THE WORD OF GOD
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE BIBLE
ByZander Dell Raines
COPYRIGHT, 1997-APOCALYPSE PRODUCTIONS
THE MODERN VERSIONS-1887 TO ?_
HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)
THE ETERNAL CONFLICT
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, god hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.-Genesis 3:1-5
God has a plan for man. It was and is a glorious plan. Leave it to the old devil to come along and try to ruin everything. He's done this to each and every one of us at one time or another. Here he comes to muck up things for Adam and Eve. Satan brings Eve three lies. Take careful note of these lies. Never forget them. These lies will later come to be the basis for every false religion in the world today.
The first lie is 'Yea, hath God said?'. Satan did not come to Eve and say there was no God. That wouldn't work. Satan didn't even come to Eve saying he was God. Eve knew better than that. For Satan to destroy Eve's faith in God, he must destroy her faith in God's word. Satan is still in that same business today.
The second lie is 'ye shall not surely die.'. The one thing that Satan is most frightened of is hell and the final judgment. Every false religion has some other fate for their believers, either oblivion or reincarnation. For Satan's plan to work he must destroy your faith in the fact that it is given man once to die and then the judgment. For Satan any lie would be better than this eternal truth. He fears it terribly.
The third lie is 'ye shall be as gods.'. This is the lie that got Satan kicked out of heaven in the first place. Satan's entire master plan is wrapped around the fact that he really believes that someday, somehow he will finally defeat the forces of heaven and become God himself. Now he is using this same lie on Eve.
THE REASON FOR THE DIFFERENCE
There is a basic difference in the source and the reason behind the different English versions of the Bible. Basically it boils down to this. There is an original Hebrew Old Testament compiled in Jerusalem, and a major revision of this Old Testament that was done in Alexandria, Egypt. There is an original Greek New Testament compiled in Antioch, and a major revision of this New Testament that was also done in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Authorized King James Version (Ecclesiastes 8:4a) uses the original Hebrew Old and the original Greek New Testaments. The version we use today is a language update of that original. In 1881 scholars were commissioned to do another update, but they instead secretly changed the source texts, replacing the original texts with the Alexandrian revision texts (Job 15:35).
Thus the battle began and continued until 1948 when the dead sea scrolls were discovered. One reason scholars in 1881 gave for their major revision was that the Hebrew Old Testament was not in use at the time of Christ. The scrolls proved that the Hebrew Old Testament was indeed used at the time of Christ.
Most newer English versions of the Bible since that time, those beginning with the word "new", now use the Hebrew Old Testament, but still cling to the Alexandrian New Testament, developed by Origen in Egypt around AD 250. Thus they are superior to their older brothers, but still inferior to the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. Thus the question about the different English versions of the Bible becomes much simpler. Do you prefer the original Hebrew Old Testament and the original Greek New Testament or the Alexandrian revision texts from Egypt (Isaiah 30:1-3)?
There is another reason for the multitude of newer versions coming out each year and updating the language of the Bibles that came out the year before. It really has nothing to do with language because everyone knows language changes, but not enough to warrant a new version every year. The real reason is in something that an old preacher friend of mine told me years ago. "If it doesn't make sense, there's a buck in it!" (I Timothy 6:10). Biblicist Joseph C. Philpott, one of the major 19th century defenders of the Received Text put it well when he said the following.
"To alter the Bible would unsettle the minds of thousands as to which is the word of God. There would be two Bibles spread throughout the land, and what confusion would this create in almost every place! If the new translation were once to begin, where would it end? The Socinians would strike out 'God' in I Timothy 3:16, and strike out I John 5:7 as an interpolation. The AV is, we believe, the grand bulwark of protestantnism: the safeguard of the gospel and the treasure of the church; and we should be traitors in every sense of the word if we consented to give it up to be rifled by the sacrilegious hands of the Puseyites, concealed papists, German neologians, infidel divines, Arminians, Socinians, and the whole tribe of enemies of God and godliness."
What Brother Philpott explains here is merely a recounting of Church history as he knew it. When the first Pope Constantine of Rome chose to set aside the Received Text of the Bible and replace it with the Alexandrian texts, he began to promote a line of corrupt texts that we are still dealing with today.
THE REVISED VERSION
From 1611 to 1858, the Authorized King James Bible went through 14 editions, each one updated the language from the Middle English of the original edition to the language that we see in it today. This period of time is the greatest time of evangelism in the history of the world as the Reformation is in full swing.
In 1881, a master plan is hatched to bring the Reformation to a screeching halt, a plan under which the church is still reeling today. The Church of England decides to update the language of the Authorized King James Bible once again. A committee is chosen to begin the work. There were two men on the committee named Westcott and Hort. These men had previously put together a Greek text of the Bible based on the corrupt Alexandrian Text.
Being two of the greatest textual critics of their day, they were able to convince the committee to replace the Received Text of the Bible with their Greek text. At that time there was over 1,000 different Hebrew and Greek texts of the Scriptures in the world. Out of all of these texts, Westcott and Hort had decided that only two of them, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, were the oldest and the best, which just happened to be the ones they had based their Greek text on. The Vaticanus was discovered in the Pope's private library at the Vatican in Rome. The Sinaiticus had been discovered at a Roman Catholic monastery on the Sinai Peninsula.
When Westcott and Hort were able to force their view onto their committee, Satan was able to once again force his corrupt Bible upon the Christians of the world. The final work of this committee, when presented to the court of England, was exposed as being based on the corrupt Alexandrian Text, so the official authorization was refused. The new Bible became known as the Revised Version. Thus the Authorized King James Bible that we have today became the last Authorized version of the Bible. Religious scholars everywhere praised the Revised Version. In this way, young preachers began to be given the corrupt copy of the Bible that originally had been made in Alexandria, Egypt, in place of the true Scriptures, as God had originally given it to the church in the Received Text. The flood gates were now opened.
Since that time, over 100 different English versions of the Bible have been written. Each one claims to be better than all those before it, while each one seemingly is more corrupt than its predecessors. The newer versions not only disagree with the Authorized Version, but they also disagree with each other. In fact, in many instances, they even contradict themselves. Satan is delighted. You see, he doesn't need you to believe in any particular version of the Bible. He wants to confuse the issue of Bible authority so much that you won't know which one to believe, so that in the end, it is not the word of God that tells us the truth, we will have to decide what that is for ourselves. In other words, it is the same old trick that Satan first pulled in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1). Only now it is used against the entire body of Christ.
As Satan said to Eve, he now says to the Church. "Yea, hath God said?" Suddenly an entire generation of Christians grow up, not teethed on the Received Text of the Bible as their forefathers were. Instead they are given a Babel of Bibles and told to decide for themselves what the true word of God is. The great revivals in America come to a screeching halt. One denomination fights against another as they each settle down with a version of God's word that best suits their traditions. Satan is overjoyed as our Christian nation is sapped of its zeal and power.
"Yea, hath God said?" Suddenly no one seems to know for sure. Pick a verse, any verse. If you don't like it, if is condemns you for any reason, just change to another version. You're sure to find one that will suit your pet doctrines sooner or later. As of the present time, there is a vast multitude of English translations that change God's word in thousands of places. God help us all as we try to once again stand firm against this onslaught of the enemy, as the Apostle Paul did in his day.
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.- II Corinthians 2:17
When dealing with God's word, one of the facets we need to look at is the matter that some friends of mine found themselves faced with some time back. These men were Christian scholars who were putting together a series of studies of the Bible using parallel texts. They had chosen to use the Authorized King James Bible and one of the modern versions. While working on the project, one of them noted a mistake in the modern version. It was not a major doctrinal catastrophe, but rather more of a typo. They contacted the publisher to flag them to the mistake, and the publisher gave them a rather fascinating response. They refused to make the change and they based their decision, not on some rare Greek, Hebrew, or Latin text, but rather based on the U.S. copyright laws. You see, they owned the copyright to that particular version of the Bible. They made it very clear that these were their words and they simply refused to correct it, even in the face of clear evidence of the error.
All modern versions that I know of have a copyright. By the essence of our own laws, those words are the property of men. No one can use those words without the express permission of the person who holds the copyright. Put simply, the words the modern versions are the words of men (I Thessalonians 2:13).
The Authorized King James Bible, on the other hand, is a book that is part of what is called the public domain. These words are the property of no man. No one gets a penny in copyright fees for the word of God. Now I have in my Bible collection several King James Study Bibles that do show a copyright in the front. This copyright covers the footnotes, references, study helps, etc. that men had added to the Bible as study aids. If you call these publishers, they will make it very clear to you that they or no one else holds a copyright on the Authorized King James Bible.
Checking my Authorized King James Bible, I do not find the notice you are speaking of, not even in my 1611 reprint. This is major news. If what you say is true, then many major Bible publishers are breaking the copyright laws for not paying the proper copyright fees. Who did you say they are required by current copyright law to pay these fees to?
You see, I work with several major Bible publishers and they have all told me that the Authorized King James Bible is public domain and has not copyright fees attached. There are major battles going on in the courts right now around the world because several missionary organizations have printed Bibles to give away in evangelism efforts are being sued by the modern Bible publishers for not paying the appropriate copyright fees.
The reason they did not is (1)they are giving the Bibles away for the sake of the gospel, not making money on them, and (2) they have been carrying out this practice for years using the Authorized King James Bible with no copyright restrictions. It seems that the missionaries are wanting to spread the word, while others are making merchandise of it (II Peter 2:1-3), which is one of the problems we have been speaking of all along. The good news is, because of the great problems this situation is created for those whose true aim is to spread the gospel (I Timothy 6:10), most of these missionary efforts are now going back to the Authorized King James Bible.
I was raised in a little Baptist Church in the country. They believed that the KJV was the only version to use. When I became a teenager, I decided that this position was just old-fashioned and began to collect other English versions that I would read, although I still only used the KJV at church.
This went on for several years. Finally a lady, knowing I collected Bibles, gave me a Catholic Bible. I had already heard of the Bible versions controversy, so I used this opportunity to do my own study. What I had heard was that the newer versions were actually based on the Catholic texts. I took my KJV and the Catholic Bible and did my own comparative study, verse by verse.
Whenever the two versions disagreed, I would cross-reference to all of my modern versions to see which they agreed with. The vast majority of the time, the modern versions sided with the Vatican text and opposed the KJV. Suddenly I could see before me very graphically displayed, what I had heard for years. This discovery set me off on a study of text history and church history that has lasted for decades. I now have a huge library of books that address this issue from every possible direction.
The final straw for me on this issue came from the Bible itself. I had found that when you refer to most biblical scholars, for every 12 scholars you will get 12 different answers. So I went back to the Bible to do a study on what the Bible said about the scriptures. The word Bible does not appear in the Bible, but the word scripture appears over 60 times in the New Testament. In none of these instances is it speaking not of the original autographs, but of faithful copies of faithful copies of the Old Testament that existed at the time of Christ. 400 years of copying the Hebrew Old Testament, and God still calls it the Holy Scriptures. Put simply, God said it! That settles it whether I believe it or not!
I believe that the world is presently on its last, long slide into the time that Jesus calls the great tribulation (Matthew 24), which will take place just before His triumphant return to rule the earth. This is a time when the whole world will turn against the gospel and turn to another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). I have seen this happening firsthand over the last 40 years here in America. Even though it may be that we are fighting a losing battle for now, we must continue to stand for the truth. The good news is that God will soon return to restore all things (Revelation 22:7).
It has been the premise of many Bible believers for years that evolution, along with modern textual criticism, are both sciences that Paul warned us about (I Timothy 6:20-21). We simply don't believe that the texts have evolved. We have always maintained that God did it right the first time. It was years later that the texts would be greatly changed at Alexandria, Egypt to make them more politically correct for the Graeco-Roman society of that day.
Thus one line of texts were corrupted and actually de-volved. Those de-volved texts would take the church into the Dark Ages. The Protestant Reformers had full knowledge of these texts, which at that time were called the Vatican manuscript, and totally rejected them. They based their English Bibles on the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible instead. This continued to be the case until the 19th century when the Vatican text would be again introduced to the church in the Revised Version. Nearly all English versions since that time have also been based on the de-volved Alexandrian texts.
Bible believers, as I have always understood the term, are those who believe as the early church and the Protestant Reformers did. The danger we see here is that these de-volved Alexandrian texts will take the church into a new Dark Ages (Matthew 24) as it has already done once before.
So much of church history, not to mention the Holy Bible, outlines Satan's attack on the word of God. Jasper James Ray, in his book "God wrote only one Bible", draws a parallel concerning the two distinct lines of texts that can be clearly seen down through the centuries. Let me share it with you.
"At first the only scriptures in existence were those given by inspiration of God (II Peter 1:21). These messages were put into writing, and when placed into book form, they became Bible number one, the true
word of God. This stream has come to us crystal clear, through the divine providence of God's omniscience. It's pure, life-giving water of God's inspired word has power to produce saving faith (Romans 10:17). The other Bibles have come to us in a stream whose waters are clouded with the "Mud"
of philosophic, scholastic textual criticism, and seems in part to be based upon the reasonings of the "natural man" (I Corinthians 2:14). The source of this stream is uncertain, hypothetical, and untrustworthy. It has produced a multiplicity of Bible versions which differ so much from each other that the result is faith repelling confusion."
G. W. Anderson, in the article "The Authorized Version", has drawn some fascinating parallels between the Darwinian theory of evolution and the Westcott-Hort theory of modern textual criticism. His insights deserve to be mentioned here.
"Many modern scholars, it seems, have trouble accepting what God said in His word is true in all of its aspects. Since science has 'proved' evolution, modern man has re-interpreted Genesis to include thousands of millions of years of time to incorporate evolution. Since scholars have studied man to understand how his mind and emotions function, modern man has warped Scripture to incorporate modern psychology-a psychology that denies the sinfulness of man and thus the need for the Saviour.
"Textual criticism has suffered the same fate at the hands of modern man. No longer is the Bible presumed to be correct and inerrant in all its statements, even down to the individual words. Instead, the Bible is presumed to be just another piece of literature, to be 'corrected' according to the standards held by current scholarship.
"On the other hand, the Greek Received Text, upon which the New Testament of the Authorized Version is based, was produced at a time when men accepted the Bible as the inspired, errorless word of the living God. Whether working on the Greek text itself, or translating the text into English or any other language, they treated it as the very word of God. They appreciated that through this book, God was speaking to His people; thus they were careful not to allow theories outside the realm of Christianity to enter into their work. In this day and age, even many who believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures have accepted theories of textual criticism and translation that are inconsistent with inerrancy."
Brother Anderson's insights makes is easier to see why men like Westcott and Hort, who believed that the Genesis story of creation was only a myth and that Darwin's theory was true, would have no trouble treating the Bible like any other book.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:-Ephesians 4:14-15
The current discussion concerning the origins and preservation of the Holy Scriptures, in the end, finally boils down to three questions. While it is a little shocking to learn just how many who claim to be Bible scholars feel that parts of the Bible are simply myth, this actually only shows the extent of the unbelief that is currently infecting the church in our day. With that in mind, let me share these three questions, along with the answers to them as given by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, a Bible believing scholar.
1. Would God inspire the text of the Holy Scriptures and then allow it to become lost?"Within our diverse denominational backgrounds are found various confessions of faith. These statements of faith concerning the Holy Scriptures, particularly within conservative evangelical backgrounds, always say something to the effect that we believe that God gave the original Scriptures inerrant. We profess to believe in the originals, that they were divinely inspired by God - God breathed. Now we say that, intending it as a statement of faith, but we shall soon come to see that it is in reality a statement of unbelief!"
In other words, to believe that God only inspired the originals is to actually say that there was once a group of writings, which were never collected in one place at one time, which, if they had been brought together would have created a divinely inspired Bible. The facts of history prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the originals of all the books are not to be found existing at the same time at any point in history. This would also mean that the divinely inspired word of God no longer exists anywhere on the earth today. It would seem that this would leave us on the horns of a dilemma, unless we expand our original belief to included faithful copies and translations of those selfsame originals are also to be considered the word of God.
2. If God did inspire the texts of the Holy Scriptures, would He not preserve it?"The New Testament was written in Greek whereas the Old Testament was mostly authored in Hebrew. It may surprise many to learn that there are no original manuscripts of the Bible available today. The Old Testament scribes destroyed the scrolls upon which Scripture was written as they became worn, and ‘dog-eared’ from so much handling. When they copied out a new one, they destroyed the old so that the earliest Old Testament manuscript now in existence is dated about 900 AD. This is called the Hebrew Masoretic Text. It was the earliest witness to the text of the O.T. that we possessed until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls which contain some parts of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah. Likewise, We possess no "original" New Testament manuscripts - none of the "autographs" which the apostles wrote have been preserved."
Does God's inspired word still exist on the earth today? Many modern textual critics would have us believe that indeed it does not. Thus the door is left open for any liberal doctrines to take the place of divine authority. Who would want such a situation to exist? Would God, or would the devil want to plant such doubts in the minds of the church to destroy their belief in the Holy Scriptures? Are the truths of the church now to be determined by a vote of the present membership of the church? Keep in mind that, while modern liberal theology has many strongholds in the world today, the vast majority of Christians throughout history have been Bible believers who truly believed that God literally means what he teaches us in the Bible. Thus if we take a vote of all Christians in all ages would prove very different. In fact, I believe that if we polled all Christians today, the vote would also come out the same, but that is besides the point. The point is if our God promised to preserve His word, as He does many times in the Bible, is He powerful enough to pull it off or not?
3. Is Satan circulating counterfeits of the originals to undermine the faith of the church?"Is there someone who has always hated God's Word, wanted to destroy it, and has attempted to cloud man's mind and heart about its validity? In other words, as we read the Bible, is there any evidence that somebody has founded a "Yea, has God said" society?
"According to Genesis 3:1, Bible corruption began with Satan. Satan is the original Bible reviser. When he confronted Eve in the garden, he added to God's Word, he subtracted, he diluted and finally substituted his own doctrine for that which God had said.
"We find this occurring today. People are trying to add books to the Old and subtract words from the New Testament. Nothing has changed. We need to understand that the devil is promoting this continuing attack on the Word of God."
Here we come to what I believe is the true heart of the matter. If Satan exists, as the Bible plainly teaches he does, does he have a stake in this matter? Does he want us to believe that the sword of the Spirit is still available to us today, or would he prefer for us to accept the belief that our main weapon against him wastes away many years ago among the parchments of long ago? These are all questions we all need to ask as we attempt to separate the wheat from the tares in this matter.
With this in mind, I will now yield the next section of our study to Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, as he explains about two primary characters in this biblical drama. Their names are Dr. Westcott and Hort, who masterminded the 1887 revision of the Holy Scriptures.
AN ASSESSMENT OF WESTCOTT AND HORT - THEIR CHARACTERS
The naturalistic critics say that Erasmus could not have been providentially guided in the editing of the Textus Receptus because he was a humanist and a Roman Catholic. They purport that Westcott and Hort were epoch making scholars directly guided by God's providence to restore the New Testament, having completed their assignment in 1881. However, if we compare the character of Erasmus to those of Westcott and Hort, we shall see that such a declaration is vacuous and specious. It thus becomes necessary to draw a contrast between the lives of Messers B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort with Erasmus in order to evaluate these charges and claims of the critics as well as to grasp the full impact of this exposé.
Westcott, an Anglican Bishop and professor at Cambridge University, and Hort – also an ordained Anglican priest and professor at Cambridge – came to participate on the 1881 Revision Committee of the King James Bible under the guise of being Protestant scholars. Actually, they were very Roman Catholic in doctrine, belief, and practice. Both conservative and liberal branches of Christendom hold Westcott and Hort in high esteem as if God had greatly used these men to reestablish and restore the text of the Bible. However, it is most difficult to believe that God would use two men to perform such a task who did not believe that the Bible was the verbal Word of God.
Westcott and Hort maintained that they had raised New Testament textual criticism to the level of an exact science. Thus when they concluded that the Traditional Text was late and a composite reading resulting from combining older text-types, they affirmed that this should be regarded as the true explanation with the same degree of reliance as one would esteem a Newtonian theorem. Indeed, they asserted that their work had been so scientifically and carefully executed that there could never be more than one change per thousand words. Nevertheless, today most liberal (or lost) modern scholars say that they no longer agree completely with the Westcott-Hort theory. Kurt Aland, a foremost leader of the modern school, is representative when he admits to this in saying:
"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 d' être, 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."
Still, these same liberals always begin their own investigations with the acceptance of most of the basic W-H tenants. Sadly, most conservative scholars have accepted the W-H theory of textual history – largely because most Christian scholars fear scholastic and intellectual ridicule. To stand against the tide carries with it the stigma of appearing uninformed and non-progressive, resulting in the loss of credibility and status among one's peers. The man of God should never allow his faith to be intimidated by so-called "scholarship" – for God promised to preserve His Word.
From published letters written by Westcott and Hort, either to each other or to family members, the following has been gleaned. On one occasion, Mr. Westcott was near a monastery and, upon going into the chapel, found a pieta. In writing from France to his fiancee in 1847 concerning the event he wrote: "Had I been alone, I could have knelt there for hours." As he was not alone, he had to refrain for to have so done would have revealed just how Roman his beliefs actually were. On November 17, 1865 he wrote to Archbishop Benson remarking, "I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry bears witness." He stated that the fall of man was an allegory covering a long succession of evolutions. He rejected Genesis 1-3 as a literal history and also denied the fall of man. Westcott felt all women should be named "Mary" so that his wife Sarah, at his request, added "Mary" to her name and he ever so addressed her. Does that sound like a Protestant?
With regard to spiritual authority in general and especially the Bible's being the final authority, Mr. Hort said: "Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue." On October 17, 1865 Hort wrote "I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and 'Jesus-worship' have very much in common in their causes and their results". Hort praised his "prayer boxes" which he carried about with him. These contained statues (idols) to which he prayed. Confessing in a 26 October, 1867 letter to Dr. Lightfoot that he was a staunch sacerdotalist, Hort wrote to Westcott regarding the Protestant's teaching of the "priesthood of the believer" as being a "crazy horror"! He believed neither in a literal Garden of Eden nor that Adam's fall differed in any degree from that of any of his descendants. In a March 4, 1890 letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Old Testament Criticism, Westcott gave his "amen" to Hort's last sentiment by penning: "No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history – I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did."
Although not wishing to be under the dominion of the Pope, in writing to Rev. John Ellerton on July 6, 1848, Hort said: "the pure Romanish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to, the truth than the evangelical view. ... We dare not forsake the sacraments or God will forsake us." In a December 14, 1846 letter to his father, Hort wrote " ... Methodism ... is worse than popery ... being more insidious", and in an 1864 correspondence to Bishop Westcott he stated his conviction that "Protestantism is only parenthetical and temporary". Indeed, Hort wrote Westcott (December 4, 1861) of preferring Greek philosophy and "its precious truth" to the Christian revelation in which he said he found "... nothing, and should be very much astonished and perplexed to find anything".
Both W&H came under the influence of J.H. Newman, an Anglican Bishop who returned to the Roman church and was made Cardinal. Newman held a doctrine of angelology in which he taught the gnostic view that there were many intermediates between God and His creation. Westcott and Hort also fell under the spell of Coleridge and Maurice, two Unitarians who were pantheistic and metaphysical, holding low estimates of "inspiration of Scripture". Coleridge said "Reason was the divine logos."
Frederick Maurice was the son of a Unitarian minister and a brilliant student of Oxford and Cambridge. Having become a clergyman in the Church of England, he was dismissed as principal of King's College, London, on charges of heresy. Maurice had a commanding influence on many of the leaders of his day, especially Dr. Hort who wrote of him November 8, 1871: "... Mr. Maurice has been a dear friend of mine for twenty-three years, and I have been deeply influenced by his books". Westcott also admitted he owed much to the writings of Maurice, and Hort's son wrote of his father: "In undergraduate days, if not before, he came under the spell of Coleridge".
Thus we have two Anglican priests whose stated beliefs were strongly Roman. Both accepted Darwin's theory of evolution. Writing to Rev. John Ellerton, April 3, 1860, Hort declared: "But the book that has engaged me most is Darwin. ... it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with. ... My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable."
Denying that the death of Christ Jesus made the once for all vicarious atonement for the sinner, W&H choose instead to emphasize atonement through the incarnation rather than through the crucifixion. This view was an attempt to exalt Mary's position as, of course, she was prominent at the conception and birth of Jesus. Such posture upholds the Roman Catholic Mass. So their view was that of atonement through Jesus' conception and birth rather than his shed blood!
Further, Westcott doubted the Biblical account of miracles. Writing in his diary, August 11, 1847, Bishop Westcott penned:
"I never read an account of a miracle but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover some want of evidence in the account of it."
Indeed, Westcott and Hort did not even believe the original autographs of the Scriptures were God inspired! Writing in their "Introduction", they impiously stated:
"Little is gained by speculating as to the precise point at which such corruptions came in. They may be due to the original writer, or to his amanuensis if he wrote from dictation, or they may be due to one of the earliest transcribers." (emphasis author's)
Westcott and Hort belonged to what Westcott's son referred to as "The Ghostly Guild." Westcott took a leading role in this society and its proceedings, the purpose of which was the investigation of ghosts and other supernatural appearances. They believed that such things existed. Concerning this society, Hort wrote to Rev. John Ellerton on December 29, 1851:
"Westcott, Gorham, C.B. Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Lauard, 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 disillusions." Such is spiritism and is absolutely forbidden by Scripture.
Westcott's son wrote of his father's communing with "saints" especially at a great cathedral at Petersburg where "there was much company." On that same page he wrote that his father said, in speaking of the chapel at Auckland Castle, it was "full" and that he was "not alone" in the darkness. He was, of course, communing with demonic spirits supposing that they were ghosts (the souls of men who had lived formerly). However, the Word of God clearly teaches that "familiar spirits" are demons impersonating people. They are not the spirits and/or souls of people who have lived previously.
Both of these men denied the deity of Christ Jesus and they denied the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture. Moreover, Hort spent the last eight years of his life working with Westcott in translating the Books of Wisdom and Maccabees, two uninspired writings.
Dr. David Otis Fuller, in his book "Which Bible?", makes an astute observation that cuts to the quick concerning the matters before us:"Because of the changes which came about in the nineteenth century, there arose a new type of Protestantism and a new version of the Protestant Bible. This new kind of Protestantism was hostile to the fundamental doctrines of the Reformation. Previous to this there had been only two types of Bibles in the world, the Protestant and the Catholic. Now Protestants were asked to choose between the true Protestant Bible and one which reproduced readings rejected by the Reformers."
About half-way through the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln begins to realize the big picture of what was going on concerning America and slavery. He realized that war was not a work of evil men, but rather a judgment from God for a nation turning away from Him. This idea is not a new one. King Jehoiakim destroys God's word (Jeremiah 36) and the nation Israel goes into captivity, a national judgment for tampering with God's word.
In 200 BC, the Greek king of Egypt, Pharaoh Ptolemy, creates the Septuagint, which changes God's word in thousands of places. Greece is conquered in 197 BC.
In AD 405, the church at Rome has Jerome do the Latin Vulgate, which changes God's word in thousands of places, with the full support of the Roman empire. The Roman Empire falls in AD 467, and the world is plunged into the Dark Ages.
In 1611, the church of England does the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, under the direction of the English court. By 1707, Great Britain is born, rising in strength and power until it becomes the world's richest nation in the Victorian Age of the mid-1800's.
In 1881, the church of England does the Revised Version of the Bible, based on the corrupt Vatican manuscripts. In 1914, Great Britain is drawn into World War I. 750,000 British troops are killed and, by 1945, World War II further decimates the population.
During the first part of this century, America, for the most part, resisted the move in Academia to set aside the Received Text for the Alexandrian Texts of newer versions. By the 1950's, as the "new" versions hit the market, we begin to accept the newer Bibles. Since that point in time, we have lost nearly every war we have been involved in. I don't think anyone can honestly say that our nation is not on a long slide down the slippery slope into national oblivion. In "Final Authority", a wonderful book by William Grady, he addresses this very same issue:"With the greater proliferation of English versions occurring in the second half of this century, discerning believers have observed a distinct parallel between these new arrivals and the nation's growing ills. In the light of Psalms 33:12a, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD," don't you find it rather interesting that the blasphemous Revised Standard Version showed up in 1952, the same year the United Nations occupied its permanent headquarters in New York City? This was also the same year that Dr. J. Frank Norris went to Heaven. Elvis Presley would begin leading America's youth to destruction in another three years. Following the arrival of the New American Standard Version (1960), and the New English Bible (1961) came the Supreme Court ban on prayer (1062), the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (1963), and the assassination of President Kennedy (1964). The Good News for Modern Man paraphrase (1966) spelled bad news for old-fashioned mothers with sons in Vietnam, and should we be surprised that Roe vs. Wade (1973) and Watergate (1973) just happened to occur in the same year that the New International Version hit the market? An insignificant notice which appeared in the 1961 edition of the New York Times speaks volumes, "The Fulton Street prayer meetings held during the noon hour for the past 103 years have been shut down."
WHERE IS THE BIBLE?
Where is the word of God? It was there when God first spoke it (Genesis 1). It was in the garden when Satan tried to corrupt it (Genesis 3). It was with Moses and the prophets. It was with King David and the common man who believed in it. It was with Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4). It was with the believers when they died for it (Hebrews 11). It was at Antioch, where they copied it (Acts 11) and the apostle John compiled it (Revelation 22). In fact it was so popular that they would translate it into the Syrian tongue in the Peshitta in AD 150.
It would follow the apostle Paul to Rome where it would be translated there in the Old Latin in AD 160. It would also be there throughout the Dark Ages when brethren like the Waldenses, Anabaptists, and other Christian groups would faithfully copy it, and in some cases, die to preserve it. It was there when Erasmus would chose it over the Vatican manuscript.
It was there when, in an attempt to give the Holy Bible once again to the common man, it would be translated into English by Tyndale, and others, who would also die for it. It would ultimately be there when it would find its current form in the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible, and once again those who dared give God's word to the people would die for their efforts. It is still with us today. God's word is true! Donald Clarke, in his book "Bible Versions Manual", states the case for the Bible very succinctly:
"The heritage of the King James Bible can be traced back to the apostolic age. It is a faithful copy of the Textus Receptus in the Greek and the Masoretic Text in the Hebrew. Textus Receptus of the New Testament is taken from the Greek Vulgate (AD 150). Furthermore, the King James Bible agrees with the Old Latin Vulgate and the Syriac Bibles, both from the second century. It is based on ninety-five percent of the Greek texts. It was translated in 1611 and by 1901 every major language had access to the True Bible in their own language. Those who spend their labors in looking for better manuscripts are wasting their time and ought rather to take God's word and proclaim it to the lost while there is still time."
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.-Matthew 24:35