“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 Diabolical 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
The Devil’s Plainclothesmen
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?
The Gunpowder Plot
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).
A New Plan
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.”
The Dreaded Happening
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.
Aiding The Enemy
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!
Ripe for Conquest
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.
Science “Falsely So-Called”
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.
The Greek Game
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.
Where We Stand
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!