Catholics Rejoice that the Revised
Version Vindicates their Bible
PREVIOUSLY we have shown how Catholics were elated over the readings in the Revised Version that undermined Protestantism, and criticized the Revisers for wanton omissions.(1) We shall now show how they rejoiced that Catholic readings rejected by the Reformers have been restored by the Revisers, and their Catholic Bible vindicated.
A Catholic bishop says that the Revisers were not as Protestant as the translators of 1611:
"It must be admitted that either the Revisers wished to withdraw several important passages of the Holy Scripture from Protestants, or that the latter, in their simplicity, have all along been imposed upon by King James' translators, who, either through ignorance or malice, have inserted in the Authorized Version a number of paragraphs which were never written by an apostle or other inspired writer."(2)
Cardinal Wiseman exults that the Revision Movement vindicates the Catholic Bible:
"When we consider the scorn cast by the Reformers upon the Vulgate, and their recurrence, in consequence, to the Greek, as the only accurate standard, we cannot but rejoice at the silent triumph which truth has at length gained over clamorous error. For, in fact, the principal writers who have avenged the Vulgate, and obtained for it its critical preeminence, are Protestants."(3)
A Catholic Magazine claims Revision for Higher Criticism and Catholicism:
"How bitter to them must be the sight of their Anglican bishops sitting with Methodists, Baptists, and Unitarians to improve the English Bible according to modern ideas of progressive Bible Criticism! Who gave these men authority over the written Word of God? It was not Parliament or Privy Council, but the Church of England acting through Convocation. To whom do they look for the necessary sanction and approval of their work, but to public opinion? One thing at least is certain, the Catholic Church will gain by the new Revision both directly and indirectly."(4)
A Catholic priest indicates that the changes agree with the Latin Vulgate:
"It is very pleasant to read the commendation given by the learned reviewer, the Very Rev. James A Corcoran, D.D., in the American Catholic Quarterly Review, of the new Revision. He devotes a considerable space to proving that the earlier English translations corrupted the text, for the purpose of attacking the Roman Catholic faith, and that even King James' Version retained many of these odious mistranslations. Of the Revision he says: 'One of the greatest benefits conferred by the Revision on the English Protestant world, though very few or none seem to realize it, is that all the wicked translations, whether by falsification of meaning, or by interpolation, or by foisting of glosses into the text, have been ruthlessly swept away by the besom of the Revisers. And why? Solely on the ground that they were corruptions. They do not explicitly say that they were sectarian corruptions, nor need we insist on their saying it; but they recognized them as such, and every honest man, every friend of religious truth must be thankful that they have with unsparing hand driven these unholy abominations out of the book of God's revelation. This proves that their honesty was wholesome, not partial or interested.'"(5) The above quotation shows the hostile attitude of Romanists to the King James Version, and their endorsement of the Revision.
A Catholic Bishop says that Protestants have prayed the Lord's prayer wrong for 300 years:
"This writer (Dr. Alexander Roberts) notifies his readers in one place, that, because the Revisers made use of an amended Greek text, 'a vast multitude of changes will be found in the Revised English Version' of the New Testament. Next he reminds them of 'the entire omission of the doxology of the Lord's prayer of Matthew 6:13,' so that all English speaking Protestants have been all along adding to that prayer words which the Lord never dictated. Indeed, they are likely to continue the practice, as the Revision of the Authorized Version will probably never be generally adopted by them."(6)
A Catholic priest says that the Revised Version confirms readings of the Catholic Version:
"From the Very Rev. Thomas S. Preston, of St. Ann's (R.C.) Church of New York, — 'The brief examination which I have been able to make of the Revised Version of the New Testament has convinced me that the Committee have labored with great sincerity and diligence, and that they have produced a translation much more correct than that generally received among Protestants."
"'It is to us a gratification to find that in very many instances they have adopted the reading of the Catholic Version, and have thus by their scholarship confirmed the correctness of our Bible.'"(7)
A Catholic Magazine says that the Revised readings do justice to Catholics:
"We have next to examine the new Version in detail to see how it will affect Catholic truth. In the first place, there are several important corrections and improved renderings. The Revisers have done an act of justice to Catholics by restoring the true reading of 1.Corinthians 11:27."(8)
A Catholic Bishop considers that the Revised Version is like the Douay Bible:
"And there is no reason to doubt that, had King James' translators generally followed the Douay Version, the convocation of Canterbury would have been saved the trouble of inaugurating a movement for the purpose of expurgating the English Protestant Bible of the errors and corruptions by which its pages are filled."(9)
French and German Catholic authorities approve the critical features of the Greek text which underlies the Revised Version:
"In the Bulletin Critique of Paris for Jan. 15, 1881, the learned Louis Duchesne opens the review of Westcott and Hort with these words: 'Voici un livre destine a faire epoque dans la critique du Nouveau-Testament.' (Here is a book destined to create a new epoch in New Testament criticism.) To this Catholic testimony from France may be added German Catholic approval, since Dr. Hundhausen, of Mainz, in the 'Literarischer Hand-weiser,' 1882, No. 19, col. 590, declares: 'Unter allen bisher auf dem Gebiete der neu-testamentlichen Textkritik erschienenen Werken gebührt dem Westcott-Hort-schen unstreitig die Palme.'" (Among all printed works which have appeared in the field of New Testament textual criticism, the palm belongs unquestionably to the Westcott-Hort Text.)(10)
A Catholic magazine claims that the Revised Version is the death knell of Protestantism:
"On the 17th of May the English speaking world awoke to find that its Revised Bible had banished the Heavenly Witnesses and put the Devil in the Lord's Prayer. Protests loud and deep went forth against the insertion; against the omission, none. It is well, then, that the Heavenly Witnesses should depart whence their testimony is no longer received. The Jews have a legend that shortly before the destruction of their Temple, the Shechinah departed from the Holy of Holies, and the Sacred Voices were heard saying, 'Let us go hence.' So perhaps it is to be with the English Bible, the Temple of Protestantism. The going forth of the Heavenly Witnesses is the sign of the beginning of the end. Lord Panmure's prediction may yet prove true — the New Version will be the death knell of Protestantism."(12)
(1) Chapter XI
(2) Bishop Tobias Mullen, Erie Pa., The Canon of the Old Test., p. 366
(3) Wiseman, Essays, Vol. I, p.104
(4) Dublin Review (Catholic), July 1881
(5) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. II, p. 82
(6) Mullen, Canon of the Old Test., pp. 365, 366
(7) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. II, p. 21
(8) Dublin Review (Catholic), July 1881
(9) Mullen, Canon of the Old Test., pp. 369, 370
(10) Dr. Warfield's Collection of Opinions and Reviews, Vol. I, p. 48
(11) (no such footnote)
(12) Dublin Review (Catholic), July 1881
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