An Understandable History|
of the Bible
There are just two kinds of Christians. (Are all saved or not? We cannot tell; only God knows the heart.)
One kind is that earnest, honest number who are ever anxious to have the FACTS of a vital issue so they may talk intelligently and stand for the TRUTH.
The second kind are that multitude of Christians (fundamentalists for the most part) who just do not wish to be confused by the FACTS.
Lenin, one of the founders of communism, for once told the truth when he said, "Facts are stubborn things." Indeed they are. There are so many plain FACTS favoring the King James Version as being nearest by far to the originals (which it IS) and far, FAR more accurate and authoritative than all of the modern versions combined (which it IS), that it is indeed a riddle wrapped up in a puzzle how so many truly born again, blood bought Christians, when presented with the FACTS, become angry or sarcastic and just do not wish to be confused by the FACTS.
IF, kind reader, you are the latter, may I be so bold as to suggest, if not urge, that you waste no time reading further. This book is filled from end to end with FACTS that are fully documented and they bring the whole Bible version issue into clear-cut focus. There are no "gray" sections to it, it is all black and white.
I confess there was a time in my ministry when I extolled, read from, and recommended from the pul- pit some Bible version that had just been published, solemnly stating, "This is the nearest to the originals...easier to read...clarifies difficult phrases that are weighed down with archaic words which need to be eliminated so the sense will be better under- stood." When the Holy Spirit convicted me of this sin, I asked His forgiveness, and He gave it.
I keep always in mind, and REmind as many as possible, that we face as of NOW the most vicious and malicious attempted assassination of the character, the name, the Word of God ever done on planet Earth since those blasphemous words were first uttered in Eden, "YEA, HATH GOD SAID?"
I have spoken to many in meetings in this country and Canada and have stated flatly that this is a life and death matter, for IF we do not have an infallible, pure, inerrant Holy Word of God NOW (NOT in the originals which have been lost forever centuries ago) to rest our weary souls upon for time and eternity, THEN we have but one alternative or option, "Let's eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and go to hell."
I also keep issuing a friendly warning - IF you SEE this issue and take your stand openly and unashamedly for the King James Version as being your final, absolute Authority, the true Holy Word of God, THEN you will lose friends and make enemies. I gladly add that I keep on finding the NEW friends I have made because of this issue, I would not exchange for the old friends I may have lost - FOR ANYTHING!
Some fifty years ago or more when I entered the ministry, I knew THEN as I know NOW I had the final absolute Authority from God Himself to guide me through this dark tunnel called LIFE, beset on every side by Satanic traps. If I had not known this for sure, I NEVER would have been a minister. I refuse to play the hypocrite.
Without God's true, inerrant Word and His eternal Son the Lord Jesus Christ, "GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH" Who has saved me by his grace and has done so much for me, and still does, and will do throughout the long reaches of eternity, I say without these two ironclad, life-giving FACTS, THEN the Bard of Avon would be absolutely right when he defines LIFE in one of his plays;
"LIFE IS A TALE TOLD BY
Imagine for a moment that we are in a different time period. We have gone back thousands of years. There are no cars. There are no airplanes. There are no modern conveniences. We are in primitive times.
We take a look around us. There is no Bible. We know nothing about the universe around us. We have no knowledge of God. We don't know how mankind got here.
Then we look again. We see a seed fall from a tree and from the top of the soil, plant itself, tend to its self, raise itself up into a seedling and mature into a tree, only to repeat the cycle all over again. And we wonder.
Then we go to the ocean. We study the tides and discover that they are used to clean the waters, making it impossible to support life without them. We look and ask ourselves, "Was this planned?"
We look beneath the surface of the water, to the depths below. We find life. Strange creatures! Some which breathe water and some which breathe air like us. Some that spawn eggs. Some that give birth to living young. We see creatures of all different shapes and sizes. Some are very small. Some are so huge that they weigh many tons. Some go fishing with a worm attached to their own fishing pole. Some have no eyes. Some have their eyes out on stalks. Some carry lights with them. Some move very slowly. Some dart about almost too fast for our eyes to follow. Again, we wonder. How did this come into being?
Then we look overhead. We see the birds. They fly yet are never taught. They move through the air with grace and precision. Their bones are hollow to give them the light weight suitable for flight. Their feathers all grow in the right places. They migrate to the same place every year. They possess innate abilities and characteristics required for their survival. And again we wonder. Could this "just happen?"
Then we look at ourselves, at our bodies. We study the intricacies of the eye and how it works. We examine the complex mechanisms of the ear. We marvel at our ability to keep our balance; to speak; to walk. We look at the heart, that marvelous muscle whose valves know when to open and when to close. It starts functioning without our help and stops itself in spite of all we can do to prevent it. We look to the nervous system and the brain. How did all of this come about? Was it created by accidents?
We put forth our questions to our contemporaries. They have no satisfactory answers.
IS there a being greater than we are? One who made all of these marvelous things that we have looked at? If there were a being greater than we, where would He be? We look to the ground. No, He is not there. We scan the ocean. He is not there either, for both of these are limited, and they could not contain so great a Being. Anything that could create the marvelous works that we find all around us could only come (and we look upward) from the seemingly unlimited sky!
We look to the sky. Is there Something up there? Something that is watching us even now? Something that created this whole universe and set it in motion?
But wait. If there is Something up there, if there is a Supreme Being, He must know us! He must know what is happening on this earth. He must know our problems and have the answers for them. And if this is so, and He sees our helpless state, He is indebted to us, His creatures. As our Creator, He must help us with our troubles, assist us through this life, and see to it that we find a way to reach Him. He must communicate.
We can call to the heavens. We can climb the mountains in an attempt to be nearer. We can pray. But in all of this, we can only send words in one direction. He must communicate with us! He must send words to us. He must establish reliable communications with us. But how? Suddenly it happens. As we walk down the road toward home, far down in the distance we see a figure. That figure is shouting and causing a stir. He has an air of excitement about him. As we draw nearer we can hear him shouting, and as we get closer still we can make out what he is saying.
"Make straight the way of the Lord!" We stop him. "What did you say?"
"Make straight the way of the Lord!"
"Who is the Lord?" we ask.
"The Lord, the Lord God of heaven..."
Of Heaven! Quickly we glance up. He has sent someone! We must find out more!
"Tell us more about this 'Lord'," we ask.
"The Lord God of Heaven! The Creator of the Universe!"
We look to the heavens again. We fall on our knees. God has communicated! We grasp this figure!
"Tell me! Tell me of this God! Tell me of this Creator!"
"Tell you? You have no need that I tell you, for it is written right here in this Book. For if all you ever knew about God was what I said, there would be no way to verify it. But if God is God, He must put His Word in writing, so that we may have it long after His prophets are gone."
Then he pulls from his belongings a volume of a book. We look at it. Writing! Our God writes!
"How did these things come to be?" we ask.
"Holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," he replies.
Now we hold in our hands communication from our Creator. He has spanned time and space and worked through men. He has communicated! He had a message for us but did not keep it locked in heaven, for He sent it to earth. He has sent that message in plain black and white so that we could keep it and study it. His obligation was to communicate. Our obligation is to accept that communication; to read that communication; to obey that communication. Without that communication, we have no connection to this God Who is the Creator of the universe. If these are not His words, we have no hope.
We have known that He existed for so long. But now we hold in our hand His Word. He has communicated!
But wait! No sooner do we acquire this precious communication than a shadowy figure arrives on the scene.
"Yea, hath God said? That isn't the Word of God. That only contains the words of God. That only holds His thoughts, not His very words. Oh there may be a few fundamental doctrines that you can pretend to believe. But surely you don't believe that these are God's very words? Don't be a fanatic. Settle for just a few accurate passages."
We find ourselves shocked. Our new found faith assailed! Our confidence shaken! Then our true prophet explains.
"He is an unbeliever. He does not believe that God has the power to write this Book perfectly. And, even worse, he is struck with fear when he discovers anyone who does, so he tries to destroy their faith in it."
"Why doesn't he just give in and believe it?" we ask.
"Pride," explains our prophet.
Now we are transported back to our present day. Times and surroundings have changed. The tattered old volume we held in our hand has become a black, leather covered book with gilt-edged pages and two precious words printed on the cover, "Holy Bible."
Our prophet now stands before us. A look of determination on his face. He speaks.
"This is the Bible. This is God's Word and God's words. Believe it. Read it. Practice it. This Book will lead you; strengthen you; impower you. It is God's Word."
We open it up and look gratefully at its pages. It is so easy to read now. So orderly. The Word of God. My, how He must love us to have written all of this. My, what power He must have to have brought it through a history that has always been hostile to it, preserve it perfectly, and put it here in our hands!
Suddenly someone speaks.
"Yea hath God said?"
"What?" We look up. He is a fine looking man, well dressed and obviously quite educated.
"I hate to disillusion you, but actually that is not God's word. That only contains a mere translation of the Word of God, and a poor one at that. Oh, you can find the fundamentals in it, but surely you don't believe that those are God's very words? Please, your lack of proper education is showing. Don't be a fanatic. Settle for a few accurate passages, but don't be a fool and hurt the cause of Christ by saying that God preserved His very words. Grow up."
We find ourselves shocked. Our faith is being assailed. But wait a minute. As our verbal intruder walks away, the lesson that we learned earlier strikes home.
"Wow! Those unbelievers are everywhere," we say to our prophet with a sigh of relief.
"They certainly are quick to try to destroy a person's faith in the Bible. I hope he gets saved someday."
"What do you mean?" replies our prophet. "That guy was a Christian, a college graduate. He believes that God wrote this Book perfectly a few thousand years ago, but he doesn't believe that God had the power to preserve it through the centuries and give it to you and me perfectly in English. What's worse yet, he is struck with fear when he finds someone who does, so he tries to destroy their faith in it."
"But why doesn't he just give in and believe it?"
There is a controversy raging today across America and around the world. Where is the Word of God?
Answers to that question come in all shapes and sizes. Some say that we do not have the Word of God anywhere in this world. Others say that it is found in the Bible but is only that portion that "speaks" to the individual. Some say it lies hidden, locked up in the ancient languages in which it was originally written. Some say we have every word wrapped up in one volume. Still others say that our English translations are reliable but faulty at best. Where is the Word of God?
This is an age of change and confusion. The world without Christ is lost in a turmoil of fear and indecision. Yet to this world, we Christians who have trusted Christ as our personal Saviour, are taking, and have been taking for many centuries, a message of hope, Jesus Christ.
We make many claims for this Saviour of all mankind. We claim that He was all man, and yet He was every bit God. We claim that He was begotten by God through a virgin. We claim that he lived among men for over thirty years but never once committed a sin. We all know of His death on the cross. It is we Christians, however, who claim that His death was not a symbolic gesture of a rebel dying for a "cause," but instead we say that it was part of a masterful plan by God Himself through which He could make us acceptable in His presence. We claim that the blood shed by Jesus Christ on that terrible, old, wooden cross was God's own blood, and that it made the divine and complete atonement for the sins of all the world. But our seemingly outlandish claims do not stop at the cross. We claim still further that this same Jesus Christ was removed dead from that cross and then buried, only to raise Himself from that grave three days and three nights later. Then we claim that this supposed "dead" man walked this earth for an additional forty days. This visit was climaxed, we say, when He, in plain view of His disciples, rose bodily into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God.
We bold sounding Christians don't stop there, for on top of all this, we claim that Jesus Christ has not left this world without a hope. We say that He is calling out a people to Himself in this generation. We claim that through faith in His atonement, by simply "calling upon the name of the Lord," we shall be saved. Not to be stopped yet, we go on to say that we can predict future world events including what we call the rapture of the believers. Still later we say that this same Jesus Christ will return bodily to Jerusalem to set up His kingdom and reign one thousand years.
"Wild claims! Outrageous! Unfounded superstitions!" shout our critics. Our critics are quick to attempt to disqualify our claims -- to disprove them -- for these claims are completely contrary to the humanistic philosophy through which mankind is attempting to "bring in the kingdom." Our critics continue, "If the claims of these peculiar people -- these Christians -- are correct, then there is no excuse for not accepting them and repudiating the misguided philosophies of all the humanists, the politicians, and the socio-religious community. They can't be right! There is too much to lose." So they seek to discredit our claims.
Wild claims? Seemingly. Outrageous? No more than some of the theories put forth by scientific "freethinkers" of our day. Unfounded superstitions? Never! And this is where the battle has raged for centuries and will continue to rage. If all we had to back up our claims was our multiplied words expressing nothing more than our opinions, then we are no better than our "scientific" adversaries. No, these are not vain words or trumped up theories. We have a Book! Oh, what a Book! Every claim that we make is contained in it. We open it and let the arguments of our critics do battle against it with spears made of rubber on horses with feeble legs. They are repulsed; defeated; humiliated. They regroup and send in artillery, mortars, and missiles only to find that the Word of God is better fortified than a concrete bunker. Then suddenly it cuts them to ribbons, and they retreat wounded, grumbling, and fear-bound. What was it about this Book that so aptly handled them and remains unharmed? Its words! For this is not a novel. This is not a fiction thriller. This is not a "science" book which must be rewritten every few years to "keep up with the changing times." No, this is God's Book, the Bible. This is God's Book, filled with God's words. Immortal, indestructible, infallible, immovable and unchanging. What a marvelous Book! What power! What an awful enemy to the silly theories of mankind.
The Bible. It stands tall, towering high above its enemies. And it is ours!
I shall never forget the day I trusted Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour. I was twenty years of age. I was wild, rebellious and unhappy. I was lost and on my way to Hell. I knelt at an altar where a great man of God took the Bible and leafed through it, showing me the truths of salvation. Just before he led me in prayer, he, in his wisdom, played a trick on me, a trick that God used to set the course for my life. He looked over at me and asked, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ paid for all your sins?"
I replied, "Yes."
"Do you believe that He will save you if you ask Him to?" "Yes."
Then the trick! "How do you know it?"
"Because you told me!" I replied somewhat impatiently and a little put out. I had come to get saved, and I felt like I was getting the run around. I saw no need at all for that last question.
What! No? What was going on here? I had come to get saved, and now I was being made to look like a fool. I had been intentionally set up just so that I would give the wrong answer! I was angry! I was embarrassed! If his telling me how to be saved wasn't how I knew it, then how was I supposed to know? I looked him dead in the eye and blurted out my response almost demandingly, "Then, why?"
His next action took me completely off guard, but it plainly answered my question. He held that open Bible up in front of me with one hand, tapped its open pages, and said with grave finality, "Because this Book says so!"
I was shocked! I remember looking at that precious open Bible, and while trying to fathom this great truth that had just been expounded before me, I said to myself, "You mean that Book has that much power?" I knew the answer was yes. Then I humbly bowed my head and my heart and put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, accepting His payment as my own. But I have never forgotten the lesson taught to me so powerfully on the day of my salvation.
The Bible. What a powerful Book! It needs no man's approval to assert its authority. The Bible. The Book that no man can conquer. The Bible. That faithful message from God. Never changing; never weakening. Standing defiantly as perfect, as authoritative, in a world that claims nothing can be perfect and that rebels at the thought of any authority, especially that of a book. The Bible. It is God's Book.
Anyone who has ever played a game, been involved in any kind of competition, or conducted any type of scientific investigation knows that "ground rules" must be established at the beginning. It is far better to know the rules before beginning the investigation rather than to try to establish them as you go.
If we are going to make a study of the preservation of the Word of God, the rules we shall follow must be established now. The rules we establish now will have a direct effect on the conclusion reached at the end of our investigation. We must be cautious as we seek to found these rules. We must free ourselves from prejudice. We must establish rules which, firstly, will not contradict each other and, secondly, rules that can and will be applied fairly to all evidence examined.
As in any issue with two sides, the conclusion can not please all. Those to whom the conclusion is favorable will commend the investigation for its fairness, while those to whom the conclusion is unfavorable will obviously seek to discredit the method used in arriving at such a conclusion. With this in mind, the most important portion of our investigation will not be what evidence we examine, but the rules by which we interpret that evidence.
Much of the material to be examined is not new but holds huge amounts of truth which have been locked up and unusable due to the previously unfair method by which its testimony was evaluated. To insure that this testimony will be thoroughly heard in an unprejudiced court room, this writer seeks to establish plain, unprejudiced, and spiritually sound rules by which to judge the witnesses. The voices of some learned men will no doubt be heard to protest, while the voices of others, equally as learned, will be heard to agree. The writer will not appeal to either of these voices for approval but will seek to establish rules which even those who disagree with the conclusion must admit are fair. These rules will judge all the evidence fairly and completely so as to wring every bit of worthwhile testimony from them. We must deal in facts and deal with the facts fairly. As one scholar so aptly put it, "My leading principle is to build solely upon facts -- upon real, not fanciful facts -- not upon a few favorite facts, but upon all that are connected with the question under consideration."
First and above all in importance, it must be remembered that the Bible is a spiritual book. If we divorce this fact from our minds, it will be impossible to arrive at a valid conclusion. Let me explain.
First, God had His hand in its inception. The passage that so quickly comes to the mind of all fundamentalists is II Peter 1:19-21:
19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
Note that Peter is stating that the written Word is more sure than God speaking from heaven, a voice which Peter himself heard (vs. 17, 18).
There are many "side-show evangelists" that would have us believe that God "spoke to me last night." Peter says that God's verbal commands and precepts are not as sure as His written words. Verbal statements are not binding. They cannot be proven. But written words are not so fluid. When God chose to put His words down in writing, He made an irreversible decision. We can now hold Him to His words. Once those words have been written, they are irrevocable. A God who would bind Himself to us so inescapably must love us and truly desire for us to have His words and to be sure of them.
Peter also states that the writers of Scripture did not write under their own power, but "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
God wants us to see that He had His hand in it from the beginning. The words of those original autographs were not the thoughts of God, but His very words, which brings to mind a question. Why did God inspire His word perfectly? Obviously the answer comes back, "So that man could have every word of God, pure, complete, trustworthy, and without error." Amen! That statement touches the heart of any fundamental, Bible-believing Christian. And yet, what if God gave those precious words only to those early writers, then lost them in history, diluted them with heretical teachings, and then locked them up in prison where few could visit them and none could trust them? What if these words and manuscripts, which have long passed off the scene, were the only perfect words God ever gave us? What if it was impossible for us ever to obtain those words for ourselves, in this present generation? Why did God inspire them? Why write a perfect Book and then lose it? Why provide those closest to Christ with a perfect Book but us, 2,000 years later, with a book that is only a shadow of truth at best? A book filled with mistakes, spurious passages, and doubtful readings! This is inconsistent with God's nature.
The question is: Could God, who overcame time (about 1,700 years transpired from the writing of the oldest Old Testament book to the closing of the New Testament in 90 A.D.1) and man's human nature to write the Bible perfectly in the first place, do the same thing to preserve it?
Let us look to see what the authority says about such a thing happening.
Psalm 12:6, 7 "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Note verse seven! "THOU shalt keep them O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
The Bible, God's Word, says that God will preserve His words. Verse six mentions the "words of the LORD" and the "them" of verse seven is referring to those "words." No, apparently the all-powerful God of creation will not preserve His "thoughts" or "ideas," but He will preserve His very words!
Is He capable of that?
Jeremiah 32:17, 27 "Ah Lord GOD, behold thou has made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:... Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
Is a miracle too hard for the God of miracles? Was the creation too hard for God? Was the flood too hard for God? Was the parting of the Red Sea too hard for God? Was the 40 years of manna too hard for God? Was the virgin birth of Christ too hard for God? Was the collection of the 66 books of the Bible written over a period of 1,700 years too hard for God? Was overcoming the human nature of the sinful writers too hard for God? Is preserving the words of those writers too hard for God?
I think that inspiration would be far harder to believe than preservation.
Why is it that men of faith sound out their convictions so loudly on the above mentioned doctrines (and others) in which their faith cannot be pressed to the limit, but they suddenly shrink from the thought that God, who could write His Book perfectly, could preserve it? Why is it so easy to believe that God's great miracles are all in the past, but He cannot work one now? Where are those "words" that Peter spoke in II Peter 1:19-21? Where are those "words" which David spoke of in Psalm 12:6, 7? Where are those "words" which Jesus Christ Himself spoke of in Matthew 24:35 when He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Have those precious and perfect words from the pens of Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel, Matthew, Peter, Paul, Luke, John and others been cast into oblivion? Have they fallen to the ground to be trampled under foot of men, only to be replaced by something not as pure, not as perfect, not as reliable, which we 'Bible-believers' are forced to pretend is the Word and the words of God when we are in the pulpit, but in the quietness of our studies or in our private conversations we let our infidelity and fear show as we check off "mistake" after "mistake?"
Is this God's method? I trow not. For if God wrote the Bible perfectly in the "originals," but we cannot have those same words in a volume of that Book today, then it would seem that He wasted His time inspiring it perfectly in the first place. We who are so far removed from the New Testament times need His every perfect word far more than Matthew, Luke, John, or Peter or the others who saw Jesus Christ in the flesh! They had their memories. They had His touch still on their brow. They had His words still ringing in their ears. All we have is the Book. All we have is the words bound between those black covers. It is essential that they be His every word, for they are all we have!
So well has Wilbur Pickering put it when he said:
"If the scriptures have not been preserved then the doctrine of Inspiration is a purely academic matter with no relevance for us today. If we do not have the inspired words or do not know precisely which they be, then the doctrine of Inspiration is inapplicable." 2
Yes, if God has not preserved His words as He said that He would (Psalm 12:6, 7), then He has done something which He has never done before. He has wasted His time! The inspiration of the original manuscripts was in vain if we do not have those very same words in English today.
So then we see that it is important to any seeker of truth to always keep in mind that the Bible is different from all other books, in that God had His hand in it. It is a spiritual book. Anyone undertaking a study of the evidence of the New Testament, or any other portion of Scripture, who does not take this into consideration cannot possibly arrive at the correct conclusion.
Ground rule number one is: It is always to be remembered that the Bible is a spiritual book which God exerted supernatural force to conceive, and it is reasonable to assume that He could exert that same supernatural force to preserve.
This brings us to our next logical step. If God was active in the conception and preservation of the Bible, then the supreme negative force in nature must be active against it.
This Book has an adversary. Satan is against it!
The Bible is a tangible item. Like most books, it is printed on paper with ink. As mentioned above, however, it must be remembered that it is a spiritual book in which God has had a positive and an active part. It must also be remembered that there exists in the world a supreme negative power, Satan.
One general truth that we all know concerning Satan is that he at one time had a position in Heaven. Iniquity was found in him, and he was cast out. What was his offense? He wanted to be worshipped as God! Remember that. The Bible records in Isaiah 14:13, 14, "For thou hath said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
He wanted to be worshipped as God! Satan has not changed his goals. He still desires to be worshipped as God. To be worshipped as God, he must imitate God. Satan is the great counterfeiter. From beginning to end, the Bible records Satan's constant efforts to imitate and replace God. In Genesis chapter three, we find Satan implying that he knows more than God, and from this point, he influences mankind into obeying him. When Moses displays the miracles of God through the plagues of Egypt, Satan's magicians counterfeit as many plagues as they possibly can.
Monasteries, mosques and huge cathedrals cover the globe as a testimony to his religious fervor and as clear evidence of his ability to extract worship from his followers. Call him Lucifer, Baal, Ashteroth, Mary or any other name, but allow him the liberty, and he will take a portion of truth and twist it in such a deceitfully convincing way that if possible he could "deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24).
In Matthew chapter four, we find Satan's last desperate plea to Jesus Christ was that He "fall down and worship me."
Satan is the great counterfeiter. For every genuine manifestation of God, Satan produces hundreds of carbon copies. Look at the record:
One God - many
Whenever God manifests His power through some positive action resulting in a miracle, Satan manifests his power in a counterfeit, but deceiving, way in an attempt to "steal" God's deserved reverence.
Note in Revelation chapter 13 how many times the word "worship" occurs in reference to Satan in the form of the Anti-Christ. Notice also that this worship comes as a direct result of Satanic, counterfeit miracles which are all imitations of similar true miracles performed by God, by His prophets, or by Jesus Christ, which resulted in God being worshipped.
God knew of Satan's "standard operating procedure" and tried to warn Israel of his ability to counterfeit God's miracles.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou has not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not harken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."
Notice that God is aware of the false miracles and is awaiting the outcome. To resist Satan's false miracles is to turn your heart toward God. This is what happened with Job. This is what would have happened with Eve if she had rejected his counsel.
Satan wants to be worshipped. This is Satan's motive. Let us look briefly at a scriptural record of the method he used in dealing with his arch-enemy, Jesus Christ.
1. Satan makes a direct approach to achieve his goal. Matthew 4.
2. He produces many "christs" to God's one Christ. Matthew 24:23, 24.
(Christ had many witnesses. Even after death there were over 500 witnesses at His resurrection appearance. I Cor. 15:16). ( 1Cor. 15:6 )
4. He produces a lie attempting to prove that the original Christ has been lost and is nowhere to be found. This leaves the field open for his anti-christs. Matthew 28:13, 14.
Now remember, Satan desires to be worshipped as God. Remember he is "the great counterfeiter."
Now look at the three most important things God has given to the world:
1. Jesus Christ - through Jesus Christ, God's plan of salvation has been wrought, and God has displayed to the world the coming King. Jesus Christ is now in heaven.
2. Christianity - The born again believers regenerated by the power of God, upon their accepting Christ's payment for their sins. The Christians reside on earth, physically separated from their Saviour.
3. Bible - The crowning work of the Holy Spirit. It is the lifeline of the earthbound Christians to the Heaven-seated Saviour.
If heaven were real, and it is; if Jesus Christ died for our sins, and He did; if salvation were free, and it is; if Jesus Christ is coming back to get His church, and He is; if He will someday rule on a throne in Jerusalem, and He will; but if we have no Bible to tell us these things, we would not know them! Truth does no good if we do not know about that truth! The Bible is God's medium through which He tells us all that we know about Him.
If Satan can eliminate the Bible, he can break our lifeline to Heaven. If he can only get us to doubt its accuracy, he can successfully foil God's every attempt to teach us. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, but every truth He leads us to will be in the Bible. If Satan is going to be consistent with his nature, he must attack the Bible, the Word of God.
Our second rule to keep in mind, then, is: Satan desires to be worshipped. He has the ability to counterfeit God's actions and definitely will be involved actively in attempting to destroy God's Word and/or our confidence in that Word, while seeking to replace it with his own "version."
The two rules which we must keep in mind at all times are:
1. It is always to be remembered that the Bible is a spiritual book which God exerted supernatural force to conceive; and it is reasonable to assume that He could exert that same supernatural force to preserve.
2. Satan desires to be worshipped. He has the ability to counterfeit God's actions, and definitely will be involved actively in attempting to destroy God's Word and/or our confidence in that Word, while seeking to replace it with his own "version."
For approximately one hundred years now, a battle has been raging over the question, "Where is the Word of God?"
Surely we Christians cannot expect a Christ-rejecting world to accept our Book as its authority. We can, of course, expect rebellion. We can expect the world to make attempts to discredit the Bible's reliability. The battle of the lost theologians against the Bible has been waged since the Garden of Eden.
But the war that I am referring to is not the war between the lost world and born again Christians. For the last one hundred years the same kind of war has been raging within Christian ranks! Up until the late 1800's there was, generally speaking, only one Bible, the Authorized Version. There had been others, but the translation instituted by King James I in 1603 A.D. and published in 1611 A.D. had become known not just in England, but throughout the entire world as the "Authorized" Version. It is a historical fact that the King James Bible had become known as the "Authorized" Version due to its universal acceptance among Christians of the world, and not due to a proclamation from King James himself.
Hills states: "Although it is often called the 'Authorized Version,' it actually was never authorized by any official action on the part of the Church or State. On the contrary, it's [sic] universal reception by the common people of all denominations seems clearly to be another instance of the providence of God working through the God-guided usage of the Church."3
Ruckman points out: "As anyone knows, the A.V. 1611 had no royal backing, no royal promoting, no act of Parliament behind it, and the University Press was allowed to print any other version of the Bible along with it." 4
McClure states concerning the King James Bible: "Its origin and history so strongly commended it, that it speedily came into general use as the standard version, by the common consent of the English people; and required no act of parliament nor royal proclamation to establish it's [sic] authority."5
As well, the footnote from the above reference in McClure's book reads as follows:
Says Dr. Lee, Principal of the University of Edinburgh: "I do not find that there was any canon, proclamation, or act of parliament, to enforce the use of it. 'The present version' says Dr. Symonds, as quoted in Anderson's Annuals, 'appears to have made its way, without the interposition of any authority whatsoever; for it is not easy to discover any traces of a proclamation, canon or statute published to enforce the use of it.' It has been lately ascertained that neither the King's private purse, nor the public exchequer, contributed a farthing toward the expense of the translation or publication of the work."
Then in the mid to late 1800's a theory was initiated by two scholars of the names Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. This is the theory that the Traditional Text was a "conflate" text produced by editors and not merely by scribes. Their theory has remained over the years, as Darwin's theory of evolution has remained, just a theory. It has never been proven and has in fact lost support over the years. Fuller confirms this when he records Martin's statement that "the trend of scholars in more recent years has been away from the original Westcott-Hort position."6
Their theory will be looked at in depth in a later chapter of this book.
By 1870 England was ripe for Westcott's and Hort's radical ideas, and their Greek Text was used by the Revision Committee of 1871 and by every revision and version ever since.
The battle began! Which text is closest to the "originals?" And, of course, the ultimate question: "Do we have a perfect Bible in English today?"
Today, three-quarters of the way through the Twentieth Century, Christianity is still divided over the question, "Do we have a perfect Bible in English today?" This battle will probably continue for the remainder of this century and well on into the next, if the Lord tarries His coming.
Do we have a perfect Bible in English today? This is not an amazing question at all. In fact, it is quite a natural question that comes to every Christian at one time or another. Surely a naive babe in Christ would never approach an unbelieving scholar with this question and then lay the Bible in his hands so that he may do with it as he pleases. Surely he would not lay God's book at man's mercy. If he would, he should not be surprised when the scholar's answer, flowing in terms not easily understood, comes back, "No."
Unbelieving scholarship is its own authority. It does not need any competition from a book!
Unregenerate man goes about believing a theory that man has evolved and was not created. Yet when this theory is examined scientifically and logically, it cannot be proven to be true. Does this upset the unbeliever? No. He just sets about to believe his theory, for he knows that believing it allows him to be his own final authority. He also knows that to reject the theory of evolution means he must accept creationism as true, and this he has avowed in his heart not to do. He does not want to be associated with a few fanatics!
Why is it that this type of reaction is found when dealing with Christian scholarship concerning the Bible? Ask a Christian scholar to tell you where the Word of God is, and he will tell you, "in the Bible." Yet, hand him any English Bible, and he will reply, "It's not there." How can we as fundamental Bible-believers tell people from our pulpits that the Bible is "infallible, without error, the very words of God" and then step out of the pulpit and allege to be able to find a mistake in it? This would not seem so serious if "the infallible Word of God" was not one of the doctrines that separates us from the world. We take pride in thundering forth that we are not as the unregenerate world, without an absolute guideline. We have a guideline. We have the guideline, the Word of God! Then we hold our open Bible up for all to see and shout, "This is God's Word! It's perfect, infallible, inerrant, the very words of God!" Yet in our hearts we are saying, "I believe all this about the original; this is just a mistake-filled translation."
Most fundamentalists today vehemently reject the thought that God has preserved His words in English. We have "the Bible" they say, but it isn't in any one English version. Most fundamentalists never truly realize the weight of their statements when they say that we have no perfect English Bible. Anyone who has studied even a little about Greek manuscripts knows that the Word of God isn't found in any of the Greek texts when translated literally.
What has started this controversy? From whence has this division of the brethren come?
The first answer that comes to the mind of some Christians is that this division has been caused by a small group of fanatics who think that only the King James Bible is the Word of God, and who refuse to face the facts that the oldest and best manuscripts support the new translations flooding Christianity.
Strangely enough, history points to just the opposite being true. The text used by the Authorized Version has been used from the time of the early church until today by true Christians. It is supported not only by the vast majority of manuscripts existent today but also by those of the highest quality and oldest reading. It has been used throughout history with the blessing of God among His born again believers.
It is only a recent occurrence that Biblical Christianity has begun to use the inferior Roman Catholic manuscripts and asserted that they are better. This is the mistake garnered by the errant "scholarship" of Wescott and Hort. These people are the new young sect of Christianity who will not accept the oldest and best. Usually unsuspectingly, they put their support to manuscripts which are decidedly Roman Catholic in doctrine and history. It is we who are sure we hold the true words of God brought down through the centuries by the blood of our martyred Christian brethren.
Ironically, those that take up the "new" versions, with their "better" Greek text, are voluntarily taking up the Bible which their early Christian brethren refused to use, a refusal that brought the Roman Catholic Church, the historic enemy of the Truth, crashing down on them. That same Roman Catholic Church is still active against the Truth today, only now many Christians are using her Bible.
I know that these are strong statements. I intend throughout this work to prove their truth, but I state now, that I do not intend to bring railing accusations on those brethren who do not agree with me. I will state that they are wrong, prove that they are wrong, and attempt to point out their position in regard to God's revealed Word. I do not intend however, to forget that they are my brethren (those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour) and will treat them as beloved.
This one hundred year war of words started back when the supporters of the Oxford Movement (apostates) realized that they must discredit the Reformers and Fundamental theologians in order to support their Roman Catholic Greek Text in place of the Received Text. Their salvo was returned by men like Burgon, Wilson, Scribener, Mauro, Hoskier, Cook, Salmon, Beckett, Malan and Wilkenson, and continues today with many of our modern day scholars.
On both sides of the issue, men are called fanatic, heretic, cultist, Bible-rejecter, demon-possessed and more. These two sides have fought until the facts about which they fight are obscured by the dust of the battle. They call each other names until the student of Scripture finds reputable men on both sides of the controversy damaging their potential influence by using some adjectives which, indeed, are very descriptive but totally unnecessary. I am not a soft city gentleman who thinks we should all sit around and talk in quiet tones while sipping tea and eating "brunch." I am a militant Bible-believer who hates the devil, sin, heresy, and apostasy. Yet, I think it is time that we who claim to be "fundamentalists" step back and look to see who our enemy really is!
The subtle Roman Catholic Church has assumed the position of the lad who told two of his enemies, "You and he fight ... I'll hold the coats!" After all, is not "divide and conquer" one of the oldest military strategies known to men? The fundamentalists have laid their coats at the feet of "Holy Mother Church" and for the past 100 years proceeded to "knock each others' block off." Is it any wonder that the Pope smiles so much? Who is our enemy? Let's find him and fight him. Today it seems, on both sides, that we are concerned more with finding fault with the people that we disagree with rather than what they teach. Let me make this statement: If what I believe about the King James Bible can be disproved, I will gladly trade it in for the "right" Bible.
We have an enemy, and I believe we should be verbal and active against that enemy, but I feel it is time that we realize that our enemy is not our brother. It is the one holding his coat!
The part of the Roman Catholic Church in the affair is similar to that of a soldier leaping into the foxhole of the enemy, only to find that all of the enemy soldiers have strangled each other!
Occasionally on either side we will be forced to face a railer, but instead of "writing him off" we will have to be charitable and look past his railing to see what his facts say. If we can disprove his facts, we need not worry about his mouth!
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16.
What we must do as men of understanding is look into these statements and the questions which they naturally provoke.
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." II Peter 1:21.
Did God inspire His Word perfectly in the original autographs?
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalms 12:6, 7.
Has God preserved His words?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35.
Do we have Christ's words, or have they "passed away?"
The first verse, II Peter 1:21, guarantees that God was active in originating His Word in the first place. "Inspired" we call it. Inspired perfectly, without any error. God was the all-powerful agent in seeing to it that sinful man wrote down His Word flawlessly.
The second verse, Psalms 12:6, 7, claims that God is not only the agent in writing His words (verse 6) but is also the primary agent in preserving His words. Note that the subject is God's words, not His "thoughts."
In the third verse, Matthew 24:35, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh reinforces what Psalm 12:7 has already said. Christ said that His words would not pass away before heaven or earth. Heaven is still above us, and I am relatively sure that the earth is still beneath our feet, so the words of God must be here, within our grasp. Somewhere. If His words are only in Greek, then he has restricted their usage to an elite number of scholars. This, however, was never Jesus Christ's method when He was on this earth. He always went past the religious, scholarly minority and took His words to the common people. Until then, only the Pharisees had possessed God's words in the form of the completed, accepted Old Testament books, and although they were well educated and very religious, they were found to be taking advantage of the common people. Christ eliminated this problem by going directly to the common people of His day.
The Gospel is to all. God gave His Word to every person and gave the Holy Spirit as a guide to all truth (John 16:13) in spite of the Roman Catholic teachings that only the "clergy" are allowed to interpret the Scripture.
If God's words are locked up in the "Greek Text," then once again education is a prerequisite to having the Word of God and knowing what it says. This type of philosophy would have eliminated Peter and John from the ministry, for they were "unlearned and ignorant men." They were unlearned, and the Bible states that they were ignorant as though incapable of learning. Yet, "they had been with Jesus"! (Acts 4:12, 13). Jesus Christ made the difference, giving Peter a great understanding of Scripture! Notice his delivery in Acts 1:15-22, 2:14-36, 4:8-12. He understood, though unlearned and ignorant. Education, though beneficial, is not a necessity for being used of God. I am not anti-education or anti-college, but the first requirements are that a person has "been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13) and that they realize and believe that the written Word which they have in hand is "more sure" than God's spoken Word.
Now today we know that it is easy to "be with Jesus." The Bible says in Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." In John 14:20 it says, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."
But what about the second half? What about a written Word that we can believe is "more sure" than God speaking from heaven? A Word which the Bible claims God has exalted above all of His name? (Psalms 138:2). Can we have God's words today in our common language?
While on the subject of a common language, let me point out that many opponents of the infallibility of the Authorized Version say that if God put a perfect Bible in English, He is also obligated to furnish such a translation in every other language. There must be a perfect Bible in German, French, Japanese and all of the other languages of the world. Unfortunately for them, this argument will not stand. There were many languages on this earth at the time that God chose to put it in Hebrew. There were hundreds of languages on this earth also, when God chose Greek for his New Testament. Matthew 13:18, Acts 13:46, 28:28, and Romans 11:11 show that God this time was going to be taking His message to the Gentiles, so He furnished it in the common language of the day -- Greek.
Question: When would the two Testaments be combined into one perfect Book?
Answer: As soon as God chose a language to become common to the entire world. Germany, Spain, France and most of Europe were soon to be overly influenced by Rome. No language there. There have been great Latin and Syrian translations, but these languages never became common to the entire world. God needed an island of purity, a nation not shackled by Romanism, and a language so descriptive and simple that it could best deliver His message. These needs were satisfied in England. Here was a people who threw off the bondage of Rome and a young language which was to creep into every corner of the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from England and America to Moscow and Peking. English is the language of this world!
English is taught to Russian pilots, because it is universal. It is learned by Oriental businessmen, because it is universal. It was the first language spoken on the moon! English is spoken the world over. This is the language God would use. Being a God of purity, He would want to use it in its purest form. The English of the King James Bible has been known to be the finest form of the language ever used. McClure praises the Authorized Version in this manner:
"The English language has passed through many and great changes, and had at last reached the very height of its purity and strength. The Bible has ever since been the great English classic. It is still the noblest monument of the power of the English speech. It is singularly free from what used to be called 'ink-horn terms' that is, such words as are more used in writing than in speaking, and are not well understood except by scholars."7
The English language was, in the 17th Century, just solidifying. It had been a fluid language, made up of elements of Danish, Old Norse, Latin, Greek, French, and many other dialects.
In about 1500, major changes in vocal pronunciation, inflection, and spelling simplified and helped solidify the language.8 This was all in preparation for the ultimate English work, the Authorized Version of 1611.
Many claim today that since the Authorized Version was printed in the common English of that day, that the Bible should be retranslated into the common English of today, but this is not a valid claim. It must be remembered that the English used in the Authorized Version was not only the common language, but it was also the English language in its purest form. The English language has degenerated from what it was in 1611 to what it is today. Those claiming to put the Bible in "modern English" are actually, though possibly not intentionally, trying to force the pure words of God into the degenerated vocabulary of today! What a disgrace to God's Word! What a shame to those who propose such a thing!
A charge often brought against the Authorized Version is that it is full of "archaic" words. But are we to make the Bible pay the penalty of our own irresponsibility in not keeping our language pure and descriptive? Would we not be richer to learn the meaning of those nasty, old, "archaic" words and add them back into our own vocabulary? Would we not be making the Bible poorer by depriving it of its descriptive style? Are these words truly "archaic?" I have seen stores today that still advertise "sundry" items. Perhaps the store owner didn't realize that it was supposed to be archaic. Perhaps it is like the fish caught off the Atlantic Coast a few years ago which was supposed to have been extinct for over one million years. Of course it was extinct! It just didn't know it! Science said it was extinct, so it must be. (They first had better prove that the world was here one million years ago.)
Let us look at the word "conversation" in Philippians 1:27 and see how God chose the most descriptive words He could. Is not "conversation" a much more descriptive term than "life?" When we realize that our life speaks to people then we must live our Christianity, not talk it. The Authorized Version obviously gives us a deeper meaning.
What about words whose usage has definitely been dropped from modern English? Those words which are just not used anymore? What shall we do with them? In answer to this question, let us remember that the Bible is The Word of God. We "Bible people" claim to accept its authority in all matters of faith and practice. But do we? Do we accept the Biblical practice of how to deal with situations today? Would we be willing to accept the Biblical example of how to deal with words whose meanings have changed?
Let us look and learn and follow the Bible example of handling "archaic" words. Surely the Bible, God's Word, cannot be wrong! Let us look at I Samuel chapter 9.
1. "Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish,
the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a
Benjamite, a mighty man of power.
3. And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses." (I Sam. 9:1-3)
These verses give us the circumstances involved. After searching fruitlessly for his father's asses, Saul decided to give up, fearing that his father, Kish, may begin to worry about Saul and his servant.
6. "And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither, peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.
7. Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what
shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not
a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?
Now let us watch very carefully, for an "archaic" word is about to make its appearance in the next verse. But before it can, God inserts a note to the reader!
9. "(Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)" (I Sam. 9:9)
God knows that the word "seer" is no longer in common usage; it is archaic. He defines it so that we will better understand His choice of words. Is this changing the text? No! Look at the following two verses.
10. "Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let
us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was.
Notice in verse 11 God leaves the "archaic" word in the text! He does not change it to "prophet." He does not change the text. God gives us a definition of the word which He chose to use in the text, but He does not give us a "modern" or "updated" edition. This is the Biblical example of how God handles an "archaic" word without rewriting the text.
"We fundamentalists accept the authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and practice." I suggest we practice this method. Define what a word, whose definition has become cloudy through the changes in the English language, really means. I am not advising "running to the Greek." I am advising "running to the dictionary" and letting the text stand as it reads without the derogatory remarks about "archaic" words and "out of date usage." Let us respect God's text more than that.
God has given us every word; we do well to accept them from Him as they are and not attempt to "improve" on them. As one great preacher said, "The Bible doesn't need to be re-written, it needs to be reread." I concur. Born again Christians are intended to be "Bible people." Are we not expected to read the Book we claim so loudly to believe?
Upon receiving a lengthy letter from home, does a lonely soldier proceed to the third page to begin his reading? After page 3 does he "speed read" page 4, skip page 5, and read half of page 6? Does he attempt to understand the last page and then proceed to the first? Ridiculous isn't it? Yet it describes the Bible reading habits of many of God's people. Obviously, our soldier, so far away from the home he loves and the writer of his letter, is going to devour every word of this letter and upon finishing it, he will read it again -- every word.
God sent us, His homesick soldiers, a "letter from home," yet we steadily refuse to read it. He didn't give us the whole Book just so that we could read the Psalms. We are expected to read Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as well as John, Acts, and Romans. The same author who inspired I and II Corinthians placed every bit as much inspiration into I and II Chronicles. We are to read Malachi as well as Revelation. God has given us every word of the Bible. We are to start at the beginning and read every word! Upon reaching Revelation 22:21, we are not expected to quietly lay the Bible aside as if our work has been done. We are to begin afresh at Genesis 1:1. There are only two events that should stop a Christian from reading through his Bible continuously, cover to cover: death and the rapture. All other "reasons" are really weak excuses. We are to read the Book!
Many exclaim, "But I can't understand it! There are portions with deep and difficult meanings." They find a difficult passage, give God approximately five minutes to deliver the answer, and then turn to a "better translation" or a Bible commentary for the answer. They are like the four-year-old child who wishes to drive a car. He sincerely wants to drive a car. His motive for wanting to drive may be pure. He believes that he can handle the job, and he wants the answer now. He will not only be refused permission to drive the car, but he as yet won't even be allowed on a bicycle. He cannot handle anything larger than a tricycle. As he matures, he will "graduate" to bigger and more complicated things.
This is true with our English Bible. We begin to read through it for the first time and ask God a question, the answer of which we just cannot handle until our fourth or fifth or sixth time through. We sincerely want the answer. Our motive may be pure. We believe that we can handle the answer, and we want it now. God will not show us on our first time through the Bible what He has ready for us on our tenth or eleventh time through. We must grow, and there are no shortcuts. A shelf full of Bible commentaries and other translations is an attempt at a shortcut, but it will not work. I am not opposed to Bible commentaries. I am opposed to their de-emphasizing the Bible and replacing the Holy Spirit. I am in favor of intensifying our reading time in the only authority we have, the Authorized Version!
But why the Authorized Version? Who says we have to use only this particular translation? Why couldn't some other version be perfect in English instead of the Authorized Version?
To get the answers to these questions, we will have to take our hands off each other's throats long enough to examine the evidence which has come down to us through history. First, let's study where the manuscripts came from.
The manuscripts and their classifications and readings will be studied in later pages. What we shall do now is closely scrutinize the primary centers from which our extant manuscripts have originated. It will be revealed in later study that Biblical manuscripts (MSS) are divided into two general groups. These two groups have been found to disagree with each other in many areas. Every English Bible in existence today will be found to proceed more or less from one of these two groups. The fact that there is one God plainly tells us that there can be only one correct reading concerning any given discrepancy between these two groups.
Obviously, prior to comparing readings, it will be beneficial to investigate the ancient centers from which our two basic groups proceed.
Earlier, we established two "ground rules." It will be relevant to our study to review those rules at this point, and to keep them in mind as we continue. Firstly, we established that the Bible is a spiritual book which God exerted supernatural force to conceive, and it is reasonable to assume that He could exert that same supernatural force to preserve it. Secondly, that Satan desires to be worshipped. He has the ability to counterfeit God's actions and definitely will be involved actively in attempting to destroy God's Word and/or our confidence in that Word, while seeking to replace it with his own "versions."
The fact that the disagreement between these two families is centered around points of deity or doctrine tells us that one of them must be the preserved text, as found in the original MSS, while the other is a Satanic forgery. Satan attacked Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-11) and will try to replace Him in the future (Revelation 13:1-8).
Are we to believe that Satan, a sworn enemy of Truth, is not going to attempt to disrupt the travel of God's Word through history? Would he dare let the only tangible item which God has left us remain unattacked? No, Satan cannot afford to allow the Holy Scriptures to be unmolested. He will obviously be heard to be its loudest textual critic and will attempt to eliminate God's true Word while replacing it with his own Satanic counterfeit.
With this in mind, we shall begin with the original autographs and trace the history of these two families of MSS.
Jesus Christ always worked through His followers. It is only logical that He would look to His followers as instrumental in the preservation of His words.
The New Testament was a paradox. It was completely foreign to anything that the world had ever known. Until the time of Christ, the world was Biblically divided into two groups.
One was the Jews. They were known as God's "chosen people." Their religious practices were founded on the teachings of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (thirty-nine books which comprise our present Old Testament). They awaited their Messiah, the ruler who was expected at any time to come to earth and set up a Jewish kingdom based in Jerusalem.
The other group spoken of in Scripture is the Gentile population of the world. The Gentiles are also referred to as a group by the term "Greeks." They were very religious, but heathenistic in practice. This is noted by the Apostle Paul. When in Athens he mentioned that the city was "wholly given to idolatry" (Acts 17:16). After seeing them carry out their religious duties, he concluded, "I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious" (Acts 17:22). The Gentile world was caught up in the fantasies of Christless education, philosophy, and religion.
Another location of pagan religious practices was Rome. In Rome were found temples built for the worship of many pagan gods and goddesses. A few of these are Jupiter, Apollo, and Minerva.
Still another pagan city known for its education and philosophy was Alexandria, Egypt. Famed for its library and school, it was a center of education during the centuries prior to the New Testament era. It was known to have received much of its philosophy from Athens about 100 B.C.
When the Christian church appeared, made up of born again believers, it was looked upon as a rather strange group of people. The Jews rejected it because its patrons claimed that Jesus Christ was the Jewish Messiah. The Gentiles rejected Christianity because of the Christians' claims that salvation was complete and that one could know that they had eternal life. This ran contrary to the teachings of pagan philosophy that nothing can be known for sure. It also made their heathen religious practices worthless, not to mention all of their beautiful temples.
The New Testament church needed a place to grow. It needed a location that was far away from the prejudices of the Jewish religious community centered in Jerusalem and the Gentile philosophical community. It needed a location that would be advantageous to the spreading of the gospel. Such a location was realized when, after the death of Stephen, the believers traveled to Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch (Acts 11:19). But it was Antioch that the Holy Spirit chose for the base of Christian operations.
Antioch was founded by Seleucus I about 300 B.C. Its location was of prime importance to the gospel since it was built at the crossroads of ancient trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean and from western Arabia to Asia Minor. It also has a seaport on the Orontes River.
In addition to the secular history of these two areas, let us examine what the Bible says concerning them.
The law of first mention is important, as the first mention of a subject usually sets the light in which that subject shall reside in the Bible narrative.
Since one of the two families of MSS originated in Alexandria, Egypt, we shall first look at Egypt. Egypt is first mentioned in Genesis 12:10. "...Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there...." but verse 12 says, "Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive." (Genesis 12:12). Immediately we find a negative air about Egypt in the Bible. Notice that Abram's fear concerns the line of Christ, Satan's first enemy.
"And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard." (Genesis 37:36). Here we find Joseph sold into slavery in Egypt. This also is negative.
"Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses." (Exodus 1:11). In this verse we see Israel, the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, persecuted in Egypt, a type of the world. Verses 15 and 16 show that Satan's attack was once again on the seed through which the Lord Jesus Christ would come. In Exodus 20:2, Egypt is called "the house of bondage." In Deuteronomy 4:20, God calls Egypt "the iron furnace."
God forbids Israel to carry on commercial activities with Egypt in Deuteronomy 17:16. "But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way." Notice this final sentence gives the solemn warning, "Ye shall henceforth return no more that way."
In Jeremiah 46:25 we find God promising punishment on Egypt. "The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him:"
Look at Ezekiel 20:7. "Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." Here we find that God commanded Israel not to be associated with Egypt's idolatry.
The last of our references compares Jerusalem in apostasy to Sodom and Egypt. "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." (Revelation 11:8).
This is only a small cross section of the Biblical references to Egypt, but I believe we see that God's attitude towards Egypt is not positive.
Now let's zero in on the city of Egypt which will concern our study, Alexandria.
Alexandria is first mentioned in Acts 6:9. "Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen." Here we find that Jews from Alexandria were partially responsible for the stoning of Stephen.
Also in Acts 18:24 we find Apollos was from Alexandria. Although he was later saved and became a great disciple of Christ, he was first associated with inadvertently misleading the people of Ephesus in Acts 19:1-3.
We have now looked at what the Bible has to say concerning Egypt in general and Alexandria in particular.
Since we accept the Bible in all matters of "faith and practice," we should take care to remember that God takes a negative approach to Egypt. Do we have any right to ignore God's displeasure and approach Egypt in a "positive" manner? Solomon was by far wiser than we are, yet he ignored God's clear warnings. For example, I Kings 3:1 says, "And Solomon made affinity with Pharoah king of Egypt, and took Pharoah's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about." Also, I Kings 10:28 says, "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price." (cf. Deuteronomy 17:16). We find that ignoring God's Word led to the heart being turned away from the Lord and after other gods (I Kings 11:3, 4). This resulted in abominable acts on his part (I Kings 11:5, 8)and finally brought God's judgment in I Kings 11:9-43.
Certainly, if wise Solomon could fall by accepting Egypt in spite of God's clear condemnation, we would do well to take care before we buy any "horses out of Egypt." God may not be pleased with such actions.
Now let us see what the Bible says about the city of Antioch.
Antioch is first mentioned in Acts 6:5 when Nicolas, a Christian from Antioch, was chosen to be one of the first deacons. So we see that the first time Antioch is mentioned, it is in a positive light.
Antioch is mentioned again in Acts 11:19. Here, it is a refuge for Christians from persecution. In the Scripture Antioch represents a "type" of the new life given to believers after having accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
To fully understand the light in which the Bible presents Antioch in Acts 11, we must look at the context in which chapter 11 is written. In the preceding chapter (Acts 10) God plainly shows that He is calling out a following from among the Gentiles. In the following chapter (Acts 12) God shows that He is not going to use Jerusalem as the center of the New Testament church (Acts 12:1-4).
Antioch, the new center, is away from the Gentile centers of Alexandria, Athens, and Rome and the Jewish center of Jerusalem. Antioch symbolizes the Christian's new life, apart from the heathenism of the Gentiles and ritualism of Judaism. II Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." When a Gentile is saved, he is to leave his heathenistic lifestyle for a new spiritual location in Christ. Likewise, when a Jew is saved, he is to leave his ritualism for a new spiritual location in Christ. In Galatians 3:28 Paul states that, "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." In I Corinthians 10:32 he divides mankind into three groups, "Jews...Gentiles...the Church of God." As God gives born again man a new spiritual location, He also gave His new young church a new physical location.
Please notice that after Acts chapter 12, the other apostles are left alone at Jerusalem and are mentioned only one last time in the narrative. This is in Acts 21:18 where they briefly rejoice in Paul's report and then get preoccupied with the law! Paul in Galatians 2:11 had to rebuke Peter of this very thing when he came to Antioch and tried to exercise the same legalistic teaching of Judaism on the New Testament church there. Obviously God was using Antioch and Antiochian Christians to forge a new practice of worshipping Him, different from the Old Testament Judaism and the Gentile mythology and heathenism.
Acts 11:20 shows the beginning of God's settlement in Antioch. "And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus." In Acts 11:22, Barnabas, one of the most important figures of the New Testament, moves from Jerusalem to Antioch. He is the man who is responsible for Paul being in the ministry. It was Barnabas who went to Tarsus to get Paul, then named Saul, in Acts 11:25. Upon finding him, Barnabas brought him back to Antioch, not Jerusalem (Acts 11:26). So we see that the primary figure of the New Testament church actually began his ministry in Antioch. Paul had visited Jerusalem in Acts 9:26-29 and had even preached there, but his ministry to the Gentiles really began when he departed from Antioch in Acts 13:1-3 with Barnabas.
We must also notice that it was at Antioch that the disciples were called "Christians" for the first time (Acts 11:26). In verse 27 of Acts 11 we find that the prophets from the Jerusalem church left it to settle in Antioch. In verse 29 of Acts 11, we even see that it was necessary for the Christians at Antioch to send relief down to their brethren in Jerusalem.
As we mentioned before, Paul's first missionary journey originated from Antioch in Acts 13:1-3. The Bible states in verse 2 that the Holy Ghost "called" them. It was in Antioch that God chose these men. Upon returning from their trip (Acts 14:26-28) they came back to Antioch, not Alexandria; not Jerusalem.
When some "Christian" Judaizers came up to Antioch from Jerusalem and began to teach the believers there that, "Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved" (Acts 15:1), Paul and Barnabas confronted them. Afterwards, Paul and Barnabas went down and spoke with the apostles concerning this. They formed a council and returned to their beloved Antioch with a written statement to the effect that Judaism had no hold over the New Testament church.
Upon returning to Antioch, Paul and Barnabas took with them chosen men of the Jerusalem church, Silas being one of them (Acts 15:22). They all returned to Jerusalem but Silas (Acts 15:33,34), and he is the only one whom we find recorded in New Testament history. After Acts chapter 11 and the move to Antioch, God used only those who left Jerusalem and settled in Antioch! Such is the case with Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Mark. Paul and Barnabas reside at Antioch (Acts 15:35) and depart from there again in verse 40.
Notice that Paul sets his mind to go back to Jerusalem in Acts 20:22, knowing that it is against God's will as we find in Acts 20:23; 21:4, and again in 21:10-12. He goes to Jerusalem in spite of God's warning against it and is seized in Acts 21:30, thus beginning the end of his ministry! This plainly teaches that a Christian is not to return to his "old" life in any way, shape, or form and should stand firm in his "new location" in Christ. It also shows that if there will be any center for New Testament Christianity, it will be found in Antioch.
It may well be that many of the "originals" that we have heard so much about were written right there in Antioch!
Egypt is a type of this world. Antioch is a type of a Christian's new life in Christ. Which one do you think that God would use to preserve His Word?
God will not do anything contrary to His nature. It would not be consistent with God's nature to use Alexandria, Egypt to preserve His Word when He paints such a dismal picture of it in Scripture. In fact, there is no record of any of the New Testament Christians ever visiting there.
Antioch, on the other hand, was greatly used by God as the center of New Testament Christianity. Paul never took up residence in Jerusalem, but always returned to Antioch. Looking from the spiritual and practical aspect, Antioch would obviously be the logical location of the true Bible text.
It would be extremely beneficial at this point if we could simply produce the original autographs for examination. This would greatly simplify the operation of establishing correctly the New Testament text. But this simply cannot happen. It has long been acknowledged by scholars that we no longer have the "originals." They have long since passed from the scene. This is due to the fact that scribes were known to have destroyed worn out MSS after they had copied them. Apparently the early church valued the words of the original more than the original itself. Therefore, the readings of the originals must be preserved with us somewhere, or else God's words have "passed away" which we surely know, from the Scriptural record, cannot happen. (Psalms 12:6, 7 and Matthew 24:35). We must review the witnesses of the Bible record which have come to us through history. We will be required to keep two things in mind:
1. There is a marked disagreement between the two basic families of readings.
2. Due to the truth above, we must remember our spiritual considerations as well as historical. Remember, the Bible is like no other book. All other books are written and then cast adrift on the sea of time; this is not the case with the Bible. We must remember that God had His hand in its inception and will be seen to have His hand in its journey through history to the present. It must also be remembered that just as God will be active in its preservation, Satan will be active in attempting to disrupt or destroy it.
The "hard" evidence at hand today available for our examination consists of three groups:
1. Copies - Since there are no originals, every record of Scripture will be a copy. Copies are divided into three groups:
A. Miniscules - These are by far the most numerous of extant copies which we possess. Miniscules in Greek are like the lower case letters of our alphabet. The oldest copies of this type are papyrus MSS which were sewn together into a roll or scroll. Papyrus was an inexpensive paper somewhat like newsprint. Some were also written on vellum scrolls. Vellum is made from animal skins. This was used because of its durability although it was more expensive than papyrus.
In early copies the words were written end to end with no space in
between. Words like God, Son, Father were abbreviated in this manner: God - gd,
Son - sn, Father - ftr. Later MSS separated the words for ease of reading. An
example is shown here:
Some miniscules were composed in book form instead of a scroll. These are known as codice (plural). Codex is the singular form. These also were written on either papyrus or vellum. In some cases, all that remains of a scroll or codex are fragments.
B. Majuscules or Uncials -- These are equivalent to the upper case letters of our alphabet. In the same verse as above, John 1: 18, letters of our alphabet would appear in this manner in an uncial MSS:
Majuscules MSS exist in fewer numbers than miniscules and do not appear until the 4th Century.
C. Lectionaries -- These are equivalent to the "responsive readings" found in the back of today's hymnals. Due to the shortage of copies of Scripture, lectionaries were used to put key verses into the hands of the people. In many cases their readings are very early, i.e., closer to the originals.
2. Our second group of Biblical witnesses are the ancient versions. God chose to write the New Testament in Greek, but He did not choose to keep it in Greek only. The early Greek MSS were translated into other languages in order that the true Word of God could be put into the hands of people in other lands. Some versions such as the Peshitto (or Peschito), a Syrian translation, and the Old Latin Vulgate (vulgate means "vulgar," i.e., "common") are actually older than our oldest uncial MSS. The Peshitto was translated from the Greek in about 150 A.D. The Old Latin Vulgate was translated about 157 A.D.
Other well known versions are the Gothic, Sahidic, Bohairic, and Coptic.
3. Our third group is the early church fathers. These are the men who led the Christians in the first few centuries after the New Testament was completed. We have record of their early sermons, books, and commentaries. They will be able to provide us with much information on disputed passages. Many may have seen the original autographs.
Here we now have our three sources of information. They are copies, versions, and church fathers. These three groups combined to give us in excess of 5,250 witnesses.9 Over 3,000 of these are Greek MSS.10 With this many extant MSS, versions, and the fathers for reference, we should have little trouble determining the Greek text of the original New Testament autographs.
These surviving witnesses of the Greek New Testament text which we now possess are found to generally fall into two groups, or "texts." This is where we begin to find some major problems. We find that these two texts disagree consistently concerning the major doctrines of the Bible. They are found to disagree on readings concerning the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the blood atonement, Christ's second coming, the deity of Christ, and many other fundamental Christian doctrines. It is for this reason that we must examine our witnesses to determine if their testimony is accurate (God's text) or if they are fraudulently misleading (Satan's text). Remember our ground rules!
The first of these two texts which we will examine is the Majority Text. This is the text which will be found to uphold the major Christian doctrines which are so vital to our fundamental beliefs.
The Majority Text has been known throughout history by several names. It has been known as the Byzantine Text, the Imperial Text, the Traditional Text, and the Reformation Text, as well as the Majority Text. This text culminates in the Textus Receptus or "Received Text" which is the basis for the King James Bible, which we know also as the Authorized Version.
I do not desire to add one more name to the list, but in the interest of finding the most accurate term to describe this text, and due to its universal reception by orthodox Christians through history, we shall refer to this text as the "Universal Text."
Dr. Hills justifies this choice: "There is now greater reason than ever to believe that the Byzantine Text, which is found in the vast majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts and which was used well-nigh universally throughout the Greek Church for many centuries, is a faithful reproduction of the original New Testament and is the divinely appointed standard by which all New Testament manuscripts and all divergent readings must be judged."11 (Emphasis mine.)
We describe this text with the term "Universal," because it represents the majority of extant MSS which represent the original autographs. Professor Hodges of Dallas Theological Seminary explains, "The manuscript tradition of an ancient book will, under any but the most exceptional conditions, multiply in a reasonably regular fashion with the result that the copies nearest the autograph will normally have the largest number of descendants."12
Even Dr. Hort is forced to admit this as Professor Hodges points out in his footnote, "This truism was long ago conceded (somewhat grudgingly) by Hort. A theoretical presumption indeed remains that a majority of extant documents is more likely to represent a majority of ancestral documents at each state of transmission than vice versa."13
Professor Hodges concludes, "Thus the Majority text, upon which the King James Version is based, has in reality the strongest claim possible to be regarded as an authentic representation of the original text. This claim is quite independent of any shifting consensus of scholarly judgment about its readings and is based on the objective reality of its dominance in the transmissional history of the New Testament text."14
Any corruption to the New Testament text would obviously have to begin after the original autographs were completed, or there would be no originals to corrupt! If the originals and the first corruptions of those originals multiplied at the same rate, the correct text would always be found in the majority of MSS. Add to this the fact that the orthodox Christian Church would reject the corruptions and refuse to copy them, and we would find that the correct text would be in the vast majority, universally accepted as authentic, while the corrupt text would be represented by an elite minority. These are exactly the circumstances which exist in the MS evidence available today! Fuller records, "Miller has shown that the Traditional Text predominated in the writings of the Church Fathers in every age from the very first."15
The Universal Text is that which travels north from Jerusalem to Antioch, the "gateway to Europe," heading for England. Upon arrival in England it would be ready for translation into the language through which God has chosen to spread His Gospel - English.
From Antioch (remember our study of Antioch), the Universal Text was sent up into Europe. From there it spread through Syria and Europe through its translation into the Syrian Peshitto version and the Old Latin Vulgate. There are still 350 copies of the Peshitto in existence today as a testimony to this widespread usage in the years since 150 A.D.
The Old Latin Vulgate was used by the Christians in the churches of the Waldenses, Gauls, Celts, Albigenses, and other fundamental groups throughout Europe. This Latin version became so used and beloved by orthodox Christians and was in such common use by the common people that it assumed the term "Vulgate" as a name. Vulgate comes from "vulgar" which is the Latin word for "common." It was so esteemed for its faithfulness to the deity of Christ and its accurate reproductions of the originals, that these early Christians let Jerome's Roman Catholic translation "sit on the shelf." Jerome's translation was not used by the true Biblical Christians for almost a millenium after it was translated from corrupted manuscripts by Jerome in 380 A.D. Even then it only came into usage due to the death of Latin as a common language, and the violent, wicked persecutions waged against true believers by Pope Gregory IX during his reign from 1227 to 1242 A.D. 16
The Old Latin Vulgate had come into existence no later than 157 A.D. The Latin version of Jerome, translated by order of the Roman Catholic Church, was published in about 380 A.D. It was rejected by real Christians until approximately 1280 A.D. The Roman Catholic Church chose the name "Vulgate" or "Common" for Jerome's translation in an attempt to deceive loyal Christians into thinking that it was the true common Bible of the people. This is the same tactic used by the New Scofield Reference Bible (1967) and the Common Bible (1973). The former claims to be an Authorized King James Version, when in fact it is not (check the margin). The latter's name falsely implies that it is the Bible in "common" use, when in fact the Bible in common use is the Authorized Version of 1611! It would seem that such deception lacks a little in Christian ethics, if not honesty.
It is plain to see that the Universal Text has not only been universally accepted by the faithful Christians down through the centuries, but it was responsible for keeping the Roman Catholic Church contained to southern Italy for years. It was not until the Roman Catholic Church successfully eliminated this Book through persecutions, torture, Bible burnings, and murder that it could capture Europe in its web of superstitious paganism.
Perhaps we should learn a lesson. Where the Universal Text of the King James Bible reigns, God blesses. Once it is eliminated for a less "clean" text, God withdraws His blessing. Oh, that America could but look at what has happened to England since the corrupt Revised Version was published! Perversion has been the father of every "revision" since, on either side of the Atlantic. Yes, the sun began to set on the British Empire in 1904, when the British Foreign Bible Society changed from the pure Textus Receptus to the Egyptian text collated by Eberhard Nestle.17
The other text which we must investigate is the Minority Text. This is the text which is found to be untrue to the beloved doctrines of Scripture such as the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the blood atonement, the Trinity, and others. This is also the text which is used in every translation of the Bible since the Revised Version of 1881.
Its two outstanding trademarks in history are that orthodox Christianity has never used it and that the Roman Catholic Church has militantly (read that "bloodily") supported it. We shall say more about this matter later.
The Minority Text is also known as the Egyptian Text, (remember our study of Egypt), the Hesychian Text, and the Alexandrian Text (remember our study of Alexandria), which was the basis for the critical Greek Text of Brooke Foss Wescott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. The Wescott and Hort Text of 1881 was collated with Weymouth's third edition and Tischendorf's eighth edition by Eberhard Nestle in 1898 to become what is known as the Nestle's Greek New Testament.18 This is the text used in all "modern" translations.
The most notable MSS in the text consist of a handful of uncial MSS of the 4th and 5th Centuries. These uncials have been found to be error ridden and untrustworthy and found even to disagree among themselves.
One of these MSS is called Sinaiticus and is represented by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph. This MS from all outward appearances looks very beautiful. It is written in book form (codex) on vellum. It contains 147 1/2 leaves. The pages are 15" by 13 1/2" with four columns of 48 lines per page. It contains many spurious books such as the "Shepherd of Hermes," the "Epistle of Barnabas," and even the "Didache."19 This MS has survived time well, but being in good physical shape by no means makes its contents trustworthy.
The great Greek scholar, Dr. Scrivener, points this out in his historic work A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus. He speaks concerning correctional alterations made to the MS: "The Codex is covered with such alterations...brought in by at least ten different revisors, some of them systematically spread over every page, others occasional or limited to separated portions of the MS, many of these being contemporaneous with the first writer, but for the greater part belonging to the sixth or seventh century."20
Dr. Alfred Martin echos this, "Aleph shows the works of ten different correctors down through the centuries."21
The corrections are so obvious as to induce Dr. Burgon to comment therefore on Dr. Tischendorf's willingness to exalt this badly marred MS: "With the blindness proverbially ascribed to parental love, Tischendorf follows Aleph, though the carelessness that reigns over that manuscript is visible to all who examine it."22
May I note here that Dr. Tischendorf was the discoverer of Codex Sinaiticus. He found it in St. Cathrine's Monestary on Mt. Sinai in February of 1859. It was, of all places, in the wastebasket!"23
Since this MS was of the 4th Century, Tischendorf, deceived by the outmoded philosophy "older is better," immediately altered his 7th edition of the Greek New Testament in over 3,500 places. He had claimed that this 7th edition (1856-59) had been perfect and could not be superceded. His 8th edition (1865-72), based primarily on Aleph, was apparently 3,500 times more perfect!
Another MS belonging to this family is called Vaticanus. It is often referred to by the letter "B." As its name implies, it is in the Vatican library at Rome (remember our enemy). No one knows when it was placed in the Vatican library, but its existence was first made known in 1841. This MS is also in the form of a book and written on vellum. It contains 759 pages which are 10" by 10 1/2" with three columns of 41 lines per page.
This Codex omits many portions of Scripture vital to Christian doctrine. Vaticanus omits Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 46:28; Psalms 106 through 138; Matthew 16:2, 3; Romans 16:24; the Pauline Pastorial Epistles; Revelation; and everything in Hebrews after 9:14.24
It seems suspicious indeed that a MS possessed by the Roman Catholic Church omits the portion of the book of Hebrews which exposes the "mass" as totally useless. (Please read Hebrews 10:10-12). The "mass" in conjunction with the false doctrine of purgatory go hand-in-hand to form a perpetual money making machine for Rome. Without one or the other, the Roman Catholic Church would go broke! It also omits portions of Scripture telling of the creation (Genesis), the prophetic details of the crucifixion (Psalms 22), and, of course, the portion which prophesies of the destruction of Babylon (Rome), the great whore of Revelation chapter 17.
Vaticanus, though intact physically, is found to be of very poor literary quality. Dr. Martin declares, "'B' exhibits numerous places where the scribe has written the same word or phrase twice in succession."25 Dr. J. Smythe states, "From one end to the other, the whole manuscript has been traveled over by the pen of some...scribe of about the tenth century."26
If Vaticanus was considered a trustworthy text originally, the mass of corrections and scribal changes obviously render its testimony highly suspicious and questionable.
The corrupt and unreliable nature of these two MSS is best summed up by one who has thoroughly examined them, John W. Burgon: "The impurity of the text exhibited by these codices is not a question of opinion but fact...In the Gospels alone, Codex B (Vatican) leaves out words or whole clauses no less than 1,491 times. It bears traces of careless transcriptions on every page. Codex Sinaiticus abounds with errors of the eye and pen to an extent not indeed unparalleled, but happily rather unusual in documents of first-rate importance. On many occasions 10, 20, 30, 40 words are dropped through very carelessness. Letters and words, even whole sentences, are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately cancelled; while that gross blunder whereby a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same words as the clause preceding, occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament."27
If we are to be thorough and discriminatory in our evaluation of the true New Testament text, then we must not - we cannot - overlook these facts.
How did these MSS come into being? How did it happen that they should be beautiful to the eye, yet within contain such vile and devastating corruptions? It seems that these uncial MSS along with the papyrus MSS included in this category all resulted from a revision of the true, or Universal Text. This revision was enacted in Egypt (remember our study of Egypt) by Egyptian scribes!
Prior to documenting this statement, it will be needful to identify several of the uncial and papyrus MSS which will be referred to in the documentation. These are uncial manuscripts A, B, C, D, and Aleph. Also included are the Chester Beatty Papyri, designated as P45, P46, P47, and the Bodmer Papyri, designated as P66 and P75.
It seems that this type of text was a local text of Alexandria, Egypt (remember our study of Alexandria) of which Eusebius made fifty copies to fulfill a request by Emperor Constantine. Unfortunately Eusebius turned to the education center in Egypt and got a "scholarly revision" instead of turning to Antioch for the pure text which was universally accepted by the true Christians.
Why would Eusebius choose Alexandria over Antioch? Primarily because he was a great admirer of Origen, an Egyptian scholar. Origen, though once exalted by modern day Christianity as a trustworthy authority, has since been found to have been a heretic who interpreted the Bible in the light of Greek philosophy (remember our study of Athens). He propagated the heresy that Jesus Christ was a "created" God.28 This is a false doctrine clung to by Jehovah's Witnesses of our day, who strangely enough get their teaching from the corrupt Alexandrian Text's rendition of John 1:1-5 and John 3:13, a corruption which Origen is responsible for when he revised the Universal Text to read in agreement with his personal heresy!
Origen himself said, "The Scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they are written."29 Which explains Bishop Marsh's statement, "Whenever therefore grammatical interpretation produced a sense which in Origen's opinion was irrational or impossible, in other words was irrational or impossible according to the philosophy which Origen had learned at Alexandria, he then departs from the literal."30 (Emphasis mine.) Dr. Adam Clarke claims also that Origen was the first person to teach purgatory. 31
Where did this "Local Text," from which all new Bible translations since 1881 are rendered, originate? Let us see what evidence scholars have unearthed in a search to discover its source.
Kurt Aland "proposes that the text of P75 and B represent a revision of a local text of Egypt which was enforced as the dominant text in that particular ecclesiastical province."32
Professor Hodges assures us, "Already scholars are willing to concede a common ancestry for P75 and B. We can postulate here that this common ancestor and P66 meet even further back in the stream of transmission...It is quite possible, then that all three manuscripts go back ultimately to a single parent manuscript in which this emendation was originally made."33
Dean Burgon remarks, "As for the origin of these two curiosities, it can perforce only be divined from their contents, that they exhibit fabricated texts is demonstrable. No amount of honest copying - preserved in for any number of centuries - could by possibility have resulted in two such documents. Separated from one another in actual date by 50, perhaps by 100 years, they must needs have branched all from a common corrupt ancestor, and straightway become exposed to fresh depraving influence."34
Dr. Edward Hills concludes, "The best way to explain this situation is to suppose that it represents an intentional neglect of the Traditional Text on the part of those ancient Alexandrian scribes who kept revising the text of Paprus 75 until finally they created the B text."35
He also states Aland's opinion: "Aland thinks it possible that the Chester Beatty Papyri also came from this same place."36
That tedious lawyer and former Supreme Court Justice, Philip Mauro, has aptly determined, "It should be observed, before we proceed with this question, that the agreeing testimony (where they do agree) of the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS cannot be properly regarded as having the force of two independent witnesses; for there are sufficient evidences both internal and external to warrant the conclusion that these two Codices are very closely related, that they are, in fact, copies of the same original, itself a very corrupt transcript of the New Testament."37
He also states, "It is admitted on all hands that the Text used as the basis of the Authorized Version correctly represents a Text known to have been widely (if not everywhere) in use as early as the second century (for the Peschito and Old Latin Versions, corroborated by patristic quotations afford ample proof of that). On the other hand, it is now known that the two Codices we are discussing represent anything but copies of a bad original, made worse in the copying."38
It also seems generally agreed that this Local Text was used for a basis of the 50 Bibles which Eusebius supplied to Constantine.
The noted Greek scholar, A.T. Roberson, states, "Constantine himself ordered fifty Greek Bibles from Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, for the Churches of Constantinople. It is quite possible that Aleph and B are two of these fifty, though the actual copying was probably done in Egypt or by Egyptian scribes."39
Gregory adds, "This manuscript (Vaticanus) is supposed, as we have seen, to have come from the same place as the Sinaitic Manuscript. I have said that these two show connections with each other and that they would suit very well as a pair of the fifty manuscripts written at Caesarea for Constantine the Great."40
To which Burgon and Miller testify, "Constantine applied to Eusebius for fifty handsome copies, amongst which it is not impossible that the manuscripts B and Aleph were to be actually found."41
Dr. David Fuller finalizes, "Age alone cannot prove that a manuscript is correct. B and Aleph probably owe their preservation to the fact that they were written on vellum, whereas most other documents of that period were written on papyrus. Many students, including Tischendorf and Hort, have thought them to be two of the fifty copies which Eusebius had prepared under the order of Constantine for use in the churches of Constantinople. They are no doubt beautiful manuscripts, but their texts show scribal carelessness. B exhibits numerous places where the scribe has written the same word or phrases twice in succession. Aleph shows the marks of ten different correctors down through the centuries. Burgon's excoriation of Wescott and Hort's method cannot be considered too strong in the light of the facts concerning the character of these two manuscripts."42 Who could be responsible for the corruption of the universally accepted text of the New Testament?
Wilkenson reports, "Beginning shortly after the death of the apostle John, four names stand out in prominence whose teaching contributed both to the victorious heresy and to the final issuing of manuscripts of a corrupt New Testament. These names are: 1. Justin Martyr; 2. Tatian; 3. Clement of Alexandria; and 4. Origen."43
The Local Alexandrian text fell into disuse about 500 A.D. while the original Universal Text was spreading true Christianity throughout Europe.
Hoskier reports this in his statement: "Those who accept the Wescott and Hort text are basing their accusations of untruth as to the Gospellists upon an Egyptian revision current 200 to 450 A.D. and abandoned between 500 to 1881, merely revised in our day and stamped as genuine."44
So we see that once a pure copy of the Universal Text had been carried down into Egypt, it was recopied. During the process of this recopying, it was revised by men who did not revere it as truly the Word of God. This text was examined by the critical eye of Greek philosophy and Egyptian morals. These men saw nothing wrong with putting the Book in subjection to their opinion instead of their opinion being in subjection to the Book. This process produced a text which was local to the educational center of Alexandria, Egypt. This text went no farther than southern Italy where the Roman Church found its unstable character perfect for overthrowing the true Word of God which was being used universally by the true Christians.
At this point, I believe it will be helpful to study the ruthless Roman Catholic Church to more clearly understand her part in all new translations of the Bible since 1881.
"It is necessary to salvation that every man should submit to the Pope." (Boniface VIII Unum Sanctum, 1303.)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9.
Here lie two totally contradictory statements. They cannot both be correct. The one which you believe will depend on which authority you accept.
The Roman Catholic Church has long been antagonistic to the doctrine of salvation by grace. If salvation is by grace, who needs "mass?" If salvation is by grace, who needs to fear purgatory? If Jesus Christ is our mediator, who needs the Pope? If the Pope cannot intimidate people into obeying him, how can he force a nation to obey him?
The true Bible is the arch-enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome can only rule over ignorant, fear-filled people. The true Bible turns "unlearned and ignorant" men into gospel preachers and casts out "all fear."
Rome must find a way to supplant the true gospel with "another gospel." The only way to do this is to eliminate our faith in the Word of God.
Rome received the corrupted Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and further revised it to suit her own needs. Some scholars call this revision the "Western" text. This, of course, makes it part of the already corrupted text and, therefore, still contains the Local Text readings. This text suited the Roman Catholic Church well, since it attacked the doctrines of the Bible. Rome is wise. To attack salvation by grace directly would expose her plot to all. So instead she used subtly. The Roman Catholic Church strips Jesus Christ of His deity, separates the divine title "Lord" and "Christ" from the human name Jesus, having the thief on the cross address Him as "Jesus" instead of "Lord" (Luke 23:42). It also removes the testimony to His deity in Acts 8:37, and it eliminates the Trinity in I John 5:7.
You may ask, "Would not a weakening of the place of Jesus Christ weaken the Roman Catholic Church's reason for even existing?" The answer is "No." The Roman Catholic Church does not even claim to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romanist Karl Adam admits this: "We Catholics acknowledge readily, without any shame - nay with pride - that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ."45
The vacancy left by the removal of Christ would be easily filled by Mary and other "saints" along with a chain of ritualism so rigid that no practitioner would have time to really "think" about the true gospel.
The true gospel was fast spreading all over Europe due to the Old Latin translation of the Universal Text into the "vulgar" or "common" language. This Bible became known as the "Vulgate" since it was used so commonly all over Europe.
Rome enlisted the help of a loyal subject by the name of Jerome. He quickly translated the corrupt Local Text into Latin. This version included the Apocryphal books, fourteen books which no Bible-believing Christian accepts as authentic. To insure its success over the Old Latin, the Roman Catholic Church gave it the name "Vulgate," meaning "common." There was one problem which the Roman Catholic Church did not anticipate, the same problem which the businessmen publishing new versions cannot seem to avoid. The common people recognized the true Word of God because the Holy Spirit bears witness to it! They refuse to accept other versions!
True, many versions have been sold in the past and are being sold now. Yet, this is primarily due to the media "blitz" by which EVERY new Bible has been introduced since 1881. This is the same tactic used by Satan in Genesis chapter 3. Notice his first recorded words. Do you believe that Satan just walked up to Eve and asked, "Yea, hath God said?" No! In Genesis 3:1 we are picking up in the middle of a conversation, possibly one of many. Satan paved the way for his attack on God's Word by a little "softening up" publicity. Christians today do not realize that they "need a better translation" until they are told so by the Bible salesman a few times. Suddenly, they "realize their need" for a translation which is "closer to the originals." (Most of these Christians have never even read the one they have.) The next thing they know, they have eaten the fruit, and God's blessing is gone. To get God's blessing back, obviously, they need the next "thoroughly reliable" translation.
This is not an overstatement. An example of the "Bible business" is revealed by Dr. Edward Hills. He speaks in reference to the committee of the American Standard Version promising not to publish their translation at the same time as the English Revised Version. He points out, "They promised not to publish their own revised edition of the Bible until 14 years after the publication of the English Revised Version (R.V.), and in exchange for this concession were given the privilege of publishing in an appendix to this version a list of the readings which they favored but which the British revisers declined to adopt."46 It was obvious to these "contenders for the faith" that two new Bibles hitting the market at the same time just would not be conducive to good profits. These men are obviously "led by the spirit" but I am not entirely sure it is "Holy." It is a sad thing when men make merchandise of the Word of God.
The name "Vulgate" on the flyleaf of Jerome's unreliable translation did little to help sales. The Old Latin Bible, or "Italic" as it is sometimes called, was held fast by all true Christians who upheld the authority of the Bible over the authority of education.
Dr. Wilkenson informs us in reference to the Old Latin, "Not only were such translations in existence long before the Vulgate was adopted by the Papacy, and well established, but the people for centuries refused to supplant their old Latin Bibles by the Vulgate." He records Jacobus' words, "The old Latin versions were used longest by the western Christians who would not bow to the authority of Rome - e.g. the Donatists; the Irish in Ireland, Britain, and the Continent; the Albigenses: etc;"47
Dr. Wilkenson also records the words from the "Forum" of June 1887, "The old Italic version, into rude Low Latin of the second century, held its own as long as Latin continued to be the language of the people. The critical version of Jerome never displaced it, and only replaced it when the Latin ceased to be a living language, and became the language of the learned. The Gothic version of Ulfilas, in the same way, held its own until the tongues in which it was written ceased to exist."48
So we see that the Vulgate of Jerome was unused and unwanted by the true Christians for over nine hundred years. This caused the Roman Church much grief. There was only one remedy to the situation, eliminate the "other" old, archaic Bible. If it was necessary to violently eliminate the people who used this faithful translation, then they did it.
The Roman Catholic Church has long been known for its persecution of true New Testament Christians. Beginning in about 600 A.D., persecution hounded these Christ-honoring, Bible-loving people. Pope Gregory I went so far as to systematically destroy and alter historical records pertaining to these Christians. Concerning one group, the Waldenses (or Waldensians), Dr. Gilly reports, "It is a singular thing, that the destruction or rapine, which has been so fatal to Waldensian documents, would have pursued them even to the place of security, to which all, that remained, were consigned by Morland, in 1658, the library of the University of Cambridge. The most ancient of these relics were ticketed in seven packets, distinguished by letters of the alphabet, from A to G. The whole of these were missing when I made inquiry for them in 1823."49
Gilly also enlightens us with this report of the actions of Rome: "The agents of the Papacy have done their utmost to calumniate their character, to destroy the records of their noble past and to leave no trace of the cruel persecution they underwent. They went even further - they made use of words written against ancient heresies to strike out the name of heretics and fill the blank space by inserting the name of the Waldenses. Just as if, in a book written to record the lawless deeds of some bandit, like Jesse James, his name should be stricken out and the name of Abraham Lincoln substituted. The Jesuit Gretserin a book written against the heretics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, put the name Waldenses at the point where he struck out the name of these heretics."50 We find that Rome's wicked persecutions of the Waldenses culminated in a devastating massacre of their number in 1655.51 They were hounded as "heretics" until the mid 1800's when their persistence paid off and the vile actions against them ceased.52
A major blow to the authority of Rome came in 1517, when a young Catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther nailed his historic 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg. The nail drove deep into the hearts of truly born-again Christians who had for centuries been laboring under the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church. The people flocked to their new, brave leader. From this, Lutheranism was established, but even more important, the fires of the Reformation were kindled.
The tide of the Reformation soon came sweeping across all of Europe until it washed the very shores of England. The already weakened authority of Rome was devastated by the onslaught of truth. Two-thirds of Europe was swallowed up in what can probably be referred to as the greatest spiritual awakening of all time. The Reformation was vital to the then future translation of the King James Bible. England, too, had been shackled to the hierarchy of Rome. It was the removal of these superstitious bonds that created the spirit in England of the supremacy of the Scripture which was prevalent at the time of the translation of the King James Bible. This would not have been the case had Luther not sparked the Reformation.
The most vital and immovable weapon in Luther's arsenal came in the form of his German translation of the New Testament of 1522. This put the pure words of the Universal Text back into the hands of "Bible-starved" Christians. The Reformation ran wild across the continent, fueled by this faithful translation. Rome at this point was totally helpless to stop it. The Papacy needed something with which to fight this dreaded scourge of truth. It turned in desperation to two different sources.
In 1545 the Roman Catholic Church formed the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent systematically denied the teachings of the Reformation. The Council decreed that "tradition" was of equal authority with the Bible. It decreed also that justification was not by faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In fact, it stated that anyone believing in this vital Bible doctrine was cursed. The Council's exact words are: "If anyone saith that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be anathema."53 (Emphasis mine.)
We now see that the Roman Catholic Church is guilty of officially cursing Jesus Christ! Would God use this church to preserve His Words?
The Council of Trent was viewed by the Protestants as somewhat of a "paper tiger." It certainly did not hold any authority over them. The barn door appeared securely locked, but the horse was triumphantly roaming all over the countryside! Yet there was to be an enemy much more feared than the boisterous Council of Trent - the Jesuits!
The Society of Jesus was founded in 1534 by a Spaniard by the name of Ignatius Loyola. Loyola was born don Inigo Lopez de Racalde, in the castle of Loyola in the province of Guipuzcoa in 1491. He was known as a youth to be treacherous, brutal and vindictive. He was referred to as an unruly and conceited soldier. Loyola was wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in 1521. Crippled by a broken leg and plagued by a limp the rest of his life, he sought "spiritual" conquests.54
Loyola produced an elite force of men, extremely loyal to the Pope, who would set about to undermine Protestantism and "heresy" throughout the world. Their training would require fourteen years of testing and trials designed to leave them with no will at all. They were to learn to be obedient. Loyola taught that their only desire would be to serve the Pope.
The head of the Jesuits is called the "Black Pope" and holds the title of General, just as in the military. That they were to be unquestionably loyal to this man and their church is reflected in Loyola's own words, "Let us be convinced that all is well and right when the superior commands it," also, "...even if God gave you an animal without sense for master, you will not hesitate to obey him, as master and guide, because God ordained it to be so." He further elaborates, "We must see black as white, if the Church says so."55
What would be the method used by the Jesuits to achieve their goals? Would it be military might? Would it be acts of daring? Would it be a violent revolution to install a Roman sympathizer as ruler? No, these actions would all have their day of usefulness, later.
The Jesuits were to be the Vatican's "plainclothesmen." They were founded to be a secret society, a society that was to slide in behind the scenes and capture the positions of leadership. The Jesuits knew that to capture the leaders of any particular country or organization is to conquer the entire body.
Edmund Paris, the noted French author and leading authority on the Roman Catholic Church, has written many books exposing the true spirit and goals of the Vatican. He points out, "Politics are their main field of action, as all the efforts of these 'directors' concentrate on one aim: the submission of the world to the papacy, and to attain this the 'heads' must be conquered first."56
The Jesuit priests were not required to dress in the traditional garb of the Roman Catholic priests. In fact, their dress was a major part of their disguise. They presented themselves to the world in a variety of manners. They passed themselves off in a number of ways. Paris asserts that this is still true today, "It is the same today: the 33,000 official members of the Society operate all over the world in the capacity of her personnel, officers of a truly secret army containing in its ranks heads of political parties, high ranking officials, generals, magistrates, physicians, faculty professors, etc., all of them striving to bring about, in their own sphere, 'Opus Dei,' God's work, in reality the plans of the papacy."57
They have often been known to join the religious persuasion which they wish to destroy. Having done this, they would manifest all of the destructive force at their hands to weaken and tear down their sworn enemy of "Protestantism." Paris again reports just such an event which took place in Scandinavia in the late 16th Century, "In 1574 Father Nicolai and other Jesuits were brought to the recently established school of technology where they became fervent Roman proselytizers, while officially assuming Lutheranism."58 Dr. Desanctis points out, "Despite all the persecution they (the Jesuits) have met with, they have not abandoned England, where there are a greater number of Jesuits than in Italy; there are Jesuits in all classes of society; in Parliament; among the English clergy; among the Protestant laity, even in the higher stations. I could not comprehend how a Jesuit could be a Protestant priest, or how a Protestant priest could be a Jesuit; but my Confessor silenced my scruples by telling me, omnia munda mundis, and that St. Paul became a Jew that he might save the Jews; it is no wonder therefore, if a Jesuit should feign himself a Protestant, for the conversion of Protestants."59
Murder is not above the "means" which might be necessary to reach the desired "end." The General of the Jesuits will forgive any sins which are committed by the members of this Satanic order. In reference to the Jesuit General it is stated, "He also absolves the irregularity issuing, from bigamy, injuries done to others, murder, assassination ... as long as these wicked deeds were not publickly known and this cause of a scandal."60
That the Jesuit priests have such liberties as murder is reflected in the following lengthy quote from Paris' book The Secret History of the Jesuits.
"Amongst the most criminal jesuitic maxims, there is one which roused public indignation to the highest point and deserves to be examined; it is: 'A monk or priest is allowed to kill those who are ready to slander him or his community.'
So the order gives itself the right to eliminate its adversaries and even those of its members who, having come out of it, are too talkative. This pearl is found in the Theology of Father L'Amy.
There is another case where this principle finds its application. For this same Jesuit was cynical enough to write: 'If a Father, yielding to temptation, abuses a woman and she publicizes what has happened, and because of it, dishonours him, this same Father can kill her to avoid disgrace!'"61
In 1572, the Jesuits, with the help of Prince Henry III were responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. At this infamous event, which took place on August 15, 1572, the Jesuits murdered the Huguenot (Protestant) leaders gathered in Paris for the wedding of Princess Margaret, a Roman Catholic, and Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot. The murders inspired Roman Catholics to slaughter thousands of Huguenot men, women, and children. Henry of Navarre was not killed but was forced to renounce Protestantism, although his renounciation was insincere, and he remained a Protestant until 1593. The number of victims in this Jesuit conspiracy is estimated to be at least 10,000.62 In 1589, when Henry III was no longer useful to the Roman Catholic Church, he was assassinated by a monk by the name of Jacques Clement.63 Clement was called an "angel" by the Jesuit priest, Camelet.64 Another Jesuit priest by the name of Guigard, who was eventually hanged, taught his students that Clement did nothing wrong. In fact, he voiced his regrets that Henry III had not been murdered earlier at the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. He instructed them with lessons such as this: "Jacques Clement has done a meritor-ious act inspired by the Holy Spirit. If we can make war against the king, then let us do it; if we cannot make war against him, then let us put him to death ... we made a big mistake at the St. Bartholomew; we should have bled the royal vein."65
The Jesuits' murderous ways were not yet completed in the history of French Protestants! When Henry III was murdered, Henry of Navarre a Huguenot, came to power. A hope for Catholic rebellion never materialized, and Henry IV was allowed to reign. In 1592, an attempt was made to assassinate the Protestant king by a man named Barriere. Barriere admitted that he had been instructed to do so by a Father Varade, a Jesuit priest.66 In 1594, another attempt was made by Jean Chatel who had been taught by Jesuit teachers and had confessed to the Jesuits what he was about to do.67 It was at this time that Father Guigard, the Jesuit teacher previously mentioned, was seized and hanged for his connection with this plot.68
In 1598, King Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, granting religious freedom to the Huguenots. They were allowed full civil rights and the right to hold public worship services in towns where they had congregations.
This was the last straw! Henry IV had to be eliminated! This time the Jesuits would allow for more careful planning. Edmund Paris details the assassination of King Henry IV:
"On the 16th of May, 1610, on the eve of his campaign against Austria, he was murdered by Ravaillac who confessed having been inspired by the writing of Fathers Mariana and Suarez. These two sanctioned the murders of heretic "tyrants" or those insufficiently devoted to the Papacy's interests. The duke of Epemon, who made the king read a letter while the assassin was lying in wait, was a notorious friend of the Jesuits, and Michelet proved that they knew of this attempt. In fact, Ravaillac had confessed to the Jesuit Father d'Aubigny just before and, when the judges interrogated the priest, he merely replied that God had given him the gift to forget immediately what he heard in the confessional."69
THIS is the spirit of our enemy! THIS is the ruthlessness of the Roman Catholic Church against those who will not bow their knee to Rome! Would God use this church to preserve His Word?
Wherever there is a conspiracy against God's people or God's Word, there seems always to be the shadow of a Jesuit priest near. Often they present themselves as seemingly innocent to the proceedings around them when, in fact, they are the driving force behind such plots against God's work.
It is often said that you can tell a lot about a man by taking a close look at his enemies. If a man is disliked by Communists, then that shows that he is a non-Communist and considered dangerous to their cause. If a man is disliked by the Roman Catholic Church, then this shows that he is not useful in spreading the Roman Catholic dogma.
This same thing is true of the Bible. What did the Jesuits, the sworn enemy of truth, think of the Authorized Version?
To show the hatred of the Roman Catholic Church against King James for initiating a translation which would not use the corrupt Latin Vulgate or the Jesuit Bible of 1582, we must quote from Gustavus Paine's book, The Men Behind the King James Version. The account recorded took place in 1605-1606.
"The story is too involved to give detail here, but on October 26, the Lord Chamberlain, Monteagle, received an unsigned letter begging him to stay away from Parliament on the day it opened. He took the letter to Robert Cecil, who on November 1 showed it to the king at a midnight meeting. The King shrewdly surmised a good deal of what it meant.
Monday, November 4, an agent of the royal party found in a cellar beneath the House of Lords a man named Guy Fawkes, disguised as a servant, beside piles of faggots, billets of wood, and masses of coal. The agent went away. Shortly Monteagle and one other came and talked, but gave no heed to Fawkes, who was still on guard until they were about to go. He told them he was a servant of Thomas Percy, a well-known papist. Still later, at midnight, soldiers found Fawkes booted and spurred and with a lantern outside the cellar door. He had taken few pains to conceal his actions. They dragged him into an alley, searched him, and found on him a tinderbox and a length of slow match. In a fury now, they moved the faggots, billets and coal and came upon barrel after barrel of powder, thirty-six barrels in all. Fawkes then confessed that he meant to blow up the House of Lords and the king.
On November 6, Percy, with others, rushed into an inn at Dunchurch, Warwickshire, with the news that the court was aware of their plan. By the 8th the whole attempt had dearly failed. When Parliament met a week after the stated day, the King, calm, gracious, and splendid told what had happened and then adjourned the meeting. At first Fawkes refused to name any except Percy who, with others, was killed in the course of a chase. In time he gave the names of all, who would have blown up the House of Lords 'at a clap.'
Guy Fawkes was baptized at St. Michael le Belfrey, York, April 16, 1570, son of Edward Fawkes, a proctor and advocate in the church courts of York. The father died and the mother married a Papist. In 1603 Guy Fawkes went to Madrid to urge that Philip III invade England. Thus he was a confirmed traitor, though egged on and used by more astute plotters.
Some of these men had been involved in the rising of the Earl of Esses. A number were former members of the Church of England. Most of them had some land and wealth. They were all highly disturbed beings, throwbacks, who meant to subvert the state and get rid of King James. Church and state, they were sure, must be at one, with fealty to the Pope.
For nearly a year, the plotters had been digging a tunnel from a distance, but had found the wall under the House of Lords nine feet thick. They had then got access to the cellar by renting a building. They had planned to kill the King, seize his children, stir up an open revolt with the aid from Spaniards in Flanders, put Princess Elizabeth on the throne, and marry her to a Papist. Though all but one, Sir Everard Digby, pleaded not guilty, the court, such as it was, condemned them all to death. That same week they were all hanged, four in St. Paul's churchyard where John Overall, the translator, could have looked on and four in the yard of the old palace.
Three months later came the trial of Henry Garnet, a Jesuit, thought to be head of the Jesuits in England. Brought up a Protestant, he knew of the plot but had shrunk in horror from it, though he left the chosen victims to their fate. The court condemned him also to die.
All this concerned the men at work on the Bible. At Garnet's hanging, May 3, in St. Paul's churchyard, John Overall, Dean of St. Paul's took time off from his translating to be present. Very gravely and Christ-ianily he and the Dean of Winchester urged upon Garnet 'a true and lively faith to God-ward,' a free and plain statement to the world of his offense; and if any further treason lay in his knowledge, he was begged to unburden his conscience and show a sorrow and destination of it. Garnet, firm in his beliefs, desired them not to trouble him. So after the men assigned to the gruesome duty had hanged, drawn, and quartered the victim Dean Overall returned to St. Paul's and his Bible task."70
Thus the "Gunpowder Plot" failed. As usual, where there was treachery there was a Jesuit.
Did the failure of this plan stop the Jesuits? Of course not. Garnet had allowed this drastic plan to be carried out too soon. He had forgotten the Jesuit rule to act a little at a time "surtout, pas trop de zele" (above all, not too much zeal).
Let it be remembered, Jesuits do not give up. They would have to bide their time. They would once again resort to undercover activities as they had so many times before. Their task would be a difficult one, yet for the unfaltering Jesuits, not impossible. They would have to discredit the Reformation. They would have to dislodge the Universal Greek Text from the firm position it held in the minds and hearts of English scholarship. They would have to "wean" Protestantism back into the fold of Rome. To do this they would use the same plan as they had in similar situations: captivate the minds of scholarship.
Men have long been worshippers of education. If an educator makes a claim, the "common" people will follow, because they have convinced themselves that anyone with that much education can't be wrong.
Evolution has been accepted as a fact by the average American because educators claim that it is true. The fact that they can produce no evidence to substantiate their theory is incidental. Education says it is so!
The Jesuits' task was to entice Protestant scholarship back to Rome. They knew that they could not wean the leaders of Protestantism back into Rome as long as the stubborn "heretics" clung to the pure text of the Reformers. This Bible would have to be replaced with one which contained the pro-Roman Catholic readings of Jerome's Vulgate and the Jesuit translation of 1582. It would be necessary to "educate" the Protestant scholars to believe that their Reformation Text was unreliable and that their Authorized Version was "not scholarly." Once thus programmed, the egotistical scholars would spontaneously attack their own Bible and believe that they were helping God.
The most important objective to be realized would be to replace the Bible as the final authority.
The Authorized Version had become a mightier foe than Rome had anticipated as Dr. McClure points out: "The printing of the English Bible has proved to be by far the mightiest barrier ever reared to repel the advance of Popery, and to damage all the resources of the Papacy. Originally intended for the five or six millions who dwelt within the narrow limits of the British Islands, it at once formed and fixed their language, till then unsettled; and has since gone with that language to the isles and shores of every sea."
What the Roman Catholics had always dreaded had come to pass. The Word of God was translated from the true text into the clearest form of the common language, English. Protestants had long refuted and neutralized Roman Catholicism by the phrase, "The Bible says so." The Roman Catholic Church had been built on about 10% twisted Scripture and 90% superstition. Where men were ignorant, it could rule by playing on their fears. But, when the "ignorant and unlearned" people received Christ as personal Saviour and clung faithfully to the King James Bible, they were not only immovable but could easily refute any heresy, be it Catholic or otherwise.
The job of the Jesuits would be aided by the natural process of time. Every major religious persuasion follows a natural pattern which is nearly impossible to avoid. They begin in the form of a revival, not a week long revival meeting, but a spiritual awakening which leads its followers away from the world system and into Bible literalism. The Reformation is a good example. People drew nearer to the Bible, believed it literally, and the end result was a revival which swept Europe and drew people out of the Roman Catholic system.
The next step is education. The infant Reformation had nowhere to send its converts to learn the Bible. It certainly could not allow them to return to the Roman school of philosophy for their education. So the second step is to build your own schools and train your own preachers and teachers.
The third step is culture. Once a movement has established itself, it forms its own culture. This process takes from 50 to 100 years. After this period of time, the movement has proved to the world that it is not a "fly by night" outfit but is a force to be reckoned with. This was true of Lutheranism, as it is now true of Fundamentalism.
Fifty years ago, a Fundamentalist preacher was considered a backwoods "hick" with no education and was able to preach nothing more than "hell, fire, and damnation." Today, the world has awakened to the fact that Fundamentalism is a powerful force. Fundamental churches are found to be the largest and fastest growing in the country. Television and magazines are producing special stories concerning the Fundamental movement. The election of 1980 showed the amount of influence that Fundamentalism could have. Fundamentalism has proven that it is here to stay.
This acceptance produces a kind of "home-grown" arrogance. This is not a derogatory comment, but is true.
When the preachers of the Reformation graduated from basements and dungeons to the pulpits of the largest, fastest growing churches in Europe, they realized that they had fought their way to victory. As they saw their colleges grow and multiply, they prided themselves in the job they had done. But the new-found ease of life began to make a subtle change. They found themselves beginning to appreciate the "finer" things of life. A pastor who had been satisfied in the early days of the Reformation with a basement and one candle for light to preach by, twenty-five years later found himself in a fine, clean, functional building. As his congregation grew and space was needed, the church built bigger buildings, but the new buildings passed from functional simplicity to a "touch of elegance." The chandeliers became more ornate. The ceiling became higher. The pews were more comfortable. The windows saw the use of stained glass, a Roman Catholic custom. The pastor found social acceptance in the community. Each succeeding building was "bigger and better" with more elaborate masonry. The preachers and people began to find time to "appreciate" the arts and sciences. The Christians soon had a culture which was separate from but parallel to that of the world. This left the door open for the next and final step, apostasy.
The preachers became "clergy." Their separated lives and Biblical education led to Phariseeism. Their colleges expanded from just training ministers to covering a wider spectrum of occupations. Basic Bible courses were supplemented by a study of "the arts."
Revival is from God. Education is necessary to the training of God's ministers, but culture is a product that appeals to the flesh. Once the flesh is allowed to offer its preferences, apostasy sets in. Standards become a little more lax. College professors are hired according to their academic abilities first and the spiritual convictions second. Statements like "We must have the best" and "I want to be first-class" are used to comfort the fears of anyone who feels that the churches and schools seem a little worldly. Of course, a school administrator might find himself thinking, "The average Christian doesn't understand our minute changes. They aren't educated like we are."
There suddenly appears a Christian with an open Bible, who points out Scripture which may condemn the new found "culture" of a church or school. The school amazingly finds itself in the same position as the Roman Catholic Church, refuted by an ignorant Christian who believes the Bible. Which is to be the final authority, the school or the Bible? Time after time, education has found that it has come too far to turn back. "We are!" came the answer from Oxford, Cambridge, and Westminister in England. "We are!" came the answer from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale in America. Education has conceived culture and given birth to apostasy!
England in the early 1800's was ripe for apostasy. The Reformation had come a long way since Luther nailed his theses on the door of Wittenburg. It had traversed Europe with the truth, leaving in its wake churches and schools that represented the pure text of Scripture. The educational foundation had been laid, upon which culture was built. Gone were the attempts to blow up Parliament. Gone was the fear of ending up like Tyndale for believing "the Book." Gone was the reign of terror inflicted by "bloody" Mary. The churches built around the Authorized Version were rich and prosperous. The colleges, from their meager beginnings, had become great universities, pressing on with higher education. There were a few "common" people who still feared Rome, but the "educators" knew that their fears were "unfounded." England was ripe for a transfer of authority from the Bible to education, and Rome was willing to supply the education. The absolute reign of the Authorized Version would soon end.
The Authorized Version had withstood countless attacks, but it would now be subject to a systematic campaign to exhalt several authorities to a position equal to it. These perverted "authorities" would then join forces to portray the Authorized Version as weak, unreliable, inaccurate, outmoded, and generally untrustworthy. Once the Authorized Version had been successfully dethroned, education would be free to exalt whatever authority it desired to. The Roman Catholic Church, of course, would be close at hand to see to it that the authority which was to be exalted would be in agreement with its own corrupt Latin Vulgate.
The authorities to be exalted as equal with the Authorized Version came from several different quarters, but all with the same intent. Replace the Universal Text of the Authorized Version with the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt.
One of the authorities which would be used to discredit the Authorized Version was "textual criticism."
Textual criticism is known as a "science." By being called a science, it will be accepted by the educated mind. It is a process which looks at the Bible as it would look at the uninspired writings of any secular writer. This one fact alone means that the power of God to preserve His Word is ignored in favor of the naturalistic method of evaluating the "chance" of God's Word being preserved. Textual criticism allows God to "inspire" His originals, but seeks to replace God as the active agent in preserving His Word.
Earlier we established that the Bible was a spiritual book, that God was active in its conception, and that it would be reasonable to assume that God could be just as active in its preservation.
One might ask at this point if textual criticism could not be the method which God used to preserve His Words? The answer is unequivocably, "No." Here are the reasons why:
Textual critics look at the Bible today through the same eyes as the Egyptian scribes did who perverted the Universal Text to construct the Local Text centuries ago. Those well-educated scribes thought that the Bible was subject to them instead of them being subject to the Bible. This outlook allowed them to eliminate the power of God from their minds and make whatever changes they deemed necessary to reach a conclusion which seemed logical to them. They were the Holy Spirit in their minds!
Today textual critics do the same, in that, before they ever start their work, they are convinced that God cannot preserve His Word without their assistance. Scholars today believe that God inspired words but preserved thoughts.
Another reason why textual criticism could not be the method God used to preserve His Word is that it comes from Rome.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states, "A French priest, Richard Simon (1638-1712), was the first who subjected the general questions concerning the Bible to a treatment which was at once comprehensive in scope and scientific in method. Simon is the forerunner of modern Biblical criticism ... The use of internal evidence by which Simon arrived at it entitles him to be called the father of Biblical criticism"72
The same source also mentions the Catholic scholar Jean Astruc:
"In 1753 Jean Astruc, a French Catholic physician of considerable note published a little book, Conjectures sur les memoires originaux dont il parait que Moise s'est servi pour composer le livre de la Genese, in which he conjectured, from the alternating use of two names of God in the Hebrew Genesis, that Moses had incorporated therein two pre-existing documents, one of which employed Elohim and the other Jehovah. The idea attracted little attention till it was taken up by a German scholar, who, however, claims to have made the discovery independently. This was Johann Gottfried Eichhorn ... Eichhorn greatly developed Astruc's hypothesis."73
The same source also speaks of yet another Roman Catholic infidel:
"Yet, it was a Catholic priest of Scottish origin, Alexander Geddes (1737-1802), who broached a theory of the origin of the Five Books (to which he attached Joshua) exceeding in boldness either Simon's or Eichhorn's. This was the well-known 'Fragment' hypothesis, which reduced the Pentateuch to a collection of fragmentary sections partly of Mosaic origin, but put together in the reign of Solomon. Geddes' opinion was introduced into Germany in 1805 by Vater."74
Dr. Benjamin Wilkenson records how the naturalistic, unsaved Roman Catholic scholars judged in favor of the perverted Egyptian manuscripts: "Some of the earliest critics in the field of collecting variant readings of the New Testament Greek were Mill and Bengel. We have Dr. Kenrick, Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia in 1849, as authority that they and others had examined these manuscripts recently exalted as superior, such as the Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Beza, and Ephraem, and had pronounced in favor of the Vulgate, the Catholic Bible."75
Stop and think! Naturalistic as opposed to spiritual. Unsaved as opposed to saved. Roman Catholic as opposed to Biblical. These men conceived and developed theories which attacked the reliability of Scripture and judged in favor of the perverted Egyptian manuscripts.
Are these men and methods worthy of fellowship? Would a perfect and righteous God use such a hodgepodge of infidelity to preserve His hallowed Words? Some may say that textual criticism is good if carried on by good, godly Christian men. This cannot be true. The "mass" is a Roman Catholic invention contrived to prevent people from knowing the truth. Would the mass be "good" if performed by good, Bible-believing scholars? Of course not! Elisha took poison and made it fit to eat, (II Kings 4:38-41). We cannot! Neither can we take a method instigated by the Roman Catholic Church in order to overthrow the Bible and filled with the poison of Romanism and miraculously make it fit to use! Textual criticism is a "science" (falsely so-called - I Timothy 6:20) whose authority we cannot accept in place of the Bible.
Another authority by which to judge and down-grade the absolute authority of the Authorized Version is to change the meaning of the translation and the words used in Scripture.
First the student is taught that he must not accept a word as it is in the Authorized Version. He is told to study the Greek or Hebrew words to see if there is another way the word could be translated. The student, with the purest of motives, proceeds to a lexicon or a Greek or Hebrew dictionary and discovers to His horror that the translators of the Authorized Version have translated the word improperly! In truth, the exact opposite has happened. The lexicon and/or dictionary has defined the word improperly! The poor, naive, well-meaning student does not know it, but he has been "headed off at the pass."
Years before this poor student ever turned the first page of his lexicon, Roman Catholics provided the pages he would turn! Let me explain. If the student can be taught to doubt the accuracy of the translation of any given word in the Bible, then we will turn to a lexicon or dictionary to find the "'true" meaning. He does not realize it, but in doing this, he removes the Bible from its position as final authority and bestows that honor upon an uninspired lexicon or dictionary. All this leaves Satan to do, is to provide that student with a lexicon or dictionary which reads the way he (Satan) wants it to! This is a subtle and dangerous precedent. Most often, it is taught in complete, innocent sincerity.
This is much like the phrase used to explain the Communist's takeover of many countries which were once thriving with many missionaries: "The missionaries taught us to read, but the Communists gave us the books." (The Communists do not argue about the proper translation of Marx.)
Many unsuspecting colleges teach their students to accept the lexicon or dictionary as an authority above the Bible, but the lexicons and dictionaries are provided by the infidels.
John R. Rice points out the result of such "authority switching" while discussing Isaiah 7:14 in the Revised Standard Version: "The most active opposition to the Revised Standard Version has been about changing the translation of Isaiah 7:14 from, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive,' to 'Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son.' Dr. Luther Weigle, chairman of the translators, said that in the Hebrew English lexicon the word 'alma' means simply 'young woman,' not necessarily 'virgin' and he said that the word for 'virgin' in the Hebrew is 'bethulah.'" He did not tell you, however, that the lexicon he uses was prepared by unbelieving critics.
Gensenius, the German orientalist and biblical critic, is described in the Encyclopedia Britannica in these words:
"To Gensenius, who was an exceptionally popular teacher, belongs in a large measure the credit of having freed Semitic philosophy from theological and religious prepossession, and of inaugurating the strictly scientific (and comparative) method.
His chief work, Hebraisches u. Chaldais- ches Handworterbuch (1810-1812), has passed through several editions (Eng. ed.: Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1907).
Gensenius, a notorious liberal, specialized in changing the theological terminology of the Bible into that of liberals. Brown, Driver, and Briggs, translators of the lexicon in English were, all three of them, radical liberals, and two of them were tried in the Presbyterian church for outrageous infidelity."76
Wilkenson reports that two of the infamous Roman Catholic scholars previously mentioned also entered into the practice of providing definitive works. "Simon and Eichhorn were co-authors of a Hebrew Dictionary."77
Such infidelic works are accepted because they are produced by "great scholars." They are then used by good, godly men who do not realize the price of bowing to unbelieving scholarship.
Another important step in subtlety removing the authority of the Authorized Version is to exalt the unreliable MSS of the Local Text of Egypt. This will be commented on later. Let it suffice for now to reveal the man who laid the groundwork for just such a move. His name was J.J. Griesbach (1745-1812).
Griesbach divided the extant MSS into three groups. One was called the "Constantinopolitan" family which is our Universal Text. The other two were known as "Western" and "Alexandrian."
As can be expected, Griesbach was not a Bible believer. In fact, he stated, "The New Testament abounds in more glosses, additions, and interpolations purposely introduced than any other book."78 He was also antagonostic to any verse which taught the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Whenever possible he devised means to cast doubt on such passages. He said, "the most suspicious reading of all, is the one that yields a sense favorable to the nourishment of piety (especially monastic piety). When there are many variant readings in one place, that reading which more than the others manifestly favors the dogmas of the orthodox is deservedly regarded as suspicious."79
It is strange indeed that Dr. Griesbach should expect orthodox Christians to manipulate the book which they truly believe to be from God, in order to teach Christianity more fervently. He never mentioned any apprehension that heretics might delete and alter doctrinal passages. What kind of scholarship is it that naturally suspects born-again Christians of an act bordering on sacrilege, but never doubts the integrity of infidels? Is this God's method?
Whatever it was that possessed Griesbach to suspect Christians of such criminal acts also possessed two of his followers. Hill explains:
"Westcott and Hort professed to 'venerate' the name of Griesbach above that of every other textual critic of the New Testament. Like Griesbach they believed that the orthodox Christian scribes had altered the New Testament manuscripts in the interest of orthodoxy. Hence like Griesbach, they ruled out in advance any possibility of the providential preservation of the New Testament text through the usage of believers. But at the same time they were very zealous to deny that heretics had made any intentional changes in the New Testament text. 'It will not be out of place,' they wrote, 'to add here a distinct expression of our belief that even among the numerous unquestionably spur-ious readings of the New Testament, there are no signs of deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes.' The effect of this one-sided theory was to condemn the text found in the majority of the New Testament manuscripts and exonerate that of B and Aleph."80
Thus the Local Text, supported by the Roman Catholic Church, became an authority equal to or higher than the Universal Text of the Authorized Version in spite of the many doctrinal changes. After all, Griesbach, Westcott, and Hort had already established that heretics never falsify Scripture--only Christians do!
As the infidelity of men such as this is accepted as authorative, Christians begin to look to their Bible with more and more skepticism. What more could Satan desire?
Are these men to be blamed for their failure to accept the Bible as infallible, or have they been unsuspecting dupes of a plan much bigger and far more serious than they could have ever suspected? Let us see.
One man who became greatly responsible for the fall of England to a sympathetic acceptance of Roman Catholic ideas was Cardinal Wiseman (1802-1865).
Wiseman was the prime mover in installing the Roman Catholic Church back on the shore of England. He was born and raised in England. He went to Rome to study under Cardinal Mai, the editor of the Vatican Manuscript.
Wiseman had a desire to see England return to the fold at Rome. One of the major obstacles to this was the supremacy which the Authorized Version held there. Where the Authorized Version prevails, Rome cannot.
While in Rome, he was visited by several Neo-Protestants. He was instrumental in "weaning" these men back into subjection to the Pope. One of his visitors was William Gladstone (1809-1898),who was to become prime minister of England. He was a man known for his change from being a Conservative to a Liberal.
Another visitor was Anglican Archbishop Trench, who returned to England to promote a revision of the Authorized Version and even joined the Revision Committee of 1871.
Still another was John Henry Newman. Newman was the brilliant English churchman who was a leader of Oxford University and the English clergy.
Newman was close friends with Herrell Froude. Froude, Wilkenson tells us, was the son of a High Churchman, "who loathed Protestantism, denounced the Evangelicals, and brought up his sons to do the same."81
These two, Newman and Froude, joined affinity with John Keble. Keble, like Froude, was of High Church background. He was strongly anti-Protestant and anti-Evangelical.82
Newman and Froude visited Wiseman in Rome in 1833. Having been taken in by the beautiful architecture of Rome's cathedrals and the solemn grandeur of the high masses, the two Oxford professors inquired of Wiseman as to what terms the Roman Catholic Church would require to accept the Church of England back into the Roman Church. Wiseman's reply was cold and clear: The Church of England must accept the Council of Trent. At this, Newman left Rome stating, "I have a work to do in England," a work indeed, in which he, Froude, Keble, and Edward Pusey joined forces to swing England back to Rome and to remove their primary adversary, the hated King James Bible.
Newman, brilliant man that he was, provided the strong intellectual leadership needed. Pusey was the moralist, and Keble spoke through the delicate words of the poet and captivated the hearts and minds of many an unsuspecting young scholar. Any who lacked a strong stand on Bible principles would be easy prey for these apostates.
Newman, in fact, was so taken in by the spell of Rome that he, in 1845, left the Church of England and formally joined the Roman Catholic Church, following a similar apostate, named Ward, who had written a book teaching the worship of Mary and "mental reservation." Mental reservation is the act, condoned by the Roman Catholic Church, of lying to keep from revealing your ties to Rome.
Wilkenson records Newman's betrayal:
"Public sentiment was again aroused to intensity in 1845 when Ward, an outstanding Tractarian, published His book which taught the most offensive Roman views, Mariolatry, and mental reservation in subscribing to the Thirty-nine Articles. When Oxford degraded him from his university rights, he went over in September to the Church of Rome. It became very evident that Newman soon would follow. On the night of October 8 Father Dominic, of the Italian Passionists, arrived at Newman's quarters in a downpouring rain. After being received, he was standing before the fire drying his wet garments. He turned around to see Newman prostrate at his feet, begging his blessing, and asking him to hear his confession. Thus the author of Lead Kindly Light passed over to Rome, and within one year 150 clergyman and eminent laymen also had joined the Catholic Church."83
Where was Wiseman through all of this? He was naturally close at hand. In 1836, three years following Newman and Froude's visit, he had moved to Ireland to supervise the Oxford Movement through his paper, the "Dublin Review." Wiseman was described as, "a textual critic of the first rank, and assisted by the information seemingly passed on to him from the Jesuits, he was able to finish the facts well calculated to combat confidence in the Protestant Bible." 84 (Emphasis mine.)
England had graduated from "revival" to "education," and her "education" had developed into her own unique "culture." From there, the Roman Catholic Church was willing to supply the apostasy.
Today in colleges and churches across America and around the world, truly good, godly men who love the Lord Jesus and sincerely desire to serve Him, are unsuspectingly propagating the Roman Catholic method of textual criticism. The result is that Christian soldiers who go out to fight Rome, either with a perfect Bible which they have been taught to doubt, or else an unreliable translation of the Rome-supported Local Text, which is worthy of all suspicion.
Education in America has come to the place of either having to swallow its pride, admit it has been wrong, and return to the true Bible; or else make another more vehement attack on the Authorized Bible in hopes of finally silencing it and its supporters, in the hope of hiding its mistake. Christians be warned! The Revised Version did not ring the death note for the King James Bible. It rang the death note for England!
All of the translations before and after 1881 which were going to replace the Authorized Version lie silently in the "grave" right now. Those which do not, shall soon join their ranks in the halls of the "improved," "thoroughly reliable," "truly accurate," and "starters of a new tradition," dead. They have failed to start one revival. They have failed to induce Christians back to reading their Bibles, and have only succeeded in casting doubt on the true Word of God. The question is, can we repair the damage already done and proceed from here? The answer is YES!
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1903) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) have been highly controversial figures in biblical history.
On one side, their supporters have heralded them as great men of God, having greatly advanced the search for the original Greek text.
On the other side, their opponents have leveled charges of heresy, infidelity, apostasy, and many others, claiming that they are guilty of wreaking great damage on the true text of Scripture.
I have no desire to "sling mud" nor a desire to hide facts.
I believe it is essential at this time that we examine what we know about these men and their theories concerning the text of the Bible.
I long sought for copies of the books about their lives. These are The Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westeott, by his son, Arthur, and The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, written by his son.
After literally months of trying, I was able to acquire copies of them both for study. Most of the material in this section will be directly from these sources so as to prevent it from being secondhand.
We cannot blindly accept the finding of any scholar without investigating what his beliefs are concerning the Bible and its doctrines. Scholarship alone makes for an inadequate and dangerous authority, therefore we are forced to scrutinize these men's lives.
Westcott and Hort were responsible for the greatest feat in textual criticism. They were responsible for replacing the Universal Text of the Authorized Version with the Local Text of Egypt and the Roman Catholic Church. Both Wescott and Hort were known to have resented the pre-eminence given to the Authorized Version and its underlying Greek Text. They had been deceived into believing that the Roman Catholic manuscripts, Vaticanus and Aleph, were better because they were "older." This they believed, even though Hort admitted that the Antiochian or Universal Text was equal in antiquity. "The fundamental text of the late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the Fourth Century."85
In spite of the fact that the readings of the Universal Text were found to be as old, or older, Westcott and Hort still sought to dislodge it from its place of high standing in biblical history. Hort occasionally let his emotions show, "I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of text, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus ... Think of the vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS; it is a blessing there are such early ones."86
Westcott and Hort built their own Greek text based primarily on a few uncial MSS of the Local Text. It has been stated earlier that these perverted MSS do not even agree among themselves. The ironic thing is that Westcott and Hort knew this when they formed their text!
Burgon exposed Dr. Hort's confession, "Even Hort had occasion to notice an instance of the concordia discourse." Commenting on the four places in Mark's gospel (14:30, 68, 72, a, b) where the cock's crowing is mentioned said, "The confusion of attestation introduced by these several cross currents of change is so great that of the seven principal MSS, Aleph, A, B, C, D, L, no two have the same text in all four places."87
That these men should lend their influence to a family of MSS which have a history of attacking and diluting the major doctrines of the Bible, should not come as a surprise. Oddly enough, neither man believed that the Bible should be treated any differently than the writings of the lost histor-ians and philosophers!
Hort wrote, "For ourselves, we dare not introduce considerations which could not reasonably be applied to other ancient texts, supposing them to have documentary attestation of equal amount, variety and antiquity."88
He also states, "In the New Testament, as in almost all prose writings which have been much copied, corruptions by interpolation are many times more numerous than corruptions by omission." (Emphasis mine.)89
We must consider these things for a moment. How can God use men who do not believe that His Book is any different than Shakespeare, Plato, or Dickens? It is a fundamental belief that the Bible is different from all other writings. Why did these men not believe so?
Their skepticism does, in fact, go even deeper. They have both become famous for being able to deny scriptural truth and still be upheld by fundamental Christianity as biblical authorities! Both Westcott and Hort failed to accept the basic Bible doctrines which we hold so dear and vital to our fundamental faith.
Hort denies the reality of Eden: "I am inclined to think that no such state as 'Eden'(I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adam's fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants, as Coleridge justly argues."90
Furthermore, he took sides with the apostate authors of "Essays and Reviews."
Hort writes to Rev. Rowland Williams, October 21, 1858, "Further I agree with them [Authors of "Essays and Reviews"] in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology ... Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible."91
We must also confront Hort's disbelief that the Bible was infallible: "If you make a decided conviction of the absolute infallibility of the N.T. practically a sine qua non for co-operation, I fear I could not join you." He also stated:
"As I was writing the last words a note came from Westcott. He too mentions having had fears, which he now pronounces 'groundless,' on the strength of our last conversation, in which he discovered that I did 'recognize' 'Providente' in biblical writings. Most strongly I recognize it; but I am not prepared to say that it necessarily involves absolute infallibility. So I still await judgment."
And further commented to a colleague:
"But I am not able to go as far as you in asserting the absolute infallibility of a canonical writing."92
Though unimpressed with the evangelicals of his day, Hort had great admiration for Charles Darwin! To his colleague, B.F. Westcott, he wrote excitedly: "...Have you read Darwin? How I should like to talk with you about it! In spite of difficulties, I am inclined to think it unanswerable. In any case it is a treat to read such a book."
And to John Ellerton he writes: "But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with ... My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. If so, it opens up a new period."93
Dr. Hort was also an adherent to the teaching of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His son writes: "In undergraduate days, if not before, he came under the spell of Coleridge."94
Coleridge was the college drop-out whose drug addiction is an historical fact. "The opium habit, begun earlier to deaden the pain of rheumatism, grew stronger. After vainly trying in Malta and Italy to break away from opium, Coleridge came back to England in 1806."95
One of Coleridge's famous works is Aids to Reflection. "Its chief aim is to harmonize formal Christianity with Coleridge's variety of transcendental philosophy. He also did much to introduce Immanual Kant and other German philosophers to English readers."96
This man, Coleridge, had a great influence on the two scholars from Cambridge.
Hort was also a lover of Greek philosophy. In writing to Mr. A. MacMillian, he stated: "You seem to make (Greek) philosophy worthless for those who have received the Christian revelation. To me, though in a hazy way, it seems full of precious truth of which I find nothing, and should be very much astonished and perplexed to find anything in revelation."97
In some cases Hort seemed to wander in the woods. In others he can only be described as utterly "lost in the forest." Take, for example, his views on fundamental Bible truths.
Concerning existence of a personal devil he wrote:
"The discussion which immediately precedes these four lines naturally leads to another enigma most intimately connected with that of everlasting penalties, namely that of the personality of the devil." It was Coleridge who some three years ago first raised any doubts in my mind on the subject - doubts which have never yet been at all set at rest, one way or the other. You yourself are very cautious in your language.
"Now if there be a devil, he cannot merely bear a corrupted and marred image of God; he must be wholly evil, his name evil, his every energy and act evil. Would it not be a violation of the divine attributes for the Word to be actively the support of such a nature as that?"98
Rev. Hort also shrunk from the belief in a literal, eternal "hell."
"I think Maurice's letter to me sufficiently showed that we have no sure knowledge respecting the duration of future punishment, and that the word 'eternal' has a far higher meaning than the merely material one of excessively long duration; extinction always grates against my mind as something impossible."99
"Certainly in my case it proceeds from no personal dread; when I have been living most godlessly, I have never been able to frighten myself with visions of a distant future, even while I 'held' the doctrine."100
Although the idea of a literal devil and a literal hell found no place in Hort's educated mind, he was a very real believer in the fictious Roman Catholic doctrine of "purgatory." To Rev. John Ellerton he wrote in 1854:
"I agree with you in thinking it a pity that Maurice verbally repudiates purgatory, but I fully and unwaveringly agree with him in the three cardinal points of the controversy: (1) that eternity is independent of duration; (2) that the power of repentance is not limited to this life; (3) that it is not revealed whether or not all will ultimately repent. The modern denial of the second has, I suppose, had more to do with the despiritualizing of theology then almost anything that could be named."101
Also while advising a young student he wrote:
"The idea of purgation, of cleansing as by fire, seems to me inseparable from what the Bible teaches us of the Divine chastisements; and, though little is directly said resecting the future state, it seems to me incredible that the Divine chastisements should in this respect change their character when this visible life is ended.
"I do not hold it contradictory to the Article to think that the condemned doctrine has not been wholly injurious, inasmuch as it has kept alive some sort of belief in a great and important truth."102
Thus we see that Dr. Hort's opinions were certainly not inhibited by orthodoxy. Yet his wayward ways do not end here. For, as his own writings display, Dr. Hort fell short in several other fundamental areas.
There was also his rejection of Christ's atoning death for the sins of all mankind.
"The fact is, I do not see how God's justice can be satisfied without every man's suffering in his own person the full penalty for his sins."103
In fact, Hort considered the teachings of Christ's atonement as heresy!
"Certainly nothing can be more unscriptural than the modern limiting of Christ's bearing our sins and sufferings to His death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy."104
The fact is, that Hort believed Satan more worthy of accepting Christ's payment for sins than God.
"I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan, though neither am I prepared to give full assent to it. But I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the notion of a ransom paid to the Father."105
Dr. Hort also believed that the Roman Catholic teaching of "baptismal regeneration" was more correct than the "evangelical" teaching.
"...at the same time in language stating that we maintain 'Baptismal Regeneration' as the most important of doctrines ... the pure 'Romish' view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to, the truth than the Evangelical."106
He also states that, "Baptism assures us that we are children of God, members of Christ and His body, and heirs of the heavenly kingdom."107
In fact, Hort's heretical view of baptism probably cost his own son his eternal soul, as we find Hort assuring his eldest son, Arthur, that his infant baptism was his salvation:
"You were not only born into the world of men. You were also born of Christian parents in a Christian land. While yet an infant you were claimed for God by being made in Baptism an unconscious member of His Church, the great Divine Society which has lived on unceasingly from the Apostles' time till now. You have been surrounded by Christian influences; taught to lift up your eyes to the Father in heaven as your own Father; to feel yourself in a wonderful sense a member or part of Christ, united to Him by strange invisible bonds; to know that you have as your birthright a share in the kingdom of heaven."108
Along with Hort's unregenerated misconceptions of basic Bible truths, there were his quirkish and sometimes quackish personal beliefs.
One such example is his hatred for democracy, as he asserts in a letter to Rev. Westcott dated April 28, 1865:
"...I dare not prophesy about America, but I cannot say that I see much as yet to soften my deep hatred of democracy in all its forms."109
In fact, Hort's hope, during the years of the American Civil War, was that the South would win. This desire was fostered by the hope that such a victory would destroy both countries to eliminate America's threat to England's domination of the world. His own words betray this in a letter which he wrote to Rev. John Ellerton in September of 1862:
"I care more for England and for Europe than for America, how much more than for all the niggers in the world! And I contend that the highest morality requires me to do so. Some thirty years ago Niebuhr wrote to this effect: 'Whatever people may say to the contrary, the American empire is standing menace to the whole civilization of Europe and sooner or later one or the other must perish.' Every year has, I think, brought fresh proof of the entire truth of these words. American doctrine (only too well echoed from Europe itself, though felt to be at variance with the institutions of Europe) destroys the root of everything vitally precious which man has by painful growth been learning from the earliest times till now, and tends only to reduce us to the gorilla state. The American empire seems to me mainly an embodiment of American doctrine, its leading principle being lawless force. Surely, if ever Babylon or Rome were rightly cursed it cannot be wrong to desire and pray from the bottom of one's heart that the American Union may be shivered to pieces.
"I do not for a moment forget what slavery is, or the frightful effects which Olmsted has shown it to be producing on white society in the South; but I hate it much more for its influence on the whites than on the niggers themselves. The refusal of education to them is abominable; how far they are capable of being ennobled by it is not clear. As yet everywhere (not in slavery only) they have surely shown themselves only as an immeasurably inferior race, just human and no more, their religion frothy and sensuous, their highest virtues, those of a good Newfoundland dog."110
Hort also had no respect for prominent Americans, be they politician or preacher. Concerning President Abraham Lincoln he wrote: "I cannot see that he has shown any special virtues or statesmanlike capacities."111 The great preacher D.L. Moody impressed him as follows:
"Think of my going with Gray yesterday afternoon to hear 'Moody and Sankey' at the Haymarket. I am very glad to have been, but should not care to go again. All was much as I expected, except that the music was inferior, and altogether Sankey did not leave a favourable impression. Moody had great sincerity, earnestness, and good sense, with some American humour which he mostly keeps under restraint, but in matter is quite conventional and commonplace. Much the most remarkable thing is the congregation or rather audience."112
Hort's distaste for America may not be solely attributed to patriotism as much as to a tainting of his thinking by a touch of Communism. These facts are brought out in his continued correspondence with Rev. John Ellerton, circa 1850:
"I have pretty well made up my mind to devote my three or
four years up here to the study of this subject of Communism."113
"To be without responsibility, to be in no degree our 'brother's keeper,' would be the heaviest curse imaginable."115
"Surely every man is meant to be God's steward of every blessing and 'talent' (power, wealth, influence, station, birth, etc. etc.) which He gives him, for the benefit of his neighbours."116
Also suspect is Hort's delving into the supernatural along with his good friend, Brooke Foss Westcott, and others in what was called the 'Ghostly Guild' (more on this later).
"Westcott, Gorham, C.B., Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Luard, etc., and I have started a society for the investigation of ghosts and all supernatural appearances and effects, being all disposed to believe that such things really exist, and ought to be discriminated from hoaxes and mere subjective delusions; we shall be happy to obtain any good accounts well authenticated with names. Westcott is drawing up a schedule of questions. Cope calls us the 'Cock and Bull Club;' our own temporary name is the 'Ghostly Guild.' "117
Then again, it is possible that the learned doctor was influenced by more than mere philosophy, as we see in his description of a hotel in the Alps where he often vacationed:
"Pontresina, Hotel Krone; homely, but very clean and comfortable; ... beer excellent."118
It is not an amazing thing that any one man could hold to so many unscriptural and ungodly beliefs. It is amazing that such a man could be exalted by Bible believing preachers and professors to a point of authority higher than the King James Bible! Dr. Hort was a truly great Greek scholar, yet a great intellect does not make one an authority over the Bible when they themselves do not even claim to believe it! Albert Einstein was a man of great intellect, but he rejected Scripture, and so where he speaks on the subject of Scripture he is not to be accepted as authoritative. Possessing a great mind or great ability does not guarantee being a great spiritual leader. Dr. Hort was a scholar, but his scholarship alone is no reason to accept his theories concerning Bible truth.
If fundamental pastors of today enlisted the services of an evangelist and found that this evangelist had beliefs paralleling those of Fenton John Anthony Hort, I believe that the pastor would cancel the meeting. Strangely through, when a pastor discovers such to be true about Dr. Hort, he excuses him as "a great Greek scholar" and presents his Authorized Version to him to be maliciously dissected and then discarded as Dr. Hort sets himself down in the seat of authority which the Bible once held. Here again I must assert that most often this is done with childlike faith on the part of the pastor, due to the education he received while in seminary. The seminary is not really guilty either, for they have simply and unsuspectingly accepted the authority of two men raised under the influence of a campaign by the Jesuits to re-Romanize England. Wilkenson reports that Hort had been influenced by these Roman Catholic forces: "Dr. Hort tell us that the writings of Simon had a large share in the movement to discredit the Textus Receptus class of MSS and Bibles." 119
Unfortunately for the "new Bible" supporters, Dr. Westcott's credentials are even more anti-biblical. Westcott did not believe that Genesis 1-3 should be taken literally. He also thought that "Moses" and "David" were poetic characters whom Jesus Christ referred to by name only because the common people accepted them as authentic. Westcott states:
"No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history - I could never understand how anyone reading them with open eyes could think they did - yet they disclose to us a Gospel. So it is probably elsewhere. Are we not going through a trial in regard to the use of popular language on literary subjects like that through which we went, not without sad losses in regard to the use of popular language on physical subjects? If you feel now that it was, to speak humanly, necessary that the Lord should speak of the 'sun rising,' it was no less necessary that he would use the names 'Moses' and 'David' as His contemporaries used them. There was no critical question at issue. (Poetry is, I think, a thousand times more true than History; this is a private parenthesis for myself alone.)" 120
He also said "David" is not a chronological but a spiritual person. 121
That the first three chapter of Genesis are all allegory has been believed by liberals and modernists for years. Do today's fundamentalists realize that those modernists' beliefs were nurtures in the heart of this Bible critic?
Westcott was also a doubter of the biblical account of miracles: "I never read an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover somewhat of evidence in the account of it." 122 If a great fundamental preacher of our day were to make this statement, he would be called apostate, but what then of Westcott?
Westcott believed that the second coming of Jesus Christ was not a physical coming but a spiritual coming: "As far as I can remember, I said very shortly what I hold to be the 'Lord's coming' in my little book on the Historic Faith. I hold very strongly that the Fall of Jerusalem was the coming which first fulfilled the Lord's words; and, as there have been other comings, I cannot doubt that He is 'coming' to us now." 123
Wait! This fundamental doctrine is not the last one to be denied by Bishop Westcott, for he believed Heaven to be a state and not a literal place. Note the following quotations from Bishop Westcott: "No doubt the language of the Rubric is unguarded, but it saves us from the error of connecting the Presence of Christ's glorified humanity with place; 'heaven is a state and not a place.'" 124
"Yet the unseen is the largest part of life. Heaven lies about us now in infancy alone; and by swift, silent pauses for thought, for recollection, for aspiration, we cannot only keep fresh the influence of that diviner atmosphere, but breathe it more habitually." 125
"We may reasonably hope, by patient, resolute, faithful, united endeavour to find heaven about us here, the glory of our earthly life." 126
Dr. Westcott was also deeply devoted to John Newman, the Roman Catholic defector who took 150 Church of England clergymen with him when he made the change. Those of his disciples who did not make the physical change to Rome, made the spiritual change to Romanism, though many, like Westcott, never admitted it.
In writing to his futue wife in 1852, Westcott wrote: "Today I have again taken up 'Tracts for the Times' and Dr. Newman. Don't tell me that he will do me harm. At least today he will, has done me good, and had you been here I should have asked you to read his solemn words to me. My purchase has already amply repaid me. I think I shall choose a volume for one of my Christmas companions." 127
This was written after Newman had defected to Rome!
Wilkenson adds, "By voice and pen, the teaching of Newman changed in the minds of many their attitude toward the Bible. Stanley shows us that the allegorizing of German theology, under whose influence Newman and the leaders of the movement were, was Origen's method of allegorizing. Newman contended that God never intended the Bible to teach doctrines."
Westcott also resented criticism of the Essays and Reviews. Upon hearing the Bishop of Manchester deride the apostate authors of these heretical essays, Westcott wrote, "But his language about the Essays and Reviews roused my indignation beyond expression." 128
These are the convictions of a man greatly responsible for the destruction of Christian faith in the Greek Text of the Authorized Version. Place Mr. Westcott next to any present fundamental preacher or educator, and he would be judged a modernist, liberal and heretic. In spite of his outstanding ability in Greek, a man of his convictions would not be welcome on the campus of any truly Christian college in America. This is not an overstatement, nor is it malicious. The Christian colleges of today hold very high standards and simply would not settle for a man of such apostate conviction, no matter how great his ability to teach a given subject.
It is truly amazing that a man who believed things completely contrary to the convictions of today's fundamental preachers and educators could be exalted and defended by them. Of course, I believe this is done primarily because our fundamental brethren know little of what either Dr. Westcott or Dr. Hort really believed and taught.
This does not completely describe Brooke Foss Westcott, the man. He was a devout socialist and postmillenialist. Socialism and postmillenialism go hand in hand. Postmillenialism is the belief that we shall bring in the millenial reign of Christ ourselves, without Christ's help. Socialism is usually the means of establishing that thousand-year reign of peace.
A postmillenialist would see a spiritual "coming" of Christ at any great event which drew the world closer to his idea of peace. It is also easy to see why he would believe that a "heaven" was attainable down here, i.e., Westcott's statement: "We may reasonably hope, by patient, resolute, faithful, united endeavour, to find heaven about us here, the glory of our earthly life."
These are only two small glimmers of the socialistic light which burned in Westcott's breast. If they were all of the evidence available, it would make for a weak case indeed. They are not!
Dr. Westcott's "pacifist" nature shows early in his life. He was known as a "shy, nervous, thoughtful boy" while attending school. His hobbies were as follows: "He used his leisure chiefly in sketching, arranging his collections of ferns, butterflies, and moths, and in reading books of natural history or poetry." 129
He developed an interest in social reform early on. He was known about his school for talking about things "which very few schoolboys talk about - points of theology, problems of morality, and the ethics of politics." 130
His son, Arthur, describes him with these words: "As a boy my father took keen interest in the Chartist movement, and the effect then produced upon his youthful imagination by the popular presentation of the sufferings of the masses never faded. His diary shows how he deserted his meals to be present at various stirring scenes, and in particular to listen to the oratory of 'the great agitator,' presumably Feargus O'Connor himself. He would often in later years speak of these early impressions, which served in no small degree to keep alive his intense hatred of every form of injustice and oppression. He even later disapproved of his father's fishing excursions, because his sympathies were so entirely on the side of the fish. On one occasion, being then a little boy, he was carrying a fish-basket, when his father put a live fish into it, and later in life he used to declare that he would still feel the struggles of that fish against his back."131
(The Chartist movement was a campaign for social reform in England from 1838-1848.)
This one paragraph reveals the temperament which could describe Westcott for the rest of his life:
He was ever in favor of any social reform, at any cost, as he himself stated in speaking of the French Revolution: "The French Revolution has been a great object of interest. I confess to a strong sympathy with the republicans. Their leaders at least have been distinguished by great zeal and sincerity. Lamartine, who I fancy you know by name, quite wins my admiration."132
Westcott was ever a lover of poetry and was deeply influenced by its message. This explains his admiration of Alphonse de Lamartine. Lamartine was a French poet whose writings helped influence the French people into revolution. Ironically, but I am sure not coincidentally, Lamartine had studied under the Jesuits.
He is a fool who thinks a poet's pen is not a mighty weapon!
Westcott's romantic attitude explains why he would make the statement that, "Poetry is, I think, a thousand times more true than history."
It also explains his susceptibility to the subtle Romanizing influence of the poet Keble. Westcott had a fondness for poetry and an unusual fondness for Keble's poetry. No poet is mentioned more often in his writings than Keble.
Westcott writes concerning Keble, "But I intend reading some Keble, which has been a great delight to me during the whole week, and perhaps that will now be better than filling you with all my dark, dark, dark gloominess."133
It seems Keble's poetry inspired Westcott to see that the Church of England needed to make a change.
"I have been reading Keble for the day, and though I do not recollect noticing the hymn particularly before, it now seems to me one of the most beautiful and especially does it apply to those feelings which so often described to you: that general sorrow and despair which we feel when we look at the state of things around us and try to picture the results which soon must burst upon our Church and country."134
Westcott found time to quote Keble to express his feelings.
"On these look long and well, Cleansing thy sight by prayer and faith, And thou shalt know what secret spell Preserves them in their living death."
"That hymn of Keble's contains very, very much. You have read it again and again now, I am sure, and understand it."135
That Keble formed in Westcott a passive attitude toward Christianity's arch-enemy, Rome, is evident by his reaction to a sermon condemning Popery: "As for Mr. Oldham's meetings, I think they are not good in their tendency, and nothing can be so bad as making them the vehicle of controversy. What an exquisitely beautiful verse is that of Keble's, 'And yearns not her parental heart,' etc. We seem now to have lost all sense of pity in bitterness and ill-feeling. Should not our arm against Rome be prayer and not speeches; the efforts of our inmost heart, and not the display of secular reason?"136
It has been often stated that "You are what you read." Westcott's constant exposure to pro-Roman influences set a pattern for his thinking, even though he may not have been aware of it. Westcott even refused to abandon Keble as his writings became more obviously Popish.
"Keble has lately published some sermons in which, as well as in a preface on 'the position of Churchmen,' I am afraid he will offend many. I can in some measure sympathize with him."137
Remembering the hatred Westcott had for what he considered "injustice and oppression," and his submission to the programming poetry of Keble, we find him slipping farther away from a truly biblical stand after hearing another pro-Roman speaker, Maurice.
"See Maurice's new lectures, with a preface on development written apparently with marvelous candour and fairness, and free from all controversial bitterness. He makes a remark which I have often written and said, that the danger of our Church is from atheism, not Romanism. What a striking picture is that he quotes from Newman of the present aspect of the Roman Church - as despised, rejected, persecuted in public opinion."138
This constant barrage of Romanizing influences caused Westcott to incorporate many Roman Catholic practices into his thinking.
In February of 1849 he decided to investigate two favorite subjects of the Romanizers: "Inspiration -- Apostolical Succession. May I inquire on all these topics with simple sincerity, seeking only the truth!"139
The result of the first study led to Westcott's believing the Bible to be absolutely true, but he refused to call it infallible.
"My dear Hort - I am glad to have seen both your note and Lightfoot's - glad too that we have had such an opportunity of openly speaking. For I too must disclaim setting forth infallibility in the front of my convictions. All I hold is, that the more I learn, the more I am con- vinced that fresh doubts come from my own ignorance, and that at present I find the pre- sumption in favor of the absolute truth - I reject the word infallibility - of Holy Scripture overwhelming."140
Our good Bishop has now lost the conviction that Scripture is "infallible." We are never told the result of his study of the Roman Catholic teaching of "Apostolic Succession."
Westcott also had an affinity for statues since his poetic spirit had the ability to read a great deal into that which he saw.
"Our Cathedral buildings at Peterborough are far from rich in works of sculpture, but among the works which we have there are two which have always seemed to me to be of the deepest interest. The one is a statue of a Benedictine monk, which occupies a niche in the gateway built by Godfrey of Croyland about 1308; the other is an effigy of an unknown abbot of considerably earlier date, carved upon the slab which once covered his grave, and which now lies in the south aisle of the choir. They are widely different in character and significance. The statue of the monk, which Flaxman took as an illustration of his lectures on sculpture, is one of the noblest of medieval figures. The effigy of the abbot has no artistic merit whatever. But both alike are studies from life; and together they seem to me to bring very vividly before us the vital power of early monasticism in England."141
The Jesuit plan is to introduce the ways of Rome into the minds of Protestants and familiarize them with the "High Church" atmosphere. Then, little by little, allow these Roman ideas to intertwine themselves with the worship service. Dr. Wylie aptly describes the plan:
"Tract 90, where the doctrine of reserves is broached, bears strong marks of a Jesuit origin. Could we know all the secret instructions given to the leaders in the Puseyite movement, the mental reservations prescribed to them, we might well be astonished. 'Go gently,' we think we hear the great Roothan say to them. 'Remember the motto of our dear son, the cidevant Bishop Autun, "surtout, pas trop de zele"(above all, not too much zeal). Bring into view, little by little, the authority of the church. If you can succeed in rendering it equal to that of the Bible, you have done much. Change the table of the Lord into an altar; elevate that altar a few inches above the level of the floor; gradually turn around to it when you read the Liturgy; place lighted tapers upon it; teach the people the virtues of stained glass, and cause them to feel the majesty of Gothic basilisques. Introduce first the dogmas, beginning with that of baptismal regeneration; next the ceremonies and sacraments, as penance and the confessional; and lastly, the images of the Virgin and the saints'."142
This trend was quite apparent in the unsuspecting mind of Bishop Westcott. "I do not say that baptism is absolutely necessary, though from the words of Scripture I can see no exception, but I do not think we have no right to exclaim against the idea of the commencement of a spiritual life, conditionally from baptism, any more than we have to deny the commencement of a moral life from birth."143
"Dear Mr. Perrott - I had sketched out a plan in my mind for the windows in the chancel at Somersham which I should have been glad to carry out, but now, as you know, my connection with the parish has practically ceased, and in a few weeks will formally cease. My wish was to have a figure of John the Baptist opposite that of the Virgin, to represent the Old Dispensation, and to have the work executed by Heaton and Butler, who executed the window for Mr. Mason."144
These Romanistic leanings eventually led Westcott into allowing the practice of "prayers for the dead." In writing to a clergyman in August of 1900 concerning this Roman Catholic practice which had found its way into an Anglican church, HE STATED, "I considered very carefully, in conference with some other bishops of large knowledge and experience, the attitude of our church with regard to prayers for the dead. We agreed unanimously that we are, as things are now, forbidden to pray for the dead apart from the whole church in our public services. No restriction is placed upon private devotions."145 (Emphasis his.)
Notice that the Bishop advised against prayers for the dead in "public service," but he did not even attempt to discourage the practice in "private devotions!" Would one of today's fundamental preachers who have such high regard for the Westcott and Hort Greek Text respond in the same manner? Would we hear one of our Bible-believing brethren confront the matter with, 'Well, we don't practice prayers for the dead here in our services, but if you want to do it in your private devotions, it's okay.' NEVER! We are to hate the garment "spotted by the flesh." (Jude 23.) Dr. Westcott's garment is spotted to the point of resembling a leopard's skin! Are we to expect an unbiased rendering of the Greek Text by a man whose convictions would rival Jerome's in loyalty to Roman teaching? I trow not!
But to allow prayers for the dead would be futile if there were only heaven and hell. The "dead" in heaven would need no prayers, and the "dead" in hell would be beyond hope.
Benjamin Wilkenson provides the missing link in Westcott's chain of Romanism when commenting on the Revised Version translation of John 14:2:
King James: "In my Father's house are many mansions."
Revised: "In my Father's house are many abiding places."
"Dr. Westcott in his Commentary of St. John's Gospel gives the following explanation of the words. 'In my Father's house are many mansions. The rendering comes from the Vulgate mansiones, which were resting places, and especially the stations on a great road, where travelers found refreshment. This appears to be the true meaning of the Greek word here; so that the contrasted notions of repose and progress are combined in this vision of the future.'
"'For thirty years now,' said Dr. Samuel Cox, in 1886, 'I have been preaching what is called the larger hope, through good and ill report.
"The larger hope meant a probation after this life, such a time of purifying, by fire or otherwise, after death as would insure another opportunity of salvation to all men. Dr. Cox, like others, rejoices that the changes in the Revised Version sustain this doctrine. 'Had the new version been in our hands, I should not have felt any special gravity in the assertion,' he said. Doctors Westcott and Hort, both Revisers, believed this larger hope." (This Roman Catholic translation also appears in the NASV).146
Considering the Romanistic ideals which Dr. Westcott possessed, it is no surprise that his close friend and companion, Dr. Hort, would compare him to, of all people, the Roman Catholic defector, John Newman! "It is hard to resist a vague feeling that Westcott's going to Peterborough will be the beginning of a great movement in the church, less conspicuous but not less powerful, than that which proceeded from Newman."147
It also seems not surprising that Westcott would call the Jesuit inspired Oxford Movement, "the Oxford Revival!" "The Oxford Revival in the middle of the century, quickened anew that sense of corporate life. But the evangelical movement touched only a part of human interest."148
Another Roman Catholic doctrine is the adoration of Mary. Here also Dr. Westcott did not let the Roman Catholic Church down, as he reveals in a letter to his fiancee Sarah Louisa Whittard.
"After leaving the monastery, we shaped our course to a little oratory which we discovered on the summit of a neighboring hill ... Fortunately we found the door open. It is very small, with one kneeling-place, and behind a screen was a 'Pieta' the size of life (i.e., a Virgin and dead Christ) ... Had I been alone, I could have knelt there for hours."149
This condition is also indicated by his son, Arthur, in describing Westcott's reaction to the painting "The Sistine Madonna:"
"It is smaller than I expected, and the colouring is less rich, but in expression it is perfect. The face of the virgin is unspeakably beautiful. I looked till the lip seemed to tremble with intensity of feeling - of feeling simply, for it would be impossible to say whether it be awe of joy or hope - humanity shrinking before the divine, or swelling with its conscious possession. It is enough that there is deep, intensely deep, emotion such as the mother of the Lord may have had."150
The intensity of Westcott's admiration for Christ's mother is best revealed by his desire to change his fiancee's name to "Mary" as Arthur explains: "My mother, whose name was Sarah Louisa Whittard, was the eldest of three sisters. She afterwards, at the time of her confirmation at my father's request, took the name of Mary in addition."151
The above examples illustrate Dr. Westcott's strong Roman Catholic leanings. Again I must say that I do not believe that if a man lived today with the convictions we have just studied, that he would be welcome in a fundamental pulpit anywhere in America, be his name Bishop Wescott or Hort or Schuler or any other.
Few of Bishop Westcott's Twentieth Century supporters know the true thoughts and intents of his heart. If they did, they would know that he was an advocate of communal living! Let the record speak for itself.
His son, Arthur, stated in his book, Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott:
"In later years of his Harrow residence (approximately 1868) my father was very full of the idea of a 'Coenobium.' (Arthur's footnote for the word 'Coenobium' states simply, 'community life.') Every form of luxury was to him abhorrent, and he viewed with alarm the increasing tendency amongst all classes of society to encourage extravagant display and wasteful self-indulgence. His own extreme simplicity of life is well-known to all his friends. He looked to the family and not the individual for the exhibition of the simple life. His views upon this subject are accessible to all who care to study them. I only wish to put it on record that he was very much in earnest in this matter and felt that he had not done all he might have for its furtherance."152
On the idea of the Coenobium, Bishop Westcott's socialism bordered very close to communism as we see by his own description of what a Coenobium was to be.
"It would consist primarily of an association of families, bound together by common principles of life, of work, of devotion, subject during the time of voluntary co-operation to central control, and united by definite obligations. Such a corporate life would be best realized under the conditions of collegiate union with the hall and schools and chapel, with a common income, though not common property, and an organized government; but the sense of fellowship and the power of sympathy, though they would be largely developed by these, would yet remain vigorous whenever and in whatever form combination in the furtherance of the general ends was possible. Indeed, complete isolation from the mass of society would defeat the very objects of the institution. These objects - the conquest of luxury, the disciplining of intellectual labor, the consecration of every fragment of life by religious exercises - would be expressed in a threefold obligation; an obligation to poverty, an obligation to study, and obligation to devotion."158 (Emphasis mine.)
Little did the esteemed professor realize that the college students of a hundred years later would be more than happy to turn his dream into a reality!
Arthur viewed the establishment of the Coenobium with much fear and trembling. They were assured of its future reality quite often.
"My own recollections of the Coenobium are very vivid. Whenever we children showed signs of greediness or other selfishness, we were assured that such things would be unheard of in the Coenobium. There the greedy would have no second portions of desirable puddings. We should not there be allowed a choice of meats, but should be constrained to take which was judged to be best for us. We viewed the establishment of the Coenobium with gloomy apprehension, not quite sure whether it was within the bounds of practical politics or not. I was myself inclined to believe that it really was coming and that we, with the Bensons (maybe) and Horts and a few other families, would find ourselves living in a community life. I remember confiding to a younger brother that I had overheard some conversation which convinced me that the Coenobium was an event of the immediate future, and that a site had been selected for it in Northamptonshire; I even pointed out Peterborough on the map."154
In a letter to his old college friend, Dr. E.W. Benson, dated November 24, 1868, Dr. Westcott states his regrets that the Coenobium had not yet been established, and wonders if he wouldn't have done better to have pursued the matter further.
"My dear Benson - alas! I feel most deeply that I ought not to speak one word about the Coenobium. One seems to be entangled in the affairs of life. The work must be for those who have a fresh life to give. Yet sometimes I think that I have been faithless to call which might have grown distinct if I had listened."155
Two years later he was still promoting the idea through articles in a periodical entitled "Contemporary," as he explains in another letter to Benson dated, March 21, 1870:
"...the paper on the Coenobium will appear, I think, in the next number of the 'Contemporary.' It was a trial to me not to send it to you and Lightfoot and Wordsworth for criticism, but on the whole I thought it best to venture for myself, and speak simply what I feel. If anything is to come of the idea it will be handled variously, and something is gained even by incompleteness. On the true reconciliation of classes I have said a few words which are, I hope, intelligible."156
Young Arthur's naive sounding prediction in 1868 of the establishing of such a Coenobium in Peterborough, two years later (1870) seemed almost prophetic. In December of 1868, Dr. Westcott became Examining Chaplain in the Diocese of Peterborough! Just prior to the move, he wrote Benson, "The Coenobium comes at least one step nearer."157
Arthur's fears seemed somewhat realized.
"The move to Peterborough was a great venture of faith on my father's part. He had a large family to educate, and yet he exchanged the comparative opulence of a Harrow house master for the precarious income attached to a canonry in an impoverished Chapter. Our manner of life was already adapted to the idea of the Coenobium in its strict simplicity, so the only luxury that could be abolished was meat for breakfast, which however, was retained as a Sunday treat."158
Thus we see a side of Dr. Westcott which is not too publicized by his followers, yet it was there nonetheless. In addition to his desire to see the Authorized Version replaced, a Romanized Church of England, and the establishment of college Coenobium, he had one other great driving force, the abolition of war
No true Christian loves war. A Bible believer takes the premillenial view and realizes that war is caused by the sinful nature of mankind - James 4:1. He understands that this will all be changed at Christ's return - Philippians 3:21.
A Bible rejector who has chosen the postmillenial viewpoint cannot allow himself to believe that mankind is bad. He must find a way to show that man is basically good. All men must be brothers in his eyes. "Brothers," he assumes, will just naturally work toward peace.
Westcott, a postmillenial socialist, had this to say concerning the "brotherhood" of man in regard to instituting "peace on earth."
"Christianity rests upon the central fact that the Word became flesh. This fact establishes not only a brotherhood of men, but also a brotherhood of nations; for history has shown that nations are an element in the fulfillment of the Divine counsel, by which humanity advances toward its appointed end."159
What should these "brothers" do to help establish "peace on earth?" We can at once recognize the part which the Christian society is called upon to take with regard to three great measures which tend to peace - meditation, arbitration, and (ultimately) disarmament - and at least silently work for them.160
"Combine action, in any ways possible, for the bringing about of a simultaneous reduction of the armaments."161
Once again the Cambridge professor is ahead of his time. "Disarmament" has been the cry of liberal, pro-Communist college students for two decades. Strange it is that as the "peace" movement of the 1960's was led by a "minister" with the exact same philosophy about world peace!
Westcott wanted an "arbitration board" made up of the "Christian society" to decide international policy concerning disarmament quotas. He first envisioned England and the United States submitting to this idea, assuming then that the rest of the world would be forced to follow.
"The United States and England are already bound so closely together by their common language and common descent, that an Arbitration Treaty which shall exclude the thought of war - a civil war - between them seems to be within measurable distance. When once the general principle of arbitration has been adopted by two great nations, it cannot but be that the example will be followed, and then, at last, however remote the vision may seem, disarmament will be a natural consequence of the acceptance of a rational and legal method of settling national disputes."162
Westcott even felt that world peace would be worth an "Ecumenical Movement."
"Other cognate subjects were touched upon -- the proposed Permanent Treaty of Arbitration between the United States and Great Britain, the significance of war as extreme outcome of that spirit of selfish competition which follows from the acceptance of a material standard of well being, the desirability of seeking cooperation with the movement on the part of the Roman and Greek Churches -- but it seemed best to confine immediate action to a single point on which there was complete agreement."163
He assumed that "world peace" was of the utmost importance.
"The proposal to work for the simultaneous reduction of European armament is definite, and deals with an urgent peril. Such a disarmament would secure the lasting and honourable peace which the leaders of Europe have shown lately, once and again, that they sincerely desire. We are all sensible of the difficulties by which the question of disarmament is beset, but we cannot admit that they are insuperable."164
All this was to be done, of course, in the name of Christ. Westcott felt that he was simply trying to bring to pass Luke 2:14. He truly considered himself a man with whom God was "pleased," as that verse had been mistranslated in the Revised Version.
"The question of international relations has not hitherto been considered in the light of the Incarnation, and till this has been done, I do not see that we can look for the establishment of that peace which was heralded at the Nativity."165
So here we have a man who doubted the miracles which Christ performed.
"I never read an account of a miracle, but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover some what of evidence in the account of it."166
Even though he doubted Jesus Christ's miracles, he didn't doubt that a Roman Catholic priest could perform them, as he explains what he saw in France at "Our Lady of La Salette" shrine.
"A written narrative can convey no notion of the effect of such a recital. The eager energy of the father, the modest thankfulness of the daughter, the quick glances of the spectators from one to the other, the calm satisfaction of the priest, the comments of look and nod, combined to form a scene which appeared hardly to belong to the nineteenth century. An age of faith was restored before our sight in its ancient guise. We talked about the cures to a young layman who had throughout showed us singular courtesy. When we remarked upon the peculiar circumstances by which they were attended, his own comment was: 'Sans croire, comment l'expliquer?' (translated: 'Without believing how can it be explained?') And in this lay the real significance and power of the place."167
We have a man who could read and exalt a Jesuit-inspired poet, Keble, but when it came to reading anything that presented Rome in a negative light, such as Fox's Book of Martyrs, he said, "I never read any of Fox's book."168
He was a man who claimed, "I cannot myself reconcile the spirit of controversy and that of Christian faith."169
Since controversy was "un-Christian," he refused to answer John Burgon's arguments concerning the Local Text of Alexandria which Westcott helped exalt. He simply said, "I cannot read Mr. Burgon yet. A glance at one or two sentences leads me to think that his violence answers himself."170
It is a sad thing that Westcott's prejudice closed his mind to Burgon's comments. Burgon was harsh, but Burgon was correct. Time has since proven that. It is a dangerous spirit which ignores a man's FACTS just because of a "holier than thou" attitude which teaches that "anyone who is right, must be gentlemanly." Had more people in the late 1800's looked past Burgon's harsh comments and examined his FACTS, Christianity would be richer today.
We have in Brooke Foss Westcott a man who believed in communal living; a man who believed that the second coming of Christ was spiritual, heaven was a state of mind, prayers for the dead were permissable in private devotions, and that Christ came to bring peace through international disarmament. He believed in purgatory and admiration for Mary, and he thought the Bible was like any other book. This is the man who walked into the Revision Committee and sat in judgment of our Bible. He thought he saw room for improvement in the Authorized Version and offered a pro-Roman Greek text with which to correct it. The ironic thing is that Bible-believing Christian educators and preachers, who would never agree with his theology, have for years exalted his opinion of the Greek as nearly infallible. These facts alone should be reason enough to condemn Westcott and Hort, their Greek Text and the MSS which they used to arrive at such a text. But let us look at their actions concerning the molesting of the pure words of the King James Bible, in favor of Rome. Saddest of all, we have in Brooke Foss Westcott a man who neither believed in salvation by grace nor ever experienced it. There is no record in his "Life and Letters" that he ever accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. In a letter to his then future wife, he stated strongly his feelings concerning "baptism."
"My dearest Mary - I quite forget whether we have ever talked upon the subject alluded to in my last note - Baptismal Regeneration - but I think we have, for it is one of the few points on which I have clear views, and which is, I am sure, more misunderstood and misrepresented than any other. Do not we see that God generally employs means. I will not say exclusively, that He has appointed an outward Church as the receptacle of His promises, and outward rites for admission in to it, and thus for being placed in a relation with Him by which we may receive His further grace; for till we are so connected by admission into His outward Church, we have no right to think that he will convey to us the benefits of his spiritual Church, when we have neglected the primary means which He provides. It does not, of course, follow that the outward and spiritual churches are co-extensive, that all who have been placed in relation with God by Baptism, and so made heirs of heaven conditionally, will avail themselves of that relation to fulfill those conditions - and here lies the ambiguity: because a child is born again into the Church of God, as he has been born into the world before, people seem to conclude that he must discharge all the duties of his new station, which in temporal matters we know he does not. By birth he may, if he will, truly live here; by baptism he may if he will, truly live forever. I do not say that Baptism is absolutely necessary, though from the word of the Scripture I can see no exception, but I do think we have a right to exclaim against the idea of the commencement of a spiritual life, conditionally from Baptism, any more than we have to deny the commencement of a moral life from birth."171
As has already been established, both Drs. Westcott and Hort were hostile to the true Greek text of the King James Bible. Dr. Westcott has been unconsciously influenced into a pro-Roman Catholic attitude. It must also be pointed out that earlier Dr. Hort had been a student of Dr. Westcott's, as Arthur Westcott points out: "Another of Westcott's private pupils was F.J.A. Hort."172
The meticulous care with which he taught his pupils is noted by Dr. Whewell, Master of Trinity at the time, "The pains he bestows upon his pupils here (private pupils) is unparalleled, and his teaching is judicious as well as careful."173
The common desire of these two Cambridge scholars was to eliminate the authority of the Universal Greek Text of the King James Bible. Scholars had long sought to do this, but were baffled by the obvious evidence testifying that the Universal Text was indeed the true text of the Bible, and in that, a preservation of the original autographs. These scholars, subtly influenced by Rome, knew that their duty was to overthrow this pure, Protestant, Christ-honoring text and replace it with the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt, but the overwhelming evidence was always weighted in God's favor. No one, even the Roman Catholic Church, could find a way to explain why 95% of all extant MSS belonged to the Universal Text. "Textual criticism" was at a standstill until this roadblock could be circumvented.
It was the genius of Fenton John Anthony Hort which rode to the rescue of the forlorn Roman Catholic text. This man used the same method to overthrow the authority of the Universal Text that Charles Darwin used to overthrow the fact of creation. He used a THEORY!
His theory was that the "originals" agreed with the Local Text, and that this Local Text was "edited" by the Syrian church at Antioch in the Fourth Century to become what we know as the Universal Text, and then forced upon the people by the church council.
Just as was true for Darwin, common sense, all available facts, and the nature of God testified against his theory. Just as Darwin did, he collected minute scraps of evidence, then twisted and magnified his evidence, and theorized that he was right. Just as Darwin did, his theory was manufactured in his head, and INDEPENDENT of historical facts and evidence.
Just as Darwin, his theory was overwhelmingly accepted by the overeducated men of his day who were looking for a way of overthrowing God's authority. The theory of evolution was music to the ears of scientists, biologists, and college professors who resented the thought of creation. The sound of "God did it; that settles it" just naturally mustered all of the animosity and rebellion that is resident in the human flesh (Romans 7:18). When Darwin issued his theory to the world, the world was happy to believe the lie.
The same thing was true of Christian scholarship. They had long resented the thought that God could or would preserve His Word without their help. Like the lost scientists, they begrudgingly had to acknowledge that the evidence and facts of history were in favor of the Authorized Version. The issuing of Hort's theory, with the backing of Dr. Westcott, was heralded as the "liberation" of textual criticism. Dr. Alfred Martin explains the delight of liberals which existed upon learning of Hort's theory:
"Men who had long denied the infallibility of the Bible - and there are many such in the Church of England and in the independent churches - eagerly acclaimed a theory which they thought to be in harmony with their position.
"At precisely the time when liberalism was carrying the field in the English churches the theory of Westcott and Hort received wide acclaim. These are not isolated facts. Recent contributions of the subject - that is, in the present century - following mainly the Westcott-Hort principles have been made largely by men who deny the inspiration of the Bible."174
Like Darwin's theory, different viewpoints using his theory arrived at different conclusions. This, Dr. Martin records, Hort knew: "Hort freely admits this and concedes that 'in dealing with this kind of evidence equally competent as to the same variations'."175
Of course, the fact of different conclusions did not hamper Hort's followers. They were not interested in establishing a new conclusion. They were interested in abolishing an old one, i.e., that the King James Bible is the Word and the words of God.
A textual critic is not like a man driving an automobile to a destination which only he knows. He is more like a little child standing behind the wheel who doesn't particularly care where he goes, just as long as HE is doing the driving. Dr. Martin exposed this tendency: "Their principle method, an extreme reliance upon the internal evidence of readings, is fallacious and dangerous, because it makes the mind of the critic the arbiter of the text of the Word of God."176
The feeling of power, to be the judge of God's Word, coupled with the old nature which exists in the flesh of all men, even in Christian scholars, becomes overwhelming to the mind. As Paul stated in Romans 7:18, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not." Jeremiah concluded in chapter 17, verse 9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Even a saved man has bad flesh. Give this flesh the authority to change God's Word, and he will soon plant himself on God's throne. As it has been said "Put a beggar on horseback, and he will ride off at a gallop."
Another similarity between Hort's theory and Darwin's theory is that it is still held in high esteem long after it has been disproven. Darwin's theory has long ago suffered irreparable damage by historical evidence, the Word of God, and of course common sense. Yet, scientists have doggedly upheld it as reliable. This is not done because they feel that Darwin's theory will ever lead them to the truth, but because Darwin's theory leads them away from the authority they so detest, the Bible.
Hort's theory has been just as ill-handled by the truth, as Dr. Kurt Aland points out:
"We still live in the world of Westcott and Hort with our conception of different recensions and text-types, although this conception has lost its raison de'etre, or, it needs at least to be newly and convincingly demonstrated. For the increase of the documentary evidence and the entirely new areas of research which were opened to us on the discovery of the papyri, mean the end of Westcott and Hort's conception."177
Dr. Jacob Geerlings, who has extensively studied the manuscript evidence of the New Testament, states concerning the Universal Text:
"Its origins as well as those of other so-called text-types probably go back to the autographs. It is now abundantly clear that the Eastern Church never officially adopted or recognized a received or authorized text and only by a long process of slow evolution did the Greek text of the New Testament undergo the various changes that we can dimly see in the few extant uncial codices identified with the Byzantine (i.e. Majority) Text."178
Dr. David Otis Fuller concludes, "Thus the view popularized by Westcott and Hort before the turn-of- the-century, that the Majority Text issued from an authorative ecclesiastical revision of the Greek text, is widely abandoned as no longer tenable."
As previously quoted, Dr. Martin has stated, "The trend of scholars in more recent years has been away from the original Westcott-Hort position."179
In spite of new evidence, historical facts, and God's continued blessing of the Authorized Version, Christian scholars still exalt the theory as though it were the truth. This is not done because they feel that Hort's theory will eventually lead them to the true Word of God. Any honest, "Christian" scholar today who upholds Hort's outmoded theory will be glad to tell you that there is no perfect translation of "the Bible" in English today. They will admonish each new translation as "a step in the right direction," but even the newest translation is not without errors. This attitude is due to the fact that man's human nature resents the idea that God could preserve His words without the help of "good, godly Christians," and from the natural resistance of men to be in subjection to God. The supporters of Westcott and Hort possess a loyalty which borders on cultic, as Dr. Martin again has faithfully pointed out:
"The theory was hailed by many when it came forth as practically final, certainly definitive. It has been considered by some the acme in textual criticism of the New Testament. Some of the followers of Westcott and Hort have been almost unreasoning in their devotion to the theory; and many people, even today, who have no idea what the Westcott-Hort theory is, or at best only a vague notion, accept the labors of those two scholars without question. During the past seventy years it has often been considered textual heresy to deviate from their position or to intimate that, sincere as they undoubtedly were, they may have been mistaken."180
This cultic bent was even observed by Hort's friend, Professor Armitage Robinson, in 1891 who stated that a "kind of cult" had sprung up around the venerated old scholar.181
To criticize either Dr. Westcott or Dr. Hort is almost sacrilegious in their eyes. We can almost hear Dr. Westcott's own words, "I cannot myself reconcile the spirit of controversy and that of Christian faith." This he used as a defense against the "fanatics" who think that the Bible is perfect. Once accepted, pride makes the decaying process almost irreversible. As any parent knows who has questioned their guilty son or daughter, being caught "red-handed" is not nearly as difficult for the child to take as is admitting that they have been wrong.
Just prior to the translation of the King James Bible, England had broken free of the yoke of Rome. Shortly after the Authorized Version was published, England once again started down the road back to Rome. For a brief "parenthesis" in English history, England was free of Roman influence just long enough to translate and propagate a perfect Bible.
As we have seen, by the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, England had again, bit-by-bit, fallen to Roman influence. The Romaninzing effects of the Oxford Movement, the corrupt tracts of Newman, Pusey, and other pro-Romanists, the decisions by the Privy Council in favor of the anti-scriptural position of the "Essays and Reviews" had wrought their desired effect. In 1845, Newman made a formal break with the Church of England to join the Roman Catholic Church. His decision influenced 150 Church of England clergymen to do the same. In 1850, the aggressive Roman Catholic Cardinal Wiseman who had done so much to lead Newman to Rome, and had directed the Oxford Movement via his paper, "Dublin Review," had been commissioned by the Pope to formally re-establish the Roman Catholic Church on the shores of England.
England had come from the Bible-honoring, Rome-rejecting position of the Reformation, to the ritualistic, pro-Roman attitude which mistrusts and condemns the Bible.
England was ripe for revision!
In 1870, the Convention of the Church of England commissioned a revision of the Authorized Version. A gleam of hope shone in the eye of every Roman Catholic in England and the Continent. An eager anticipation filled every Jesuit-inspired, Protestant scholar in England. Although it was meant to correct a few supposed "errors" in the Authorized Version, the textual critics of the day assured themselves that they would never again have to submit to the divine authority of the Universal Text.
In November of 1870, Westcott testified of just such a spirit in a letter to Dr. Benson, "In a few minutes I go with Lightfoot to Westminster. More will come of these meetings, I think, than simply a revised version."182
The Convocation had instructed the Revision Committee NOT to deal with the underlying Greek text of the Authorized Version. They were instructed to do as follows: (1) to introduce as few alterations as possible into the text of the King James Bible, and (2) to limit ... the expression of any alterations to the language of the Authorized Version.183
Westcott and Hort had other plans. They had edited the corrupt Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts of the Local Text of Alexandria and produced their own Greek text. Wisely they had never published it. Thus its existence was unknown to the world, and Westcott and Hort did not have to worry about the investigative eyes of their contemporary scholars, such as Dean John Burgon. Had it been published earlier, it assuredly would have been exposed as corrupt and unfit for translation into English. Drs. Westcott and Hort were definitely "wise as serpents," but unfortunately they were equally as harmful.
Since the Committee had been instructed not to deal with matters of the Greek text, and the Westcott and Hort text had not been published, it was necessary for the two Cambridge Catholics to submit it little by little to the Committee. Even this was done in secret.
In order to establish their own Greek text as authorative, they first planned the strategy prior to the first meeting of the Committee. Their old friend Bishop Lightfoot was even there to help as Westcott notes in a letter to Hort dated May 1870, "Your note came with one from Ellicott this morning ... Though I think the Convocation is not competent to initiate such a measure, yet I feel that as 'we three' are together it would be wrong not to 'make the best of it' as Lightfoot says ... There is some hope that alternative readings might find a place in the margin."184
The next month he wrote to Lightfoot himself: "Ought we not to have a conference before the first meeting for revision? There are many points on which it is important that we should be agreed."185
They then secretly submitted their text to the Committee members, and stayed close by their sides to see to it that their scheme was carried out. This fact, Dr. Wilkenson attests to:
"The new Greek Testament upon which Westcott and Hort had been working for twenty years was, portion by portion, secretly committed into the hand of the Revision Committee. Their Greek text was strongly radical and revolutionary. The Revisors followed the guidance of the two Cambridge editors, Westcott and Hort, who were constantly at their elbow, and whose radical Greek New Testament, deviating the furthest possible from the Received Text, is to all intents and purposes the Greek New Testament followed by the Revision Committee. This Greek text, in the main, follows the Vatican and Sinaiticus Manuscripts."186
These actions reek of Jesuit underhandedness. Although Westcott and Hort were men of scholarship, they were not men of integrity.
For the most part, Westcott and Hort found a welcome audience to their abolition of the Universal Text, for the spirit of the revision had been set when the Christ-denying, Unitarian preacher, Dr. Vance Smith, was seated on the Committee.
Dr. Hort shared his feelings concerning Smith's appointment with co-conspirator Lightfoot. "It is, I think, difficult to measure the weight of acceptance won before the hand for the Revision by the single fact of our welcoming an Unitarian."187
Westcott exposed his loyalty to apostasy when he threatened to quit if the Convocation were successful in ejecting Smith from the Committee.
"I never felt more clear as to my duty. If the Company accepts the dictation of Convocation, my work must end. I see no escape from the conclusion."188
Wilkenson records Smith's comments concerning Isaiah 7:14: "This change gives room to doubt the virgin birth of Christ. The meaning of the words of Isaiah may, therefore, be presented thus: 'Behold the young wife is with child."'189
Dr. Smith called the belief in Christ's second coming an error. "This idea of the Second Coming ought now to be passed by as a merely temporary incident of early Christian belief. Like many another error, it has answered its transitory purpose in the providential plan, and may well, at length, be left to rest in peace."190
Dr. Westcott felt that doctrine was unimportant. He believed that he as a scholar should decide the text, then theologians could add their remarks afterwards. He stated, "I hardly feel with you on the question of discussing anything doctrinally or on doctrine. This seems to me to be wholly out of our province. We have only to determine what is written and how it can be rendered. Theologians may deal with the text and version afterwards."191
What did Westcott think of Smith's theological beliefs? "Perhaps we agree in spirit but express ourselves differently. At least we agree in hope."192
This last statement may very well hold more truth than Westcott intended. It may help here to point out that the Church of England defector to Rome, Dr. Newman, was asked to be on the Committee, but he refused.193 This should reveal the true spirit which the revisors had in their attempt to "bring the Bible up-to-date."
This is not the first revision Newman was asked to sit in on. In 1847, two years after defecting, Cardinal Wiseman, the militant Roman Catholic priest, wrote him this from Rome: "The Superior of the Franciscans, Father Benigno, in the Trastevere, wishes us out of his own head to engage in an English Authorized Translation of the Bible. He is a learned man and on the Congregation of the Index. What he wished was, that we would take the Protestant translation, correct it by the Vulgate ... and get it sanctioned here."194 Strangely enough, the desire of Wiseman, to "correct" the Authorized Version with Jerome's corrupt Vulgate, is exactly what Protestant scholars did in 1881, 1901, 1952, 1960, 1973, and in every "new" and "improved" translation since 1611.
Westcott and Hort were so successful at their secret task of subtly guiding the decision of the Revision Committee that many Committee members did not suspect that they had been used by the Cambridge duo to help destroy the authority of the Authorized Version and give the world yet another Roman Catholic Bible. Philip Mauro records:
"In view of all the facts it seems clear that, not until after the Committee had disbanded, and their work had come under the scrutiny of able scholars and faithful men, were they themselves aware that they had seemingly given their official sanction to the substitution of the "New Greek Text" of Westcott and Hort for the Textus Receptus. The Westcott and Hort text had not yet been published, and hence had never been subject to scrutiny and criticism; nor had the principles upon which it was constructed been investigated. Only after it was too late were the facts realized, even by the Revisors themselves."195
It can be safely said that if Westcott and Hort were not two Jesuit priests acting on secret orders from the Vatican, that two Jesuit priests acting under such orders could not have done a better job of overthrowing the authority of God's true Bible and establishing the pro-Roman Catholic text of Alexandria, Egypt!
It is truly amazing in light of all the evidence of their apostasy, that Westcott and Hort should be so revered by modern scholarship. It is strange indeed that men who believe in the premillenial return of Christ would defend men who did not. That men who believe that salvation is by grace through faith could uphold men who not only did not believe in it, but sadly, did not experience it. It is amazing that men who believe with all their heart that the Bible is the Word of God could be so blind to the infidelity to the Word of these two men.
Revival in America is still possible, but like Jacob told his household in Genesis 35:2,3: Christian scholarship must "put away the strange gods" and "go up to Bethel."
In this chapter we will be looking at some of the common misrepresentations of the Authorized Version. Many of these misrepresentations are unintentional. Most of the comments against the Authorized Version are, in fact, simply repetitions of what the commentator heard from a pulpit, read in a book, or learned in a classroom.
Most of the fervency against the Authorized Version is not so much due to a conscious hatred against the Book, as much as it is a show of one's education. This fact, which is a conscious malice, is then coupled with the "flesh" or "natural man," which may be an unconscious malice, to form a constant antagonism toward the true Word of God. This "old nature" exists in every person, even Christians. It will not change until the rapture. This nature manifests itself in an innate desire not to submit to the authority of God.
Satan realizes this and uses it to his own advantage by giving the flesh ammunition to fight a battle which it naturally wants to fight. The sad result of this spirit of judgment is that the Word of God never really gets a fair trial.
Today it is widely taught and accepted that God wrote the originals perfectly, but that there is no perfect translation. Yet, there is no scripture that teaches any such thing! This teaching is based on logic, man's logic. Christian educators of today say that it is absurd to believe that God could use sinful men to translate His Word perfectly. Such a supposition of a perfect translation is no more absurd than the teaching that God used sinful men to write the Bible perfectly in the originals! Every argument for innerrant, infallible inspiration applies also for innerrant, infallible preservation. It is the same God!
If a believer in perfect inspiration says that God overpowered the writers' ability to make a mistake, the believer in perfect preservation can also state that God overpowered the translators' ability to make a mistake. It can also very happily be pointed out that a man who claims that God preserved His Words can at least PRODUCE what he claims to believe in!
I personally believe that God has perfectly preserved His Word in the King James or Authorized Version. I can at least produce a King James Bible to show what I believe in. Any person who claims that God inspired the original autographs perfectly, cannot produce those original manuscripts to prove it! I do not believe that the King James Bible is a new inspiration. "Inspiration" starts with a blank sheet of paper, a man of God, and God. I am saying that the Authorized Version is every word of God that was in the original autographs, preserved to this day. "Preservation" starts with God's manuscripts, a man of God, and God. The end result of both is the same: the perfect Word and words of God. It only makes sense.
Many of today's preachers and self-proclaimed scholars slam their fists down on their pulpits in simulated "righteous indignation" while holding a Bible over their heads and loudly proclaim, "This Book doesn't 'CONTAIN' the word of God, it IS the Word of God! Perfect! Infallible! Without admixture of error!" to the delight of the audience. But ask them, while out of their pulpit, if they believe that THE BOOK IN THEIR HAND is truly without error, and they immediately go into a song and dance routine about "just a translation OF the Bible" and say something about "Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Try pressing the issue, and they will question your authority to do so (Matthew 21:23), and if you persist you will be labeled a "Ruckmanite."
All for simply believing that this "godly man" really believed what he had said when he was performing behind his pulpit!
We have studied the history of the MSS, of the New Testament, and the historical plans and attempts to overthrow God's preservation of His Word. We have seen that the vast majority of MSS and of historical evidence points to the Authorized Version as God's preserved Word. Still, there is an air of antagonism against the Authorized Version. Strange as it may seem, the only things which Roman Catholics, apostates, Protestants, and fundamentalists can agree on is that the King James Bible should be eliminated! This striking truth in itself should be enough to shock born-again Christians into scrutinizing their position to make sure of which side of the fence they are on. When we find ourselves aligned with Satan's church against Scripture, we find ourselves in a very dangerous position. This is especially true when we consider what the result would be if these groups were successful in abolishing the King James Version. The elimination of the Authorized Version finds us without a Bible, at which time we find Rome rushing to the rescue with her 1582 Jesuit translation, and the anti-God Local Text of Alexandria. Knowing that no fundamentalist would consciously use a Roman Catholic Bible, the Roman Church has obliged us by changing the cover to Revised Version, American Standard Version, Good News for Modern Man, the Living Bible, the Amplified Bible, the Jerusalem Bible, the Common Bible, the New International Version, the New Scofield Reference Bible, and many more. The story is true; the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Rome realized that there is not one of these new Roman Catholic translations which will ever replace God's Authorized Version. Her plan is to get any one of these translations to replace the Authorized Version in any group of Christians. Let the fundamentalists use one of the Revised Standard Version's "twin sons," the New American Standard Version or the New International Version. Convince the young people that they cannot understand the "thees" and "thous" in God's Authorized Version and hand them a "Good News for Modern Man" or a "Living Bible." Promote each new translation of the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt, as "thoroughly reliable" or "more accurate," until the Authorized Version is removed from the hearts of Christians little by little.
How many young "preacher boys" have had their faith in God's PERFECT Word trampled and destroyed while they sat in independent, fundamental Bible colleges where they thought that they were safe?!
How many found themselves, upon graduation three or four years later indebted to their "alma mater" for teaching them what the "originals really said" and in so doing saved them from being drawn into that group of "King James fanatics," that "lunatic fringe," that "cult"?
They found themselves leaving college with the confidence (?) that the Book under their arm was NOT perfect, and thanking God for the school that had shown them that!
The only person happier than they were was the Pope. After all, who wants someone who speaks with authority? (Mark 1:22)
It must be remembered at this time that every new Bible is introduced as being "better than the Authorized Version." It may also be noted that every false prophet is introduced as "better" than Jesus Christ. Mohammed had supposedly come to finish the work which Christ began. Charles Manson claimed that he was Jesus Christ. Sun Nyung Moon claims to have to finished the job which Jesus Christ failed to finish. Jim Jones claimed to be Jesus Christ. The Beatles claimed to be more popular than Jesus Christ.
Notice that Jim Jones did not claim to be Mohammed. Notice that Moon did not claim to be the replacement for Buddha. All of the false prophets attack Jesus Christ. Notice that the Good News for Modern Man does not claim to be better than the American Standard Version, but it does claim to be better than the Authorized Version. Notice also that the New International Version does not claim to be better than the American Standard Version; it claims to be better than the Authorized Version. A false prophet can always be recognized, because he attacks the true prophet. A false Bible can be recognized, because it attacks the true Bible.
LET ME ALLEGORIZE FOR A MOMENT. The claims of the new Bibles are strikingly similar to the claims of the famous "Super Sack" grocery bag which has swept the country. The bag producers wanted to cut production costs. The "old reliable" double bag was just about indestructible when it came to doing its job, but it was too costly to produce. The manufacturers came up with the idea of producing an inferior product but calling it "superior."
It has happened to us all. One day, on a trip with our wives to the grocery store, we picked up our groceries and noticed the bag. It wasn't a double bag! "They've made them cheaper," we thought. Then we noticed an official looking statement on the side: "This new Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."
"Well," we realized, "then it isn't an inferior product after all. It's new and better. That's good to know."
We "bought the pitch." In our trusting, childlike manner, we believed that the "Super Sack" was better than the "old reliable" double bag, just because someone told us that it was.
"This new Super Sack ... no double bagging needed."
How many times have these words echoed through my head as I heard a horrifying, tearing sound. I watched as the cans rolled across the grocery store parking lot. I watched the flour break open in the back seat of the car. After getting the survivors into the car, we headed for home.
"This new Super Sack ... no double bagging needed."
We hear that sound! We watch broken eggs as they pour their contents out into the driveway. The cereal has broken open, and now the neighbors dog picks up our last package of hamburger. We make a wild dash for the house, leaving a trail of canned goods, broken jelly jars, and spilled milk in our wake. We arrive at the back door holding nothing more than a large piece of brown paper with words on the side reading: "This Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."
At times like that, standing there, surveying the damage, I can hardly frame the proper words with which to thank the manufacturers for blessing me with this wonderful, new, improved "Super Sack."
This "Super Sack" philosophy has existed in the field of Bible translations for years.
Every new translation published appears first with a giant "media campaign" directed at the Christian community. This campaign is designed to tell the Christians that they "need" this new translation, because the Christians do not know it. This is not an overstatement but is proven true by the Preface to the New American Standard Version of 1963. The last paragraph in the Preface begins with this statement:
"It is enthusiastically anticipated that the general public will be grateful to learn of the availability, value and need of the New American Standard Version." (Emphasis mine.)
The Lockman Foundation has admitted translating a Bible that the general public doesn't know that it needs! It is intended for the general public to realize that they "need" this Bible when they read the advertisement. This is just like a laundry detergent.
Let us look into the way in which this "Bible advertising" works.
We read a few Christian periodicals and observe that a new translation has been published. It is, of course, compared to the Authorized Version. The "mistakes" of the Authorized Version are revealed to show us the "need" for a new translation. Next, this new translation is unveiled with exclamation of "thoroughly reliable," "true to the Original Greek," and "starting a new tradition." We read but are skeptical.
We proceed to the "Bible" book store to look over this new translation. After having the "sales pitch" from the man behind the counter, we leave carrying a grocery bag (Super Sack) full of "new," "modern," "easy to read" translations in which we are assured that "all of the fundamentals can be found." On the way home, we decide to try out these "more accurate," "Christ exalting" versions.
We meet a Jehovah's Witness. In the following discussion we try to convince him that Jesus Christ was not a created God. He shows us John 1:18 in his "New World Translation." It reads that Christ was the "only begotten God." We snicker. "That's just your version," we say, reaching for a New International Version. To our amazement it also reads "only begotten God!"
Being fully embarrassed, we change the subject to the trinity. "I John 5:7!" we exclaim. Now we've got him! We turn to I John 5:7 in the "Good News for Modern Man." "There are three witnesses," it says.
Our Jehovahs Witness asks, "So, what does that teach?" We stammer, "Wait a minute," as we reach for a New American Standard Version. "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."
"So how is the trinity taught from that verse?" he demands.
With our face glowing red and phrases like "thoroughly reliable" and "faithful to the originals" spinning through our head, we desperately grab a New King James Version.
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." I John 5:7.
"There it is! There it is!" We exclaim, "See there, the Trinity!"
"Read the footnote on it," he states calmly. "Out loud!"
"The words from 'in heaven' (v. 7) through 'on earth' (v. 8) are from the Latin Bible, although three Greek mss. from the 15th Century and later also contain them."
"You see," says our adversary, "it doesn't belong there."
Thankfully he hasn't got any more time to talk, and he leaves.
We tear our "Super Sack" slightly as we pick it back up and head for home, not quite understanding what has taken place. In our mind we hear the Bible store salesman saying, "But I can find the fundamentals in these new versions."
In an attempt to boost our own morale, we try to lead a man to Christ. We tell him the simplicity of conversion. We relate to him how easy it was for the Ethiopian eunuch. We open a Revised Standard Version to show it to him. We read Acts 8:36 and then the next verse, verse 38. "Wait just a second; I seem to have skipped over a verse," we say apologetically.
We read verse 36, then carefully run our finger across the line to the next verse, verse 38! There is no verse 37! This eunuch never believed on the Lord Jesus Christ!
"Excuse me," we apologize. "I seem to have picked up the wrong Bible." We lay down the Revised Standard Version and pick up the New American Standard Version. We read again. This time we arrive at verse 37.
It says, "See footnote."
"No thank you!" we say to ourselves.
Having lost his train of thought, our lost friend walks off shaking his head and wondering why Christians don't know their Bibles better.
Of all things, we run into an infidel before we can reach the safety of our home.
"Jesus Christ was not God in the flesh," he states.
"Oh yes He was!" we retort confidently, happy to have the opportunity to redeem ourselves for the bad showing earlier. "Look at I Timothy 3:16."
We pick the Living Bible.
"But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a man...."
"There's no 'God' in that verse," he declares.
The statement of the salesmen comes to mind again. "But I can find the fundamentals in these."
"Where?" we ask ourselves returning to the Revised Standard Version.
"He was manifested in the flesh...."
"Where is God?" demands our infidel. We wonder the same thing!
"He appeared in human form," says the Good News for Modern Man.
"He who was revealed in the flesh," states the New American Standard Version.
"Where is God?" demands our infidel with finality.
"I don't know. I really don't know," we reply with our heads down in sorrow.
We drag our wounded spirits home. Words cannot describe our "gratitude" to the Lockman Foundation and all the rest of those "godly, conservative scholars" who gave us these "accurate, reliable, true to the original" translations. We hear a horrifying, tearing sound as we reach the back door.
The next morning the garbage man finds a garbage bag full of brand new, unused "Bibles" covered by a large, torn piece of brown paper with the words on the side saying: "This new Super Sack is made from a new high strength paper. There is no double bagging needed."
No thank you, we will stick with our "old, reliable" King James, 1611.
The story has been an allegory, but the philosophy it describes is very true.
We shall now look at some of the complaints against the Authorized Version. Remember, being able to "find the fundamentals" in a version is not enough. This was the claim of the corrupt Revised Version! As Wilkenson points out, "There are many who claim that the changes in the Revised Version did not affect any doctrine."
The problem with this statement is that even if the major doctrines can be found in these new Roman Catholic Bibles, these doctrines always appear in a watered down form.
Yes, the blood of atonement can be taught in spite of the removal of the word "blood" from Colossians 1:14. The doctrine of the blood atonement is found in other passages. The danger is this. Where the Authorized Version teaches a given doctrine in maybe thirty different places, the New American Standard Version may teach the same doctrine in only twenty. The New International Version may only teach this doctrine in fifteen passages. The next "new and improved" version may teach it only three or four, until it is reduced to only one passage. How then can we teach a new convert this "major" doctrine from only one passage?
All of the doctrines, which today's fundamentalists claim to be able to "find" in these new translations, have been taught to these same fundamentalists through the use of a King James Bible. How will the next generation of Christians learn pure doctrine from a watered down Bible? How can we even call something a "major" doctrine which is taught only in one or two verses?
Remember, Satan is not worried at all about what people think of Jesus if he can just keep us from being able to prove that He was virgin born, shed His blood for our sins, rose from the dead, or is coming back physically. Without scripture to prove the above, Jesus was just a man.
The new Bibles have no blood in them, no Lord, no second coming, nor other vital doctrines. In other words, the new Bibles have all of the convictions of B.F. Westcott.
Many Christian educators, (especially scholars) claim that the scholarship of today is greater than that of the days of King James. How can they say such a thing? How can men who say that the Bible teaches that everything will get worse and worse with time claim that education is the exception? We see the signs of apostasy all around us. They are evident in world economic systems. They are evident in educational systems. They are evident in the apostasy of religious groups which were formerly loyal to the Bible. They are evident in the worldly learnings of many once separated Christian colleges. Are we to believe that "scholarship" has avoided the "downhill progress?" That is far from being realistic.
Scholar for scholar, the men on the King James translating committee were far greater men of God than Westcott, Hort, or any other new translator. They were not only educated in a powerful, anti-Roman atmosphere, but they looked at the MSS which they handled as the Holy Word of God. They state such in the Dedicatory to King James:
"So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God's holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness; or if, on the other side, we shall be maligned by self-conceited brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing, but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil...."
As can be seen, they considered themselves "unworthy instruments," for these were humble men.
Compare the words of the King James translators to the pride of the anonymous Lockman Foundation:
"The producers of this translation were imbued with the conviction that interest in the American Standard Version should be renewed and increased. Perhaps the most weighty impetus for this undertaking can be attributed to a disturbing awareness that the American Standard Version of 1901 was fast disappearing from the scene. As a generation "which knew not Joseph" was born, even so a generation unacquainted with this great and important work has come into being. Recognizing a responsibility to posterity, the Lockman Foundation felt an urgency to rescue this noble achievement from an inevitable demise, to reserve it as a heritage for coming generations, and to do so in such a form as the demands of passing time dictate. It is enthusiastically anticipated that the general public will be grateful to learn of the availability, value and need of the New American Standard Bible. It is released with the strong confidence that those who seek a knowledge of the scriptures will find herein a source of genuine satisfaction for a clear and accurate rendering of divinely-revealed truth."196
The mysterious Lockman Foundation seems not only to believe that they have done us a great service, but seems also to feel that we "ignorant" members of the general public should be grateful to them for their "clear and accurate" translation. Of course we are grateful. We are just as grateful to the Lockman Foundation as we are to the manufacturers of the "Super Sack." Their products seem to be equal in quality.
As stated earlier, the translation of the King James Bible was achieved at a "parenthesis of purity" in English history. It was produced during a brief period following the overthrow of Roman authority and prior to the apostasy of the Church of England. It was translated in the era when the still young English language was at its height of purity. Dr. McClure succeeds in aptly describing this esteemed company of translators:
"As to the capability of those men, we say again, that, by the good providence of God, their work was undertaken in a fortunate time. Not only had the English language, that singular compound, then ripened to its full perfection, but the study of Greek and of the Oriental tongues and/or rabbinical lore had then been carried to a greater extent in England than ever before or since."
"This particular field of learning has never been so highly cultivated among English divines as it was at that day. To evidence this fact, so far as necessary limits will admit, it will be requisite to sketch the characters and scholarship of those men, who have made all coming ages their debtors. When this pleasing task is done, it is confidently expected that the reader of these pages will yield to the conviction, that all of the colleges of Great Britian and America, even in this proud day of boastings, could not bring together the same number of divines equally qualified by learning and piety for the great undertaking. Few indeed are the living names worthy to be enrolled with those mighty men. It would be impossible to convene out of any one Christian denomination, or out of all, a body of translators on whom the whole Christian community would bestow such a confidence as is reposed upon that illustrious company, or who would prove themselves as deserving of such confidence. Very many self-styled "improved versions" of the Bible, or of parts of it, have been paraded before the world, but the religious public has doomed them all, without exception, to utter neglect."197
As Dr. McClure has already stated, to fully apprciate the depth of true scholarship present at the translation of the King James Bible, it is necessary to investigate the character of the individuals on the translating committee. His excellent book, Translator Revived, will be the primary source of the following brief biographical comments.
Dr. Lancelot Andrews, a member of the Westmenster Company is known for his linguistic ability.
"Once a year, at Easter, he used to pass a month with his parents. During this vacation, he would find a master, from whom he learned some language to which he was a stranger. In this way after a few years, he acquired most of the modern languages of Europe."198
"He was not a man of 'head knowledge' only. He was a man of great practical preaching ability and an ardent opponent of Rome. His conspicuous talents soon gained him powerful patrons. Henry, Earl of Huntington, took him into the north of England, where he was the means of converting many Papists by his preaching and disputations."199
"As a preacher, Bishop Andrews was right famous in his day. He was called the 'star of preachers.'" 200
Dr. Andrews was also known as a great man of prayer.
"Many hours he spent each day in private and family devotions; and there were some who used to desire that 'they might end their days in Bishop Andrews' chapel.' He was one in whom was proved the truth of Luther's saying, that 'to have prayed well, is to have studied well.'"201
Although he was a mighty preacher and prayer warrior, he was not "above" the people around him.
"This worthy diocesan was much 'given to hospitality,' and especially to literary strangers. So bountiful was his cheer, that it used to be said, 'My Lord of Winchester keeps Christmas all years 'round.'"202
Lastly we review his ability as a translator of the Word of God.
"But we are chiefly concerned to know what were his qualifications as a translator of the Bible. He ever bore the character of a 'right godly man,' and a 'prodigious student.' One competent judge speaks of him as 'that great gulf of learning!' It was also said, that 'the world wanted learning to know how learned this man was.' A brave old chronicler remarks, that such was his skill in all languages, especially the Oriental, that had he been present at the confusion of tongues at Babel, he might have served as the Intepreter-General! In his funeral sermon by Dr. Buckzidge, Bishop of Rochester, it is said that Dr. Andrews was conversant with fifteen languages."203
Dr. John Overall was another of the King James translators. He, too, was known for his opposition to Roman rule. He was present at the hanging of the Jesuit Henry Garnet, mastermind of 'the Gun-powder Plot.'
In spite of his opposition to Rome, he had an interest in individual souls and urged Garnet to make a true and lively faith to God-ward."204
Dr. Overall was vital to the translation because of his knowledge of quotations of the early church fathers. Without a man with such knowledge it might have been impossible to verify the authenticity of passages such as I John 5:7. This verse has a multitude of evidence among church fathers, though its manuscript evidence suffers from the attacks of Alexandria's philosophers.
This disputed verse is known among textual circles as the "Johannine Comma." Dr. Edward Hills records some of the evidence in its favor:
"The first undisputed citations of the Johannine Comma occur in the writings of two fourth century Spanish bishops, Priscillian, who in 385 was beheaded by the emperor Maximus in the charge of sorcery and heresy, and Idacious Clarus, Priscillian's principal adversary and accuser. In the Fifth Century the Johannine Comma was quoted by several orthodox African writers to defend the doctrine of the Trinity against the gainsaying of the Vandals, who ruled North Mrica from 439 to 534 and were fanatically attached to the Arian heresy. About the same time it was cited by Cassiodorus (480-570) in Italy. The Comma is also found in r, an old Latin manuscript of the fifth or sixth century, and in the Speculum, a treatise which contains an old Latin text. It was not included in Jerome's original edition of the Latin Vulgate, but around the year 800 it was taken into the text of the Vulgate from the old Latin manuscripts. It was found in the great mass of the later Vulgate manuscripts and in the Clementine edition of the Vulgate, the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church."205
It was also cited by Cyprian in 225 A.D. 206
This is one hundred and seventy-five years before Eusebius penned the Vatican manuscript.
We can see then that Dr. Overall's contribution to the translation would be of the utmost importance. No "modern" translation has so candidly investigated the evidence of the church fathers.
Dr. Hadrian Saravia, another learned translator, was as evangelical as he was scholarly. McClure reports:
"He was sent by Queen Elizabeth's council as a sort of missionary to the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, where he was one of the first Protestant ministers; knowing, as he says of himself, in a letter, 'which were the beginnings, and by what means and occasions the preaching of God's Word was planted there.' He labored there in a two-fold capacity, doing the work of an evangelist, and conducting a newly established school, called Elizabeth College."207
He too, as any truly dedicated soldier for Christ, was a constant foe of Rome. In 1611 he published a treatise on Papal primacy against the Jesuit Gretser.
He is said to have been "educated in all kinds of literature in his younger days, especially several languages."208
Dr. John Laifield was another man of unique talents which lent to his extraordinary value as a translator. Of him it is said: "That being skilled in architecture, his judgement was much relied on for the fabric of the tabernacle and temple."209
Dr. Robert Tighe was known as "an excellent textuary and profound lingtlist."210
Dr. William Bedwell was "an eminent Oriental scholar." His epitaph mentions that he was "for the Eastern tongues, as learned a man as most lived in these modern times."
"He published in quarto an edition of the epistles of St. John in Arabic, with a Latin version, printed at the press of Raphelengius, at Antwerp, in 1612. He also left many Arabic manuscripts to the University of Cambridge, with numerous notes upon them, and a font of types of printing them. His fame for Arabic learning was so great, that when Erpenius, a most renowned Orientalist, resided in England in 1606, he was much indebted to Bedwell for direction in his studies. To Bedwell, rather than to Erpenius, who commonly enjoys it, belongs the honor of being the first who considerably promoted and revived the study of the Arabic language and literature in Europe. He was also tutor to another Orientalist of reknown, Dr. Pococke."211
"Some modern scholars have fancied, that we have an advantage in our times over the translators of King James' day, by reason of the greater attention which is supposed to be paid at present to what are called the 'cognate' and 'Shemitic' languages, and especially the Arabic by which much light is thought to be reflected upon Hebrew words and phrases. It is evident, however, that Mr. Bedwell and others, among his fellow-laborers, were thoroughly conversant in this part of the broad field of sacred criticism."212
In addition to his work on the Authorized Version, Dr. Bedwell left several other contributions to his age:
"Dr. Bedwell also commenced a Persian dictionary, which is among Archbishop Laid's manuscripts, still preserved in the Bodelian Library at Oxford. In 1615 he published his book, A Discovery of the Impostures of Mahomet and of the Koran. To this was annexed his Arabian Trudgeman.
"Dr. Bedwell had a fondness for mathematical studies. He invented a ruler for geometrical purposes, like that we call Gunther's Scale, which went by the 'Bedwell's Ruler'.
"After Bedwell's death, the voluminous manuscripts of his lexicon were loaned to the University of Cambridge to aid the compilation of Dr. Castell's colossal work, the Lexicon Heptaglotton."213
Dr. Edward Lively was known as "one of the best linguists in the world ... Much dependence was placed on his surpassing skill in Oriental languages."214
Dr. Lawrence Chaderton was raised a Roman Catholic and encouraged by his family to become a lawyer. He traveled to London where he was converted to Christ and joined the Puritan Congregation there. 215 It is said that:
"He made himself familiar with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew tongues and was thoroughly skilled in them. Moreover he had diligently investigated the numerous writings of the Rabbis, so far as they seemed to promise any aid to the understanding of the Scriptures."216
Dr. Chaderton was a powerful preacher who lived to the age of one hundred and three. A preaching engagement in his later years was described as follows:
"Having addressed his audience for two full hours by the glass, he paused and said, 'I will no longer trespass on your patience.' And now comes the marvel; for the whole congreagtion cried out with one consent for God's sake, go on! He accordingly proceeded much longer, to their great satisfaction and delight."217
Dr. McClure leaves us to ponder the direction scholarship has taken in these modern times. "For even now people like to hear such preaching as is preaching. But where shall we find men for the work like those who gave us our version of the Bible?"
Dr. Francis Dillingham was so studied in the original languages that he participated in public debate in Greek.218
Dr. Dillingham was another soldier for Christ who took aggressive action against the teaching of Rome. "He collected out of Cardinal Bellarmine's writings, all the concessions made by the acute author in favor of Protestantism. He published a Manual of Christian Faith, taken from the Fathers, and a variety of treatises on different points belonging to the Romish controversy."219
Dr. Thomas Harrison, it is recorded, was chosen to assist the King James translation due to his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. In fact his ability served him well in his duties as Vice-Master of Trinity College in Cambridge.
"On account of his exquisite skill in the Hebrew and Greek idioms, he was one of the chief examiners in the University of those who sought to be public professors of these languages."220
John Harding was an ardent scholar of whom it is said concerning his ability: "At the time of his appointment to aid in the translation of the Bible, he had been Royal Professor of Hebrew in the University for thirteen years. His occupancy of that chair, at a time when the study of sacred literature was pursued by thousands with a zeal amounting to a possession, is a fair intimation that Dr. Harding was the man for the post he occupied."221
Dr. John Reynolds had been raised in the Roman Catholic Church. As Chaderton, he too trusted Christ and became a Puritan. The attributes leading to his position on the translation committee are recorded as follows:
"Determined to explore the whole field and make himself master of the subject, he devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures in the original tongues, and read all the Greek and Latin fathers, and all the ancient records of the Church."222
His aggressive nature toward the false teachings of his former church are exemplified in the following record:
"About the year 1578, John Hart, a popish zealot, challenged all the learned men in the nation to a public debate. At the solicitation of one of Queen Elizabeth's privy counsellors, Mr. Reynolds encountered him. After several combats, the Romish champion owned himself driven from the field."
"At that time, the celebrated Cardinal Bellarmine, the Goliath of the Philistines at Rome, was professor of theology in the English Seminary at that city. As fast as he delivered his popish doctrine, it was taken down in writing, and regularly sent to Dr. Reynolds; who from time to time, publicly confuted it at Oxford. Thus Bellarmine's books were answered, even before they were printed."223
His skills in Hebrew and Greek made his appointment to the company of translators a wise one. While on his death bed, it is recorded:
"The papists started a report, that their famous opposer had recanted his Protestant sentiments. He was much grieved at hearing of the rumor; but too feeble to speak, set his name to the following declaration: 'These are to testify to all the world, that I die in the possession of that faith which I have taught all my life, both in my preachings and in my writings, with an assured hope of my salvation, only by the merits of Christ my Savior."'224
Dr. Richard Kilby was a man worthy of the position of translator. One incident in his life, which occurred shortly after the Authorized Version had been published, suffices not only to reveal his depth, but also the dangers of the self-esteemed "scholars" changing the translation of even one word in God's Book.
"I must here stop my reader, and tell him that this Dr. Kilby was a man so great in learning and wisdom, and so excellent a critic in the Hebrew tongue, that he was made professor of it in this University; and as also so perfect a Grecian, that he was by King James appointed to be one of the translators of the Bible, and that this Doctor and Mr. Sanderson had frequent discourses, and loved as father and son. The Doctor was to ride a journey into Derbyshire, and took Mr. Sanderson to bear him company; and they resting on a Sunday with the Doctor's friend, and going together to that parish church where they were, found the young preacher to have no more discretion than to waste a great part of the hour allotted for his sermon in exceptions against the late translation of several words, (not expecting such a hearer as Dr. Kilby) and showed three reasons why a particular word should have been otherwise translated. When evening prayer was ended, the preacher was invited to the Doctor's friend's house, where after some other confidence, the Doctor told him, he might have preached more useful doctrine, and not filled his auditor's ears with needless exceptions against the translation; and for that word for which he offered to that poor congregation three reasons why it ought to have been translated as he and others had considered all them, and found thirteen more considerable reasons why it was translated as now printed."225
Dr. Miles Smith was the man responsible for the preface to the King James Bible. This preface is no longer printed in the present copies of the Book. He had a knowledge of the Greek and Latin fathers, as well as being expert in Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic. "Hebrew he had at his finger's end." 226 And so was the Ethiopic tongue.
Dr. Henry Saville was known for his Greek and mathematical learning. He was so well known for his education, skilled with languages and knowledge of the Word, that he became Greek and mathematical tutor to Queen Elizabeth during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. 227
Dr. McClure tells us, "He is chiefly known, however, by being the first to edit the complete works of John Chrysostom, the most famous of the Greek Fathers." 228
We could go on and on concerning the scholarship of the King James translators, but we have not the space here. Dr. McClure's book, Translators Revived, is recommended for an in-depth study of the lives of these men.
It should be noted that these men were qualified in the readings of the church fathers which prevented them from being "locked" to the manuscripts, causing early readings to be overlooked. This is vastly better than the methods used by modern translators.
It should also be recognized that these men did not live in "ivory towers." They were men who were just as renowned for their preaching ability as they were for their esteemed education. It is a lesson in humility to see men of such great spiritual stature call themselves "poor instruments to make God's Holy Truth to be yet more and more known."
We shall now briefly examine a few of the translators of the Revised Standard Version. The reasons that we shall examine these revisors are as follows:
First, it is due to the secrecy surrounding translations such as the New American Standard Version and the New International Version. The Lockman Foundation has elected to remain anonymous. This is, of course, the safest method, as it prevents investigative eyes from discovering truths such as those we shall see concerning the Revised Standard Version translators.
The translating committee of the New International Version is also nameless. We are assured of their "scholarship" although words without proof ring of a snake oil salesman in the days of the Old West. Of course, it must be admitted, they are both in the "selling business."
Secondly, we have chosen to examine the Revised Standard Version translators because they are of the exact same conviction concerning biblical MSS as Westcott and Hort, Nestle, the Lockman Foundation, the New Scofield Board of Editors, and the majority of unsuspecting college professors and preachers across America today. Namely, they believed the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS are more reliable than the God-preserved Universal Text.
Thirdly, due to this mistaken preference for Roman Catholic MSS, EVERY Bible translation since 1881 is linked directly to the Revised Version, and had nothing to do with the Authorized Version. These new translations follow the same MSS family as the Revised version. This family is the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and has no relationship whatsoever to the Authorized Version. It is the text which Satan has altered and promotes as a replacement for God's Universal Text.
All modern translations, such as the New American Standard Version, are linked to the Revised Standard Version of 1952, which is a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901, which was originally marketed as the American Revised Version - an American creation growing from the English Revised Version of 1881.
Edgar Goodspeed was on the Revised Standard committee. Goodspeed did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. He looked at Jesus Christ as a social reformer who gave His life as a martyr for a "cause." Goodspeed said, "Jesus' youth was probably one of the dawning and increasing dissatisfaction with the prevalent form of the Jewish religion in Nazareth and in his own home. HE DID NOT IN THOSE EARLY YEARS SEE WHAT HE COULD DO ABOUT IT, but he must have felt a growing sense that there was something deeply wrong about it, which should be corrected."229
Goodspeed continues, "He faced the question of his next step in his work. He had no mind to die obscured in some corner of Galilee, to no purpose. A bolder plan was now taking shape in his mind. He would present himself to Jerusalem ... publicly offer them their Messianic destiny, AND TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES. And he would do this in ways that would make his death something that would never be forgotten, but would carry the message to the end of time. Yet how could this be done?" 230
Goodspeed also, like Westcott, seemed to think it necessary to explain away Christ's miracles. Here we see what he thought took place at the feeding of the five thousand:
"He took the five loaves and two fishes and looked up to heaven and blessed the loaves, and broke them in pieces, and gave them to the disciples to pass to the people. He also divided the two fishes among them all. And they all ate, and had enough. JESUS' SIMPLE EXAMPLE OF SHARING ALL he and his disiciples had with their guests must have MOVED THOSE GALILEANS as it moves us still. THEY COULD NOT DO LESS THAN HE HAD DONE. THEY FOLLOWED HIS EXAMPLE. He simply showed the way, and they gladly took it." 231
Goodspeed called Genesis the product of an "Oriental story teller at his best." 232
Julius Brewer, another revisor, stated, "The dates and figures found in the first five books of the Bible turn out to be altogether unreliable." 233
Henry Cadbury, another member of the Revised committee, believed that Jesus Christ was a just man who was subject to story telling. "He was given to overstatements, in his case, not a personal idiosyncrasy, but a characteristic of the Oriental world." 234
He also doubted the deity of Christ. "A psychology of God, if that is what Jesus was, is not available." 235
Cadbury, like Westcott, was a socialist, and he attempted to fit Jesus Christ into the same mold. "His (Jesus') gospel was in brief, a social gospel." 236
Walter Bowie was another revisor who believed that the Old Testament was legend instead of fact. He says in reference to Abraham, "The story of Abraham comes down from the ancient times; and how much of it is fact and how much of it is legend, no one can positively tell." 237
In speaking of Jacob wrestling with the Angel, he says, "The man of whom these words were written (Genesis 32:31) belongs to a time so long ago that it is uncertain whether it records history or legend." 238
Bowie did not believe in the miracle of the burning bush. "One day he (Moses) had a vision. In the shimmering heat of the desert, beneath the blaze of that Eastern sun, he saw a bush that seemed to be on fire, and the bush was not consumed." 239
Clarence Craig was one of the revisors who denied the bodily resurrection of Christ. "It is to be remembered that there were no eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. No canonical gospel PRESUMED to describe Jesus emerging from the tomb. The mere fact that a tomb was found empty was CAPABLE OF MANY EXPLANATIONS. THE VERY LAST ONE THAT WOULD BE CREDIBLE TO A MODERN MAN WOULD BE THE EXPLANATION OF A PHYSICAL RESURRECTION OF THE BODY." 240
Craig also held Westcott's view that Christ's second coming was a spiritual coming, not physical. "In other words, the coming of Christ is to THE HEARTS of those who love him. IT IS NOT HOPE FOR SOME FUTURE TIME, but a present reality of faith." 241
Strangely enough, Craig is found to agree with the position of the present day "godly Christian scholars" who believe that God is not able to preserve His Word. "If God once wrote His revelation in an inerrant book, He certainly failed to provide any means by which this could be passed on without contamination through human fallibility...The true Christian position is that the Bible CONTAINS the record of revelations." 242
Frederick Grant was in agreement with Westcott and Hort's belief in prayer for the dead. "It would seem that modern thought...demands that if prayer be real or effective at all, it shall not cease when those who have gone before advance, as by a bend in the road beyond our sight...must we cease to pray for them? The answer is CEASE NOT TO PRAY, for they are living still, in this world of the other, and still have need of prayers." 243
Willard Sperry shows his dislike for the gospel of John in the following statement. "Some of these sayings, it is true, come from the Fourth Gospel (John), AND WE DO NOT PRESS THAT GOSPEL FOR TOO GREAT VERBAL ACCURACY IN ITS RECORD OF THE SAYINGS OF JESUS." 244
It is a known fact that all liberals attack John's gospel, due to the fact that it makes the strongest statements of the four gospels concerning the deity of Jesus Christ.
William Irwin believed that the Jewish prophets inflated the position of God in the Bible. "The prophets were forced by the disasters that befell to do some hard, painful thinking. THEY WERE FORCED BY THE HISTORY OF THEIR OWN TIMES TO REVISE THEIR MESSAGES AGAIN AND AGAIN IN ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH THE PROGRESS OF THE AGE. THE ASSYRIANS AND THE BABYLONIANS FORCED THEM TO REVISE THEIR CONCEPTION OF YAHWEH FROM TIME TO TIME UNTIL THEY FINALLY MADE HIM GOD OF THE UNIVERSE." 246
Fleming James was yet another Bible revisor who was as much an infidel as any secular college professor in America today. He said concerning Moses' authorship of the first five books of the Bible, "The idea has been shown by scholars to be untenable on many grounds. The view that now prevails is that through these five books, there were FOUR DIFFERENT STRANDS OF NARRATIVE WHICH HAVE BEEN PIECED TOGETHER to make the present story...Two are older and more reliable as history, two proceed from later time and are so coloured by later ideas that they can hardly be called history at all." 246
This almost coincides with Fenton John Anthony Horts' belief concerning the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
"I quite agree that it is most essential to study each Synoptist by himself as a single whole. Only I should add that such a study soon leads one to the fact of their having all largely used at least one common source, and that fact becomes an additional element in their criticism." 247
We also find that he doubted the miracle of the Red Sea crossing.
"What really happened at the Red Sea WE CAN NO LONGER KNOW; but scholars are pretty well agreed that the narrative goes back to some striking and pretentious event which impressed both Moses and the people with the belief that YAHWEH had intervened to save them. THE SAME MAY BE SAID OF THE ACCOUNT OF THE PLAGUES." 248
Concerning Elijah's action in 2 Kings 1:10, he said, "The narrative of calling down fire from heaven upon soldiers sent to arrest him is PLAINLY LEGENDARY." 249
Millar Burrows finalizes the true convictions of the revisors in his statement, "We cannot take the Bible as a whole and in every part as stating with divine authority what we must believe and do." 250
Earlier we studied the beliefs of Drs. Westcott and Hort. We can see how all of these men fit together so well and were able to completely reject God's text in favor of Rome's. Many may make a defense for new translations in claiming that these men are "liberal" scholars, while today's modern translations such as the New American Standard Version and the New International Version are translated by "conservative" scholars. This claim is an empty one, though, because concerning which MSS are to be judged as "best, most reliable, etc...," "conservative" scholars of the day agree wholeheartedly with the conviction of the "liberal" revisors of the 1881 and 1952 revision committees. They BOTH believe that the Roman Catholic text found in Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, etc., is better than the Universal Text of the Authorized Version.
Conservative "scholars" also agree with the liberal "scholars" in their conviction that God could not preserve His words through history.
We see then that the men of the King James Bible were men of great education, education which was tempered by true spirituality and biblical convictions. They were used by God as instruments in His plan for the preservation of His words. They were not "inspired" to write a new revelation. They were empowered by the Holy Spirit to preserve that which had already been written. This is what God had promised in Psalms 12:7.
Another one of the assaults on the Authorized Version is that the early editions contained the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments. In defense, we shall list the seven reasons why the Apocrypha was NOT considered inspired by the Authorized Version translators. 'The reasons assigned for not admitting the Apocryphal books into the Canon, or list, of inspired Scriptures are briefly the following:
For these and other reasons the Apocryphal books, which are all in Greek, except one which is extant only in Latin, are valuable only as "ancient documents, illustrative of the manners, language, opinions, and history of the East." 25l
We see then that the King James translators did not accept the books of the Apocrypha as inspired by God.
Still another complaint against God's Authorized Version is the manner in which certain Greek words have been translated. Today's "God-honoring" scholars "love the Lord and His Bible" but are quick to point out and attack any seeming inconsistency in translation in the Authorized Version. Even the most infinitesimal Greek article is attacked under the guise of seeking to give a more "grammatically correct" translation. This is the claim consistently made by the translating groups, such as the anonymous Lockman Foundation.
This is all very noble sounding. It puts into one's mind a picture of these "hard working scholars" slaving away to remove all of the "mistakes" from the Authorized Version so that we can finally have the pure "Word of God." This is the farthest thing from the truth. The truth is that the new "Bibles" are translated by men who first, desire to eliminate the detested Authorized Version and second, though never admittedly, to make money in the "Bible business." Sad as that is to think, it is true.
The problem with their hypercritical examination of the Authorized Versions is that the same scrutiny is never applied to their own work.
Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, who is known for being very Burgonian in his comments, is nonetheless an outstanding authority in manuscript readings. In several of his works, he has done no more than to examine the new translations under the same unyielding eye with which the modern translators examine the Authorized Version.
Before examining any of his findings and the evidence of the critical apparatus of Nestle's 23rd edition, it must first be remembered that the present day translations and translators act under the premise that the Nestle's Greek New Testament is the closest to the original text. Nestle's text is basically Westcott and Hort's text, which is in turn primarily Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, as Dr. Wilkenson has recorded.
"It was of necessity that Westcott and Hort should take this position. Their own Greek New Testament upon which they had been working for twenty years was founded on Codex B and Codex (Aleph), as the following quotations show:
"If Westcott and Hort have failed, it is an overestimate of the Vatican Codex, to which (like Lachman and Tregelles) they assign the supremacy, while Tischendorf may have given too much weight to the Sinaitic Codex." 252
All modern translators give B and Aleph unbalanced superiority, assuming them to be more accurate because they assume that they are older.
They unfortunately overlooked the fact that the Universal Text has MSS just as old, plus the backing of the church fathers. They also seem not to realize that Egypt is NOT the location for the pure text - old manuscripts maybe, but not pure readings.
Modern translators build their arguments for changing the Authorized Version readings around two very loose rules:
This sounds very good except for one small problem. What happens when the oldest reading conflicts with the majority? The answer is: Do what you want as long as you do not agree with the Authorized Version. This is not an over statement, but it describes the animosity which modern scholarship has for the text of the Authorized Version.
Following will be examples of translations in which modern translators break all their own rules of translating in order to eliminate the readings of the Universal Text of the King James Bible.
The readings to be examined are those which have been pointed out by Dr. Ruckman. We shall compare his references to the footnotes in the critical apparatus of Nestle's 23rd Edition, unless he states such evidence already. The English translation to be examined will be the New American Standard Version, since it is the one which is assumed by most fundamentalists to be sound.
First, the verse to be discessed will be quoted from the Authorized Version, then it will be quoted from the New American Standard Version. The word, words, or passage in question will be italicized.
AV: "As it is written in the prophets, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."
NASV: "As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I will send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way."
Here the New American Standard Version sticks with the premise of using the "oldest" reading. The phrase, "Isaiah the prophet" appears in the Hesychian (Local Text) family represented primarily by B, C, and Aleph.
The problem arises when you read the remainder of verse two and then verse three, the Old Testament quote in verse two is NOT from Isaiah! It is quoted from Malachi 3:1. Verse three is from Isaiah. (Isaiah 40:3) Malachi plus Isaiah does not equal "Isaiah the prophet;" it equals "the prophets."
The reading "the prophets" is found in W along with the Textus Receptus (Universal Text) which is represented by E, F, G, and H in the gospels. It is also found in the majority of witnesses. Also it was cited in 202 A.D., 150 years before Vaticanus or Sinaiticus. 253
Immediately we run into the problem of the "oldest" versus the "majority." It happens though that neither of these two groups is to be judged just because of what they represent. The deciding factor is, which group reads with the Universal Text? That group is the correct group.
In sticking with the Local Text, the Lockman Foundation has managed to print a Bible with a MISTAKE in it! It is obvious that the reading "Isaiah the prophet" is wrong, because Isaiah never said what is quoted in verse two.
Why would anyone try to hide the quote by Malachi? Dr. Ruckman explains, "You see, the quotation from Malachi was reference to Jehovah God the Father! If anyone were to find this reference, they would see that "thy" and "thee" of Mark 1:1,2 is the "me" of Malachi 3:1!" 253
Thus the deity of Christ is hidden in the New American Standard Version even though it claims to "confirm" the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately for the egos of the nameless Lockman Foundation, the Lordship of Jesus Christ was "confirmed" in the wilderness in Matthew chapter four, and God did not have to wait over 1900 years for them to "confirm" it.
AV: "And it came to pass while he blessed them, he was parted from them and carried up to heaven."
NASV: "And it came about that while He was blessing them, He parted from them."
Here we see a portion of Scripture where both the "oldest" and "majority" texts read in favor of the Authorized Version. The inconsistent Lockman Foundation has omitted the phrase "and carried up into heaven" (kai ephereto eis ton houranan) which is in P75, a papyrus MS of the second century, as well as the entire Receptus family, plus A, B, C, E, most other witnesses, and every Latin copy.
On what "weighty" evidence does the Lockman Foundation remove the bodily ascension of Jesus Christ? On the weight of ONE copy of Sinaiticus and ONE copy of D.
As stated before the only rule which is consistently kept by supposed "godly Christian scholars" is the practice of attacking the Authorized Version reading because it upholds the deity of Christ.
It might be advisable for us to look at Acts 1:1,2.
"The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.
"Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:"
You will notice that Luke claims that his "former treatise" (the gospel of Luke) ended with a record of Jesus being "taken up." But in the New American Standard Version's translation of Luke's gospel, Jesus Christ does NOT ascend, but He is left standing flat-footed on the Mount of Olives. Thus, we see that if the gospelist, Luke, could examine both a King James Bible and a New American Standard Version, he would quickly expose the New American Standard Version as a fraudulent adulteration of his 'former treatise."
In other words, "If the King James Bible is good enough for the disciple Luke, then it's good enough for me!"
AV: "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
NASV: "And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy."
In the case of "And they worshipped him" (proskunesantes auton), the New American Standard Version translators actually lose a witness, for in Luke 24:52 even Aleph joins the innumerable mass of witnesses in favor of the King James translators' scholarship. This leaves D to stand alone against several thousands of MSS which uphold the deity of Christ.
With evidence like this, it seems somewhat hypecritical to hear "good, godly men" deride Erasmus for using only five MSS, which represented the oldest and the majority, to collate his text, a text which upholds our Savior. While here we see the Lockman Foundation's corrupters use a minority of the minority to attack two major doctrines of the Bible, the bodily ascension and the deity of Christ.
The argument may be forwarded that "I can still find these doctrines in the New American Standard Version." Yes, but not in as many places as in the Authorized Version. There is NO Bible which upholds Christ's deity as much as the Authorized King James Version.
AV: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
NASV: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who need not to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth."
The critics of the Authorized Version often complain that the scholars of the translation of 1611 have translated a Greek word with an English word which supposedly does not correspond with the correct meaning. This makes the modern translators seem very sincere in that they present themselves as if they would never do such a thing. Here in 2 Timothy 2:15 we find them guilty of that very thing for which they assail the King James translators.
The Greek word the King James translators translate "rightly dividing" (orthotomeo) means just that. The Analytical Greek Lexicon (Zondervan 1970) has it as "to cut straight." There is no Greek evidence for the two words "handling accurately." The Greek word for 'handle'(pselapho) is found in I John 1:1. The Greek word for "accurate" (doloo) does not appear in the Bible. These two words together in no way resemble the Greek word used in II Timothy 2:15 and correctly translated "rightly dividing." As Dr. Ruckman points out, "The Greek word for 'rightly dividing' is found in all four families of manuscripts, all cursives and uncials, of any century." 254 It might be good to note here that Nestle's Greek Text does not even give an alternate reading!
The question which naturally arises in our mind is, "Why would anyone want 2 Timothy 2:15 to read "handling accurately?" The answer is found in the preface to the New American Standard Version in which it (the NASV)is called a translation of "linguistic accuracy." 255
In other words the Lockman Foundation says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." The Lockman Foundation then says that IT has handled God's Word accurately! To pat one's self on the back so often and so obviously must make for tired arms.
Let us look at a word change which is designed to keep the Roman Catholic Church "in business."
AV: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
NASV: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
Confession of sins has been a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries.
The Greek word for "faults" (paraptomata) is found in MSS E, F, G, H, S, V, Y, and Omega, plus the rest of the Receptus family and the greater number of all remaining witnesses. Nestle's text inserts "sins" (tax amarties) with NO manuscript authority, and the misguided men of the Lockman Foundation accept it with no evidence. Perhaps there are more Jesuits lurking in the shadows than we think! Anyone accepting an alternate reading with no evidence CANNOT be credited with acting ethically or scholarly.
One last passage shall suffice:
AV: "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
NASV: "Jesus heard that they had put him out; and finding him, He said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?'"
Here once again the "conservative scholars" of the New American Standard Version and other "Bibles" have attempted to water down the deity of Christ.
The word for "God" (Theou) is found in MSS E, F, G, H, S, V, Y, Omega, Theta, the majority of the remaining miniscules, most of the remaining witnesses, plus the entire Latin tradition.
The Greek word "man" (anthropouo) is upheld by one Twentieth Century Greek scholar.
It is strange indeed that the Lockman Foundation is quick to strip Jesus Christ's Godship away from Him. Here, the "conservative" scholars of the secret Lockman Foundation are in complete agreement with the "liberal" scholars of the Revised Standard Version. These are strange bedfellows! I am certainly glad that the translators of the Christ-exalting Authorized Version never "slept" in this bed.
This is, of course, NOT a "God-honoring" translation. I know that the deity of Christ "can be found" in other places in the New American Standard Version, but it now "can be found" in one less place than in the Authorized Version.
Would John, in penning the gospel that is intended to exalt Jesus Christ as God, use the term "Son of Man"? Dr. Ruckman explains:
"One of the great critical dictums for correcting the A.V. 1611 Greek manuscripts is that 'one should always choose language and expressions most charcteristic of the author.' Well, what in the world would possess a man who was acquainted with John's style (in the Gospels), to suddenly write "Son of man" where Jesus is dealing with a sinner on matters of doctrinal belief? Is this characteristic of John? It isn't in any 20 passages, anywhere, in the Gospel of John! "The Son of God" is the correct reading, and the ASV, RSV, and all the new 'Bibles' are greatly in error, 'not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.'" 256
The Apostle John NEVER called Jesus Christ the "Son of Man" anywhere in his gospel when dealing with a doctrinal belief. Furthermore, the context of the book defines the correct translation in that the multitude cried for Jesus Christ's crucifixion in John 19:7 because "he made himself the Son of God." (Greek: huion Theos heauton epoinsen.) This statement so struck the already frantic Pilate, that "he was more afraid" (John 19:8) at which time he hurried back to where Jesus Christ was waiting and asked, "Whence art thou?" Pilate realized that there was something supernatural about Jesus Christ. It is too bad the elusive Lockman Foundation has never come to such a realization.
We have looked at only a few passages where modern translators have made unwarranted changes in God's Word. The result is a change in doctrine. It is evident then that, no matter what Bible salesmen may say about being able to "find" the fundamentals in any of the new translations, they are still weaker on doctrine than the God-honoring Authorized Version. I repeat, EVERY new "Bible" is doctrinally weaker than the King James Authorized Version. Why then should any school or preacher use a "Bible" in which they must "search" to prove doctrines which are more than evident in the King James Bible? If we honor Jesus Christ, then we should just naturally choose and use the Bible which honors Him the most. In case after case, the Christ-honoring Bible is found to be the King James Bible.
Finally, it must be remembered that the Authorized Version is the only Bible ever released without fanfare.
The Revised Version, the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the Living Bible, the Good News for Modern Man, the New International Version, the New King James Version, and all other new translations have been published with a great advertising "blitz." They have all attempted to replace the Authorized Version in the study, in the pulpit, in memorization, and in the hearts of believers. They have all failed. Those which have not failed are destined to fail, except for one.
To explain the last statement, let us look at a few facts. For every truth which God has, Satan has many counterfeits and then one ultimate counterfeit. Look at the following example:
We see from the above example that there is one true God. Satan has many false "gods" for people in this world to worship. Satan himself is the ultimate "false god."
We further see that there is one true Christ. Satan has many spirits of anti-Christ. During the tribulation there will be a manifestation of "the Antichrist."
God has one true church made up of born-again believers. Satan has many congregations serving him on this earth today. During the tribulation the ultimate Satanic church located in Rome (Babylon the Great) will again be in power.
God has preserved His Words in one Bible. Satan has many "Bibles." I believe it seems certain that someday in the future he will have one ultimate Satanic "Bible." It will probably be called a "New Authorized Version."
Notice that in the examples above, the "many" counterfeits seem to run in conjunction with the Church Age. Satan's ultimate counterfeit is always manifested during the Great Tribulation when the Holy Spirit has ceased to deal with mankind. I believe that there is a time when Satan will have an anti-bible exalted as the true Word of God just as surely as he will have an Antichrist exalted as the Son of God. It seems likely that this will not take place until the great Tribulation. Until then, God will be exalted, Jesus Christ will be exalted, Christ's church will be exalted, and the Authorized Version will be exalted.
In spite of the publicity campaigns to sell "Bibles," they all fail. The American Standard Version is a prime example. It was heralded as a replacement for the King James when it was published in 1901. Twenty-three years later it went broke and sold its copyright to the National Council of Churches. Was God's hand on this "Bible?" If so, WHY wasn't it accepted and used by Christianity even MORE than the Authorized Version? Was Satan able to overcome God's Will? If God's hand was not on the American Standard Version, why would the Lockman Foundation try to "resurrect" it?
"The producers of this translation were imbued with the conviction that interest in the American Standard Version should be renewed and increased.
"Perhaps the most weighty impetus for this undertaking can be attributed to a disturbing awareness that the American Standard Version of 1901 was fast disappearing from the scene." (From the Preface of the New American Standard Bible.) 257
If God wouldn't use the American Standard Version, WHY would the Lockman Foundation want to? If God's blessing was on the American Standard Version, and it died in twenty-three years without even a minor revival, HOW has the Authorized Version lasted nearly four hundred years in spite of all of the "better translations" which God has supposedly been "blessing"?
Of course, there is no answer for these questions, unless it is admitted that God's Bible is the Authorized Version and that He will preserve it whether the Christian educators can help it or not. God will continue to use this English version of sthe Universal Text and will continue to ignore the English versions of the Local Text, no matter who the fundamentalist is that recommends them and no matter what size college may use them. Advertisement will not help.
In this book we have observed the battle which rages in fundamental circles concerning the question of the perfect English translation.
We have taken a scriptural look at the localities from which we have obtained the extant MSS.
We have looked closely at the witnesses and have examined their testimony in light of our two ground rules, and in respect to their place of origin and faithfulness to the Lordship of Christ.
We have taken a careful look at the true enemy of the Word of God, the Roman Catholic Church. In so doing, we have examined Rome's efforts and goals concerning the overthrow of the God-honored Universal Text. We have seen that in the past, this organization has been ruthless in her attempt to exterminate both Christians and their Bible. We can be confident that her goals have not changed.
We have looked into the lives of the two men who were primarily responsible for the successful overthrow of the Universal Text in textual criticism, and have discovered that they were not the "godly conservative scholars" which many brethren claim they were.
Lastly, we have looked at the Authorized Version, a Bible which has lasted through time in spite of major efforts by fundamentalists and liberals both to replace it with the Roman Catholic Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt. We have compared the scholarship and piety of the King James translators to the liberal and infidelic standards of the revisors of 1881 and 1952, who have been faithfully followed by the Lockman Foundation and other modern translators. We have briefly investigated the manuscript readings in a Christ-honoring light.
Throughout this work we have answered some of the common innuendoes hurled at God's Authorized Version, such as "archaic words," supposed authorization by King James, supposed "better" MSS being in favor of new translations, etc.
What is the conclusion?
The conclusion is that first, we Christians who call ourselves "Bible-believing fundamentalists" need to realize that the true enemy to the King James Bible is Rome. Christian colleges should closely examine their curriculum and philosophy of teaching concerning its relationship to the Authorized Version. Preachers should remove all new "Bibles" from their pulpits and private studies, realizing that Rome's teaching moves very subtly.
Secondly, it is time to turn away from the teaching that Westcott and Hort were two born-again, Bible-believing scholars. They were not. They and their long-dead theories concerning the Bible should be treated with all the sincerity with which Darwin and his theory are treated in Christian circles.
Thirdly, it is hoped that Christian preachers and teachers would direct their zeal for the Lord in more positive action than in attempting to destroy the Christians faith in God's perfect Word, and to insult or ruin fundamental brethren who disagree with them concerning the history of the manuscripts. I believe that parties on both sides have been extremely guilty of attacking each other with such zeal as to be a source of never ending joy for the Roman Catholic Church.
Brethren who believe the Authorized Version have been sadly maligned due to a misteaching on the part of those who do not believe it. Believers in the Authorized Version attempted to "fight fire with fire." This has left a sad division in fundamental circles. A faithful return to the Authorized Version will not only be honoring to God, but will be helpful in mending the wounds of nearly one hundred years of warfare with the wrong enemy.
There is no Bible that exalts Jesus Christ any higher than the Authorized Version. There is no Bible that has ever been more blessed by God than the Authorized Version. There is no Bible which is more hated by Satan and the Roman Catholic Church than the Authorized Version. There is no Bible which is more clearly translated nor is any easier to read than the Authorized Version. There is no Bible which teaches doctrine more clearly than the Authorized Version.
I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I love His Book. I am thankful for His graciousness in giving me a perfect Bible in English. To show my appreciation, I intend to read it, believe it, learn it, memorize it, promote it, defend it, love it, keep it, and most of all, be in subjection to God's authority through it. In appreciation, I will not change it - not a colon or a comma, not even an italicized word, not a chapter, nor a verse marking. Nor will I condemn the parts I do not understand. I will not "correct" the parts I do not like. I will exalt Jesus Christ and give His Book any benefit of the doubt. I will not worry about "what the Greek says" but will accept the "English" God has given me. It is a spiritual Book. God's Hand is on it. I need no more. No other version comes close to it nor ever will. There is no reason that it should be replaced, for it is every word of God preserved in English and placed in my hand. It is up to me to place it in my heart.
As the very great man of God, Lester Roloff, once said, "The Bible - we don't need to rewrite it, we need to reread it!"
What more can be said about this grand Book than what it says about itself?
Psalms 12:6, 7 says, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Thank you, Lord, for your perfect Bible, the Authorized King James Bible.
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