Freethought Archives > Walter R. Cassels > Supernatural Religion


IN preparing this edition it has been thought desirable to make some changes, both with the view of rendering the book more convenient to the reader, and bringing the argument as much as possible up to date. On the one hand, an entirely new chapter has been been introduced dealing with the evidence of "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," an ancient treatise which had not been published when the last edition was issued.  Much pertinent matter regarding the martyrdom of Ignatius, which has hitherto only formed part of the preface to the sixth and complete editions, has now been suitably incorporated in the text. In a similar way considerable additions have been made to the chapter on Tatian, dealing with more recent information on the nature of his Diatessaron. A still more important insertion in this edition is a critical examination of the use of the works of Josephus by the author of the third Synoptic and the Acts of the Apostles, by which fresh light has been thrown upon the date at which those writings must have been produced.

On the other hand, the long lists of writers on different subjects treated in the text have been omitted, where direct quotations have not been made from their works, or where such references were not considered specially interesting. The long linguistic analyses of speeches in the Acts of the Apostles, and unnecessary Greek quotations in the notes throughout, have also been omitted as of little interest to general readers. Any student desirous of examining these is referred to the complete or earlier editions. Nothing has been removed, however, which is of any importance to the main argument, and much that is of interest has been added.

For the rest, whatever improvement could be effected in the style of the book has been carefully carried out, and it is hoped that this edition has considerably gained in clearness and precision. Except in this respect, the Conclusions have not been materially altered, but, on the contrary, after bearing the test of many years of thought and study, they are repeated with unhesitating confidence.

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