S. R. Driver ---
DRIVER, SAMUEL ROLLES: English Christian Hebraist born at Southampton Oct.
2, 1846, Driver can truly be called in the words of one of the observers "the greatest Bible scholar of his generation."
One of the foremost champions of Biblical criticism, Driver has always
taken a conservative view, showing much moderation and sympathy with the
orthodox position. As such he was often attacked both from the Left and the
Right of the field. His “A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew”
(Oxford, 1874; 3d ed., 1892), has remained one of the most complete presentation
of the subject.
For Driver “the Old Testament is not a systematic treatise on theology,
but the record of a historical revelation, which, just because it was
historical, passed through many successive phases, and was completed gradually”;
and the conclusions at which he arrives “affect, not the fact of revelation, but
only its form. They help to determine the stages through which it passed, the
different phases which it assumed, and the process by which the record of it was
built up. They do not touch either the authority or the inspiration of the
scriptures of the Old Testament” (compare his “Isaiah,” Preface, and
“Introduction,” p. vii., New York, 1891).
Driver is the author of numerous critical
works dealing with the most important books of Tanakh, and his “Introduction” is
still one of the standard English work on the subject. He has edited two small
rabbinical works: a commentary on Jeremiah and Ezekiel by Moses ben Sheshet,
London, 1871, and one on Proverbs, attributed to Abraham ibn Ezra, Oxford, 1880.
Driver has also been a collaborator on the second edition of Smith’s “Bible
Dictionary,” on Hasting’s “Dictionary of the Bible,” and on Cheyne and Black’s
“Encyclopædia Biblica,” and was coeditor, with Professors Brown and Briggs,
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.