From the book:
NEW AGE BIBLE VERSIONS #2
The 'New' Greek Text and Ghosts
…..the shadow has thickened into a substance1
“The same Greek text-type was used in the translation of most English versions until the end of the nineteenth century,” acknowledges John Kohlenberger III, coauthor of The NIV Complete Concordance. He further concedes, “Because of numerical superiority, this text type is known as the Majority Text.”2 This is the Greek text from which the King James Version was translated. His remark, “….until the end of the nineteenth century,” refers to the ‘New’ Greek Text brewed by Westcott and Hort, published in 1881, and used as the broth for the stew in subsequent translations (including Kohlenberger’s NIV).
This ‘new’ text had a sinister start. In 1851, the year Westcott, Hort, and Lightfoot began the Ghostly Guild, they set in motion their notion of a 'New' Greek Text. Appendix A chronicles their 30 year involvement in secret esoteric activities while they were creating this 'New' text. In the very letter in which Hort hatched the 'New' Ghostly Guild, he christened 'villainous' the Greek Text which had, at his admission, been "the Traditional Text of 1530 years standing."3 Like an echo of Hort's hammer, Westcott pounds:
[I] am most anxious to provide something to replace them.4
'New Testament Scheme'
The words 'New Testament' fit with the word 'scheme' as poorly as the word ‘Trinity’ fits with the word 'ale'. Yet we shall see Westcott and Hort pairing them all. Hort's son reveals:
About this time Mr. Daniel Macmillan [the publisher] suggested to him that he should take part in an interesting and comprehensive ‘New Testament Scheme’. Hort was to edit the text in conjunction with Mr. Westcott; the latter was to be responsible for a commentary and Lightfoot was to contribute a New Testament Grammar and Lexicon.5
"[T]he much scheming" B.F. Westcott was a soi-disant used by Westcott to sign a letter. Hort's motive$ may have been a mite more mundane.
ne is perpetually spending huge sums on things which have no evident connexion with the necessities.6….This, of course, gives me good employment.7
Their correspondence elaborates 'the Scheme' cited in the previous chapter.
I have a sort of craving that our text 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 difficulty finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would be banished by subsequent alarms….[I]f only we speak our mind, we shall not be able to avoid giving grave offence to….the miscalled orthodoxy of the day….Evangelicals seem to me perverted….There are, I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority and especially the authority of the Bible….At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted upon by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time if the process is allowed to go on quietly; but I cannot help fearing that a premature crisis would frighten back many into the merest traditionalism.8
Nip and Snip
The spirits of the Ghostly Guild were aided by spirits of another kind. During the thirty years in which they were laboring on this 'Scheme', their correspondence uncovers 'the spirits' midwifing the birth of the 'New' text. The word 'sober’ is gone in new versions and was also missing from the lives of some editors. Did J.B. Phillips’ daily doses of sherry incite his intemperate tirades against fundamentalists, calling them “perfervid,” “firebreathing” “asses.” Westcott’s son admits his father was “much drawn to beer.” Late in life, he divulged his intemperance and became a spokesman for a brewery.
His picture together with some of the words spoken by him was utilized for the adornment of the advertisement of a brewer of pure beer. (See Appendix A)
Hort's letter to Lightfoot leaks their use of libation spirits and labile scripture (easily changed).
But why did you send beer (Trinity Ale) instead of coming yourself….Dr. Tregelles….found in the possession of the Bible Society some extremely important palimpsest fragments [New Testament Greek manuscripts which have been erased and written over] of the first eleven chapters of St. Luke….The marginal catena (chiefly….Origen)….9
The result was a 'New' Greek text in which the book of Luke, with its approximately 1000 verses shows 1000 or so changes. As they 'sip and snip', omissions become rampant. The entire text shows nearly 6000 places where 'the spirits' de-materialized the original Greek.10 Consequently, today's readers of the NASB and NIV and other modern versions, picking up their bibles looking for a spiritual 'pick-me-up', become ‘unconscious’ of the doctrines which have been diluted or dowsed away.
Lest someone tell you the differences between the real Greek Text and 'New' Greek Text are minor, hear the conclusion of the carvers themselves. Hort crowns the changes in their chameleon with:
I do not think the significance of their existence is generally understood….It is quite impossible to judge of the value of what appears to be trifling alterations merely by reading them one after another. Taken together, they have often important bearings which few would think of at first….The difference between a picture say of Raffaelle and a feeble copy of it is made up of a number of trivial differences….It is, one can hardly doubt, the beginning of a new period in Church history. So far the angry objectors have reason for their astonishment.11
This change in the standard Greek New Testament was very newsworthy upon its publication. Scholars of that time called it, "strongly radical and revolutionary," "deviating the furthest possible from the Received Text," "a violent recoil from the Traditional Greek Text," "the most vicious Recension of the original Greek in existence," a "seriously mutilated and otherwise grossly depraved NEW GREEK TEXT." They further yielded, "the passages in dispute are of great importance."
Dr. G. Vance Smith, a Unitarian who denied the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the inspiration of scripture, was invited to join Westcott and Hort in working on the revision. When furor arose regarding his participation, Westcott and Hort said they would resign if he was not included. Smith's book, Texts and Margins of the Revised New Testament, boasts of his strong influence upon the doctrinal changes in the 'New' text. He answers today's expositors who say the changes are inconsequential.
[I]t has been frequently said that the changes of translation….are of little importance from a doctrinal point of view….[A]ny such statement [is]….contrary to the facts 13
Most of these changes stand intact in the most recent versions. Of the underlying text E. W. Colwell, preeminent North American textual scholar and past president of the University of Chicago points out:
“The text thus constructed is not reconstructed, but constructed; it is an artificial entity that never existed.”
John Burgon, who was Dean of Chichester and the preeminent Greek textual scholar of the day, said:
For the Greek Text which they have invented proves to be hopelessly depraved throughout….[I]t was deliberately invented….[T]he underlying Greek….is an entirely new thing, is a manufactured article throughout….[T]he new Greek Text….is utterly inadmissible….Proposing to enquire into the merits of the recent revision of the bible, we speedily became aware that….the underlying Greek Text had been completely refashioned throughout. It was not so much a [new version] as a New Greek Text. The New Greek Text….was full of errors from beginning to end: had been constructed throughout….[I]t was no part of your instructions to invent a new Greek Text, or indeed to meddle with the original Greek at all….[B]y your own confession—you and your colleagues knew yourselves to be incompetent Shame on….[those] most incompetent men who—finding themselves in an evil hour occupied themselves….with falsifying the inspired Greek Text….Who will venture to predict the amount of mischief which must follow, if the 'New' Greek Text….should become used.14
Externalization of the Hierarchy
The New Age movement, as we know it today, had its germination in the rise of the spiritualism of the 1850's. Westcott, as we have seen, did his part to seed this virus. The blight began in the 1870's when, as New Agers tell us, the "hierarchy began the process of externalization.”15 (Christian translation: the doctrines of the devils conjured during the spiritualism of the 1850's were spreading.)
The conjurer, B.F. Westcott, did his share in spreading these diseased doctrines during the 1870's. In 1871, the three Ghostly Guild 'medicine men' were invited by the Church of England to lead a committee for the revision of the King James Bible. Hort's son calls Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot, 'The Three'; Hort writes to his wife of their invitation to join the bible Revision Committee.16
Westcott….believes we ought to seize the opportunity….especially as we three [Ghostly Guild members] are on the list.17
The secrecy which hovered over the membership list of the recent NASB and NKJV committees, when they were under deliberation, does not spring from the life of Christ and the apostles; this canker was spawned by its ‘Carrier’ and the Committee of 'Apostles'. The 'secret societies' (or as Hort's son called ‘the Apostles’—‘the Secret Club’) became the 'secret' Revision Committee.18 Hort writes:
We still do not wish it to be talked about….19
"Each member of the company had been supplied with a private copy of Westcott and Hort's [Greek] Text," writes Hort's son.20 The 'New' Greek Text was marked 'Confidential'; members of the Revision Committee were all sworn to a pledge of secrecy. The Committee met secretly for ten years from 1871-1881. "An iron rule of silence was imposed. "21 A critic notes:
The Revisors have….silently adopted most of those wretched fabrications which are just now in favor with the German School.22
The Revision Committee
The Church of England invited committee membership without regard to what "nation or religious body they may belong." One of the most esteemed Hebrew and Greek scholars of the day remarked that the committee members "are notoriously either tainted with popery or infidelity."23 Hort's son records the rumor that "the revision was in the hands of a clique."24 Another man of letters at that time conveys:
The history of the ‘New’ Greek Text is briefly this: a majority of the Re- visors …are found to have put themselves into the hands of Drs. Westcott and Hort.25
The liberalism of the members was evident in their approval of Westcott and Hort's substitution of the readings in the Vatican's Greek manuscript, Vaticanus, for the original Greek. Drs. Moberly, Pusey and Newman were invited to join, all three emissaries of the Roman Catholic Church. Member Dean Stanley believed, as did Westcott and Hort, that the word of God was also in the books of the other world religions. Bishop Thirwall was a follower of the liberal higher criticism of Schleiermacher. The reputations of the committee members were so tainted that Queen Victoria and her chaplain F.C. Cook refused to give it the official sanction awarded by King James to that esteemed body. Half of the members of the Church of England at the time declined involvement, as did its American branch, the Episcopal Church. Others, like Dr. Merival and the Bishop of St. Andrews, left after seeing the sinister character of the 'New' Greek Text. Like Judas, once the deed was done, many of the preeminent members expressed their remorse. Dean Burgon writes of this disenchantment of the committee in general.
We can sympathize also with the secret distress of certain of the body, who now, when it is all too late to remedy the mischief, begin to suspect that they have been led away—overpowered.
Most noteworthy was the subsequent public exposure of the unholy and unscholarly character of the project by its official chairman Bishop Ellicott. He said, when comparing the credentials of the 1611 KJV committee to the scholars of his day:
[W]e have certainly not yet acquired sufficient critical judgement for any Body of Revisors to undertake such a work as this.26
Hort writes of:
….the abuse we are receiving….The crisis is a very grave one and we ought….to resist the Moderates in their attempts to carry out the demands of a noisy public opinion.27
As 'Planned', the pages of the new version propelled the 'falling away' in these last days. Consequently, today the 'noisy public opinion' can scarcely be heard, time broadening the hearing distance.
The New Age Christ
Upon the public release in 1881 of their 'New' Greek text and Revised Version, Hort's son says:
[T]he work which had gone on now for nearly thirty years was perforce brought to a conclusion….28
Exactly thirty years earlier, in 1851, "the work" of the Ghostly Guild began. Is this text the minutes of the meetings, so to speak? Constance Cumby, author of the best selling Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow and A Planned Deception writes of 'the Plan' or work done during this period to prepare the world for the New Age Christ. The 1880's, she points out, were to be the climax of the "externalization of the hierarchy" and would touch off the preparation of the world for 'the Christ'.29 Is it so surprising then that dozens and dozens of times their 'New' Greek and the subsequent versions which are based on it, drop the name “Jesus” from the title Jesus Christ, leaving 'the Christ' for the New Age?
Why: Church of England and Bible Revision?
How can the participation of mesmerists and spiritualists, like Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot, in the Church of England's Bible Revision Committee be explained? Contemporaries of Westcott and Hort, as well as secular historians, note the sinister silhouette of the Church of England when viewed at that juncture in history. Huxley, when voicing his sentiment on the 'spiritualism' and 'psychic activity' of his day, calls it, "the chatter of old women and curates in the nearest cathedral town." (Westcott was the curate of Durham Cathedral and Benson the curate of Westminster.) Secular historian James Webb discerned:
The occult revival could often go hand in hand with Christian conviction….among the clergy of the Church of England proper there was in the early years of the century a measurable interest in Theosophy and occult matters.
It is not surprising that Westcott and Hort had a body of consensus on the revision committee for their 'New' Greek text. Sermon titles in the Church of England ran the gamut from Rev. W. F. Geride-Cobb of St. Ethelburga's Bishopsgate's "Theosophy and the Anglo-Catholic Ceremony" to Rev. L.W. Fearn of St. John's Westminster—"Reincarnation."30 Cambridge University, where Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot had their affiliation, was in a similar state. During Westcott's tenure there, Cambridge produced Sir John Woodruff, author of the Hindu occult tomes The Serpent Power and The Garland of Letters.
Today's Church of England's members are the spiritual greatgrandchildren of Westcott and Hort's 'transformed' Greek text. The New Age banner flies high over St. James Anglican Church off Piccadilly Square. There "Sufi Healing Order, Yoga Meditation Class, and Lifetime Astrology" are taught.31 To train lay leaders for such esoteric meanderings, they begin with the occult spiritual exercises of Jesuit Ignatious Loyola. They follow up with a meditation ceremony celebrating the Birth of Buddha.32
Time magazine calls Westcott's successor, the current Bishop of Durham, "Britain's Doubting Bishop." It says "he prides himself in his heresy" denying the virgin birth, the resurrection and other dogmas. His superior replies, "There is room for everyone in the Anglican church."33 Evidently so, as witnessed in their recent publication—Life, Death and Psychical Research: Studies of the Church's Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies 34
Even the Episcopalian Church, the American branch of the Church of England, has bred 'spirit' channeler Laura Cameron Fraser, their first woman priest. Their Bishop Pike, seance soothsayer of recent years, concedes he began his seminary education as a 'solid' believer, but it left him with "a mere handful of pebbles." Joseph Carr, author of The Lucifer Connection, aptly comments that involvement with spirits "should be taken as a warning that there is something wrong, with their theology—but it won't."35 Morton Kelsey, whom Christian authors Reid, Virkler,and Morgan list as "the most significant spiritual leader in the church today,” recommends communication with the dead.36 Josh McDowell frames the facts for us saying:
In recent years there has been a denial of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith from those who occupy a position of leadership in the church. When the church waters down the gospel of Christ, the door to occult practices swings wide open.37
Necromancy or 'Communion of the Saints'?
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them. Leviticus 19:31
There shalt not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Webster tells us necromancy is “….communication with the spirits of the dead.” It is forbidden in dozens of places in the bible, among them Galatians 5:20, Exodus 22:18, II Kings 23:24, II Kings 17:17, Deuteronomy 18:10, II Kings 21:6, Leviticus 19:26, and II Chronicles 33:6. New Bible 'fathers' Westcott and Hort, as well as J.B. Phillips, author of the New Testament in Modern English, cloak their necromancy under the guise—"I believe in the communion of the Saints"—a phrase included in several church creeds. Westcott presented a speech on "The Communion of the Saints" as late as 1880, the final year of his life-long work on the 'New' bible. Describing his belief in the potential for intercourse with the dead, he "chatters,"
[It] is independent of limitations of space and time. We are learning with the help of many teachers the extent and the authority of the dominion which the dead have over us….It is becoming clear to us that we are literally parts of others and they of us….We are bidden to enter the unseen….[T]here are many worlds….There is one life which finds expression in many forms….[individual fellowship with the spiritual world is quickened and guided [on]….All Saints Day.38
And there is no limit to this inspiring communion. It encompasses the living and the dead. It acknowledges no saddest necessity of outward separation as reaching the region in which it is….[A]ll that is personal is gathered up without loss of personality in One….39
Westcott derides "the prevailing spirit of realism" saying, "[T]he world of sense is too much with us." He closes his speech admitting, "However strange the conception may be, it contains, I believe, some truths which we have not mastered."40
Josh McDowell unmasks Westcott's All Saints Day, uncovering "All Hallows Eve."41 Westcott sees it as "the occasion through which individual fellowship with the spiritual world is quickened and guided."42 His idea corresponds to what Satanists, Witches, and New Agers call the Samhain festival or Halloween, where "the spirits of the dead return to their former home to visit the living." "It is still considered by witches to be the night of their greatest power."43
The same 'Communion of the Saints' rhetoric is being restated today. New Age esoteric leader, Dominican priest and gay activist, Matthew Fox chants, "I don't believe in the Communion of the Saints. I KNOW it." He is referring to his ‘communion’ with dead occultist Meister Eckhart.44 Moody Church's Erwin Lutzer hurdles the chatter of these wizards concluding, "No one ever communicates with the dead….Those who claim such encounters are either faking it or they are in communication with demons, wicked spirits who delight to deceive."45
J.B. Phillips: A Translator's Testimony
J.B. Phillips is author of the best selling MacMillan translation, The New Testament in Modem English and other recent translations of the bible. Their widespread distribution was evident on today's visit to the Kent State University Bookstore which housed a small stock of three bibles for sale, one King James Version and two Phillip's translations. He is also the author of the forward to The NASB Interlinear Greek-English New Testament published by Zondervan.
Phillips became involved in necromancy during a period in his life in which he felt horribly despondent, particularly at nighttime. God, he said, was not near to him and he sought comfort desperately. Bob Larson sounds the alarm: "Our post-Christian age has produced a biblically illiterate populace unaware of the scripture's stern denunciation of anyone who attempts to seek knowledge or comfort by contacting the spirit world."46 However, in his biography, Ring of Truth: A Translator's Testimonyy Phillips brags:
Many of us who believe in what is technically known as the Communion of Saints must have experienced the sense of nearness, for a fairly short time, of those we love soon after they have died. This has certainly happened to me several times. But the late C. S. Lewis whom I did not know very well and had seen in the flesh once, but with whom I had corresponded a fair amount, gave me an unusual experience. A few days after his death, while I was watching television, he ‘appeared’ sitting in a chair within a few feet of me and spoke a few words which were particularly relevant to the difficult circumstances through which I was passing. He was ruddier in complexion than ever, grinning all over his face and as the old fashioned saying has it, positively glowing in health. The interesting thing to me was that I had not been thinking about him at all. I was neither alarmed or surprised….He was just there….larger than life and twice as natural. A week later, this time when I was in bed, reading before going to sleep, he appeared again, even more rosily radiant than before and reported to me the same message which was very important to me at the time. I was a little puzzled and mentioned it to a saintly Bishop….His reply was 'My dear J.B., this sort of thing is happening all the time'.47
The message 'C.S. Lewis' gave to Phillips was identical to that given by all New Age channelers today. Elliot Miller reminds us, "Despite the tremendous diversity of these entities, there is a striking unanimity to their message."48 C.S. Lewis merely told him in essence, "I'm OK, You're OK; Don't Worry. Be Happy (about your feelings of distance from God)." Phillips' despondency and 'distance' from God, as he describes it, was brought on by his faulty theology, to be discussed in Chapter 32.
NIV and NASB ‘spirit’
Could their belief in contact with disembodied spirits have influenced their translation work? In Hort's commentary on I Peter (p.60) he remarks that the KJV rendition "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" should be "a holy spirit sent down from heaven." Again in Romans 8:15 the new versions (i.e., NASB, all Catholic bibles, Nestle/Aland Greek text, the UBS Greek, the Westcott and Hort Greek text and the Jehovah Witness bible) read "you have received a spirit" rather than the KJV and Majority text reading—"the Spirit."
This rejection of the personhood of the Holy Spirit is characteristic of New Age and cult cosmology. Cult leader Victor Paul Wierwille of The Way International writes, "The giver is God the Spirit. His gift is spirit." A characteristic of the Jehovah Witness bible, which was translated from the Westcott and Hort Greek text, is the consistent rejection of "the personality of the Holy Spirit."49 Authors of The Agony of Deceit even notice this tendency in today's faith teachers remarking, "Like other spiritualists the faith teachers point adherents to their own inner spirit rather than to a Savior outside of them."50 Could this come from their use of the NIV, NASB or Catholic bibles which read, "in his spirit he speaks mysteries" instead of "in the spirit." The word ‘his’ is added to these translations with no Greek support. Those familiar with Gnosticism and its focus on man's spirit, will recognize its resurrection with regard to the new versions' rendition of this verse.51 The new version's substitution of 'a spirit' for the Holy Spirit was discussed in Chapter 28, 'The Godhead's Gone.'
What 'Spirit' prompted the NIV to substitute the word “the Spirit” for “the Holy Spirit”? The NIV's Virginia Mollenkott, in her book Sensuous Spirituality, lists "A Variety of Methods for Hearing the Spirit." Pages 13 through 19 list these as automatic writing through "a Spirit Guide," divination through the "use of the I Ching and Tarot" cards, the occult "A Course in Miracles," "psychotherapy and some mildly mystical experiences" and finally an "ongoing relationship" with the spirit of her dead mother.
CERTAINLY THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS PERSONALITY FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES FROM THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST - IT IS THEM, AN EXTENSION OF THEMSELVES, AND BY WHICH BOTH THE FATHER AND CHRIST LIVE IN THE CHRISTIAN - JOHN 14: 23 - Keith Hunt
TO BE CONTINUED