Sunday, August 24, 2008

How the Bible Version Truth-Tellers have been Suppressed

A couple of quotes found in Dean Burgon's The Revision Revised, from Bishop Wordsworth, a contemporary of Westcott and Hort, commenting on their Revised Version of 1881:

I fear we must say in candour that in the Revised Version we meet in every page with small changes, which are vexatious, teasing and irritating, even the more so because they are small; which seem almost to be made for the sake of change.

[The question arises,] ---Whether the Church of England, ---which in her Synod, so far as this Province is concerned, sanctioned a Revision of her Authorized Version under the express condition, which she most wisely imposed, that no Changes should be made in it except what were absolutely necessary, --- could consistently accept a version in which 36,000 changes have been made; not a fiftieth of which can be shown to be needed, or even desirable."

---Bishop Wordsworth

Why is it that such worthies as this Bishop, and Dean Burgon himself, and Prebendary F.H.A. Scrivener who was on the revising committee with Westcott and Hort -- all of whom denounced the Westcott and Hort revision in no uncertain terms, conclusively denounced it, and in the case of the latter two from a position of scholarship certainly equal to and likely exceeding theirs -- are completely ignored by the advocates of the new versions???

Apologists for the new versions simply ignore them or slightingly quote some minor point, if they mention them at all, and most seem never to have heard of them. James White's The King James Only Controversy, paperback edition, has one index reference to Dean Burgon, and three to F.H.A. Scrivener. He mentions both on page 91 only to affirm that neither was a purist King James supporter, seeing a need for some corrections in it. (I cannot find any reference to Scrivener on pages 78 and 80 although the index lists those pages for his name. Perhaps I'm tired and I'll find his name tomorrow.)

But these are the ONLY references to the thoughts of the GIANTS of scholarship who found Westcott and Hort's work to be utterly worthless {note, 1/23/10: according to a comment posted below today Scrivener found some merit in some of W&H's choices}, in probably the most influential book by the biggest name on the side of the new versions.

Burgon's work is monumental and should have been lethal for Westcott and Hort, yet HE fell into obscurity while THEIR execrable doings have infected God's word around the world???

Oh surely the church is indeed under God's judgment!

Here's a quote from Scrivener:

Prebendary Scrivener was on the committee of the Revised Version of 1881 and was about the only one who had the great scholarship and courage necessary to cross swords with Westcott and Hort. Listen to his words taken from his Plain Introduction, Vol. II., pp. 291-92 and 296,

"Dr. Hort's system, therefore, is entirely destitute of historical foundation. He does not so much as make a show of pretending to it; but then he would persuade us, as he has persuaded himself, that its substantial truth is proved by results. . . . With all our reverence for his (Hort's) genius, and gratitude for much that we have learned from him in the course of our studies, we are compelled to repeat as emphatically as ever our strong conviction that the hypothesis to whose proof he has devoted so many laborious years, is destitute not only of historical foundation, but of all probability resulting from the internal goodness of the text which its adoption would force upon us."

Thus you have a clear, unimpassioned criticism from a learned contemporary of Westcott and Hort. . . .

A Biblical comment on leftist politics

Thought I'd post Edward Hills' short political remarks in his book about the King James. Anyone up on the current political situation has to recognize how prescient such a comment was back in 1956. The passage was updated, but he died in 1981 so that's as far as the updating went. They knew more about the real threat of the Communists even in 1956 than they are given credit for, and today the same threat has just about taken us over from within and people remain blind to it still. The leftist propaganda mills have been only too effective.
Adam Smith's famous book had far-reaching effects. For one thing, it transformed economics from a practical concern into an academic matter. Soon economics was taught in universities and written about in scholarly publications by theorists, many of them with little actual experience in commerce and industry. Then, as the years rolled by, these scholarly "economists" grew more ambitious. No longer content merely to teach and write but desiring to rule, they gravitated more and more toward socialism. Discarding Adam Smith's principle of laissez-faire, they founded organizations and political parties to work for state ownership and control of economic resources. One of the best known of these socialistic associations was organized in 1884 by a group of English radicals. Since their strategy was to bring about social changes gradually, they named themselves the Fabian Society after the ancient Roman general Fabius, who won a decisive victory through the policy of delay. Not less sinister, all through the later 19th century there lurked in the background the communist party of Marx, Engels, Bukharin, and Lenin, who developed Adam Smith's emphasis on the importance of labor into a program of world-wide revolution and world-wide governmental ownership and control allegedly for the benefit of the workers.

The catastrophic changes of World War I fanned all these smoldering embers into flames which reached our own country in 1933. Since that date the government of the United States has fallen increasingly under the domination of subversive elements (socialists, Fabians, communists) commonly called the "Liberal-left." With this Liberal-left at the helm, our American ship of state has met with disaster after disaster, especially in the international sphere. Since World War II communists have taken over Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, and parts of other regions such as Indochina, the Near East, Africa, and South America. More than one billion human beings have been enslaved. And when we come to armaments, the situation is still more frightful. In 1962 the United States had 2 1/2 to 10 times as much nuclear firepower as the Soviet Union. (102) In 1972, after the signing of the Salt I armament agreement in Moscow, Dr. Henry Kissinger acknowledged that the Soviets had a 3-to-1 advantage over the United States in explosive tonnage. (103) But the only response of the Liberal-left to this terrible danger has been to cancel the B-1 Bomber, delay production of the neutron bomb, and give away the Panama Canal.

For many years it has been evident that the long-term objective of the Liberal-left leaders is to bring about the surrender of the United States to the Soviet Union. This drastic step, they believe, is necessary in order to establish a World Government. In 1958 the U. S. Senate was thrown into furor by tidings of a book entitled "Strategic Surrender," which had been prepared by the Rand Corporation, the first and greatest of the federal government "think-factories," and distributed to the U. S. Air Force. (104) In 1961 a bulletin was prepared by the State Department proposing surrender of military power to a United Nations Peace Force. (105) This also was discussed in the Senate, but this time there was no furor. Instead the bulletin was defended by a liberal Senator as "the fixed, determined, and approved policy of the Government of the United States of America." (106) In 1963 a study was made by a group of 60 scientists and engineers headed by Nobel-prize-winning physicist Eugene P. Wigner in the area of civil defense. The group proposed a tunnel grid system which for the price of $38 billion would provide all U. S. cities of over 250,000 population with protection against nuclear attack. Their report was submitted to the Defense Department and placed in storage. (107) Similarly, on Feb. 9, 1967, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended a plan providing a thin anti-missile defense for the entire United States and added protection for the 50 largest cities. (108) A bill endorsing this plan was passed by the Senate 86 to 2 on Mar. 21, 1967, but Defense Secretary McNamara said it would be too expensive ($4 billion a year for 10 years), and so nothing was done about it. (109)

In 1969 appropriations were voted for two anti-missile sites, but only one was constructed, and even this was abandoned in 1975. In contrast, the Russians have a fully operative anti-missile system around Moscow. Most of their new factories are built away from large urban areas, and Russian society is now equipped to go underground at short notice, with immense shares of foodstocks buried. Missile sites also have been hardened to about 15 times the strength of those in the United States. (110)

If the projected "strategic surrender" of the United States to a Russian dominated United Nations actually takes place, Bible-believing Christians everywhere will be facing persecution and death, and the preaching of the Gospel will well nigh cease. Until Jesus comes, therefore we must do our duty as Christian citizens. We must expose and oppose the evil program of the Liberal-left and work for the re-armament and security of our country. All available resources must be allocated to this end. Wasteful programs must be discontinued.

Does this mean that we are to return to the economic doctrines of Adam Smith? Not quite. For Smith was a skeptic, a friend of David Hume, and because he was a skeptic he failed to appreciate, or even to consider, the most important of all the causes of the wealth of nations, namely, the blessing of God and the influence of Christian Truth. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6-33). Even earthly interests prosper best under the sunlight of the Gospel. This is why even unbelievers, even those who reject the Saviour whom the Gospel proclaims, prefer to live in Christian countries rather than non-Christian countries and in Protestant countries rather than in Roman Catholic countries. And the testimony of history is to the same effect. The Near East, for example, was once the richest region in Christendom, but after the Mohammedan conquest it speedily became poverty stricken. At the time of the Reformation Spain and Italy were the most wealthy nations in Europe, while England was poor and Scotland barbarous. Then the Gospel came to Britain, and this relationship was reversed. And in all North and South America the only wealthy nation is our own United States, in which alone (with the exception of the Protestant provinces of Canada) the preaching of the Gospel has had free course.

While defending our country, therefore, we must not forget to defend the Bible, for this is still more basic. Honesty, moral purity, and trust in God are the foundations of national and personal prosperity, and these fundamentals are taught only in the holy Scriptures. Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me (Prov. 30:7-8). But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Edward Hills versus James White

Another beautiful book by a beautiful Christian scholar, Edward F. Hills. You can even read it online.

Section III., 3., (d) How to Take Our Stand—Through the Logic of Faith

How do we take our stand upon divine revelation? Only in one way, namely through the logic of faith. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Since this Gospel is true, these conclusions logically follow: First, the Bible is God's infallibly inspired Word. This must be so, because if our salvation depends on our believing in Christ, then surely God must have left us an infallible record telling us who Jesus Christ is and how we may believe in Him truly and savingly.

Second, the Bible has been preserved down through the ages by God's special providence. This also must be so, because if God has inspired the holy Scriptures infallibly, then surely He has not left their survival to chance but has preserved them providentially down through the centuries.

Third, the text found in the majority of the biblical manuscripts is the providentially preserved text. This too must be true, because if God has preserved the Scriptures down through the ages for the salvation of men and the edification and comfort of His Church, then He must have preserved them not secretly in holes and caves but in a public way in the usage of His Church. Hence the text found in the majority of the biblical manuscripts is the true, providentially preserved text.

Fourth, The providential preservation of the Scriptures did not cease with the invention of printing. For why would God's special, providential care be operative at one time and not at another time, before the invention of printing but not after it? Hence the first printed texts of the Old and New Testament Scriptures were published under the guidance of God's special providence. Thus when we believe in Christ, the logic of our faith leads us to the true text of holy Scripture, namely, the Masoretic Hebrew text, the Textus Receptus, and the King James Version and other faithful translations. It is on this text, therefore, that we take our stand and endeavor to build a consistently Christian apologetic system.

I fled to this book to cure me of the depressing effect of reading some of James' White's The King James Controversy earlier this evening. I'm getting far deeper into this topic than I ever wanted to get. I've prayed that the Lord would show me if He really wants me to do this or not, if it's necessary or of any real use for me to do it, and to guide me by His Spirit if so. It's a chore to do this, I can never read enough, but I do continue to read. I haven't even finished Burgon's book. I've had White's book for a long time, even read some of it years ago. I still agree with the notes I wrote in the margins then, but now I know more so my notes are going to increase quite a bit.

In his chapter 2, A Short History of Unbelief, Hills gives a wonderfully concise history of how the naturalistic and liberal approaches to textual criticism grew out of rationalism.

The contrast with White is striking. White's assumptions are all rationalistic even though he uses Christian and Biblical concepts freely. Hills' are the language of faith, which is the ONLY way we should approach the problem of Bible translation.