解。(如果你对此有疑问,阅读保罗的书信就会明白。)

Full of zeal for the orthodox Jewish position, he began life as a persecutor of the Christian Church. Yet he changed abruptly, to become the most effective of all Christian preachers, and ended his days as a martyr for Christ.

What changed him? Let him explain in his own words:

保罗曾经是一个对正统的犹太教非常热心的人,早期曾迫害过基督教教会,然而突然之间他的生命发生了剧烈的转变,他成为最有成效的基督教传教士,最后成为基督的殉道者。

是什么使他发生了改变?他自己解释说:

 

“If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain.... But now is Christ risen from the dead.... He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present . . . After that He was seen of James, then of all the apostles. And last of all, He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”12

   “若基督没有复活,我们所传的便是枉然,你们所信的也是枉然;……但基督已经从死里复活…... 并且显给矶法看,然后显给十二使徒看;后来一时显给五百多弟兄看,其中一大半到如今还在,却也有已经睡了的。以后显给雅各布看,再显给众使徒看,末了也显给我看;我如同未到产期而生的人一般。(哥林多前书1514205-8

On two occasions he explained at length how he met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus.13 It was this that changed the course of his life, he said.

他曾经两次详细地解释了他是如何在通往大马士革的道路上遇见了已经复活的耶稣。(见使徒行传22章,26章)他说,这一次经历改变了他生命的轨迹。

Either this was true, and Christ did rise from the dead. Or it was false, and we are left with a fact without an explanation. For how else can we account for Paul’s conversion, or for the epistles that he wrote?

   这些陈述如果是正确的,那么基督的复活就是真的。如果这些陈述是错误的,那么很多事实就无法解释。我们无法解释保罗为什么会转变成基督徒,也无法解释保罗所写的书信。

 

The Tomb was Empty 空坟墓

One thing is quite certain. The tomb in which the body of Jesus was buried was empty three days later. The dead body of Jesus was never seen again. If an unbeliever wants to dispute the resurrection story, he must take that fact as his starting point.

有一件事情可以肯定。耶稣死亡三天以后,埋葬耶稣的坟墓成了空的,从此以后再没有人看见耶稣的尸体。如果一个不相信的人怀疑耶稣复活,他必须首先解释上面的事实。

How can we be sure of this? Because it is obvious. The Jewish leaders who crucified Jesus would have loved to be able to say, “Look, this is the tomb, and here is the body-as dead as ever!” Had they done so, Christianity would never have been born.

我们为什么能够如此确信?因为事情是明显的。谋害耶稣的犹太人希望能够说:“看,这就是耶稣的坟墓,耶稣的身体和以前一样还在那里。”如果他们能够这样说,基督教就不会诞生了。

But they were powerless. The tomb was empty, and so they could not disprove the resurrection story. They could only make the best of a bad job, and try to explain the emptiness of the tomb.

但是他们不能够这样说。因为坟墓是空的,他们不能够证明复活没有发生。他们能够做的最坏事情,就是试图解释为什么坟墓是空的。

They put their wily heads together, and concocted the very best story they could. Matthew tells us:

这一群老谋深算的人开始聚集在一起编故事,马太福音告诉我们说:

“They gave large money unto the soldiers [that is, the soldiers who had been guarding the tomb] saying, ‘Say ye, “His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we slept.”’.. And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”14

    “祭司长和长老聚集商议,就拿许多银钱给兵丁,说:「你们要这样说:『夜间我们睡觉的时候,他的门徒来,把他偷去了。』……这话就传说在犹太人中间,直到今日”(马太福音2812-15

Matthew’s statement is confirmed by two later writers. Both Justin Martyr15 and Tertullian16 were still meeting the same explanation from unbelieving Jews in the second half of the second century.

有两份后来的书面文件证实了马太的声明。公元2世纪的贾斯廷(Justin Martyr和德尔图良(Tertullian都从一些不信耶稣的犹太人那里看见过同样的解释。

The unbelievers’ favourite approach today is not to offer any explanation of the facts. They prefer to dodge the main issue completely, by raising all sorts of side issues: “But how do we know that our gospels are what the apostles wrote? How do we know that changes weren’t made in later years? Don’t the gospel writers contradict each other?” 

今天,不信耶稣的人最喜欢的方法是不作任何解释。他们喜欢躲避问题的主要部分,而从两个侧面的问题开始:“我们如何知道我们现在看的福音书就是由使徒所写的?我们怎么知道最近这些年它们没有改变?福音书之间难道没有相互矛盾的地方?”

All such questions are beside the point. They merely evade the main evidence for Christ’s resurrection, which is based upon the unassailable facts of history. And in any case, these questions are dealt with in Part Two of this book.     

所有这些问题都离题太远。他们仅仅逃避了基督复活的主要证据,而基督的复活是建立在牢不可破的事实基础上的。然而,我们要将这些问题留在本书的第二部分进行讨论。

The “Theft Theory” was the very best that the men on the spot, the unbelieving Jews, could produce. It stands to reason that, after this lapse of time, no modern unbeliever is likely to produce a better theory. And yet such is human nature that various modern unbelievers have tried.

“偷窃理论”是那些在现场却不相信耶稣复活的犹太人所能够炮制出来的最好的理论。因为后来没有任何不信仰耶稣的人能够制造出更好的理论。现代不信仰耶稣的人也尝试这种理论,这也是人之常情。

They have only managed to find three alternatives worth serious consideration. First, there is the “Wrong Tomb Theory”. According to this, the disciples looking for the body in the grey light of dawn blundered into some other tomb. It happened to be an empty one. “He is risen!” they cried impetuously-and convinced the world that they were right.

这种理论有三种选项:首先是“错误坟墓”论,根据这种理论,耶稣的门徒在寻找耶稣的尸体时,由于光线太暗,结果到了别人的坟墓,碰巧这个坟墓是一个空的,于是门徒们迫不及待地高呼:“耶稣复活了”,并且还让世界相信他们是对的。

Then there is the “Recovery Theory”. This suggests that the bleeding body of Jesus was not quite dead when they took it down from the cross, buried it, and partially embalmed it. Then the severely wounded Jesus recovered consciousness. He managed to free Himself from the embalming cloths, break the seal on the great stone that closed the mouth of the tomb, roll its vast mass to one side, and creep past the guards unobserved.

接下来的是“苏醒论”,这种理论说,当耶稣的身体从十字架上放下来的时候,他的身体在流血,但是没有完全死亡。门徒将耶稣的身体用裹尸布包起来以后放在坟墓,后来受伤严重的耶稣清醒过来,成功地从裹尸布脱身,并且打开封住洞口的大石头,在守卫的士兵没有发觉的情况下逃了出来。

But this tall story is not finished yet. It goes on to declare that the half-dead Jesus appeared to His disciples and managed to persuade them that He had been raised to splendid, glorious, all-powerful immortality. Then He managed to disappear for ever from the scene, so that none of them saw Him die.

但是这个夸张的故事还没有结束。它还得让接受他的人相信耶稣活着出现在门徒面前,说服他们他已经复活,得到了荣耀的永生,接下来他还得永远从舞台上消失,这样才能没有人看见他死亡。

Believe it or not, this improbable tale has been put forward by unbelievers time after time. Surely they must be in a bad way, if they can be satisfied with a theory like that.

不管你是否相信,这个不可能的故事竟然被那些不信耶稣的人反复提出来。如果这种理论都能让他们满足,这一定是一件不好的事情。

Finally, there is the “Hallucination Theory”. This says that dis­ciples gathered together for a meeting, and in a religious frenzy they all imagined that the risen Lord appeared to them.

最后的是“幻觉论”。这种理论说,门徒们聚集在一起的时候,他们在虔诚的幻觉之中,想象耶稣出现在他们面前。

Two of these four theories can be dismissed without a second thought. The “Wrong Tomb” and “Hallucination” theories suffer from the fatal objection that the Jews would certainly have produced the dead body of Jesus, and blown Christianity to bits.

我们可以轻易地打发掉这四种理论中的两种。“坟墓错误”和“幻觉论”最致命的缺陷是:根据这些理论,犹太人当然能够找到耶稣的尸体,如果是这样的话,他们就能粉碎基督教。

The “Recovery Theory” is so obviously far fetched that we are back at our starting point: the Jewish “Theft Theory” is the best of a bad lot. It is the only explanation worthy of further consideration.

而“醒过来理论”很明显远离出发点,犹太人制造的“偷窃理论”是这些站不住脚的理论中最好的,同样也经不起进一步的推敲。

Yet it still does not explain half the facts. It presupposes that the apostles were a bunch of brazen cheats. But they were obviously neither brazen nor cheats. They were thoroughly frightened men. On their own admission, when Jesus died they all forsook Him and fled17 and lost faith in His Messiahship.18

这种理论连事实的一半都解释不了。它假定耶稣的门徒是一群厚颜无耻的骗子,很明显他们既不是骗子,也不厚颜无耻。他们完全是一群小心翼翼的人,他们自己也承认,当耶稣受难的时候,他们因为害怕而没有信心,自己逃之夭夭。

And they were good men. Cheats do not write sublime religious literature like the New Testament, nor suffer martyrdom cheerfully for the sake of their faith.

但是他们都是善良的人。骗子是写不出新约这样崇高、严谨的著作,也不会为了信仰自愿地做出牺牲。

But worst of all, like all the unbelievers’ theories, it does not begin to answer the great question that unbelievers refuse to face:

最重要的是,这种理论和其它理论一样,都不能回答以下问题,这些问题是不信仰耶稣的人所不愿意面对的。

 What caused the sudden uprise of Christianity in an utterly hostile world? What caused a little band of devout, working-class Jews to overcome their deep-rooted religious prejudices; to challenge the religious leaders of their nation; to lay down their lives preaching an incredibly novel and unpopular faith?

在当时全然敌视的条件下,是什么原因造成了基督教的突然崛起?是什么原因让一小部分普通虔诚的犹太人战胜自己根深蒂固的宗教偏见,对抗自己国家的宗教统治者?是什么原因让他们为了传播一种高尚却不受欢迎的宗教宁愿牺牲自己的生命?

 It was the most extraordinary, unlikely occurrence in all history. What caused it?

这是人类整个历史上最不平常、发生几率最小的事件。原因何在?

 Only one explanation fits the facts.

只有一种解释可以符合事实。

There is no need for me to tell you what that explanation is.

然而,我没有必要告诉你这种解释是什么。

 

8

A Law Ahead of its Time

超乎时代的法律

Imagine one of those programmes where a man in a busy street with a microphone and a television camera stops passers by.

想象你正在一条繁忙的大街,带着摄像机和麦克风采访一位过路人:

“Excuse me, Sir, (or, Madam). I wonder if you can tell me who first spoke these words: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’?”

 “很抱歉打搅您,您能不能够告诉我是谁最先说‘爱人如己’这句话?”

Leaving out the “Don’t know” and the “Don’t care” brigade, it is a fair bet that most people will answer, “Why, Jesus, of course!”

 如果抛开“不知道”,或者是“不关心”之类的话,我敢打赌到大多数人会说:“当然是耶稣拉!”

But they would be wrong. Those words first appear in the book of Leviticus,1 near the beginning of the Old Testament. All Jesus did was to remind people of their importance.

但这个答案是错误的。这句话最初出现在旧约利未记中,接近旧约的开头。耶稣重复这句话是为了强调它的重要。

The first five books of the Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy-contain the code of laws under which the children of Israel lived. Together they are called “The Law of Moses”, or simply “The Law”.

圣经最开始的几本书,包括创世记、出埃及记、利未记、民数记和申命记,包含着以色列人的生活的法律规范。这些书被统称为“摩西律法”,或者可以简称为“律法书”。

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” illustrates how far the Law was ahead of its time. Jesus is regarded as a very advanced moral teacher, and, of course, He was. Yet one of His most famous sayings was a quotation from the Law of Moses.

“爱人如己”,这句话反映了摩西律法多么地超出了其时代,耶稣被认为是一个超前的道德大师,他也是,然而他最著名的教导之一是从摩西律法书中来的。

There is no need to spend much time discussing the Ten Com­mandments. No other document in the world has had so much influence on the legal and moral codes that civilised man lives by. Other men in the ancient world, like the famous Hammurabi, drew up their own codes of law. Yet none of these has had the lasting effect of the Ten Commandments.

我们在这里不用花费过多时间来讨论摩西律法中的十条戒命。对于人类文明生活所依据的法律和道德准则而言,世界上没有其它文件能够有摩西律法那么大的影响力。古代社会人们也存在其它法律,例如著名的汉摩拉比法典,它们为日常规范制定了准则。然而这些法律和摩西十戒相比,它们对后来的社会影响不大。

But at the moment I am more concerned with the Law of Moses as

a law of love. Men think of it as a stern, strong law, and it was so. It

had to be, in that far-off lawless age. But in many ways it was also

a tender, merciful law. And considering the age in which it was

written, that is little short of a miracle.

    但是此刻我更关注的是,摩西律法是一部爱的法律,有人认为它是一部严厉的法律,在当时没有法制意识的年代,确实是这样,当时必须有一部严厉的法律。但是从另外的方面来说,它也是一部充满仁慈的法律。考虑到其书写年代,说这部法律是一个奇迹一点也不夸张。

A little over a hundred years ago, a famous cartoon appeared in an English journal. It bore the following caption:

 

“Who’s ‘im, Bill?”

“A stranger!”

“‘Eave ‘arf a brick at ‘im.”2

 

This typifies the attitude of men to strangers all through history. Now contrast what Moses said:

几乎所有的人类历史年代都欺负外来者。100年以前,有一部嘲笑外来者的卡通画非常流行。然而摩西律法却说:

 

“The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”3

   “和你们同居的外人,你们要看他如本地人一样,并要爱他如己,因为你们在埃及地也作过寄居的。”(利未记1934

Not only your neighbour, but you must also love the foreigner as yourself! Here Moses was not only ahead of his time, but ahead of our time, too. Think how much racial strife would be avoided in the world today, if men would only do as Moses commanded.

不仅仅要把他们看成是自己的邻居,而且要爱这些外来者就像爱自己一样。摩西律法在这里不仅仅领先自己的时代,还领先我们的时代。如果人们能够遵守摩西律法的话,有多少种族冲突就可以避免。

 

The Law was concerned with little things as well as big. Think of all the mental suffering that has been caused by malicious, gossiping tongues. The Law clamped down on this:

摩西律法涉及的范围有大事,也有小事。我们经常被流言蜚语所伤害,摩西律法说:

 “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.”4

    “不可在民中往来搬弄是非,也不可与邻舍为敌,置之于死。”(利未记1916

Among the other ancient nations there was no end to man’s cruelty to his fellow men. Only among the Jews was cruelty kept in check. There was no death by prolonged torture in Israel. The only forms of capital punishment prescribed by the Law of Moses led to a quick death.

在其他古代民族,人们即使是对自己的同胞的残忍也是没有尽头的。只有以色列人将这些残酷收敛起来。在以色列没有长时间折磨的死刑,只有少数几种很快执行的死刑。

The Law also set a limit to the extent of corporal punishment. Other nations would flog criminals indefinitely, until often they died beneath the lash. But Moses said that forty strokes must be the maximum.5 The Law even ruled against cruelty to animals.6

摩西律法同样也对肉体的惩罚设定了限度。有些国家的法律会无限制地鞭打犯人,直到他们死在皮鞭之下。但是摩西律法规定鞭打犯人的最高次数是40次,(申命记253而且反对残忍地对待动物。(申命记254

All through history the moneylender has been the curse of primitive societies. Even today, in many underdeveloped countries starving peasants spend their whole lives in debt, while the moneylenders grow rich from disgracefully high rates of interest. Many Jews are among those who have made fortunes from moneylending. But they would not have been if they had appreciated the spirit of their Law.

人类社会从开始以来,高利贷一直是一种社会疾病。即使在今天,在很多发展中国家,有很多农民终身在高利贷的压力下生活,放高利贷的人却靠着不体面的高利息致富,很多犹太人也靠放高利贷发财。如果他们体会到摩西律法的精神就不会这样做。

For the Law set an example to all mankind by frowning on this practice. Israelites were allowed (though not encouraged) to take interest from foreigners. But three different books forbade Israelites to charge one another interest.7 At the same time Moses insisted that, if a poor citizen needed an interest-free loan or a gift, he must be given it.8  Although the lender was allowed to ask for the borrower’s coat as security for a loan, he must not keep it after sundown if the owner needed it for warmth.9

摩西律法为全人类设立了榜样。以色列人可以从其他国家的人收取利息,但是不能从自己的同胞那里收取利息。(利未记253637,出埃及记2225;申命记231920)摩西律法还规定,如果有穷人要向你借钱而且没有利息,你必须借给他。(利未记253637尽管借钱的人可以向对方要一件棉袄作为借款的证据,但是如果借钱的人需要这件棉来保暖,债主必须在太阳落山之前还给他。(申命记241-13

 

Pure Worship纯洁的崇拜

 

When Israel first became a nation, the religions of their neighbours were indescribably vile. The world was full of idols, in whose name the foulest deeds were done. Human sacrifice, black magic, ritual prostitution, witchcraft-there was no end to the evils perpetrated under the guise of religion.

当以色列人最初成为一个民族的时候,我们无法形容他们周围民族的宗教信仰是多么的堕落。世界充满了偶像,以这些偶像的名义下最肮脏的事情。将活人献给假神,巫术,神庙娼妓,在宗教的幌子下干出无数的邪恶的勾当。

Now and again some outstanding man-such as King Amen­hotep IV, who ruled Egypt during the fourteenth century B.C.-would try to reform his country’s religion. But none of them had any lasting influence on mankind. There was only one nation whose Law shone like a beacon in a dark world:

阿孟和蒂(公元前十六至十四世纪 古埃及的法老)曾经试图改革自己国家的宗教,但是在他死后他的改革最终对于人类没有影响。这个时候,只有一个国家,他们的法律就像灯塔一样照耀在这个黑暗的世界:

“I am the Lord thy God.... Thou shalt have none other gods beside Me.”10

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”11

我是耶和华你的神,……除了我以外,你不可有别的神。(申命记567)

以色列啊,你要听!耶和华我们神是独一的主。你要尽心、尽性、尽力爱耶和华你的神。(申命记645

 

There was only one God, not a thousand and one. Because of that, a man must be single-minded in his devotion to that One God. The idols of the other nations were as nothing; therefore they must not have the slightest influence upon a man’s thoughts or deeds.

   只有一位 神,不是一千零一位神。因此一个人应该尽自己全部的心思和意念来爱这位神。其他国家的偶像算不了什么,也不应该对一个人的思想和行为产生任何一点影响。

“Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divina­tion, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.”12

   “你到了耶和华你神所赐之地,那些国民所行可憎恶的事,你不可学著行。你们中间不可有人使儿女经火,也不可有占卜的、观兆的、用法术的、行邪术的、用迷术的、交鬼的、行巫术的、过阴的。凡行这些事的都为耶和华所憎恶;因那些国民行这可憎恶的事,所以耶和华你的神将他们从你面前赶出。”(申命记189-12

Right up to the time of Christ there was not another nation that had followed Moses’ example, and banned all these hideous religious practices of the ancient world.

一直到基督的年代,没有任何一个国家的法律像摩西律法那样,禁止各种形式的邪恶宗教仪式。

 

Health is Wealth健康就是财富

 

“What’s he got that I haven’t got?” is a common human complaint. One reason for the Jews’ unpopularity is that men have often had cause to be jealous of them.

“他有为什么我没有?” 这是我们常常听到的埋怨。犹太人不受欢迎的原因是因为受到别人的嫉妒。

Professor Rendle Short, who was a surgeon as well as a Bible student, gives an interesting example from fourteenth-century Italy.13 Plague was sweeping the country, and the Italians noticed that the Jewish communities escaped much more lightly than themselves. They guessed, correctly, that the Jewish Law had something to do with it. So they adopted the Jewish system, and their death rate fell.

Rendle Short既是一位外科医生,也是一位圣经学者,他曾经列举十四世纪的意大利为例子。在瘟疫横行期间,意大利人注意到犹太人却很少受到影响。他们猜测,一定是犹太人有什么特别的地方。他们采纳了犹太人的系统,结果死亡率大幅度地降低了。(参考1964年出版的《圣经和医学》)

As a twentieth-century Italian doctor has written in an ordinary medical textbook:

正如一位20世纪的意大利医生在一本普通医学教科书中所写的:

 

“No-one can fail to be impressed by the careful hygienic pre­cautions of the Mosaic period. The extremely stringent quarantine rules very likely did a great deal of good.”14

“没有人不会对摩西时代采取的对疾病的预防措施感到惊奇。这些严格的隔离措施对于预防疾病大有帮助。”

Here are some of the provisions of the Law that helped to keep Israel healthy.

下面是一些可以确保了以色列人身体健康法律规定:

(1) Isolation. “Lepers” (the Biblical term includes a whole group of infectious diseases, along with the modern leprosy) were com­manded to live separately from the rest of the people.15 The modern practice of isolating sufferers from infectious diseases was derived directly from the Jews.隔离。“麻疯病”这个词汇在圣经中泛指所有的传染性疾病。这些病的患者被命令从其余的人中间隔离生活。现代人将传染病患者隔离起来,这种做法的根源直接来自犹太人。

(2)        Washing after handling dead bodies. When a Jew had handled a dead body he was regarded as “unclean”. He was to be quarantined for seven days, and to undergo an elaborate washing procedure before he was regarded as fit to mix with society again.16 Until about a hundred years ago surgeons used to handle the dead and the dying, and then go straight into the operating theatre without washing. Thousands of their patients died through infection. Many of them might have lived if those early surgeons had kept the Law of Moses.触摸了死人的尸体以后要洗手。犹太人在触摸了死人的尸体以后,他被看成是不洁净的。他要隔离7天以后才能参与社会活动。而其他国家100年以前,外科医生通常没有洗手就进行手术。数千名患者死于感染。如果他们的医生要是遵守摩西律法的话,他们也许还会活着。

(3) Sanitation. In 1969 I walked along the main street of a large African city and watched human excrement drifting along the open drains at the sides of the road. I reflected on the high incidence of disease in that city, and the low expectation of life. And then I won­dered how much better off the people would be if only they obeyed the Law of Moses:卫生设施:1969年,我在非洲的一个大城市里行走时,看见了大便沿着街道的排水沟漂流。这让我想起了这个城市为什么会有这么高的疾病发生率,而且居民的寿命却很短。那时我在想,如果他们遵守摩西律法,情况就会好很多。

 

“You must have a latrine outside the camp and go outside to it; you must carry a spade among your weapons, and when you relieve yourself outside, you must dig a hole with it, to cover up your filth.”17

“你在营外也该定出一个地方作为便所。在你器械之中当预备一把锹,你出营外便溺以后,用以铲土,转身掩盖。”(申命记2312-13

It was not until the eighteenth century that Western Europe began to see the life-saving wisdom of this part of the Law. And hundreds of millions of people have not seen the wisdom of it yet.

西欧到了18世纪以后才开始看清摩西律法在拯救生命方面的智慧。然而直到今天仍然有数百万人没有看到这种智慧。       

(4)     The food laws. Two chapters in the Law18 are filled with lists of the birds, beasts and fishes which may and may not be eaten. With a few exceptions the lists agree with what modern man regards as healthy and unhealthy food. The flesh-eating creatures, the rats, the reptiles and most insects are forbidden; the vegetarian bird and beasts are permitted.有关食物的法律。在法律中有两章(利未记11章和申命记14章)充满了不可以吃的鸟、兽、和鱼类的名单,而这个名单中与现代人认为的判断健康食品和非健康食品的标准是一样的。食肉动物、老鼠、爬虫以及大部分的昆虫是不可以吃的,而食草的动物和鸟是可以吃的。

The main differences from modern practice are that pork and shell­fish are forbidden by the Law, yet are eaten today. But there were good reasons for the Law’s strictness. Today public health inspectors backed by an elaborate laboratory service can ensure that pigs and shellfish are reared under healthy conditions. Israel had no such facilities.

律法中与现代生活相差最大的是:摩西律法禁止吃猪肉和甲壳类水生物,而现代人却没有这些禁忌。但摩西律法严格禁止这些食物也是有道理的。今天有专门监测食品卫生的检查机构来保证这些食物在健康条件下饲养,古代以色列没有这样的条件。

We know now that two serious diseases, cysticercosis and trichinia­sis, can be caught through eating the flesh of pigs infected by parasitic worms. In a primitive society the only safe way to avoid these diseases is to steer clear of pork.

我们知道如果猪肉被寄生虫感染的话,会导致两种严重的疾病,囊虫病和旋毛虫病可以由寄生虫通过猪肉传播。在原始社会里,唯一安全的方法就是不要吃猪肉。

As for shellfish, they are quite harmless if they grow in water free from sewage. But if human excrement is present they feed on it, and then may harbour the germs of typhoid and other intestinal diseases. Modern science takes precautions against this, but the only precaution open to ancient Israel was to abstain from shellfish.

至于贝壳类食品,如果生长环境没有污水,它们是安全的。如果人类的排泄物如果出现在周围,它们就会成为伤寒症和消化道疾病病菌的温床。现代医学号召人们对贝类食物保持警惕,但是对于古代的以色列人来说,唯一使他们保持警惕的方法就是不吃。

Even modern food science can sometimes slip up, and let an unsafe batch of shellfish on to the market. The last time (the very last!) that I ate oysters I was carried off on a stretcher at midnight. I had a week in hospital-ample time to reflect that Moses was wiser than I.

现代食品科技也有打盹的时候,让一些不安全的海鲜类食品进入市场。我曾经因为吃牡蛎而在半夜送上了救护车,住进医院的一个星期让我有时间体会摩西律法要比我聪明。

Cecil Roth has published some figures showing how the Jews have remained healthier than their neighbours right down to modern times.19 One year when statistics were collected for the death rates among infants less than a year old in Czarist Russia, the rate for Jews was 13.2 per cent and for non-Jews 26.0 per cent. In Vienna it was 8.3 per cent for Jews, 16.1 per cent for non-Jews. In New York in 1915 it was 7.8 per cent for Jews, 10.5 per cent for non-Jews. “Even today [he wrote in 1956] the infant death rate in Israel is the lowest in the world.”

  Cecil Roth先生曾经发表过一些数据,证明即使在现代社会,犹太人的健康状况依然比他们的邻居好。统计学家收集俄罗斯帝国时期一岁以下婴儿死亡率数据,犹太人的比率为13.2%, 非犹太人为26.0%。在维也纳,犹太人为8.3%,而非犹太人为10.5%。“即使是在今天(作者的写作时间为1956年),犹太人的婴儿死亡率依然是世界上最低的。”

 

Conservation of Resources对资源的保护

 

In 1966 a new body was formed in London by a group of eminent British citizens. It is called “The Conservation Society”, and its objects were defined as including:

1966年,伦敦的一些知名人士组成了“保护自然资源团体”,这个团体的目标包括:

“(iii) To promote the conservation in the interests of mankind of natural resources and animal life .3条:促进保护人类自然资源和动物生命

(iv) To promote the conservation of human cultures, skills and knowledge ...”20

     4条:促进保护人类文化、技能和知识。

It has taken the world all this time to realise that the world’s resources are limited and need to be carefully conserved. Meanwhile, human foolishness and greed has done untold harm to the beautiful world in which we live.

人类到了这个时候才知道自然资源是有限的,应该仔细保存。然而在同时,人类的愚蠢和贪婪给我们生存的世界已经造成了无法挽回的损失。

Much of this harm could have been prevented if more people had obeyed the Law of Moses. For this Law taught the necessity of con­servation of resources several thousand years before man seriously thought about it. Here are three examples:

如果更多的人遵守摩西律法的话,这些伤害中的很多本来是可以避免的。因为律法已经在3000多年以前就教导人们保护资源的必要性,远在人们意识到之前,下面就是三个例子:

(1)       Bird life. If an Israelite caught a mother bird sitting on a nest, he must not take both the mother and her eggs or young. He could take the eggs or young birds, but had to let the mother go free to perpetuate the species.21

对鸟的生命的爱护。如果一个以色列人抓住了正在孵蛋的鸟,他不能同时拿走鸟妈妈和小鸟(或鸟蛋):“你若路上遇见鸟窝,或在树上或在地上,里头有雏或有蛋,母鸟伏在雏上或在蛋上,你不可连母带雏一并取去。总要放母,只可取雏;” (申命记2267

If only modern man had listened to Moses, the museums of the world would not now be full of stuffed examples of extinct birds. We should not have a saying, “Dead as the dodo”. The beautiful passenger pigeon of North America, and the great auk of the North Atlantic, would still be thriving in their millions as they were at the beginning of the last century.

要是现代人听从了摩西的教导,现在博物馆就不会充满已经灭绝的鸟类标本。北美漂亮的信鸽、北大西洋海雀在上个世纪初依然飞翔在海面上。 

(2) Arable land. Every seventh year the Israelite had to let his arable land lie fallow (that is, uncultivated).22 Under modern farming methods this is not necessary. But with more primitive methods of agriculture, constant cropping was liable to destroy the fertility of the land.

耕地的轮休。每隔7年,以色列人要让自己的土地休息。在现代化的耕作条件下,这样做可能不必要。但是在原始耕作条件下,接连不断的耕作会破坏土地的肥沃。

The Law of Moses provided an effective method of preventing human greed from ruining the good earth. But mankind disregarded the Law. All over the world man-made deserts sprawl where once were fertile fields. The deserts of Iraq, the coastal belt of North Africa, the dust bowls of the United States-all these might still be rich farmland if the Law had been obeyed.

摩西律法提供了防止人类的贪婪毁灭地球的有效方法。全世界都有曾经是绿地变化成的沙漠。在伊拉克的沙漠、北非的海岸,以及美国的沙尘带,如果人们遵守摩西律法的话,它们应该是富饶的可耕作的地方。

(3) Fruit trees. In present day warfare anything goes-or almost anything. There are, it is true, a few “rules of war”, dating back to the first Geneva Convention in 1864. But they are limited in scope, and not all countries recognise them. Even those that say they accept them sometimes break the rules when the crunch comes.对果树的保护:在今天的世界上,战争会让一切消失,或几乎让一切消失。1864年的日内瓦公约制定了一些战争规则,但是它们的范围有限,并不是所有的国家都承认它。即使是接受公约的国家,有时也会违背。

In the Vietnam war America introduced a new military tactic. It is called “defoliation”. The U.S. air force has sprayed many thousands of tons of weedkiller over enemy-occupied territory. Vast areas of jungle where enemy troops once hid have been turned into a tem­porary desert. Rice crops and fruit trees have also been wiped out, and great numbers of Vietnamese have gone hungry in consequence. Such is “total war”, as it is practised today.

在越南战争期间,美国军队曾经采取了一项军事战略,他们称之为“落叶计划”。美国空军在敌方领土上喷洒了数千吨的除草剂,曾经能够隐藏军队森林的暂时变成了沙漠,稻米和果树受到了污染,结果使得大量的越南人挨饿。在今天,这样的“总体战争”仍然在继续。

But ancient Israel were forbidden to treat nature so ruthlessly. Even under the stress of war they were not allowed to chop down fruit trees to make defensive barriers. Though this might have reduced their own casualties, or even turned defeat into victory, they still must not do it. Moses told them why not: “for the tree of the field is man’s life.”23

但是在古代的以色列,残酷对待自然的方式是被禁止的。即使在战争期间也不允许砍掉果树制造防御堡垒,尽管这样做会增加他们的伤亡,甚至将胜利变成了失败。他们依然遵守这些律法。摩西告诉他们说:“你若许久围困、攻打所要取的一座城,就不可举斧子砍坏树木。”(申命记201920

Thus the Jewish Law of three thousand years ago was in this respect far wiser, far more civilised, than American law (or British law, for that matter) of today.

这样看来,三千年以前犹太人的律法在这些方面比今天的美国法律(或英国以及其它国家的法律)更加文明。

(4) Human strength. This was the most precious of all natural resources, in a world where machine power had not yet come to replace muscle power. The Law of Moses introduced a revolutionary new principle to conserve human strength-a compulsory day of rest, once a week.24

对劳动力的保护。在机器代替肌肉劳动之前,劳动力是最尊贵的资源。摩西律法引入了一条革命性的新原则来保护劳动力,即每个星期强制休息一天。

Those far-off days were not noted for any humanitarian tendencies. Yet the astonishing fact about the Sabbath law was this: it applied to everybody in the land, Israelite and foreigner, master and slave alike.25

安息日最明显的特征并不是具有人道主义倾向。尽管与安息日有关的事实是,这项制度适合于在这块土地的每一个人,不管是以色列人还是外国人,不管是主人还是奴隶

Such an act of generosity on the part of rulers towards their slaves is without parallel in history. Yet Israel’s Law commanded it, and, by and large, Israel obeyed.

The great medical historian, Karl Sudhoff, has said:

这种奴隶主对待奴隶的慷慨方式在历史上是没有匹敌的。然而在以色列的律法上清楚地写明了,大部分的以色列人也遵守了。

   Karl Sudhoff是一位伟大的医学历史学家。他说:

“Had Judaism given nothing more to mankind than the estab­lishment of a weekly day of rest, we should still be forced to proclaim her one of the greatest benefactors of humanity.”26

   “如果不是犹太人带给人类每周休息一天的制度,我们可能不得不称这项制度是人类最伟大的贡献之一。”

 

Family Life家庭生活

 

Jews have always been known for the happiness and stability of their home lives,

犹太人的家庭稳定性方面和家庭幸福举世闻名。

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when wife-beating was expressly permitted by English law, the Jewish rabbis could say, “It is not the way of our people to beat their wives as the Gentiles do.”27

12世纪和13世纪的时候,丈夫殴打妻子的行为还被英国的法律所允许,那时犹太人的拉比就说:“我们犹太人是不会学这些外邦人殴打自己妻子的”。

In 1952 Jewish marriages involving divorced persons numbered 122 out of a total of 1,876, or 6.5 per cent. This was about half the comparable figure for the British people as a whole.28 Most Jewish wives regard homemaking as a full time job. In 1950-52 only 11 per cent of Jewish women went out to work, compared with 34 per cent of the overall population.29

1952年,犹太人的离婚率为6.5%,为英国整体的一半。大部分的犹太妇女从事全职的家务工作,在1950-1952年只有11%的犹太妇女出去工作,而这个比例在英国为34%

The secret of successful Jewish home life, like so many other things Jewish, lay in the Law. In the ancient world (as in primitive societies today) wives were often regarded as mere chattels, to be used, dis­carded and replaced at will. Children were nothing more than economic assets to the Gentile nations.

和其它事情一样,犹太人家庭幸福的原因在于律法。在古代社会(甚至在今天的一些原始部落),妻子被看成是牲口使用,如果不喜欢就抛弃。孩子被看成是和财产差不多。

But Israel’s Law was different. Jewish women had to be respected. Adultery, fornication and prostitution were very severely discouraged. Men had to treat their wives fairly, even if they disliked them.30 Although divorce was not forbidden it was not encouraged, but was carefully regulated.31 And the ideal Jewish marriage was clearly specified in the beginning: one man and one woman, joined together for life.32

但是犹太人的律法是不同的。犹太妇女受到尊重。通奸和卖淫是应该受到惩罚的行为。即使不喜欢她,男人也必须公平地对待自己的妻子。尽管没有律法并没有禁止离婚,但也没有鼓励离婚。离婚受到规范。犹太人婚姻的理想观点是:一对男女结合在一起,婚姻要维持终身。

The Law laid great stress upon the careful upbringing of children. It was a father’s responsibility to see that his children were well educated in God’s ways.33

律法非常重视孩子们的教育。教导孩子敬畏 神是父亲的责任。(例如:申命记4910673246

The Jewish religion would never have survived without this stress on religious education within every family. At the same time it has had a useful by-product for the Jews. They have always been more advanced than any other nation in every form of education. Without doubt, their success in the world is partly due to this.

如果不是他们在每一个家庭都强调宗教教育,犹太人的宗教决不会保留到现在。同时,这也是犹太人的一个非常有用的副产品。他们通常在每一种形式上拥有比任何民族更加先进的教育系统。毫无疑问,他们在世界上的成功可以部分归功于此。

Thus, for example, a census taken in 1861 revealed that more than half the adult population of Italy could not read or write, but that only one Italian Jew in 17 could not read or write.34 A census of university students in Britain in 1954-5 revealed that 2.8 per cent of students were Jews,35 although Jews form only 0.8 per cent of the country’s population.

例如,在1861年的一项统计显示,超过总人口一半的成年人不能读写,而意大利的犹太人中,只有1/17的人不能读写。而在1954-1955年英国大学的统计显示,犹太大学生占据英国大学生总数的2.8%,而犹太人的人口总数只占这个国家中人口的0.8%

 

How Did Moses Manage It?

 

Once more we have a remarkable fact to face. The Law of Moses (con­tained in the first five books of the Bible) was astonishingly advanced in its provisions. It was at least three thousand years ahead of its time. The rest of the world did not realise the wisdom of many parts of the Law until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

 我们还要面对一件增加重要的令人吃惊的事实:摩西律法要比书写它的人的思想更加先进。摩西律法至少领先当时的时代3000年。而在19世纪和20世纪之前,世界上的其它国家都没有意识到摩西律法中的智慧。

How are we going to account for this? How did Moses manage to give his people such a revolutionary and brilliantly successful law?

这些智慧应该归功于谁呢?摩西是如何颁布这样一部充满亮光的、成功的、革命性的法律?

Here is Moses’ own explanation:下面是摩西自己的解释:

“What great nation is there that hath a god so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is?...

What great nation is there that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this Law?...

The Lord spake unto you . . . The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments.”36

    那一大国的人有神与他们相近,像耶和华我们的神、在我们求告他的时候与我们相近呢?又那一大国有这样公义的律例典章、像我今日在你们面前所陈明的这一切律法呢?……耶和华从火焰中对你们说话,……他将所吩咐你们当守的约指示你们,就是十条诫,并将这诫写在两块石版上。(申命记4781214

Moses took no credit for himself. He was not the greatest legalistic genius of all time. He was not a man 3,000 years ahead of his time. It was not his brain that anticipated so many discoveries of modern sociology, hygiene, medicine and economics. His Law, he says, came from God.

摩西并没有将摩西律法的功劳归于自己。摩西本人并没有领先自己的时代3000年,并不是摩西自己的大脑能够预测出3000年以后的社会、卫生、医疗和经济情况。摩西自己说,他的律法来自  神。

This explanation by Moses fits the facts. Is there an alternative explanation that fits them half as well? How do the unbelievers explain the stubborn facts?

 摩西的解释是符合事实的。还有其它任何解释能够符合事实的一半吗?那些不相信圣经的人如何解释这些不合情理的事实?

The answer is that they don’t. They cannot provide a rational explanation for the facts, so they fall back once more on the technique of side-stepping them.

他们不能找到合理的解释,因此他们采取了旁敲侧击的策略:

“Moses didn’t write the Law,” they cry. “It was compiled by other men, between five and ten centuries after the time of Moses.”

他们申辩说:“摩西并没有写下这些法律,这些法律是其他人在摩西时代之后5-10个世纪所编写的”。

As if that made any difference! If true, it would only make the Law two thousand-odd years ahead of its time, instead of three thousand. And in any case, as we shall see later, it is by no means proved that Moses did not write the Law.如果是这样,这部法律领先时代2000年,而不是3000年,那又有什么区别?不管如何,正如我们在本书后面所看到的,没有证据显示摩西并没有写这部律法。

So they try another tactic. “Pah, this is just a load of pro-Jewish propaganda!”

他们会尝试另外一种策略:“这只是一种亲犹太人的正面宣传!”

Again: so what? Facts are still facts, even if somebody throws dirty words like “propaganda” at them. And in any case, it is not true. My feelings are certainly pro-Bible, but they are not pro-Jewish. I have no particular liking, nor any dislike, for the Jews. I am just a neutral observer of what anyone can see to be an extraordinary people, with an extraordinary Law.

这又怎么样?事实终归是事实。从我个人的感情来说,我属于“亲圣经”的,但不是“亲犹太人”的。对犹太人,我个人并不是特别喜欢、也没有任何不喜欢。我只是占在中立的立场上,观察这一群独特的人以及他们独特的法律。

Ask yourself: how do you explain these facts? You know how Moses explained them. He said that he received his astonishing Law from God Almighty.

你可以问自己:你自己是如何解释这些事实?你也知道摩西是如何解释的。他说他是从全能的 神那里接受到这部令自己颤惊的法律。

If this is not true, how did he manage to produce such a Law?

如果不是这样,那么摩西如何能自己编制出一套这样的法律?

 

9

The Ring of Truth

真理的声音

 

I shall never forget the day my father showed me my first counterfeit coin.

“Look at this, son,” he said. “I’ve been done!”

He held it lightly between the fingers and thumbs of both hands, and bent it easily into a horseshoe shape. I gasped with surprise and watched, fascinated, as he bent it back to its original shape. He passed it to me and I examined it. It still looked like a genuine half crown.

“How did you know it was a dud, Dad?” I asked.

“Because of this,” he replied, taking it from me and dropping it on the shop counter.

“Hear that dull clonking noise? Now listen to the ringing note you get from a real one.” He dropped a genuine half crown beside the counterfeit. There was no mistaking the different sound.

Even my schoolboy ear could detect the ring of truth.

我永远也不会忘记父亲让我第一次看到假币的那一天。

“看着,孩子”, 他对我说:“我已经做好了”。

他用拇指轻轻地把假币从磨具中勾出来交给我,我仔细地查看,发现就跟真的一样。   

我问他:“你怎么知道这是一枚假币?”

“从声音就可以听出来”。父亲回答我说,接着他把假币轻轻地抛到柜台后面。

“听到了这种沉闷的声音吗?在来听听真币发出的声音。”我听出这是两种绝然不同的声音。

甚至连我这样毛手毛脚的男孩都能分辨出来。

 

 

Experience Counts经验的积累 

 

In every walk of life people learn to sense the difference between true and false.

通过生活的每一步,人们学会如何去辨别真假。

Old hands in the teaching profession can glance down an examina­tion room, and pick Out the one boy who is trying to crib. The customs officer gradually learns to spot which suitcases are worth opening. The experienced magistrate can nearly always tell when a witness is lying. In every walk of life things either ring true, or they ring false.

老练的监考官只需一眼就能够辨别出试图作弊的考生,海关官员现场就能够判断该不该开箱检查某个人的行李。有经验的法官当场就能看出证人是不是在说谎。生活中每一件事情都会发出声音,好让人辨别真伪。

But before you can detect the ring of truth with any certainty you need experience. It is therefore significant that those who know the Bible best trust it the most.

但是在你可以比较有把握地辨别出真相之前,你需要有很多经历。因此,谁更明白圣经,谁就更有发言权,就更值得我们信赖。

A Bible lover once told an anecdote about a pompous colonel at a dinner table.

一个牧师曾经向我讲述自己在餐桌上的一段经历。

“In my opinion,” he declared, “the Koran is vastly superior to the Bible.”

一位冒失的上尉对这位牧师说:“根据我的经验,古兰经要比圣经优越”。

“Excuse me, Colonel,” said a clergyman. “Do you mind if I ask you two questions? Have you ever read the Bible from beginning to end?”

牧师说:“那么,很抱歉,你介意我可以问您几个问题吗?你从头到尾读过圣经吗?”

The colonel admitted that he had not, and waited uneasily for the second question.

上校承认自己没有读过,而且对牧师的第二个问题同样感到紧张。

 “Have you ever even seen a copy of the Koran?”

“你曾经读过古兰经吗?”

When the colonel again answered that he hadn’t, the clergyman asked him what he thought of himself. “You publicly declare that a book you have never seen is vastly superior to a book that you have never read right through!”

这个上尉再次回答“没有”的时候,牧师要求他仔细思考一下自己的判断:“你在当众宣布一本自己从来没有阅读过的书比另外一本同样没有读过的书要优越得多!”

That story rings true. I have met dozens and dozens of people like the colonel, who condemn the Bible vigorously but have never read it. On the other hand I know people whose whole attitude to the Bible changed entirely when once they started to read it. As they read it, they could see that here was a book that rang true.

这个故事是真的,我遇见过的像这位上尉一样、没有读过圣经但却指责圣经的人不少于数十人,然而我也知道,如果他们开始阅读圣经,他们的态度就会完全发生改变。因为在他们阅读的时候,他们会明白这本书发出的真理的声音。

As an example, take the fourth book of Moses, called the book of Numbers. You will see that it consists of three main elements:

例如,我们来看摩西律法的第4本书:民数记。这本书由以下3个主要部分组成。

(1) Lists of names, places and statistics about the nation of Israel. (Hence the name, “Numbers”.)列出以色列人的支派、姓名、地点、人口统计数字,(因此这本书的名字叫民数记)。

(2) Detailed laws and regulations (mainly of a religious character).详细的法律规范和规章,主要是宗教方面的。

(3) Stories of things that happened to Israel, and things they did, during their forty years in the wilderness.以色列人在旷野40年中所经历的故事。

Now does this book ring true, or not? Many people who have studied it are convinced that it does. Those lists of names may make very dull reading today, but their very existence, scattered throughout the book, has the ring of truth about it.

那么这本书听起来像是真实的,还是伪造的书?很多研究过这本书的人相信它是真实的。书中的人物名单在今天读起来可能非常乏味,但是正因为这些名单分布在整本书中,使得这本书看起来具有真实性。

If those lists were written by Moses, we can see the reason for them. They were very important to the people named in them. But it is very hard to imagine why a forger, writing hundreds of years later, should bother to compile such lists.

如果这些名单是摩西所写的,我们就可以看出这些名单存在的理由,名字对于一个人来说是非常重要的。但如果这些名单是几百年以后编造的,就得费尽心机去想象。很难相信一本书的作者会故意编造不存在的名单。

The historical parts of the book also ring true. Nearly all the stories show up Israel in an unfavourable light. Some of them throw an unfavourable light upon Moses himself. But they all portray human nature just as we know it to be: generally weak, obstinate, prejudiced, ungrateful, hasty, faithless-but now and again rising above itself, and reaching heights of glory.

这本书的历史部分看起来也是真的。书中的大部分对以色列人做的事情持否定态度,还有不赞同摩西本人的地方。这些记载描绘了人的本性的真相,正如我们所知道的:软弱,固执、偏见、没有信心、忘恩负义,不过也有有超越自己达到荣耀高度的时候。

In the years between the two world wars the greatest living English­man spent a quiet life at Chartwell. Churchill was biding his time, waiting until his country needed him again.

在两次世界大战之间,英国的丘吉尔先生在静静地等待时机,要在他的国家需要他的时候东山再起。

In those days he had plenty of time to think, and his great mind did not shrink from reaching unpopular conclusions. He, almost alone, told the world the truth about the Nazi menace

他有足够的时间在这一段时间进行冷静思考。他几乎是独自一人,告诉世界关于纳粹威胁的真相。

And Churchill also told the world that the books of Moses rang true.

同样丘吉尔告诉世界,摩西律法发出的是真理的声音。

He wrote in his essay on Moses:

以下是他写的一篇关于摩西的评论:

 

“We must, at this point, examine briefly the whole question of the miracles . . . We [meaning himself] reject, however, with scorn all those learned and laboured myths that Moses was but a legendary figure upon whom the priesthood and the people hung their essential social, moral and religious ordinances. We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally .. . We remain unmoved by the tomes of Professor Grad-grind and Dr Dryasdust. We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out in Holy Writ. We may believe that they happened to people not so ‘very different from ourselves, and that the impressions those people received were faithfully recorded and have been transmitted across the centuries with far more accuracy than many of the telegraphed accounts we read of the goings-on of today. In the words of a forgotten work of Mr Gladstone, we rest with assurance upon ‘The impregnable rock of Holy Scripture’.”1 (The italics are mine.) 

“我们必须简要地检查关于神迹的整个问题。我们(这里代表他自己)要抛弃那种认为摩西只是传说人物的观点:这些人认为是犹太人的祭司和老百姓将他们的社会、道德和宗教规范假冒成摩西这个人写的,我们相信最科学的观点、最现代、最理性的概念会将圣经的故事是看成是真实的。我对 Grad-grind教授和Dryasdust博士长篇大论中的观点持保留态度。我们相信当时事情的发生正如这本圣书所记载的那样,而且发生在那个时代的事情和我们今天的处境差别不大,我们相信那些跨越多个世纪流传下来的圣经要比今天我们阅读的电报更加准确。最后我引用Gladstone先生的话作为结论:我们信仰的基础是:圣经记载的可靠性不可动摇”(斜体字是我加上去的)。

 

Why did Churchill reach such an unorthodox conclusion? First, because he read his Bible thoroughly and carefully. And secondly, because he was never a man to be swayed by the weight of public opinion; he was prepared to think things out for himself.

丘吉尔为什么会得出这样一个非正统的结论?第一,因为他已经仔细完整地阅读了圣经。其次,他是一个不会受到公众意见左右的人,这是他自己思考得出的结论。

 

Ding and Dong叮咚声

 

It is easier to detect the clear “ding” of the true coin when you can compare it with the dull “dong” of the false.

将正确地声音和假冒的声音进行对照,这样可以更加容易地辨别真伪。正如真硬币会发出清脆的“叮”的声音,而假硬币只能发出沉闷的“咚”声一样。

You can apply this test to the gospels. In addition to the four gospels of our Bible, there are a number of so-called gospels. They were written in the second, third and fourth centuries.

你可以把这个方法应用在辨别福音书的真伪上。在历史上还存在着一些所谓的“福音书”,这些书是在公元2-4世纪写成的。

Here is a typical passage from the “Gospel of Nicodemus”, describ­ing the entry of Jesus into Pilate’s judgment hall:

下面的节选来自所谓的“尼哥底母福音书”(Gospel of Nicodemus),描写了耶稣在受彼拉多审判的情景:

 

And Jesus going in, and the standard-bearers holding their standards, the tops of the standards were bent down and adored Jesus. And the Jews seeing the bearing of the standards, how they bent down and adored Jesus, cried Out vehemently against the standard bearers . . . [It goes on for a whole page, with the Jews arguing about whether the standards really bent down miracu­lously. Then Pilate agrees to try and repeat the miracle.) . . . And the procurator ordered Jesus to come in the second time. And the runner did in the same manner as before, and made many entreaties to Jesus to walk on his cloak. And He walked on it, and went in. And as He went in, the standards were again bent down and adored Jesus.”2

   “耶稣被带了进来,有拿着旗帜的人,最上面的旗帜往下要垂,好像在向耶稣下拜。那些犹太人看见了这些旗帜向耶稣下拜,就对那些抗着旗帜的人大喊大叫。(接下来的描写占据了整整一页的篇幅,犹太人在争论这些旗帜是不是真地奇迹般地向耶稣下拜。彼拉多同意将刚才的过程重复一次),结果耶稣再次被带进来,这些旗帜又一次向耶稣下拜。

Now compare this with the simple dignity of the Biblical accounts:

    现在将这段话和圣经简单而庄严记载进行比较:

“And when they had bound Him they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” (Matthew)

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consul­tation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus and carried Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.” (Mark)

“And the whole company of them rose up and brought Him before Pilate.” (Luke)

“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment. (John)

“到了早晨,众祭司长和民间的长老大家商议要治死耶稣,就把他捆绑,解去,交给巡抚彼拉多。”(马太福音)

“一到早晨,祭司长和长老、文士、全公会的人大家商议,就把耶稣捆绑,解去交给彼拉多。”(马可福音)

“众人都起来,把耶稣解到彼拉多面前”(路加福音)

“众人将耶稣从该亚法那里往衙门内解去,那时天还早。”(约翰福音)

Another example. There are many ancient accounts of the creation of the world in the sacred books of mankind. Here are two typical specimens:

另外一个例子:很多民族都有自己创造天地的神话,下面是两个典型的例子:

(1) Berosus, a Babylonian priest, said that the god Belus came out and cut the woman Omoraka asunder, and of one half of her he formed the earth and of the other half of her the heavens. Later, Belus commanded one of the gods to take off his head and to mix the blood with the earth, and with this mixture to make men and animals

巴比伦祭司Berosus说,巴比伦的神Belus将一个女人切成数块,用她身体的一部分造天,一部分造地。过后,这个神又命令一个下属的神将自己的头砍下来,把自己的血和泥土混合,然后用这种混合物来制造人和动物。

(2) Manu, the reputed writer of the Hindus’ most sacred books, said that Brahma was hatched out of a golden egg. He lived in it for a time, and then made heaven Out of one part of the egg and earth out of the other.

Against these, the Bible gives us another alternative:

古印度最神圣的书《摩奴法典》(摩奴是印度神话中的人类祖先) 说,梵天(印度神话中宇宙最高的永恒的实体或精神)是从一个金蛋中孵化出来的。梵天在这个金蛋中生活了一段时间,然后从这个金蛋中的一部分制造出了天,从另外的一部分当中制造了大地。

    而圣经是这样告诉我们的:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was waste and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.”3

   “起初,神创造天地。地是空虚混沌,渊面黑暗;神的灵运行在水面上。神说:「要有光」,就有了光。”(创世记11-3

There is obviously a tremendous gulf between the other books and the Bible. All other ancient creation stories sound like the product of a ‘vivid imagination running riot. The Biblical record still makes sense in this scientific age. It reads like a sober statement of some momentous facts.

这些书和圣经之间存在很明显的鸿沟,所有古代有关世界起源的书籍听起来都像是 “人类想象力纵情发挥”的结果。圣经即使在我们这个科技年代依然具有理性,读起来就像是在平静地叙述一些重大事实。

 

Truth is Often Painful真理通常是痛苦的

 

When the translators of the Bible into English produced their “Authorised Version” in 1611, they dedicated it to King James I. Their “epistle of dedication” is still printed in some editions of this version. It begins like this:

1611年圣经被翻译成英语“钦定版”,译者们将此书中的扉页献给当时的国王詹姆士1世,它的开头是这样写的:

 

 “Great and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, when first He sent your Majesty’s Royal Person to rule and reign over us...

    “颂赞归于我们至高无上的国王,最令人敬畏的统治者,他是全能慈悲的天父—上帝赐给我们的统治英格兰人的皇家统治者……

Talk about flattery! And it goes on and on in the same ‘vein for two whole pages. Obviously the translators knew which side their bread was buttered on.

这么多奉承的话!而且这些话用了整整个版面。很显然翻译家们知道是谁给他们面包和黄油。  

Doubtless King James had his good points. He must also have had some faults. But you will find no hint of them in this very human document. It portrays King James as perfection itself.

毫无疑问,詹姆斯国王有自己好的一面,但是他也肯定有缺点。人类书写的文档中总是没有暗示国王的缺点,它将国王描写成自身完美无缺的人。

How differently the Bible speaks of its greatest heroes. It gives a balanced picture of them all. It tells us what to admire in them, and why God blessed them. With equal frankness it informs us where each one fell down.

而圣经在谈起其中的英雄来却是另外一种方式。它不带任何偏见地记载了某个人的特点。圣经描写了这些英雄好的方面,为什么  神会喜悦他,同时也告诉我们他在那些方面犯过错误。

So we know that Abraham, the father of the Jewish race, betrayed his wife to save his own skin. That Jacob, whose other name Israel was given to the nation, cheated his twin brother. That David, Israel’s greatest king, was once so consumed with passion that he followed adultery with murder.

我们知道亚伯拉罕是犹太人的祖先,他曾经为了自己活命而不惜背叛自己的妻子。大卫是以色列最伟大的国王,他曾经勾引过别人的妻子,并且杀害了这个女人的丈夫。

Is there another ancient history book that makes no attempt to whitewash its heroes? That has the ring of honest truth about it when­ever it talks about the nation’s leaders? If there is, I have never known an atheist who could produce it.

有其它古代历史书这样平白地描写过他们的英雄吗?有其它如此诚实地描写自己国家领导人的书吗? 如果有的话,我不知道有哪一位不信仰  神的人可以做到这一点。

You may have seen a copy of Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf. This is an example of flattery in the reverse direction-an ambitious politician flattering his people. Hitler told the Germans that they were a superior race and they loved him for it. History might have been very different if he had told them they were a bad lot.

你可能看见过野心家希特勒写的《我的奋斗》,这是一本充满阿谀奉承的反面教科书。希特勒告诉德国人他们是优等民族,德国人喜欢听这些,如果希特勒告诉德国人他们是罪人,整个历史就会改写。

But the Jewish national book told the Jews the plain, painful truth. They were the most privileged nation on earth. And yet their Bible told them in nearly every book that they were utterly unworthy of their privileges.

Here are just a few examples:

但是这本犹太民族的书所写的历史是平白的、充满痛苦真相的历史。他们曾经是上帝拣选的民族,然而圣经的几乎每一本书都说,他们完全不配得到这种特权。

(1)     God delivered them from a life of cruel slavery in Egypt. But they kept wanting to go back.

神将他们从埃及作奴隶的痛苦中解脱出来,然而他们却一直想回去。

(2)    God fed them miraculously with “bread from heaven” in the desert. Yet they kept grumbling that it didn’t taste very good.  神在旷野中奇迹般地赐给他们“从天上降下来的粮”——玛拉,他们却一直埋怨味道不好。

(3)     God promised to bring them safely into the Promised Land. He said that He would use His power to drive out their enemies. But they were afraid to go in.   神应许要带领以色列人安全地进入应许之地,并且说他将用自己的力量赶走敌人,但是他们却不敢进去。

(4)     Once in the Land of Promise they promptly started worshipping idols.他们进入  神赐给他们的土地以后,马上开始偶像崇拜。

(5)     For the next thousand years their history was one long story of idolatry. interrupted by spells of comparative godliness when occasional good leaders were at the helm. 在接下来的1000年历史中这个民族充满了偶像崇拜,只有在少数几个虔诚的国王掌权的时候没有崇拜偶像。

(6)     Then God punished them with a spell of captivity in Babylon. When He gave them the opportunity to return home, many of them preferred to stay in idolatrous Babylon. 接下来  神惩罚了他们,让巴比伦人将他们俘虏,离开自己的土地。然而当  神给他们机会回到故土时,他们却宁愿留在巴比伦这个崇拜偶像的国家。

(7)  Those who did go home behaved badly, right until the end of the Old Testament period. The very last book of the Old Testament, on its last page, says, “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.”4

那些回到了自己故乡的犹太人也好不到哪里去,一直到旧约的末期都是这样。旧约的最后一本书说:“从你们列祖的日子以来,你们常常偏离我的典章而不遵守。”(马拉基书37

There is the ring of truth about a book like this. No flattery, no suppression of unpleasant facts, but history as it ought to be told-clearly and objectively.

这样的书所描写的听起来是真实的。它没有阿谀奉承,对自己不喜欢的事情也没有隐藏,而是将历史的本来面目真实地告诉我们。

A hundred years ago s summed up his reasons for believing in the Bible like this:

100年以前,亨利-罗杰(Henry Roger在总结他相信圣经的理由时说:

 

“The Bible is not such a book as man would have made if he could-or could have made if he would.”

“圣经不是一本人类有能力写成的书,也不是一本人类愿意写的书”。

In Chapters 2 to 8 we saw the truth of the first half of this statement. Man (unaided by God) simply could not have produced a book like the Bible.

从本书的第2章到第8章,我们讲述这个声明的前半部分。如果没有  神的帮助,人类是不能写成圣经这样的书的。

Now we have seen the truth of the other half of Rogers’ statement. Man (left to himself) would not have produced a book as full of painful truth as the Bible.

现在我们看到的是声明的第二部分,人类是不愿意写圣经这样的书的,因为它包含着痛苦的真相。

 

A Perfect Match完美的匹配

 

Few people today seem to have heard of Professor J. J. Blunt, who was once the Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. Yet he was one of England’s most diligent Bible students.

今天只有少数人知道布朗教授的故事。他曾经是剑桥大学神学院的教授,也是英国最勤奋的圣经学生。

In 1847 he published a book5 reporting the results of many years of research. He specialised in comparing one part of the Bible with another, and finding what he called “undesigned coincidences” between two (or more) books. This is the sort of thing that he discovered.

1847年,一本凝结他多年研究成果的书出版了。他专门将圣经不同书之间的一些细节进行了比较,发现了很多他自称为圣经不同书之间“未加修饰的一致性”。以下是他的一些发现:

He brought together the three following passages, from the books of Numbers, Joshua and 1 Samuel respectively:

他将圣经的民数记、约书亚记和撒母耳记上的一些细节进行对比:

 

“There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants. And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers.”6

“And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim .

Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath and in Ashdod did some remain.7

“There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span (about 9 feet).”8

     “我们在那里看见亚衲族人,就是伟人;他们是伟人的後裔。据我们看,自己就如蚱蜢一样;据他们看,我们也是如此。”(民数记1333

      “在以色列人的地没有留下一个亚衲族人,只在迦萨、迦特,和亚实突有留下的。”(约书亚记112122

      “从非利士营中出来一个讨战的人,名叫歌利亚,是迦特人,身高六肘零一虎口(大约3)。”(撒母耳记上174

Now, says Blunt in effect, see what these three passages tell us. They were written by three different authors at three different periods of history. Yet they match each other just like a cup, saucer and plate from the same teaset.

  布朗教授实际上是说,这些经文是由不同的书写者在不同的历史时期所写的,但是如果将它们互相比较,它们就像是同一套茶具中的杯子、碟子和盘子一样和谐。

The first passage reveals that before Israel entered the Promised Land there were many giants there. These giants were called “sons of Anak”, or “Anakim” (which is merely the plural form of the Hebrew name “Anak”).

第一段告诉我们,在以色列人进入应许之地以前,那个地方生活着许多巨人。这些巨人被称为“亚衲族人”。

The second passage says that when Israel conquered the Promised Land, they destroyed nearly all this race descended from Anak. But they did leave a few of these giants in three towns: Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.

第二段告诉我们,在以色列征服了这块土地以后,他们消灭了亚衲族人的后代,“只在迦萨、迦特,和亚实突有留下的”。(约书亚记1122

The third passage casually mentions that the giant Goliath’s home town was Gath. Is it likely that the writer of this third passage was a fiction writer who scoured the earlier books of the Bible, until he found the “right” town to put his giant in? Or was it just a fluke that he happened to pick one of the only three appropriate towns in all Israel?

第三段经文不经意地告诉我们歌利亚的家乡是迦特。好像这三段的作者是同一个小说家,已经在前面的书中埋下伏笔,然后他“发现了”这个城镇,将人物安置进去。难道有可能是虚构的故事,作者碰巧在以色列众多城市中刚好挑选了这个“恰当”的巨人出生的地?

No, there is the ring of truth about this set of passages. They sound much more like accurate history than cunningly contrived fiction.

   不可能。这一系列记载听起来是真实的,像是历史的本来面貌,而不是人为虚构的故事。

 

Ahithophel’s Treachery Explained亚希多弗为什么会叛变?

 

In another chapter Blunt brings together a whole string of apparently unrelated chapters from one book, with remarkable results. The Bible passages involved are too numerous to quote here in full. I shall just give the substance of them and quote the references.

在该书的另一章中,布朗教授将不同书的一些章节联系在一起,它们看起来是毫无关联,但是结果却令人大吃一惊。我们不打算将涉及到的所有圣经章节全部列举出来,只在这里给出一些问题的实质:

But first, a little background information. There were two great tragedies in the later part of King David’s life. The first was his terrible moral lapse, when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband, Uriah the Hittite. The second occurred when his own son Absalom rebelled against him and temporarily seized his throne.

首先我介绍一下背景。大卫的晚年发生了两件悲剧性事件,第一件:大卫道德堕落,他勾引拔示巴,并且杀害了她的丈夫;第二件事情是,他的儿子押沙龙背叛了他,还一度夺取了他的王位。

The Bible tells us that the second incident was God’s punishment on David for the first. But it does not tell us that there was also a purely human connection between the two incidents. The Bible left that for some future student to dig out for himself.

圣经告诉我们,第二件事的发生是因为  神惩罚大卫作的第一件事。但是圣经没有告诉我们发生着两件事情的人为因素,这些因素需要后来的圣经学生们自己来挖掘。

This is what Blunt discovered.下面就是布朗自己的发现:

When Absalom decided to stage a rebellion, he sent for a man called Ahithophel the Gilonite to join him.9 Now this was a very surprising action. Ahithophel was David’s own right hand man, “mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted”, as David called him.10

当押沙龙决定造反时,他叫亚希多弗来帮助他。这是非常令人吃惊的举动,因为亚希多弗是大卫的亲信,大卫称他为“我知己的朋友,我所倚靠的人”(诗篇419

It was a remarkable act of treachery on Ahithophel’s part. It was so unexpected to David that he never could get over it.11  Yet Absalom clearly expected Ahithophel to change sides readily. Why?

亚希多弗的背叛不同寻常,大大超乎大卫的预料,他难以接受这个事实:“不是仇敌辱骂我,若是仇敌,还可忍耐;不料是你;你原与我平等,是我的同伴,是我知己的朋友!”(诗篇5512然而,押沙龙早就预料到亚希多弗会轻易改变立场。为什么呢?

Blunt found a clue to the answer in one of those long lists of names that many Bible readers skip over. In the list of the 37 officers of David’s guard occur two ‘vital names: Uriah the Hittite (the man David murdered), and “Eli am the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite”12

  布朗是从大多数读者容易忽视的一大串名单中发现线索的。大卫的37名勇士中有两个关键的人物:赫人乌利亚(被大卫谋杀的人),以及“基罗人亚希多弗的儿子以连” (撒母耳记下233439

-that is, the son of the traitor.也就是说,以连是背叛者亚希多弗的儿子。

So the son of the future traitor and the murdered man had been close colleagues, and probably friends. But this is not all. From an entirely different part of the book we learn that Bathsheba, the wife of the murdered man, was “the daughter of Eliam”.13 Uriah had evidently married the daughter of his fellow-officer. (It was common in those days for older men of the upper class to marry very young women.)

因此,亚希多弗的儿子和被杀者曾经是关系密切的同僚,很有可能是朋友。不仅如此,另外一本书告诉我们,拔示巴是“以连的女儿,赫人乌利亚的妻”(撒母耳记下113。乌利亚和他的一个同事的女儿结婚。(在那个年代,地位高的人找年轻的女人结婚是非常普遍的现象)

With these facts before us it is easy to see why Absalom anticipated Ahithophel’s treachery, while David was astonished by it. The girl that the elderly David had seduced was Ahithophel’s granddaughter. The man David had murdered was Ahithophel’s grandson by marriage.

我们知道了这些事情以后,就很容易地料到为什么亚希多弗会叛变,而大卫会感到惊讶。大卫勾引的女人是亚希多弗的孙女,大卫王谋杀的人是亚希多弗的孙女婿。

Blinded by his own passion, David could not see what effect this had upon Ahithophel. But Absalom was well aware that Ahithophel was seething with anger, and ready for revenge.

大卫被自己的欲望冲昏了头脑,没有看清自己的行为对亚希多弗造成的伤害,他的儿子押沙龙却很清楚亚希多弗的愤怒,并随时准备用来报复自己的父亲。

A later chapter confirms that revenge was one of Ahithophel’s motives. When they first captured David’s palace, Absalom asked Ahithophel what to do next. “Go in unto thy father’s concubines (wives)”14 was the reply. As much as to say: “Pay him back in his own coin. He stole another man’s wife; now you steal his!” The record continues:

接下来的记载证明了报复确实是亚希多弗反叛的动机之一。他们占领了大卫的王宫以后,押沙龙问亚希多弗下一步的行动,亚希多弗的回答说:“你父所留下看守宫殿的妃嫔,你可以与他们亲近”。这实际上就是说:“对他的行为进行报复。他偷了别人了的妻子,现在你偷他的妻子!”接下来:

“So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house, and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.”15

 “于是人为押沙龙在宫殿的平顶上支搭帐棚;押沙龙在以色列众人眼前,与他父的妃嫔亲近”。(撒母耳记下1622

Thus the wheel had turned full circle. It was upon his housetop that David was walking when he caught his first glimpse of Bathsheba washing herself and lusted for her.16 Now, in the selfsame place, her wily old grandfather arranges David’s public humiliation.

历史开始轮回。正是在这个房屋的屋顶上大卫第一次看见了拔示巴并且勾引了她。现在同样在这个地方,她老谋深算的祖父安排公开地羞辱大卫。

It goes without saying that this fascinating story-hidden-within-a-story could not have been deliberately contrived. No forger would hide his forgery so carefully that it remained undiscovered for nearly 3,000 years, as this did. Either these passages represent a whole series of lucky coincidences or-much more probably-they are an integral part of real history, told with meticulous accuracy.  

不用说,这样迷人的、深藏不漏的故事不会是故意编造的,编故事的人不会故意地隐藏3000年不让人发现,也不会有一系列的和谐。它们是真实的历史事件一部分,被非常严谨的人记载。

There are something like a hundred of these undesigned coinci­dences in Blunt’s book. Nearly every one of them has the ring of truth about it.

这本书还列举了大约一百个类似的不是故意安排的一致性,几乎每一个故事一看就像是历史真实的记载。

A somewhat similar book by Paley and Birks, restricted to New Testament history, lists many more.17 Bible students are constantly discovering still more of them for themselves.

类似的如PaleyBirks所写的书,列举了更多类似的和谐。研究圣经的学生一直都有更多的发现。

Try discovering large numbers of undesigned coincidences in any work of fiction you like to choose. You will not succeed. They are the hallmark of true history, not fiction.

如果你想在其它任何一本小说或虚构的书中寻找这样的不加修饰的巧合,你不会成功。这是真正的历史所具有的标志性特点不是虚构的故事。

 

 

 

 

10

Harmony Doesn’t Just Happen

和谐不会无缘无故地发生

Some years ago, at the time when I was still trying to convince Norman of the truth of the Bible, we went together to a symphony concert. Afterwards I kicked myself for missing an opportunity. On the way home I ought to have started up a conversation like this

多年以前,我一直在努力劝说让罗曼接受圣经真理。我们曾一起去参加一个音乐会,过后我感到很遗憾,我认为我失去了一个绝好的机会。我自己认为,在回家的路上我应该这样对罗曼说:

“Tell me, Norman, have you ever wondered what would happen if the conductor should be taken ill in the middle of a symphony?”

“罗曼,请告诉我,如果在演出中乐队指挥突然生病会怎么样?”

“I suppose they’d appoint another conductor from among the instrumentalists. If not, they’d just have to give up playing. They certainly couldn’t carry on without a conductor.”

“我猜他们会马上从乐队的成员指定一个人来担任指挥的职务。如果找不到,他们就不得不放弃演出。如果没有指挥,乐队肯定演不下去。”

“Quite so. Now suppose that you were to go blind, and someone took you to a concert. The orchestra are performing magnificently. Suddenly the man in the next seat tells you that they are playing without a conductor. Would you believe him?”

“确实是这样。现在假设你蒙着眼睛去听音乐会。乐队的演出非常棒。坐在你旁边的人突然告诉你说,这个乐队没有指挥,你会相信他的话吗?”

“Of course not. Even if I couldn’t see the conductor I should know that he must be there from the way the orchestra was playing. Harmony doesn’t just happen, you know. There must be a conductor to create it.”

“当然不会,即使我没有看到指挥,我也会知道他在以某种形式指挥乐队演出。因为和谐不会无缘无故地发生。肯定会有一个指挥来协调他们。”

And then I could have gone on to apply that principle to the Bible itself. Here we have a collection of sixty-six books, by about forty different authors, written over a period of at least a thousand years. (Much longer than a thousand years, if you accept what the Bible says about its own authors.)

然后我就会把这一条原则应用在圣经上。圣经是由大约40位书写者写成的,总共有66本书,书写的时间跨度要远远超过超过1000年。

Yet the harmony running through all these books is outstanding. They all teach the same great doctrines about life and death, sin and salvation. From Genesis to Revelation there is one steadily unfolding, consistent story: God has a plan for the earth and the human race, and is slowly but surely seeing it through to completion.

然而,和谐贯穿整本书的全部,而且非常突出。所有的书教导的是同样的教义:关于生命和死亡,犯罪和拯救。从创世记到启示录,一步一步地揭示了这些教义,所有这66本书是连续的、和谐的故事。 神对地球以及对人类的旨意,也随着圣书的完成缓慢地明确地完成。

Harmony doesn’t just happen. If the “orchestra” is playing well, we can infer the existence of a “Conductor”. We may be too blind to see the Hand that guided the forty Biblical authors, but their harmony is evidence that He exists.

和谐不是无缘无故地发生的。如果乐队演出的好,我们可以归功于指挥。我们可能看不见那位指导40多位书写者的“指挥”的手,但圣经中的和谐证明了他的存在。

 

Was It Done Deliberately?是故意安排的吗?

 

The unbeliever has a ready excuse. He cannot deny that a certain amount of harmony is there, and so he suggests that the Bible writers themselves deliberately created it. Each writer knew what the general teaching of the previous writers was, so he framed his own book to fall in line, says the unbeliever.

不相信圣经的人已经有现成的借口。圣经中的和谐已经摆在眼前,他不能否认,他会说这是圣经书写者故意安排的。每一位书写者已经知道了前面的内容,就故意按照以前的框架来写。

At the same time the unbeliever adopts his favourite method of defence. He sidesteps smartly. “And anyway,” he retorts, “there’s an awful lot of disharmony in the Bible, too!”

他们还会使用最拿手的防御手段,很聪明地说:“不管怎样说,圣经中也有很多不和谐的地方”。

If you press him to specify the “awful lot of disharmony” he generally becomes uncomfortable. Before long he has to admit that he has greatly overstated his case. There is not “an awful lot of dis­harmony”. In the end, if he tries very hard, he may manage to produce one or two examples of what he calls “contradictions”.

如果你要他明确指出圣经不和谐的地方,通常只会让他觉得不愉快。或许他会承认自己夸大其词,承认并没有大量“不和谐”存在。如果他做一些努力,或许会找到一些所谓“相互矛盾”的地方。

I shall deal more fully with this accusation that the Bible contradicts itself in Chapter 19. Meanwhile, here is just one very important point.

我会在本书第19章中讨论这些所谓的圣经互相矛盾。下面仅仅谈论一些要点。

The so-called contradictions all lie on the surface.

所谓的不和谐只是表面上的。

The harmonies are fundamental, deep-rooted.

而圣经的和谐之处是根本的,根深蒂固的。

And this is just what you would expect to find in a collection of books that are true.

由一系列的书籍组成的合集的和谐性应该就是表现出这个样子。

Ask any lawyer how he reacts if he hears two witnesses telling exactly the same story. He suspects collaboration between them. Their evidence is too good to be true. He cross-examines them closely. And when he probes deeply he soon discovers whether they are lying or not.

如果你问一位律师他听见了两个证人在陈述同样经历的反应。如果证人的证词太一致了,辩护律师会怀疑他们之间有预谋。证据太能说明问题反而有可能是故意编造的。辩护律师会非常仔细地检查证据,并且深入调查证人是否在撒谎。

But with truthful witnesses it is quite different. They may easily appear to disagree. If the crime took place at a street corner, one witness may say it happened in X Street, and the other in Y Street. In this case, cross-examination will soon establish that both were telling the truth. The more deeply the lawyer probes, the more he will uncover the harmony lying behind the two witnesses’ accounts.

真正的证据却不是这样,它看起来可能不协调。例如,如果犯罪现场在街角,有人说在街道甲,有人说在街道乙,综合分析很可能他们都正确。律师的调查越深入,他越能够揭示这些证人证据的和谐性。

Now to return to the unbeliever’s first line of defence. He argues that the harmony between the various books of the Bible is there because the writers deliberately produced it

现在回头看不信圣经者的第一道防线。他们说,圣经中的和谐,是因为圣经的各位书写者故意地这么做的。

Does this sound reasonable? Is it likely that all those authors-soldiers, kings, prophets, fishermen, a tax collector, a lawyer, a doctor, men from the dawn of civilisation and men from the sophisticated world of Rome-would all agree to tell the same tale? Is human nature like that?

这些理由合理吗?圣经的书写者包括士兵、国王、先知、渔夫、律法师、医生,而且生活在不同的文明环境中,他们有可能一致采取同样的格调诉说同样的事情吗?这和人类的本性相符合吗?

Try this experiment. Make a collection of prominent documents from Christian churches and sects today. Get a Roman Catholic missal, a Church of England Prayer Book, the Book of Mormon) the Christian Scientists’ textbook Science and Health, and a copy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower.

找出一个样本。找出今天不同教会、派别的文件,例如罗马天主教会的弥撒用书,英格兰教会的祷告书,基督教科学会的的“科学与健康”杂志,摩门教派的摩门书,耶和华见证人的了望台杂志。

Put them all together, and look at them. What do you find? Complete, utter, indescribable chaos!

将这些书籍汇集在一起,你会发现什么?这些书不统一,不和谐,看起来完全一片糟!

 

Left to themselves religious writers always disagree, even when they supposedly share the same faith. If there really is harmony between 11 the writers of the Bible, it is absurd to argue that they themselves deliberately produced it.

At this point you would probably like me to prove that the harmony have been talking about really exists. But this is not altogether within my power. I cannot prove to a young “pop” fan that Beethoven’s music is enjoyable. I can only urge him to persevere with listening to it, until he is able to enjoy it for himself.

不同教派之间的人永远有不同的观点,尽管我们可以假定他们具有相同的信仰。如果圣经的作者中有11个人的著作存在和谐,那些声称和谐是故意制造出来的人的观点就是荒谬的。

在这一点,你可能希望我来证明圣经充满了和谐,但是这不是我能够证明的。我不能够向一位年轻的流行音乐爱好者证明贝多芬的音乐非常具有欣赏性,我只能够劝说他们耐心地听,直到他们能够自己欣赏这些音乐。

So it is with the Bible. If you want to know whether it is full of harmony or not, there is really only one way. You must read the Bible, right through, and then read it again.

对待圣经也是这样。如果你希望知道圣经是否充满了和谐,只有一个办法能够知道,就是你必须阅读圣经。完整地读,反复地读。

Here are some of the major themes of the Bible that you will find. They all run through the Bible from beginning to end:

你会发现下面就是圣经中的一些主要的线索。这些线索贯穿圣经的始终:

(1)  The rottenness and hopelessness of human nature left to itself. 人类有犯罪的天性。

(2)  How human sin can be forgiven, and human nature changed. 人类所犯的罪是如何才能够得到赦免。人的本性如何才能得到改变。

(3)  God’s offer of eternal life, and the terms on which He offers it. 神赐给人类永生的盼望,要得到永生的条件。

(4)  God’s promise and plan to fill this earth with His glory.  神的应许和计划:让全地充满他的荣耀。

(5)  The Son of God as the centre of all God’s work’.  神的儿子耶稣是  神的整个工作的中心。

These themes are so great that you can only follow them through he Bible for yourself. Nevertheless, the rest of this chapter will be devoted to a few of the lesser themes of the Bible. They illustrate its harmony on a small scale, small enough for you to grasp at a first look.

这些主题是如此广大,只有你自己阅读圣经才能够领会。尽管如此,在本书的后面简述了圣经中一些主题,通过一些例子证明了圣经的和谐性,这种和谐是你一眼就能看出的。

 

The Failure of the Firstborns 长子的失败

 

in the early years of this century there lived in South Wales a working man known far and wide as “Brother Joe”. His friends used to say that he knew the Bible better than anyone else in the world. Whether that was true or not, he certainly had a remarkable grasp of the Bible. You could name almost any chapter, and he would instantly tell you what it was about, what lessons could be learnt from it, and how it linked up with other parts of the Bible. All this despite a complete lack of education, and despite being tied to long hours of heavy manual labour in a steelworks.

上世纪初,在英国南威尔士有一个工人,人们称他为“乔(Joe弟兄”。他的朋友们常说,他比世上其他人懂得的圣经都多。只要你说出圣经的章节,他马上就会告诉你讲的是什么内容,从中有什么教训,以及同其它部分的联系。尽管他没有受过高深的教育,每天还要到钢铁厂从事繁重的体力劳动,却能够做到这一点。

Because of his intense love of the Bible, and the way he spent every spare minute reading it and thinking about it, he made many interest­ing discoveries. One of the most fascinating was what he called, “The story of the failure of the firstborns.”

他非常专注地阅读圣经,几乎将自己所有的业余时间都用在阅读和思考圣经上。他在圣经找到了很多有趣的发现。其中最有趣的事,他自己称之为“失败长子”的故事。

To the Jews, the firstborn son of a family was very important. He had special privileges over his brothers. Under the Jewish laws of inheritance, he was entitled to a double portion.

对于犹太人的家庭来说,长子的地位是很重要的。他对家庭中的其他弟兄有特权,在犹太人的继承法中,长子可以继承双份的产业。

When God wanted to stress the high calling of His chosen nation, He said, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”1

Yet despite all this stress on the importance of being a firstborn, not one of the successful men of the Old Testament is said to be a first­born. Every firstborn of the Old Testament who might have had a position of honour was in some way a failure. Every single one dis­appointed God, and was passed over by God in favour of a younger brother.

 神在强调以色列人是  神的选民的时候,他说“以色列是我的儿子,我的长子”(出埃及记422。尽管强调头生子的重要性,然而旧约从来没有说那一位成功者是长子。尽管长子应该得到尊荣,旧约中每一位长子都有不同程度上的失败;每一位长子都曾令  神感到失望,神将长子的地位给了他的弟弟。

The first man, Adam, had a firstborn son called Cain. He was a murderer. God rejected him, and the “chosen line” (that is, the line of descent of the Messiah) passed to a younger son, Seth.

第一个人亚当的头生子是该隐,他杀了他的弟弟, 神拒绝了他,选择了他弟弟这一系。(也就说,弥赛亚将会是他的后裔)。

Noah had three sons. They are always listed in this order: Shem, Ham and Japheth. To a casual reader it looks as if Shem must have been the eldest.2

挪亚有3个儿子,圣经记载他们的次序是:闪、含、雅弗。很多粗心的读者据此以为闪是长子。

But if we compare a series of verses giving the ages of Noah at various times in his life, and then do a little arithmetic, we soon see that this was not so. Noah’s first son was born when he was 500 years old,3 whereas Shem was born when Noah was 503.4  Ham is specifically said to be a younger son.5

但是,如果我们将圣经中记载诺亚年龄的几段经文作比较,根据数学常识就能够知道雅弗不是长子。圣经说诺亚的头生子出生的时候诺亚已经500岁,闪出生的时候诺亚是503岁,创世记924说含是挪亚最小的儿子。

Hence we know that Japheth must have been Noah’s firstborn. But for some reason God passed him over, and the chosen line passed to Shem, a younger brother.

我们因此可以知道,雅弗肯定是挪亚的长子。但是不知道为什么, 神在选择自己的选民的时候跳过了他,而是选择了闪,

There is a similar story with Abraham and his brothers. They are listed in this order: Abram, Nahor and Haran.6 But Abram (better known as Abraham) was not the firstborn. He is listed first because he is the chosen one of the family.

亚伯拉罕和他的弟兄之间的故事也很类似。圣经记载他们的次序是:亚伯兰、拿鹤、哈兰。(创世记1126但是亚伯兰(亚伯拉罕)并不是长子,他被排列在最前面,因为他是这个家庭中唯一被  神选择的人。

The Bible does not state directly that Abram was not the first­born. This fact only emerges when we compare three different verses, and again do a few sums.7

圣经中并没有明确地指出亚伯兰并不是长子。我们只有比较一系列圣经经文并总结以后才能得出结论。

Abraham’s firstborn son was Ishmael, “a wild man”,8 who was passed over in favour of Isaac. Isaac’s firstborn was Esau. He was a “profane person”,9 and the chosen line passed to his younger brother, Jacob.      

亚伯拉罕的长子叫以实玛利,他的为人“像野驴”, 神没有挑选他,而是选择了以撒。以撒的长子叫以扫,他是一个“贪恋世俗” 的人。 神选择了他的弟弟雅各这一系。

Jacob’s firstborn was Reuben, but he sinned grievously.10 So the honour of delivering the family in its hour of need went to one younger brother, Joseph, and the chosen line passed to another younger brother, Judah.

雅各的长子是流便,但是他犯了严重的罪。家族长子的荣耀归给了他的弟弟约瑟,而  神选择雅各另一个小儿子犹大这一条系作为耶稣基督的祖先。

Joseph’s firstborn was passed over in favour of a younger brother, despite Joseph’s protests.11 Judah’s firstborn was so wicked that he was slain by God,12 and the chosen line was continued through a much younger brother.

约瑟长子的地位给了小儿子,尽管约瑟表示不满。犹大的长子在  神的眼中是邪恶的,  神使他死了。 神又一次选择了小儿子。

When the two brothers Moses and Aaron are mentioned together it is usually in that order. Moses comes first, because he was the more important and the stronger character. (Aaron once slipped into idol­atry.) But Aaron was 3 years older than Moses,13 and presumably (since no other brothers are mentioned) the firstborn of the family.

当提到摩西和亚伦两弟兄的时候,摩西总是在前面,因为摩西比亚伦更重要,亚伦有一次犯了拜偶像的罪, 但是亚伦要比摩西年长3岁,因为没有提到这个家庭中还有别的儿子,可以假定亚伦是长子。

Many years later, God sent the prophet Samuel to a man called Jesse. God said: “I have provided me a king among his sons.”14 Samuel was very favourably impressed with the elder sons. But God made him pass them over, and appoint the youngest son, David, as king. 

多年以后, 神差遣先知撒母耳到耶西家中去。  神说:“我在他众子之内,预定一个作王的”。(撒母耳记上161撒母耳对于耶西的几个大儿子印象深刻,但还是  神却让他跳过了他们,选择了最小的儿子。

The first six sons of David are listed like this:

    圣经中这样列举了大卫最早的6个儿子:

“His firstborn was Amnon... second Chileab... third Absalom ... fourth Adonijah... fifth Shephatiah . ..sixth Ithream.”15

   “长子暗嫩…… 次子基利押……三子押沙龙……四子亚多尼雅……五子示法提雅……六子以特念。”(撒母耳记下32-5)

Amnon the firstborn seduced his own sister and then cast her aside. This so angered his brother Absalom that he murdered him. Chileab, Shephatiah and Ithream are never mentioned again; presumably they died in infancy.

This left Absalom as the heir apparent; he tried to take the throne by force and was killed. Adonijah was next in line. He also tried to take the throne by force, and was killed.

子暗嫩勾引自己同父异母的妹妹,然后又将她抛弃,他的弟弟押沙龙对此非常愤怒,押沙龙杀害了他的哥哥。基利押、示法提雅、以特念从来没有被提起过,可以假设他们在年幼的时候就夭折了。幸存下来的押沙龙应该是王位继承人,他试图靠武力夺取王位,结果被杀。 接下来是,亚多尼雅成了长子他同样也想靠武力夺取王位,结果被杀。

Why did these two princes give their lives trying to grab what appeared to be theirs by right? Because God had already made it plain that He had passed them over in favour of a younger son, Solomon.16

为什么这两位王子试图靠武力来夺取王位,而王位看起来本来就应该是他们的?因为 神已经明确要将王位给年纪更小的儿子——所罗门。

Part of the wonder of the Bible is that what it omits to say is often just as significant as what it does say. Some of Israel’s good kings may actually have been firstborn sons. Josiah may well have been, since he was born when his father was only sixteen.17 But none of them is said to be a firstborn.

让人有一点感到惊奇的是,以色列的好国王中实际上是长子,但是圣经省略了这一点。约西亚很可能是,因为当他出生的时候,他的父亲只有16岁。但是圣经没有说他们中间的任何一人是长子。

Thus the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament present us with one consistent harmonious theme. Not one acknowledged firstborn is ever a success in God’s sight.

因此,圣经旧约中的39本书中有一条连续的主题。圣经中从来没有提到哪一位长子在  神的眼中是成功的。

To the believer, the reason for this remarkable harmony is obvious. It points forward to the two great lessons of the New Testament.

对于一个信仰圣经的人来说,理由是非常明显的,也是与圣经的主题相统一的。它揭示了圣经新约中的两个大的原则:

The first lesson is that all ordinary human firstborn-the cream of the race, so to speak-are failures in God’s eyes. The world had to wait for God’s own firstborn Son to be born before it could see a successful firstborn.18

第一,所有普通人类的长子,在  神的眼中是失败的。这个世界必须等待 神自己的长子出现,才能看到一个成功的长子。

The second lesson is that God’s “firstborn nation”,19 Israel, would be a failure. They would have to be replaced by a younger nation, “The Israel of God”,20 which is the New Testament name for all those, whether Jew or Gentile, who truly follow Christ.

第二个教训,是神所选择的第一个民族,以色列,将来也会是失败的。他们将来会被更加年轻的民族取代。“神的以色列民”(加拉太书616代表着那些相信并且跟随基督的人,不管他们是犹太人,还是外邦人。

The unbeliever is faced with one more extraordinary fact that demands an explanation. If the writers of the Old Testament were not inspired by God, what made them all combine to produce this instructive piece of harmony?

那些不相信圣经的人必须寻找理由来解释:如果圣经旧约不是  神启示的,这些书写者是如何制造出这些和谐?

They certainly did not do it deliberately, because none of them draws attention to it. In two cases (Abraham and Shem) the fact that the firstborn is the unsuccessful son is hidden; to establish it we have to compare several verses and make some calculations.

这些肯定不是圣经书写者故意编造的,因为没有人注意到这些和谐。有的时候圣经的和谐是隐藏起来的,需要我们进行比较才能做出结论。

Indeed, the whole story of “the failure of the firstborns” is carefully concealed, buried deep in the pages of Scripture. We might still be unaware of it if a horny-handed working man who loved his Bible had not unearthed it for us.

实际上,整个“失败长子的故事”就是深深地隐藏在圣经的书卷之中的。如果它们没有被这些孜孜不倦地探求圣经真理的人发现,我们可能依然不知道。

What sort of book is this Bible, that contains such wonders for us to find? Does it make sense to believe that unaided human beings produced such harmony by accident?

圣经包含这如此多的奇妙让我们来探求,难道会是不同书写者在没有帮助的情况下碰巧写出来的这些和谐的书吗?

 

The Story of Sweat汗水的故事

 

The word “sweat” is found in only three places in the Bible. Those places are widely separated. One is at the beginning of the Old Testament, one near its end, and one in the New Testament. Yet between them they summarise the whole Christian gospel.

“汗水”这个词在圣经中只出现了三次,而且非常分散。一次出现在旧约的开始部分,一次出现在旧约的结尾部分,还有一部分出现在新约。

The first mention of sweat is in the Garden of Eden. Adam has just sinned, and God is passing sentence upon him, in these words:

汗水这个词第一次出现在伊甸园里。亚当犯了罪不久, 神在对亚当的宣判中宣布:

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground. For out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”21

   “你必汗流满面才得糊口,直到你归了土,因为你是从土而出的。你本是尘土,仍要归於尘土。”(创世记319

This sums up the penalty the whole human race pays for its wicked­ness. First sweat; then dust. First a difficult, tiring life. Then death, the final “wages of sin”22 as Paul describes it.

神的宣判总结了整个人类为自己的邪恶所付出的代价。首先要流汗,其次要归于尘土。首先要经过生活的艰难困苦,接下来要归于死亡,正如保罗所说的,死亡是“罪的工价”,是犯罪的总后果。

For the next passage we must turn to the New Testament. There we are introduced to a second “Adam”.23 Whereas the first Adam was to eat bread by the sweat of his brow, the second Adam provided bread-the “Bread of Life”, to use the words of John’s Gospel.24 Luke describes Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, on His way to the Cross. This is part of what it cost Jesus to provide the Bread of Life:

    接下来的段落我们要看看新约。那里为我们介绍了第二个“亚当”。第一个亚当要靠自己的汗水来吃粮食,用约翰福音的话来说,第二个亚当提供“生命的粮”,路加描写了耶稣即将被钉死在十字架上之前在客西马尼的一座花园里的情景,这是耶稣提供“生命的粮”所付出的部分代价:

“And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”25

   “耶稣极其伤痛,祷告更加恳切,汗珠如大血点滴在地上。”(路加福音2244

By likening his Master’s sweat to “drops of blood”, Luke is evidently hinting that His sacrifice was already beginning. And so it was, for Jesus had just said to his Father, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”26 This is the very essence of sacrifice, to do God’s will, however much it hurts.

路加通过描写耶稣“生命的粮”,暗示耶稣的牺牲已经开始了。正如耶稣向他的父所祷告的那样:“然而,不要成就我的意思,只要成就你的意思”。这就是牺牲的本质,按照  神的意愿去做,不管对自己的伤害有多大。

Two gardens, Eden and Gethsemane. They are related to each other like the positive and negative of the same photograph. Sin appeared in Eden, and the sweat of suffering and the dust of death were the consequences. The sweat of sacrifice began to appear in Gethsemane. And the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life were the consequences.在这里,伊甸园和客西马尼园,通过同样的画面相反地联系在一起。罪开始于伊甸园,结果导致了流汗(痛苦)和死亡。而流汗的牺牲开始于客西马尼园,导致了对罪的宽恕和永生。

The third mention of sweat is at the end of Ezekiel’s prophecy. This describes a temple the like of which has never been built on earth. If we follow the guidance of the New Testament,27 this is a symbolic picture (a kind of parable, if you like) of Christ’s redeemed disciples, enjoying immortality in the eternal Kingdom of God.

"They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat."28

第三段提到汗水的经文出现在以西节的预言当中。它描写了一座神殿,这座神殿从来没有在地上建立过。如果我们根据新约圣经的指导,以西结的描写的是象征性(也可以说是一种比喻),表现了被基督赎买的门徒,享受永恒的神国。

“他们头上要戴细麻布裹头巾,腰穿细麻布裤子;不可穿使身体出汗的衣服”。(以西结书4418

The Bible tells us what linen stands for. It is a symbol of righteousness.29 So in Ezekiel's picture the redeemed are at last freed for ever from sin, and from the "sweat" (suffering, leading to death) that Adam brought into the world.

圣经(启示录19:8)告诉我们细麻布代表了什么。细麻布是正义的象征,因此,在以西结的画面当中,这些被赎买的人将不再犯罪,不再流汗(这是亚当犯罪以后所带到世界上的结果)。

The single theme linking these three passages, the only ones in the whole Bible where sweat is mentioned, is too remarkable to be accidental. It is impossible that Ezekiel and Luke could have pro­duced it deliberately, because Ezekiel's passage only makes sense in the light of Luke-and Ezekiel wrote long before Luke was born.

段经文被同一条线索联系起来,线索就是整本圣经中只有三次提到的汗水。如果这种和谐是碰巧形成的,那么就太不可思议了。以西结和路加不可能是故意这么安排的,因为以西结的经文只有根据路加福音的解释才有意义,而以西结的书早在路加出生以前就存在了。

The three passages fit together as if they had been designed to do so. How can we explain this, unless we accept the Bible's own explana­tion-that one Designer guided the pens of all three writers?30

这三段经文彼此协调,好像他们经过了设计的。除非我们接受圣经的解释:有一位设计家指导这三位书写者的笔,我们还有别的解释方法吗?

 

Four Remarkable Women四位了不起的女人

 

Both Matthew and Luke give us a genealogy (that is, a line of descent) of Jesus Christ. There are some interesting problems connected with these genealogies, but they must wait until Part Two.

马太福音和路加福音都描写了耶稣基督的家谱。(关于耶稣家谱的另外一些有趣问题将在本书的第二部分中讨论)。

For the present we are only concerned with one remarkable feature of Matthew's genealogy. He traces the line of ancestors from Abraham down to Jesus. Mostly he follows the Jewish custom of mentioning only the male ancestors. But not altogether. In four instances he mentions the wife also. Matthew gives no explanation for this. He leaves us to do our own Bible study and draw our own conclusions. If we do so the results are quite exciting.

现在,我们仅仅涉及到马太福音家谱的一些显著特征。马太记载了从亚伯拉罕一直到耶稣本人的祖先,在大多数的情况下,他按照犹太人的传统仅仅记载了男性,但是有4个例外,他提到了4位女性,马太没有解释为什么,他让读者自己研究圣经找到答案。如果我们这样做的话,会发现结果相当有趣:

The four women are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and "her that had been the wife of Uriah".31 Here is a summary of what the Old Testament tells us about them.

个女人是:他玛、喇合、路得以及“乌利亚的妻子” 拔示巴。以下是旧约对她们故事记载的概述:

Tamar, a Canaanitish girl, was Judah's daughter-in-law. Her husband died young because of his wickedness. Judah then promised to give her his younger son, Shelah, for a husband. But he broke his promise.

他玛是一个迦南女子,她是犹大的媳妇。她的丈夫因为做坏事,很年轻就死了。犹大答应她,当她的小叔子示拉长大的时候就会让他们结婚。但是犹大却没有兑现自己的承诺。

As a protest against being let down Tamar disguised herself, pre­tended to be a prostitute, and seduced her father-in-law. From this illicit union a child was born, from whom all the Jewish kings were descended.

他玛对此表示抗议,她伪装成一个妓女,并且勾引自己的公公。然而这一次不同平常的结合导致他玛怀孕生了一个小孩,所有犹大国王都是这个孩子的后代。  

Rahab was another Canaanite with a sordid background. She began life as a prostitute. When Israel invaded Canaan she recognised that they really were the people of the one true God. She went over to Israel's side, became (it would appear) a reformed character, and married an Israelite.

喇合也是一个有着肮脏背景的迦南女子,她曾经是一名妓女,在以色列人进攻迦南的时候她认识到以色列人是真神的选民,因此她投靠到以色列这一边,后来嫁给了一位以色列人。

Ruth was a Moabite woman. Although she was reared in a land full of idolatry she was a fine character. She became converted to the Israelitish faith, emigrated to Israel’s land, and found a husband there.

路得是一个摩押女子,尽管她自己的家乡充满了不道德的行为,她却是一个品德非常高尚的人。她后来接受了犹太人的宗教信仰,随着自己的婆婆移居到以色列,并且嫁给了一位以色列人。

“Her that had been the wife of Uriah” (Bathsheba) was mentioned in Chapter 9. King David violated her, murdered her husband, and married her. Since Uriah was a Hittite this was presumably her nationality also, until David married her.

本书第9章中曾经提到了被称为“乌利亚的妻子”的拔示巴。大卫王勾引了她,而且还谋杀了她的丈夫,后来她嫁给了大卫。因为她的丈夫是赫人,可以假定在她和大卫结婚之前也是赫人。

By mentioning these four women Matthew draws our attention to another very unexpected piece of Bible harmony. Each woman’s story is told in a different book: Tamar’s in Genesis, Rahab’s in Joshua, Bathsheba’s in 2 Samuel, and Ruth’s in the book that bears her own name. But they all have several things in common:

通过马太提到这4个女人,我们的注意力集中到圣经中意料之外的和谐。这4个女人的故事记载在不同的书中:他玛出现在创世记当中,喇合出现在约书亚记当中,拔示巴出现在撒母耳记下,但是她们的故事有以下的共同点:

(1) They were all Gentiles.她们都是外邦人。

(2) They were all the subject of a special dispensation of mercy. If the law had been enforced, none of them would have married into Israel. The immorality of Tamar and Bathsheba was punishable by death under Jewish law. Rahab should ordinarily have perished with all the other inhabitants of Jericho. Ruth was a Moabite, and mem­bers of that race were expressly barred from adopting Israelitish nationality.32

她们都受到了特别的恩惠待遇。如果严格按照以色列的律法,她们中间没有人能够嫁给以色列人。而且按照犹太律法,他玛和拔示巴会因所犯的不道德行为应该被判处死刑。喇合是迦南人,以色列的律法强调了迦南人不能加入到以色列人中。(申命记233

(3) Yet despite these barriers they were all links in the ancestry of all the Jewish kings-and of Jesus Christ.

尽管存在这样的障碍,她们都成为了犹太国王的祖先,也是耶稣基督的祖先。

Thus, running like a golden thread through Jewish history, the stories of these women condemned the rulers of the Jews for their narrow-mindedness. Throughout their history God had been far more merciful than they were.

因此,就像一根金线条贯穿整个犹太人的历史一样,这些女人的故事是对犹太统治者的狭隘观点的指责。通过这些故事可以看出,  神远远要比犹太人所认为的要仁慈。

They regarded the Gentiles as little better than animals. They were meticulous about keeping the Law of Moses, and severely punished wrongdoers. Yet they could not deny that their own Scriptures declared these four Gentile women, to whom they would have shown no mercy, to be in their Messianic line.

一些犹太人认为外邦人仅仅要比动物好一点,他们特别热心于遵守摩西律法,对违反者实行严厉的惩罚。然而他们也不能否认圣经关于这些外邦女人的记载,这些女人是将来弥赛亚的祖先,尽管他们认为这些女人应该受到惩罚。

One thing we can be quite sure of. This particular piece of harmony was so embarrassing to the Jews that they would not have created it deliberately. They must have wished that they could have deleted it from their history.

有一件事情我们应该是可以确定的。这些特别的和谐决不是犹太人所故意编造的,因为这些故事只会令他们感到尴尬。他们甚至希望将这些故事从他们的历史当中删除。

How, then, can we explain its existence, unless we attribute it to the hand of God?

   那么,如果不是  神的手在掌控,我们该如何解释这些存在于圣经中的记载?

 

The First Iron Curtain人类最早的铁幕

 

The first iron curtain in recorded history is probably the one described in the Old Testament. Like the present wall across Germany, this one also split a nation into two pieces.

人类最早的铁幕可能记载于圣经的旧约之中。就像二十世纪存在的柏林墙将同一个德意志民族分成两部分一样,它也将以色列民族分为两个部分。

After 120 years as one united kingdom, the ten tribes in the north of Israel broke away from the two tribes in the south. The larger northern kingdom was called Israel, and set up its capital at Samaria. The smaller southern kingdom was called Judah, and retained the original capital, Jerusalem.

在以色列成为一个统一的王国120年以后,北部的10个支派从王国中分离出去,国名依然称为以色列,首都在撒玛利亚。在南方比较小的王国被称为犹大,首都依然在耶路撒冷。

The northern kingdom of Israel never had one godly king. For nearly three hundred years it lived in idolatry. Then the Assyrians conquered it, and carried its people into captivity. They were never heard of again.

北部的以色列王国从来没有出现过一位虔诚的国王。这个王国有将近300年历史,一直都生活在崇拜偶像之中。它后来被亚述国所征服,以后就不存在了。

The southern kingdom of Judah had a mixture of good and bad kings. Its people were carried into captivity by the Babylonians about a hundred years after the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians. But their grandchildren were allowed to return to their homeland. Their descendants were still populating the land of Israel under the name “Jews” in the time of Christ.

南方的犹大王国中,有好的国王,也有坏的国王。这个国家的人民后来被巴比伦人俘虏去了。但是70年以后,他们的后代又被允许回到了自己的土地上。在耶稣基督的时代,他们被称为“犹太人”,而且人口繁多。

The people of the northern kingdom are often referred to as “the lost ten tribes”. This is very curious, because there is a thread of harmony running through many books of the Bible which shows that the ten tribes were not lost at all.

北方以色列王国的10个支派常常被一些人称为“失去联系的10个支派”。这是一种奇怪的称呼,因为圣经中存在一条和谐的线索,告诉我们有关这10个支派的线索从来没有断。

This thread is obviously not deliberately contrived. It is so un­obtrusive, in fact, that many people still cannot see it-hence that strange popular misconception that the ten tribes were lost. But the thread is there, none the less.

很明显,这条线索不会是故意编造的。因为它隐藏得非常深,很多圣经读者看不出来,因此出现了一种普遍的看法,认为这10个支派的线索失传了。但是关于这10个支派的线索一直在圣经里。

It starts in the First Book of Kings, where we read of a very early king of Israel, Baasha, making his iron curtain. He fortified the border, “that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa, king of Judah”.33

故事从在列王记上15:17开始:以色列国王巴沙在边境“修筑拉玛,不许人从犹大王亚撒那里出入”。他打算在以色列国和犹大国之间建立铁幕。

Why did he do that? Other books of the Old Testament supply the answer. Like the builders of the Berlin wall he was not concerned about keeping an enemy out, but with keeping his own people in. All the Godfearing people in the idolatrous north wanted to emigrate to the south, where the Temple in Jerusalem kept true worship alive.

巴沙为什么要这样做?圣经的其它部分告诉给我们答案。就像柏林墙的目的不是为了防止敌人进入,而是为了阻止自己的老百姓逃跑一样,过去的堡垒也是为了阻止自己的人民外逃。因为北方所有敬畏  神的人都想到南方耶路撒冷去敬拜 神,那里有神的殿。

Baasha’s iron curtain was inefficient. He lacked the barbed wire and minefields beloved of modern dictators. The Second Book of Chronicles tells us that when good king Asa purged all the idols out of the Kingdom of Judah, this was the result:

    因为缺乏现代人所发明的铁丝网和地雷,他制造铁幕的效果不佳。当犹大的一位非常敬 神的国王亚撒  在犹大清除掉各种偶像崇拜时,结果:

“He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and them that sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh and out of Simeon. For they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.”34

   “有许多以色列人归降亚撒,因见耶和华他的神与他同在”。(历代志下159

A later chapter in the same book tells of another good king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, who also received a wave of immigrants from Israel.35 They must have been very numerous, because Jehoshaphat4~ is actually called “King of Israel” in one place,36 as if to indicate that men from all twelve tribes owed him allegiance.

同一本书接下来的一章告诉我们,在犹大的另外一个敬拜 神的约沙法在位期间,大批的以色列人从北方移居到犹大国。移民的数量一定非常巨大,圣经有一次称约沙法呼为“以色列的王”,似乎暗示所有12个支派都有人在他的管辖范围之内。

The result of all this immigration was a rapid increase in the size of Judah’s army. At the time of the split, King Rehoboam had only 180,000 men.37 The next king, Abijah, had 400,000;38 his successor, Asa, 580,000;39 and Jehoshaphat had 1,160,000 men.40

因为移民人口的增加,犹大国军队的数量也急剧增加。在王国分裂的早期,犹大国只有180000军队。在亚撒时期有580,000人,而后来约沙法时期高达1,160,000人。

About a hundred years after the Kingdom of Israel had been wiped Out, and the ten tribes were supposedly lost, King Josiah of Judah was receiving tribute from “Manasseh, and Ephraim and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin.”41 Just before they were carried captive into Babylon, Ezekiel described the inhabitants of Jerusalem as “all the residue of Israel . . . the house of Israel and Judah”.42

在北部以色列王国灭亡大约100年以后,北方的10个支派好像是断了线索,但是圣经记载说:犹大的国王约西亚曾经从“从玛拿西、以法莲,和一切以色列剩下的人,以及犹大、便雅悯众人,并耶路撒冷的居民” 收税以修理神殿。在他们被俘虏到巴比伦以前,以西结称耶路撒冷的居民为“以色列所剩下的人”,包括“以色列家和犹大家” 以西结书989)。

Jeremiah hinted that both Judah and Israel would return from captivity in Babylon.43 A modern translation of 1 Chronicles makes it plain that the “Judah” who returned from captivity included men of Israel, and especially of its two leading tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh.44

而且耶利米暗示了犹大国的人和以色列国的人都将从巴比伦回来。历代志上记载从巴比伦回来的犹太人当中,特别提到了北部的两个代表性支派:以法莲和玛拿西。

Finally, so far as the Old Testament is concerned, the book of Ezra describes the return of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, around 500 B.C. Those Jews are described several times as “Israel”, and on two occasions when they offered sacrifices these comprised twelve animals “according to the number of the tribes of Israel”.45

以斯拉记记载了大约公元前500年犹太人从巴比伦回来的情景。其中数次将这些犹太人称为“以色列人”,他们“又照以色列支派的数目献公山羊十二只,为以色列众人作赎罪祭”。

Quite clearly, then, the Old Testament tells us that only the dregs of the “lost ten tribes” were ever lost. The cream of the ten tribes were absorbed into the two-tribed Kingdom of Judah, which later became called the Jewish nation.

非常明显,圣经告诉我们,那些北方剩下来的10个支派一直没有失去联系。他们后来熔于犹大王国中,一起成为后来被称为犹太民族的组成部分。

Our thread of harmony has so far run through six different Old Testament books, and covered some 500 years of history. It now jumps the 500-year gap between Ezra and the New Testament, and reappears in the gospels.

这条和谐的线索贯穿了旧约中6本不同的书当中,跨越的历史年代大约为500年。现在跳过了从以斯拉记到新约的500年,这条线索又重新出现。

Matthew takes a prophecy that Jeremiah made about the children of Rachel (the ten-tribed kingdom), and says it was fulfilled among the Jews of his day.46 Luke reports Jesus as quoting a prophecy from Hosea about the ten-tribed kingdom, and applying it to the Jews in Jerusalem.47 He also mentions that a woman in Jerusalem, Anna, was of the tribe of Asher (one of the ten).48

马太福音引用了先知耶利米关于“拉结的儿女”(属于北方的10个支派)的预言,并且说这个预言在当时应验了。耶稣曾经引用了何西阿书107-9中的预言:“人要向大山说:倒在我们身上!向小山说:遮盖我们!”并且说,这句预言要应验在整个犹太民族身上。(见路加福音2330,路加福音236还提到在耶路撒冷有一位妇女名叫亚拿,属于亚设支派(北方10个支派中的一个)。

Peter addresses the Jews as, “Men of Israel . . . all the house of Israel.”49 Paul said that John the Baptist had preached to “all the people of Israel”.50 On another occasion Paul called the Jews “our twelve tribes”.51  James also addresses “the twelve tribes”.52

彼得称呼犹太人说:“以色列人,”(使徒222保罗说,施洗约翰曾经向“向以色列众民”传福音。保罗还称呼犹太人“我们十二个支派”。雅各也向“十二个支派”的以色列人问好。

The thread of history has now passed through 25 different passages of the Bible, in ii different books. It covers a period of a thousand years. And a perfect harmony prevails.

这一条历史线索通过25段不同经文串联起来。它出现在不同的书中,覆盖的历史长达1000年,而且特别和谐。

Once more the question has to be faced: what caused this harmony? Did it “just happen”? Or is it evidence that one Master Mind was behind the writing of the Bible?

我们再次要面临这样的问题:是谁制造了这些和谐?是“碰巧发生的”,还是在圣经的书写者后面,有一个更加伟大的智慧在指挥人们书写圣经?

 

11

It Can’t All be Coincidence

不可能所有的事情都是巧合

The trial had been a long one, and everyone concerned was glad that the end was in sight. Lord Justice Swingingham was summing up the evidence for the prosecution.

这是一场漫长的审判,所有相关人员都感到高兴,因为审判马上就有了结果。审判长正在就起诉证据作总结性发言:

“First, we have the evidence of several witnesses that the accused had for years shown a strong dislike for the victim of the crime, and on the evening before the murder he quarrelled violently with him. As he left the public bar of the Royal Oak, several witnesses heard him shout, ‘I’ll get even with you yet!’

首先,我们有好几位证人证明,被告最近几年一直非常讨厌本案的受害人,案发的当晚还与被害人吵过架。原告离开酒吧后,好几个证人听见他喊:“我要让你完蛋!”

In a corner of the jury box a small elderly lady scowled at the judge. “Coincidence! Pure coincidence!” she muttered under her breath.

在陪审团的一个角落,一位上了年纪的老太太面带愁容盯着法官,并且不停地嘀咕说:“这只是巧合!完全的巧合!”

“Next we must note that the following morning, when the murder took place, the accused was unaccountably absent from work,” the judge continued. “He has been identified by six witnesses as the man who was seen running away from the victim’s house at 10.45 a.m., just after the sound of two shots was heard.”

“More coincidences,” muttered the old lady.

法官继续陈述:“其次我们注意到,案发的第二天被告没有去上班还不能说明原因。有6个证人辨认出是被告从被害人的家里跑出来,时间为早上1045分,正好在两声枪响之后”。

老太太又叨叨说:“还是巧合”。

“Moreover the accused has admitted buying a double-barrelled shotgun at The Sportsman’s Emporium at 9.30 that morning. The wounds in the victim’s head are consistent with such a weapon having been fired. When seen running away, the accused was carrying a lengthy object in a sack. He disappeared in the direction of the River Thames, and the police have since recovered the accused’s shotgun from the bed of the river. The accused was not seen again until the next afternoon, when he was arrested at Rotherhithe Docks, trying to stow away on a Spanish ship bound for Venezuela.”

“更重要的是,被告已经承认在案发当天早上930分在The Sportsman’s Emporium购买过一支手枪。手枪的弹道痕迹和死者伤口的痕迹相吻合。还有人看见被告逃跑的时候带着一只麻袋,从泰晤士河边的方向逃走,警察随后从河床打捞出被告所使用的手枪,随后被告人们的视线中消失了,直到在一条开往委内瑞拉的西班牙轮船上被逮捕。”

“Coincidences, all the lot of them,” muttered the elderly lady.

“They don’t mean a thing to me.”

可是这位老太太还是叫喊:“巧合,巧合,所有这些都是巧合。这些事情不能说明任何问题”。

Another juror glared at her. “Coincidences be blowed!” he said.

   另一个陪审团成员瞪着她说:“别再说什么巧合了!”

 

Facts to be Faced不可逃避事实

 

Now let’s look back over the previous nine chapters, and list the evidence that has to be faced. As you look at it, take care not to make the little old lady’s mistake. Some of the evidence on its own might be the result of coincidence. But it can’t all be coincidence.

现在让我们回过头来总结本书前9章的全部证据。面对这些证据的时候,我们要小心不要犯这位老太太同样的错误。证据当中有一些可能是巧合,但是不可能全部都是巧合。

Chapter 2 looked at some of the Bible’s many prophecies about the Jews. Their scattering all over the world, their long years of exile, their unpopularity, their frequent persecution, their continued existence despite attempts to exterminate them, and, at long last, their return to their homeland in an ungodly state-all these things were foretold in detail.

在第2章我们看到了圣经关于犹太人预言,他们被散布在世界各地,他们长时间的在外流放,尽管有人想消灭他们,但是他们却生存下来。并且,最终他们回到了自己的土地,这些事情都在发生之前详细地记录告诉了我们。

And it has all come to pass, exactly as the Bible said it would. The promise that those who blessed the Jews would be blessed, and those who cursed them would be cursed, has also been fulfilled many times.

正如圣经所说的,随着时间的流逝,所有事情都按照圣经的语言准确地实现了。圣经还说,诅咒以色列人的,他也要被诅咒,为以色列祝福的,他也要蒙福,这句话也多次实现了。

Chapter 3 began with prophecies about two great cities, Babylon and Tyre. A very different doom was foretold for each city. In each case the Bible’s words came true, centuries after the prophecies were written.

3章谈到有关巴比伦和推罗这两大城市的预言。圣经提前告诉我们这两个城市非常不同的结局,在预言书写下几个世纪后,关于每个城市的每一个预言都实现了。

This chapter went on to discuss Daniel’s concentrated summary of the future history of the world. There were to be four, and only four, great “world empires”. After that, the world would remain divided until the time of Christ’s return to the earth. Historians (unbelievers included) agree that the Roman empire was the fourth world empire, and that there has never been another since.

这一章接着讨论了但以理关于世界历史的概括性总结。世界会有(只有)4个世界性帝国。而且以后,世界会保持分离状态,直到耶稣回来。历史学家(包括不信 神的历史学家)一致同意罗马帝国是第4个帝国,从此以后不会还没有出现过这样的帝国。

Chapter 4 listed some of the prophecies made about Jesus, long before He was born. The exact place and the approximate date of His birth were prophesied. His altogether unique, righteous life was prophesied. So were His resurrection from the dead and His ascension to heaven.

在第4章列举了关于耶稣的一些预言,而这些预言在耶稣出生之前几个世纪就写下了。耶稣出生的准确时间被预言了,耶稣独特、完美的生活道路也被预言了,同样圣经也预言耶稣的死和复活、升天。

But, most of all, the Old Testament foretold His crucifixion. Not just the fact, but many of the detailed circumstances of Calvary, were written in advance.

最重要的是,旧约预言了耶稣受难。不仅陈述事实,还提前写出很多细节来。

Chapter 5 showed that Jesus had an uncanny foreknowledge of the twentieth century. He foretold the worldwide preaching of God’s Word; the return of the Jews to the land of Israel; and the insecurity, the loss of moral sense, the fear of the future, and the sense of impend. mg doom that overshadow our world today.

5章告诉我们耶稣关于二十世纪的奇妙预言。他预言福音要传遍世界,预言了犹太人会回到以色列,他们不会得到安宁,他们缺乏道德感受,对未来感到恐惧。今天,中东危机的阴影正笼罩着全世界。

The apostle Peter also foretold how our generation would scoff at the idea of the Second Coming, and described the particular scientific principle that educated men quote as their reason for scoffing. He also foresaw the kind of destruction (by fire) that another world war would bring upon our cities.

使徒彼得同样提前告诉我们,这个时代有很多人会讥笑耶稣再次降临的观点。他还描写了这些讥讽者的理论基础(或科学根据),一些受过教育的人会以此为根据。彼得还提前看到,未来世界战争中毁灭性武器是火,另外一场世界性战争迟早会降临并毁灭这个世界。

Chapter 6 described how the gospels portray Jesus, and argued that nobody in the world He lived in could have invented such a character. He did things and said things that no normal man of the age would have dreamed of saying or doing.

6章告诉我们福音书是如何描写耶稣的。通过对耶稣这个独特人物的描写,证明了世界上没有任何人能够发明这样一个人物。他所说的话和所作的事情,是当时世界上任何其他普通人连做梦也想不到的。

Consequently, if the gospel records are true, Jesus was a super. human Man, the Son of God. If they are fiction, then the gospel writers must themselves have been superhuman in their powers, to create such an extraordinary “uninventable” character as Jesus.

因此,如果福音书的记录是正确的,那么耶稣就是一个超人,是人,也是 神的儿子。如果福音书是虚构,这些作者肯定也拥有超人的力量,这样才能发明这样一个人类不可能发明的人物——耶稣。

Chapter 7 examined the evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.

7章检查了耶稣复活的证据。

According to the written testimony of many eyewitnesses, Jesus did rise from the grave. Those eyewitnesses were neither cheats nor simpletons. All the evidence points to the conclusion that they were honestly reporting the wonderful truth.

根据许多亲眼看见过复活后的耶稣的证人的亲眼见证,耶稣真的从死亡中复活了。这些证人既不是骗子,也不是傻瓜。所有这些证据都指向同一个结论——他们诚实地报告了耶稣复活这个令人惊奇的消息。

The birth and growth of Christianity in a world that did not want it, the sudden swing from the Jewish sabbath to the Christian Sunday, the bigoted apostle Paul’s sudden conversion-all these facts need explaining. There is only one adequate explanation for them: that Christ rose from the dead.

基督教的诞生和成长在一个不受欢迎的环境中。从遵守安息日的犹太教徒突然转变成为在星期天休息的基督徒,还有使徒保罗的突然转变,这些事实都需要解释。只有一个原因可以解释这一切:耶稣从死亡中复活了。

Chapter 8 looked at the Law of Moses. We saw that it was thousands of years ahead of its time. In many respects the world has not caught up with it yet.

在第8章中我们回顾了摩西律法。我们看到摩西律法要领先其时代数千年。在今天世界依然还没有抓住摩西律法很多方面的要害。

More than a thousand years before Christ it taught Christian love, love of neighbour and of stranger alike. In an evil idolatrous world it condemned idolatry, and insisted that there was only one God. While other nations worked their slaves to death, the Law made the Jews give both their slaves and themselves a day’s rest every week.

在基督诞生以前一千年,摩西律法就教导基督徒般的爱,要爱人如己,爱陌生人和寄居的。在当时邪恶崇拜偶像的年代,摩西律法坚持只有一个上帝,谴责偶像崇拜。摩西律法使奴隶和奴隶主一样享受每星期休息一天的权利。

The Law of Moses anticipated many modern discoveries: isola­tion of infectious diseases; the principles of hygiene and sanitation; the avoidance of disease borne by unsuitable foodstuffs; the conserva­tion of resources; the importance of a stable family life and sound education.

摩西律法提前告诉我们许多现代人的发现:对传染病人实行隔离,建设卫生设施的原则,要避免疾病通过食物传播,对资源的保护,强调稳定的家庭和健康教育的重要性。

In Chapter 9 we looked at a more subtle kind of evidence. We saw that the Bible “rang true”. It reads like a true book, not a book full of falsehoods. The contrast between it and other ancient religious books is tremendous.

我们在第9章看到了更多微妙的证据。我们看出圣经发出的是真理的声音。它听起来真实的,不是一本充满谬误的书。古代其它宗教书和圣经比起来反差太大了。

It makes no attempt to whitewash its heroes or to flatter its readers. Ordinary writers try to cover up the truth when it is unpleasant. But the Bible tells the honest truth, however painful that may be to its readers.

We also saw some examples of the “undesigned coincidences” that abound in the pages of the Bible. They are another mark of the simple truthfulness of its writers.

圣经从来没有打算粉饰其中的英雄,或奉承读者。如果真像会让人感到不快的话,普通作者往往会掩盖。但是圣经告诉的是最诚实的真理,不管真理会让读者感到多么痛苦。 

同样在圣经中我们看到了大量的未经修饰的和谐,这也是圣经的作者讲真话的一个标志。

In Chapter 10 we saw how the sixty-six separate books in our Bible have a common theme. Threads of harmony join them all together, into one complete unit.

在第10章我们看到,圣经中66本独立的书是如何拥有共同的主题的。一条和谐的线索将它们联系在一起,成为一个完全的整体。

This harmony is far too remarkable to have occurred by accident. It is so deep-rooted that the authors could not possibly have created it on their own. This is evidence that one Master Mind must have guided the pens of all the forty authors of the Bible.

圣经和谐是如此不同凡响,决不是碰巧才形成的。它是那么根深蒂固,证明了一定有一种大师般的智慧,指导和协调所有40多位书写者。

 

What Does This Prove? 这又能够证明什么?

 

A diehard unbeliever would say that it doesn’t “prove” anything. In one sense this is right. The truth of the Bible is not something that can be proved like a theorem in mathematics. But the guilt of a criminal cannot be proved mathematically either. Yet we still say that a criminal is “proved guilty” when there is so much evidence of his guilt that it is unreasonable to doubt it.

坚持不信圣经的人会说,这些事实“证明”不了什么。从某种意义上来说来他们是对的。圣经真理并不能够像数学定理那样被证明。但即使有足够的证据,法庭同样无法像证明数学定理一样证明一个人有罪。尽管如此,如果有足够的合理的证据让人们不会怀疑被告有罪的话,我们依然可以说,被告被“证明”有罪。

This book has marshalled some of the evidence that the Bible is what it claims to be. If you have digested this evidence it will stay with you for the rest of your life, whether you finally accept the Bible or not.

本书编辑了一些支持圣经的证据,表明圣经是 神的话语。不管最终你是不是能够接受圣经,如果你能将这些证据消化掉,他们就会伴随着你余下的一生。

The evidence is not something that can be explained away. To put it all down to coincidence would be as silly as the behaviour of the little lady in the jury box. However you look at it, one fact is inescapable. There is a very great deal of evidence to support the Bible’s claim to be a message from God.

这些证据不是可以通过解释打发掉的。将所有的证据都归于巧合就像那位在陪审团的那个老太太愚蠢。不管你怎样看待这个问题,有一件事情不可逃避:有大量的证据支持圣经是来自 神的信息这一圣经声明。

This is where faith comes in.

这就是信心的来源。

Faith is not, as a cynic once said, “believing in something you know to be untrue”. Faith comes when evidence convinces you that some­thing must be true. The New Testament defines it like this:

    信心并不是说:“相信你知道是不正确的某些事”,信心来自你有坚信不疑的证据。新约圣经这样说到信心:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”1

   “信就是所望之事的实底,是未见之事的确据。”(希伯来书111

If you can accept the evidence put before you, and say, “Yes, I am convinced that there must be a God, that the Bible must be His Word, and that Jesus must be His Son”-if you can say that, then you have what the Bible calls faith.

如果你接受摆在你面前的证据,并且说:“是的,我相信一定有 神,圣经肯定是  神的话,并且耶稣肯定是  神的儿子”。如果你肯承认这些事情,你就有了圣经中所说的信心。

But perhaps you cannot say that yet. Perhaps you can only go half. way, and say something like this:

但是也有可能现在你还不能够接受这些。也有可能你在中间,心里面这样认为:

“Yes, the evidence is impressive. It does seem as if there might be something in it. But I don’t know. There are so many things to be said against the Bible, as well as for it.”

“是啊,这些证据给人的印象非常深刻,真的好像有什么东西在里面。但是我也不知道,因为有很多人在说圣经的坏话,然而为圣经辩护的理由也有很多。”

If that’s how you feel you have no need to be depressed about it. Many other men and women have felt like that. We read of one such man who came to Jesus, asking for his epileptic child to be healed.

如果这就是你自己的感觉,你不必泄气。很多人也有这样的感觉。圣经就记载了一个人,他来到耶稣面前,请求耶稣医治他患癫痫病的孩子:

Jesus told him, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

The man replied, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”2

耶稣告诉他说“你若能信,在信的人,凡事都能。”

这个人回答:“我信!但我信不足,求主帮助(原文是帮助我这个不信的人。)”。

(马可福音92324

This sounds rather a contradictory statement to European ears. But it was evidently a Hebrew’s way of saying, “Lord, I almost believe. I want to believe. But I find it hard to believe unreservedly. Lord, help me to believe with all my heart!”

这段话对于欧洲人来说听起来非常矛盾,但是这是希伯来人的说法,用我们的话来说就是:“主啊,我基本相信,我希望能够有信心,但是我觉得有困难,请帮助我,让我全心全意地信靠你!”

Jesus apparently did help him, because there was a happy outcome. The man’s prayer was answered; his child was healed.

很显然耶稣帮助了这个人,因为最终的结果是快乐的。这个人的祷告被答应了,孩子的疾病也得到了医治。

 

 

How to Read On如何坚持阅读圣经

 

There is good practical advice in this story. Part Two of this book will try to deal with all the main obstacles to wholehearted belief in the Bible. Now you know the best way to tackle Part Two.

本书的第二部分是关于一些好的实用的建议。这一部分打算帮助那些打算全心全意相信圣经的人扫清最主要的障碍。

Read it with this prayer in your heart:  

请用心阅读下面的祷告:

 

“Lord, I (want to) believe; help Thou mine unbelief!”

“主阿!我(希望)信!但我信不足,求主帮助。”

 

This will help you to have an attitude of respect for the Bible. It does not mean that you should suppress your reason. Far from it; God invites you to “gird up the loins of your mind”3 (that is, to use every ounce of intelligence you possess) when you study the Bible.

这样做将帮助你树立尊敬圣经的态度。它并不意味着你要抛弃自己的想法。 神邀请你阅读圣经的时候“要约束你们的心”(彼得前书113),意思是说,在研究圣经的时候要用自己的全部心智。 

What God wants us to suppress is our pride. We can come to the Bible, and to Part Two of this book, in two very different ways.

神希望我们抛弃的是自己的骄傲。在阅读圣经以及本书第二部分时,我们可以采取两种不同的方式。

We can say: “The Bible is probably a man-made book. I shall feel free to treat it with contempt, to ridicule it, or to ignore it. I don’t think the Bible has anything for me.” And we shall be right; the Bible will not have anything for us, if we approach it like that.

我们可以说:“圣经可能是人编造的书籍。我可以随便地看不起它,嘲笑它,或者是忽略它。圣经和我没有任何关系。”如果我们用这种方式对待圣经,我们真的与圣经没有关系,我们不会从中得到任何好处。

Or we can say: “The Bible might possibly be what it claims to be

-a message from God Almighty. In case it is, I must treat it thought­fully, humbly, respectfully, to see what I can learn from it.”

或者我们可以说:“圣经真的有可能像它自己所声明的那样,是从全能的 神哪里来的,如果是这样,我就应该带着谦卑和认真思考的态度对待它,看看自己能够从其中学习到什么。”

That way, you are sure to benefit. Even if you finally decide the Bible is not the Word of God, you will still learn more by adopting the humble approach.

这种态度肯定会让你获益非浅。即使你后来断定圣经不是 神的话,谦卑的态度依然使你获益。

And if-as I believe-the Bible is the Word of God, you will gain an infinitely greater blessing. For God has said:

“This is the man to whom I will look: he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My Word.”4

   我相信圣经是 神的话。如果你也信,你也会得到无穷的祝福。因为  神曾经说过:

   “但我所看顾的,就是虚心痛悔、因我话而战兢的人。”(以赛亚书662

 

PART TWO

第二部分  问题部分

But What About. . .?

 

12

Problems? Of Course!

有问题是当然的

So now it’s the unbelievers’ turn to bat. We have looked at the main reasons why believers believe. Now we are going to look at the main difficulties which (so they say) prevent unbelievers from believing.

我们已经看到了那些圣经信仰者相信圣经的主要理由,现在轮到不相信的人来发言了。我们要看看使他们不相信的主要困难。(是他们自己这样说的)。

But before we begin, I want to make one thing quite clear. I am not the least bit embarrassed by these difficulties. Neither need you be. Every branch of human study bristles with problems. It would be very strange if the most profound subject of all-the study of the Word of the Almighty-were free from problems.

首先我想明确一点。我对这些困难并不感到尴尬,你也不必。人类研究的每一个分支都会有问题。如果我们研究意义最深刻的全能者的话没有遇到问题,这反而是一件奇怪的事情。

Of course there are problems connected with the Bible. It is exactly what you would expect.

   在学习圣经中当然会遇到很多困难。这也是你可以预料到的。

 

A Parallel with Science

与科学的平行关系

In my circle of acquaintances there are many science graduates who believe implicitly that the Bible is the Word of God. I could not name nearly so many arts graduates who believe the Bible. This may just be because I happen to know more science graduates. But in fact I think my experience is fairly general. Several friends from different universities have told me that there seem to be more Bible believers in their science departments than their arts departments.

在我熟悉的社交圈子中,有很多毕业于理工科大学的毕业生,他们相信圣经是  神的话。但是我却不能列举出很多艺术院校毕业又相信圣经的人。这可能是因为我毕业于理工科院校的缘故。实际上我的体验是很平常的。来自不同大学的好几个朋友告诉我,似乎毕业于理工大学相信圣经的人要比毕业于艺术院校的人要多。

One reason for this may be that science graduates are aware of the vast number of unsolved problems in science.

其中的原因之一可能是,毕业于理工科大学的学生知道,科学界存在着大量没有解决的问题。

Take physics, for example. At school you are taught how Sir Isaac Newton laid the foundations of modern physics. You learn the various basic laws he propounded, and you accept them as absolute truth. You appreciate their beauty and simplicity, and you realise why

Alexander Pope wrote:

就拿物理学来说吧,在学校里老师教导说牛顿奠定了现代物理学的基础。你学习了牛顿物理学基本定律,并将它们看成是绝对真理。你欣赏这些定律的简单与和谐,明白为什么亚历山大-保罗会写下这一首诗来赞美牛顿:

 

“Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night

God said, ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light.”

   自然和自然的法则隐藏在黑夜之中。

  神说:“让牛顿来!”于是一切都是光明!

 

Then you go to university, and are taught that Newton’s laws don’t explain everything. Problems arise that can only be explained by Einstein’s theories. These work in circumstances where Newton’s laws break down. But they are very much more complicated, and you realise why Sir John Squire capped Pope’s lines with:

以后你上了大学,老师教导你牛顿的法则不能解释所有的事情。这些问题只能够用爱因斯坦的理论来解释,它可以解释牛顿的理论解释不了的地方。但是这些理论非常复杂,你会体会为什么John Squire 爵士会套用保罗的诗歌这样说:

 

“It did not last: the Devil howling, ‘Ho!

Let Einstein be!’ restored the status quo.”

  “然而一切却没有结束。魔鬼还在叫喊。

“让爱因斯坦来”!于是一切又恢复了光明!”

 

Then you finish your university course and start doing research. Very soon you realise that there are lots and lots of problems you weren’t told about as an undergraduate. Einstein’s propositions nowadays look almost as incomplete as Newton’s did a half-century ago.

大学毕业以后,你开始做自己的研究工作,很快就会发现有很多问题存在,就像你在大学毕业以前一样。爱因斯坦的理论同样不完全,像当年牛顿的定律一样。

Strange problems have arisen in modern physics that were unheard of until recently. Is there such stuff as “antimatter”? If so, how much of it is there in the universe? Does it weigh less than nothing? Can atomic particles travel backwards through time?

现代物理学领域到现在依然有奇怪的问题冒出来。存在着反物质吗?如果存在,在宇宙中有多少?反物质的重量是负的吗?原子能够向后穿过时间隧道吗?

These are only some of the problems that atomic physicists are debating today. It may take many years to answer them. And in answering them, many other unanswered questions are bound to arise.

这些仅仅是当今原子物理学家讨论问题的一部分。要回答这些问题需要好多年,就在科学家回答问题的时候,很多没有答案的问题又冒出来了。

And therefore . .  ? Therefore we can’t trust atomic physics, because of all these unsolved problems? Obviously that does not follow. Atomic power stations work. That is proof enough that atomic physics is on the right lines. The existence of unanswered questions merely shows that many more exciting discoveries lie around the corner.

因此?…. 因为他们不能解决这些问题,我们就不再相信物理学家了?很显然不能。原子能发电站正常工作,就足以证明了原子物理学家是可以信赖的。存在问题只能证明还有很多更加令人感兴趣的问题有待科学家去发掘。

In just the same way, it would be absurd to dismiss the Bible just because there are some unsolved problems connected with it. Instead, we should study it eagerly, wondering what interesting discoveries lie in store for us. 

同样,因为我们在阅读圣经的时候存在疑问,就把圣经打发掉,这样做也是不明智的。相反,我们应该更加急切地阅读圣经,争取找到一些隐藏在圣经中有趣的发现。

The evidence of Part One of this book has shown that the claims of the Bible are solidly backed by evidence. As you read through Part Two you will see that very many of the problems connected with it have already been answered.

这本书的第一部分已经向我们展示,圣经声明是 神的话语是有很坚实的证据的。在本书的第二部分当中,你会看到很多问题,其中的很多问题已经有了答案。

Every solved problem strengthens the case for the Bible. For if so many of the unbelievers’ objections can be answered already, it is reasonable to suppose that all the rest could in time.

   每一个问题的解决,都是我们更加相信圣经。那些不相信圣经的人提出来的问题已经能够得到解决,我们有理由假设其余的问题也能够得到解决。

 

Another Parallel另外一条平行线

 

A small boy once had a conversation with an eminent university professor. Afterwards he told his father:

有一个小男孩和一个著名的大学教授交谈,过后他回去对父亲说:

“I couldn’t understand everything that man said.”

“我听不懂这个人对我说的话”。

“That doesn’t surprise me!” replied the father, with a smile.

“这有什么奇怪的呢?”他的父亲笑着回答。

Now the Bible tells us that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. He was called “the express image of God’s Person”.1 The words that He spoke were said to be the very words of God.2

现在,圣经告诉我们拿撒勒人耶稣是  神的儿子,他被称为“神本体的真像”。他所说的话就是  神的话。

Consequently the gap between Jesus and the rest of mankind was far, far greater than the gap between the professor and the small boy. Naturally there were many things about Jesus that the Jews could not understand. But they reacted most unreasonably. They used these problems as an excuse for their unbelief.

耶稣与人类的其它人的差别非常大,远远超过大学教授和这位小男孩。犹太人不明白很多关于耶稣的事情,这是很自然的。但是这些犹太人对于耶稣的反应是不合理的。他们利用一些问题作为他们不相信耶稣的借口。

To begin with, none of the “best people” followed Him. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees (religious leaders) believed on Him?” was their snobbish excuse.3

开始的时候,没有任何一个“社会精英”跟随他。“官长或是法利赛人岂有信他的呢?”(约翰福音748,这也成为一些势利小人责难耶稣的借口。

Then again, He was such an unpredictable person. He never would behave as they thought the Son of God ought to behave.

他还被看成是一个不可预测的人物。他们从来没有猜测到  神的儿子会是那个样子。

When they wanted to honour Him and make Him king, He went away.’ When a faithful disciple risked his own life to protect Jesus, instead of thanks he received a rebuke.5

当人们想让耶稣得到荣耀,并且让他成为他们的王的时候,他离开了他们。当他的门徒想用自己的生命来保护他的时候,他的回应不是感谢,而是斥责。(见马太福音2652

On the cross, He was given a plain challenge to prove Himself: “If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him!”6 But He made no attempt to answer them.

在十字架上,他面临挑战:“他是以色列的王,现在可以从十字架上下来,我们就信他”。(见马太福音2742)但他没有打算回答他们。

It is easy for us to see the reason for His actions. We know now that “the cross must come before the crown”. But the Jews then did not. To them, Christ’s behaviour sometimes did not make sense.

对于现在的我们来说,很容易看出耶稣这样做的理由。我们现在知道“十字架是得救的必须”,但是对于当时的犹太人来说,这不是一件容易的事情。对于他们来说,基督在某些时候的行为不可思议。

Also, His background seemed all wrong for a preacher. The gospels tell how men sneered at His lower-class origin,7 His lack of education,8 and the short interval between His parents’ wedding and His birth.’

同样的,对于一个传道者来说,他的背景似乎也不受到欢迎。福音书告诉我们,人们是如何讥笑他卑微的出生。他没有受过高深的教育,而且他的母亲在结婚之前就怀孕。

Looking back, we can see now that there was a simple solution to all these problems. But at the time the disciples were not able to answer them all. They could only say: “We believe and are sure that Thou art the Holy One of God.”10

对于这些问题,我们有一个简单的办法来回答。在使徒们的时代,他们也不能回答所有的问题。他们只能说:“我知道你是谁,乃是神的圣者。”

Imagine that someone had said to them:

想象某人对他们说:

“Why are you so sure of your beliefs, when there are so many problems connected with this man Jesus?”

“为什么你对于自己的信仰那么确信,即使存在这么多和耶稣有关的问题?”

They probably would have replied like this:

他们可能这样回答:

“Because there is so much positive evidence that He is the Son of God. That’s what convinces us. We are not bothered about the prob­lems. Of course there are some things we don’t understand-yet. But we shall understand them, one day.”

“因为有很多证明耶稣是  神的儿子的积极证据,这些证据让我心服口服。我不会为谢谢问题感到担忧。虽然现在还有很多我们不懂的问题,但是终究有一天我们会明白的”。

And they would have been right. Most of the problems did sort themselves out. The books of the New Testament give us the solution to them.

这种回答应该是正确的。大部分问题已经得到解决,新约已经给出了问题的解答。

It is like that with the Bible itself. The positive evidence is very convincing. It is far too weighty to be dismissed by crying, “Yes, but what about the problems connected with the Bible?”

这就是说,关于圣经的问题圣经自己能够回答。正面的证据是非常令人信服、非常具有分量的。

For in the first place there is the point made already, that we would expect to find problems connected with a Book given to mankind by God. If there were no problems, people would rightly say, “This is altogether too simple. It is kids’ stuff. It can’t possibly come from a Supreme Being.”

首先,我要强调已经强调过的观点。圣经是一本  神所赐给与人类的书籍,人当然可以发现问题。如果没有问题,人们可能说:“这本书太简单了。不可能从一位超自然的存在那里来的。”

Secondly, many of the so-called problems are not really problems at all. They are silly little objections raised by men who have never really studied the Book they condemn. And finally, as we shall see as we go on, most of the major problems can be answered quite satisfactorily.

 其次,很多所谓的问题其实并不是真正的问题。他们是那些没有真正的研究圣经却有指责圣经的人提出来的;最后,随着本书的深入,你会看到,大部分的问题能够得到满意的回答。

So we are going to look at those problems that worry so many people, but we are not going to worry about them. It is the most natural thing in the world that they should be there.

 因此,我们要看看那些使得很多人感到不解的问题,但是我们不要为这些问题担心。这些问题存在是很自然的事情。

The Bible believer is not afraid to look those problems squarely in the face. He knows that he is arguing from a position of strength. (He only wishes that the unbeliever was equally willing to face the facts!)

相信圣经的人不怕当面遇到这样的问题。他知道如果要辩论,他会站在一个有利的位置。(他只希望那些不相信的人愿意面对事实)

One last suggestion before you set out on Part Two. Don’t keep say­ing to yourself: “But this can’t possibly be right. Hardly anybody believes this, so it must be wrong.”

我想对准备阅读本书第二部分的读者提最后一个建议。不要总是对自己说:“这些事情不可能是对的。人们很难相信,因此它肯定是错误的。”

We shall see the answer to that objection, too, before we’ve finished.

最终我们会看到对于这些异议的回答。

 

13

Can We Trust the Experts?

我们能够相信专家吗?

Of course we can trust the experts. We have to. Nowadays we have no choice. This is the age of the experts.

当然我们可以相信专家,我们也不得不相信专家。我们别无选择,这是一个专家的时代。

I cannot fly an aeroplane. Yet I travel by air dozens of times every year. I fasten my seat belt and then relax in my seat, trusting the pilot to do his job properly.

我不会开飞机,但每年我都坐飞机旅行几十次。系好安全带我就轻松地坐在椅子上,相信飞行员会圆满地完成任务。

In his turn the pilot has to trust lots of other experts, upon whom his own safety depends. Fifty years ago, pilots took apride in flying by the seat of their pants, as they called it. They meant that they depended entirely on the feel of the plane, and the’ sight of their own two eyes. They were even their own mechanics and checked their flimsy craft for airworthiness before taking off.

然后又轮到飞行员将自己的安全依托给其它方面的专家了。50年以前,飞行员是一项令人羡慕的职业。当时飞行员在飞行依赖自己的双眼和对飞机的感觉。他们甚至是飞机的机械师,起飞之前必须自己检查飞机是否适合飞行。

Those days are gone for ever. Nowadays it takes a large team of experts to design and build an aircraft. Aerodynamicists, electronics engineers, stress analysts, and hosts of other narrow specialists all work together. None of them can do the jobs of the others. They all trust their colleagues to do their own jobs properly.

这样日子已经一去不复返,现在设计、制造飞机是一大堆专家所做的事情。空气动力学者、电子工程师、压力分析师、还有其它专业性很强的专家在一起工作。没有人能够做其它行业的工作。他们相信自己的同事能够恰当地完成自己的工作。

Before the plane takes off one set of experts is needed to service the engines, another the hydraulics Systems, another the radar equipment. Even in the air the pilot is not the master of his own aircraft. He obeys the instructions of a whole army of air traffic controllers whom he trusts to keep him free from mid-air collisions, and takes advice from weather forecasters.

飞机起飞以前,一组专家会维修引擎,另外一组专家会检查各类供水系统,还有人维护雷达系统。即使在空中,飞行员也不完全是飞机的主人。他必须接受空中控制台的飞行指令,避免空中撞机事件,还要听从气象预报员的建议。

All these experts do their jobs well. They are trustworthy. They have to be. Otherwise planes would come crashing down in all direc­tions like roofing tiles in a hurricane, and the airlines would never get any passengers.

这些专家的工作做得很好,他们值得信任,别人也只能信任他们。否则,飞机就像飓风中的瓦片一样找不到方向,再也没有乘客敢坐飞机了。

Even if you never go by air, you can’t live in the modern world with­out relying on experts. You may take for granted services like water supply, gas, electricity, telephones, television and transport. But they all depend on experts to keep them functioning. Even the food we eat and the medicines we take might poison us unless lots of experts in the food and drugs industries and the Public Health Departments were reliable.

即使你没有坐过飞机,在现代社会如果你不依靠专家就无法生活。你需要水、煤气、电、电话、电视和交通工具,这些机构都靠专家来维护。甚至是我们吃的食物和药物,如果没有专家在工作,没有可靠的公共健康部门,我们有可能中毒。

In the same way, I could never have written this book without trusting a great many experts. Every quotation of the Bible in English accepts the work of many scholars. Some of them have compared large numbers of ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible to produce the best possible Hebrew and Greek texts, and other scholars have translated these into English. I have been forced to quote experts in history, archaeology, biology, geology, anthropology and many other fields where I have no expert knowledge of my own.

同样,如果我不信任一些专家的话,我就不可能写成这本书。我引用圣经的每一句话都是很多学者的翻译成果。他们中的一些人在对照了大量的古希伯来文和希腊文手稿以后,总结出最好的希伯来和希腊文圣经,而其他学者将它们翻译成英文。我在这本书中已经引用了历史学、考古学、生物学、生态学、人类学以及很多其它方面的专家的话,而我自己在这些方面没有专门的知识。

 

Experts are Only Human专家也是人

 

Without a doubt it is very useful to have a world full of experts. But it also brings some very real dangers. It is easy to forget that experts are just as human as the rest of us. But they are. And in their common humanity lies a great danger.

毫无疑问,充满专家的世界会更美好。但是这种情况也会带来一些危险。我们常常会忘记这些专家也是人,和我们一样。专家们的人性与普通人的一样,同样存在巨大的危险。

I am not merely referring to the fact that even experts can make mistakes. There is a more serious danger than this. Lord Acton put his finger upon a deep-rooted characteristic of human nature, when he said:

我在这里并不是想仅仅提醒大家,即使是专家也会犯错误。而且还有更严重的事情。 阿克顿(Acton勋爵曾经一针见血地指出人性的这个根深蒂固特征,说:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”1

“权力导致腐败,绝对的权力导致绝对的腐败”。

He was thinking mainly of political power. But it is true of every kind of power. Experts today wield a kind of intellectual power over the man in the street. And there is every sign that they are in danger of being corrupted by that power.

他思考的主要是政治权力的问题。但是在其它权力方面也是如此。今天的专家比普通人有更大的权力,这种权力也存在导致腐败的危险。

The whole purpose of this chapter is to sound a very necessary warning. Don’t let the experts pull the wool over your eyes. In many respects your opinion may be worth as much as theirs-even in some matters where they might reasonably claim to know better than you.

本章的目的为了给您一些必要的警告,不要让专家蒙蔽你的眼睛。在很多方面你自己的意见可能和他们的一样有价值,即使我们相信专家比你有更多专业知识。

Perhaps you think that this is a very negative matter with which to occupy a whole chapter. If so, it may help to look at it this way. When good King Josiah came to the throne of Israel he found Jerusalem full of idols. Before he could begin to restore the true worship of Jehovah, he had first to destroy all those idols.2

可能你认为用一章的篇幅讲这个问题是不合适的。如果是这样的话,让我据理来说明为什么要这样做。当约阿斯(他是一个很好的国王)做犹大王的时候,他发现耶路撒冷充满了偶像。在树立对耶和华的敬拜以前,他首先要毁灭所有的偶像。(历代志下341-7

“The experts” are the false gods of our age. They pretend to have an authority, a near-infallibility, that they do not possess. And most people are taken in by them.

今天的“专家”就是我们这个时代的偶像。他们假装具有权威,认为自己几乎不会放错,其实并不是这样。大多数的人被他们所欺骗。

For example: “Fornication won’t hurt you-it will do you good!”, say many psychologists. (With my own ears I once heard a psychiatrist proclaiming this.) Millions of people have lapped up this teaching, and now the foundations of family stability are tottering throughout the western world.

例如,心理学家说:“婚外恋不会对伤害到你,甚至对你有好处”(我亲耳听到过一位精神病学家说过这样的话)。数以百万的人听从了这些建议,现在在整个西方世界,家庭的根基被毁坏。

Worse still, “the experts” have undermined people’s faith in the Bible. If you doubt this, take any unbeliever you happen to know, and ask him exactly why he does not believe the Bible. Press him hard. Don’t let him evade the issue. Keep on until he states his real reasons.  

更坏的是,“专家们”会破坏人们对圣经的信仰。如果你对此有疑问,可以问问你知道的任何一个不相信圣经的人,追问他们真正的原因。不要让他们逃避这个问题,直到他告诉你真正的理由。

Will he say, “Because I have made a very careful study of the Bible, and have proved it to be quite inaccurate.”? Will he? Not likely!

他会说:“因为我已经对圣经作了非常仔细的研究,证明圣经的内容是不太准确的”?会有这样的回答玛?不太可能。

It is almost certain that, if he is honest, his real reasons will begin like this: “Because they say that . .

如果他是诚实的,在大多数的情况下,他真正的理由可能是:“因为他们是这么说的……..

“They say.” They. The experts. He has a vague notion that “the scientists” say the Bible is unscientific, “the historians” say the Bible is historically inaccurate, and “the leaders of religion” say that the Bible is not what it makes out to be.

“他们说,”此时的“他们” 含糊的说是专家。一些“科学家说”,圣经不符合科学。“历史学家”说,圣经记载的历史不准确。“宗教领导人”说,圣经并不是自己所声明的那样。

And that’s enough for him. If “they” condemn the Bible, why should he look any further? They are the experts. They are bound to be right. The Bible is dead-long live the experts! Thus our friend justifies his unbelief.

这些理由已经足够了!如果“他们”谴责圣经,为什么他不会看得更远?他们是专家,他们肯定是对的。圣经已经成为过去,而专家是活着的。我的朋友们认为不相信圣经是有道理的。

So before we can safely begin to look at the objections raised against the Bible, we must first take a look at the people who raise them. Who are “they”? Are they really as wise as they like us to think? Are we really being foolish if we dare to question the experts’ conclusions?

  在我们还能够安稳地看待这些反对圣经的质疑的时候,首先我们必须看一看谁是提出这些问题的人。谁是“他们”?他们真的像我们所认为的那样有智慧,很聪明吗?如果我们质疑专家的结论,我们就成了傻瓜?

 

A New Look at the Experts 重新看待专家

To see the matter in perspective it is necessary to note a number of points that are often overlooked. Because of their importance I shall list these points first, and then go back and expand them.

要对事物进行透彻的观察,我们就有必要注意到有很多要点被忽视了。因为它们的重要性,我将列举出来,在后面对他们进行扩张分析。

(1)       Experts deal with both facts and opinions.专家既要处理事实,也要提出意见。

(2)       Experts in some fields are much more reliable than experts in other fields.某一方面的专家比另外一些方面的专家的建议更可靠。

(3)       Experts disagree enormously among themselves.专家之间经常会有不同的意见。

(4)       Experts in every field are very unreliable when they speculate about the future, or (under some circumstances) the past. 不管是哪一方面的专家,在预测未来的时候都是非常不可靠的,在某些情况下,对过去也不了解。

(5)       A surprisingly large number of experts have been caught deliberately deceiving the public.有很多专家在故意地欺骗公众。

(6)       Experts have very frequently been led astray when their emotions have become involved.专家经常被自己的感情所蒙蔽。

(7)       Experts have a regrettable tendency to exaggerate their own importance, and to persuade the public that they know more than they really do. 专家常常夸大自己的重要性,欺骗公众他们知道的比他们实际知道的更多。

(8)       Non-specialists very often can-and do-make better decisions than experts, once the experts have stated the facts requiring a decision.没有一个专家能够一直比其他专家作的更好,得出来的结论更准确。

 

 

(1)  Facts and Opinions  事实和意见

 

A philosopher might not agree that experts deal with both facts and opinions. He might say that there are no such things as facts, only opinions of differing degrees of probability.

哲学家可能不赞成专家应该同时与事实和意见打交道。他可能说,事实之类的东西并不存在,只有可能性大小不同的建议。

For practical purposes, however, the distinction between facts and opinions will serve us quite well, so long as we remember that there is no sharp line of distinction between the two. Now and again we might meet a borderline statement, one that Mr. A would call a fact and Mr. B would call an opinion. But most statements can safely be classified as one or the other.

在实践中,事实和意见的差别是如此明显,二者之间存在着不可逾越的界限。我们可能会遇见一个边界问题,A先生声称是事实,而B先生声称是意见。但是大多数的陈述都可以比较明确地划分为事实或意见。

For example, suppose that in 1968 you had asked a chemist, “If I spray my kitchen with DDT, will it keep the flies down?” He would have answered, “Yes”. That would have been a fact.

假如你在1968年问一个药剂师:“如果我在厨房喷洒一些DDT,会不会赶走苍蝇?”如果药剂师回答:“可以”。那么这就是一个事实。

If you had gone on and asked, “But is DDT harmful to man?” he would probably have replied, “No.” That would have been an opinion. And it would have been wrong. Yet if you had disagreed with him, he would probably have thought you were a cheeky ignoramus.

但是如果你继续问他:“DDT对人体有害吗?”如果他回答:“不会”,那么这就是意见。意见是可能出错的,尽管如果你不同意专家的意见,他可能会认为你是一个无知的家伙。

This illustrates the first pitfall we must avoid. Because they are generally right on their facts, the experts nearly always attach too much weight to their opinions. And so does a gullible public.

这举例说明了我们首先要避免的误区。因为专家通常在事实方面是正确的,专家通常过分强调自己的意见,容易受骗的公众也是如此。

 

(2)   Experts in Different Fields不同领域的专家

 

Whatever the man in the street may think, many intellectuals are well aware of the unreliability of experts. For example, the Australian philosopher Alan Wood has stated:

不管普通人是如何思考的,很多聪明人已经意识到了专家的不可靠性。例如,澳大利亚的哲学家阿兰-伍德(Alan Wood这样说:

“Subjects should be arranged in a kind of hierarchy-for instance, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Economics, Politics, Psychology-in which experts are more and more likely to be wrong.”3

   “不同的领域应该按照可靠性排列次序,例如数学、物理、生物、经济学、政治、心理学,越往后面,专家犯错误的可能性也越来越大。”

He does not state where his own subject, philosophy, comes in the pecking order. But he obviously has no illusions about philosophy, because he reveals in the same book that Bertrand Russell, the most famous philosopher of the century, said when he was in his late seventies:

他自己却没有将他自己所研究的课程——哲学排列进去。但是他对于哲学的可靠性没有抱任何幻想,因为他引用了二十世纪最伟大的哲学家罗素在70年代晚期的讲话:

“…philosophy is nonsense. I am now left regretting my ill-spent youth. . . . nine-tenths of what is regarded as philosophy is humbug.”4

   “哲学是毫无意义的。 我现在为我自己所浪费的青春而惋惜。十分之九的被认为是哲学思想的东西都是骗人的”。

When I first heard those words quoted, I felt sure that they must have been taken out of context, so as to misrepresent Russell’s views. So I obtained the book, only to find that Russell undoubtedly did mean what those words imply-that most of the subject that had occupied his great brain for so long was a load of old rubbish.

Wood’s list of subjects is well chosen. Mathematics comes top, because provided that a careful mathematician starts with the right assumptions he is almost bound to arrive at the right conclusion. Physics is on rather more shaky ground, because it is based on a mixture of experiment, mathematics and deduction. Experiments can go wrong, and deductions can be false.

当我第一次看到这些话的时候,我觉得是自己读错了,或书中没有正确表达罗素的观点。因此我特地去找到这本书,发现这些话确实是罗素自己的观点。他认为长时间占领他大脑的观点只是一些垃圾。

    伍德(Wood提出的名单是经过了仔细推敲的。数学的可靠性被排列在第一位,因为如果假设正确,推理正确,那么结论也一定正确。物理学排列在第二,因为物理学是建立在实验、数学和推理的基础上,而实验可能会出错,在推理的时候也有可能犯错误。

Biology is one rung further down the ladder. This is because living things are vastly more complex than atoms and molecules. Biological experiments are therefore much more likely to give misleading answers than experiments in physics.

生物学被排列在后面,因为活着的生物要比原子或分子更复杂。生物试验因此要比物理学试验更容易得出错误的结论。

Then come economics, politics and psychology. These all deal with the behaviour of that highly unpredictable creature, Man. Lots and lots of scope for making mistakes here!

接下来的是经济学、政治学和心理学。这些专业讨论的是人这个最难以预料的生物---人的行为,因此这些方面的错误层出不穷。

Unfortunately the experts in the high-mistake-rate subjects (like biology and psychology) try to bask in the reflected glory of the low-mistake-rate subjects (like mathematics). They say, for instance, “We’ve installed a big computer in our laboratory, so we shan’t make nearly so many mistakes in future.” In fact the possession of a com­puter would not make the slightest difference to the accuracy of their conclusions. It would merely enable them to turn Out their dubious results a lot faster than before.

不幸的是,错误率很高的学科(如物理和生物学)方面的专家,也想让公众相信这些学科和数学一样准确。例如有人说:“我们在实验室新安装了一台先进的电子计算机,将来不会犯过去的错误”。事实上拥有计算机并不会提高他们结论的准确性,只能够让他们更快地得出结论,其准确性依然令人怀疑。

 

(3)    Disagreements Among Experts专家们之间的不同意见

 

In 1954 I took a first-aid course at the laboratory where I work. We used the latest textbook, published only a few months before. This is how it told us to treat a shocked patient:

1954年我在实验室里参加了一次自我急救培训。我们使用的是刚出版的最新教材。教材告诉了我们怎样对待受惊吓的病人:

 

“The application of warmth is the first of the measures to be applied to a shocked patient. Cover the patient with blankets; place hot-water bottles round him...”5

Some years later I enrolled in a refresher course. Again the latest textbook (published in 1965) was used. But this time the advice on treatment for shock began with a warning in heavy black type:

  “对于受惊的病人来说,第一是让他们感到温暖。给病人批上毛毯,在病人的周围放一些热水。”

   几年以后我又参加一次新的培训,然而最新的教材却这样告诉我们,用黑色的大写字体:

“WARNING: DO NOT OVERHEAT A SHOCKED PATIENT. Heat causes the superficial blood vessels to dilate and so increase their capacity. The amount of circulating blood thus becomes even more inade­quate for the needs of the body.”6

  “警告:对于受惊的病人来说,不要让他们过热!热量会使病人的表面血管扩张,增加血管的容积,导致血液不能够满足身病人身体的需要。”

Thus in 1954 the experts said, “Keep ‘em warm!”; in 1965 they said, “Keep ‘em cool!” But it would be naive to imagine that at some fixed date between 1954 and 1965 the whole medical profession changed its views overnight. There must have been a period of controversy, while the Coolists gradually conquered the Warmists.

我们可以看到,1954年专家们说:“让病人感到温暖些”, 1965年他们却说:“让他们凉快一点”。我们不能因此认为,从1954年到1965年,医学界一夜之间就改变了观点。这其中一定有很多争论,最后主张让病人凉快的观点占了上风。

Similar differences of opinion among experts are going on all the time. Biologists argue bitterly about whether certain drugs and pes­ticides should be banned. Educationists disagree violently about comprehensive education and corporal punishment. Space scientists cannot agree whether men or machines should be used to explore the moon. The list of disagreements could go on until it filled this book.

类似的,专家们意见不统一的情况一直存在。生物学家一直在争论是否要禁止某些药物和杀虫剂,教育理论家在综合教育和体罚等方面一直都有不同的意见。航天科学家对于人类是否应该探测月球有不同的意见。有很多领域都存在争议,如果要把它们列举出来,恐怕一本书也写不完。

The lesson is clear. Very often, “The experts say . . .” means nothing more than, “The opinion of the side that happens to be winning at the moment is . .

   教训是明确的。当我们听见“专家意见”的时候,并不意味着有什么特别,只是代表“当时占上风的某些人的意见是:”

 

(5)      When Experts Speculate about the Future or the Past

当专家预测未来或计算过去的时候

Physicists come near the top of Alan Wood’s reliability league. Yet even physicists can go hopelessly astray when they try to predict the future. A scientific journal in 1968 published an article, “How Fallible Can you Get?”7 This showed how wrong physicists had been about the future of atomic power. 

在阿兰-伍德(Alan Wood的可靠性排列顺序中,物理学接近了可靠性高的最顶层。然而即使是物理学家在预言未来的时候也会绝望。1968年出版的一本科学杂志上写道:“你得到的结果有多么可靠?”,这篇文章揭示了物理学家在预言原子弹的威力的时候犯了多么大的错误。

Lord Rutherford, perhaps the greatest atomic physicist of the early twentieth century, was convinced that there never would be any prac­tical application of atomic research. Around 1950, leading atomic scientists in France, Russia and America all declared that atomic power stations would not become commercial propositions until the end of the century.

卢瑟福(Rutherford可能是20世纪早期最伟大的原子物理学家,他相信有关原子的研究决不会有任何的实际应用。在1950年左右,法国、俄罗斯和美国的顶尖科学家都宣布原子能是不会应用到商业用途上,这种论断直到20世纪的后期。

What happened, to make these wise men such false prophets? Simply this: they took the present as a guide to the future. Unfortu­nately for them some completely unforeseen events occurred, which made the future very different from what they had envisaged.

这些聪明人为什么会对将来做出如此错误的预言?答案其实很简单:他们将现在作为将来的指导。很不幸的是,他们中的一些人完全没有预见将来事情的发展方向,事情的发生根本不是他们所想象的那样。

There are two lessons in this. The first is obvious: it is very dan­gerous to use the present to predict the future.

这些事情告诉我们两个教训,第一个是很显然的:根据现在预言未来是要冒很大风险的。

The second lesson is much less obvious, but just as true: it is equally risky to assume that the present is a sure guide to the past. Unknown events in days gone by can upset a scientist’s deductions about the past, just as surely as an unforeseen event in days to come can upset his predictions.

第二个教训不那么明显,却同样正确:用现在来指导过去同样要冒巨大的风险。推测过去我们不知道的事情,与我们预见将来的事情一样存在风险。

This is a very important lesson indeed. Experts of all sorts-astronomers, geologists, biologists, anthropologists, physicists and others-often make sweeping statements about the past. Some of these statements, if true, would make nonsense of the Bible. It is therefore most necessary to remember two things:

   这些都是非常重要的教训。所有的天文学家、地质学家、生物学家、人类学家、物理学家都针对过去发表声明。其中的一些声明如果是正确的话,圣经就成了荒谬的。在这里要牢记两件事情:

(a) They are statements of opinion, not fact. 这些声明是个人意见,不是事实。

(b) They are always based upon the very shaky assumption that no unknown events have occurred to upset their deductions. 他们的结论通常是建立在一个不牢固的假设之上:不会有他们不知道的事情发生,这些事情会让他们的结论站不住脚。

 

(5)  Experts Who Cheat 骗子专家

 

The popular conception of a scientist is of a man in a pure white coat with a pure white conscience. He could no more tell a lie than a computer could make a mistake. Deceive the public? No, not he!

公众普遍认为,科学家是道德的化身,他们的话甚至比电脑还要准确。欺骗公众?不可能!科学家决不会做这样的事!

Consequently, when a politician makes a promise everybody knows to take it with a grain of salt; but if a scientist states something, every­body accepts it as truth, perfect truth. But honest scientists have no desire to be set on a pedestal like this. We know that we cannot live up to it.

结果,当听到政客承诺时,公众知道应该有所保留。但如果是某位科学家声明某件事,大家都把它看成真理,完全的真理。诚实的科学家是不希望别人这样来看待自己的。我们知道自己无法做到这一点。

Recently the editor of one of the world’s leading scientific journals warned the public:

一家顶尖的科学杂志的编辑告诫公众说:

 

“There is no evidence that scientists always tell the truth, and the chances are that they are only marginally more honest than, say, politicians.”8

   “没有证据表明科学家永远都讲真话,他们仅仅比某些人,比如说,政客要稍微诚实一点。”

Another well known scientific journal published an article by Den­nis Rosen of London University on scientific frauds.9 After dealing with some famous frauds, like the Piltdown Man, Rosen considered the problem of widespread scientific cheating. He suggested that up to five per cent of scientific papers submitted for publication contain material that the authors know to be false. Fortunately editors are good at spotting frauds, and only a minority of these deceitful papers get published.

伦敦大学的Den­nis Rosen曾经在一份知名的科学杂志上发表文章,披露在科学界日益普遍的科学欺诈现象。他甚至认为在向科学杂志投稿的文章中,有5%作者知道自己的文章不是真实的。幸运的是,编辑们通常会发现问题,只有少数欺诈性的文章得以发表。

It would be wrong to make too much of this. Scientists are no less truthful than their non-scientific colleagues. But it is as well to re­member that they are no more truthful than the average man, either. And the same applies to every other kind of expert.

过分强调这点也有可能是错误的。我并不是说科学家比其他人更不值得信赖。但是我们要记住,他们同样并不比其他普通人更值得信赖。任何方面的专家都是这样。

 

(6)  What Emotional Pressure Can Do在情感压力之下

 

Although only a small minority of scientists would deliberately deceive others, a much larger number are liable to deceive them­selves when under emotional pressure. There is plenty of proof that this is so. Here are three examples.

尽管故意骗人的科学家只是一小部分,但是有更多的人在情感的压力下很容易欺骗自己。在这方面有很多例子,下面就是3个:

Well into the 1960s, when the evidence that smoking caused lung cancer was absolutely overwhelming, quite a few research scientists were still fighting a desperate rearguard action. Even when it looked a hopeless task, they kept on trying to find some other explanation for the evidence.

20世纪60年代,吸烟会导致肺癌的证据是非常明显的,但是还是有少数的科学家在孤军奋战,反对这个结论。即使是面对非常明显的证据,他们依然在不断地寻找其它的解释方法。

Why did they waste their time and energy in this way? In most cases because their scientific judgement was warped by emotional pres­sures. Some of them had well paid jobs with tobacco companies. Some were young men addicted to smoking who did not want to give it up. Others had been heavy smokers for many years, and were pathetic ally trying to reassure themselves that they were not in danger of death.

他们为什么要这样浪费自己的时间和精力?在大多数情况下,是感情因素蒙蔽了他们作为科学家的判断能力。有些人享受了烟草公司提供的高工资待遇,还有一些年轻人已经喜欢上了吸烟,而且还不打算放弃。还有一些是已经养成了很多年抽烟习惯的老烟民,他们声称吸烟不会增加死亡的可能性,这样让自己能减轻恐惧的压力。

A second example comes from Russia. As the translator of a Russian book on the Lysenko affair10 has said in his foreword:

2个例子发生来俄罗斯,与李森科事件有关。这本书的译者在书的前言中说:

 

“The story of Soviet genetics in the period 1937-1964 is, perhaps, the most bizarre chapter in the history of modern science.”

“在1937-1964期间的苏联遗传学可能是现代科学历史上最黑暗的一章。”

Briefly, the story goes like this. Lysenko was an ambitious young Russian with very little scientific knowledge but a flair for politics. By mixing the two he became one of Stalin’s favourites. In 1937 Stalin gave him supreme control of all research in agriculture and biology in the Soviet Union, and he hung on to this position for twenty-seven years.

The results were disastrous for Russia. Lysenko directed agricul­tural research along so many unscientific paths that Russian agricul­ture practically stood still, or even slipped backwards, for a quarter of a century. 

简单地说,故事是这样的:李森科(Lysenko)是一个科学知识甚少却对政治很有野心的人。这两方面的特点让他受到斯大林的宠爱。1937年,斯大林让这个人控制苏联所有有关农业和生物方面的研究,而且李森科占据这个职位长达27年。这是俄罗斯的灾难。他采取政治手段而不是科学的态度来对待科学研究,结果导致俄罗斯的农业研究长期停滞不前,甚至倒退几十年。

Worse still, he outlawed the whole modern science known as genetics. This science is concerned with the way in which characteris­tics are passed from parents to offspring (in both the animal and the vegetable kingdoms) by invisibly small objects known as “genes”. By 1937 there was already a great deal of experimental evidence that genes existed, although nobody had ever seen one. In 1953 Watson and Crick in England showed what genes were evidently made of, and in 1958 were awarded a Nobel prize for their discovery.

其中糟糕的是,李森科宣布整个现代基因科学为非法。基因科学研究动物或者是植物的父母代,如何通过某些看不见的被称为“基因”的物体,将某些特征传递给下一代。到了1937年,已经有很多事实证明基因确实存在,尽管没有人看见过。在1953年,英国两位科学家Watson Crick通过证据告诉我们基因的组成部分,他们的发现还使他们获得了1958年的诺贝尔奖。

All through this period Lysenko laid down the law to Russian biologists: “There are no such things as genes. They are a capitalist myth. Heredity works on entirely different principles. Toe the line ~ go to jail!”

在李森科掌权的整个期间,他给俄罗斯的科学家颁布的命令是:“没有所谓基因这些东西,这些都是资本主义神话。他们工作的原理和我们的完全不同。所以你们要么排好队,要么进监狱!”

Some strong-minded scientists, including Vavilov, one of the greatest agriculturists in history, went to prison and died there. A few others formed a kind of “scientific underground”. But the great majority of Soviet biologists and agriculturists were swept along by the tide, and accepted Lysenko’s crazy ideas. Textbooks were re­written, and research programmes into the most ridiculous subjects were set up.

一些坚持自己意见的科学家,包括Vavilov被送进监狱并且死在监狱,还有一些科学家从事“地下科学研究”。大多数的前苏联生物学家和农业专家跟随潮流,接受了李森科的理论。教科书被改写,很多荒谬的课题被列入了研究范围。

Three hundred higher degrees were granted for research into “vegetative hybridisation by grafting’ ‘-something that has long been known to be impossible.11 A Stalin Prize of 200,000 roubles was awarded to a lady called Lepeshinskaya, for (allegedly) discovering how to create living animal cells out of vegetable cells and vice versa! 12

It was the heyday of quacks and crackpots, but the dark night of Soviet biology. And all this at a time when in some other fields (astron­autics, for instance) Soviet science was leading the world.

300多位高级人才开始研究“通过嫁接法实行植物与动物的杂交”,而我们现在知道这是不可能的。20万卢布的斯大林奖金给了名叫Lepeshinskaya一位女士,她自称发现了如何从蔬菜细胞中提取活的动物细胞,而且反过来也可以。这是前苏联生物学界黑暗的时代。但当时在某些领域,例如航天方面,前苏联的科技处于世界领先地位。

The most alarming feature of the story is the way in which the great majority of Soviet biologists were genuinely deceived. In 1964 Lysenko was at last sacked, and for one year (1965-66) biology teaching was suspended in all Russian schools while textbooks were rewritten. Yet in 1966 Medvedev (the writer of the Russian book about Lysenko’s activities) lamented that so many Soviet scientists had been brain­washed for so many years that Lysenko still had many supporters.13

最让人感到不解的是,大多数前苏联生物学家真的被骗了。李森科终于在1964年下台,1965-66年,俄罗斯暂停所有学校的生物课教学,教科书被重新改写。然而, Medvedev1966年悲伤地说,很多苏联科学家在经过多年的洗脑教育之后,李森科依然有很多支持者。

It is clear from this story that scientists-whole regiments of scientists-can be led hopelessly astray. In the early years Lysenko suppressed his opponents by force. But afterwards a whole new generation of Soviet biologists grew up, genuinely believing that Lysenko was right. They were taught that way at school and college, and hardly any of them questioned it.

从这一段经历我们可以清楚地看出,整个行业的科学家可能会集体走弯路。在李森科年代的早期,他采取权力手段压迫反抗他的人,但随后俄罗斯新一代生物学家成长起来了,他们真的相信李森科的观点是正确的,因为过去学校的老师一直是这么教导的。他们很少质疑这一观点。

In his concluding chapter Medvedev makes two very wise observations:

Medvedev在书的结尾总结说:

 “The false doctrine of Lysenko is by no means an isolated instance. . . . Many theoretical branches of science and the well. known and flourishing system of homeopathy fall, no doubt, into the category of false doctrine.”14

“Monopoly in science by one or another false doctrine, or even by one scientific trend, is an external symptom of some deep-seated sickness of a society.”15  (The italics are mine.)

李森科的故事并不使一个单独事件。很多科学理论方面也是如此。例如曾经流行一时的同种疗法就被证明是错误的”。

“科学界被一种或其他的错误的教条所垄断,只是我们这个病态社会的一种外在的表现形式”。(斜体字是我加上去的)

 

These vigorous warnings by Medvedev are a fitting introduction to the third and last example. A friend of mine is a professor who holds a science chair in a famous British university. Like a number of my scientist friends he rejects the Darwinian theory of evolution as a piece of guesswork based on inadequate evidence.

我们再来看看第三个,也是最后一个例子。在这里,Medvedev的警告同样起作用。我有一位教授朋友,他曾经担任英国一所著名大学的科学学会的主席。他拒绝达尔文的进化论,因为他认为这种理论只是建立在不充足的证据基础之上的假设。

One day in 1968 I went to see him, and outlined a novel programme of research that would fall right inside the scope of his department. If successful it would have thrown new light on some aspects of evolutionary theory, and would probably have exposed some impor­tant weaknesses in the Darwinists’ case. I suggested that he might like to set a Ph.D. student to work upon it. (A Ph.D. student is a young graduate who stays on at university for an extra three or four years doing research, to gain a doctorate.)

1968年的一天我去看他,并准备和他讨论一些他分管的系要进行的研究工作的大概。如果成功的话,他就在进化论理论方面有新的突破,并可能揭示达尔文理论的缺陷。我建议他可以让一位博士后研究生协助从事这项工作。

He shook his head sadly. “I couldn’t possibly do that.”

“Why not? Don’t you like the suggestion?”

“Yes, I do. I think it’s a good idea, and if I have time I’d like to work on it myself. But I wouldn’t dare to let a student work on it.”

This mystified me. “Why not a student?” I asked.

他很伤感地摇着头说:“我可能作不到这一点”。

“为什么做不到?难道你不想接受一些建议吗?”

“不是,我也认为这是一个好主意,如果我有时间的话,我会好好自己探讨这个问题。但是我不敢让一个学生自己来从事这样的课题”。

他的话让我感到迷惑:我问他:“学生为什么就不可以呢?”

“You obviously have no idea of the prejudice that exists in British universities. No matter how brilliant the research, or how sound the conclusions, a research thesis exposing the weaknesses of Darwinism would never get a fair hearing. The scales would be so heavily weighted against him that the poor student would be most unlikely to get his doctorate.”

“很显然你对于英国大学存在的学术歧视缺乏了解。不管你从事的研究多么有才气,或者是你得结论多么有理由,那些揭示达尔文理论局限性的论文一直没有得到公平注意的机会。现在天平偏向在进化论者这一边,那些想通过揭示进化论错误的人的到学位的可能性不大”。

What did Medvedev say? “Monopoly . . . by one scientific trend is an external symptom of some deep-seated sickness of a society.”

这让我想起为什么Medvedev(俄罗斯作家)为什么会说:“科学界被错误的教条所垄断,只是我们这个病态的社会的一种外在的表现形式”。

Hmmm.

确实如此。

 

(7)   Experts Exaggerate Their Importance专家们夸大他们的重要性

 

Every so often some far-sighted expert tries to warn the public. In 1950 an American scientist, Anthony Standen, published his best-selling book, Science is a Sacred Cow. But by 1969 his warning had been forgotten, and another scientist, David Horrobin, had to say it all over again in his book, Science is God.16

即使是这样,还是有一些充满预见能力的专家试图向公众提出警告。1950年,一位美国科学家Anthony Standen写了一本书:科学如何被神话的?(Science is a Sacred Cow?)1969年以前,他的警告一直被人们所忽视,于是另外一位科学家,David Horrobin,不得不在自己的书中重复强调这一观点。

Despite the rather flamboyant title, there is nothing blasphemous about the book. Horrobin’s title means that modern man has turned science into a false god, and given it far more respect than it deserves.

尽管书名将科学与神话相提并论显得有一点过分,但作者David Horrobin其实是想告诉我们,现代人已经将科学变成了一种假神,得到的尊重远比应该得到的多得多。

Horrobin, like Standen before him, tries to cut science down to size. He is a professor of medical physiology, and is particularly severe about his own branch of science. He lifts the lid off, and shows the layman what lies underneath all the pronouncements of the experts. Here are a few quotations from his book:

   HorrobinStanden一样,试图让科学回到本来的面目。Horrobin本人是一位医学教授,对自己的学科采取特别严谨的态度。他不怕揭老底,向外行展示了这些所谓专家背后的秘密。以下是他书中的一些摘录:

“The history of science is littered with so-called facts which were later found not to be facts at all.... Anyone who has ever worked in a laboratory, particularly a biological laboratory, is fully aware of the vulnerability of experimental fact. Experiments are always going wrong..”17

“科学的历史上充满了所谓的事实,后来发现这些事实根本不成立。任何一个曾经在实验室工作过的人,特别是在生物实验室,都知道根据实验得出的结果是有很大的缺陷的,样本常常会出错。”

“The scientific study of man is a myth, perhaps the most dan­gerous of all the myths of modern civilisation. Ultimately the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the sociologist must each confess that his work must be prefaced by ‘I believe’ and not by ‘I have proved scientifically’. The intellectual basis for what the scientist says of man is no stronger than that for what the theologian says. By means of a gigantic confidence trick, by pretending that the study of man is science) by hanging on the coat tails of solid) successful, reliable physics and engineering, an army of atheists and agnostics has forced many theologians to turn and flee.”18

   “研究人的科学是一种神话,也有可能是现代文明中最危险的神话。从根本上说,心理学家、精神病学者以及社会学家必须承认他们的工作是建立在“我相信”的基础上,而不是“科学证明”的基础上。科学家对于人的看法并不比神学家对人的观察更加有智慧。”

“In a manner of which any unthinking nineteenth-century bishop would have approved, many scientists are defending with untoward vigour positions which seem to me and probably to most people to be untenable.”19

“很多科学家就像19世纪的那些没有独立思想的主教一样,很多科学家在用过分的精力捍卫不应该捍卫的立场。”

“Five equally clever men may have access to precisely the same information, and yet may express five different opinions about a particular issue. Their answers depend more on their preconceived ideas than on the facts available.”20

“如果有5个同样智商相同的人看到同样的信息,他们表达的观点可能也有5种。他们的回答更多是根据自己的观点而不是事实。”

“Science is the modern god.... Twentieth-century scientists, like nineteenth-century theologians, make the wildest claims on behalf of their god.... Twentieth-century charlatans of a myriad varieties offer their panaceas for society and attempt to mislead the people by calling their misbegotten ideas scientific. And bewildered twentieth-century common men have a crude faith in their god which they do not care to have questioned too closely…”21  (The italics are mine throughout.)

   “科学家就是现代的神…..二十世纪的科学家就像十九世纪的神学家一样,站在他们自己神的立场上说话。二十世纪还有无数的吹牛者通过伪装成为科学来吸引人们的注意。而二十世纪的普通人狂热地信仰所谓的科学,却从来不关心、质疑。”

Very well. We have been warned. The experts (scientists in parti­cular) thrust their opinions at us with the zeal of false prophets. And ordinary people lap it up, like devoted worshippers of some false god.

这个评论是中肯的。我们有理由要重视这个警告。专家们(特别是科学家)将他们个人的意见强加给我们的时候,普通老百姓总是乐于带着崇拜的心情接受,就像过去崇拜偶像一样虔诚。

Compare that last quotation from Horrobin with some words from the Old Testament, written about 2,500 years ago:

Horrobin最后引用了2500年以前所写的圣经旧约中的一段经文作为结尾:

“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means, and My people love to have it so”22

“国中有可惊骇、可憎恶的事:就是先知说假预言,祭司藉他们把持权柄;我的百姓也喜爱这些事”。(耶利米书53031

Human nature doesn’t change much, does it? People always have liked to listen to the voice of “Authority”. People positively love to be led astray by false prophets and dogmatising experts. That is the way we are all made.

人的本性并没有多大的改变,难道不是吗?人们总是喜欢听见“权威”的声音。人们喜欢被假先知和武断的专家引导。这是人的本性。

Yes, we have been warned!

是的,我们已经被警告过了!

 

(8)  You Can Decide For Yourself你可以为自己做决定

 

Who decides whether a man accused of murder is guilty? A panel of legal experts? Certainly not. The legal experts set out all the evidence, and then a jury of ordinary men and women-folk like you and me-make the vital decision.

Who decides whether Britain shall invest hundreds of millions of pounds in developing a proposed new aircraft? A group of aircraft engineers? Certainly not. The decision is made by civil servants and politicians who couldn’t tell a jet engine from a brass trumpet except by its size.

谁来决定受到指控的人是否有罪?法庭专家?不。法庭专家只是陈列事实证据,是那些由普通人组成的陪审团来决定结果。是谁来决定英国是否投资数亿英镑来发展一种新型的飞机?是由一些航天工程师吗?不,是由公仆和政治家来决定,而这些人连分辨引擎与喇叭的声音都不会。

Who decides whether to ban certain chemicals from foodstuffs, or to limit the use of x-rays in hospitals? Again it is not the chemists or the doctors, but the civil servants and politicians that decide.

是谁来决定禁止在食物中禁止使用某种化学添加剂?同样,不应该是化学家或者是医生,而是由平民或者是政治家做出决定。

This is the one redeeming feature in the present situation. We are not yet governed by the experts. Top decisions are still made by non-specialists, who listen to their expert advisers, weigh the evidence, and then reach a conclusion.    

在当今社会,我们的生活并不是在专家的统治下。最高级的决定依然是由那些不是专家的人做出的,他们听取专家的意见,衡量证据,然后作出决定。

This is enough to show that you do not have to be an expert to make up your mind about some important subject. Like a jury, like a civil servant, you are well able to consider the evidence and decide for yourself.

我们已经给出足够的例子,证明专家并不能够在一些重大的事情上替你做决定。就像你是一位陪审团成员,你应该独立地考察证据,自己做决定。

So don’t be overawed by “the experts” as you read on. Do not let anybody bluff you into thinking that the majority view is the only view, or that those who accept the minority viewpoint taken in this book are feeble-minded.   

因此,当你继续阅读本书的时候,不要让任何专家的意见吓倒,也不要认为大多数人的意见是唯一正确的意见。

Weigh up the evidence for and against the Bible as honestly as you can. Then make up your own mind, without worrying about what “they” say.

你要尽最大的努力诚实地衡量那些与圣经有关的证据。然后自己做出决定,而不要担心“他们”怎么说。

Remember that all through history, in every branch of knowledge, minority opinions have often proved right in the long run.

要记住,在整个人类的历史进程当中,在知识的每一个方面,在大多数情况下,少数人的意见被证明是正确的。

 

 

 

 

14

All-or Nothing

不要三心二意

About twenty years ago I went to a big conference at London University. The theme was “Evolution and Religion”, and the open­ing address was given by a world-famous theologian.

His subject was “Evolution and Theology”. He spent his time tear­ing the first three chapters of the Bible to pieces. According to him there never was any such place as the Garden of Eden, nor any such people as Adam and Eve. What “the experts” said was sacred; and therefore what Genesis said was false. And so, he concluded triumph­antly, we must now regard Genesis as a collection of myths and legends.

大约在20年以前,我去参加一次在伦敦大学举办的大型学术会议。会议的主题是“进化论与宗教”,由一位世界知名的神学家作开场白。他的题目是“进化论与神学”,他花了三个小时打算粉碎圣经的前3章。根据他的论述,根本就没有所谓的伊甸园,亚当和夏娃从来就不存在 “专家们”所说的是神圣的,创世记的记载当然就是假的。最后专家带着胜利的口气宣布:我们必须将创世记看成是一系列的神话故事和传说。

Among the eminent people present was one of Britain’s best-known scientists, the late J. B. S. Haldane. There was also a young science student that nobody had ever heard of.

出席这次会议的知名人物当中,有英国著名的科学家霍尔丹(J. B. S. Haldane,也有一位大家连名字都没有听说过的年轻科学工作者。

As soon as the meeting was thrown open to discussion, the young student stood up and quoted the following Bible passages:

会议刚进入公开讨论程序,这个年轻人马上就站起来,引用一段圣经为开场白:

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”1

“As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men - . . death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression... For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”.2

“死既是因一人而来,死人复活也是因一人而来。在亚当里众人都死了;照样,在基督里众人也都要复活。”(哥林多前书152122

“然而从亚当到摩西,死就作了王,连那些不与亚当犯一样罪过的,也在他的权下……若因一人的过犯,死就因这一人作了王,何况那些受洪恩又蒙所赐之义的,岂不更要因耶稣基督一人在生命中作王吗?”(罗马书512-17

“I should like to ask the speaker,” he said, “how he thinks we ought to regard the New Testament’s teaching about salvation? Those two passages (and others) show that Paul regarded Adam as a real man who brought sin and death into the world, and Jesus Christ as another real man who brought back righteousness and a way of eternal life.

 “我想请教发言者一个问题”,年轻人说:“您是如何看待新约关于拯救的教义?这两段经文告诉我们,保罗认为亚当是一个真实的人,他将死亡带入世界,耶稣也是一个真实的人,他将公义带回世界,将永生的道路带入世界”。

“If Paul was mistaken about the very foundation of his teaching, how can we rely upon anything he wrote about salvation? If one of Paul’s two key men-Adam-was a myth, how can we be sure that the other key man-Jesus-wasn’t a myth also?”

   “如果保罗在圣经教义的基础方面就犯了错误,我们又怎样相信他写的关于拯救的其它文章?如果保罗陈述的两个关键人物之一——亚当是一个虚构的人物,那么我们怎敢确定另外一个关键人物——耶稣不是神话人物?”

The world-famous theologian looked most uncomfortable. He got up, muttered something about this being too big an issue to deal with in the time at his disposal, and sat down again.

这位世界知名的神学家感到很不舒服。他站起来含混地说,这个课题太大,他没有足够的时间来叙述,然后又坐下了。

He looked even more uncomfortable when the atheist J. B. S. Haldane began to rub salt in his wounds.

然而当霍尔丹(Haldane)这位相信无神论的科学家站起来在他的伤口撒盐的时候,他的脸色看起来更难受。

“I should like to underline the commonsense remarks made by this young man,” said Professor Haldane. “It is high time that orthodox theologians like our speaker today took a critical look at themselves. They are struggling to defend an absurd, impossible position.

“我非常欣赏这位年轻人具有常识性的评论”,这位教授说。“现在是正统的神学家——例如刚才那位发言的先生作自我批评的时候了。他们正在为一种荒谬的、不可能的立场辩护。

“They are trying to adopt a compromise in circumstances where no compromise is possible. The Bible claims, from beginning to end, to be the inspired, infallible, Word of God. Either this claim is true, or it is false. There is no half-way position.

“他们在试图作出妥协,而妥协是不可能的。圣经从开始到结束,一直都在声明是  神的话语,是  神的启示,是不可更改的。这种声明要么是正确的,要么是错误的。没有中间道路。

“If it is false (as I believe) then there is no foundation for Chris­tianity at all. If it is true (as this young man believes) then Christians are obliged to accept all the Bible. There just isn’t any logical alternative.”

“如果这种声明是假的(我本人就这么认为),那么基督教的基础就是错误的。如果这种声明是正确的(就像那位年轻人认为的),那么基督徒就必须接受圣经的全部内容。在逻辑上没有任何妥协的道路”。

There was a hush for a few moments as the audience pondered the great scientist’s words.

   听众对于这位伟大的科学家的讲话发出一阵掌声。

 

No Compromise 没有妥协

 

Haldane was right, of course. There are some situations where com­promise is a good thing, and some situations where compromise just doesn’t make sense.

    霍尔丹的观点是对的。有的时候妥协是一件很好的事情,但是在某些情况下,妥协是没有意义的。

Suppose that you say to the filling station attendant who has just filled your tank, “Six gallons at thirty-six and a half, that’s two pounds nineteen, isn’t it?” and he replies, “Afraid not, Sir, two twenty-nine, please.” 

例如你想在汽车加油站和收费员讨价还价,这显然是不合情理的。因为那里不是讨价还价的地方。

Do you say, “All right, let’s compromise; call it two twenty-five”?

Of course you don’t. Compromise is absurd in a situation like that. You know that there is only one right answer-your answer-and you stick out for it.

妥协在那种情况下显得很荒谬。如果你要加油,你就得接受他们的价格。

In the same way, as Haldane’s penetrating intellect saw so clearly, there is only one right answer for the Christian.

正如霍尔丹在这个问题上非常具有洞察力,同样对基督徒来说,只有一种正确的答案。

Jesus Christ taught His followers to call Him “Master”.3  The word He used did not mean “boss”; it meant “schoolmaster”. He called His followers “disciples”-a word that meant “students”. He made it quite clear what the relationship between Him and us should be:

    基督耶稣教他们门徒称他为“夫子”,这个词的含义不是“上司”,而是“老师,先生”。耶稣称自己的跟随者为“门徒”,意思是“学生”。他非常明确地表达了他自己和我们之间的关系:

“The disciple (student) is not above his Master (teacher) ... And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”4

   “学生不能高过先生;凡学成了的不过和先生一样…….你们为什麽称呼我『主啊,主啊,』却不遵我的话行呢?”(路加福音64046

The lesson is quite clear. Our place is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn, as Mary did.5   If we have the nerve to set ourselves up as judges over Jesus and try to decide where He went wrong, then we are courting disaster. 

道理是非常明确的。我们的地位应该是坐在耶稣的脚下学习,像马利亚那样。如果我们认为自己高于耶稣,可以评判耶稣,决定耶稣的行为是否正确,那么我们就会有大麻烦。

Yet this is just what so many modern theologians do, when they say that the Bible is a mixture of truth and error. For Jesus taught just the opposite.

然而这恰恰是很多现代神学家所作的事情。他们说,圣经是真理和谬误的混合物。耶稣教导的和他们正好相反。

When Jesus lived on earth about four-fifths of our Bible was already written. We now call this “the Old Testament”, but in those days the Jews called it “the Scripture”, or “that which is written”, or “the Law”, or “the Law and the prophets”, or “Moses and the prophets”.

Jesus used the same terms, and this is what He said about it:

耶稣在世上的时候,已经有了部分圣经。我们现在称它们为“旧约”,犹太人用“经”,或“经上所记载的”、“律法和先知”、“摩西和先知”等来代替。

耶稣也使用了这些词汇。他这样说:

“The Scripture cannot be broken.”6

“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the Law to fail.”7 (A tittle is a small stroke on a Hebrew letter, rather like the crossing of our letter t.)

“Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”8

“They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them . . . If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”9

    “经上的话是不能废的;”(约翰福音1035

“天地废去较比律法的一点一画落空还容易。”(路加福音1617

“你们如果信摩西,也必信我,因为他书上有指著我写的话”(约翰福音546

 “他们有摩西和先知的话可以听从……若不听从摩西和先知的话,就是有一个从死里复活的,他们也是不听劝。”(路加福音1629-31

 

Actions Speak Louder than Words  行为比声音更有力

 

Jesus was a preacher who lived up to His own message. He not only said that the Old Testament was true and authoritative; He showed by the way He used it that He really believed it to be so.

耶稣是一个传道人。他遵守自己所传的生活准则。他不但是说旧约圣经是正确的、权威性的,而且在实际生活中通过自己的行为来显示他真的相信。

Look at the way Jesus conquered temptation. Three times the tempter came to Jesus in the wilderness, and three times Jesus defeated him. Each time He used the same method. “It is written ...”, He said, quoting an Old Testament passage that disposed of the tempta­tion.10

我们来看看耶稣是如何战胜试探的。耶稣三次遇见试探,每次都战胜了试探。每一次他都使用同样的方法:“经上记著说”。

The tempter did not stop to argue. He did not say to Jesus, “Yes, but that verse wasn’t really written by Moses. It was only attributed to him by the scribe who wrote it, hundreds of years after Moses was dead.” It was well known that Jesus accepted the first five books of the Bible as the Word of God given by Moses.11 To Jesus, if something was “written”, that settled the matter.

然而,试探者并不会轻易让步。他并没有对耶稣说:“是的,但是这些经文并不是真的有摩西所写的。而是摩西几百年后的人用摩西的名字写的。”大家都知道耶稣将律法书看成是  神的话,是通过摩西宣布的。(约翰福音536719;路加福音2037

Similarly, Jesus frequently silenced the Pharisees and Sadducees by appealing to Scripture. “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures”,12 was His complaint.

耶稣的解释经常让那些法利赛人和撒都该人哑口无言。“你们错了;因为不明白圣经,也不晓得神的大能。”(马太福音2229

Six times in Matthew’s gospel alone He asked a question with the devastating opening: “Have ye not read ...?” or, “Did ye never read ...?”13  Each time the introductory words were followed by a quotation, one from Genesis, one from Exodus, one from 1 Samuel, one from Numbers, and two from the Psalms. Each time He appears to have rendered His opponents speechless.

单是马太福音就6次记载了耶稣这样发问:“这经你们没有念过吗?” 每一次他都接下来介绍了圣经的内容,其中创世记一次,出埃及记一次,撒母耳记上1次,民数记1次,诗篇2次。每次他都让对手哑口无言。

Many times He settled disputes once and for all by quoting Scrip­ture. When Jesus said to His religious opponents, “It is written . or, “What is written . . .”, as He did on at least six occasions,14 that always finished the argument.

很多时候,耶稣用 “经上记著说”或“经上说”来解决争端。这种情形最少出现了6次。(例如马太福音2113;马可福音76,最后都是以圣经为结论。

Jesus could, of course, have relied on His own authority to settle disputes. He claimed that His own words were the words of God.15 Often He did speak on His own authority, with a “Verily, I say unto you”.16

耶稣当然也依靠自己的权威来解决争端。因为他所说的话就是道。耶稣也以自己的权威说话,说:“我实实在在的告诉你们”。(例如约翰福音519

But when a really big issue arose-resisting the tempter, or halting the attacks of the Pharisees and Sadducees-Jesus generally appealed to Scripture. To Him this was the ultimate authority. This was absolute Truth. There could be no gainsaying Scripture.

但是在抵制试探,或反击法例赛人攻击的时候,耶稣都使用圣经为证据。对于耶稣来说,圣经就是最终的权威、绝对的真理。圣经是不可否认的。

 

 

Route Map to the Cross通向十字架的道路

 

Jesus did not drift through life like most of us, taking each emergency as it comes. From the beginning He knew exactly where He was going to the Cross. During the last part of His mortal life He made this clear to His disciples:

    耶稣没有像我们大部分人那样,在紧急关头赶紧逃命。一开始他就知道自己要上十字架。他在世上生命的最后时刻快来到时已经明确地告诉自己的门徒们。

“From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”17

   “从此,耶稣才指示门徒,他必须上耶路撒冷去,受长老、祭司长、文士许多的苦,并且被杀,第三日复活。”(马太福音1621

This road to the Cross was not easy to walk. It took all His iron determination to follow it to the end. An hour or two before His arrest He had one last chance to run away, and the temptation to escape was enormous.

通往十字架的道路不是容易走的。他下了很大的决心才坚持到底。在他被抓起来的一两个小时以前,他还有最后的机会逃走,而且逃走的诱惑是非常大的。

Luke tells us how He prayed for strength to go through with it. He was in “an agony”, and “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood, falling down to the ground.”18 Come what may, He knew that He must go forward. He expressed His determination to do so in the words: “Father. . . not My will, but Thine, be done.”19

路加告诉我们耶稣是如何通过祷告走过这一段艰难历程的。他“极其伤痛”,并且“汗珠如大血点滴在地上”。2244不管要面对什么,耶稣知道自己必须往前走。他这样表达了自己的决心:“父啊!……不要成就我的意思,只要成就你的意思。”2242

With this resolve to conquer His own human feelings and to do God’s will, He went to a terrible death.

通过这种决心,他战胜了自己人类的情感,服从了  神的意愿。他走向死亡。

But how did He know that it was God’s will for Him to die by slow torture? He would have had to be very, very sure that it was necessary before He could go willingly to the horrors ahead of Him.

耶稣是如何知道自己要受折磨并且死亡是  神的意愿?在耶稣自愿地奔赴这个可怕的死亡之前,一定非常非常确信这一点。

Yet He was sure that it was God’s will. He had known all along what He must do. Time and again He had told His disciples how He knew. Here are four examples, one from each gospel:

尽管他能够确信这一点,他同时还必须知道他必须这样做。以前他多次将自己所知道的事情告诉他的门徒,以下就是4个例子,分别来自4本不同的福音书。

 

“And He took unto Him the twelve and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For GOD’S TRUTH

   “耶稣带着十二个门徒,对他们说:「看哪,我们上耶路撒冷去,先知所写的一切事都要成就在人子身上。他将要被交给外邦人,他们要戏弄他,凌辱他,吐唾沫在他脸上,并要鞭打他,杀害他;第三日他要复活。」” (路加福音18:31-33

 

He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on. And they shall scourge Him and put Him to death; and the third day He shall rise again.”20

“人子将要被交给祭司长和文士,他们要定他死罪,交给外邦人。他们要戏弄他,吐唾沫在他脸上,鞭打他,杀害他。过了三天,他要复活。”(马可福音10:3334

 

“The Son of Man goeth as it is written of Him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!”21

“人子必要去世,正如经上指著他所写的;但卖人子的人有祸了!那人不生在世上倒好。”(马太福音2624

“He answered and told them...how it is written of the Son of Man that He must suffer many things and be set at nought.”22

   “耶稣说:……经上不是指著人子说,他要受许多的苦被人轻慢呢?”(马太福音912

“Search the Scriptures - . . they are they which testify of Me.”23 Had there been no crucified Saviour there would have been no Christianity. And the Saviour would never have been crucified un­less He had believed-implicitly-that the Old Testament revealed exactly what sufferings He must endure. What sort of disciples (the word means “pupils”, remember) of His should we be, if we thought that He was sadly mistaken in His view of the Old Testament?

“你们应当查考圣经,……..给我作见证的就是这经”约翰福音5:39。如果没有十字架上的耶稣,就没有基督教。除非耶稣已经自己相信旧约中显示的苦难就是他要承受的,否则他不会上十字架。如果我们认为耶稣对待旧约的观点是错误的,那么我们还是耶稣的门徒吗?

Yet there are, unhappily, many would-be “pupils” of His who do think Him mistaken. They have even invented a complicated theological explanation for His “mistakes”, and have given it a Greek name24 which makes it sound much more clever than it really is. But even this so-called explanation only covers the period of Christ’s mortal life; those who teach it admit that the Son of God could make no mistakes after He rose from the dead to glorious immortality.

然而,很多自称是他的“学生”的人却认为他是错误的。他们发明了一些列复杂的神学理论来证明他的“错误”。但是,即使是他们认为这些所谓的解释仅仅覆盖了耶稣在世上的日子。这些人承认耶稣在复活得到永生以后不会犯错。

And consequently it is a waste of words for them to argue that Jesus could hold wrong notions while He was still a mortal man. Because Jesus held exactly the same views after His resurrection as before it.

我们不会浪费口舌解释耶稣在世上的时候是否会犯错,因为耶稣在复活以前和复活以后他的观点是一致的。

The resurrected Jesus, who could say, “All power is given unto Me, in heaven and in earth”,25 could also say:

复活以后宣告“天上地下所有的权柄都赐给我了” (马太福音2818的耶稣,同样也可以说:

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself - ..All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me.”26

  “‘无知的人哪,先知所说的一切话,你们的心信得太迟钝了。基督这样受害,又进入他的荣耀,岂不是应当的吗?’于是从摩西和众先知起,凡经上所指着自己的话都给他们讲解明白了摩西的律法、先知的书,和诗篇上所记的,凡指着我的话都必须应验。(路加福音2425-2744

“Fools,” the resurrected Jesus called them, because they did not believe all that was written in the Old Testament. Fools! You can’t help feeling sorry for those poor disciples. It must have been a very humiliating experience, being called fools by the Son of God.

“无知的人”,耶稣这样称呼他们,因为他们不相信所有记载在圣经旧约的书中的话。我们不由得对于这些可怜的门徒感到同情。被  神的儿子成为“无知的人”,这是一件非常羞辱的事情。

 

Claims of the Old Testament  圣经旧约的声明

 

It is easy to see why Jesus regarded the Old Testament in the way He did. He took it at its face value. Time after time the Old Testament claims to be an authoritative message from God to men.

我们很容易明白为什么耶稣会这样看待旧约。他相信圣经的真实性。圣经旧约中多次声明是  神给人的权威信息。

Jesus accepted that claim. Commonsense says that one can either accept the claim, or reject it altogether. There is no sensible middle course.

耶稣接受了这种声明。常识告诉我们,一个人要么接受,要么拒绝这个声明,当中没有妥协的道路。

According to one writer,27 the Old Testament makes this claim in 3,808 places-an average of about four per page. Even if this is an overestimate the number must run into thousands.

根据一个作家的统计,旧约圣经有3808次这样的声明,大约平均每页4次。

The prophets are particularly rich in such claims. For example, Haggai says, “Came the word of the Lord by Haggai” in his first verse, and again in his third verse, while in the second verse he says, “Thus speaketh the Lord”. Haggai uses expressions like this more than twenty times, in a book that occupies only two pages in the average Bible.

先知书中这样的声明特别多,例如:哈该书11-3节说:“耶和华的话藉先知哈该向犹大省长撒拉铁的儿子所罗巴伯和约撒答的儿子大祭司约书亚说:万军之耶和华如此说:「这百姓说,建造耶和华殿的时候尚未来到。」那时耶和华的话临到先知哈该说……”尽管哈该书只有两页,但是却有20多次这样声明。

Even the legal code given to the nation of Israel (the Law of Moses) is spattered with phrases like “Moses wrote all the words of the Lord”, and “The Lord spake unto Moses”.28 Similar phrases are less common in the historical books, but they still occur many times. For example:

即使是以色列的国法(摩西律法)也充满了“摩西将耶和华的命令都写上”(例如出埃及记244,“耶和华对摩西说”(例如利未记171这样的话。这些类似的话在历史书中出现的次数不如前面,但是依然有很多。例如:

“The Lord spake unto Joshua”,29 “Thus said the Lord”,30 “The Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord”.31

  “耶和华晓谕约书亚,说:”(约书亚记11),“耶和华又在示罗显现;因为耶和华将自己的话默示撒母耳……(撒母耳记上321

The writers of the Old Testament books not only tell us that God spoke to them, or through them. Sometimes they go into more detail, and give us a glimpse of what it was like to be the mouthpiece of God. 

旧约圣经的书写者不仅仅告诉我们是  神向他们讲话,或者通过他们说话。有的时候他们告诉我们更多的细节,让我们知道  神的代言人的一些细节:

Thus:例如:

 

David:       “The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue.”32

Isaiah:      “He laid it (a burning coal from a heavenly altar) upon my mouth, and said, ‘Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I, send me.’ And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people ...’”33

Jeremiah:      “Then said I, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.’ But the Lord said unto me, ‘Say not, “I am a child”, for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I com­mand thee thou shalt speak.’  . . Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said unto me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth’... (much later) Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name.’ But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not contain.”34

    因此:

大卫说:“耶和华的灵藉著我说:他的话在我口中。”(撒母耳记下232

以赛亚记载:“(有一撒拉弗) 将炭沾我的口,说:「看哪,这炭沾了你的嘴,你的罪孽便除掉,你的罪恶就赦免了。」我又听见主的声音说:「我可以差遣谁呢?谁肯为我们去呢?」我说:「我在这里,请差遣我!」他说:「你去告诉这百姓说:”(以赛亚书67-8

      耶利米说:“我就说:主耶和华啊,我不知怎样说,因为我是年幼的。耶和华对我说:你不要说我是年幼的,因为我差遣你到谁那里去,你都要去;我吩咐你说什麽话,你都要说。你不要惧怕他们,因为我与你同在,要拯救你。这是耶和华说的。於是耶和华伸手按我的口,对我说:我已将当说的话传给你。”我若说:我不再提耶和华,也不再奉他的名讲论,我便心里觉得似乎有烧著的火闭塞在我骨中,我就含忍不住,不能自禁。”(耶利米书16-9209

 

As you might expect, the apostles of Jesus took exactly the same line about the Old Testament as their Master. They supported it right up to the hilt. Here are five examples:

正如你可以料到的,耶稣的门徒们和他们的老师对旧约采取同样的态度。下面就是5个例子:

“Lord, Thou art God... who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said . .”35

“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet. . 36

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets.”37

“So worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the prophets.”38

“I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.”39

“主啊!…..你曾藉著圣灵,托你仆人我们祖宗大卫的口,说:”(使徒行传425

  “圣灵藉先知以赛亚向你们祖宗所说的话是不错的。”(使徒行传2825

“只等真理的圣灵来了,他要引导你们明白(原文作进入)一切的真理;因为他不是凭自己说的,乃是把他所听见的都说出来,并要把将来的事告诉你们。”(希伯来书11

“然而我蒙神的帮助,直到今日还站得住,对著尊贵、卑贱、老幼作见证;所讲的并不外乎众先知和摩西所说将来必成的事。”(使徒行传2622

Notice what is implied in those first three quotations. (1) What David (who wrote many of the Psalms) said, God said. (2) What is written in the Book of Isaiah is what God’s Holy Spirit said. (3) The words of the prophets were really spoken by God.

No wonder that in the last two quotations Paul said he believed all that was in the Old Testament, and preached nothing else!

请注意上面前面3个引文中所暗示的:(1)大卫(诗篇中有很多是他写的)所写的是  神的话。(2)以赛亚书所记载的话是神的灵所启示的。(3)先知们所说的话真的是  神的话。

难怪在最后的引文中,保罗说他相信旧约中所有的话,他传的道“不外乎众先知和摩西所说将来必成的事”。

 

Claims of the New Testament 新约圣经的声明

 

Of course, there are two possibilities about these claims made in the Bible. They may be true, or they may be false. Later on we shall have to try and decide which. For the present, however, let us leave it as an open question. It will be sufficient in this chapter to concentrate on trying to understand just what those claims are. According to the writers of the New Testament, God spoke through them, too. John says that Jesus promised to use His apostles in that way:

当然,这些声明存在两种可能性,它可能是对的,也可能是错的。稍后我们将讨论这些问题。然而现在我们将它看成是一个疑问。我们首先看一看这种申明是什么。根据新约书写者的记载,他们所写的也是  神在通过他们说话。约翰福音说:

“Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”40

“The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance) whatsoever I have said unto you.”41

“只等真理的圣灵来了,他要引导你们明白(原文作进入)一切的真理” (16:13)

“但保惠师,就是父因我的名所要差来的圣灵,他要将一切的事指教你们,并且要叫你们想起我对你们所说的一切话” 14:26

So Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would not have to rely on a hazy recollection of what Jesus had said. When they wrote their four gospels the Holy Spirit would cause them to recall the exact teaching of the Master. Or so, at least, John’s gospel said.

因此,马太、马可、路加和约翰在书写福音的时候并不依靠耶稣给他们留下的朦胧印象。当他们写作的时候,圣灵使他们能够回忆起耶稣的每一个细节。至少约翰福音这样说过。

Peter and Paul also claimed repeatedly that they were being moved to preach and write God’s words. Here are two examples from each:使徒彼得和保罗也多次声明他们是被感动写下了  神的话。以下就是几个例子:

 

Peter: “Those [the apostles] who preached the good news to you

through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.”42

“Be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy

prophets [the Old Testament], and the commandment of the Lord  P

and Saviour through your apostles [the New Testament].”43

Paul:  “When ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the Word of God.”44

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.”45

 

“那靠著从天上差来的圣灵传福音给你们的人,现在将这些事报给你们;”(彼得前书112

“叫你们记念圣先知预先所说的话和主救主的命令,就是使徒所传给你们的。”(彼得后书32

“你们听见我们所传神的道就领受了;不以为是人的道,乃以为是神的道。这道实在是神的”(帖撒罗尼迦前书213

“弟兄们,我告诉你们,我素来所传的福音不是出於人的意思。因为我不是从人领受的,也不是人教导我的,乃是从耶稣基督启示来的。”(加拉太书11112

Evidently the apostles believed that they were being used by God just like His prophets of old. First, God’s prophets were moved by God’s Spirit to speak His words. Then the Spirit caused them to write down God’s words, and thus create the Old Testament. Similarly the apostles were first caused by God’s Spirit to preach His words. Later, the Spirit made them write God’s words, and so produce the New Testament. Or so the apostles claimed.

这些证据表明,使徒们相信他们是被  神使用,就像  神通过旧约中的先知讲话一样。第一,  神的先知被圣灵所感动,接下来,圣灵驱使他们写下  神的话。这就是圣经旧约的来源。同样,使徒们首先是被圣灵感动去传福音。其次,圣灵感动他们,让他们写下了 神的话语,因此就有了新约圣经。这也是使徒们所申明的。

 

Inspiration 圣灵的启示

 

Most people would agree that if there is a God, He must be able to do things on earth invisibly. As Cowper’s well-known hymn puts it:

大多数人会同意,如果存在一位 神,他肯定会在做我们看不到的一些事情。

“God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform.”

 

正如约伯记423所说的:

这些事太奇妙是我不知道的。

 

The Bible has a name for the invisible work of God on earth. It calls it the doings of “the Spirit of God”, or “the Holy Spirit”, or for short, just “the Spirit”.

对于这些我们看不见的  神的工作,圣经称之为“  神的灵”,或者是“圣灵”,有的时候简称为“灵”。

This is a good name for it, because it is the translation of Hebrew and Greek words meaning “wind”. In this age of weather forecasts we understand what the wind is. But in the ancient world wind was something strange, mysterious, powerful. It made men think of the invisible power of God working on earth.

这是一个很恰当的名称。因为“灵”在希伯来文或者是希腊文的原文当中,其含义是:“风”。在存在天气预报的年代,我们知道风是什么。但是在古代世界,风是一种奇怪的、神秘的、有力量的东西。这些特征可以使人想起  神在地上做工时的那一种看不见的力量。

It is fitting, therefore, that most of God’s great miracles were said to be performed by His Spirit. So was the giving of His Word-which was, of course, a kind of miracle. When men spoke-or wrote-the Word of God, it was the Spirit that moved them. Again and again in the Old Testament it says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon so-and-so, and he prophesied.

这种称呼是非常恰当的。  神所作的大部分的奇迹都是通过圣灵来做的,圣灵的启示也是一种奇迹。当有人说出或者是写下 神的话时,是圣灵感动他们。圣经的旧约多次说过,神的灵在某位先知的身上,这位先知就写下 神的话来。

When the Old Testament was practically complete, a thousand years or so after Moses had begun it, another prophet, Nehemiah, summed up the situation:

   当旧约书即将完成,也就是在摩西开始之后大约1000年,另外一个先知尼希米总结说:

“Thou [God] gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them [Israel] .  . Many years didst Thou forbear them, and testified against them by Thy Spirit in Thy prophets... But we have done wickedly, neither have our kings, our princes, our priests or our fathers kept Thy Law.”46

   “你( 神)也赐下你良善的灵教训他们……但你多年宽容他们,又用你的灵藉众先知劝戒他们……我们所做的是邪恶。我们的君王、首领、祭司、列祖都不遵守你的律法,不听从你的诫命和你警戒他们的话。”(尼希米记920303334

As the apostle Peter put it, several hundred years later still: 在几百年以后,使徒彼得说:

“No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man) but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”47

  “第一要紧的,该知道经上所有的预言没有可随私意解说的;因为预言从来没有出於人意的,乃是人被圣灵感动,说出神的话来。”(彼得后书12021

In the same way, according to the verses quoted earlier in this chapter, the New Testament also was written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit. As Jesus told them before they began, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses.”48

这就是说,新约圣经同样是人被神灵感动写出来的。正如耶稣说:“但圣灵降临在你们身上,你们就必得著能力,并要…….作我的见证”。(使徒行传1:8

The Bible uses a special word to describe this work of the Holy Spirit. The word is inspiration. Paul used it in this way: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”49

圣经使用了一个特别的词来形容圣灵的工作,这个词就是“感动”,或“默示”、“启示”。保罗说:“圣经都是神所默示的”(提摩太后书316

Inspiration. It is not a bad description, because it makes you think of “in-spiriting”, of putting God’s Spirit into a man chosen to convey God’s words to the world. And yet it is not a particularly good word, because it does not really convey Paul’s meaning.

“感动”这个词是一个褒义词,  神的灵进入  神所选择的一个人,将 神的话语向世界 。然而这个词并没有完全表达保罗的意思。

The whole phrase, “given by inspiration of God”, is actually a translation of one long Greek word. That word means “Godspirited” or “Godbreathed”. (Remember that, in Greek, the word for “spirit” also means both “wind” and “breath”.)

神所默示的”这个词(given by inspiration of God),实际上是从一个很长的希腊文单词翻译过来的。这个词的意思是“Godspirited”,或“Godbreathed”,意识是 神的灵示,或  神说呼出的气。(在希腊文中,“灵”与“”是同一个词。)

So although it is less elegant it is more accurate to translate Paul’s words like this: “All scripture is breathed out by God.” 

保罗话语的更加准确的翻译应该是:“所有的圣经都是从  神的口中出来的”。

In other words, the Bible is expired by God rather than inspired. In a figurative sense it came out of God’s mouth, just as our breath comes out of our mouths.

换句话说,圣经是神说的,圣经是从 神的口中出来的,就像气息从  神的口中出来的一样,而不仅仅是  神所启示的。

About a thousand years earlier a Jewish hymnwriter had made a similar point. He wrote in the book of Psalms:

     此前大约1000年,有一个犹太人在赞美  神的诗歌中表达了类似的观点。他写道:

“By the word of the Lord

Were the heavens made

And all the host of them

By the breath of His mouth.”50

   “诸天藉耶和华的命而造;万象藉他口中的气而成”(诗篇336

He was referring to the first chapter of Genesis, where God created the heavens and the earth. The words, “And God said, ‘Let there be ...’“ keep recurring in that chapter like a refrain. The words of God were spoken; the deeds of God were done.

   在这里他谈论的同创世记第一章有关,是  神创造天地的故事。“神说…..事就这样成了”, 神的话就是 神的行为。

 

Every Word Counts每一个字都算数

 

All this adds up to a vital conclusion. If the Bible’s repeated claim is justified-if there really is a sense in which the Bible is “breathed out of God’s mouth”-it must mean that the very words of the Bible come from God, not just the ideas.

这些附加的非常重要的结论。如果圣经中的多次声明是正确的,圣经就是“ 神口中所出来的话,”这就意味着圣经中的每一个字都来自  ,不仅仅是其中的观点。

At first this sounds a staggering claim. And yet the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. In an unimportant piece of writing-say, a magazine article, or a novel-it doesn’t matter much what words are used, so long as the general sense is what the author intended.

这种声明听起来好像友一点令人惊奇。然而,只要你认真思考,就会明白这句话的意义。对于一片文章、一本小说,如何用词无关紧要,只要能够表达出作者的意图就可以。

But in an important document, like an Act of Parliament, or a man’s will, the words are terribly important. A wealthy old man once wrote a very short and simple will: “I leave all my money to my nephew Percy.”

但是对一些重要的文件,例如议会的法案、或一个人的遗嘱来说,措词就非常重要。例如一位富翁写下了一份遗嘱说;“我将我所有的金钱都留给我的侄子。”

Poor Percy. He only got a few pounds. It was quite clear what Uncle meant. But Uncle had not said what he meant. “Money,” said the lawyers, means pound notes and coins of the realm. Uncle’s fortune was in the form of bank deposits, stocks and shares-and that’s not “money”. The real wealth went to Uncle’s next of kin, while all Percy received was the contents of Uncle’s trouser pockets.   

然而他的侄子最后却非常可怜,只收到了几个英镑。这是因为他叔叔没有非常清楚地表达自己的思想。律师们说,“钱,只代表现金和硬币”,但是他叔叔的财富绝大部分是银行存款、股票,房地产,而不是“钱”。大部分的财产都留给了富翁的另一个亲戚,这位可怜的侄子只得到了从他叔叔口袋中掏出来的几个英镑。

We might expect that if the Bible really is what it claims to be-the most important document in the world-the words it uses are tremendously important. And this is exactly what it claims. No Bible writer ever says, “God gave me a message in vague terms, and left me to write it down in my own words.”

如果圣经的声明是真的,那么圣经就是世界上最重要的文件,圣经的措辞也非常重要。圣经的书写从来没有这样声明:“  神给我的信息是含混不清的,让我用户自己写下这些话来”。

On the contrary, many of them emphasise the precise nature of the message God gave them. For example: 相反,他们中间有很多人强调神给与他们的信息是非常明确的,例如:

 

David: “Ml this the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me.”51

Jeremiah:   “Thus saith the Lord . . . speak unto all the cities of ....... all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; keep not back a word . . . Take thee a roll of a book and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee.”52

Jesus:   “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”53

Paul:      “And we impart this in words... taught by the Spirit.”54

John:   “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life.”55

   大卫说:“这一切工作的样式都是耶和华用手划出来使我明白的。”(历代志上2819

   耶利米:“耶和华如此说:你站在耶和华殿的院内,对犹大众城邑的人,就是到耶和华殿来礼拜的,说我所吩咐你的一切话,一字不可删减。”262362

   耶稣:“我对你们所说的话就是灵,就是生命” (约翰福音663

   保罗:“并且我们讲说这些事,不是用人智慧所指教的言语,乃是用圣灵所指教的言语……(哥林多前书213

   约翰:“我向一切听见这书上预言的作见证,若有人在这预言上加添什麽,神必将写在这书上的灾祸加在他身上;”(启示录2219 

 

Needless to say, these statements do not apply to the words of the Bible in English. The dear old lady who said, “If the Authorised Version was good enough for St Paul, it’s good enough for me!” has been dead a long time. The men who wrote the original books of the Bible were said to be inspired by God, not the men who afterwards copied those books and translated them into other languages. (Just how accurate were those copyists and translators? We shall look at that question in Chapter 17.)

不用说,这些声明不适合英语(或者是汉语)圣经的每一个词。有一位可敬的老太太说:“如果圣经英语钦定版对于圣保罗已经够好,那么对于我来说也是足够好。”写圣经原文的人受到了  神的启示,并没有说后来抄写圣经、翻译圣经的人也受到了  神的启示。至于圣经抄写和翻译的准确程度,我们将在第17章讨论。

 

Writers -Not Typewriters圣经的书写者不是打字员

 

There is something almost uncanny about the sight of a big electronic computer working. The heart of the computer is so delicate that it has to be boxed away in an air-conditioned chamber, like a premature baby in an incubator. Wires connect the delicate central part to other machines, through which the operators feed in the problems for solu­tion. Other wires connect the computer to an electric typewriter, which types out the answers.

看见一台巨大的计算机工作,有的时候觉得它们真的很神奇。计算机的心脏部位是那么的精巧,以至必须安置在一见有空调的房间里,就像是早产儿放在育婴室一样。有很多电线从计算机中进去又出来,有一些和其它计算机联在一起,有一些和电脑打字机联系在一起,这些打字机将我们所要的结果打印出来。

It is a strange sight to see one of these typewriters typing away at breakneck speed, as if some invisible typist were using it. Those sheets of typed paper are being dictated by the electronic machine in its glass case, and once the machine is set to work on a problem no human being has any control over that typewriter.

如果我们没有看见打字员,但是看见打字机以飞快的速度工作,好像有一位我们看不见的打字员在后面操作,这有一点奇怪。打印好了的纸张被放置在塑料盒子里,并且打印机一旦开始工作,就不需要人来控制。

Now this is not-repeat, NOT-the way to think of God inspiring the Bible. The writers of the Bible were not just human typewriters, setting down automatically the words that God dictated to them. They were individuals with a style of their own, each writing his inspired message in his own particular way.

我在这里重复一下,这种方式不是 神启示人们书写圣经的方式。圣经的众多书写者并不仅仅像电脑打字员一样,自动地将 神的话写出来,他们都是有自己的特点的人,每一位在书写  神启示的信息的时候,都用自己的方式写出来。

At first, this statement may seem to contradict all that has gone before. If God did not dictate His words to the writers of the Bible, but gave them freedom to write in their own style, how could their writings possibly turn out to be the exact words of God?

这份声明看起来似乎与刚才的申明相矛盾。如果  神没有见自己的话交付给圣经的书写者,而是给他们用自己的方式书写的自由,那么他们所写下的怎样才能够证明确实是  神的话?

This problem is not nearly so difficult as it seems. Try looking at it this way. A crack shot with a rifle can still hit the target when a strong wind is blowing. His skill enables him to estimate the force and direction of the wind, and then allow for it when he points his gun. If the wind is blowing strongly from the left, he aims to the left of the target. He knows that his bullet will follow a curved path, and end up on target. But if there is no wind he aims directly at the target, and expects his bullet to travel by a shorter path to it.

这个问题没有看起来那么复杂。我们可以这样来看问题:高明的射击手即使在强风的天气下也能准确地命中靶心。因为他具有识别风向和风力的技巧,然后在射击的时候做一下调整一下枪的准星。如果强风是从左边吹来的,那么瞄准的时候就稍稍向左偏。他知道子弹会沿着一条曲线命中目标。如果没有风的干扰,他就直接瞄准目标。

In other words, the wind has no effect on the final result. A brilliant marksman’s bullet will always end up where he wants it. What the wind does is to decide the path by which the bullet will get there.

用另外的话来说,风对于射击最终的结果可以是没有影响的。高明的射手总能够射中自己希望的目标。风所起的作用是让射击手对射击曲线做一些调整。

It is rather like that, only much more complicated, with the work­ings of God. He knows exactly what end result He wants to achieve, and with infinite skill He is able to achieve it. He can allow for the effects of human free will-or of the literary style of individuals-as easily as a marksman can allow for the wind.     

神所作的工作和这一点非常相似。 神知道他所作一切事情的结果,他能够知道如何取得应该的结果。他同时允许人的自由,就像是射击手能够考虑到风的存在一样。

When He wanted a book written in the characteristic style of Jeremiah, He raised up exactly the right man to write it. He told Jeremiah that He began shaping him for his work as a prophet even before he was born.56 When the time came for Jeremiah’s great work to begin, he was exactly the right man for it. Even his nervousness and humility helped to fit him for the job.57

      神希望有一本像耶利米书风格的书出现的时候,他就让耶利米这个人出现。他告诉耶利米,在他出生之前就已经选择耶利米作先知(第1章)。当耶利米伟大的工作开始的时候,他就是正确的人选。甚至耶利米过于敏感和谦卑的性格对于他从事自己的工作都是有帮助的。

The resulting book was therefore truly Jeremiah’s book. No other man, perhaps, could have written it in quite the same way. But be­cause God had made Jeremiah what he was, and then caused him to write what he did, Jeremiah’s book was filled with the very words of God. The same applies to all the other books of the Bible.

结果耶利米这本书就真的出现了。没有其他人能够用同样的方式写出这一本书来。但是因为  神创造了耶利米这个人,让他写下这本书,于是耶利米书就充满了  神的话,同样的道理适合于圣经的每一本书。

  

What This Chapter Has Proved 这一章所证明的事情

 

This subject of the Bible’s claim to be “Godbreathed” (inspired) is a very big one. It really needs a book to itself. In just one chapter I have only been able to outline it. If you wish to examine it in depth, you will need to read one of the standard works on the subject.

有关圣经声明是  神的启示是一个非常大的课题,必须通过圣经自己才能够证明。本章只能够描述一个大概的轮廓。如果你想要从很深刻地检查这种声明是否正确,你需要阅读关于这个课题的一系列书。

The finest book ever written on this topic is probably that by Gaussen.58 More recent books by Warfield,59 Young60 and Pache61 are also useful. 可能有关这个课题出现的最好的书是Gaussen所写的,最近Warfield, Young Pache写的一些书同样会有帮助。

Like this chapter, none of these books proves that the Bible is inspired by God. It is always wrong to reason in a circle; we must beware of making that mistake here.

和本章的标题一样,这些书中没有一本能够“证明”圣经是  神所启示的。循环论证永远是错误的。我们在这里不要犯这样的错误。

I have not tried to argue that because the Bible makes certain claims, those claims must be true. What I have tried to show is that the Bible’s claims are so emphatic, so clear cut, that they must be either true or false.

我并不是说,因为圣经是这样声明的,这样的声明一定是正确的。我想做的是说明,圣经中的声明是如此强调,如此明确,这个声明要么是正确的,要么是错误的。

The Bible writers all say with one accord:

圣经的书写者都用同样的格调说:

“What we have written are not our own words. God miraculously took control of us, and caused us to write His words. Consequently, everything we have written has the authority of the Almighty behind it. Everything we have written is true.”

“我们所写的并不是我们自己所要说的话。而是  神奇迹般地控制了我们,使我们写下这些话。结果,我们所写的每个字的后面都有全能的  神在后面。我们所写的每一个字都是真的。”

It stands to reason that there are only two possibilities. Either the Bible’s astonishing claim is true-or the book is the biggest confidence trick in all history!

结果只有两种可能性,要么圣经的声明是正确的,要么圣经是人类历史上最大的欺骗!

But as we saw at the beginning of this chapter, many leaders of religion refuse to accept that these are the only alternatives. They adopt a third point of view. They say that the Bible is sort-of-true and sort-of-false.

正如本章开始所看到的,很多宗教的领导者拒绝接受只有一种选择。他们采纳了第三方的观点,他们说圣经有正确的,也有错误。

Of course, they don’t put it like that. They express their views in language that is almost impossible for the man in the street to under­stand. But that is what it comes down to. Unlike the prophets, unlike Jesus Christ, unlike the apostles, these Biblical scholars believe in a Bible that is neither true nor false, but something in between.

当然,他们没有这样直接表达。他们用大多数人听不懂的语言来表达自己的观点。但是这就是他们传达自己意思的方式。他们和旧约时代的先知、耶稣、耶稣的门徒不一样,这些圣经学者相信圣经即不是真理,也不是谬误,而是在二者之间。

There are many of them and their views are widely known. So we cannot ignore them. The next chapter will take a look at their position and see where it leads us.

   其中有很多观点已经广泛地为人所知,因此我们不能够忽视。下一章我们将看看这些观点的后果。

 

15

Falling Between Two Stools

两头落空

Charles is a typical middle-aged Englishman. Most people like him, because he’s a friendly sort of chap. Good hearted, good living and public spirited, too.

查尔斯先生是一位典型的中年人。和大多数的人一样,他待人友善,心肠好,富有公益心。

He stood for the local council last year, but failed to get in. He never goes to church, but he would be hurt if you suggested he was not a Christian. He believes in keeping the Ten Commandments (or at least, as many as he can remember), and in being kind to other people.

去年他是当地的行政委员会的代表,但是今年没有被选上,他从来不去教堂,但如果你说他不是基督徒,他会感到受了伤害。他相信应该遵守摩西律法的十条戒命(至少包括他所记得的),相信应该友善地对待他人。

Of course, he doesn’t believe in the Bible, except for a few bits that he approves of. Like most people, he follows the fashion and assumes that the Bible has been shot full of holes by scientists and other experts. And anyway, he says he can live a perfectly good life without the Bible, thank you.

他不相信圣经,除了他自己赞同的一小部分以外。和大多数人一样,他跟随潮流,认为科学家和各方面的专家已经将圣经驳斥得千疮百孔。如果你劝他了解圣经,他会说,没有圣经他一样会过得很好,谢谢。

Yet Charles has suddenly become a worried man. His tranquil life has recently taken a very nasty knock. He has two teenage sons who are worrying him stiff. They stoop to every kind of petty dishonesty they can get away with, and the way they behave with girls makes Charles’ hair go grey.

然而查尔斯最近开始担忧起来。他平静的生活受到打击。两个青春期的儿子认为他太刻板,而他们玩世不恭的态度,和女孩子之间的关系让查尔斯先生的头发都变成了灰白色。

The worst of it is that Charles feels so powerless. Whenever he says anything, he comes up against a stone wall. “But why not, Dad? We’re not hurting anybody. Why shouldn’t we do what we like?”

最糟糕的是查尔斯感到软弱无力。不管他说什么,他的两个儿子都会顶撞他:爸爸,我们为什么不可以这样做?我们有没有伤害到别人,为什么我们不能够做我们所喜欢的事情?

Poor Charles has no answer for them. If he says, “Because I say so!” they merely retort, “And who do you think you are?”

可怜的查尔斯先生无法回答他们的问题。如果他说:因为我这样说,他的儿子们就会反击:你以为你是谁?

He knows how his father made him toe the line, forty years ago. The old man simply said, “Charles, pack this up! It’s wrong. The Bible says so.” In those days Charles knew that to his father the Bible was authoritative. So Charles did as he was told.

查尔斯先生知道他的父亲是怎样让他听从命令的。四十年以前,他的父亲只要说:查尔斯,收起你的那一套!圣经是这样说的。在那些时期,查尔斯知道对于他的父亲而言,圣经就是权威。因此查尔斯总是按照父亲的要求去做。

But Charles cannot talk to his own sons like that. They know he doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible. Charles believes in keeping the Commandments, and it upsets him to see his sons breaking them. But he doesn’t know why he keeps them. So how can he hope to persuade his sons to keep them?

但是查尔斯却不能用这样的态度对儿子们说话。他们知道他不接受圣经的权威,查尔斯相信应该遵守十条戒命,看到自己的儿子违反时感到难过。但是连他不知道为什么要遵守这些命令,他又怎样能够劝说儿子们来遵守呢?

Charles is not alone in this. There are hundreds of thousands, per­haps millions, of fathers in the same uncomfortable position.

查尔斯遇到的情况并不是个别的,有数万甚至数百万的父亲面临这样的尴尬状况。

The fact is that there always was only one good reason for keeping the Commandments. They are introduced by the statement: “And God spake all these words, saying...”1

事实是,永远只有一种最好的理由来说明为什么要遵守这些命令。因为它们是“神吩咐这一切的话”(出埃及记201)。

And they are immediately followed by a passage that says:

这段经文的声明后面还有下面的记载,它说:

 

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking... And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.”2

   “众百姓见雷轰、闪电、角声、山上冒烟,就都发颤,远远的站立,……耶和华对摩西说:「你要向以色列人这样说:『你们自己看见我从天上和你们说话了。”(出埃及记2018-22

That is why a hundred generations of God-fearing Jews have respected the Ten Commandments. They believed that the whole book of Exodus was true. They believed that God really did appear on Mount Sinai and thunder out those commandments to their ancestors.

这就是为什么有一百代敬畏神的犹太人尊敬摩西十戒的原因。他们相信出埃及记这本书的全部内容都是真的。他们相信  神真的在西奈山向他们的祖先显现,在雷声中将这些命令交给他们的祖先。

Jesus Christ endorsed that belief. Several books of the New Testament refer directly to it as a historical fact.3 That is why many generations of Bible-believing Christians like Charles’ father have had a profound respect for the Commandments.

    耶稣基督认可这些命令。新约将这些命令看成是历史事实。所以有很多基督徒(例如查尔斯的父亲)祖祖辈辈都尊敬这些命令。

  

Thin End of the Wedge 从小看大

 

There is a big lesson to be learnt from this.

从这个故事中我们可以汲取取很大的教训:

If you believe that God led Israel to Mount Sinai by a succession of mighty miracles, and there gave them His Law, the Commandments will have supreme authority. They will be a power in your life. They cannot be anything else, if you really believe they came down from heaven.

如果你相信  神奇迹般地带领以色列人到西奈山,将律法交给他们,那么这些命令就有无上的权威,它将成为你生命中的力量。如果你相信这些命令是从天上来的,就不会将它们看成是普通法律。

But suppose you listen to the wrong kind of expert. Suppose you lap up the misguided philosophy that says: “Miracles are imposs­ible. Much of the book of Exodus is fiction. The Commandments were made up by a group of pious men, not thundered out from heaven.”

但如果你听从一些专家的话,听从一些迷惑人的哲学说:奇迹是不可能的。出埃及记这本书的大部分都是编造的。所谓的十条戒命是信 神的人编造出来的,而不是从天上随着雷声下来的。

Then what? All the power and authority is gone. “Keep the Com­mandments if you want to; break them if you don’t. If God didn’t give the Commandments He won’t punish you for breaking them.” This is the inevitable reaction.

然后呢?这些命令全部的力量和权威都会消失:你想遵守就遵守,你不想遵守就可以不遵守。如果这些命令不是  神颁布的,你不遵守 神也不会惩罚你。这是必然的反应。

Where moral standards are concerned there is no permanent half­way house. The whole Bible stands or falls together, and moral standards stand or fall with it. If it is what it claims to be, inspired by God and authoritative from beginning to end, then it demands our obedience. But if not, there is no real reason why we should not do what we like.

与道德标准相关的事情是没有任何妥协的。如果圣经能够站立,圣经中的道德也能站立。否则亦然。如果圣经的申明是正确的,从头到尾都是  神的启示,那么我们必须遵守。如果不是,那么我们就找不到我们为什么会按照圣经去做的理由,

More and more people are realising this now. That is why more and more people are casting off all restraint. We ought not to be sur­prised by the rocketing statistics of crime, immorality, drug-addiction and violence. Far-sighted men and women saw it coming, more than a hundred years ago. They knew the thin end of a wedge when they saw it.

越来越多的人意识到了这一点,所以越来越多的人正试图摆脱束缚。我们不应该对越来越高的犯罪率、暴力和吸毒事情感到惊奇。在100年以前,很多人就清楚地意识到这一点。他们从事情出现苗头开始就预见到了。

Until about the middle of the last century practically all Christian scholars accepted the Bible’s own claim to be the words of God. There were some scholars who attacked the Bible, but generally they made no claim to be Christian. For some time their attacks on the Bible had little effect. But soon after the middle of the nineteenth century they made a breakthrough.

19世纪中叶之前,所有基督教学者都承认圣经是  神的话。当时也有一些攻击圣经的学者,但他们没有称自己是基督徒,对圣经的攻击效果不大。19世纪中叶以后,他们找到了突破口。

Around that time there was a great leap forward in human knowledge. The foundations of modern science were being laid. The two great offshoots of science, medicine and engineering, were working wonders undreamed of a few years before. Historians and archaeologists were busy unravelling the secrets of the past.

从那个时代开始,人类知识的积累为现代科学打下了良好的基础。在两个大的科学分支领域:医学和工程学,发生了以前梦到不到的奇迹,历史学家和考古学家忙于发掘过去各个时代的奥秘。

The result of all this was a great epidemic of swollen heads in the universities of the world. Few scholars had the humility to think, “Now we are a little less ignorant than we were before.” The general reaction was, “Look how wise we are now! Within a few years we shall know practically everything worth knowing.”

所有这些事情的发生导致了人类知识的膨胀。只有很少的学者肯谦卑地想:我们现在知道的东西只比以前多一点点普遍的反应是:,我们现在多么聪明!将来我们会知道任何值得知道的事情

Swinburne captured the spirit of the age in verse:

诗人Swinburne这样描写这个时代的特征:

 

“Glory to Man in the highest!

For Man is the master of things.”

最高的荣耀应该归于人!

因为人是万物的主宰!

In this climate of opinion scholars jumped recklessly to conclusions, without waiting for proper evidence. And a large part of the general public jumped blindly after them.

在这种信念的影响下,很多学者在没有得到恰当证据的情况下,鲁莽地下结论。大部分公众也盲目地跟随他们。

Darwin’s Origin of Species was sold out on the day of publication. Before they had even read it, some people started to believe that Darwin had disproved the existence of a Creator.

达尔文的物种的起源这本书今天依然在出版。很多人在阅读这本书之前,就相信达尔文已经证明了没有造物主的存在。

Archaeologists decided that writing was not invented until after Moses was dead, and that consequently Moses could not possibly have written any part of the Bible. Historians decided that nearly all the books of the Bible were full of historical blunders, and therefore could not have been written by eye-witnesses.

 一些考古学家下结论说,圣经是在摩西死后才出现的,摩西不可能书写过圣经的任何一部分。而历史学家则断定几乎所有的圣经都充满历史性的错误,不可能是由亲眼目击者写的。

We know now that all these gentlemen were, in fact, talking through the back of their learned necks. Modern scholars regard nineteenth-century scholarship as a hotchpotch of truth and error. But this realisation came too late to avert a tragedy. Very many Christian ministers of that time were taken in by the great flood of over-confident nineteenth-century scholarship. They accepted the view that the Bible was a collection of pious forgeries, written at a late date and palmed off on an ancient public as the works of famous men.

  我们现在知道这些绅士到底是一些什么样的人,他们以自己的知识为标榜。现代学者认为19世纪的学术界是充满真理和谬误的大杂烩,但是这种认识来的太晚了。如果早一些的话本来可以避免一场灾难。当时很多基督教传教士被潮流欺骗,他们相信圣经是一些非常虔诚而尽责的人自己编辑的书集,是在圣经中的人物出现之后写的。

By the turn of the century this view was held by the majority of Christian scholars. By then it was being taught in many theological colleges as if it were the unquestionable truth. And, of course, the young students at those colleges lapped it up without question. (They had to, if they wanted to pass their exams.) The fact that a very different viewpoint was still being taught at other colleges was quietly overlooked. 

19世纪末和20世纪初,大部分基督教学者也持有这样的观点。这种观点在大多数神学院被看成是不可置疑的真理来传授。年轻的学生当然会毫无疑问地接受。如果希望考试及格的话,他们不得不这样做。)尽管别的大学讲授的内容和他们的非常不一致,他们采用沉默的方式来忽视其他的观点。

 

From Bad to Worse越来越糟

 

It took a little time before it dawned on the average man what these views meant. If the Book of Isaiah did not even contain the words of Isaiah, you could hardly expect it to contain the words of God. If the four gospels were not written until long after Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were dead, you could not rely on what they said about Jesus. Some of it might be true, some untrue. Each man was free to choose how much he would believe.

对于普通人来说,要理解这些观点意味着什么是需要一点时间的。如果以赛亚书不包括以赛亚本人写的内容,你很难相信以赛亚书包含着  神的话。如果四本福音书都是在马太、马可、路加、约翰死亡以后才开始写的,你很难相信其中关于耶稣的记载是真的。如果是这样,有可能一些记载是正确的,一些记载是错误的,每一个人都可以决定自己可以相信什么,相信多少。

It was obvious where this would lead. Gradually men would choose to believe less and less of the Bible, until finally they believed nothing at all.

很显然这些会导致什么事情的。人们会一步步地越来越不信圣经,直到他们完全不相信为止。

What was a little more unexpected was the way religious leaders gradually became more and more extreme in their statements. At first they expressed their views moderately. In the nineteen thirties Arch­bishop Temple wrote:

    令人感到有一点惊奇的是,一些教会的领导人在声明中越来越走极端。最开始的声明还比较温和,例如19世纪的坦普尔(Temple大主教就这样写到:

“There is no single deed or saying of His [Christ’s] of which we can be perfectly sure that He said or did precisely this or that.”4

    没有任何迹象表明任何一种耶稣的言行就是福音书所准确记载的,是我们可以完全相信的

Though this makes sad reading, at least the language is restrained. It contrasts strikingly with a more recent statement by another religious leader. In ig6~ Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, one-time President of the Methodist Conference, was reported as saying that he would like to go through the Bible with a blue pencil and blot out various portions. He called the Old Testament out of date and completely outmoded. He described many of the Psalms as nonsense.5

尽管这种观点是错误的,但至少其措辞是有约束的。最近某位宗教领导人发表的言论与之形成了鲜明的对照。 Leslie Weatherhead博士曾经担任过卫理公会的主席,有报道说,他说要用蓝色铅笔将圣经的很多部分去掉。他称圣经旧约已经过时,他称很多诗篇是无稽之谈。

The end of the road was reached in 1966, when the following letter appeared in a leading British newspaper.6

    最终结果是在1966年出现了,那一年英国一家大报上出现了一份声明:

“Sir,各位先生

I do not believe in the existence of God; I believe that love, or ‘agape’, as exemplified in the life of Jesus, is the key to human relationships.

我不相信  神的存在,但是我相信在耶稣生活中体现出来的(或‘agape’,是人类相互联系的关键。

 (Methodist Minister) 卫理公会传教士

 John Smith 约翰-史密斯

Wallsend.” 沃尔森德[英国英格兰东北部城市]

 

What a sad confession. The “Reverend” John Smith (the name has been altered) admits he does not believe in God.

这是多么令人伤感的告白。“可尊敬的(同时含有牧师的含义)”约翰-斯密斯先生(这里姓名已经被更改)公开承认自己不相信  神。

At least you have to admire his courage. In the same newspaper a week before, a well known unbeliever, John Gilmour, had thrown Out a challenge. He declared that many leaders of the Church no longer believed in God. All they had, he said, was a general belief in Christian love as the key to human relationships. He dared them to come clean, and admit it. This Methodist minister accepted the challenge and owned up.

但是你至少得佩服他的勇气。一个星期以前,同样是在这份报纸上,著名的无神论者John Gilmour向圣经信仰者发出挑战。他声称很多教会领导人并不信仰  神。他们只是泛泛的相信,例如认为基督徒的爱是人类维持正常关系的关键。他鼓励这些人勇敢地站出来承认。卫理公会的这位牧师接受了挑战,公开承认这一点。

And why not? He has only gone one short step further than many of his colleagues. The existence of God was just about the only Bible teaching left that had not been denied by some minister of religion.

他为什么不可以这样做?他只是向前面迈出了一小步而已。在某些传教士看来,圣经教导中只有  神的存在是不可否定的。

 

The Unhappy Medium令人不愉快的媒体

 

Of course, not all those Biblical scholars who reject the Bible’s claims go to such wild extremes. There are still many who take a more moderate position. Between them they hold many different shades of opinion. Some think the Bible contains a lot of truth and only a little error; some think it is the other way round. It would be impos­sible in a single chapter to do justice to all their views.

当然,不是所有圣经学者都采取极端的方式拒绝圣经。有很多人采取温和的、中间的方式。他们中间有很多不同的意见。有人认为圣经包含很多真理,也有一少部分的错误,有人认为圣经的错误多于真理。我们不可能在一章的篇幅里评论所有这些观点。

But their most common approach to the Bible can be expressed quite simply. They say that the Bible is “reliable in matters of religion, but unreliable in historical matters”.

这些人对待圣经最普遍的态度,简单地说,圣经在宗教信仰方面是可靠的,但是在历史事实方面是不可靠的。

What does that mean? Simply this. That when John wrote that Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another”7-and suchlike thing-we can accept them as true. But that when we read how the baby Moses’ life was saved because his mother hid him in the bulrushes,8 we are at liberty to say, “A likely story!”

这意味着什么?约翰福音记载了耶稣的话:“我赐给你们一条新命令,乃是叫你们彼此相爱;我怎样爱你们,你们也要怎样相爱。”(约翰福音1334我们将它看成是真理接受下来。当我们阅读时看到,摩西的母亲将摩西隐藏在芦苇丛中,后来被救上来,我们可以不受拘束地说:“可能是编造的!” 

If we hold these views, we shall believe that this story about Moses 

-and hundreds of other Bible stories-are fiction, not fact. We shall say, “What does it matter, anyway, whether these things happened or not? We can learn useful lessons from these stories, just as we can from the parables of Jesus. Nobody regards His parables as true stories.”

如果我们持这种态度,就会将圣经像摩西这样的人物及数百个故事都看成是虚构的,而不是真实的。我们会说:“这些事情有什么关系呢?它们是不是曾经发生过?我们从这些故事中能够得到有益的教训就够了,正如我们能够从耶稣的比喻中得到教训一样。没有人会把耶稣的比喻看成是真实的故事”。

Several things are very wrong with this approach. First of all, Jesus presented his parables as parables. Many of them are introduced by the words, “He spake a parable unto them.” Every one of them is worded in what you might call “a parable style”.

这种方法有好几种错误。首先,耶稣自己将自己的比喻就看成比喻。福音书好几次这样记载讲比喻,而且从耶稣讲话的措辞来看,他讲的就是比喻。

If the parable of the Good Samaritan had begun, “Last week Simon Peter’s cousin was going down from Jerusalem .. .” we should have known that Jesus was telling a true story. But it didn’t. It began, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho . .”Everyone knew at once that this was a parable.

如果耶稣讲撒马利亚人的故事时这样开头:上个星期,西门彼得的堂兄要到耶路撒冷去..我们就知道耶稣讲的是真的故事。但耶稣故事的开头是:“有一个人从耶路撒冷下耶利哥去”路加福音10:30,在场的每个人都知道它是比喻。

Now when Jesus and the apostles referred to Old Testament history, they never spoke about it in “parable style”. They always treated it as accurate history. True, they did draw lessons from it, but they made it plain that these were lessons drawn from real life. When Paul based some lessons on a series of episodes from the history of Israel,

he said:

耶稣和门徒们谈论旧约时,他从来没有把它们看成是比喻,耶稣总是把它们看成是真实的历史故事。确实他们从中得到历史教训,但是这些教训是从真正的现实生活中得来的。保罗在总结以色列的历史教训时,他说:

“These things happened unto them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition.”10

    他们遭遇这些事,都要作为监戒;并且写在经上,正是警戒我们这末世的人。(哥林多前书10:11)

These things happened. Actually happened. Could words be plainer than that?

他认为这些事情是真的发生过的。还有更直接的表述吗?

As for Jesus, He spoke of many incidents in the Old Testament, including:

耶稣多次提到过旧约的故事,其中包括:

The story of Adam and Eve11

The murder of Abel by Cain12

Noah and the flood13

The destruction of Sodom and the death of Lot’s wife14

Moses and the burning bush15

The manna that fell from heaven16

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba17

Elijah and a miracle18

Elisha and another miracle19

Jonah and the whale20

关于亚当和夏娃的故事

该隐杀害他的兄弟亚伯的故事

诺亚和大洪水的故事

从天上降下来的吗拉的故事

所罗门和示巴女王的故事

以利亚和他所作的奇迹

以利沙和他所作的奇迹

约拿和大鱼的故事

Turn up these passages in your own Bible. See for yourself how Jesus obviously believed that all these events really did occur.

请自己找到这些圣经段落,看看耶稣是如何相信这些事情真的发生过的。

There is another big snag about saying the Bible is “religiously true but historically unreliable”. The historical and religious strands of the Bible are intertwined like the threads in a Persian carpet. How are we going to separate them? In fact, no two scholars seem to agree on which bits are “historical” and which are “religious”.

有人说,圣经从宗教方面来说是正确的,从历史方面来说确不是可靠的。圣经的历史记录和宗教思想波斯地毯中的经线和纬线一样是互相交织的。我们怎样将它们分开?事实上,对哪些是圣经中的宗教思想,那一部分是历史事实,没有任何两个人的观点是相同的。

Take the story that Jesus rose from the dead. We meet it in all four gospels, in the books of Acts and Revelation, and in several of the epistles. It is presented to us in these books as a historical fact. For this reason many scholars feel free to reject it as a myth.

再来看看耶稣从死亡复活的故事。在四本福音书、使徒行传、启示录以及使徒写的一些书信中,它们都被当成历史事实出现在我们面前。很多学者认为,将这些记载看成是荒诞神话就太过随便了。

But it is more than a historical fact. It is also presented to us as a foundation stone of the Christian religion. Listen to the apostle Paul:

耶稣的复活不仅仅是一个历史事实。它还是基督教的基石。正如保罗说的:

 

“How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain.... If Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins!”21

   “既传基督是从死里复活了,怎麽在你们中间有人说没有死人复活的事呢?若没有死人复活的事,基督也就没有复活了。若基督没有复活,我们所传的便是枉然,你们所信的也是枉然;……基督若没有复活,你们的信便是徒然,你们仍在罪里”哥林多前书15:12-17

Then there is the problem that if Christ really was wrong in His teaching about the Old Testament, how can we be sure of anything else He taught? He backed up His claim to be the Son of God with a quotation from the Psalms, saying as He did so, “And the Scripture cannot be broken!”22 If He was wrong about Scripture, how do we know that He was not wrong about being Son of God?

如果耶稣关于旧约的教导存在错误的话,我们对于耶稣的其它教导如何有把握?耶稣声明自己是  神的儿子,诗篇早就有预言,他自己引用了这些经文并且说:经上的话是不能废的;(约翰福音103536)。如果他对待圣经经文的态度存在错误的话,我们怎么才知道他声明是  神的儿子没有错误?

He said that resurrection and eternal life could be relied upon because of what the book of Exodus said.23 If He was wrong about the book of Exodus, how do we know that He was not wrong about eternal life?

他说他的复活和永生是可信的,因为在出埃及记中就有记载。如果他对出埃及记这本书的态度就存在错误,我们怎样知道耶稣对待永生的问题上没有错误?

Lots of Bible-believing theologians have asked this kind of ques­tion.24 But so far as I know, nobody has ever given them a reasonable answer.

很多信仰圣经的神学家提出这样的问题。就我们目前所知道的,没有人能够给出一个合理的回答。

It is not surprising there has been a steady drift away from this “half and half” position. The drift has mainly been in the direction of complete unbelief, but quite a number of scholars have moved in the opposite direction towards complete belief. There may be some difficulties connected with wholehearted belief. But there are far greater problems facing those who try to believe only parts of the Bible. There is an increasing awareness of this fact among thinking Christians today.

毫不奇怪,他们最终会从中间线路上漂移。大多数人会朝着完全不相信圣经的方向前进,也有一少部分人最终完全相信圣经。完全相信圣经可能会遇到一些困难,但是只相信部分圣经面临的问题会更多。认真思考的基督徒应该意识到这是一个日益紧迫的问题。

 

cleverness and Commonsense 聪明与常识

 

Everybody has heard of absent-minded professors. But in fact there can’t be very many of them about. Quite a few of my friends are professors, and none of them is what I would call absent-minded. They are all men of very keen intellect.

大家可能都听说过缺心眼教授的故事。事实上这样的教授并不多。我的很多朋友是教授,但是他们中间没有一个人可以称得上是缺心眼的人。他们都是非常聪明的人,也非常敏锐。

Yet there is a certain element of truth underlying the legend of the absent-minded professor. Brilliant men are often lacking in plain common sense. Many an uneducated wife has said to a husband with twenty letters after his name, “But even I wouldn’t do a silly thing like that, darling!”

缺心眼的教授的传说背后包含着一些合理成分,那就是聪明的人常常缺乏常识。他们的妻子也要经常说:亲爱的,就是我也不会做出这样的傻事。

So it behoves us to remember that in everyday matters, very learned men often do silly things. And the Bible tells us that in religious matters also they often do silly things. The apostle Paul was a man of tremendous intellect; this is very obvious to anyone who studies his writings. But he had the humility to admit that cleverness can easily become more of a liability than an asset to a would-be Christian.

这些故事提醒我们,在日常生活中,非常聪明的人可能会做非常傻的事情,并且圣经也告诉我们,在信仰方面,他们也会做很傻的事情。使徒保罗是一个非常聪明的人,每一个看过他的书信的人都会知道这一点。但是他是一个非常谦卑的人,他承认,作为一个基督徒,自己的聪明更容易成为自己的负担,而不是帮助。

The highest social class in Israel consisted of the highly educated religious leaders. Paul belonged to that class. But he was no snob. He became ashamed of his own class, and left it to become a Christian, when he realised that this intellectual elite had crucified the Son of God.

以色列人的领导者是由受过高深教育的宗教领导人组成的。保罗属于这个阶层,但他不趋炎附势,他为这个阶层感到羞耻,后来他离开了他们,成为一个基督徒,因为他认识到了,正是这群聪明人杀害了耶稣基督。

So he warned his own age-and our age, too-not to be overawed by the learning of the learned:

    因此他警告了和他时代的人,,不要被有学识的人所吓怕了,这也是对我们这个时代的警告:

“Where is your wise man now, your man of learning, or your subtle debater-limited, all of them, to this passing age? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. As God in His wisdom ordained, the world failed to find Him by its wisdom . . . Divine folly is wiser than the wisdom of man, and divine weakness stronger than man’s strength. My brothers, think what sort of people you are, whom God has called. Few of you are men of wisdom, by any human standard; few are powerful or highly born. Yet, to shame the wise, God has chosen what the world counts folly, and to shame what is strong, God has chosen what the world counts weakness.

. . And so there is no place for human pride in the presence of God.”25

   “智慧人在那里?文士在那里?这世上的辩士在那里?神岂不是叫这世上的智慧变成愚拙吗?世人凭自己的智慧,既不认识神,……因神的愚拙总比人智慧,神的软弱总比人强壮。弟兄们哪,可见你们蒙召的,按著肉体有智慧的不多,有能力的不多,有尊贵的也不多。神却拣选了世上愚拙的,叫有智慧的羞愧;又拣选了世上软弱的,叫那强壮的羞愧。神也拣选了世上卑贱的,被人厌恶的,以及那无有的,为要废掉那有的。使一切有血气的,在神面前一个也不能自夸。”哥林多前书1:2-29

 

Jesus said much the same, but more briefly:

耶稣也曾用更加简洁的话表达出同样的思想:

“At that moment Jesus exulted in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and wise, and revealing them to the simple. Yes, Father, such was Thy choice.”26

   “正当那时,耶稣被圣灵感动就欢乐,说:「父啊,天地的主,我感谢你!因为你将这些事向聪明通达人就藏起来,向婴孩就显出来。父啊!是的,因为你的美意本是如此。”(路加福音1021

In view of these warnings it should carry very little weight that the majority of Christian scholars view the Bible as a mixture of truth and error. They do not form an overwhelming majority, although they sometimes try to give that impression. Nevertheless they are a large majority. But what of that? A large majority of the leading Biblical scholars in Israel voted to reject Christ.

看待这些警告的时候,我们应该注意到大多数的基督教学者将圣经看成是正确与错误的混合。他们并不是压倒性的多数,尽管他们试图给人们造成这一种印象。他们的人数占多数,这又怎么样?在犹太教学者的带领下,大多数以色列人站在反对耶稣的那一边。 

If we had lived in the first century and had chosen to follow the great bulk of scholars, we should have joined the mob and shouted, “Crucify Him!” Christians who choose to take the majority path today are in danger of making a similar tragic mistake. “Tear up the Bible!” is the modern counterpart of “Crucify Him!”

如果我们也生活在公元1世纪,并且相信这些聪明人,我们也会加入他们之中并且叫喊:「把他钉十字架!」。今天选择服从多数人的基督徒也有可能犯这样的错误。叫嚣粉碎圣经现代人,就是呼喊把他钉十字架!古代

 

Why They Do It 他们为什么这样做?

 

It would be interesting to know why so many Biblical scholars take the line they do. There must be many reasons. The desire to conform, the fear of seeming ridiculous, too much uncritical respect for what “the experts” say, an exaggerated view of the difficulties of accepting the Bible wholeheartedly, a failure to appreciate the limitations of subjects outside their own sphere (such as history and science)-all these must play their part.

为什么很多圣经学者会这样做,这是一个很有趣的问题。和多数人的认同感、害怕被人嘲笑,过分地看重“专家”的意见,夸大完整学习圣经的难度,不承认自己研究领域(例如历史和科学)的局限性,都可能是其中的原因。

But there is a more important reason than any of these. So much depends upon the attitude a scholar has towards the object of his studies.

但是还有一个更重要的理由。它很大的程度上的取决于学者们对待研究对象的态度。

Dr. Jane Goodall, while still in her twenties, came to know more about chimpanzees than anyone else in the world. Her brilliant re. search work is one of the great scientific success stories of the 1960s. She succeeded where others had failed because she adopted an entirely new attitude.    

Jane Goodall博士在她只有二十岁时,就能比世界上其他人更了解小猩猩。她的研究成果是20世纪60年代最伟大的成功事例之一。她能够取得其他研究者没有取得的成功,是因为她采取全新的研究态度。

Previous research workers had brought chimpanzees into their laboratories and studied them from every conceivable point of view. They taught them tricks and observed how they solved puzzles. They studied the effect of drugs and surgical operations upon them. They killed them, cut them up into little bits, and looked at the pieces under the microscope. And still they had a poor understanding of chimpanzee behaviour, and quite a few wrong notions about them.

以前的研究人员总是习惯将小猩猩带进实验室,根据自己的观点对它们进行研究。他们教育小猩猩很多技巧,观察它们是如何解决难题的。他们还研究对小猩猩使用药物和进行外科手术的效果。他们杀死小猩猩,解剖它们的尸体,在显微镜下观察它们。但是他们对于小猩猩的行为还是不甚了解,还犯过很多错误。

Then Dr. Goodall tried a different approach. She went into the heart of the African bush and camped Out for several years among a colony of chimpanzees. After a while they accepted her almost like one of themselves. For the first time a scientist was able to observe chimpanzees behaving absolutely naturally. She was able to see things from a chimp’s point of view.   

Jane Goodall博士采取的是一种全新的研究方法。她深入非洲森林的核心地带,并且在那里扎营居住了好几年。小猩猩接受了她,将她看成是它们的一分子。这是科学家第一次能够看见小猩猩自然状态下的行为。她甚至能够从黑猩猩的视野看待事情。

She came home at last and published her findings. The title of her report is revealing: My Friends the Chimps.27  Instead of standing detached from the objects of her studies, looking down upon them with a superior air, she came down to their level. She met them on their own terms. Hence her remarkable success.

最后,她终于回到了自己的家乡,出版了自己观察结果。她的题目是:我的黑猩猩朋友。她没有使观察对象和观察结果相分离,也没有居高临下观察这些动物,而是和这些黑猩猩站在同样的水平线上,因此她的观察是成功的。 

Similarly, there were two very different ways of approaching Jesus of Nazareth. On one occasion, what we should call a commission of enquiry came to watch Him at work. Its members were eminent scholars, drawn from all over the country.28 They studied Him critic­ally for a while, no doubt conscious of their own scholarship and full of confidence in their ability to judge Him. Then they announced their decision. “Who is this which speaketh blasphemies?”29

类似地,有两种不同的方式来接近拿撒勒人耶稣。第一种,其成员包括著名的学者,他们采取挑剔的方式研究耶稣,没有意识到认为自己有权力判断耶稣是过于自信。他们宣布自己的结论说:“这说僭妄话的是谁?” (路加福音521

The other way was the way of Mary of Bethany. She “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”30 Where the committee of scholars had looked down on Him, she looked up at Him. From their different viewpoints they beheld the same man. But the scholars saw a “blasphemer”; the humble woman saw the Son of God.

另外一条方法就像伯大尼的马利亚那样,在耶稣脚前坐著听他的道(路加福音1039 他们从不同的角度来看同样一个人。学者们看到的是亵渎者,谦卑的马利亚却看到的是  神的儿子。

There are the same two alternative ways of approaching the Bible. Some scholars-all too many of them-look down at the Bible with a cool, detached air. A “scientific” attitude they like to call it, just as the biologists who studied chimpanzees in cages thought their methods were the height of good science. They dissect the Bible into little bits, and examine each bit under the microscope of their specialist knowledge.

同样有两条方式走进圣经。一些学者(他们中间有很多人)居高临下看待圣经,带着事不关己、无动于衷的态度。他们喜欢称这种态度是“科学的”态度,就像他们喜欢观察笼子中的大猩猩一样。他们将圣经分裂成很多碎段,用他们的专业知识在显微镜下研究每一个片断。

But there are other men, just as scholarly, as well as a whole host of ordinary folk, who look up at the Bible instead of down at it. They follow the Jane Goodall technique, by studying the Bible on its own terms. Because she was a friend to the chimps, she quickly became the world’s foremost chimpanzee scholar.

 但是另外一些人,其中有学者,也有普通人,他们仰视圣经,而不是是居高临下地看待圣经,他们也采取了Jane Goodall的办法,按照圣经的方式研究圣经。Jane Goodall成为猩猩的朋友以后,很快就成为世界最好的猩猩研究学者。

Similarly, the wisest Bible scholars-those whose conclusions are most likely to be right-are those who can speak of “my friend, the Bible.” They follow the example of Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus to hear Him. They sit down before the Bible to learn from it, not just to learn about it.

类似地,最聪明的圣经学者(他们的观点通常是正确的),是那些将圣经看成是自己的朋友的人。他们以马利亚为榜样,坐在耶稣的脚下听从耶稣讲道。这些学者坐在圣经下面虚心学习,不仅仅是想了解圣经。

Think how different things might be if all scholars had possessed the spirit of Dr. Goodall and of Mary of Bethany. It would have made them no less scholarly, no less scientific. But it would have made them far more humble and far more balanced. It would have preserved their common sense. And thus this strange, incredible idea of a “true-false” Word of God would never have come to undermine the founda­tions of the Christian faith.

如果学者都有Goodall博士和马利亚的精神,今天的情景就会有很大的不同。可能没有这么多的学派,这么多的学科 ,但是他们的态度就会有更多的谦卑,看待问题没有那么多的偏见,他们也更加具有常识性。圣经是不是  神的话本身就是一个奇怪的、不可思议的问题,如果今天所有的学者都有Goodall博士和马利亚的态度,这个破坏基督教信仰根基的问题绝不会出现。

 

16

When were the Books Written?

圣经是什么时候写的?

Just when were the sixty-six books of the Bible written?

那么,圣经66本书是什么时候写成的呢?

This is an absolutely crucial question. If the Bible is what it claims to be, its sixty-six books must have been written by the men named as their authors. The authors of a few books are not stated, but the Bible tells us who wrote all the others. And they cannot have been written by those men unless they were written in their lifetimes.

这绝对是一个关键问题。如果圣经所声明的是正确的,这66本书的书名肯定是书的作者。圣经有时没告诉我们少数书的作者是谁,但告诉我们其余的作者。圣经不可能全部都是这些已知姓名的人写的,除非这些人写了好几辈子。

Well, were they or weren’t they written at the right time?

那么,这些书是否就是在那个时候写的呢?

The short answer is that scholars differ in their opinions. About the books of the Old Testament they differ very much indeed. About the books of the New Testament there is very much less difference of opinion.

对于这个问题,简单地回答是:不同的学者有不同的意见。实际上对旧约的书写年代,专家们之间的意见分歧较大,对新约的分歧就比较小。

Let me warn you of a common fallacy. Some people seem to think that with all this difference of opinion about the Old Testament, the situation is well nigh hopeless. How can the ordinary Bible-believer ever hope to establish the genuineness of the Old Testament books, if even the scholars do not really know the facts?

首先我要警告一种谬论。有些人似乎认为由于专家们对旧约的分歧是令人绝望的,对希望接受圣经的普通人来说,如果学者也不知道旧约的真实情况,他怎么相信这些书是真的?

Don’t worry. There is no need to look at it like that. Every time you receive a letter in an unknown handwriting, do you say, “Perhaps this letter is a forgery”? Of course not. You assume that a letter is genuine unless there is some reason to think otherwise-just as, in English law, a man is deemed innocent until he is proved guilty.

请你不要担心,也不必这样看问题。每次收到一封你不知道笔迹的时候,你会说这封信可能是伪造的吗?当然不会。你会假定这封信是真实的,除非自己有让自己相信是伪造的原因。正如按照英国的法律,除非有证据证明一个人有罪,否则这个人就是清白的。

It is not up to you to prove that each letter you receive is genuine, not even if a friend asks you to do so. If he says that a certain letter is a forgery, it is up to him to prove it a forgery. Unless he provides convincing proof of this, you are entitled to go on assuming the letter’s genuineness.

不是你来证明收到的每一封信是真的,即使是你的朋友要你相信这封信是伪造的,你会要他自己拿出证据来。除非他能够证明这一点,你大可放心地假定这封信是真的。

The Bible-believer is in a similar position. He has many good reasons for thinking that the Old Testament is part of the Word of God. (Some of these reasons were given in Part One of this book.) With evidence like that before him, there is no need for him to prove that each book was written at the right time, by the right author. He is fully entitled to assume that they were.

相信圣经的人也处在相似的环境中。他有很多理由认为旧约是  神的话语的一部分。(本书第一部分已经给出了一些理由)。既然有这些证明,他就没有必要证明每一本书是由哪些人写的,是在什么时间写的。他完全可以假定事情就是那个样子的。

Keep that fact always in mind as you go through this chapter. The Bible-believer is the man in the position of strength. There is no need to ask, “Can we prove that the Old Testament books were written by the men whose names they bear?”  

在阅读本章的整个过程中都要想到这一点,这样我们就会处在一个有力的位置。我们没有必要问自己:“我们能够证明圣经旧约所有的书是由那些人写的吗?”

The only legitimate question is this: “Can those who criticise the Bible prove that its books were not written by the men named as their authors?”

真正的问题应该是这样的:“批判圣经的人能够证明圣经不是这些人写的吗?”

That is the question at issue. Now let us look for an answer.

    这才是问题的本质。现在让我们来寻找答案。

 

The Attack on the Old Testament有关对旧约的攻击

 

The great scholarly attack on the Old Testament was mounted just over a hundred years ago. But it did not spring into existence overnight. Many of the arguments used were first put forward in the eighteenth century, or even earlier. It was only in the middle of the nineteenth century that those arguments began to lead to a great popular move­ment.

100多年以前,学术界对圣经发动了一次大攻击。这次攻击并不是在一夜之间就发生的。很多攻击论据在18世纪甚至更早就提出来了,但到了19世纪中叶这些攻击才逐渐盛行成为时尚。

This movement was associated with a literary technique known as “higher criticism”. This was a perfectly legitimate form of study which had been in use for a long time. It was devoted to studying the sources used by the authors of ancient books-not just Biblical books but any ancient books.

这些活动和当时盛行的“高度批判主义”流行不无关系。“高度批判主义”奉行超级完美,喜欢从古代开始研究事物的起源。这种思潮不仅仅针对圣经,目标也对准任何古代书籍。

Unfortunately, in the days of the great attack on the Bible, higher criticism was used in a most unbalanced way. Many higher critics chose to ignore what Jesus taught about the Bible, and to let their imaginations run riot. Fierce controversies took place, with both sides sometimes expressing themselves in a less-than-Christian fashion.

很不幸的是,高度批判主义者用此方法对圣经的批判有失偏颇。很多批判主义者无视耶稣关于圣经的教导,任由自己的想象力自由发挥。论战中有很多激烈的辩论,双方在表达自己的观点时都有失基督徒的形象。

These wordy battles had an unhappy sequel. The world’s Biblical scholars became divided into two camps, and the split has continued right down to the present day. Those who continued to regard the Bible as true were the smaller group. They reacted violently against the way their opponents used the methods of higher criticism to undermine people’s faith in the Bible, and they began to use the term “higher critic” as if it meant “someone who pulls the Bible to pieces.” 

这场口舌之争导致了不愉快地结局。世界上的圣经学者分裂成两大阵营,这种分裂一直持续到今天。依然认为圣经是真理的人成了少数派。他们激烈地反对高度批判主义者使人们丧失信心的做法。他们也对批判主义者实施更加严厉的批判,好像批判主义者意味着“要将圣经撕毁”似的。

At the time this was not far from the truth. Even today most higher critics reject the idea that the whole Bible is true, and most Bible-believers refuse to have anything to do with higher criticism. There are a few scholars who use the methods of higher criticism in a sensible way and remain staunch Bible-believers. But for simplicity’s sake I shall disregard their existence, and use the terms “higher critic” and ‘‘critical scholar’’ to mean the general run of higher critics, who argue that the Bible is, at best, only partly true.

在那个时代,他们并没有远离真理。即使在今天,大多数批判主义者拒绝承认全部圣经都是真理,大部分的圣经信仰者拒绝和批判主义者发生任何联系。有一些学者明智地采用“批判主义者”的方法,但他们仍然是坚定的圣经信仰者。为了陈述方便,我忽略他们的存在,我这里只是讨论那些认为圣经只有部分正确的批判主义者的观点。

Most of the heat has gone Out of the controversy nowadays. Many of today’s critical scholars are much more moderate than those of the last century. But the underlying problems are still there, and so we must have a look at the critics’ point of view. We shall under­stand this better if we begin by considering how their ideas first developed.

这场论战已经不再是今天的热点问题。很多批判家的态度要比上个世纪温和得多,但是问题依然存在,因此我们有必要来看看批判主义的观点。首先我们来看这些观点是如何形成和发展的。

A very brief summary of the nineteenth-century critical scholars’ case runs like this:

十九世纪批判主义者的主要观点总结如下:

(1) Moses could not write’. Archaeologists had found evidence that writing went back to nearly 1000 B.C., but beyond that there was nothing. The idea of Moses writing a code of laws hundreds of years earlier was clearly absurd. Therefore there must be another explana­tion: some other person, or persons, must have written the Jewish law long after Moses was dead. 摩西时代没有文字,摩西不可能写作。考古学家曾经认为最早的文字出现在公元前1000年,除此以外世界上没有任何文字记录。一些人因此认为摩西在公元前1500年就写下律法条文的观点是荒谬的,摩西律法的作者应该有别的解释,是另外的人或者是某些人在摩西死后很多年才写的。

(2)        Evidences of multiple authorship. Many of the books of the Old Testament do not read like the writings of one man. There is a fair amount of repetition, and sudden changes from one style of writing to another. Therefore it can be inferred that lots of unknown authors wrote little bits of the Old Testament books, and unknown editors welded these bits together into complete books. Eventually the Jewish public were persuaded that long-dead men, like Moses, and David, and Solomon and Isaiah, had written these recently compiled books. 多位作者的证据 旧约中的很多书阅读起来好像不会是一个人写的,有很多重复的部分,而且写作风格也存在突然变化。应该是有一些不知名的作者写完后插于进去的,然后又一位不知名的编辑将它们汇编成完整的书。最后,犹太人公众假定这些书是一位已经在很久以前就去世的人,例如大卫、所罗门以及以赛亚写的那些书。

(3) Historical errors. The Old Testament, it was thought, was riddled with historical errors. Eye-witnesses would never have made these blunders. Therefore the Bible was not a book of history written at the time things happened, but a collection of legends handed down by word of mouth for generations, and put in writing long afterwards. The people and places mentioned often did not exist, and when they did were often spelt wrongly or set in the wrong period of history. Even the words used were words from the wrong period-as if some­one had tried to write a fake Shakespeare play, but had foolishly included some modern American slang.

3)历史性的错误。这种思想认为,旧约存在着很多历史性错误。亲眼见过的人决不会方这样的错误。因此圣经不是一本在事情发生时写下的历史书,而是一系列一代一代传递的传说。圣经中提到的人物和地点并不存在,即使是存在的人物或地点,也有拼写错误,或者是被放置在错误的历史时期。圣经使用的词汇也不符合当时的历史特征。就像有人假冒莎士比亚的作品,却将一些现代美国俚语包括进去一样。

 

The Turn of the Tide潮流的转变

 

It would be an exaggeration to say that the new wave of critical theories about the Old Testament swept all before it. There were a great many Bible-believing scholars who remained unconvinced by the new theories. Nevertheless the critical movement did have a tremendous success. 

如果说,批判主义理论浪潮曾经横扫圣经旧约,那么就太夸大其词了。很多相信圣经的学者不相信他们的新理论。然而批判主义运动确实取得了很大的成功。

In one way this success was short-lived, in another, long-lived. In its original form it was short-lived because it had no sooner reached its peak, around the turn of the century, than some of its foundations were shown to be false.

从某个角度说,他们的成功是短命的。这种理论达到顶点之后,在下一个世纪,很多作为批判主义理论基础的东西被证明是错误的。

Archaeologists who had been looking for evidence of the dawn of civilisation made an uncomfortable discovery: for many years they had been digging in the wrong place! They had concentrated their efforts in the land we now call Iraq, in the territory of ancient Assyria in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. This earlier work had convinced them that writing was invented less than three thousand years ago.

   一直在寻找人类文明曙光的考古学家发现一件令不愉快的事实:多年来他们一直在错误的地点挖掘!过去他们将注意力放在现代伊拉克这块地方,(古代亚述国所在的幼发拉底和河与底格里斯河两河流域谷地)。早期的工作成果让他们相信人类的书写历史不超过3000年。

Then they moved down the rivers to the coastal plain. They dug up a number of cities in the area once called Babylonia, and made some startling discoveries. At Nippur, Ashur, Ur and Kish they found thousands of clay tablets covered With writing, far older than any written material previously known. Many of them were dated at about the time of Moses; some of them went back to far earlier periods, perhaps even as much as a thousand years before Moses was born.

后来他们顺着河流来到一块靠海的平原。他们挖掘了很多古巴比伦地区的一些城市,并且有惊人的发现。在Nippur, Ashur, Ur(即吾珥,亚伯拉罕的故乡)和Kish这些城市,他们发现了数千件有文字记载的泥板,比从前知道的更早。很多属于摩西时代,有一些则更早,甚至在摩西出生之前一千年。

Some of these ancient records consisted of codes of law drawn up by various kings. The earliest law code known today is probably that of the Sumerian king, Ur Nammu. He lived about four thousand years ago. A more famous law code was compiled by Hammurabi, sixth king of the first dynasty of Babylon, in about 1700 B.C. 

这些古代记录中包括不同国王起草的法律。今天我们已经知道的最早的成文法典可能是Ur Nammu国王颁布的,他生活在4000年以前(公元前2000左右)。更有名的汉摩拉比法典颁布时间为公元前1700年。(汉摩拉比是巴比伦第一个王朝的第6位国王)。

Since Moses lived around 1300 B.C. it was clear that the early higher critics had made a fundamental blunder. Writing in general, and writing books of laws in particular, was already a very ancient art when Moses was born. So Moses certainly could have written the law that bears his name.

摩西生活的年代大约为公元前1300年,非常明显,早期的批判主义者犯了根本性的错误。前面提到的法律在摩西出生时就成了古董,摩西当然有可能写下以他的名字命名的律法书。

Not only so, but large numbers of people would have been able to read what he wrote. The earliest form of writing was “picture writing”, in which a different little diagram is used for every word. The great breakthrough in human communications - even more important than the invention of printing-was the invention of the alphabet. And this occurred long before the time of Moses.

不仅仅如此,当时有很多人能够阅读他写的作品。早期的“象形文字”可以表达每一个词的意思,这是人类交往过程中的巨大突破。字母的发明甚至比印刷术更加伟大,这些事情的发生都在摩西时代之前。

Consequently writing was already in common use by quite ordinary people. Not only legal documents by kings have been found in these ancient cities, but personal letters, records of business deals, lists of stores held by merchants, and so forth.

书写对很多人来说是很平常的事情。这些古代城市不仅发现了很多国王颁布的书面法律文件,还有个人书信,商业事件记载,商人记录的商品库存名单,等等。

There is a very interesting passage in the Revised Standard Version (a Bible translation published in 1952) of the book of Judges. It des­cribes an event occurring about a hundred years after the time of Moses:

圣经士师记8:14中有一段很有趣的记载。它描写了摩西去世后大约100年所发生的事:

 

“Then Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle by the ascent of Heres. And he caught a young man of Succoth and ques­tioned him; and he wrote down for him the officials and elders of Succoth, seventy-seven men.”1

“约阿施的儿子基甸由希列斯坡从阵上回来,捉住疏割的一个少年人,问他:「疏割的首领长老是谁?」他就将首领长老七十七个人的名字出来”。

 

When the Revised Version (another Bible translation) was pub­lished in 1884 the translators could not bring themselves to say that the young man “wrote”. Their translation says he “described” the men in question (although they pointed out in a footnote that the Hebrew word does really mean “wrote”). Evidently the scholars of the late nineteenth century could not conceive of an ordinary prisoner of war in Gideon’s day being able to write. But in the light of modern knowledge it seems altogether possible.

1884年出版的钦定修订版中,译者认为当时的人不可能“”,就这个年轻人“描绘”了这些名字,尽管在旁边标明,希伯来原文的意思是“写”。这就证明,19世纪晚期的学者没有意识到,在基甸生活的时代,普通人会写字。现代人知道这是可能的。

 

Who Compiled What?谁是编辑?编辑了些什么内容?

 

There is no doubt that a great deal of compiling has occurred in the writing of the Bible. Authors always have made a habit of quoting earlier authors. The Bible makes no secret of this. Moses admitted that he used material from the book of The Wars of Jehovah,2 and two other authors said they borrowed from the book of Jasher.3 Other writers refer to at least eight more lost books that they used as sources of information.4 The question upon which scholars disagree is this:  who did the compiling?

毫无疑问,编辑圣经的过程中经过了大量工作。一本书的书写者通常会引用另一本书的话。圣经也对此毫无隐瞒。摩西承认他的书中包括《The Wars of Jehovah》这本书的内容,还有两本书的作者说,他们引用过《book of Jasher这本书的内容。此外还有至少8本书被引用。学者存在争议的地方在于:谁在做这些编辑工作? 

When the nineteenth-century critics reached their premature con­clusion that Moses could not write, they were led on a false trail. Naturally, they said, the Law of Moses must have been compiled in the days when men could write. So they produced a theory that it was produced roughly halfway between the times of Moses and Christ.

19世纪,批判主义者认为摩西时代不存在书写的时候,他们陷于了两难困境:他们不能够说是磨西抄写了别人的书籍,因此他们说,摩西律法一定是在人们掌握了文字以后才编辑成的。他们制造了一种理论,认为摩西律法大约出现在摩西与基督中间的年代。

They had no hope of establishing the actual identities of their supposed authors and compilers. So they gave them fictitious labels. One imaginary gentleman was known as J, because he always called God “Jehovah”. Another was called E, because he preferred the Hebrew word Elohim for God. Then there was D; he was largely responsible for the book of Deuteronomy. P was a priest; you could tell the bits he wrote (or so they said) by his priestly leanings.

他们不可能确定这些假定的作者和编辑者,所以自己虚构了很多名字。他们猜测有一位作者是J先生,因为他总是称  神为“Jehovah”;他们称另一位为E先生,因为他喜欢用希伯莱的“Elohim”来代表  神;接下来还有一位名叫“D”先生,因为他主要负责申命记》“Deuteronomy”的编辑工作;还有一位P先生,从他写的书可以看出它对犹太人的祭司(Priest)制度具有非常渊博的知识。

There were quite a lot of other members of the critics’ Editorial Committee. Some of them were formed by splitting up men like D into D The First, D The Second, and so on. Another view is that some of the JEDP family should be regarded as different traditions rather than as individual men. But we need not concern ourselves with the finer points of the theory. J, E, D, and P always have been the Big Four; it will simplify matters if we concentrate on them.

批判者组成的编委会还编造了很多人物。有人将D先生划分为D先生第一,D先生第二等等。还有人将作者看成是不同的年代人物,而不是单个的人。但是我们不想涉及他们理论的细节问题,在各种理论中,J, E, D,P四个大人物是一致存在的,我们讨论重点集中在他们身上可以更简单一些。   

After years of arguing about who wrote which bits, the critics finally reached something like unanimity. They published an edition of the Bible which, if not intended to be the last word in Biblical scholar­ship, was at least supposed to be somewhere near it. So that the reader could see who was supposed to have written what, J’s contribu­tions were printed in one colour, E’s in another, D’s in a third, and so on. Since the colours sometimes switched about from verse to verse, or even from line to line, the result looked more like a Scotsman’s kilt than a holy book.

批判学者对谁写圣经的哪一部分争吵了好多年之后,最终似乎达成了一致。他们出版了自己的圣经,并且希望以圣经的最终权威说话,或假定可以用接近圣经的最终权威说话。为了让读者明白自己的用意,他们将所谓J先生的书写内容用一种颜色来标注,D先生用另一种颜色。因为颜色从一节到另一节经常要变化,甚至行间就有变化,结果这本书更像是苏格兰男人的裙子,而不是一本圣洁的书。

The fact that they could issue such a book as this shows how very self-confident the early higher critics were. It never seemed to occur to them that their work was highly speculative, based on very slender evidence. Like fond parents they could see nothing wrong with their own offspring. “Critical scholars” they called themselves; but where their own work was concerned they were some of the most uncritical people on earth.

从他们出版这样的一本书就可以看出,早期的批判主义者是多么自大。他们从来没有想到自己的工作充满了猜测,是建立在薄弱证据的基础上。就像溺爱孩子的父母看不到自己孩子的错误一样。他们称自己为“批判家”,却认为自己的工作是世界上最不应该受批判的。

If it were not for this, they might have had a fresh look at their subject when their mammoth boob about Moses being “unable to write” was exposed. Unfortunately this did nothing to shake their self-confidence. By this time they were so sold on J, E, D, and P that they pressed on regardless, refining their ideas of which of these mythical gentlemen wrote what.

当他们认为摩西时代没有文字的的错误被揭露以后,他们应该改过自新,然而不幸的是,错误没有动摇他们的自信,他们依然我行我素,继续销售他们的J, E, D,P理论。

Meanwhile a considerable number of other men were looking at the Old Testament from another point of view. As Bible-believers they failed to see how the JEDP school could possibly be right, because that would mean that Jesus Christ had been wrong. Because of this their opponents called them biased. Perhaps they were biased, but no more so than the higher critics themselves. And they were certainly not ignoramuses. Many of them were scholars of international renown.

与此同时很多其他人在寻求用另外的观点来看待旧约。作为圣经信仰者,他们没能看出批判主义理论没有正确的可能性,批判主义理论意味着耶稣基督犯了错误。他们仅仅称批判主义者的理论有偏差。也有可能他们自己的观点也有偏差,但要比批判主义者小一些。他们绝对不是不学无术的人,其中很多人具有国际声望。

These Bible-believing scholars of seventy years ago published many books and papers opposing the critical theories of the day. Some of these are classics, still worthy of study today.They made four main points:

这些相信圣经的学者出版了很多书和杂志反对当时盛行的批判主义理论。其中有一些巨作非常经典,在今天依然值得一读。他们的主要观点有4点:

(1) That archaeologists were constantly making discoveries that revealed the unsoundness of many of the critics’ assumptions.考古学家的发现经常揭示了批判主义者的假设是错误的。

(2) That other theories to explain the evidence of compilation in the Old Testament could be produced; these fitted the facts just as well as the JEDP theories, and had the overwhelming advantage of not conflicting with the views of Christ and His apostles.还有很多关于旧约的理论同样符合批判主义提出的事实,而且与圣经的新约的观点没有冲突。

(3) That the critics’ arguments based upon style and vocabulary were far from watertight, especially in the light of our rapidly increas­ing knowledge of ancient languages.批判主义的论据建立在过去对古代的语言了解不多的基础上。而现在人们对古代语言的了解越来越多。

(4) That Old Testament history was far more reliable than the critics had thought. Every year new discoveries were coming to light that necessitated some rewriting of our history books. And frequently, where the older versions of the history books pronounced the Bible ‘wrong, the newer versions agreed that the Bible had been right after all.  圣经旧约中的历史部分要远远比批判主义者所认为的要基础牢固。几乎每一年都有新的发现,足以改写某一部分的历史。结果,旧版本的历史书认为圣经记载的历史是错误的,而新版本的历史书宣布圣经记载是正确的。

This last point, the accuracy of Bible history, is covered in Chapter 18. I shall deal briefly with the other three points here.

   我们将在本书的第18章探讨圣经历史准确性的有关问题。这里我要讨论其余的三个问题。

 

Why Not Moses?为什么不是摩西?

 

If JEDP ~ Co. did not compile the first five books of the Bible, who did?如果圣经的律法书不是J, E, D,P合作写的,那么是谁做的?

The obvious answer is, Moses. There is no proof that it wasn’t Moses. Since writing was known long before his time, there would have been plenty of existing writing for him to work with.答案很明显,是摩西写的。没有证据表明不是摩西。因为文字早在摩西时代之前很久就已经被发明,在摩西的时候就有很多文字材料可以参考。

God made some tremendously important promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ancestors of Moses.’ According to both the Christian New Testament7 and the Jewish Talmud8 these promises implied a hope of resurrection and personal immortality for Abra­ham, Isaac and Jacob. Since writing was in use in Abraham’s day, it seems highly likely that he and his family would have kept a record of these promises. Perhaps they kept accounts of God’s other dealings with them, too.  神向摩西的祖先亚伯拉罕、以撒和雅各做出了庄严的承诺,不管是犹太人的律法书还是基督徒的新约都承认,这些应许中包含复活和永生的盼望。既然在亚伯拉罕时代就有了文字,当然亚伯拉罕家族有可能将 神和他们打交道的故事记载下来,其中包括  神对他们的应许。

One archaeologist has suggested that there may even have been some written records dating back to the time of Adam.9 (The ques­tion of whether Adam was a real man, and if so, when he lived, is discussed in Chapter 23.) This startling suggestion may sound highly improbable, but P. J. Wiseman supplies a surprising amount of evidence for it. Don’t dismiss the idea out of hand without first reading his book.

甚至有一位考古学家认为在亚当时代就有文字。(本书的第23章将讨论亚当是否是真实的人;如果是,他生活在什么年代等问题)。这个让人吃惊的论断听起来是不可能的,但P. J. Wiseman提供了大量令人惊讶的证据,阅读这本书之前请您不要轻易地下结论排除这种可能性。

Although they may not have gone back as far as Wiseman suggests, there were undoubtedly many written documents available to Moses. If, as seems almost certain, he made use of these, this could account for all the evidences of compilation in his five books.

尽管人类掌握文字的历史可能没有P. J. Wiseman认为的那样久远,但是有确凿的证据显示在摩西时代就有很多文字资料。我们几乎可以肯定,摩西使用了这些材料来编辑摩西律法书。 

For example, some people make a great song and dance about what they call “the two contradictory records of creation” in Genesis 1 and 2. This is a most misleading expression. There are two records, but they are not contradictory. They describe some of the same events, but from two very different points of view.

例如,有人在声称创世记第一章和第二章相矛盾。这其实是误导。它们是两种记录,但是并不矛盾;描写的是同样的事件,但是角度不同。

As Wiseman pointed out, the phrase “these are the generations of so-and-so” occurs eleven times in Genesis, and always at or near the end of the story of so-and-so. It does not mean, “these are the children of”. It means, “that was the story of”. It appears to be Moses’ way of acknowledging that the material he had just included in Genesis was taken from a written record about so-and-so. The writing, by the way, would not have been on paper, but on a baked clay tablet.

正如Wiseman所指出的,在创世记中“创造(某某)…..的来历”这样的词出现了11次,通常出现在事情的结尾。摩西用这种表达方式来告诉大家,这些包含在创世记的材料是从其它书面记录中来的。顺便说一下,当时的书写材料是不是纸张,而是要经过烘烤的粘土片。

The first occurrence of “these are the generations of -. .” is unique. Here in Genesis 2, verse 4, “so-and-so” is not a person but “the heavens and the earth”. It concludes the first creation story, which gives a birds-eye view of the whole of creation. Perhaps, if I may use the expression reverently, a “God’s-eye” view would describe it better.

第一次出现“创造…..的来历”这种表达方式时是非常独特的。创世记24被创造的不是一个人称,而是“天和地”。它以“老鹰的视野”总结了第一次创造天地的故事,可能“ 神的视野”这个词更虔诚一些。

The second creation story runs from Genesis 2, verse 5, to the end of the chapter. It forms the first section of “the generations of Adam”, which end, with that phrase, in chapter 5, verse 1. So this second narrative is concerned with creation from Adam’s point of view. It is not concerned with the creation of the world, but only with the creation of Adam and his homeland, the Garden of Eden.

第二个创造的故事从创世记25一直到这一章的结尾。这次是按照亚当的视点来叙述的。涉及的并不是创造世界,而仅仅与创造亚当和他自己的故土---伊甸园。

The “earth”, whose creation is referred to in verse 5, is almost certainly the land of Eden. It is a translation of the Hebrew word eretz, which can mean “earth” but is more frequently translated “land”-as in Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. This is why there is no mention of “the heavens” in the second creation narrative. 在第5节中提到的“地”,几乎肯定是指“伊甸园”。这个词是从希伯莱文“eretz”来的,它的意思是以色列的“地”,所以在第二次的描写中没有提到创造“天”的故事。  

We do not know why God chose to give these two separate, comple­mentary stories of creation. We don’t know when He revealed them, or to whom. The internal evidence indicates that He did give them, that they were written down, and that Moses brought them together. In the present state of our knowledge we can go no further than that.

我们不知道为什么  神会选择让两个独立的、互相补充的创造世界的故事出现。我们也不知道  神什么时候、向谁显示了这些故事。一些内在的证据显示   神真的向人显示了这些事情,然后有人记录下来,摩西将这些故事汇集在一起。在目前这个阶段我们的知识还是有限的。

And what about the evidence of compilation in the later books of Moses? Here again we cannot go very far, but it is possible to make some reasonable guesses.

是否有证据说明是摩西律法中包含前人所写的故事?在这个问题上我们依然不能走的太远。当时如果可能的话,我们可以做一些合理的推测。

Writing in those days was a very laborious business. Moses was a very busy man, and he would have needed some help. In those days great men dictated to professional writers - called “amanuenses” -  just as business men dictate to their secretaries today. We can almost take it for granted that Moses used secretaries, just as Paul did.

书写在当时是一件非常辛苦的工作。摩西是一个非常忙碌的人,有可能需要一些帮助。在当时的年代,一些大人物有专门抄写的人为他服务,这些人被称为“amanuenses”,就象是今天的公司总裁吩咐自己的秘书一样。我们当然可以认为摩西也有这样的吩咐“amanuenses”,保罗的一些信也是吩咐别人写的。

We do not know how much freedom Moses gave his secretaries. Paul evidently allowed his a certain amount of liberty, because in one of his epistles this verse appears:

    我们不知道摩西给了他手下的人多少自由。但是保罗给为他写信的人很多的自由的。例如在一封书信中有:

“I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.”10

    “我这代笔写信的德丢,在主里面问你们安”。(罗马书1622

A German scholar11 has shown that ancient Greek authors generally gave their secretaries a fair amount of freedom. The author would dictate while the secretary wrote on a wax tablet; this allowed him to write very rapidly. Later, the secretary would copy his text on to papyrus (the ancient equivalent of paper), perhaps tidying up the grammar as he went. Then the original author would read his sec­retary’s handiwork, and correct it himself where he thought necessary. Finally he would add a farewell greeting in his own hand.12

有一位德国学者指出,古希腊人写作时候通常会给自己的秘书一些自由。通常作者在口授时秘书将这些话写在蜡板上,这样会让秘书写得快一些。随后,秘书会用草纸抄写 ,可能自己整理语法,随后,口授人会阅读秘书的抄写本,并且亲自修改。最终一切工作都由口授者亲自完成。

Very tentatively, let us suppose that Moses used several secretaries. Suppose that he allowed each one a certain freedom of style. Suppose that Moses gathered all their writings together, incorporated as much of the already-existing writings as he wanted to use, and then gave the whole job a final editorial polish.

让我们暂时假定摩西雇佣了好几个秘书。假定摩西被他们每个人一定的自由。假定摩西将这些已经存在书写材料汇集在一起,并编辑成为我们今天所看到的律法书。

If this is what happened, it would account for all the little peculiari­ties that the higher critics have pointed out. Moreover, if God was supervising the whole operation and guiding all concerned by His Spirit, the result would be the inspired, infallible book that Jesus and the apostles believed it to be.

如果事情真的就这样发生了,圣经评判家所指出的事情就没有什么可以大惊小怪的了。更重要的是,如果  神通过圣灵在指导所有的工作,那么结果就是  神所启示的、可靠的,正如耶稣和使徒所相信的那样。

Guesswork, conjecture, did you say? Yes, of course it’s all conjecture. How could any theory of the composition of an ancient book be any­thing else? The JEDP theories are only conjecture. And it is very doubtful whether the critics’ conjectures fit the facts any better than this conjecture.

你可能说,我在猜测,当然这些都是猜测。除此之外,一本古书的形成还会有别的方法?JEDP理论纯粹是在猜测,只是这种批判理论成立的可能性有多大?

In much the same way, any compiling that has occurred in the later books of the Old Testament could be the work of the men named in the Bible as their authors.

同样,旧约其它书的汇编工作都是由圣经指明的作者完成的。

 

Direct Evidence for Early Dates 早期时间的直接证据

 

As a research worker myself, I know what a temptation it is to turn a blind eye to uncomfortable facts. A scientist has said that the fre­quent tragedy of science is a beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact. Naturally, when it is my own beautiful theory that is in peril, I should not be human if I didn’t shy away from the menacing facts.

作为一名研究人员,我知道最大的诱惑就是逃避自己不愿看到的事实。一位科学家说,科学界最容易发生的悲剧是华丽的理论被丑恶的事实所谋杀。从本性来说,在我自己的漂亮理论遇到危险的时候,我没有去想回避不愿意看到的事实,那么我就不是一个人。

To an outside observer it rather looks as if many critical scholars are reacting like that. Having committed themselves to late dates for the Old Testament books, they now find it very hard to give due weight to the evidence for an early date.

从外界旁观者的角度来看,批判学者的表现就是这样。他们喜欢研究那些“证明”圣经旧约成书年代往后的数据,而不喜欢那些能够证明圣经形成年代往前的数据。

Many of the place names in the early chapters of Genesis, for example, have never been explained by the critical scholars.13 One verse says:

例如,创世记前面的一些章节提过的很多地名,而批判学派从来没有做出过解释。有一节经文说:

“And the border of the Canaanite was from Zidon as thou goest towards Gerar unto Gaza as thou goest towards Sodom and Gomorrah.”14

“迦南的境界是从西顿向基拉耳的路上,直到迦萨,又向所多玛、蛾摩拉、押玛、洗扁的路上,直到拉沙。”(创世记1019

Sodom and Gomorrah? According to the Bible they were wiped out in the days of Abraham. No factual record of their continued existence occurs anywhere, in the Bible or out of it. How come, then, that we have this geographical instruction based on the location of Sodom and Gomorrah? This is almost overwhelming evidence that these words were written in or before the time of Abraham, and incorporated in Genesis by Moses.

所多玛和蛾摩拉?根据圣经的说法,这两个城市在亚伯拉罕的年代就已经被毁灭。不管是在圣经或者是别的书中,都没有记载表明它们继续存在。那么,为什么要以所多玛和蛾摩拉为路标?这几乎可以证明了这一段话写于亚伯拉罕的时代,或之前,后来被摩西编辑加入到创世记中。

And this evidence is not alone. Genesis 14 is about Abraham. It contains a number of ancient place names used nowhere else in the Bible. None of the readers would have known where those places were. In the same way as a modern writer might say, “Petrograd (now called Leningrad)”, Genesis 14 says:

  然而这并不是唯一的证据。创世记14章记载了亚伯拉罕的故事。其中包含了很多古代的地名,除了在圣经以外别的地方都没有提到过。没有人知道这些地方在那里。正如我们经常说“彼得格勒(现在称为列宁格勒)”一样。

“Bela (which is Zoar)”-verses * and 8.

“Vale of Siddim (which is the Salt Sea)”-verse 3.

“En-mishpat (which is Kadesh)”-verse 7.

“Hobah (which is on the left hand of Damascus)”-verse 15.

“Vale of Shaveh (which is the King’s Dale)”-verse 17.

   8节提到:比拉就是琐珥

   3节提到:西订谷就是盐海

   7节提到:安密巴,就是加低斯

   15节提到:大马色左边的何把

    17节提到:沙微谷就是王谷

Which is more likely: that Abraham, or someone of his day, wrote the original account using the place names as they were then, and that Moses, compiling Genesis, added his “modern” equivalents? Or that, as the critical theories imply, some scribe a thousand years after Abraham invented all those unknown names for no apparent reason?

哪一种可能性更高一些:1,亚伯拉罕或那个时代的人写下了当时的地名,摩西后来在编辑创世记的时候,加上了摩西时代的地名。2,或者如某些批判学者所说的,是亚伯拉罕之后一千年某位文士不知道为什么发明了这一些未知的地名?

The critical scholars reply to these arguments by pointing Out that the opposite condition sometimes applies. That is, that some places are called in the Bible by names that were not used at the time the book concerned was said to be written. This is a poor argument. It does not weaken the force of the argument given above, and carries little weight on its own. How do we know that the names used in the Bible were not in use at an early date? Tomorrow some archaeologist may dig up evidence that they were! In any case, there is already archaeological evidence that some cities in Old Testament times had two, three and even four different names, all in use at one time.15

而批判主义者在回应这些证据的时候回答说,圣经中提到的地名并不是圣经书写时代的地名。然而这个回答是站不住脚的。我们这么才能知道刚才圣经提到的地名并不是圣经书写时代的地名?可能明天考古学家的新发现能够证明他们就是当时的城市名称!不管怎样说,已经有证据表明某些圣经旧约的城市拥有两个、三个甚至四个名称,而且在同时使用。

Higher critics have always based a lot of arguments on the nature of words. For example, some words entered the English language suddenly, at a known date. “Blitz” and “quisling”, for instance, were never used in English until 1940.

有些批判学者常常根据词汇的性质来寻找证据。例如,某些单词会非常突然地进入英语的词汇当中,例如,“Blitz” “quisling” 这两个单词是在1940年才进入英语词汇表。

This is fine, but there are not very many words, even in modern English, that can be dated so accurately. Trying to do this sort of thing with a language three thousand years old is a very chancy business.

这种方法当然很好。但是即使是在现代英语中,也有很多单词我也不知道去确切的使用时间。将这种方法用在三千年前的语言上,成功的概率非常小。

Dr. R. D. Wilson was a Bible-believer. He was also a Professor of Semitic Philology. Philology means “the science of language”; Semitic means Hebrew and related languages. In short, he was a leading expert in this field. He spent a vast amount of time-probably as much as almost any critical scholar-analysing the vocabulary of the Old Testament. His findings18 “proved” the early dates for the Old Testa­ment, just as clearly as critics had used the same methods to “prove” late dates for them.

R. D. Wilson博士是一位相信圣经的人,也是闪族语言学的教授,(研究希伯来语言以及相关语言)。他是这一方面的权威。他花费了大量的时间来研究圣经旧约使用的词汇,他的发现“证明了”这些词汇属于旧约的早期年代,而批判学者却用同样的方法“证明了”这些词汇属于晚期年代。

What this really means, of course, is that neither party had really proved anything - except, perhaps, the power of prejudice over the human mind! The real value of Dr. Wilson’s work was to show the uselessness of basing any conclusions on this sort of argument.

  这就意味着,双方都不能证明任何东西,除非他们被自己的偏见所控制!Wilson博士工作的价值在于:根据自己的结论寻找证据是毫无益处的。

 

Style 写作风格

 

Up to a point you can tell a writer from his style. But only up to a point. I write scientific papers, and I write Christian tracts. It would surprise me very much if any reader ever connected one of my un­signed tracts with my scientific papers. Because I am writing in a different field, for a different readership, I deliberately employ a different style.

从某种程度来说,你可以通过作品的风格来区别不同的作家。但是这样做是有某种程度的。我自己写科技论文,也写基督教小册子。我自己写的这两样东西的风格不可能相同的。因为我写的领域不同,阅读对象也不同。我故意采取了不同的写作风格。

Authors change their styles unconsciously, as well as consciously. Sometimes their style changes as they grow older. The poems written by Wordsworth at the end of his life are in quite a different style from his earlier poems. Some of Milton’s works are in a very different style from his other writings, perhaps because of changes in his health.17

有的时候,作家会在不经意之中改变自己的风格。有的时候他们的风格会因为年纪便老而又变化。Wordsworth早期诗歌作品的风格就不同于晚期。密尔顿一些作品的风格与另一些不同,可能是因为他的身体健康状态有了变化。

Because of this, it is surprising to find anyone drawing definite conclusions from variations in literary style. Yet this is just what higher critics tend to do. They say the Book of Deuteronomy “could not” have been written by the same author as the Book of Leviticus, because the style is different. Some of Paul’s epistles “could not” have been written by the same man as the others, because the style is different.

因此,如果有人声称能够根据充满变数的写作风格得出肯定的结论,那真的是令人感到奇怪了。他们说,申命记这本书的作者“不可能”与利未记的作者是同一个人,因为两本书的写作风格不一样。一些保罗书信的作者“不可能”是保罗另外一些书信的作者,原因也是因为写作风格不一样。

Recently the whole question of style has gained a new significance, because computers are now used to analyse literary style. In fact it is all a lot of fuss about nothing, because the computers are not doing any­thing new. They are merely being used to do a lot of tedious arith­metic. They count the average length of sentence in a book, the aver­age length of word, the frequency with which certain words and phrases occur, and so on. Thus they enable a statistical measure of the author’s style to be obtained.

最近,有关写作风格的问题又有了新的意义,计算机被应用到写作风格的研究中来。事实上这件事情并不值得大惊小怪,因为计算机并不能做出什么新鲜的东西了。计算机仅仅能够被用来做一些很枯燥的数学工作。

But painstaking men were doing this many years ago, long before computers were invented. All that computers do is to make the process easier, and faster. In an article on the use of computers to analyse authors’ styles, a famous scientist concluded with a very sound warning:

    但是早在发明计算机以前,就有很多不辞辛苦的人在做这样的工作。计算机能够做的是让过程更加容易一些,更加快一些。在一篇介绍使用计算机分析作者的写作风格的文章中,有这样的一些结论:

“No statistical analysis ever proves anything to be absolutely true. When given the necessary data, however, it can say which of the two alternatives is the more likely to be correct.”18

  “统计分析不能够证明任何事情是绝对正确的。根据在给定的数据可以得出两种不同的可能性结论”。

In other words, this sort of thing cannot establish facts. It can only estimate probabilities.

换句话说,计算机这样的东西并不能够确定事实。它只能够估计概率(可能性)。

By drawing conclusions from arguments based on style, higher critics are not only disregarding this warning. They are committing a much more serious error. This is their method:

在确立作品的风格方面,批判主义者不仅仅无视上述警告。他们还犯了另外一种更加严重的错误,那就是他们看待问题的方法。

First, they assume that the Bible is not verbally inspired. They have to assume this before they can start. Nobody knows what the operation of the Holy Spirit would do to a man’s literary style, so if you want to base conclusions on an analysis of style you simply must rule out the possibility of the Spirit affecting your results.

首先,他们假定圣经不是  神所启示的。他们以此作为分析问题的开端。没有人能够知道圣灵对一个人写作风格的影响。因此,如果你的结论中包含着前提,你已经排除了圣灵对写作风格的影响。

Right. You assume “no inspiration”. You do your analysis. You find differences in style between the Letter to the Galatians and the Letter to the Ephesians. You say: “Therefore Paul didn’t write them both. But the Bible says he did. Therefore the Bible can’t be verbally inspired.”

是的。你假定“没有 神的启示”。你自己做你自己的分析。你发现了加拉太书的写作风格同以弗所书的写作风格不同。你自己下结论说:“因此这两封信不可能都是保罗写的。但是圣经说这两封信是保罗写的,因此圣经不可能是  神所启示的。”

This is merely arguing in a circle. Starting with an assumption, you end up by concluding what you had first assumed. Any scientist doing that sort of thing would soon find himself looking for another job

这实际上是循环论证。从自己的假设出发,结论又回到了假设上。如果某位科学家用这种方式来分析问题,他可能不得不另谋高就。

Surely there is only one sane approach to the question of style in the Bible. Leave it alone. It proves little in an ordinary book, and proves nothing at all in a book claiming to be inspired.

对于圣经写作风格这个问题,只有一种好办法,就是不要管它。它只能够用在普通书上,而且也证明不了什么。而对于圣经这一本声明是  神所启示的书来说,什么也不能够证明。

 

A Critic Takes a Tumble 一个批判学者翻了跟头

 

In the early days, higher critics spoke with boundless confidence of their methods. Instead of admitting that they were mixing a little evidence With a lot of guesswork and a sprinkling of prejudice, they made claims like this:

早期的批判主义者对于自己的研究方法非常自信。他们拒绝承认自己的工作建立在猜测和一点点证据的基础上,而是这样声明:

“Higher criticism itself is neutral; it has no bias; it is a scientific process.”19

  “批判主义是中立的,没有偏向性,它自身是一个科学的过程”。

Since those days most of them have mellowed a bit. But as recently as 1943 one of them could still write about critical theories:

   以后,他们中间的大多数人收敛了一点点。但是最近1943年,他们中间的一个人依然这样谈论批判主义:

“These things are not in doubt; they are not hypothetical recon­structions or tentative suggestions, but truths as assured as anything ever can be in the sphere of literary research.”20

   “这些事情都是毫无疑问的,它们不是假设,也不是试验,而是确定的真理。”

Over-confident assertions like these are astonishing, when you think of all the hard knocks that various higher critics have had to take. The sad story of a professor who tried to win a lawsuit by using the methods of higher criticism has been told by A. J. Pollock:

尽管面临如此多的反驳,像这样过于自信的声明是非常令人震惊的。A. J. Pollock曾经告诉我们一位大学教授输掉官司的故事,这位教授在法庭上使用的正是批判主义使用的方法。

“A literary lady in Canada, Miss Florence Deeks, wrote the story of the part women have played in history, under the title of ‘The Web’, and lodged her manuscript in the keeping of the Canadian branch of the well-known publishing house of Macmillan in Toronto.

Florence Deeks女士是一位加拿大作家,她写了一本关于妇女在历史中的作用问题的书,书名叫《The Web》,后来她将这部书的手稿世界知名的麦克米伦出版社在多伦多的办事机构。”

“A few months later appeared ‘The Outline of History’ by Mr H. G. Wells, published also by Macmillan, but from their London office.

过了几个月,H. G. Wells(韦尔斯)编写的《历史纲要》(‘The Outline of History’)出版了,同样为麦克米伦出版社,但是是该出版社在伦敦的办事处。

“When Miss Deeks read the ‘Outline of History’, she was struck by the fact that Mr Wells had introduced ideas and incidents, which also appeared in her book, and that many of the phrases were common to both. She came to the conclusion that Mr Wells must have had access to her manuscript and was guilty of gross plagiarism.

Deeks女士看到了《历史纲要》这本书以后感到非常吃惊,因为这本书所介绍的一些事件和观点在她自己的书中也存在,而且很多词语相同。她于是下结论说,韦尔斯先生一定看过了她的手稿,并且剽窃了她的劳动成果。

“Seeing that there was no proof that Mr Wells had seen the manuscript of ‘The Web’, a means of convincing a court of law that plagiarism had really happened must be discovered. Why not try the methods employed by the Higher Critics? Why not get an expert of wide experience on these lines? So Miss Deeks took her case to the Rev. W. A. Irwin, M.A., B.D., PH.D., at that time an associate professor of Ancient and Old Testament Languages and Literature at Toronto University, afterwards Professor of Old Testament Languages and Literature at Chicago University. The Professor in accepting the task said:

“但是她并没有证据表明韦尔斯先生曾经看见过《The Web》这本书的手稿,必须通过某种方法向法庭证明剽窃确实发生过。为什么不采用批判主义者的方法呢? Deeks女士就自己的官司咨询W. A. Irwin教授,这位教授研究古代圣经旧约的语言,曾经在加拿大和美国多所大学担任教授职务。他在接受这个案子的时候说:

‘I consented in considerable measure because this is the sort of task with which my study of ancient literature repeatedly con­fronts me, and I was interested to test out in modern works the methods commonly applied to those of the ancient world.’

“我非常同意你的看法,因为在我从事的古代语言的研究过程当中,经常要遇到这样的任务。现在我有兴趣将研究古代的方法应用在现代的这个案子当中”。

“So he diligently pursued his task, and at length formulated his ‘assured results’ in much detail, proving, as he claimed, that Mr Wells had access to Miss Deeks’ manuscript, that he had made free use of it, and had been guilty of considerable plagiarism.

“因此,他非常努力地开始了案件的准备工作。他写下长篇大论“证明”韦尔斯先生曾经看见过Deeks女士的手稿,并且未经许可地使用了这些手稿,因此构成了剽窃。

“Miss Deeks then brought action against Mr H. G. Wells and the Macmillan publishers in a Canadian court, claiming ~5oo,ooo, or about £100,000 damages.