Written by: John Sernaque
This will be the sixth part of a series of articles outlining the history of the Bible. These articles will point you to the most accurate translation of the Bible, and will help you to avoid the many spurious translations which exist today. This series of articles are based on the book “The King James Bible and Modern Translations” written by Vance Ferrell. Let’s pick up where we left off.
Are speculative theories by liberals to undermine the Bible and are used to destroy the value of the Bible’s contents. Enlightenment declared that man and human reason were more important than God. In Old Testament criticism, it taught that the first five books of the bible were written over a period of five centuries by various authors, and Moses was not one of them. In the New Testament, Paul was not acknowledged as the writer of any of the books, not one. Rudolph Bultmann came up with “form criticism” which concludes that the Bible records are nothing but a collection of myths, and to understand the New Testament it is necessary to demythologize the accounts.
British Textual criticism-
Textual criticism began just before the Armada failed. In Britain, they worked to switch manuscript sources of the Bible. Richard Simon, a Roman Catholic priest, was at the head of modern Biblical criticism. From 1662-1678, he was a member of the French Oratory. He was the first to apply the “scientific methods” to the text of the Bible. In 1678, he denied that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. He is regarded as the founder of Old Testament criticism. The Jesuits believed that they could win back the Protestants if they could replace the KJV.
The Oxford movement began in 1833, which was the beginning of the revision of the KJV. They wanted to infiltrate Catholicism into the minds of the English intellectual leaders. Dr DeSanctis, a priest working in the Vatican for many years, renounced Catholicism and became a Protestant. He stated, “there are a greater number of Jesuits in England than in Rome. They are in all classes of society; in parliament, in the English clergy, in the Protestant laity, even in the higher stations.” J.A. Froude states, that while attending Oxford University he was taught that Gregory VII was a saint, that he must abhor the Reformers, and the Reformation was a great schism.
Rome had been trying to win over England for centuries and would use any method possible, including those that they had been using elsewhere for hundreds of years.
In 1832 John Henry Newman, vicar of St Mary’s at Oxford, traveled with Richard Hurrell Froude, another secret Catholic, to southern Europe. There they met with Cardinal Wiseman and asked, “what will it take to return England to the Roman faith?” The answer was “The Church of England must accept the Council of Trent.” They immediately left stating “they have a work to do in England.” The Oxford movement began on July 9, 1833. Newman organized secret Catholics and Jesuits, who had been planted in the Church and Universities, to work as a whole. Newman accomplished much very quickly as he and his associates had control of the teaching faculty at Oxford University. (As is today, this is the reason why liberals have been able to make such quick inroads into our educational system and Church denominations.) These pro Catholics at Oxford were known as tractarians because of the leaflets and tracts they published. Newman wrote 24 of them. These tracts explained why Britain needed to return to Rome. This resulted in a powerful penetration of secret Catholic agents into the Church of England and Oxford and Cambridge, the two leading universities of England. Neither the school officials nor the government did anything to stop them. This method of using tracts is known as mental reservation which they adapted from Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who had adapted it from pagan Clement of Alexandria (about AD 200). “Make yourself clear that you are justified in deception and then lie like a trooper.” ---Newman’s Letters, Vol 2, p249. By 1845, Newman had done about all he could so
he openly left the Church of England. Pope Leo XIII later made him a cardinal in 1879. “One of the better- known Jesuit plants of this period were Cardinal John Henry Newman.” W.P. Grady, Final Authority, p210. Newman saw the value of using the University to take over the Anglican Church. The two things that stood in the way were The Thirty- Nine Articles and The KJV Bible.
The KJV was referred to by the Catholics as “the Protestants paper pope.” The Jesuits knew that it was the source of strength and religious life of the British people. Cardinal Wiseman was the other leader in the Catholic infiltration of England. In 1850, the pope appointed him Archbishop of Westminster. Wiseman set up a chain of 12 Catholic bishoprics throughout England, from which papal teachings could be spread among the people. Wiseman was responsible for directing Protestant aggression against the Authorized version. Wiseman had studied under Cardinal Angelo Mai, prefect of the Vatican library and editor of the Codex Vaticanus. Wiseman converted hundreds of English Protestants, including Prime Minister William Gladstone, Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench, and John Newman. Wiseman worked with Trench and Newman in devising ways to replace the KJV.
The 4 key resolutions adopted at the Council of Trent focused on papal authority as above that of the Holy Scriptures:
1- Papal tradition is on a level with scripture.
2- The apocryphal books are equal to the canonical ones.
3- Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible contains no errors.
4- Only the Roman Catholic clergy have the right to interpret the Scriptures.
Jesuit infiltration had been carried on so successfully for over a century that there were enough agents working in key offices to protect the others. Textual criticism theories helped pave the way for the attack on the King James Bible.
As a result of the Oxford movement, the 20th century has seen the elevation of textual critics and modern critical Greek texts above that of the KJV. Cardinals Newman and Wiseman laid the groundwork in Oxford for the British takeover, and for the next two men who were to come up with the theory to downgrade the KJV.
Westcott and Hort
Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort were the two men who devised the basis to replace the KJV with inferior translations. We glean a background on their personal beliefs from two books that were written by each of their sons regarding their lives’. In these books, the word Jesus is used but 9 times in the 1800 pages of the books. Westcott and Hort had a secret love for Catholicism and paganism, but little patience for Christianity. Westcott expressed his doubts on the inspiration of scripture. He also said that he loved to kneel before an image of Mary. Hort was also a secret Mary worshipper. Hort wished he could have been a Catholic priest. He loved performing Catholic ceremonies. Hort’s close friend, Frederick Maurice, was a dedicated Unitarian minister who had been discharged from King’s College because of his atheistic teachings, yet he was appointed to the Revised Version Committee through Hort’s influence. Hort believed that many of the things in the Bible were myths. He did not believe there was an Eden and that Adam’s fall was no different from anyone else’s. Westcott agreed and also stated that the first 3 chapters of Genesis were not a literal history.
Westcott took an interest in Mormonism. He also stated that his faith was weak and that he was full of unbelief. Many a founder of new organizations received communications from demons. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, held seances with a spirit that would come to him in the woods and speak to him as he wrote his rule books for the Society of Jesus. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, had communication with a demon presence that spoke to him. C.T. Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was guided by spiritualist seances in the development of his teachings. Sigmund Freud had regular contact with spirits. Adolf Hitler was guided by demons. Buddha received enlightenment as he sat under a tree, resulting in Buddhism. Muhammad consulted with a special demon who helped guide him in writing the Koran. While developing their Bible theory, Westcott and Hort dabbled in the occult. In 1851, Hort founded a society for the investigation and classification of ghosts and psychic phenomena. Westcott’s own son even described their activities as spiritualism. Westcott and Hort called their club the Ghostly Guild. They had weekly meetings for decades and received their guidance throughout the 1871-1881 Revision Committee. Westcott wrote about the wonderful knowledge which could be gained by contact with spirits and that he had been successfully making frequent contacts with the spirit world. He stated that in the evenings he goes to the wizard. He also liked to study ancient pagan writers. Westcott stated “all those hours spent over Plato and Aristotle, he prayed would never be done away with.” In 1865, Westcott visited the Shrine of the Virgin Mary. He stated “a miracle took place there; an age of faith was restored before our sight in its ancient guise...in this lay the real significance and power of the place.” Hort came under the influence of a man named Coleridge, who was a poet and opium addict that worked to bring a wider knowledge of German higher criticism to England. Hort also followed the writings of John Keble, the Oxford professor who Newman later said was “the true and primary author of the Oxford Movement.” Hort highly valued what he learned from ancient pagans. In one letter he stated that it was his atheist friend, Maurice, that urged him to give the utmost attention to Plato and Aristotle. A very influential man in the Anglican Church, Dr. Lightfoot, was the one that got both Westcott and Hort into the committee and helped the others to vote in favor of their daily textual recommendations.
Lightfoot attended Trinity College in Cambridge. He was a private pupil of Westcott. In 1857 he became a professor at Trinity College, and in 1875 became divinity professor at Cambridge. In 1879, he was made Bishop of Durham. In 1880, Hort told his daughter that he had a ticket to a Pontifical Mass and that he hoped to kiss the pope’s foot. Hort also wrote to Lightfoot that he rejected the infallibility of the Bible and considered it just another book, less interesting than Plato. Hort did not believe in Satan or the atonement. He believed a person could repent of sin after he died and that there was a purgatory. Hort translated the “Candlelight Hymn” of the corrupt Alexandrian church. This is where Rome got its love for burning candles, from the Alexandrian church, who in turn got it from the Egyptian worship of the Queen of heaven and her infant god-son Horus. Westcott believed he could pray for the dead. Neither liked to preach from the pulpit as they had little interest in Christianity. They were both full of unbelief and loved spiritualism, Catholicism, higher criticism, and pagan lore. They referred to missionary-minded Christians as “dangerous” and “unsound.” Westcott was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church, and later Bishop of Durham. Hort became a full professor at Cambridge. Westcott stated “Our Bible, as well as our faith, is a mere compromise.” Both secretly admired Catholicism and communism, and hated democracy and America. These facts and many more of their statements can be found in: Life and Letters of B.F. Westcott, edited by his son, 2 vols.,1903 and Life and Letters of F.J.A. Hort, edited by his son (Arthur F. Hort), 2 vols., 1896. As we have just learned from the history of their background, we can undoubtedly deduce their true intentions for their theory.
To be continued in the next article, Part 7, whereby The Westcott-Hort Theory is explained.