Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies...

Many traces of the old modes of life and thought survive in the form of folklore. A few such relics of ruder times, as they are preserved like fossils in the Old Testament, are illustrated and explained by the author in this book. The first volume covers the folklore ranging from the creation of man to the heirship of Jacob.

PREFACE ix It is a familiar truth that the full solution of any one problem involves the solution of many more; nay, that noth-ing short of omniscience could suffice to answer all the ques-tions implicitly raised by the seemingly simplest inquiry. Hence the investigation of a point of folk- lore, especially in the present inchoate condition of the study, naturally opens up lines of inquiry which branch out in many directions; and in following them we are insensibly drawn on into wider and wider fields of inquiry, until the point from which we started has almost disappeared in the distance, or, to speak more correctly, is seen in its proper perspective as only one in a multitude of similar phenomena. So it befell me when, many years ago, I undertook to investigate a point in the folk- lore of ancient Italy; so it has befallen me now, when I have set myself to discuss certain points in the folk- lore of the ancient Hebrews. The examination of a particular legend, custom, or law has in some cases gradu-ally broadened out into a disquisition and almost into a treatise. But I hope that, apart from their immediate bear-ing on the traditions and usages of Israel, these disquisitions may be accepted as contributions to the study of folk- lore in general. That study is still in its infancy, and our theo-ries on the subjects with which it deals must probably for a long time to come be tentative and provisional, mere pi-geon- holes in which temporarily to sort the multitude of facts, not iron moulds in which to cast them for ever. Un-der these circumstances a candid inquirer in the realm of folk- lore at the present time will state his inferences with a degree of diffidence and reserve corresponding to the diffi-culty and uncertainty of the matter in hand. This I have always endeavoured to do. If anywhere I have forgotten the caution which I recommend to others, and have expressed myself with an appearance of dogmatism which the evi-dence does not warrant, I would request the reader to cor-   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion Legend and Law. Vol. I


About Book Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion Legend and Law. Vol. I

FRONT MATTERTitle PageCopyright PagePREFACECONTENTSPART I. THE EARLY AGES OF THE WORLDPART II. THE PATRIARCHAL AGEADDENDA
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