Blow After Blow in Favor of Rome
(Revised Texts and Margins)
IT is now necessary to present the Revised Version in a new phase. To do this, we will offer some passages of Scripture the Revisers have changed to those Catholic readings which favor the doctrines of Rome. On this Dr. Edgar says:
"It is certainly a remarkable circumstance that so many of the Catholic readings in the New Testament, which in Reformation and early post-Reformation times were denounced by Protestants as corruptions of the pure text of God's Word, should now, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, be adopted by the Revisers of our time-honored English Bibles."(1)
Tobias Mullen, Catholic Bishop of Erie, Pa., calls attention to a number of passages, whose readings in the Catholic and in the Revised Version are identical in thought. He comments on one of these as follows:
"It will be perceived here, that the variation between the Catholic Version and the Revision is immaterial, indeed no more than what might be found between any two versions of different but substantially identical copies of the same document."(2)
I. Human Knowledge Exalted Above the Divine Word by the Revision
1. John 1:3, 4
KING JAMES: "Without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life."
REVISED: "Without Him was not anything made. That which hath been made was life in Him." (Margin.)
Let it be remembered that the marginal readings were considered of great importance by the Revisers. Many of them would be in the body of the text but for lack of a two-thirds majority vote.
The principal defect of Romanism was the assumption of wisdom communicated to it apart from, and superior to the written Word. This is essentially the Gnostic theory, that false knowledge which was spoken of by the apostle Paul in 1.Timothy 6:20. To this Gnostic theory, must be laid the blame for the great apostasy in the early Christian Church. This same Gnostic theory which Newman had, according to S. Parkes Cadman, led him into the arms of Rome. To show that the offensive marginal reading of the Revised on John 1:3 is the product of Gnosticism, I will quote from Dean Burgon:
"In the third verse of the first chapter of St. John's Gospel, we are left to take our choice between, — 'without Him was not anything made that hath been made. In Him was life.; and the life,' etc., — and the following absurd alternative, — 'without Him was not anything made. That which hath been made was life in Him; and the life,' etc. But we are not informed that this latter monstrous figment is known to have been the importation of the Gnostic heretics in the second century, and to be as destitute of authority as it is of sense. Why is prominence given only to the lie?"(3)
It is the Catholic doctrine that the lay members of the church are devoid of a certain capacity for understanding divine things, which capacity is bestowed upon their cardinals, bishops, and priesthood, — transmitted to them by the laying on of hands. They claim the people cannot secure this knowledge by direct personal contact with the Bible. This theory of a knowledge hidden from the many and open only to the few is that ancient Gnosticism which developed into the Catholic Church. It separated official Catholicism from the great body of members, and this is the reason for the power of the priests over the people. In other words, as in the case of Cardinal Newman, they substituted superstition for faith; because faith does not come by ordinances of men, but by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) True Protestantism has faith in the Bible as supreme.
II. Protestantism Condemmed by the Change Affecting the Sacraments
1. 1.Corinthiams 11:29
KING JAMES: "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
REVISED: "For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body."
Why were the two expressions "unworthily" and "Lord's" left out? By the presence of the word "unworthily" the one partaking of the bread would be guilty of condemnation upon some other count than not discerning the body. And if the word "Lord's" remained, Protestants could still claim that they discerned their absent Lord in a spiritual sense. The omission of "unworthily" and "Lord's" therefore condemns Protestants who do not believe that the bread has been turned into the body of Christ.
III. The Change Restoring the Confessional
1. James 5:16
KING JAMES: "Confess your faults to one another."
REVISED: "Confess therefore your sins to one another."
In order to make the change from "faults" to "sins" the Greek was changed. The Greek word meaning "faults" was rejected and replaced by the Greek word meaning "sins." If man is commanded by Scripture to confess his "sins" to man, what objection is there to the auricular confession of the priests? On this revised reading the Dublin Review (Catholic), July, 1881, says:
"The Apostles have now power to 'forgive' sins, and not simply to 'remit' them. 'Confess therefore your sins' is the new reading of James 5:16."
IV. The Exaltation of the Priesthood Made Easy
1. Hebrews 10:21
KING JAMES: "And having an high Priest over the house of God."
REVISED: "And having a great priest over the house of God."
This change may seem unimportant; nevertheless the wording carries with it, its effect. To single out Jesus as our "high Priest" in heaven, as the King James Version does, makes Him so outstanding, that we instinctively regard Him, since His ascension, as our only Priest, so far outdistancing other persons as to rate them unnecessary. The expression "great priest" exalts the order of the priesthood among whom Jesus happens to be the greatest one. The word "great" is a comparative word and implies a degree of the same order; the expression "high priest" signifies an office. There can be many great priests, but only one high priest. The reading of the King James puts Christ in a class by Himself. Just what singular position would that of Christ be as a "great priest" if He were not the high Priest? Moreover Christ is distinctly designated ten times in this same epistle as the high Priest. The change in the Revised leaves the conclusion possible that this change provided a priest for the Confessional, which in turn, was restored by the change in James 5:16.
We know of one dominating Reviser — Dr. Hort — who exalted the necessity of an earthly priesthood and who bitterly assailed Protestantism for not having it.(4)
Since the Greek word "mega" was translated "high," in John 19:31 by the Revisers, why did they not so translate it here?
V. Church Government — Separating the Priesthood from the Laity
1. Acts 15:23
KING JAMES: "And wrote letters by them after this manner, The apostles and elders and brethren, send greeting unto the brethren."
AMERICAN REVISED: "And they wrote thus by them, The apostles and the elders, brethren, unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles."
In the King James, the word "brethren" is a noun making the lay people a third class separate from the apostles and elders. In the Revised it is a noun in apposition applying alike to apostles and elders, — two classes only.
This passage is used as a foundation on which to base an argument for a clergy separated by God in their function from the lay brethren. It makes a vast difference, in sending out this authoritative letter, from the first council of the Christian Church, whether it issued from the apostles and elders only, or issued from the apostles, elders, and the brethren. Here again to effect this change the Revisers omitted two Greek words.
The Jesuitical translators of 1582 strongly denounced Puritans for failing, in their translation, to make the distinction between the priesthood and the laity. As we read:
"This name then of 'priest' and 'priesthood' properly so called, as St. Augustine saith, which is an order distinct from the laity and vulgar people, ordained to offer Christ in an unbloody manner in sacrifice to His heavenly Father for us, to preach and minister the sacraments, and to be the pastors of the people, they wholly suppress in their translations."(5)
VI. Changes to Support the Teaching of the Intermediate State
1. Hebrews 9:27
KING JAMES: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
REVISED: "And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment."
Canon Farrar claims that this change was deliberately made to emphasize the doctrine of the intermediate state of men after death, before being summoned to their final reward or punishment. Canon Farrar ought to know, because he was a member of that brilliant organization, the "Apostles Club," dominant in its influence at Cambridge University, where Hort, Westcott, and other Revisers discussed questions of doctrine and church reform. Farrar said on this change:
"There is positive certainty that it does not mean 'the judgment' in the sense in which that word is popularly understood. By abandoning the article which King James translators here incorrectly inserted, the Revisers help, as they have done in so many other places, silently to remove deep-seated errors. At the death of each of us there follows 'a judgment,' as the sacred writer says; the judgment, the final judgment, may not be for centuries to come. In the omission of that unauthorized little article from the Authorized Version by the Revisers, lies no less a doctrine than that of the existence of an Intermediate State."(6)
In the above quotation, note the use of the word "silently."
VII. The Large Hope — Another Chance After Death
1. John 14:2
KING JAMES: "In my Father's house are many mansions."
REVISED: "In my Father's house are many abiding places." (Margin.)
In the following quotation from the Expositor, the writer points out that, by the marginal reading of the Revised, Dr. Westcott and the Committee referred, not to a final future state, but to intermediate stations in the future before the final one.
"Dr. Westcott in his Commentary on St. John's Gospel gives the following explanation of the words, "In my Father's house are many mansions.' 'The rendering comes from the Vulgate mansiones, which were "resting places," and especially the "stations" on a great road, where travelers found refreshment. This appears to be the true meaning of the Greek word here; so that the contrasted notions of repose and progress are combined in this vision of the future."(7)
"For thirty years now," said Dr. Samuel Cox, in 1886, "I have been preaching what is called 'the larger hope,' through good and ill report."(8)
The "larger hope" meant a probation after this life, such a time of purifying, by fire or otherwise, after death as would insure another opportunity of salvation to all men. Dr. Cox, like others, rejoices that the changes in the Revised Version sustain this doctrine. "Had the new Version then been in our hands, I should not have felt any special gravity in the assertion," he said.(8) Doctors Westcott and Hort, both Revisers, believed this "larger hope."(9)
We have seen how Dr. G. Vance Smith, another Reviser, proved that the change of "hell fire" in the Authorized to "the hell of fire" in the Revised opened the way to introduce several hells. With this, Catholic theology agrees, as it teaches four different places of punishment after death, either intermediate places for purification, or the final place. Dr. Samuel Cox rejoices that the changes in the Revised Version make it possible to find these different stations. He says:
"The states of being, shadowed forth by the words, Gehenna, Paradise, Hades cannot, therefore, be final or everlasting; they are only intermediate conditions, states of discipline in which the souls of men await, and may be prepared for, their final award."(10)
2. Luke 1:72
KING JAMES: "To perform the mercy promised to our fathers."
REVISED: "To show mercy to our fathers."
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers long ago, Christ came, is the meaning of the King James. The Revised means that Christ came to shew to our dead fathers the mercy they need now. As Bishop Mullen says:
"For the text was one which, if rendered literally, no one could read without being convinced, or at least suspecting, that the 'fathers' already dead needed 'mercy'; and that 'the Lord God of Israel' was prepared 'to perform' it to them. But where were those fathers? Not in heaven, where mercy is swallowed up in joy. And assuredly not in the hell of the damned, where mercy could not reach them. They must therefore have been in a place between both, or neither the one nor the other. What? In Limbo or Purgatory? Why, certainly. In one or the other."(11)
The bishop further claims that the Revisers, in making this change, vindicated the Jesuit New Testament of 1582, and convicted the King James of a perversion.(12) Dr. Westcott also finds the "larger hope" in the change made in Luke 1:72 by the revision.(13) We will now quote from a well-known church historian who briefly describes the different intermediate states according to papal doctrine:
"This power of the Church through the Pope extends — 'indirectly,' says Aquinas — to Purgatory. This was one of the five abodes in the invisible world. These are:
1. Hell, a place of eternal suffering, the abode of those who die in mortal sin, without absolution. The Schoolmen unite in affirming torment by eternal fire.
2. The limbus of infants dying unbaptized — limbus signifying literally a border, as, for instance, the bank of a river. In this abode the inmates are cut off from the vision of God, but, it was generally held, are not subject to positive inflictions of pain.
3. The limbus patrum — the abode of the Old Testament Saints, now, since the advent of Christ, turned into a place of rest.
4. Purgatory, for souls not under condemnation for mortal sin, yet doomed to temporal, terminable punishments. These served the double purpose of an atonement and of a means of purification.
5. Heaven, the abode of the souls which at death need no purification and of souls cleansed in the fires of Purgatory."(14)
3. 1.Peter 4:6
KING JAMES: "For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead."
REVISED: "For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead."
The King James Version presents the truth of this passage to be that the gospel was preached (past tense) to them that are dead now (present tense); multitudes now dead had the gospel preached to them while they were living. There is no hint that there is any preaching going on now to them that are now dead. The reverse is the teaching of the passage as changed by the Revised Version. This is another contribution by the new Version, which, with other passages of the same import, reveals a systematic presentation of the doctrine of Purgatory.
Still another passage, this time from the Old Testament, reveals the tendency which the Revisers had in this direction.
4. Job 26:5
KING JAMES: "Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof."
REVISED: "They ("the shades" margin) that are deceased tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof."
It is very evident here that the Revisers did not have a Protestant mentality. On this passage we will quote from a member of the Old Testament Revision Committee (American):
"In chapter 26 the senseless rendering of verse 5, 'Dead things are formed from under the waters,' etc., is replaced by a vivid reference to God's control over departed spirits."(15)
5. 2.Peter 2:9
KING JAMES: "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
REVISED: "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day of judgment."
By the change of this passage, the Revisers have gone beyond even the Douay Version, which agrees here with the King James. This change puts the wicked at once, after death, under continuing punishment, even before they have had a fair trial at the judgment seat. Speaking of 1.Peter 4:6, a reviewer of an article (1882) by Professor Evans, of Lane Seminary, says:
"In the department of eschatology, the work of the revision has been severely criticized. Its terms of gehenna, paradise, and hades, it is claimed, are not sharply defined and lead to confusion;... and probation after death to be favored by its rendering of 1.Peter 4:6, and from a passage in the book of the Revelation."(16)
VIII. The Different Regions of the Conscious Dead, as
Roman Catholics Teach, Supported by the Revised Version
1. Revelation 13:8
KING JAMES: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
AMERICAN REVISED: "And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, every one whose name hath not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain."
Even in 1583, thirty years before the King James Version was published, this text with all its possibilities was the subject of heavy controversy between the Jesuits and the Puritans. The Protestants, even then, rejected the way it is now written in the American Revised Version.(17)
IX. A Substitute Number for the Beast: "616" or "666"
1. Revelation 13:18
KING JAMES: "And his number is six hundred threescore and six."
REVISED: "And his number is six hundred and sixteen" (margin).
Throughout the ages, the certainty of this number, "666," and the certainty of applying it to the Papacy, has been a source of strength and comfort to Protestant martyrs. Behold the uncertainty and confusion brought into the interpretation of this prophecy by offering in the margin the substitute number "616." Did not the Revisers by this change strike a blow in favor of Rome?
"But why is not the whole truth told? viz., why are we not informed that only one corrupt uncial (C): — only one cursive copy (11): —only one Father (Tichonius): and not one ancient Version — advocates this reading? — which, on the contrary, Irenaeus (A.D. 170) knew, but rejected; remarking that 666, which is 'found in all the best and oldest copies and is attested by men who saw John face to face.' is unquestionably the true reading. Why is not the ordinary reader further informed that the same number (666) is expressly vouched for by Origen, — by Hippolytus, — by Eusebius: — as well as by Victorinus — and Primasimus, — not to mention Andreas and Arethas? To come to the moderns, as a matter of fact the established reading is accepted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, — even by Westcott and Hort. Why therefore — for what possible reason — at the end of 1700 years and upwards, is this which is so clearly nothing else but an ancient slip of the pen, to be forced upon the attention of 90 millions of English speaking people?
"Will Bishop Ellicott and his friends venture to tell us that it has been done because 'it would not be safe to accept' 666, 'to the absolute exclusion of' 616?... 'We have given alternative readings in the margin,' (say they,) 'wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice.' Will they venture to claim either 'interest' or 'importance' for this? or pretend that it is an 'alternative reading' at all? Has it been rescued from oblivion and paraded before universal Christendom in order to perplex, mystify, and discourage 'those that have understanding,' and would fain 'count the number of the Beast,' if they were able? Or was the intention only to insinuate one more wretched doubt — one more miserable suspicion — into minds which have been taught (and rightly) to place absolute reliance in the textual accuracy of all the gravest utterances of the SPIRIT: minds which are utterly incapable of dealing with the subtleties of Textual Criticism; and, from a onesided statement like the present, will carry away none but entirely mistaken inferences, and the most unreasonable distrust?... Or, lastly, was it only because, in their opinion, the margin of every Englishman's N.T. is the fittest place for reviving the memory of obsolete blunders, and ventilating forgotten perversions of the Truth?... We really pause for an answer."(18)
X. The Entire Meaning Touching Old Testament Prophecies Changed
1. Matthew 2:15
KING JAMES: "Out of Egypt have I called my son."
REVISED: "Out of Egypt did I call my son."
The comment of Dean Farrar on this change proves how systematically the Old Testament prophecies were robbed of their typical meaning by the "modern rules" used to translate that Greek tense known as the aorist. He says:
"'Out of Egypt did I call my son.' What could the Revisers do but alter the incorrect rendering of the Authorized Version? The Authorized Version confuses the entire meaning of the passage, and hides the invariable method of St. Matthew in his references to Old Testament prophecies. Hosea's reference, Hosea 11:1, is to the calling forth of the Israelites from Egypt... It is by a restoration of the tenses actually used that we may expect, in this and HUNDREDS OF OTHER TEXTS, to rekindle a light of understanding which has long faded away."(19) (Capital letters mine.)
When Hosea, who prophesied 700 years after Moses, said, "Out of Egypt have I called my son," was he talking history or prophecy? Did he refer back to the Israelites leaving Egypt, or forward to the flight of the infant Jesus into and out of Egypt? The King James translators considered it a prophecy and wrote "have called;" the Revisers wrote "did call" to express history. The King James translated it by the perfect, "have called," which shows the action to have effects still continuing. The Revisers said that this was wrong, claiming that the aorist should always be translated by the past tense and not by the perfect. This new rule, Farrar claims, changed hundreds of texts affecting both Old Testament prophecies and "the great crises of Christian life."
As to the unfairness of this rule, we could quote from many witnesses. We will let only one testify. Sir Edmund Beckett, LL.D., says:
"No one rule of that kind has produced so many alterations in the Revised Version as that an aorist always means an action past and gone, while a perfect tense implies action continuing up to the present time... But if we find that forcing the English translation to conform to those rules produces confusion, or such English as no master of it writes, and no common person uses; that it is neither colloquial or solemn, nor impressive, nor more perspicacious than the old phrases, and often less so; such facts will override all general rules in the minds of men of common sense, not bewildered by too much learning or the pedantry of displaying it."(20)
How serious have been the effects upon doctrine by this "self-imposed rule," as the Forum says, in the Revised Version, we will now proceed to show.
XI. Entire Meaning of Great Crises in Christian Life Changed
1. 1.Corinthians 15:3,4
KING JAMES: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day."
REVISED: "... that He was buried; and that He hath been raised on the third day."
In this text, "He rose," has been changed to, "He hath been raised," for a definite purpose. We lay a charge against the triumvirate who swept the Revision Committee along with them, of deliberately making changes in order to introduce a new set of doctrines which would be neither Presbyterianism (Protestantism) or Episcopalianism, but which would favor Romanism. Before the proof is given that this text, 1.Corinthians 15:3,4 is one of them, a letter of Bishop Westcott to Dr. Hort will reveal the full scheme. Thus he writes concerning "we three":
"Just now I think we might find many ready to welcome the true mean between the inexorable logic of the Westminster and the skeptical dogmatism of orthodoxy. At any rate, I am sure that there is a true mean, and that no one has asserted its claims on the allegiance of faithful men. Now, I think that Lightfoot, you, and I are in the main agreed, and I further think that with our convictions, we are at such a time bound to express them. The subjects which had occurred to me are — 1. The development of the doctrine of Messiah, including the discussion of the selection of one people out of many. 2. Miracles and history. 3. The development of Christian doctrine out of the apostolic teaching. In other words, I should like to have the Incarnation as a center, and on either side the preparation for it, and the apprehension of it in history."(21)
The term "Westminster" referred to the Westminster Confession, the Presbyterian articles of faith, while by the term "orthodoxy" Bishop Westcott could refer only to his own faith, Episcopalianism. What third set of doctrines different from these two, did they have in mind, in using the word "mean"? When the Oxford Movement, with its revolutionary results, was the background to this situation, when the admiration of this triumvirate for Newman is considered, as well as the expressed convictions of Westcott and Hort for sacramental salvation and Mariolatry, it can be seen that the new set of doctrines they planned to advocate could be nothing else than Ritualism and Romanism. Evidently, the Revisers incorporated their theology into the Scriptures. This is not the function of revisers or translators.
Many Protestants are not aware of the serious difference between the papal doctrine of Atonement and theirs; nor of the true meaning of the Mass. Catholics teach that only the humanity of Christ died on the cross, not His divine nature. Therefore, in their eyes, His death was not, in a primary sense, a vicarious atonement to satisfy the wrath of God against sin and pay the claims of a broken law.(22) Because of this, His death is to them only a momentary event; while His coming in the flesh, or the doctrine of the Incarnation, is supreme. Its effects are continual and daily, a source of saving grace, as they believe. The turning of the bread into the body of Christ, by the priest in the ceremony of the Mass, represents His birth in the flesh, or the Incarnation, repeated in every Mass.
So fundamental to all their beliefs is this different view of the Atonement and of the Mass, as held by Roman Catholics, that it profoundly affects all other doctrines and changes the foundation of the Christian system. When the triumvirate approached their task of revision, with their scheme to advocate their new system of doctrines, Dean Farrar says that "hundreds of texts" were so changed that the Revisers restored conceptions "profound and remarkable" in the "verbs expressive of the great crises of Christian life."(23)
The great crises of Christian life are set forth by Protestants in words and practices different from Catholics. In the great crisis, when the Protestant is under conviction of sin, he reveals it by deep sorrow and contrition; the Catholic by going to Mass. In the crisis of that moment when the soul is moved by repentance, the Protestant speaks forth his heart to God, alone or in the assembly of fellow-believers; the Catholic goes to confess to a priest and so exalts the confessional to the doctrine of the Sacrament of Confession. In that crisis, when forgiveness of sins is experienced, the Protestant is conscious of God's pardon by faith in His Word; the Catholic hears the priest say, "I absolve thee," which indicates the power of the supernatural priesthood. In those deep wrestlings of the spirit, the crises which come from the demands of Christian obedience, the Protestant leans on the infallibility of the Bible to tell him what he should, or should not, do; the Catholic, through the priest, gets his light from the infallibility of the Pope, the crown of the supernatural priesthood.
The Revisers may not have had, in detail, these phases in their minds as we have enumerated them. But they had, in purpose, the principle which would lead to them. Westcott said, in the quotation above, when planning for a new set of doctrines on which the triumvirate was agreed, "I should like to have the Incarnation as a center." And on the text under consideration — 1.Corinthians 15:3,4 — Dean Farrar, interpreting it in the new meaning the Revisers intended for it to have, said:
"When St. Paul says that 'Christ was buried and hath been raised,' he emphasizes, by a touch, that the death and burial of Christ were, so to speak, but for a moment, while His Resurrection means nothing less than infinite, permanent, and continuous life."(24)
It is apparent by this translation they mean to minimize the death of Christ and to magnify His resurrection, which to them is substantially a repeated Incarnation. This tends to the Roman idea of Transubstantiation in the Mass. They belittle the death of Christ when they rule out the death of His divine nature. That leads to the conclusion that there was no divine law to be satisfied. Dr. Farrar ought to know what was intended, for he was one of the coterie in which Westcott and Hort moved.
This translation is purely arbitrary. Why did they not say, "hath been dead," and "hath been buried," as well as "hath been raised"? "The aorist, the aorist," we are told. Previously, we have sufficiently answered this unwarranted plea.
Take another text upon which Bishop Westcott has spoken expressly to inform us what is the superior reading of the Revised:
2. Matthew 27:46
KING JAMES: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."
REVISED: "My God, My God, why didst thou forsake me." (Margin.)
According to their self-imposed rules, the Revisers considered that the meaning of this text, in the Authorized, was that the effects of Christ's death were supreme and were continuous. This thought they believed of Christ's resurrection which opened the way for repeated Incarnations, as previously shown. Therefore, in the Revised (margin), they changed the tense to the past in order to make the death of Christ a temporary event, as of a moment. Bishop Westcott, on this text, shows in the following words that he believed Christ's passion was the death of a human, not of a divine being:
"If, then, we may represent suffering as the necessary consequence of sin, so that the sinner is in bondage, given over to the Prince of Evil, till his debt is paid, may we not represent to ourselves our Lord as taking humanity upon Him, and as man paying this debt — not as the debt of the individual, but as the debt of the nature which He assumed? The words in St. Matthew 27:46 seem to indicate some such view."(25)
He wrote to Benson, "In a few minutes I go with Lightfoot to Westminster (Revision Committee Session). More will come of these meetings, I think, than simply a revised version."(26)
As to the "more" which might come of these revision meetings, two incidents of Westcott's life within the five years previous to revision are significant, — his visit to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary at LaSalette, France, (1865), and his suspicious Tract of 1867.
LaSalette was one of the more famous shrines of France where the Catholics claim that the spirit of the Virgin Mary wrought miracles. Westcott reports that, while there, a miracle of healing took place. "The eager energy of the father," he writes, "the modest thankfulness of the daughter, the quick glances of the spectators from one to the other, the calm satisfaction of the priest, the comments of look and nod, combined to form a scene which appeared hardly to belong to the nineteenth century. An age of faith was restored before our sight in its ancient guise... In this lay the real significance and power of the place."(27)
So thorough was the impression of a "restored age of faith," made by this Catholic shrine miracle, on him, that he wrote a paper and sent it in for publication. Dr. Lightfoot besought him to withdraw it. He feared, "that the publication of the paper might expose the author to a charge of Mariolatry and even prejudice his chance of election to a Divinity Professorship at Cambridge."(28)
Again, in 1867, Westcott wrote a tract entitled, "The Resurrection as a Fact and a Revelation." It was already in type, his son tells us, when he was obliged to withdraw it because of the charge against it of heresy."(29)
Thus the Revisers revealed how they were influenced by exhibitions of what they considered the channel of divine power, — shrines and sacraments. This came from their incorrect view of the Atonement. For if Christ paid not the debt for our sins by the death of His divine being on Calvary, then, from their viewpoint, satisfaction for our sins must logically be made to God by some other means. Catholics find it in the sacrifice of the Mass and also by their own works of penance, while the Ritualists and leading Revisers look to the sacraments, which is in reality the same thing. This leads to the power of the priest and the practices of Ritualism.
These views of doctrines so different from those held by Protestants in 1611, would fundamentally affect, not only the foundation truth of the Atonement, that Christ's death paid the debt for our sins, but all other doctrines, and pave the way for a different mentality, a different gospel, wherever the ascendancy of the King James Bible was broken down. The evidences produced in connection with the American Revisers will show this more fully.
XII. The Jesuitical Doctrines of the Sacraments Favored by the Revised
1. 1.Corinthians 11:24
KING JAMES: "And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you."
REVISED: "And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: This do in remembrance of me."
Why were the two expressions, "take, eat" and "broken" omitted from the Revised? Before answering this question, let us consider further some fundamental viewpoints of the Revisers.
The word "sacrament" is not found in the Bible. The Lord's Supper and Baptism are never called "sacraments." The observance of these memorials of Christ's Death, burial and resurrection indicate the Christian's faith, but the Scriptures nowhere teach that they bring salvation or the forgiveness of sin. The mystic power of the priest by means of the so-called "sacraments" is a human invention. Therefore, sacramental salvation is no salvation. We do not wish to offend, or wound, but to us it looks like an empty delusion.
It is a most significant fact that of the system of doctrines with which the Cambridge trio of Revisers — Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot — set out to permeate Christendom, the central one was what they call the "Person of Christ." This doctrine teaches, first, that the only true way to do God's will is by "good works," in dependence upon "the Person of Christ;" second, it involves a clearer grasp of the fact that as the "God Incarnate," Christ is thus "mighty to save;" third, that the believer's incorporation into Christ is by means of the Sacraments; fourth, that the principal Sacraments are three in number, — Baptism, the Lord's Supper (the Mass), and the Confessional. Rev. Kempson, a Church of England clergyman, while admitting that others look upon the Movement of the Jesuits as counter to the Reformation, himself, holds a different view. He says:
"I say the Reformation, because I can see no sound reason for calling the events of that period which occurred within the Roman Communion a 'Counter-Reformation.' It was a movement which involved a great revival of personal piety and devotion to God and desire to do His will, and an equally clear realization of the fact that that desire could only be realized in good works in dependence on the Person of Christ. Thus far we have a remarkable parallel to our own Evangelical Revival. But in this case there was a clearer grasp of the fact that it is as the God Incarnate of the Creed that Christ is mighty to save, and that He communicates Himself to those who desire to live through Him by means of the Sacraments. That is, that the individual is grafted into Christ in the New Birth of Baptism, that he feeds on Christ, 'Who is verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper,' and that His healing grace is applied to the sinner and the results of sin by the receiving of the 'Benefit of Absolution.'"(30) (Italics mine.)
In Catholic theology, "Absolution" means the forgiveness which follows confession to a priest. Another quotation by the same author, presents the strong part Westcott had in this work: "Maurice and Kingsley, and Bishop Westcott, in his insistence on the social significance of the Incarnation, have done their work."(31)
The significant remarks above, that "Christ is mighty to save," only "as the God incarnate of the creed," — which is made available to us in the Lord's Supper or in the Mass, the reincarnation, — and that "He communicates Himself to those who desire to live through Him by means of the Sacraments," were the central doctrines of the Counter-Reformation, or the world-wide movement of the Jesuits. The Revisers changed the words of the King James Version to embody the very same sentiments. On this, Milligan, in his book on the Revised Version, says:
"The doctrine of the Sacraments may next engage our attention, and here again the variations in the renderings of familiar texts, though they may not appear at first of great importance, involve far-reaching truths... The Bread — that is, the Body of Christ — recalls more particularly His Incarnation, apart from His sufferings."(32)
Now we see why the word "broken" was left out of the Revised text under consideration, as it is also in the Douay. A footnote of Milligan, in connection with the above quotation, emphasizes the disappearance of "broken."(33)
How we are supposed to come in touch with the "Person of Christ," and receive His power and blessing, is shown by the following quotation from a ritualistic clergyman:
"Now there are, of course, many Catholic practices that necessarily result from a belief in the Real Presence of our dear Lord upon the Altar. . . . Bowing and genuflecting. Bowing to the Altar at all times... because the Altar is the throne of God Incarnate, where daily now, thank God, in many a Church in the land He deigns to rest... And genuflecting, not to the Altar, but to the Gift that is upon it ; to the God-man, Christ Jesus, when He is there."(34)
This is the doctrine of the "Person of Christ," as taught by the Ritualists and Revisers. The priest in every Mass created from bread the very body, the "Person of Christ," and then worships, and causes others to worship, the work of his own hands. We would not wish to offend or speak unfeelingly when we express our opinion that this is as truly idolatry as was the ancient paganism, or as is the heathenism of to-day. This localizing of the literal body and "Person of Christ," by making Him present in every particle of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper, or the Mass, is exactly the opposite, and contrary to the statement of the Saviour when about to bid farewell to His disciples, — "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." John 16:7.
When Christ ascended, He withdrew His personal presence from the disciples, and the era of the ministration of the Holy Spirit began. His words indicate that it was necessary for His person to go away, that His Spirit might come to His disciples. He who, like doubting Thomas, depends only on the local, personal, literal, presence of Christ, walks by sight and not by faith and deprives himself of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. "God is a Spirit: they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24. No Scripture commands us to worship in the Lord's supper the "Person of Christ." The Romanists, the Ritualists, and the Revisers invented this unspiritual dogma. Christ is with us always, not in "person," but by His Spirit. We receive Him by receiving His Word, for "they are Spirit, and they are life." John 6:63.
Nineteen hundred years ago, Christ journeyed on this earth from Bethlehem to Calvary in "person." When He departed from this world and ascended up on high, He left the glorious promise that He would come the "second time" in "person." His Second Coming is yet future. But if He comes personally in every Mass, or the Lord's Supper, He has already come not only the "second" time but the millionth time. The Revisers' doctrine of the Incarnation (the Mass), therefore, makes unnecessary and destroys the truth that He shall come "the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:23. How feeble is the coming of the "Person of Christ" in the Mass, or Lord's Supper, compared with His Second Coming in His own glory and the glory of His Father with all the holy angels! The fact that He came once in person and that His "second" personal coming is still future, proves untrue, the doctrine of the "Person of Christ" in the Mass. This doctrine is a weak substitute for, and counterfeit of, the glorious Second Coming of Christ.
Here a little, and there a little, the Westcott-Hort generalship moved forward, changing the divine Word to bear the impress of their doctrines, until they had changed the Greek in 5,337 places, and the English of the King James in 36,000 places. These 5,337 mutilations of the Greek and 36,000 metamorphoses of the English, in working out their scheme, stamp many of the readings of the Revised Version with the marks of Systematic Depravation.
(1) Edgar, Bibles of England, pp. 347, 348
(2) Mullen, Canon, p. 333
(3) Burgon, Revision Revised, p. 132
(4) see Chapter IX
(5) Fulke's Defense, p. 242
(6) Canon, F.W. Farrar, Contemporary Review, Mar. 1882
(7) T. Sterling Berry, Expositor, Vol. III, 2nd Series, p. 397
(8) Dr. Samuel Cox, Ibid, pp. 446
(9) Hort's Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 275
(10) Dr. Samuel Cox, Expositor, Second Series, Vol. III, p. 447
(11) Mullen, Canon, p. 332
(12) Ibid, p. 331
(13) Westcott, Some Lessons, p. 195
(14) Fisher, History of Christian Doctrine, p. 259
(15) Chambers, Companion, p. 116
(16) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. I, p. 62
(17) Fulke's Defense, pp. 278, 329, 330
(18) Burgon, Revision Revised, pp. 135-137
(19) Contemporary Review, March 1882
(20) Beckett, Revised N.T., p. 15
(21) Life and Letters of Westcott, Vol. I, p. 214
(22) Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 58
(23) Contemporary Review, March 1882
(25) Life and Letters of Westcott, Vol. I, p. 239
(26) Ibid, p. 367
(27) Ibid, p. 254
(28) Ibid, p. 255
(29) Ibid, p. 256
(30) Kempson, Church in Modern England, pp. 88, 89
(31) Ibid, p. 100
(32) Milligan, Expository Value, pp. 120, 122
(33) Ibid, p. 122 (note)
(34) Six Plain Sermons, by Richard Wilkins, quoted in Secret Hist. of the Oxford Movement, p. 410
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