The Authorized Version continued…
Dr. Lancelot Andrews, a member of the Westmenster Company is known for his linguistic ability.
«Once a year, at Easter, he used to pass a month with his parents. During this vacation, he would find a master, from whom he learned some language to which he was a stranger. In this way after a few years, he acquired most of the modern languages of Europe.»198
«He was not a man of ‘head knowledge’ only. He was a man of great practical preaching ability and an ardent opponent of Rome. His conspicuous talents soon gained him powerful patrons. Henry, Earl of Huntington, took him into the north of England, where he was the means of converting many Papists by his preaching and disputations.»199
«As a preacher, Bishop Andrews was right famous in his day. He was called the ‘star of preachers.'» 200
Dr. Andrews was also known as a great man of prayer.
«Many hours he spent each day in private and family devotions; and there were some who used to desire that ‘they might end their days in Bishop Andrews’ chapel.’ He was one in whom was proved the truth of Luther’s saying, that ‘to have prayed well, is to have studied well.'»201
Although he was a mighty preacher and prayer warrior, he was not «above» the people around him.
«This worthy diocesan was much ‘given to hospitality,’ and especially to literary strangers. So bountiful was his cheer, that it used to be said, ‘My Lord of Winchester keeps Christmas all years ’round.'»202
Lastly we review his ability as a translator of the Word of God.
«But we are chiefly concerned to know what were his qualifications as a translator of the Bible. He ever bore the character of a ‘right godly man,’ and a ‘prodigious student.’ One competent judge speaks of him as ‘that great gulf of learning!’ It was also said, that ‘the world wanted learning to know how learned this man was.’ A brave old chronicler remarks, that such was his skill in all languages, especially the Oriental, that had he been present at the confusion of tongues at Babel, he might have served as the Intepreter-General! In his funeral sermon by Dr. Buckzidge, Bishop of Rochester, it is said that Dr. Andrews was conversant with fifteen languages.»203
Dr. John Overall was another of the King James translators. He, too, was known for his opposition to Roman rule. He was present at the hanging of the Jesuit Henry Garnet, mastermind of ‘the Gun-powder Plot.’
In spite of his opposition to Rome, he had an interest in individual souls and urged Garnet to make a true and lively faith to God-ward.»204
Dr. Overall was vital to the translation because of his knowledge of quotations of the early church fathers. Without a man with such knowledge it might have been impossible to verify the authenticity of passages such as I John 5:7. This verse has a multitude of evidence among church fathers, though its manuscript evidence suffers from the attacks of Alexandria’s philosophers.
This disputed verse is known among textual circles as the «Johannine Comma.» Dr. Edward Hills records some of the evidence in its favor:
«The first undisputed citations of the Johannine Comma occur in the writings of two fourth century Spanish bishops, Priscillian, who in 385 was beheaded by the emperor Maximus in the charge of sorcery and heresy, and Idacious Clarus, Priscillian’s principal adversary and accuser. In the Fifth Century the Johannine Comma was quoted by several orthodox African writers to defend the doctrine of the Trinity against the gainsaying of the Vandals, who ruled North Mrica from 439 to 534 and were fanatically attached to the Arian heresy. About the same time it was cited by Cassiodorus (480-570) in Italy. The Comma is also found in r, an old Latin manuscript of the fifth or sixth century, and in the Speculum, a treatise which contains an old Latin text. It was not included in Jerome’s original edition of the Latin Vulgate, but around the year 800 it was taken into the text of the Vulgate from the old Latin manuscripts. It was found in the great mass of the later Vulgate manuscripts and in the Clementine edition of the Vulgate, the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.»205
It was also cited by Cyprian in 225 A.D. 206
This is one hundred and seventy-five years before Eusebius penned the Vatican manuscript.
We can see then that Dr. Overall’s contribution to the translation would be of the utmost importance. No «modern» translation has so candidly investigated the evidence of the church fathers.
Dr. Hadrian Saravia, another learned translator, was as evangelical as he was scholarly. McClure reports:
«He was sent by Queen Elizabeth’s council as a sort of missionary to the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, where he was one of the first Protestant ministers; knowing, as he says of himself, in a letter, ‘which were the beginnings, and by what means and occasions the preaching of God’s Word was planted there.’ He labored there in a two-fold capacity, doing the work of an evangelist, and conducting a newly established school, called Elizabeth College.»207
He too, as any truly dedicated soldier for Christ, was a constant foe of Rome. In 1611 he published a treatise on Papal primacy against the Jesuit Gretser.
He is said to have been «educated in all kinds of literature in his younger days, especially several languages.»208
Dr. John Laifield was another man of unique talents which lent to his extraordinary value as a translator. Of him it is said: «That being skilled in architecture, his judgement was much relied on for the fabric of the tabernacle and temple.»209
Dr. Robert Tighe was known as «an excellent textuary and profound lingtlist.»210
Dr. William Bedwell was «an eminent Oriental scholar.» His epitaph mentions that he was «for the Eastern tongues, as learned a man as most lived in these modern times.»
«He published in quarto an edition of the epistles of St. John in Arabic, with a Latin version, printed at the press of Raphelengius, at Antwerp, in 1612. He also left many Arabic manuscripts to the University of Cambridge, with numerous notes upon them, and a font of types of printing them. His fame for Arabic learning was so great, that when Erpenius, a most renowned Orientalist, resided in England in 1606, he was much indebted to Bedwell for direction in his studies. To Bedwell, rather than to Erpenius, who commonly enjoys it, belongs the honor of being the first who considerably promoted and revived the study of the Arabic language and literature in Europe. He was also tutor to another Orientalist of reknown, Dr. Pococke.»211
«Some modern scholars have fancied, that we have an advantage in our times over the translators of King James’ day, by reason of the greater attention which is supposed to be paid at present to what are called the ‘cognate’ and ‘Shemitic’ languages, and especially the Arabic by which much light is thought to be reflected upon Hebrew words and phrases. It is evident, however, that Mr. Bedwell and others, among his fellow-laborers, were thoroughly conversant in this part of the broad field of sacred criticism.»212
In addition to his work on the Authorized Version, Dr. Bedwell left several other contributions to his age:
«Dr. Bedwell also commenced a Persian dictionary, which is among Archbishop Laid’s manuscripts, still preserved in the Bodelian Library at Oxford. In 1615 he published his book, A Discovery of the Impostures of Mahomet and of the Koran. To this was annexed his Arabian Trudgeman.
«Dr. Bedwell had a fondness for mathematical studies. He invented a ruler for geometrical purposes, like that we call Gunther’s Scale, which went by the ‘Bedwell’s Ruler’.
«After Bedwell’s death, the voluminous manuscripts of his lexicon were loaned to the University of Cambridge to aid the compilation of Dr. Castell’s colossal work, the Lexicon Heptaglotton.»213
Dr. Edward Lively was known as «one of the best linguists in the world … Much dependence was placed on his surpassing skill in Oriental languages.»214
Dr. Lawrence Chaderton was raised a Roman Catholic and encouraged by his family to become a lawyer. He traveled to London where he was converted to Christ and joined the Puritan Congregation there. 215 It is said that:
«He made himself familiar with the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew tongues and was thoroughly skilled in them. Moreover he had diligently investigated the numerous writings of the Rabbis, so far as they seemed to promise any aid to the understanding of the Scriptures.»216
Dr. Chaderton was a powerful preacher who lived to the age of one hundred and three. A preaching engagement in his later years was described as follows:
«Having addressed his audience for two full hours by the glass, he paused and said, ‘I will no longer trespass on your patience.’ And now comes the marvel; for the whole congreagtion cried out with one consent for God’s sake, go on! He accordingly proceeded much longer, to their great satisfaction and delight.»217
Dr. McClure leaves us to ponder the direction scholarship has taken in these modern times. «For even now people like to hear such preaching as is preaching. But where shall we find men for the work like those who gave us our version of the Bible?»
Dr. Francis Dillingham was so studied in the original languages that he participated in public debate in Greek.218
Dr. Dillingham was another soldier for Christ who took aggressive action against the teaching of Rome. «He collected out of Cardinal Bellarmine’s writings, all the concessions made by the acute author in favor of Protestantism. He published a Manual of Christian Faith, taken from the Fathers, and a variety of treatises on different points belonging to the Romish controversy.»219
Dr. Thomas Harrison, it is recorded, was chosen to assist the King James translation due to his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. In fact his ability served him well in his duties as Vice-Master of Trinity College in Cambridge.
«On account of his exquisite skill in the Hebrew and Greek idioms, he was one of the chief examiners in the University of those who sought to be public professors of these languages.»220
John Harding was an ardent scholar of whom it is said concerning his ability: «At the time of his appointment to aid in the translation of the Bible, he had been Royal Professor of Hebrew in the University for thirteen years. His occupancy of that chair, at a time when the study of sacred literature was pursued by thousands with a zeal amounting to a possession, is a fair intimation that Dr. Harding was the man for the post he occupied.»221
Dr. John Reynolds had been raised in the Roman Catholic Church. As Chaderton, he too trusted Christ and became a Puritan. The attributes leading to his position on the translation committee are recorded as follows:
«Determined to explore the whole field and make himself master of the subject, he devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures in the original tongues, and read all the Greek and Latin fathers, and all the ancient records of the Church.»222
His aggressive nature toward the false teachings of his former church are exemplified in the following record:
«About the year 1578, John Hart, a popish zealot, challenged all the learned men in the nation to a public debate. At the solicitation of one of Queen Elizabeth’s privy counsellors, Mr. Reynolds encountered him. After several combats, the Romish champion owned himself driven from the field.»
«At that time, the celebrated Cardinal Bellarmine, the Goliath of the Philistines at Rome, was professor of theology in the English Seminary at that city. As fast as he delivered his popish doctrine, it was taken down in writing, and regularly sent to Dr. Reynolds; who from time to time, publicly confuted it at Oxford. Thus Bellarmine’s books were answered, even before they were printed.»223
His skills in Hebrew and Greek made his appointment to the company of translators a wise one. While on his death bed, it is recorded:
«The papists started a report, that their famous opposer had recanted his Protestant sentiments. He was much grieved at hearing of the rumor; but too feeble to speak, set his name to the following declaration: ‘These are to testify to all the world, that I die in the possession of that faith which I have taught all my life, both in my preachings and in my writings, with an assured hope of my salvation, only by the merits of Christ my Savior.»‘224
Dr. Richard Kilby was a man worthy of the position of translator. One incident in his life, which occurred shortly after the Authorized Version had been published, suffices not only to reveal his depth, but also the dangers of the self-esteemed «scholars» changing the translation of even one word in God’s Book.
«I must here stop my reader, and tell him that this Dr. Kilby was a man so great in learning and wisdom, and so excellent a critic in the Hebrew tongue, that he was made professor of it in this University; and as also so perfect a Grecian, that he was by King James appointed to be one of the translators of the Bible, and that this Doctor and Mr. Sanderson had frequent discourses, and loved as father and son. The Doctor was to ride a journey into Derbyshire, and took Mr. Sanderson to bear him company; and they resting on a Sunday with the Doctor’s friend, and going together to that parish church where they were, found the young preacher to have no more discretion than to waste a great part of the hour allotted for his sermon in exceptions against the late translation of several words, (not expecting such a hearer as Dr. Kilby) and showed three reasons why a particular word should have been otherwise translated. When evening prayer was ended, the preacher was invited to the Doctor’s friend’s house, where after some other confidence, the Doctor told him, he might have preached more useful doctrine, and not filled his auditor’s ears with needless exceptions against the translation; and for that word for which he offered to that poor congregation three reasons why it ought to have been translated as he and others had considered all them, and found thirteen more considerable reasons why it was translated as now printed.»225
Dr. Miles Smith was the man responsible for the preface to the King James Bible. This preface is no longer printed in the present copies of the Book. He had a knowledge of the Greek and Latin fathers, as well as being expert in Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic. «Hebrew he had at his finger’s end.» 226 And so was the Ethiopic tongue.
Dr. Henry Saville was known for his Greek and mathematical learning. He was so well known for his education, skilled with languages and knowledge of the Word, that he became Greek and mathematical tutor to Queen Elizabeth during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. 227
Dr. McClure tells us, «He is chiefly known, however, by being the first to edit the complete works of John Chrysostom, the most famous of the Greek Fathers.» 228
We could go on and on concerning the scholarship of the King James translators, but we have not the space here. Dr. McClure’s book, Translators Revived, is recommended for an in-depth study of the lives of these men.
It should be noted that these men were qualified in the readings of the church fathers which prevented them from being «locked» to the manuscripts, causing early readings to be overlooked. This is vastly better than the methods used by modern translators.
It should also be recognized that these men did not live in «ivory towers.» They were men who were just as renowned for their preaching ability as they were for their esteemed education. It is a lesson in humility to see men of such great spiritual stature call themselves «poor instruments to make God’s Holy Truth to be yet more and more known.»
We shall now briefly examine a few of the translators of the Revised Standard Version. The reasons that we shall examine these revisors are as follows:
First, it is due to the secrecy surrounding translations such as the New American Standard Version and the New International Version. The Lockman Foundation has elected to remain anonymous. This is, of course, the safest method, as it prevents investigative eyes from discovering truths such as those we shall see concerning the Revised Standard Version translators.
The translating committee of the New International Version is also nameless. We are assured of their «scholarship» although words without proof ring of a snake oil salesman in the days of the Old West. Of course, it must be admitted, they are both in the «selling business.»
Secondly, we have chosen to examine the Revised Standard Version translators because they are of the exact same conviction concerning biblical MSS as Westcott and Hort, Nestle, the Lockman Foundation, the New Scofield Board of Editors, and the majority of unsuspecting college professors and preachers across America today. Namely, they believed the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS are more reliable than the God-preserved Universal Text.
Thirdly, due to this mistaken preference for Roman Catholic MSS, EVERY Bible translation since 1881 is linked directly to the Revised Version, and had nothing to do with the Authorized Version. These new translations follow the same MSS family as the Revised version. This family is the Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and has no relationship whatsoever to the Authorized Version. It is the text which Satan has altered and promotes as a replacement for God’s Universal Text.
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.
Edgar Goodspeed was on the Revised Standard committee. Goodspeed did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. He looked at Jesus Christ as a social reformer who gave His life as a martyr for a «cause.» Goodspeed said, «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.»229
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?» 230
Goodspeed also, like Westcott, seemed to think it necessary to explain away Christ’s miracles. Here we see what he thought took place at the feeding of the five thousand:
«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 disiciples 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.» 231
Goodspeed called Genesis the product of an «Oriental story teller at his best.» 232
Julius Brewer, another revisor, stated, «The dates and figures found in the first five books of the Bible turn out to be altogether unreliable.» 233
Henry Cadbury, another member of the Revised committee, believed that Jesus Christ was a just man who was subject to story telling. «He was given to overstatements, in his case, not a personal idiosyncrasy, but a characteristic of the Oriental world.» 234
He also doubted the deity of Christ. «A psychology of God, if that is what Jesus was, is not available.» 235
Cadbury, like Westcott, was a socialist, and he attempted to fit Jesus Christ into the same mold. «His (Jesus’) gospel was in brief, a social gospel.» 236
Walter Bowie was another revisor who believed that the Old Testament was legend instead of fact. He says in reference to Abraham, «The story of Abraham comes down from the ancient times; and how much of it is fact and how much of it is legend, no one can positively tell.» 237
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.» 238
Bowie did not believe in the miracle of the burning bush. «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.» 239
Clarence Craig was one of the revisors who 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.» 240
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.» 241
Strangely enough, Craig is found to agree with the position of the present day «godly Christian scholars» who believe that God is not able to preserve His Word. «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 that the Bible CONTAINS the record of revelations.» 242
Frederick Grant was in agreement 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 of the other, and still have need of prayers.» 243