From the book:
NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS
by Gail A. Riplinger
A good chunk of Fundamental theology guys and Church of England priests “poo-poo” this book by Riplinger; as they are way off from planet Pluto in their basic theology teachings, I am not surprised they have a negative knee-jerk reaction to anything that undermines their acceptance of Westcott and Hort and the two MSS of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus that most modern Bible translations are founded upon. This section of this website goes in-depth on the true MSS evidence on which the Old and New KJV Bibles were based on, as opposed to most of the modern translations. We also hear from J.P. Green Sr. and the “majority text” which his Greek/English Interlinear is founded on - Keith Hunt
A cannon ball, in the form of a new and altered Greek New Testament text, was catapulted in the 1880's by two pirates, Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort; it carries its doctrinal deathblow into the laps of unsuspecting Christians holding translations of this text. These new versions exhibit deep trenches in the text as a result of this barrage. Clefts in the content include the ascension, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the virgin birth, New Testament salvations (e.g., Paul, the Ethiopian eunuch, the thief on the cross) and an army of other victims. These two swashbucklers approached the written word with a sword much like the soldier who pierced the side of the living Word. The sound of a 'New World Religion' echoes back from these sounding boards framed with the theories and philosophies of Westcott and Hort. The body of standard Christian reference works affirm their pivotal and powerful role in this war of words. Scanning the major works will document the singularity and paramountcy of their role.
John R. Kohlenberger, spokesperson for Zondervan, (publisher of the NASB, Living Bible, Amplified Bible, NIV, and RSV) is author of a Hebrew NIV Interlinear, as well as, Words about the Word: A Guide to Choosing and Using Your Bible. He discloses:
Westcott and Hort….all subsequent versions from the Revised Version (1881) to those of the present….have adopted their basic approach….[and] accepted the Westcott and Hort [Greek] tex1.
He goes on to salute Westcott's, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, saying, “This century old classic remains a standard.”2 Christians may not return the salute, but ask why the work of esoterics are "standards" and "classics" for the body of Christ.
Baker Book House, publisher of half-a-dozen modem translations, also prints a bible selection guide entitled, The King James Version Debate. Author D. A. Carson admits:
The theories of Westcott and Hort….[are] almost universally accepted today….It is on this basis that Bible translators since 1881 have, as compared with the King James Version, left out some things and added a few others. Subsequent textual critical work accepted the theories of Westcott and Hort. The vast majority of evangelical scholars….hold that the basic textual theories of Westcott and Hort were right and the church stands greatly in their debt.3
The error of their textual theories and their recent abandonment by many scholars, in spite of Carson's last comment, will be discussed in a later section. In spite of this increasing elbowroom, their revised Greek text is still almost a mirror image of that used to translate the NIV, NASB, and all other new versions. Dr. E. F. Hills, Princeton and Harvard scholar, impresses, the “New International Version …. follows the critical Westcott and Hort text.”4 Philip W. Comfort's recent Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament concedes:
But textual critics have not been able to advance beyond Hort in formalizing a theory….this has troubled certain textual scholars….5
Even abbreviated histories of the canon, in reference works like Halley's Bible Handbook and Young's Concordance observe, “For the English speaking world the work of B. F. Westcott has proved of abiding worth.”6 “The New Testament Westcott and Hort Greek texts, which, in the main, are the exact original Bible words….”7 J. H. Greenlee's Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Erdmanns Publishers Co., 1964, p. 78) adds:
The textual theories of W-H underlies virtually all subsequent work in NT textual criticism.
Scholarly books, articles and critical editions of the Greek New Testament are slowly abandoning the readings of Westcott and Hort in their 'Newest' Greek texts. Yet the pews are piled high with the W-H offerings like the NIV, NASB and Living Bible.
Wilbur N. Pickering, author of The Identity of the New Testament Text (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980), pp. 38,42, 96,90) reveals:
The dead hand of Fenton John Anthony Hort lies heavy upon us. (Colwell) The two most popular manual editions of the Greek text today, Nestles-Aland and U.B.S. (United Bible Society) really vary little from the W-H text. Why is this? Westcott and Hort are generally credited with having furnished the death blow [to the KJV and the Greek Text which was used for the previous 1880 years]. Subsequent scholarship has tended to recognize Hort's mistake. The W-H critical theory is erroneous at every point. Our conclusions concerning the theory apply also to any Greek text constructed on the basis of it [Nestle's-Aland, UBS etc.], as well as those versions based on such texts [NIV, NASB, Good News for Modern Man, NEB, L.B., etc.]
H. C. Hoskier's A Full Account and Collation of the Greek Cursive Codex Evangelism 604 (London: David Nutt. 1890), Introduction, pp. cxv-cxvi) and Codex B and Its Allies—A Study and an Indictment. (2 vols. London: Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 1914) notes:
The text printed by Westcott and Hort has been accepted as 'the true text', and grammars, works on the synoptic problem, works on higher criticism, and others have been grounded on this text….These foundations must be demolished.
Alfred Martin (former Vice President of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago) says:
[M]any people, even today, who have no idea what the Westcott-Hort theory is….accept the labors of those two scholars without question….an amusing and amazing spectacle presents itself: many of the textbooks, books of bible interpretation, innumerable secondary works go on repeating the Westcott and Hort dicta although the foundations have been seriously shaken, even in the opinion of former Hortians.
Since Westcott and Hort are the 'basis' or foundation for the new translations, this chapter will document what objective secular histories say when inspecting these footings. The voices of Westcott and Hort, beckoning from their biographies, will further warn what's gone on ‘underground’.
Hermes: Alias 'Satan'
As a Cambridge undergraduate, Westcott organized a club and chose for its name ‘Hermes’.8 The designation is derived from “the god of magic…. and occult wisdom, the conductor of Souls to Hades….Lord of Death”
(Westcott and Hort's neoplatonism will be discussed in Chapter 38.)
In her Secret Doctrine, Luciferian H.P. Blavatsky identifies Hermes as Satan.
Satan or Hermes are all one….He is called the Dragon of Wisdom….the serpent….identical with the god Hermes….inventor of the first initiation of men into magic….the author of serpent worship.10
Blavatsky's logo, a serpent biting its tail, represents Hermes. The portrait that history paints of Hermes looks remarkably like Westcott; they both, “succeed in charming the giant to sleep,” "put lies into her mouth," “plunged the Greeks into slumber with the aid of his magic wand, with which he made drowsy the eyes of mortals.”11 Blavatsky's Theosophical Glossary's entry on 'Hermes' (which interestingly was written by a 'Brother Westcott') reveals him to be “the sacred scribe of the gods.”12
Author of the Occult Underground cites Hermes as the entry point of scholars and philosophers into the occult.13 Westcott's 'Hermes' club met weekly for three years from 1845-1848, discussing such topics as, the 'Funeral Ceremonies of the Romans', 'The Eleatic School of Philosophers', 'The Mythology of Homeric Poems', 'the Theramines' and numerous undisclosed subjects.14
Hermes was also the original 'hermaphrodite', the fusion of sexes in one person. Priests of Hermes wore artificial breasts and female garments.15 Even thirty five years after his institution of this club, Westcott still presents this New Age concept of androgyny.
There are differences between male and female character under which, we divine that there lies a real identity, and consequent tendency to fusion in the ultimate ideal.16
Were these young classicists perhaps following Plato's lead in his Symposium, where he describes homosexual love as the highest kind? One secular historian cites letters between members of Westcott's clubs and refers to the "intensity" of a "homosexual" relationship between members (i.e., Arthur Sidgwick, Frederic Myers); he comments, “I think that homosexuality was not rare among young classicists….”17 The mummy of Hermes has come to life again stalking our generation. Today's cryptic Metaphysical Bible Dictionary notes, “The characteristics of man must therefore be masculine and feminine in one.”18 The School of Hermes is today listed as a New Age organization in the English New Age Network magazine.19 Benjamin Creme, when identifying the New Age 'Christ', christens him 'Hermes' as does Blavatsky.20
A clue to the mind-set of Westcott's cohorts is seen in a letter written by Westcott to 'Frederic'. The note indicates Westcott knew Frederic was not at home because he did not smell cannabis, marijuana or hashish on the premises.
[H]e certainly carried you off in fairy-like fashion. I am not quite sure that I will pardon you till I have a full account of the 'supernatural say that I did not smell the odour of hempseed in the house.21
The use of mind altering drugs is not reserved to our generation. At this juncture in his life, Hort developed a passion for Coleridge, an opium addict. Blavatsky was addicted to hashish and Westcott was 'transported' by beer. Edmond Gerny, a protege of Frederic Myers, died of a drug-induced overdose; the same drug, chloroform, initiated turn-of-the-century Luciferian Anna Kingsford's delusions.
Channeled Bibles and Doctrines of Devils
The 1990's box office hit "Ghosts", with its all star cast, is steering a generation of movie goers to seances and mediums. The Stanford Research Institute reports that over half of Americans have had contact with ghosts. This figure will swell as federally funded projects, such as Confluent Education, instruct students to ‘contact their spirit guide’.22 The medium's darkened salon has been transformed into a brightly lit television studio which hypnotizes viewers, pulsating twenty fiendish frames per second. Today Los Angeles viewers watch Gerry Brown channel 'John the Apostle' every Sunday at midnight. Cable television in New York sports an entire show devoted to amateur channelers. Mini-series "Out on a Limb" featured channeler Kevin Ryerson. Emmy award winner Sharon Gless 'thanks' her channeler in front of millions of mesmerized viewers.23 In tracing the recent revival of channeling, scores of history books, as we shall see, point to one origin: Westcott and Hort. These new version authors did not stop with their 'Hermes' Club, but went on to engage in spiritualism and to organize a society called the Ghostly Guild.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. I Timothy 4:1
The bitter fountain which springs forth from the new bible versions flows from the devils who 'seduced' the scribes. Drinking from the stream of spiritualism has infected these scribes, who in turn contaminate the pages of scripture with "doctrines of devils." The stream spills over blotting their 'bibles', washing away key words and diluting the 'blood' of Christ. The "doctrines of devils," set forth by the new translations, are a mirror image of those reflected back from the still and stagnant pool filled by today's New Age channeled entities.
….the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians2:2
These entities, working the graveyard shift, show themselves to be ready scribes and tale-tellers. The seminal writings of the New Age movement were essentially born of channeling. "Blavatsky's two chief channeled works, The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, laid the foundation for the modem New Age belief system." Alice Bailey's twenty-five foundational works were also received from 'spirits'. Numerous other New Age 'bibles', such as the Urantia Book and A Course in Miracles, came from unfleshly fictionists. The New Age contracted its most recent tainted theology from channeler Jane Roberts who, like Westcott, "began doing research into psychic activity,"24 and soon after, like Westcott, began writing a 'bible' for the New Age.
The Occult Underground: Translators Address for New Bible
To disentomb the truth about the scribes involved in these translations we will go underground to James Webb's classic The Occult Underground. This secular history unearths the roots of the New Age movement in the nineteenth century occult revival. In his opening chapter entitled "The Necromancers," he exhumes the sarcophagus of Westcott and Hort, still haunted by their 'Ghostly Guild’. In his second chapter, his scholarly shovel shows us Philip Schaff, member of the 'New' Greek Text committee and also chairman for the American Standard Version (on which is based the Living Bible and the New American Standard Version). His photo there among the leaders of the Parliament of World Religions captures the shoulder to shoulder hopes of the New World Religion. (Chapter 33 elaborates.) It is noteworthy that a secular historian of the caliber of Webb, when presented the task of identifying the key events, people and organizations of the occult revival, included enterprises initiated by Westcott and Hort and endorsed by Schaff. Webb was perhaps unaware of the connection of these three men with the bible and called them as he saw them. Webb's third postmortem examination along this burial ground traces the monument markings of H.P. Blavatsky. Webb ties together the Western origins of the New Age movement with Blavatsky as one bookend and "the clerical eccentrics," as he calls them, as the other.
[W]hat the occult was….[is] Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy, Eastern religion, astrology, geomancy, the Tarot cards, magic, secret societies….the clerical eccentricities over whom we have cast an eye….[AH] form part of the occult complex….25
Blavatsky's writings, at the center of the New Age spider web, travel down the various radiating strands shadowing their prey— the seasoned New Ager. The concentric strands with their sticky coating tether the spider's unsuspecting victim—the naive Christian. The blatant occultist and subtle clergy weave Satan's web together to form the trap. Christians are haplessly being caught on the thread that runs through the new bibles. The previous and subsequent particulars offered by this book will hopefully unravel the network before it binds and finally strangles unsuspecting Christians.
The Ghostly Guild: Channeling's Lineage
Westcott and Hort were not only ‘Fathers’ in the Anglican church but, according to numerous historians and New Age researchers, appear to be among the 'Fathers' of the modern channeling movement. (The Fox sisters along with H.P. Blavatsky were the 'Mothers'.) The group referred to by James Webb as an element in the Occult Underground was ‘The Ghost Club’ or ‘Ghostly Guild’ launched in the 1850's by Westcott, Hort and Benson. Webb discloses:
Ghost Society [was] founded by no less a person than Edward White Benson, the future Bishop of Canterbury. As A. C. Benson writes in his father's biography, the Archbishop was always more interested in psychic phenomena than he cared to admit. Two members of the Ghost Club became Bishops [Benson and Westcott] and one a Professor of Divinity [Hort] .26
Hort writes of his and Westcott's work to set this apparition association in motion.
Westcott, Gorham, C.B. Scott, Benson, Bradshaw, Laurd etc. and I have started a society for the investigation of ghosts and all supernatural appearances and effects, being all disposed to believe that such things really exist….Westcott is drawing up a schedule of questions.27
In the very same letter Hort chaffs that the bible, extant in his day as the King James Version from the Greek Textus Receptus, was 'Villainous'.28 This letter, a foghorn sounded by Father Time to us today, testifies to the foreboding genesis of today's community of translations like the NIV, NASB, NKJV and NRSV. Westcott and Hort's position in the bloodline of the current New Age movement is conceded by Hort's son:
Hort seems to have been the moving spirit of….the Bogie Club, as scoffers called it, [it] aroused a certain amount of derision and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon.29
Authors of Ancient Empires of the New Age see this trend without a son's bias noting, “Once the elite had closed their minds to Biblical revelation, they almost immediately began to fall for every spiritual con game and fringe teaching around.”30 Their contemporaries gave ample warning as Hort admits:
Macaulay is horrified at the paper….During the vacation I distributed some eight or ten ‘ghostly papers’….I left a paper on my table the other evening when the Ray met here, and it excited some attention, but not, I think much sympathy. Dr—-was APPALLED to find such a spot of mediaeval darkness flecking light serene of Cambridge University in the nineteenth century. There were also grave smiles and civil questions; and finally several copies were carried off.31
Although Hort referred to evangelical Christians as "dangerous," "perverted," "unsound" and "confused," he was rabidly 'evangelistic' about his 'necromancy' as the bible calls it. Writing to a C. H. Chambers, Hort proselytizes:
I sent you two 'ghostly' papers; you can have more if you want them, but I find they go very fast and the 750 copies which we printed go by no means far enough. We are promised a large number of well- authenticated private stories, but they have not arrived yet. Our most active members are however absent from Cambridge; to wit Westcott at Harrow and Gordon at Wells….32
Westcott's son writes, “Westcott took a leading part in their proceedings and their inquiry circular was originally drawn up by him. He also received a number of communications in response.” Westcott's "Ghostly Circular" reads, in part:
But there are many others who believe it possible that the beings of the unseen world may manifest themselves to us….Many of the stories current in tradition or scattered up and down in books, may be exactly true….33
The members apparently had their own 'experiences' and the circular was for eliciting "information beyond the limits of their own immediate circle. "34 Referring to 'the foundations' of the occult revival, another historian W.H. Salter, points to Westcott, Hort and Benson, their guild and circular.
First mention should be made of spontaneous cases of haunts, apparitions and the like….[T]he founders of psychical research….The Cambridge 'Ghost Society' had collected them by circular.35
Toppling over the heap of secular histories which identify Westcott and Hort among the seeds of the present New Age thicket is The Founders of Psychical Research, by Alan Gauld. He lists their 'Guild' among the 'Founders'.
In 1851 was founded at Cambridge a Society to conduct a serious and earnest enquiry into the nature of the phenomena vaguely called 'supernatural', and a number of distinguished persons became members.36
Pogo sticking through the index of The Founders of Psychical Research reveals the following 'company' in which our esteemed bible revisors find themselves.
Automatic Writing, Benson, Biblical Criticism, Mme H. P. Blavatsky, Clairvoyance, 'Control' Spirit, Crystal-gazing, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Ghost Club, F.J.A. Hort, Hypnotism, 'Inspirational' writing and speaking in early British Spiritualism, C.G. Jung, Levitation, J.B. Lightfoot, Mediumship, Mesmerism, Multiple Personality, Plato, Society for Psychical Research, Spiritualism, Swedenbome Society, Synthetic Society, Telepathy, Trance Medium, B.F. Westcott.
Westcott's son writes of his father's lifelong “faith in what for lack of a better name, one must call Spiritualism…” The subject was, he notes, "unintelligible or alarming to the general." In response to public disfavor regarding his esotericism and liberalism and in light of his position in the 'religious' community, Westcott determined that public involvement in the Ghostly Guild "led to no good."37 In 1860 and 1861, Hort wrote to Westcott of their mutual concern in this regard.
[T]his may be cowardice—I have a sort of craving that our text [‘New’ Greek New Testament] should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean a text issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms….If only we speak our minds, we shall not be able to avoid giving grave offense to….the miscalled orthodoxy of the day.38
Their subversive and clandestine approach continued, as seen ten years later when Westcott writes, “….strike blindly….much evil would result from the public discussion.”39 Westcott's son alludes to the shroud of mystery surrounding the continuation of the 'Ghostly Guild'. “[M]y father laboured under the imputation of being 'unsafe’….What happened to this Guild in the end I have not discovered.”40…….
In 1872 Westcott started another group which he named the 'Eranus'. Sidgwick was, of course, one of the select members, as was another S.P.R. official, Arthur Balfour. Hort also belonged and his son said that it was a "senior Apostles" club. "The originator of the idea was the present Bishop of Durham's" [Westcott]; its members met regularly. Hort's room hosted meetings during 1877.80
During this period (the 1870's) Sidgwick was actively involved in seances at "Balfour's townhouse." These seances "composed of their friends," appear to be the same "group of intimate friends" described as the membership of 'the Apostles’.81 Who's Who in 'the Apostles' and Eranus Clubs is as current as the direct mail Christian book catalogue received in my mail today. Members, such Trench, Alford, Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort, all have books in print today, which the academic and seminary communities list as 'standard works' on the Greek text of the New Testament.82…….
TO BE CONTINUED