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An Expositon of the Doctrine of God-Manifestation

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In 1869, one hundred years ago this year, Phanerosis was first published in book form. The subject matter originally appeared as a series of articles in The Herald Of The Kingdom for 1857–1859, edited and published by Dr. Thomas. They were ultimately reproduced in pamphlet form in Birmingham, England, under the title Phanerosis. Since then, various editions have appeared, though for some time now, this work has been out of print.

The present publishers feel that they are performing a valuable service to the Brotherhood by producing this further edition of Phanerosis. Other works have appeared from time to time, largely based upon matter supplied in the writings of Dr. Thomas, but we feel that the Brotherhood will welcome the opportunity of reading the Doctor’s exposition of this grand and lofty subject.

In preparing this Edition, opportunity has been taken to supplement the original text with footnotes wherever it has been considered expedient. In addition, an Index of the main titles of the Deity as found in the Scriptures has been included to enable the student to follow the subject more closely.

Phanerosis has been attacked by some, but we believe that the criticism has been unwarranted. In The Christadelphian for 1881, the late J. W. Thirtle, who had considerable knowledge of the original text of Scripture, wrote:

“Both in ‘Eureka’ and ‘Phanerosis’ Dr. Thomas wrote much about the name ‘Yahweh.’ To study the word aright, introduces us to the subject of God-manifestation, the Scripture teaching concerning which many have misunderstood. Some people, with nothing better than a vague notion as to what Dr. Thomas’s writings on this subject really amount to, have adjudged him in error on some points; and most frequently a little examination has shown that the points of difference have involved a difficult criticism or an investigation of matters beyond the compass of those who have not seen their way to be content with dealing with things which are within their reach. Others, however, convinced of the impregnability of Dr. Thomas’s position, have been thankful for the plainly expressed results of his labour and study, and grateful for the light he shed upon the doctrine of God-manifestation in its many revealed phases; and this, notwithstanding their individual inability to follow him in every stage of his reasoning, owing to their own lack of the qualifications necessary to support them in an adventure on the field of Biblical criticism… It will be patent to any reader of Dr. Thomas’s works that he did not find his problems ready worked out, neither were the difficulties he encountered already solved and only waiting to be ‘re-hashed up.’ It is also clear to anyone having only a slight acquaintance with current and recent literature on the subjects dealt with by the Doctor, that hard study and careful investigation were required before he could, in the lucid way he did, ‘open up the Scriptures’ to enquirers after the way of life. Bringing to bear upon the subject of God-manifestation, a knowledge of the revealed purpose of the Deity, he was well equipped for his task of examining both the Old and New Testaments.”

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