S. H. Kellogg on Leviticus

I like to buy old, used books, especially if they’re about theology and/or cheaply priced. I don’t remember when I got S. H. Kellogg’s Commentary on Leviticus, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay over a dollar. The volume is part of the The Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, edited by Robertson Nicoll and was printed sometime around 1900.

There’s not much information to be found about Dr. Kellogg. A quick search of the internet reveals that he taught Didactic Theology at Western Theological Seminary until 1885, when he was forced to resign for health reasons. He then became pastor of St James Square Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Canada, in 1886. There is an article about him in a book that can be accessed on Google Books. Other than this, not much is readily known.

The commentary itself is helpful and comes from a conservative point-of-view. In fact, Dr. Kellogg seems to have outright disdain for the theories of the liberals of his day. Here’s a quote that I like:

A certain school of critics, comprising many of the greatest learning, and of undoubted honesty of intention, assures the Church and the world that a strictly scientific criticism compels one to the conclusion that this claim [Moses’ authorship], even as thus sharply limited and defined, is, to use plain words, not true; that an enlightened scholarship must acknowledge that Moses had little or nothing to do with what we find in this book; that, in fact, it did not originate till nearly a thousand years later, when, after the Babylonian captivity, certain Jewish priests, desirous of magnifying their authority with the people, fell on the happy expedient of writing this book of Leviticus, together with certain other parts of the Pentateuch, and then, to give the work a prestige and authority which on its own merits or over their own names it could not have had, delivered it to their countrymen as nearly a thousand years old, the work of their great lawgiver. And, strangest of all, they not only did this, but were so successful in imposing this forgery upon the whole nation that history records not even an expressed suspicion of a single person, until modern times, of its non-Mosaic origin; that is, they succeeded in persuading the whole people of Israel that a law which they had themselves just promulgated had been in existence among them for nearly ten centuries, the very work of Moses, when, in reality, it was quite a new thing.

Astonishing and even incredible as all this may seem to the uninitiated, substantially this theory is held by many of the Biblical scholars of our day as presenting the essential facts of the case; and the discovery of these supposed facts we are called upon to admire as one of the chief literary triumphs of modern critical scholarship!

5 thoughts on “S. H. Kellogg on Leviticus

  1. Rev. S. H. Kellogg was killed in the Himalayan mountains while riding a bike. Found info in the Princeton newspaper from 1899.

  2. Thanks for the information. I didn’t know Rev. Kellogg died in such an unusual way.

  3. Awesome quote!

    He apparently was a Princeton Seminary graduate. I found several more results on him by searching for “H. Kellog St James Square Presbyterian” on Google without the S. initial, which helped me get results with his full first name: Samuel H. Kellog.

    An interesting page on him can be found here: http://scofieldprophecystudies.org/scholars/Kellogg.htm. If I remember and have the time I may grab what gleanings I can find about him on Google and do the world a favor and add more detail to the very short Wikipedia page about him, which currently has all of seven sentences total: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_H._Kellogg.

    Two further Google results for him if you are interested:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=6UoMAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75 (That should link you to page 75 of that Google Book where he is mentioned)

    – And an article actually written by him: http://books.google.com/books?id=vB7yAAAAMAAJ&lpg=PA646&ots=28u_Hb1In8&dq=h.%20kellogg%20St%20James%20Square%20Presbyterian&pg=PA646

    I think he might be among those strong evangelicals in the 1800s who fought against the onslaught of Higher Criticism (among whom was Charles H. Spurgeon). Interestingly the strongest expression of that evangelicalism at the time was centered at Princeton Seminary in America, and it became known as “Princeton Theology”. See the article here about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Theology.

    I wrote an article about the fight against the Higher Criticism school from the Evangelicals in an article on my website entitled “The Object of Biblical Theology” here: http://scholarofgod.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:object-biblical-theology&catid=39:church-history&Itemid=57. In it I mention the Princeton Theology and luminaries from Princeton Theological Seminary like Charles Hodge and Robert Dick Wilson who were utmost scholars and learned men of God. I may in the future make reference to Samuel H. Kellog as well now.

    Thanks for the post!

  4. Thanks for the links on Kellogg, Josh. I didn’t know of his premillenial, dispensationals beliefs.

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