Blow After Blow Against the Truth
( Revised Texts and Margins )
THERE are many who claim that the changes in the Revised Version did not affect any doctrine. Bishop Westcott reveals the contrary. His utterances prove that the Revisers worked systematically during the ten years of their task to make alterations that by a repetition of details they might alter articles of faith. This we have shown in the previous chapter.(1)
They did not use the margin to indicate changes in the Greek text as directed by Convocation; on the contrary, they choked the margin with preposterous readings designed to carry out "the scheme" of Westcott, Hort, and Lightfoot. "There is some hope," wrote Westcott to Hort, before revision began, when prospects of a complete textual revision seemed small, "that alternative readings might find a place in the margin."(2) And they did, only to sow, broadcast, doubts about the sacred utterances.
A further word from Bishop Westcott to show how systematically the Revisers worked in making changes:
"For while some of the variations which we have noticed are in themselves trivial, some are evidently important; but they all represent the action of the same law; they all hang together; they are samples of the general character of the Revision. And, even if we estimate differently the value of the particular differences which they express, we can certainly see that they do express differences; and they are sufficient, I cannot doubt, to encourage the student to consider in any case of change which comes before him, whether there may not have been reasons for making it which are not at once clear."(3)
To show that it was the settled purpose as well as the definite expectation on the part of the leaders in the movement for revision, that doctrine should be changed, I will now quote from the outstanding agitator for revision, who was also chairman of the English New Testament Revision Committee, Bishop Ellicott:
"Passages involving doctrinal error. Here our duty is obvious. Faithfulness, and loyalty to God's truth, require that the correction should be made unhesitatingly. This class of cases, will, however, embrace many different instances; some of real and primary importance, some in which the sense will be but little affected, when the error, grammatically great as it really may be, is removed, and the true rendering substituted. For instance, we shall have, in the class we are now considering, passages in which the error is one of a doctrinal nature, or, to use the most guarded language, involves some degree of liability to doctrinal misconception."(4)
I. Tradition Equals Scripture According to the Revised Version
1. 2.Timothy 3:16
KING JAMES: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God."
REVISED: Every Scripture inspired by God is also profitable."
In this, the Revised follows the thought of the Douay. This change in the Revised indicates that parts of the Scriptures may not have been inspired. Therefore, as we are not able to judge what is, and what is not inspired, the Catholics say that tradition tests the inspiration and gives us the correct meaning. The tradition of the Catholic Church corresponds to the higher criticism of the so-called Protestants, only with this difference, that the Catholics claim their higher criticism to be infallible. On this point we will quote the note in the Douay on this very passage, 2.Timothy 3:16, —
"Every part of divine Scripture is certainly profitable for all these ends. But, if we would have the whole rule of Christian faith and practice, we must not be content with those Scriptures, which Timothy knew from his infancy. That is, with the Old Testament alone; nor yet with the New Testament, without taking along with it the traditions of the apostles, and the interpretation of the Church, to which the apostles delivered both the book, and the true meaning of it."
The Dublin Review (Catholic), July, 1881, speaking of the changes in the Revised Version, shows clearly that Catholics see how the Revised reading robs Protestantism of its stronghold, the Bible. It says:
"It (Protestantism) has also been robbed of its only proof of Bible inspiration by the correct rendering of 2.Timothy 3:16."
Also the Interior says on this change, —
"It is not very probable that Paul would utter an inconsequential truism of that kind. No one need be told that a scripture inspired of God would be profitable — that would be taken for granted; but what has needed to be known was just the truth that Paul wrote, that 'all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.'"(5)
Knowing the views held by the Revisers, such a change as this could be expected. Many controlling members of the English New Testament Revision Committee believed that "there may be parts of the canonical books not written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."(6)
2. John 5:39
KING JAMES: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life."
REVISED: "Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them," etc.
The command of the Saviour to search the Scriptures, as given in the King James, establishes them as the source of life eternal and the authority of the true doctrine. The Revisers destroyed this command. Is not this changing a fundamental doctrine?
On this point the Dublin Review (Catholic), July, 1881, says:
"But perhaps the most surprising change of all is John 5:39. It is no longer 'Search the Scriptures,' but 'Ye search;' and thus Protestantism has lost the very cause of its being."
Other changes of passages, which we investigate following this, affect the great doctrines of truth; the change now under consideration affects the very citadel of truth itself. The Church of England Convocation, which called the Revision Committee into existence, authorized that Committee to correct only "plain and clear errors" in the Received Text. Neither Convocation, nor Protestant England expected it to be changed in thousands of places.
When the Revised Version declares that parts of the Bible may not have been inspired of God, (as in 2.Timothy 3:16), the defendant is forced to bear witness against itself. So far as the Revised Version is concerned, the change destroys the infallibility of that glorious citadel of revelation which for centuries had been the standard of truth.
II. A Deadly Blow Against Miracles
1. John 2:11
KING JAMES: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee."
REVISED: "This beginning of signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee."
The word "miracle" is found, singular and plural, thirty-two times in the Authorized Version of the New Testament. Alas! What desolation has been wrought by the Revised! In twenty-three of these instances, the word "miracle" has entirely disappeared. In the case of the other nine, although the term is used in the text, its force is robbed by a weakening substitute in the margin. While in the Old Testament, it has disappeared from the Revised in the five instances where it occurs in the Authorized. Modern religious liberalism finds consolation here. So the Revisers have exposed believers in the Bible to the ridicule of unbelievers because they describe the supernatural events of the New Testament by belittling words. To describe the supernatural in terms of the natural, indicates doubt in the supernatural. If we persist in calling a mountain a molehill, it is evident that we do not believe it is a mountain. The Revisers, in persistently describing supernatural events by ordinary terms, have changed doctrines respecting miracles. And if they made such fundamental changes in these thirty-two New Testament texts, — all there was on the subject, — what is this, but systematic depravation of doctrine?
III. Doctrine of Conversion Undermined
1. Matthew 18:2, 3
KING JAMES: "And Jesus... said,... Except ye be converted, and become as little children."
REVISED: "And He... said,... Except ye turn, and become as little children."
FERRAR FENTON: "Then Jesus... said: I tell you indeed, that if you do not turn back."
Not only in this text but in all the rest (seven texts altogether), "be converted" has been changed to "turn." On this point we will use the following quotation which speaks for itself:
"The Rev. Homersham Cox writes to the Church Times in favor of the New Revision because (as he says) it alters 'be converted' into 'turn,' the former implying that the sinner is converted by another, that is, the Holy Spirit, and the latter that he turns or converts himself. He says:
"'I have here given every passage without exception in which the word 'converted' in the passive voice occurs in the older translation. In every one of these instances the passive form is avoided in the new translation. The change seems to be one of incalculable importance. The former version teaches men that they are converted by a power external to themselves; the later version teaches them to turn themselves. In other words, the doctrine of superhuman conversion disappears from the New Testament, and thus the main foundation of modern Evangelicalism is destroyed. Only a few Sundays ago it was my misfortune to have to listen to a long "Evangelical" sermon, the whole burden of which was that men could not convert themselves. This pernicious tenet is preached every year in myriads of sermons, books, and tracts. I rejoice that it is now shown to be unscriptural.'"(7)
Also Dr. Milligan, commenting on this change in Matthew 18:3 and in Acts 3:19, says that "the opening verb, though passive in form, is properly rendered actively, and the popular error of men being mere passive instruments in the hands of God are thereby exploded."(8)
The dangerous doctrine of salvation by our own effort is exalted; and the miracle-saving power of God in conversion, so far as these texts are concerned, is thrust out of the New Testament. The Revised changes the doctrine of conversion, and that change is a complete reversal of the doctrine.
IV. No Creation: Evolution Iinstead
We shall present a series of Scripture texts to exhibit how the Revisers made the Bible teach the origin of the material universe by evolution instead of by creation.
S. Parkes Cadman explains clearly how the German brain, working in theology and higher criticism, manifested itself in science and history, thus influencing Sir Charles Lyell to produce his "Principles of Geology," which heralded the advent of Evolution and contravened the cosmogonies of Genesis. Lyell altered the whole tone of Darwin's thinking, and Darwin's inquiries were vindicated in a revolution foreshadowed by Newman's "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine."(9) In this, Newman followed M÷hler of Germany, and started the great ritualistic movement in the Church of England, which blossomed out into Revision. Both Westcott and Hort leaned heavily toward Ritualism and Evolution. Bishop Westcott says:
"Again 'world' answers to a plural or singular, 'the ages,' or 'the age,' (Greek oi aiones, o aion), in which creation is regarded as a vast system unfolded from Šon to Šon, as an immeasurable and orderly development of being under the condition of time, of which each 'age,' or 'this age,' and 'the age to come,' has its distinguishing characteristics, and so far is 'the world.'"(10)
The truth, he says, is "consistently preserved" in the margin.(11) That is, the unfolding of the "Vast system" from "age to age" (evolution), is consistently preserved in the margin. In other words, the Revisers consistently, consciously, and intentionally, by their own confession, maintained the basal theory of evolution in the margin. On the importance of "age" and "ages" in the margin, I quote from Dr. Samuel Cox, editor of the Expositor:
"And here I may remark, in passing, that in such marginal readings as 'this age' and 'the coming age' which abound in our New Version, there lie the germs, latent for the present, of far larger doctrinal changes than either of those which I am now suggesting."(12)
1. Hebrews 11:3
KING JAMES: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God."
REVISED: "By faith we understand that the ages have been framed by the word of God." (Margin.)
On this Westcott says:
"In this connection we see the full meaning of the words used of creation in Hebrews 11:3: By faith we understand that the worlds (the ages, i.e. the universe under the aspect of time) have been formed by the Word of God... The whole sequence of life in time, which we call 'the world' has been 'fitted together' by God. His one creative word included the harmonious unfolding on one plan of the last issues of all that was made. That which is in relation to Him 'one act at once' is in relation to us an EVOLUTION apprehended in orderly succession."(13) (Caps. Mine).
Bishop Westcott's interpretation of God's work in creation is evolution, making room for the long geological ages. Hort considered Darwin's theory of evolution unanswerable.(14) Westcott and Hort, whose Greek New Testament was the basis of the Revised, inject evolution into the Revised Version.
2. Colossians 1:15, 16
KING JAMES: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature: For by Him were all things created."
REVISED: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in Him were all things created."
Dr. G. Vance Smith, a member of the English New Testament Revision Committee, commenting on Colossians 1:15, 16 says:
"Is it not therefore probable that, in the very different phraseology of Colossians, he is speaking of the promulgation of Christianity and its effects under the figure of a spiritual creation?... Is it possible to think that this language can refer to the material creation?"(15)
The new language of the Revised in the judgment of this Reviser, hinders the application of these texts to a material creation, as in the King James, and limits them as a spiritual application to Christianity.
3. Hebrews 1:2 (Last Part)
KING JAMES: "By whom also He made the worlds."
REVISED: "Through whom also He made the ages." (Margin.)
By this change the door is opened to spiritualizing away creation.
V. The Person of Christ
The "Person of Christ" is the evangelical phraseology used to express a doctrine which is taught in a way that tends to Rome. Some make it the central principle of all doctrines, and especially of ritualistic practices. This is shown by the following words from a ritualistic clergyman:
"Let every one who hears you speak, or sees you worship, feel quite sure that the object of your devotion is not an idea or a sentiment, or a theory,... but a real personal King and Master and Lord: present at all times everywhere in the omnipresence of His Divine nature, present by His own promise, and His own supernatural power in His Human nature too upon His Altar-Throne, there to be worshiped in the Blessed Sacrament as really, and literally, and actually, as you will necessarily worship Him when you see Him in His beauty in Heaven."(16)
This ritualistic clergyman believed that preachers (or priests) have power to change the wafer into the actual body of Christ.
1. 1.Timothy 3:16
KING JAMES: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh," etc.
AMERICAN REVISED: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifest in the flesh," etc.
On the change of "He who" for "God," Bishop Westcott says:
"The reader may easily miss the real character of this deeply instructive change. The passage now becomes a description of the essential character of the gospel, and not simply a series of historical statements. The gospel is personal. The gospel — 'the revelation of godliness' — is, in a word, Christ Himself, and not any propositions about Christ."(17)
The Revisers made this change which confounds Christ with the movement He instituted, the gospel, and leads our minds away from Christ, the person on His heavenly throne, to Christ, the bread of the Lord's supper, (Mass), on the ritualistic altar-throne. What is this, if not a change of doctrine? Bishop Westcott was conscious of the change the Revisers were making in this reading. On this the Princeton Review says:
"Making Christianity a life — the divine-human life of Christ — has far-reaching consequences. It confounds and contradicts the Scriptural and church doctrine as to the Person of Christ."(18)
2. Acts 16:7
KING JAMES: "But the Spirit suffered them not."
AMERICAN REVISED: "And the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not."
The Douay is like the Revised. On this change Dr. George Milligan says:
"Acts 16:7,... the striking reading, 'the Spirit of Jesus' (not simply as in the Authorized Version 'the Spirit') implies that the Holy Spirit had so taken possession of the Person of the Exalted Jesus that He could be spoken of as 'the Spirit of Jesus.'"(19)
By this change they identified Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, with the Holy Spirit, the third Person. The evident purpose of this change is to open the way to teach ideas of the Person of Jesus different from the generally accepted Protestant view. As the Princeton Review says concerning the doctrine of the Person of Christ as held by Dr. Philip Schaff, President of both American Committees of Revision, and by his former associate, Dr. Nevin:
"It is impossible to understand the writings of Drs. Nevin and Schaff on this whole subject without a knowledge of the pantheistic philosophy... It led men to look on the church as the development of Christ, very much as that philosophy regards the universe as the development of God."(20)
VI. The Virgin Birth
1. Isaiah 7:14
KING JAMES: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son."
REVISED: "Behold the maiden (margin) shall conceive and bear a son."
This change gives room to doubt the virgin birth of Christ. Dr. G. Vance Smith says:
"The meaning of the words of Isaiah may, therefore, be presented thus: 'Behold the young wife is with child.'"(21)
VII. Change in the Doctrine of Atonement
1. 1.Corinthians 5:7
KING JAMES: "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
REVISED: "For our Passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ."
One writer thus registers his indignation upon the change made in this passage:
"Mad? Yes; and haven't I reason to be mad when I find that grand old passage, 'For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us' — a passage which sounds the keynote of the whole doctrine of redemption — unnecessarily changed into, 'For our Passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ'? And we have such changes everywhere. They are, I believe, called improvements in style by their authors — and certainly by no one else."(22)
That Christ our Passover was sacrificed is an historical fact; that He was sacrificed "for us" is a doctrine and the very basis on which the gospel rests. Take away the fact that He died "for us," as the Revisers did in this text, and there is no gospel left.
The leading Revisers, in particular, Westcott and Hort, rejected the idea that Christ was our substitute and sacrifice.(23) Of course, Dr. G. Vance Smith, the Unitarian member of the Revision Committee, did the same. The widespread refusal to-day by Christian ministers of many churches to admit we owe this debt to our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His divine Person died in our place, is largely due to these influences which gave us the Revised Version. Changes which on first reading seem slight, when examined and read in the light of the intentional change, are seen to be fatal.
VIII. A Blow Against the Resurrection of the Body
1. Job 19:25, 26
KING JAMES: "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
AMERICAN REVISED: "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and at last He will stand up upon the earth: and after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God."
What need is there of a resurrection of the body, if, without our flesh, we can see God? The tendency to make the resurrection from the tomb only a spiritual event is as great to-day as in the first Christian centuries.
2. Acts 24:15
KING JAMES: "That there shall be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and unjust."
REVISED: "That there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust."
The omission of the phrase "of the dead" makes it easier to spiritualize away the resurrection.
XI. Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ Radically Changed
1. Matthew 24:3
KING JAMES: "What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
REVISED: "What shall be the sign of Thy presence (margin) and of the consummation of the age." (Margin.)
"The consummation of the age" in no sense means the same thing as "the end of the world." "The end of the world" is the appointed time for human history, under the reign of sin, to close. The earth must be purified by fire before being again inhabited by man. "The consummation of the age" might mean only some change from one epoch to another, — national, scientific, educational, or dispensational. How systematically this substitution is thrust forward in the margin by the Revisers is shown by its recurrence in the other passages in which the phrase "end of the world" occurs, namely, — Matthew 13:39, 40,49, 24:3; 28:20. A similar substitution is found in Hebrews 13:21.
Another depravation in the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ is the substitution of "presence" for "coming" in the margin of the text under consideration.
"Presence does not mean return; it rather signifies continuous nearness. But "coming" refers to Christ's Second Advent in glory, at the end of the world, to raise the righteous dead and confer immortality on all righteous living or resurrected. How systematically the Revisers have gone about this, displacing the true idea of the Advent, may be seen in the twenty other verses where "coming" as it refers to Christ's Second Advent is changed into "presence," namely, — Matthew 24:27,37,39; 1.Corinthians 15:23; 2.Corinthians 7:7; Philippians 1:26; 2:12; 1.Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2.Thessalonians 2:1,8,9; James 5:7,8; 2.Peter 1:16; 3:4,12; 1.John 2:28. These marginal changes give notice that the ordinary orthodox interpretation of these verses is not a sure one. Westcott, one of the Revisers, says:
"His advent, if it is in one sense future, is in another sense continuous."(24)
According to Westcott, Christ came at the time of Genesis, first chapter, at the fall of Jerusalem, and many times in the past: in fact, is "coming" to us now.(25)
2. Philippians 3:20,21
KING JAMES: "Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body."
REVISED: 'Who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His glory."
The change in us indicated by the King James according to this and other Scriptures, is a change that occurs only at the Second Coming of Christ; it is a physical change of tangible reality. But the change called for by the Revised may occur at any time before His Coming, or be continuous; it may be a change from abstract vices to abstract virtues.
3. 2.Thessalonians 2:2
KING JAMES: "That you be not soon shaken in mind... as that the day of Christ is at hand."
REVISED: "That ye be not quickly shaken from your mind... as that the day of the Lord is now present."
When an event is "at hand" it has not yet come; but when it is "now present" it is here. Without offering an opinion which is the correct rendering, there is certainly here a change of doctrine. If the day of the Lord "is now present," it is in no sense, "at hand."
4. Titus 2:13
KING JAMES: "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
REVISED: "Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
By changing the adjective "glorious" to the noun "glory," the Revisers have removed the Second Coming of Christ from this text. In the King James Version the object of our hope is the appearing of Christ, which is a personal and a future and an epochal event. In the Revised Version, the object of our hope is changed to be the appearing of the glory of Christ, which may be the manifestation among men, or in us, of abstract virtues, which may appear at any time and repeatedly in this present life.
5. Revelations 1:7
KING JAMES: "He cometh with clouds... and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him."
REVISED: "He cometh with the clouds... and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him."
How great is the change intended here, let the Reviser, Bishop Westcott himself state:
"All the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him in penitential sorrow, and not, as the Authorized Version, shall wail because of Him, in the present expectation of terrible vengeance."(26)
It is well known that many of the Revisers believed in what they called, The Larger Hope, or Universal Salvation, which the translators of the King James did not believe. Westcott admits the Revisers made the change, in order to make the change of doctrine.
6. Acts 3:19
Here again the Revisers plead guilty to changing doctrine. That the reading of Acts 3:19, 20 was changed because the Revisers held different views on the Second Coming of Christ from the men of 1611, a member of the English New Testament Committee, Dr. Alexander Roberts, testifies:
"Acts 3:19,20. An impossible translation here occurs in the Authorized Version, in which we read: 'Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.' For eschatological reasons, it is most important that the true rendering of this passage should be presented. It is thus given in the Revised Version: 'Repent ye, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, (even) Jesus.'"(27) (Italics mine.)
"For eschatological reasons" he says, that is, for reasons springing from their view on last things, not for textual reasons, it was "most important" to change the rendering. Most of the Revisers did not believe there would be a personal return of Jesus before the restitution of all things, which the Authorized rendering of this passage teaches.
Hort, another Reviser, says: "There is a present unveiling of Him simply as He is, without reference to any special action of His, such as came to St. Paul on his conversion. There are apparently successive unveilings of Him, successive Days of the Lord. There is clearly indicated, a supreme unveiling, in which glory and judgment are combined."(28)
G. Vance Smith, another Reviser, says: "This idea of the Second Coming ought now to be passed by as a merely temporary incident of early Christian belief. Like many another error, it has answered a transitory purpose in the providential plan, and may well, at length, be left to rest in peace."(29)
Thus this Reviser dismisses the Second Coming of Christ as a temporary, erroneous idea among the early Christians.
X. Blows Against the Law of God — The Ten Commandments
1. Revelation 22:14
KING JAMES: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life."
REVISED: "Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.
Man keeping the commandments of God, and man washing his robes in the blood of Christ, are two different doctrines, — the latter applies to forgiveness for past sins, the former applies to so abiding in Christ as to avoid sinning, or breaking the commandments. No man washes his robes by keeping the commandments; that would be salvation by works. Shall we be sinning and repenting (that is, washing our robes) as we enter through the gates into the eternal city? Evidently not, since three verses previous, verses 11 to 13, present the eternally redeemed as settled in a holy and righteous condition obedient to His commandments and ready to enter through the gates into the city. The Revisers have dislocated this verse from its place in the scheme of the last chapter of the Bible. If, instead of being holy and righteous still, — that is, keeping God's commandments, —the redeemed are sinning and repenting still, or "washing their robes," they are not ready to say, "Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly." The entire book of Revelation is in agreement with the King James translation of this verse, since commandment keeping is an outstanding characteristic of those who wait for the return of their Lord. (See Revelation 12:17; Revelation 14:12.) Revelation 22:14 gives final emphasis to this characteristic. The Authorized rendering is clear and definite, but the Revised is obscure and misleading.
2. Acts 13:42
KING JAMES: "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath."
REVISED: "And as they went out, they besought that these words might be spoken to them the next sabbath."
The Authorized Version pictures to us the congregation, composed of Jews and Gentiles. By this distinction it reveals that a number of the Gentiles were present and desired all their Gentile friends to hear the same message the next Sabbath. Since the Sabbath came in for special mention (see verse 27), and since the Gentiles requested a special meeting on the following Sabbath, and waited for it, we see that the great truth announced by Christ, that "the Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:28), was brought home to the Gentiles. All this is lost in the Revised Version by failing to mention the Jews and the Gentiles. Thus the Authorized Version is consistent with itself throughout, a divine harmony. Here the Revised strikes an absolute discord. Does not this affect fundamental doctrine?
XI. Affecting Scientific Teaching of the Bible
1. Mark 7:19
KING JAMES: "Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?"
REVISED: "Because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said, making all meats clean."
In the Old Testament system of sacrifices, God never accepted the offering of an unclean beast. Moreover, He forbade the use of unclean meats as food. In translating the above Scripture, there is nothing in the King James which breaks down this distinction. Who said that the Revisers had the right to alter what God anciently ordained?
"But by the change of a single letter in the Greek," says Milligan on this passage, "a new reading is gained, and the verse now concludes — 'This He said, making all meats clean,' being the Evangelist's comment upon what he has just recorded, a comment that gains still further in significance when we remember that St. Mark's Gospel was in all probability largely dependent upon the recollections of the apostle Peter, who was taught in so striking a manner that in God's sight nothing is common or unclean. Acts 10:9-16."(30)
Peter said that by the vision of Acts 10, "God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Acts 10:28. And later he said that "God made choice amongst us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel." Acts 15:7. Who gave the Revisers the right to say that the vision sent by God to Peter to break down the differences between Jew and Gentile was sent to abolish the age-long distinction between clean and unclean meats, and which exists in the very nature of the unclean animals as contrasted with the clean?
2. Luke 23:44, 45
KING JAMES: "And there was a darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened."
REVISED: "A darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, the sun's light failing."
MOFFATT: "And darkness covered the whole land till three o'clock, owing to an eclipse of the sun."
The Greek text of the Revisers on this passage and the Greek text of Moffatt is the same; the Greek text of the King James is different. The Greek text of the Revisers says there was an eclipse of the sun, (tou elion eklai pontos). Moffatt honestly translated his mutilated Greek thus, "owing to an eclipse of the sun." The Revisers failed to do it. Since an eclipse of the sun is physically impossible at the time of a full moon which was shining the night of Christ's burial, this shows that the Greek text of the Revisers, heralded among us with high praises, was scientifically incorrect and impossible. Moffatt was true to his Greek, even if he had adopted same Greek MS as the Revisers. The Revisers were not.
XII. The Ascension
1. Mark 16:9-20
These verses which contain a record of the ascension are acknowledged as authority by the King James, but separated by the Revised from the rest of the chapter to indicate their doubtful value. This is not surprising. Dr. Hort, the evil genius of the Revision Committee, cannot say anything too derogatory of these twelve verses.(31) In this he is not consistent; for he believes the story of the ascension was not entitled to any place in any Gospel:
"The violence of Burgon's attack on the rejectors of the conclusion of St. Mark's Gospel seems somewhat to have disturbed Hort's calmness of judgment, and to have made him keen-sighted to watch and close every possible door against the admission of the disputed verses. In this case he takes occasion to profess his belief not only that the story of the Ascension was no part of St. Mark's Gospel, but that it ought not to find a place in any Gospel."(32)
The rejection of the last twelve verses of Mark's Gospel, or rather setting them off to one side as suspicious, either indicts the church of past ages as a poor keeper and teacher of Holy Writ, or indicts the Revisers as exercising an extreme and unwarrantable license.
Whole Sections of the Bible
Affected by the Revised Version
The Revised Version mutilates the main account of the Lord's prayer in the Gospel of Matthew, by leaving out the words, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, Amen." Matthew 6:13.
It mutilates the subsidiary account of the Lord's prayer in Luke 11:2-4, so that this last prayer could be prayed to any man-made god. It omits "which art in heaven," from "Our Father, which art in heaven;" leaves out the words, "thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth," etc. It is worthy to remark here that this mutilation of the Lord's prayer in both these places was the subject of fierce controversy between the Reformers and the Jesuits from 1534-1611, the Reformers claiming Jerome's Vulgate and the Jesuit Bible in English translated from the Vulgate were corrupt. The Revisers joined the Jesuits in this contention, against the Reformers. Dr. Fulke, Protestant, said in 1583:
"What your vulgar Latin translation hath left out in the latter end of the Lord's prayer in St. Matthew, and in the beginning and midst of St. Luke, whereby that heavenly prayer is made imperfect, not comprehending all things that a Christian man ought to pray for, besides many other like omissions, whether of purpose, or of negligence, and injury of time, yet still by you defended, I spare to speak of in this place."(33)
Matthew 17:21 is entirely omitted. Compare also Mark 9:29 and 1.Corinthians 7:5. On this the Dublin Review says: "In many places in the Gospels there is mention of 'prayer and fasting.' Here textual critics suspect that 'an ascetic bias,' has added the fasting; so they expunge it, and leave in prayer only. If an 'ascetic bias' brought fasting in, it is clear that a bias, the reverse of ascetic, leaves it out."(34)
It sets off to one side and brands with suspicion, the account of the woman taken in adultery. John 8:1-11.
See how Luke 9:55, 56 is shortened:
KING JAMES: "But he turned, and rebuked them and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."
AMERICAN REVISED: "But He turned, and rebuked them. And they went to another village."
Acts 8:37. This text is omitted in the English and American Revised.
Notice Eph 5:30:
KING JAMES: "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones."
AMERICAN REVISED: "Because we are members of His body."
Behold how greatly this verse is cut down in the Revised!
See how, in 2.Timothy 4;1, the time of the judgment is obliterated,
and Christ's Second Coming is obscured.
KING JAMES: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."
AMERICAN REVISED: "I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom."
It changes Revelation 13:10 from a prophecy to a general axiomatic
statement, and, in the margin, places a black mark against the passage:
KING JAMES: "He that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity."
AMERICAN REVISED: "If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth."
Without presenting any more examples, — and the changes are many, — we will offer the words of another which will sum up in a brief and interesting way, the subject under consideration:
"By the sole authority of textual criticism these men have dared to vote away some forty verses of the inspired Word. The Eunuch's Baptismal Profession of Faith is gone; and the Angel of the Pool of Bethesda has vanished; but the Angel of the Agony remains — till the next Revision. The Heavenly Witnesses have departed, and no marginal note mourns their loss. The last twelve verses of St. Mark are detached from the rest of the Gospel, as if ready for removal as soon as Dean Burgon dies. The account of the woman taken in adultery is placed in brackets, awaiting excision. Many other passages have a mark set against them in the margin to show that, like forest trees, they are shortly destined for the critic's axe. Who can tell when the destruction will cease?"(35)
(1) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 184
(2) Westcott, Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 390
(3) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 158
(4) Ellicott, Considerations, p. 88
(5) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. II, p. 77
(6) Stanley, Church and State, p. 123 and also Hort's Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 424
(7) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. II, pp. 28, 29
(8) Milligan, Expository Value, p. 130
(9) Cadman, Three Religious Leaders, pp. 409, 410
(10) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 127
(11) Ibid, p. 186
(12) Expositor, Vol. III, 2nd Series, p. 451, note
(13) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 187
(14) Hort's Life and Letters, Vol. I, pp. 414, 416
(15) G. Vance Smith, The Bible and Its Theology, pp. 196, 197
(16) Quoted in Walsh, Secret History, p. 385
(17) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 198
(18) Princeton Review, Jan. 1854
(19) Milligan, Expository Value, p. 99
(20) Princeton Review, Jan. 1854
(21) Smith, Bible and Theology, p. 26
(22) Rev. E.B. Birks in Dr. Warfields Collection of Opinions, Vol. 2, p. 30
(23) Hort's Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 430 and Vol. II, pp. 50, 213
(24) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 44
(25) Life of Westcott, Vol. II, pp. 307, 308
(26) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 196
(27) Roberts, Companion, pp. 80, 81
(28) Hort, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 4
(29) Smith, Bible and Theology, p. 281
(30) Milligan, Expository Value, p. 62
(31) Hort's Introduction, Select Notes, pp. 30-51
(32) Salmon, Some Criticism of the Text, pp. 95. 96
(33) Fulke, Defense of Translations of the Bible (1583), pp. 57, 58
(34) Dublin Review (Catholic), July 1881
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