There is a lot of secrecy surrounding the translators of modern Bibles, and with good reason. The Lockman Foundation has elected to remain anonymous, and the translating committee of the New International Version is also nameless. We are assured of their "scholarship" without being given any proof of it. Just what is they are hiding?
Earlier we studied the beliefs of Dr's Westcott and Hort. We will now look at some of the other members of the English Revision committee (1870-85). You will see how all of these men fit together so well and were able to completely reject God's text in favor of Rome's.
Because of this preference for the Roman Catholic text found in the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus MSS, every Bible translation since 1881 is directly linked to the Revised Version.
You will find that Westcott and Hort, Nestle, the translators of the Revised Standard Version, the Lockman Foundation, the New Scofield Board of Editors, and the majority of college professors and preachers today all follow the same MSS family. This family is the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and has no relationship whatsoever to the God-preserved Majority Text of the Authorized Version. They all have the same Alexandrian conviction that God could not preserve His words through history.
The translators of the King James Bible were men of great education, which was tempered by true spirituality and biblical convictions. They were used by God in His plan for the preservation of His words. They were not "inspired" to write a new revelation. They were empowered by the Holy Spirit to preserve that which had already been written. This is what God had promised in Psalms 12:7.
Compare the convictions of the modern Bible translators with that of the King James translators.
First a couple of Westcott and Hort statements that I have not included yet, this is because I will be comparing these statements later in the text, with the statements of subsequent revisers.
Fenton John Anthony Horts' belief concerning the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
"I quite agree that it is most essential to study each Synoptist by himself as a single whole. Only I should add that such a study soon leads one to the fact of their having all largely used at least one common source, and that fact becomes an additional element in their criticism." (Hort, Arthur Fenton, Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, (New York, 1896), Volume I, p. 423.
April 28, 1865 Hort to B.F. Westcott - "I dare not prophesy about America, but cannot see that I see much as yet to soften my deep hatred of democracy in all its forms." (A. Hort, Vol.II, p.34)
Westcott on Christian Socialism
Westcott - Address at Manchester to the Christian Social Union - November, 1895 "The Christian Law, then is the embodiment of the truth for action, in forms answering to the conditions of society from age to age. The embodiment takes place slowly and can never be complete. It is impossible for us to rest indolently in conclusions of the past. In each generation the obligation is laid on Christians to bring new problems of conduct into the divine light and to find their solution under the teaching of the Spirit." (A. Westcott, Vol. II, p.49)
William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), was added to the Old Testament company after the work had begun. (W.F. Moulton, The History of the English Bible, p. 220). Some of Smith's articles on the subject of the Bible appeared in the Encyclopedia Britannica. These were filled with speculation and unbelief. When his first article appeared in the Britannica in 1880, charges were brought against him by the General Assembly of the Free Church. The Assembly, deciding to make a compromise with the heretic, publicly admonished Smith and received from him a pledge "not again to disturb the faith and peace of the church by such speculations." What Smith failed to mention in his solemn pledge was that another article of like nature was at the printers in preparation for publication! "It had been in the printers hands at the very time he was giving his pledge of good behavior and receiving the generous forgiveness of his judges." As a result of this, Smith was finally dismissed from the professorship at the Free Church Theological College.
Westcott was deeply devoted to John Henry Newman, a Roman Catholic defector who took 150 Church of England clergymen with him. He was invited to participate, but declined.
George Vance Smith (1816-1902), was minister of St. Saviours Gate Unitarian Chapel, York. He had an equal vote with the other committee members even though he had publicly denied the deity of Jesus Christ. After he participated in a communion service with the other revisers, a letter was published in The Times (July 11, 1870) in which he proudly declared that though he had received communion, he had refused to recite the Creed since he would not compromise his "principles" as one who denied the deity of Jesus Christ. A public outcry ensued, but Westcott, Hort, and some of the other revisers threatened to resign if Smith was not allowed to participate!
A.G. Hobbs Foreword to the Centennial Edition of John Burgon's Revision Revised states:
"[Smith's participation in the communion service] led to a public protest signed by `some thousands of the Clergy.' The Upper House passed a Resolution that `no person who denies the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to be invited to join either company to which was committed the Revision of the Authorized Version of Holy Scripture: and that it is further the judgment of this House that any person now on either Company should cease to act therewith.' This Resolution was also passed by the Lower House. And still they could not get this non- believer off the Committee.
"Here is a real shocker: Dean Stanley, Westcott, Hort, and Bishop Thirlwall all refused to serve if Smith were dismissed. Let us remember that the Bible teaches that those who uphold and bid a false teacher God speed are equally guilty.`For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds' (2 John 9-11). No wonder that the Deity of Christ is played down in so many passages!" (A.G. Hobbs, Foreword, The Revision Revised Centennial Edition).
Smith reveled in the fact that many changes made in the English Revision reflected his own wicked views on Jesus Christ.
"The only instance in the N.T. in which the religious worship or adoration of Christ was apparently implied, has been altered by the Revision: `At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,' [Philippians 2:10] is now to be read `in the name.' Moreover, no alteration of text or of translation will be found anywhere to make up for this loss; as indeed it is well understood that the N.T. contains neither precept nor example which really sanctions the religious worship of Jesus Christ" (Smith, Texts and Margins of the Revised New Testament Affecting Theological Doctrine Briefly Reviewed, p. 47).
"The old reading [God in 1 Tim. 3:16] is pronounced untenable by the Revisers, as it has long been known to be by all careful students of the New Testament. ... It is in truth another example of the facility with which ancient copiers could introduce the word God into their manuscripts,--a reading which was the natural result of the growing tendency in early Christian times ... to look upon the humble Teacher as the incarnate Word, and therefore as `God manifested in the flesh'" (Smith, Texts and Margins, p. 39).
Consider some of the blasphemies about the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture, the atonement, and the personality of the Holy Spirit which came from the pen of this evil man:
In his book, The Bible and Popular Theology, (First issued 1871, reissued 1901 in an enlarged fifth edition entitled, The Bible and Its Theology: A Review, Comparison, and Re-statement.) Smith states:
"... what is really meant by the term in question [the Holy Spirit], is no other than God himself ... but this fact will not justify us in saying that it is `God the Holy Spirit,' as though it were a distinct personality..." (The Bible and Its Theology, p. 215).
"[Salvation] was in no way purchased of him [God] or of his justice. It was not because his `wrath' was appeased, or satisfied by the sufferings of an innocent substitute, but because of his own essential fatherly goodness and `great love.' `It is the gift of God,' not a thing bought from him with a price, except in so far as this might be Figuratively said in reference to that death of the Messiah..." (Ibid., p. 246).
"... it is equally clear that it was not as their substitute that he died for men; not to redeem them from eternal misery; not ...
because the clouds of God's wrath had gathered thick over the human race, and required a victim, and could find that victim only in the innocent Jesus! ... The popular theory, in reality, is largely the product of dark and ignorant ages ..." (Ibid., pp. 248,253).
"It is, that the Bible manifestly offers itself to us, the people of these later times, largely as a Book of History. It never professes or claims to be more: never, in truth, makes any profession or claim at all on that point; but stands before us there, simply as a collection of writings preserving for us the remaining literature, the traditions, and the history of the Hebrews. ... It nowhere, in truth, claims inspiration, or says anything definite about it. The biblical inspiration, whatever it is or was, would seem, like the genius of Shakespeare, to be unconsciously possessed. The phrase, `Thus saith the Lord,' and its equivalents, are simply to be referred to the style of the prophet; or to be understood only as indicating his belief that what he was about to say was conformable to the Divine Will. ... It is scarcely allowable, in short, to think of inspiration as being or acting in the dead works of any book" (Ibid., pp. 269,276,277).
"Then again, are we not, all of us who seek to be so, spiritual Sons of God?" (Ibid., p. 298).
"Jesus of Nazareth is nowhere presented to us as God, but simply as the Christ... `There is one God, the Father,' and `one Lord, Jesus Christ;' but these are not in any sense one being or one nature" (Ibid., p. 299).
When this work first appeared, Smith had been working with the Revision committee for several months
In the enlarged edition Smith gloried in the changes made by the Westcott-Hort text and the Revised Version which made it simpler for him to dispute the deity of Jesus Christ. He recognized what many today blindly deny: that the modern Greek text is an attack upon the full divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the passages listed by Smith as being superior in the modern texts and versions were Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; and 1 John 5:7.
let us look at the behaviour of other members of the scholars whose conscience's troubled them, as the terrible objectives of Westcott and Hort became apparent.
Samuel Wilberforce "A godly bishop of enormous influence", was the first chairman of the committee of the revisers.
"His acceptance of a position on the board, greatly helped to allay the fears of many, and to secure needful backing for the project. After attending only one meeting of the committee, he withdrew, greatly saddened by that which he had discovered to be the intent of the guiding scholars." (Dean Burgon Revision Revised p.230)
"Another learned and accomplished Dean, (Dr. Merivale) after attending 19 meetings of the Revising body, withdrew in disgust from them entirely." (Dean Burgon Revision Revised p. 230)
Dr. Lee - Archdeacon of Dublin
"It is no secret that Dr. Lee - the learned Archdeacon of Dublin (one of the few really competent members of the Revising Body,) found himself perpetually in the minority." (Revision Revised p. 230)
"By the way - What about a certain solemn protest, by means of which the minority had resolved 'liberare animous suas' concerning open disregard shown by the majority for the conditions under which they had been entrusted with the work of Revision, but which was withheld at the last moment?" (Revision Revised p. 230)
|In noticing the Revised Old Testament, Mr. Spurgeon wrote; "We did not need a blunder Bible to complete the series of eccentric Scriptures. However, good has come out of evil; the old Authorized Version sits secure upon its throne. There is none like it; nor is there likely to be."|
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All modern translations, such as the New American Standard Version, are linked to the Revised Standard Version of 1952, which is a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901, which was originally marketed as the American Revised Version - an American creation growing from the English Revised Version of 1881.
The RSV translators based their work on upon the critical Greek text and introduced some liberal readings of their own.
They placed a footnote at Matthew 1:16 which says, "Other ancient authorities read: Joseph, to whom was betrothed the Virgin Mary, was the father of Jesus who is called Christ." This lying note claims to be based on "ancient authorities," (plural) but the fact is that it had only one so- called authority: a rogue Syriac version. Dr. Gordon Clark believed it was significant that the RSV translators did not place this footnote in the 1946 edition of their New Testament, but waited until the publication of the whole Bible in 1952.
"Before they completed their work on the Old Testament, they published the New Testament alone in 1946. It was well advertised and made quite a stir. People who picked it up would probably look at the first page and then leaf through. On the first page they would see nothing suspicious. ... When the entire Bible first appeared, those interested might look at the first page of Genesis and then leaf through. It was unlikely that anyone would pay attention to the first page of the New Testament. But the first page of Matthew in 1952 was not the same as its first page in 1946. A footnote had been added. It would have generated wide-spread criticism in 1946, but it would be generally overlooked when hidden by the preceding Old Testament pages" (Clark, Logical Criticisms of Textual Criticism, p. 17).
This footnote was dropped from later editions of the Revised Standard Version.
Considerable debate was stirred up about the replacement in Isaiah 7:14 of the word "virgin" with "young woman." The RSV translators argued that the Hebrew word, almah, does not necessarily have to be translated virgin.
Almah is used nine times in the Bible (Gen. 24:43; Ex. 2:8; Psa. 68:25; Prov. 30:19; Song 1:3; 6:8; Isa. 7:14), It is translated "maid" in Ex. 2:8 and "damsels" in Ps. 68:25. Many commentators contend that the word can refer to a woman who is not strictly a virgin, but it cannot be proven that it is ever used so in Scripture. Gen. 24:43 refers to Rebekah before she became Isaac's bride, she was a virgin in the strictest sense of the word. Ex. 2:8 refers to Moses' sister when she was a girl living at home. Yet again, this is a clear reference to a virgin. Ps. 68:25, Song 1:3, and 6:8 are not as clear as to what kind of girls are in view, but there is no indication in the contexts that these are not virgins. The reference in Isaiah 7:14 without question speaks of a virgin, because it was fulfilled in the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The New Testament plainly tells us that though she was espoused to Joseph, she conceived the Lord Jesus Christ "before they came together" (Matt. 1:18). The Holy Spirit quotes Isaiah and applies it directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek word used for "virgin" in Matthew 1:23 is parthenos, and it is never translated anything except "virgin" in its 14 usages in the New Testament. Any "theologian" who questions the Authorized Versions translation of Isaiah 7:14 is denying the testimony of God.
This perversion of Isaiah 7:14 had originally appeared in Jewish translations, such as the 1853 Isaac Leeser translation of the Old Testament which was revised and reissued in 1917 by the Central Conference of American Rabbis. It read, "Behold, the young woman shall conceive..." The Moffatt version also replaced "virgin" with "young woman," as did the Improved Edition of the Bible issued in 1912 by the American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia.
The Revised Standard Version is copyrighted by the National Council of Churches in America and is widely distributed by the apostate United Bible Societies. Most translations made by the United Bible societies are made from the RSV or from the Greek and Hebrew text underlying the RSV. Practically all of the vernacular translations of the Bible in India (which has more than 700 million people) are based either on the RSV, the United Bible societies' Today's English Version, or the United Bible societies' Greek New Testament.
"When the RSV was published, the list of translators was also released and the majority of the translators were found to be unbelieving infidels from modernistic and liberal schools, and a large percentage of them were members of many and various Communist-front organizations. At least four of the RSV translators were from Union Theological Seminary of New York City, a hotbed of modernism, socialism, and un-Americanism." (M.L. Moser, Good News For Modern Man p.72, Little Rock, Arkansas: Challenge Press, 1970)
Note that, at least two of the editors of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, Bruce Metzger and Allen Wikgren, were involved in this endeavor.
Consider some of the writings and the doctrinal thinking of the translators on the RSV committee:
Edgar J. Goodspeed
Edgar Goodspeed did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. To Goodspeed Jesus Christ was a social reformer who gave His life as a martyr for a "cause." Goodspeed wrote in a book, A Life of Jesus:
"Jesus' youth was probably one of the dawning and increasing dissatisfaction with the prevalent form of the Jewish religion in Nazareth and in his own home. He did not in those early years see what he could do about it, but he must have felt a growing sense that there was something deeply wrong about it, which should be corrected" (God's Inspired Preserved Bible, (Peoples Gospel Hour, Halifax, 1979), pp.17,18.)
Speaking of the death of Christ, he has Him planning His death with these words, Goodspeed continues;
"He faced the question of his next step in his work. He had no mind to die obscured in some corner of Galilee, to no purpose. A bolder plan was now taking shape in his mind. He would present himself to Jerusalem ... publicly offer them their Messianic destiny, and take the consequences. And he would do this in ways that would make his death something that would never be forgotten, but would carry the message to the end of time. Yet how could this be done?" (Ibid., pp. 18,19.)
He also denies the physical resurrection of Christ in these words:
"That he is to be with them always, to the very end, shows that it is not as a physical presence that he has come back to them, but as a spiritual one" (Ibid)
Like Westcott, Goodspeed seemed to think it necessary to explain away Christ's miracles;
"He took the five loaves and two fishes and looked up to heaven and blessed the loaves, and broke them in pieces, and gave them to the disciples to pass to the people. He also divided the two fishes among them all. And they all ate, and had enough. Jesus' simple example of sharing all he and his disciples had with their guests must have moved those Galileans as it moves us still. They could not do less than he had done. They followed his example. He simply showed the way, and they gladly took it." (Ibid., p. 18.)
He said Genesis was the product of an;
"Oriental story teller at his best." (Goodspeed, How To Read the Bible.)
And describes Ruth as belonging to:
"Israel's fiction, rather than to its history, and should be read among its tales and stories"
The book of Job is:
And about Jonah he says:
"Jonah is the first missionary book in the world. If people would recognize it as fiction, they might get from it its meaning, which was never more needed than today."
Goodspeed describes the "demons" of the Bible as "delusions.":
"`My name is Legion!' cried this man, `for there are many of us.' This was clearly the man's own conviction of his emotional instability; he felt himself to be in the control of a multiple personality. ... Jesus humored him, and the man's cries and movements so frightened the animals that they rushed in panic over the edge of the cliff into the lake."
The Bible actually teaches that the swine had listened to "the man's cries and movements" for years without running in panic over the cliff. It was only when the man ceased his maniacal screamings that they became "panic stricken."
Clarence T. Craig
Craig agrees with present day "Christian scholars" who believe that God is not able to preserve His Word:
"Revelation has sometimes been understood to consist in a holy book. ... Even on Christian soil it has sometimes been held that the books of the Bible were practically dictated to the writers through the Holy Spirit. ... I do not think that this is the distinctively christian position. If God once wrote His revelation in an inerrant book, He certainly failed to provide any means by which this could be passed on without contamination through human fallibility. ... The true Christian position is the Bible contains the record of revelation" (Clarence T. Craig, The Beginning of Christianity).
He also writes:
"Traditions about Jesus were used to ground the Christian faith." (Clarence T. Craig, The Beginning of Christianity)
Clarence T. Craig also denied the bodily resurrection of Christ;
"It is to be remembered that there were no eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. No canonical gospel presumed to describe Jesus emerging from the tomb. The mere fact that a tomb was found empty was capable of many explanations. The very last one that would be credible to a modern man would be the explanation of a physical resurrection of the body" (Craig, Ibid.).
Craig also held Westcott's view that Christ's second coming was a spiritual coming, not physical;
"In other words, the coming of Christ is to the hearts of those who love him. It is not hope for some future time, but a present reality of faith." (Craig, Ibid.)
Julius A. Brewer
"The dates and figures found in the first five books of the Bible turn out to be altogether unreliable" (Julius Brewer, The Literature of the Old Testament).
James Moffatt (who also published his own translation of the Bible)
"The writers of the New Testament made mistakes in interpreting some of the Old Testament prophecies" (James Moffatt, The Approach to the New Testament).
William F. Albright
"One cannot of course place John on the same level with the synoptic Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke] as a historical source" (William Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity).
Notice how heritics dislike Johns Gospel, because it makes the strongest statements of the four gospels concerning the deity of Jesus Christ.
He also holds a confused plan of salvation:
"He [Jesus] also in other places states that each individual must decide for himself whether the details of Jesus' birth and resurrection are literal or only spiritual."
Henry F. Cadbury
"He [Jesus Christ] was given to overstatements, in his case, not a personal idiosyncrasy, but a characteristic of the oriental world" (Henry F. Cadbury, Jesus, What Manner of Man?).
"As to the miraculous, one can hardly doubt that time and tradition would heighten this element in the story of Jesus. Later gospels (than Mark) plainly move in this direction, and the evidence is familiar to all students of synoptic parallels. ... His (Jesus') gospel was in brief, a social gospel." (Henry F. Cadbury, Jesus, What Manner of Man?)..
Cadbury, like Westcott, was a socialist, and attempted to fit Jesus Christ into the same mold. He also doubted the deity of Christ.
"A psychology of God, if that is what Jesus was, is not available" (Henry F. Cadbury, Jesus, What Manner of Man?).
Walter Russell Bowie
"According to the enthusiastic traditions which had come down through the folklore of the people of Israel, Methuselah lived 969 years" (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible).
Walter Bowie was another revisor who believed that the Old Testament was legend instead of fact.
"Methuselah has become, not only a legend, but a proverb...The story of Abraham comes down from ancient times; and how much of it is fact and how much of it is legend, no one can positively tell" (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible).
In speaking of Jacob wrestling with the Angel, he says,
"The man of whom these words were written (Genesis 32:31) belongs to a time so long ago that it is uncertain whether it records history or legend." (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible)
Bowie explaines away the miraculous account of the burning bush, he comments:
"One day he (Moses) had a vision. In the shimmering heat of the desert, beneath the blaze of that Eastern sun, he saw a bush that seemed to be on fire, and the bush was not consumed." (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible)
He makes the fact of Elijah's victory on Mt. Carmel out to be a mere legend:
"It is not strange that in the atmosphere of tradition and legend which gathers around heroic figures there should be this reflected light. But the central matter is independent of these miraculous occurrences." (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible)
And about the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, he says:
"And then the old story tells the tradition of their miraculous deliverance." (Walter Russell Bowie, Great Men of the Bible)
Willard L. Sperry
Liberals always attack John's gospel, because it makes the strongest statements of the four gospels concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. Willard Sperry shows his dislike for the gospel of John in the following statement:
"Some of these sayings, it is true, come from the Fourth Gospel (John), and we do not press that Gospel for too great verbal accuracy in its record of the sayings of Jesus" (Willard L. Sperry, Rebuilding Our World).
William A. Irwin,
Irwin believed that the Jewish prophets inflated the position of God in the Bible, that progressive revelation came from men rather than from God:
"The prophets were forced by the disasters that befell to do some hard, painful thinking. They were forced by the history of their own times to revise their messages again and again in order to keep up with the progress of the age. The Assyrians and the Babylonians forced them to revise their conception of Yahweh from time to time until they finally made him God of the universe." (William A. Irwin, The Problem of Ezekiel).
"This phrase ['Thus saith the Lord'] is an almost unfailing mark of spuriousness" (William A. Irwin, The Problem of Ezekiel).
"Only bigotry could bring us to deny an equal validity with the prophets of Israel in the religious vision of men such as Zoraster or Ikhnaton or, on a lower level, the unnamed thinkers of ancient Babylonia" (William A. Irwins', revision of J. M. Powis' book on The Prophets and Their Time).
Concerning Moses' authorship of the first five books of the Bible;
"The idea has been shown by scholars to be untenable on many grounds. The view that now prevails is that through these five books, there were four different strands of narrative which have been pieced together to make the present story...Two are older and more reliable as history, two proceed from later time and are so coloured by later ideas that they can hardly be called history at all." (Fleming James, The Beginnings of Our Religion).
This almost coincides with Fenton John Anthony Horts' belief concerning the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Concerning Elijah's action in 2 Kings 1:10, he said;
"The narrative of calling down fire from heaven upon the soldiers sent to arrest him is plainly legendary" (Fleming James, The Beginnings of Our Religion).
Concerning the miracle of the Red Sea crossing.
"What really happened at the Red Sea we can no longer know, but scholars are pretty well agreed that the narrative goes back to some striking and pretentious event which impressed both Moses and the people with the belief that Yahweh had intervened to save them. The same may be said of the account of the plagues." (Fleming James, The Beginnings of Our Religion).
Frederick C. Grant
In a book co-authored by three others, The Beginnings Of Our Religion, he expresses his doubts regarding the accuracy of the Bible:
"We may admit at once that the older view of Jesus' life and ministry was not entirely historical."
Frederick Grant agreed with Westcott and Hort's belief in prayer for the dead;
"It would seem that modern thought...demands that if prayer be real or effective at all, it shall not cease when those who have gone before advance, as by a bend in the road beyond our sight...must we cease to pray for them? The answer is cease not to pray, for they are living still, in this world or the other, and still have need of prayers." (from; God's Inspired Preserved Bible, Peoples Gospel Hour, Halifax, 1979, p.22)
In his book, Founders of Great Religions, he refers to the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses and the children of Israel as:
"not necessarily miraculous."
And the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night was:
"a volcano far off on the eastern horizon, to which they were guided by the smoke it emitted in the daytime and by its red glow at night."
Millar Burrows finalizes the true convictions of the revisors in his statement;
"We cannot take the Bible as a whole and in every part as stating with divine authority what we must believe and do" (Miller Burrows, Outline of Biblical Theology)
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J.B. Phillips (1906-1982) was a universalist, believing that all men are children of God. "To regard other men as my brothers remains a mere dream, particularly if I do not like them, unless I realize with a kind of salutary humility that we all have the same father" (When God Was Man, New York: Abingdon Press, 1955, p. 46). "I would also mean that those who did give themselves in love to others did in fact `know God', however loudly they might protest their agnosticism" (Ring of Truth, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1967, p. 70).
Portions of his paraphrased New Testament first appeared in 1947. The entire New Testament was published in 1958 and was called, The New Testament in Modern English. His translation was a perversion of God's Word.
Some of his other views:
HELL: "Jesus surely used it symbolically to mean, not a place of torture, but the place for useless rubbish. The real danger is, not that we might be tortured for endless ages, but that we might be found to be useless and only fit, so to speak, for the celestial rubbish dump" (When God Was Man, p. 50).
DEMONS: Phillips believed that demons are merely the "storm center of the personality" (When God Was Man, p. 19).
BIBLE:"I should like to make it quite clear that I could not possibly hold the extreme `fundamentalist' position of so-called `verbal inspiration'" (Ring of Truth, p. 28). "...I felt bound to abandon the `God-dictated-every-word-from-cover-to-cover' attitude, and won an attitude which commends itself to my intelligence as well as my faith..." (The Price of Success, Wheaton: Harold Shaw Pub., 1984, p. 150).
DEVIL:"If our critics mean that we believe in the permanent existence of Satan, the Devil or the powers of evil, they are wrong, for we do not" (Ring of Truth, p. 51).
MIRICLES:"Those who were sent to arrest him `fell back to the ground'. Previous pious generations attribute this to some supernatural power. I don't believe this for a moment" (Ring of Truth, p. 88).
"A `miracle' is, by definition, something to be wondered at, and in the past, when laws then unknown were being used, it was commonly assumed that divine intervention was the cause of the wonder. ... but I think that it is unlikely" (Ring of Truth, p. 93).
J.B. Phillips also called the ascension of Christ a parable (Ring of Truth, p. 107).
Denied the Blood Atonement, claiming that Jesus could have accomplished the same work had he died in a gas chamber or an electric chair (Plain Christianity, London: Epworth Press, 1954, p. 82).
Believed the New Birth is a mere "change of outlook" (When God Was Man, p. 28).
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The Today's English Version (TEV) is owned by the American Bible Society, which is a founding member of the United Bible Societies. That the TEV is fully a United Bible Society production can be seen in the following notes:
"The Good News Bible extends to 1292 pages. ... The copyright of the whole production, with the exception of the twelve maps, is owned by the American Bible Society. ... The volume bears the imprint of `The Bible Societies,' and includes a list of 99 societies." (Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record Jan.-Mar., 1978, p. 16.)
"In September 1966, the American Bible Society published The New Testament In Today's English Version, a translation intended for people everywhere for whom English is either their mother tongue or an acquire language. Shortly thereafter the United Bible Societies requested the American Bible Society to undertake on its behalf a translation of the Old Testament following the same principles. ... Final approval of the text on behalf of the United Bible Societies was given by the American Bible Society's Board of Managers upon recommendation of its Translations Department Committee." (Preface, Good News Bible, edition published by Thomas Nelson Inc., publishers under license from the American Bible Society.)
The New Testament portion of the Today's English Version (TEV), also known as the Good News for Modern Man, was published in 1966 by the American Bible Society. In 1973 the whole TEV Bible was published. At its quarterly meeting in December 1985, the American Bible Society Board of Managers presented the 20 millionth copy of the Good News Bible to retiring president Edmund Wagner. (Record, American Bible Society, March 1986, pp. 15,16)
The popularity of the Today's English Version has been phenomenal. By 1987 the TEV New Testament had sold more than 75 million copies. (Focus, Oct. 1986, p. 5) One reason for the success of the TEV is the broad ecumenical acceptance it has recieved (which was given soon after its release). The Roman Catholic Church gave official approval as early as 1969. In a news release on March 18, 1969, the American Bible Society noted that:
"Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, had granted this new `Bible' his official approval and that subsequent printing would bear his imprimatur. It was Cardinal Cushing who earlier gave an imprimatur to the Protestant-sponsored Revised Standard Version. Protestant and Catholic scholars in recent years have reached substantial agreement on the translation of the Bible into English, and Cardinal Cushing's expert consultants did not seek a single change in the text of the TEV before approving it for Catholic use." (M.L. Moser, Jr., Good News for Modern Man: The Devil's Masterpiece, Little Rock: Challenge Press, 1970, pp. 74,75.)
The TEV was given a big promotional push soon after its release by Billy Graham, who "called it an excellent translation over nationwide television from his campaign in Anaheim, California." It was then distributed by the Grason Company of Minneapolis, the distributors of Billy Graham materials. (M.L. Moser, Jr., The Devil's Masterpiece, Little Rock: Challenge Press, 1970, p. 80.)
The Preface to the Thomas Nelson edition of the Good News Bible tells us that:
"The basic text for the New Testament is The Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Societies (3rd edition, 1975), but in a few instances the translation is based on a variant reading supported by one or more Greek manuscripts."
The corruption and inaccuracy of the Good News Bible, is caused by the apostasy of its chief translator, Dr. Robert Bratcher.
Dr. Robert Bratcher edited the "Questions & Answers" department of O Jornal Batista [The Baptist Journal], which is the official paper of the Brazilian Baptist Convention. It was in that column of July 9, 1953, that Bratcher said:
"Jesus Christ would not enjoy omniscience. That is an attribute of God. ... Jesus did not claim He and the Father to be one--which would be absurd." (M.L. Moser, Jr., The Devil's Masterpiece, Little Rock: Challenge Press, 1970, p. 73.)
In a letter to Julius C. Taylor, July 16, 1970, Bratcher said;
"Of course I believe what I wrote in the Journal Batista of July 9, 1953." (Donald T. Clarke, Bible Version Manual, Millersburg: Bible Truth Institute, 1975, p. 95.)
In 1957 Bratcher began working with the American Bible Society and became the chief translator for the Today's English Version.
Though the TEV became immensely popular, little was known by the average Christian about its translator--at least not until March 1981 when some candid statements Bratcher made at a Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission seminar were given close media attention. According to Religious News Service, Bratcher cautioned those attending the seminar
"not to speak in naive fashion about the authority of the Bible"
"only God's authority is inerrant."
This is typical modernistic doublespeak. Bratcher "advised Christians against using isolated verses to affirm `the Bible says'." (Foundation, Fundamental Evangelistic Association, March-April 1981.)
Faith for the Family reported that at the Southern Baptist Life Commission seminar, Dallas, Texas, 1981, Bratcher made this statement:
"Only willful ignorance or intellectual dishonesty can account for the claim that the Bible is inerrant and infallible ... To invest the Bible with the qualities of inerrancy and infallibility is to idolatrize it, to transform it into a false god. (Faith for the Family, Greenville: Bob Jones University, Sept. 1981)
Further quotes from Bratcher's speech were printed in the Baptist Press report written by Dan Martin, news editor, and printed in the Baptist Courier:
"Often in the past and still too often in the present to affirm that the Bible is the Word of God implies that the words of the Bible are the words of God. Such simplistic and absolute terms divest the Bible altogether of its humanity and remove it from the relativism of the historical process. No one seriously claims all the words of the Bible are the very words of God. If someone does so it is only because that person is not willing thoroughly to explore its implications. ...
"The Word of God is not words; it is a human being, a human life ... Quoting what the Bible says in the context of its history and culture is not necessarily relevant or helpful--and may be a hindrance in trying to meet and solve the problems we face. ..
"We are not bound by the letter of Scripture, but by the spirit. Even words spoken by Jesus in Aramaic in the thirties of the first century and preserved in writing in Greek, 35 to 50 years later, do not necessarily wield compelling authority over us today. The focus of scriptural authority is not the words themselves. It is Jesus Christ as the Word of God who is the authority for us to be and to do.
"As a biblical scholar, I view with dismay the misuse of scriptures by fundamentalists; as ... Christians we listen with alarm to the simpleminded diagnoses and the simplistic panaceas proposed with smug selfassurance by Moral Majority people intent on curing the evils of this age." (The Baptist Courier, Apr. 2, 1981; the Courier is the South Carolina SBC state paper.)
In conclusion he said;
"We are given authority by the Lord the Spirit to speak and to act, but we can never know in advance that we are doing the will of God. It is the height of presumption and arrogance to say, `I know this is God's will, and I am doing it.' No greater responsibility; no higher privilege is given to us than to hear and obey."
These statements caused quite a stir among conservative Christians, so much so that the American Bible Society began losing financial support. A report of the events which followed is given in a report by Homer Duncan of Lubbock, Texas:
"The American Bible Society was greatly embarrassed when Dr. Robert Bratcher, the principal translator [of the TEV] made the [previous] comments. ...
"Later Bratcher apologized for the `tone of his remarks' and said he `used language that was intemperate and that seemed to cast aspersions on those who do not agree with my position.'
"He went on to say, `I deeply regret the language I used and I apologize to those who were offended by it.'
"It should be noted that Bratcher only apologized for offending anyone, but did not apologize for the remarks themselves.
"Shortly after Bratcher made these statements the American Bible Society issued the following news release:
"`The American Bible Society wishes to state that it completely disassociates itself from the remarks made by Dr. Bratcher on that occasion and further states that in speaking as he did, Dr. Bratcher violated one of the Society's basic rules. The American Bible Society, from the day of its founding 165 years ago to the present moment, has made it a cardinal principle not to engage in theological debate nor make comment on the doctrinal positions of the churches and constituencies it seeks impartially to serve. The first article of its constitution states that "its only purpose shall be to promote the distribution of the Holy Scriptures without doctrinal note or comment"... The controversial remarks which Dr. Bratcher made in Dallas have caused grave concern among many Bible-believing and Bible-loving people throughout the nation for which we are deeply sorry, and we hasten to assure all friends of the Bible cause that the historic motivation and mission of the American Bible Society remains unchanged; namely, the wider distribution of the Holy Scriptures throughout the world, without note or comment, in the languages people speak and at prices they can afford to pay.'
"Dr. Bratcher submitted his resignation as research assistant of the American Bible Society in a letter dated June 8th, stating: `Believing that the Bible cause which I love and which I have tried to serve in the years I have been associated with the American Bible Society will now best be served by my resignation from the ABS--I hereby submit my resignation.'
"Even though the Bible Society has repudiated Dr. Bratcher's statement, they continue to promote and to sell the Good News Bible" (Homer Duncan, A Few Thoughts on Translations of the New Testament, Lubbock: MC International Publications, pp. 3-4.)
Further light into this situation is given by Robert L. Sumner in his report on the 1981 Southern Baptist Convention meeting:
"The uproar following Bratcher's comments was so loud he was forced to apologize in a later press release for the `tone of his remarks,' saying he `used language that was intemperate and that seemed to cast aspersions on those who do not agree with my position.' As others have pointed out, he apologized only for offending people, not for the remarks themselves. In fact, the head of the SBC Christian Life Commission, Foy Valentine, declared, speaking of inerrancy ... `in light of the reigning heresy, I am glad he said that.'
"Over two months after Bratcher made his statements in Dallas, and after the `society reportedly suffered severe financial losses (note this "key" to this action) since the Bratcher remarks, resulting among other things in a hiring freeze at its New York headquarters,' the ABS requested Bratcher's resignation. This action was announced in a press release on the opening day of the SBC meeting in Los Angeles and it is significant that Southern Baptists `contribute more to its work than do those of any other denomination.' Apparently expedience, not conviction, resulted in Bratcher's firing" (Robert L. Sumner, Christian News, July 20, 1981.)
The American Bible Society did not condemn Bratcher's statements as heresy, but only expressed sorrow that some had been offended, and, they did not discontinue publication of the apostate translation which was produced by Bratcher and reflects his theological heresies. It was expedience, not conviction, that resulted in Bratcher's forced resignation.
Many of the leaders and members of the American Bible Society hold the same heresies as those stated by Bratcher in 1981, yet they remain in good standing within this organization because no public furor is made.
The American Bible Society published the Good News Bible with notes reflecting the same heretical views espoused by Bratcher at the 1981 SBC Christian Life Seminary:
Bratcher's Good News Bible has comments at the head of each book which are in harmony with the position about the Scriptures which Bratcher endorses.
"`These introductions are fully in line with the higher critical methodology which undercuts the trustworthiness of the Bible. The introductions are skillfully put together to brainwash the reader without his being aware of what is happening. For example, none of the material contained in the introductions to the Pentateuch gives the reader the faintest notion that any portion of the five books of Moses was written by Moses. The introduction to the Book of Isaiah plainly states there were three Isaiahs, and the two who wrote Isaiah 40-66 did so after the events prophesied actually took place. The Book of Daniel is late-dated at 168 B.C., after the events occurred which are prophesied in the book. None of the Gospels are said to have been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. When it comes to the Pauline Epistles the readers will look in vain for any hint that Paul wrote Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, or that Peter wrote 1 and 2 Peter.'" (Robert L. Sumner, Christian News, July 20, 1981.)
The American Bible Society was aware of Bratcher's heretical views long before 1981. As early as 1953 Bratcher had denied Christ's deity, and in earlier statements he had denied the inerrancy of Scripture. The Bible Society knew Bratcher's theological views when they hired him.
An example of this is the following statement by Bratcher in 1968:
"The New Testament scriptures were written to specific situations, at specific times, to specific groups or individuals and in response to some felt need. The New Testament writers probably never intended their work to be the gospel record of the future--so there is not a sterile order to the scriptures." (Dr. Robert Bratcher, The Baptist Courier, South Carolina Baptist Convention, February 22, 1968.)
In 1970 Bratcher's public denial of the faith was reported by the secular media:
"Translator for the controversial `Good News for Modern Man' told Furman University [a Southern Baptist institution] students that to keep the Bible locked up in its archaic language would be to disparage history and the medium through which God chose to speak." (The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, November 6, 1970)
On November 5, 1970, after a lecture at Furman University, Dr. Bratcher talked with students:
`Are there historical sections of the Bible that are sub-Christian?' asked a student.
"`Certainly. Wishing that God would destroy one's enemies. You call that Christian?'
"`You admit that the Bible has fallacies; then how is it valuable?' a student questioned.
"`If we build our faith wholly on the Bible, then we are building our faith on shifting sand. We must follow the facts or there is nothing to believe. We cannot literally follow Jesus, only go in his direction'." (The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina,November 8, 1970.)
In 1978 a report in the Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record appeared:
"[Christ's] miraculous birth obscured [in the TEV]. Matthew 1:25 `...till she had brought forth her firstborn son.' GNB [Good News Bible] omits `firstborn,' and so obscures the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, `A virgin shall be with child.' It is significant that in an article in the `Bible Translator several years ago Dr. Bratcher, the chief translator, argued at length that Isaiah 7:14 should read `a young woman.' And so it is rendered in GNB, with an explicit footnote rejecting the translation `virgin'." (Quarterly Record, London: Trinitarian Bible Society, January-March 1978, No. 462)
Obviously the American Bible Society knew of Bratcher's theological heresy long before 1981, and Robert Bratcher has continued working with the United Bible Societies in the influential position of chief translations consultant.
The American Bible Society supplies approximately one-half of the operating expenses of the United Bible Societies overseas ministries. Thus the American Bible Society has continued to pay a large part of Bratcher's salary even though he no longer works directly under them.
According to the Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record,
"An ecumenical team has been working on a new Bible in Brazilian Portuguese, for Brazil. This is expected to be published shortly, to be followed by a second edition containing the Apocrypha. The most prominent member of the translation committee is the Rev. Dr. Robert Bratcher, who is a UBS international translation consultant. He was the chief translator of the English `Good News Bible'." ("Ecumenism and the United Bible Societies," Quarterly Record, London: Trinitarian Bible Society, October-December 1985, pp. 27-28.)
This is the Bulletin of the United Bible Societies, No. 138-139, 1985. The listing contained therein of the UBS Committee Membership for that year leaves no doubt regarding Bratcher's present official affiliation with the United Bible Societies.
Committee Membership (1985)
Bratchers resignation from the American Bible Society and the Society's supposed concern about his remarks was only politics, nothing has changed. The Bible Societies continue to support Bratcher and his damnable views of Christ and the Bible, they pay his salary, and employ him as a chief translations consultant in their work worldwide. The heretical Today's English Version continues to be promoted, printed, and reproduced through translations into the major languages of the globe.
Bratcher held a question and answer session October 13, 1970, at the First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Following are four of the questions and answers:
Question: `Why did you leave out the blood of Jesus Christ in Romans 5:9 and 14 and other places?'
Answer: `It is a matter of translation.'
Question: `Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?'
Answer: Dr. Bratcher would not answer this question.
Question: `Is the human heart by nature Man- centered or God-centered?'
Answer: `Let us stick with questions about translation.'
Question: `Is Jesus Christ God, or the same as God?'
Answer: `Jesus is not the same personality as God.' (Donald T. Clarke, Bible Version Manual, Millersburg: Bible Truth Institute, 1975, pp. 98,99.)
It is not suprising in view of the above that the TEV weakens the doctrine of Christ's deity.
The Bible society accepted Bratcher's argument that to replace the word "blood" with the word "death" makes no difference to the meaning or doctrine of the atonement. Hebrews 9:22 answers that lie by reminding us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Christ's death was not sufficient in itself to atone for our sins; He had to shed His blood as well. Therefore, when speaking of Christ's atonement, it is evil to replace the word "blood" with the word "death." Romans 5:9, says we are justified through Christ's blood, and Romans 5:10, says we are reconciled through Christ's death. In other words, we are saved through the bloody death of Christ. Both were required for the Atonement.
The TEV has become the favored basis and model for many of the so-called "common language" versions being produced throughout the world by the United Bible Societies, as well as other groups such as Wycliffe Bible Translators. Christians in many of the countries where the Bible societies operate are mostly uneducated and poorly grounded in doctrine. They lack the tools with which to discern the errors in the TEV and often do not have properly trained leaders who can protect them from perversions. The result is a weakening of the faith of multitudes of people.
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hey did not exist for another 600 years. A better rendering would be 'meeting places.'" (Ryrie Study Bible)
ANSWER: As synagogues were "places" where Jews "met" to hear the Law of God and pray, there is not a great deal of difference between the terms. In the more usual sense of the word, we look to the period after the Babylonian captivity for the beginning of the synagogue service, yet forerunners probably existed before. In Jehoshaphat's day (860b.c.) there were gatherings to hear the Law throughout the land (2 Chr. 17:7-9). "Josephus, Philo, and later Judaism generally" (Unger's Bible Dictionary) speak of the early roots of the system. The New Testament says that synagogues were "of old time."
So it is conceivable that Psalm 74:6 could be referring to these forerunners of the post-exilic synagogues. But, the answer is to be found elsewhere! Psalm 74 is prophetic of the long period of