Their writers were students of ancient prophecy and apocalyptical tradition, and, though they might recast and reinterpret them, they could not regard them as their own inventions.
His main purpose was to modernize and reinterpret Christianity; he says in the preface to the third edition of the book: "I have written it solely in the service of evangelical truth, to win to the truth those especially who have been most unhappily alienated from the church and its interests, in a great measure through the fault of a reactionary party, blinded by hierarchical aims."
To reinterpret all these features as mere symbols, the lumber of ancient days, is to avoid the problem of their introduction into the Temple, and to assume an advance of popular thought which is not confirmed by the retention and fresh developments of the old ideas both in the pseudepigraphical literature and in the literature of Rabbinical Judaism.'
With a less thorough-going intellectualism other scholars reinterpret Christianity in terms of current scientific phraseology.
In the weakening of that authority which had been ascribed almost unanimously to the Talmud, and invariably to the Old Testament, a new and greater strain has been laid upon Judaism to reinterpret its spirit once more to answer the diverse wants of its adherents.