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Chapter 17

Subtle Catholicism


The great majority of Protestants do not discern the subtleties of the new translations. Yet many changes have been made which are specifically designed to support Roman Catholic errors. Tobias Mullen, Roman Catholic bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, wrote,

It will be perceived here, that the variation between the Catholic Version and the Revision [The Revised Version] is immaterial, indeed no more than what might be found between any two versions of different but substantially identical copies of the same document. Quoted in B.G. Wilkinson, Our Authorized Version Vindicated, 204

It will be seen that this close similarity of the Catholic and the new versions was not a coincidence, but of deliberate design. Yet most of Godís people appear to be quite oblivious to the peril inherent in these new versions. Let us examine a few instances.

Confess your faults one to another. James 5:16 KJV

Therefore confess your sins to each other. James 5:16 NIV

Therefore confess your sins to one another. James 5:16 NEB

Confess therefore your sins one to another. James 5:16 ASV

The alteration of the word faults to sins seems innocent enough at first glance, but is it? Not to the Roman Catholics is it! The Roman Catholic Dublin Review of July 1881 had this to say, speaking of the same translation in the Revised Version:

The Apostles have now power to "forgive" sins and not simply to "remit" them. "Confess therefore your sins" is the new reading of James 5:16. Quoted in Ibid., 206

Further, the Scripture has also been altered to uphold the papal blasphemy of the Mass. Compare the verses below:

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body. 1 Corinthians 11:29 KJV

For he who eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment on himself if he does not discern the Body. 1 Corinthians 11:29 NEB

For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Corinthians 11:29 NIV

It will be noted that the new translations consistently omit the word unworthily. This word is most important, for it places the emphasis of the verse where the Lord intended it to beóa warning to those who, while unbelieving or without proper solemnity and gratitude, participate in this sacred ordinance. The Catholic omission, on the other hand, transparently seen in the translation of the New International Version, provides grounds for the Roman Catholic error of transubstantiationóthat the bread is actually Christís body.

It will also not surprise the astute reader to learn that strong biblical evidence concerning the resurrection at the Second Coming is distorted.

I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25-26 KJV

Let us compare this body of truth with the rendering of one modern translation:

But in my heart I know that my vindicator lives and that he will rise last to speak in court; and I shall discern my witness standing at my side. Job 19:25-26 NEB

We could be excused if we doubted that this was the same text of Scripture. It would, further, be revealing to examine the rendering of portions of this verse in other translations. It will be seen that among the diversity one common thread is presentóa denial of the "latter day upon the earth"óthe Second Coming. We quote the various translations equivalent to "and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

And that he shall stand up at the last upon the earth. Job 19:25 RV

And he, the last, will take his stand on earth. Job 19:25 Jerusalem Bible

And as the next-of-kin he will stand upon my dust. Job 19:25 Goodspeedís Translation

Worse follows, for replacing the positive proof that we see God, not as bodiless spirits, but in real physical flesh, many new translations support the same Catholic error of the soul, unencumbered by a body, seeing God, thus utterly reversing the truth. We shall observe some of the translations of Job 19:26. Read them carefully.

And after this my skin is destroyed. And without my flesh, I shall see God. Job 19:26, The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments: An Improved Edition, American Baptist Publication Society

This body may break up, but even then my life shall have a sight of God. Job 19:26 Moffatt

And after my skin has thus been destroyed, then, out of my flesh I shall see God. Job 19:26, the New Berkeley Version

And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:26 ARV

These translations, and many others, deliberately distort the plainest words of the Hebrew text to support the pagan error concerning manís state in death. Surely with Dr. Edgar we can exclaim:

It is certainly a remarkable circumstance that so many of the Catholic readings in the New Testament, which in Reformation and early post-Reformation times were denounced by Protestants as corruptions of the pure text of Godís Word, should now, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, be adopted by the Revisers of our time-honoured English Bibles. Dr. Edgar, Bibles of England, 347-348

The variation in the translation of Hebrews 9:27 will at first appear totally inconsequential. Let us examine these translations, for in them is a most subtle and deliberate attack upon the crucial doctrine of the end-time judgment.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And in as much as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment. Hebrews 9:27 RV

The significant change is the omission of the adjective the before the word judgment. This is not just a careless matter in one translation alone. Some others are cited.

And after death comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27 NEB

And after that to face judgment. Hebrews 9:27 NIV

But after this, judgment. Hebrews 9:27, American Bible Union Version

And after this cometh judgment. Hebrews 9:27 ASV

With judgment following. Hebrews 9:27, Berkeley Version

(Death being followed by judgment). Hebrews 9:27, The Twentieth Century New Testament

Nothing remains after this but judgment. Hebrews 9:27, Knox Translation

But is the omission of the really significant? Indeed it is. No lesser authority than Canon Farrar, a great supporter of the modern translators, cited this apparently minor variation as being one of the most significant alterations made by the Revisers. He well knew the thinking of Westcott and Hort since he was a member of the Apostlesí Club at Cambridge University to which they belonged, and he wholeheartedly supported their Anglo-Catholic bias. Canon Farrar thus asserted

There is positive certainty that it does not mean "the judgment" in the sense in which that word is popularly understood. By abandoning the article [the] which King James translators here incorrectly inserted, the Revisers help, as they have done in so many other places, silently to remove deep-seated errors. At the death of each of us there follows "a judgment," as the sacred writer says. The judgment, the final judgment, may not be for centuries to come. In the omission of that unauthorized little article from the Authorized Version by the Revisers, lies no less a doctrine than that of the existence of an Intermediate State. Canon F.W. Farrar, Contemporary Review, March 1882, quoted in B.G. Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, 209

Here we note the subtle significance which those who believe the pagan concept of the immortality of the soul place upon the deletion of the definite article the. Meticulously and cunningly Satan constructs his web of deception. The great truth of the mighty end-time judgment to which this text points is destroyed by the artifices of those who value the mystery of iniquity.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:44, KJV

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44, NIV

Here we notice a most subtle accomodation of Catholic thought. The missing phrases are "Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you." Who could be offended by these Christ-given directions, given in the Sermon on the Mount?

But if we think carefully, we see that Rome is in the business of cursing and hating heretics, those faithful Christians who believe the Word of God and accept it as their spiritual guide rather than the faulted doctrines of men. The word Rome uses is anathema. It is applied liberally throughout the findings of councils. And of course they do not want their people to see Christlikeness in those whom they curse.

Roman Catholicism has ever taught that man may die in his sins and yet ultimately reach the state of bliss. The whole doctrine of purgatory supports this concept. The act of performing requiems for the dead is supposed to facilitate this transition. Many Protestants have accepted various modifications of this view, some asserting that God will eventually save all through a worldwide conversion during the millennium. Dr. Samuel Cox expressed such a belief this way:

The states of being, shadowed forth by the words, Gehenna, Paradise, Hades cannot, therefore, be final or everlasting; they are only intermediate conditions, states of discipline in which the souls of men await, and may be prepared for, their final award. Cited in B.G. Wilkinson, Our Authorized Version Vindicated, 210

With this mind-set, Dr. Cox was delighted with the following alteration:

In my Fatherís house are many mansions. John 14:2 KJV

In my Fatherís house are many abiding places. John 14:2 RV margin

Is the substitution of abiding places for mansions worthy of our attention? Those who promote the doctrine of the larger hope (a time of probation after death) certainly believe so. Other translations offer similar alterations in the text substituting for mansions such terms as dwelling places (New English Bible), abiding places (American Bible Union Version), dwellings (Twentieth Century New Testament) and resting places (Rieuís Translation).

Stirling Berry in upholding the substitution of abiding places claimed that in this term

the contrasted notions of repose and progress are combined in this vision of the future. Expositor, vol. 3, 2nd series, 397

Another "minor" alteration which may escape the notice of a superficial reader is worthy of examination. Speaking prophetically, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, had referred to Christ as being the One who would come,

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers. Luke 1:72 KJV

Many new translations have followed the Douay Translation. Thus one rendition is

To show mercy to our fathers. Luke 1:72 RV

How the papists have rejoiced over the omission of the word promised! They pointed to this latter translation as indicating that while Jesus was on earth He was at that time extending mercy to the forefathers of the Jews who were yet in one of the intermediary states. Let us note Bishop Tobias Mullenís exuberance over the changed translation.

For the text was one which, if rendered literally, no one could read without being convinced, or at least suspecting, that the "fathers" already dead needed "mercy"; and that "the Lord God of Israel" was prepared "to perform" it to them. But where were those fathers? Not in heaven, where mercy is swallowed up in joy. And assuredly not in the hell of the damned, where mercy could not reach them. They must therefore have been in a place between both, or neither the one nor the other. What? In Limbo or Purgatory? Why, certainly. In one or the other. Bishop Mullen, Canon, 332

On what pathetically slim "evidence" do papal apologists base their soul-destroying errors! Yet, subtly, Scripture has been perverted to bolster their errors.

There is a need for Christians to make decided efforts to return to that Version of Scripture from which the Roman Catholic tampering was almost totally expunged. To persist in promoting faulted translations will seriously damage our ministries and our capability to present positive truth with certainty. We must not permit the bait of simpler English to seduce us into accepting a perverted Scripture.


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