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Chapter 20

Defaming Scripture

 

Some sincere folk believe that it is a defamation of Godís Word, if not downright blasphemy, to oppose the various modern translations; after all, is not

All Scripture . . . given by inspiration of God. 2 Timothy 3:16

It would be a perilous stand to uphold that all human perversions of Scripture are inspired of God. Do not the Roman Catholics confidently assert that the Apocrypha is part of Holy Writ? They do. Is it blasphemy then for Protestants to rightly ignore these books? Of course not. Manifestly Paulís statement refers only to the pure Scriptures, unadulterated by human reasoning and additions and subtractions.

Other Bible students point out that the Septuagint was a faulty version of the Old Testament, yet Christ at no time condemned it, and indeed He and His disciples quoted freely from it. Suffice to say that the biblical writers were very selective in their use of this version, and that, in any case, silence upon an issue is often less than a persuasive argument in its favor.

What is certain is that many godly authors have freely condemned corrupted Scriptures. The Latin Vulgate from which John Wycliffe translated his version of the English Bible was seriously defective.

Wycliffeís Bible had been translated from the Latin text, which contained many errors. . . . In 1516, a year before the appearance of Lutherís theses, Erasmus had published his Greek and Latin version of the New Testament. Now for the first time the Word of God was printed in the original tongue. In this work many errors of former versions were corrected, and the sense was more clearly rendered. Ellen White, The Great Controversy, 245

Undoubtedly the Protestant Reformers were far from inhibited in this matter. They freely condemned false versions.

Again, that your vulgar Latin text is full of many errors and corruptions, I have showed by the confession of Isidorus Clarius and Lindanus, two of your own profession; . . . and where you say that Luther and his followers forsook it for none other cause in the world, but that it is against them, is utterly untrue. For besides that they have made clear demonstration of many palpable errors therein (which they that have any forehead amongst you cannot deny) they have and do daily convince you of horrible heresies, even out of your own vulgar translation. Fulke, Defense of Translations, 1583, 70

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

As early as about the turn of the fifth century, Helvidius condemned the Latin Vulgate, then only recently translated by Jerome, in the most strident terms.

You cannot for shame say Joseph did not know of them, for Luke tells us (Luke 2:33) "His father and His mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning Him." And yet you with marvelous effrontery contend that the reading of the Greek MS is corrupt, although it is that which nearly all the Greek writers have left in their books, and not only these, but several of the Latin writers have taken the words of the same way. Jerome against Helvidius, from The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Scribnerís Edition, vol. vi, 338

Noting this condemnation, Dr. Benjamin Wilkinson, president of Columbia Union College, commented:

You will see by this that Helvidius, the great scholar of the Italic Church, which was the predecessor of the Waldensian or the pre-Waldensian Church, accuses Jerome of using Luke 2:33 just as we find it now in the American Revised Version from corrupt Greek MSS. It is clear that Helvidius had the pure Greek MSS, which were older than the corrupt Greek MSS used by Jerome. The pure Greek MSS read Luke 2:33 as we now read it in the King James Version; so on this one text the present battle between the King James and the American Revised Versions is the centuries-old battle fought between the pre-Waldensian Church and the growing Roman Catholic Church. B.G. Wilkinson, The Attitudes and Teachings of Mrs. E.G. White Toward Different Versions of the Bible, 2

Rather than being a defamation of Scripture, it is the proper duty of sincere Christians to point out corruptions of the precious Word of God. To do less is to condone satanic perversions of Scripture.

 


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