The Enemy continued...
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:
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:
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:
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!