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LITERARY MAN'S BIBLE
A SELECTION OF PASSAGES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT,
HISTORIC, POETIC AND PHILOSOPHIC,
ILLUSTRATING HEBREW LITERATURE
ARRANGED WITH INTRODUCTORY ESSAYS
W. L. COURTNEY, M,A., LL.D.
FOURTH AND CHEAPER EDITION
WITH A NEW PREFACE
CHAPMAN AND HALL, LTD.
PREFACE TO FOURTH EDITION
THE publication of a fourth and popular edition of The Literary Man's Bible gives me an opportunity, of which I gladly avail myself, for writing a few words of acknowledgment to those who have in different ways helped the book to success. My first duty, indeed, is one of gratitude, both to my critics, who have interpreted in so generous a fashion my wishes and objects, and to the public at large, who seem to have found in the book something which they wanted and liked. It is a matter of considerable satisfaction to me that a venture which appeared in no small degree hazardous, and which was bound to find disfavour with a certain class of the community, should nevertheless have made so general an appeal that three successive editions of the book have been exhausted. In its present cheap form The Literary Man's Bible is intended for a still wider public than it was able to reach in its earlier issues, and I can only express—with much diffidence—the hope that it may be found to be of service to those interested in the higher planes of literature, who desire to see the Bible treated as a work of supreme literary value.
A project like mine is, of course, singularly liable to misinterpretation. There are those who desire to regard the Bible, not as a Book among books, but as something so essentially different in kind from everything else as to be viewed with uncritical reverence. To these naturally the notion of treating the Bible as literature is, and must be, abhorrent. There are others, again, who lay stress on the