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The New Testament Translation - A History #1

The first few centuries

                    Written and Complied

                         Keith Hunt

The following studies are taken from the book called "Our
Authorized Bible Vindicated" by the late Benjamin G. Wilkinson,
Ph.D. Written 1930.

I will add additional notes in brackets as I see the need i.e.
(......... - Keith hunt) All CAPITAL words are mine, for


EARLY CORRUPTION OF BIBLE MSS (manuscripts - Keith Hunt)

     The last of the apostles to pass away was John. He death is
usually placed about 100 A.D........
     While John lived, heresy could make no SERIOUS HEADWAY. He
had hardly passed away, however, before perverse teachers
infested the Christian Church (actually that infestation had been
taking place much early, as the epistles of Paul and Peter, and
even John himself, testify - Keith Hunt).....
     These years were times which saw the New Testament (NT
hereafter - Keith Hunt) books corrupted in abundance.
     Eusebius is witness to this fact. He also relates that the
corrupted manuscripts were so prevalent that agreement between
copies was hopeless; and that those who were corrupting the
Scriptures, claimed they were correcting them (Eusebius, Eccles.
History, book 5., chap. 28).
     When the waring sects had been consolidated under the iron
hand of Constantine, this heretical potentate adopted the Bible
which combined the contradictory versions into one, and so
blended the various corruptions with the bulk of pure teachings
as to give sanction to the great apostasy now seated on the
throne of power.
     Beginning shortly after the death of the apostle John, FOUR
names stand out in PROMINENCE whose TEACHINGS contributed both to
the victorious heresy and to the FINAL issuing of manuscripts of
a corrupt NT. These names are:

3. CLEMENT of Alexandria

     The year in which the apostle John died, 100 A.D., is given
as the date in which Justin Martyr was born Justin, originally a
pagan and of pagan parentage, afterwards embraced
Christianity.....Even as a Christian teacher he continued to wear
the robes of a pagan philosopher.
     In the teachings of Justin Martyr, we BEGIN to see how MUDDY
the stream of pure Christian doctrine was running.....It was in
Tatian, Justin Martyr's pupil, that these regrettable doctrines
were carried to ALARMING lengths, and by HIS HAND committed
to WRITING. After the death of Justin Martyr in Rome, Tatian
returned to Palestine and embraced the Gnostic heresy (a few
authors of recent date, late 1990s and early 2000 have written in
depth on the influence of Gnosticism in the Christian church -
Keith Hunt)......

     We now come to Tatian pupil known as CLEMENT of Alexandria,
200 A.D. (J. Hamlyn Hill, "The Diatessaron of Tatian," p. 9). He
went MUCH further than Tatian in that he founded a SCHOOL at
Alexandria which instituted propaganda along these heretical
lines. Clement EXPRESSLY tells us that he would not hand down
Christian teachings, pure and unmixed, BUT RATHER CLOTHES WITH
     ALL the writings of the OUTSTANDING HERETICAL teachers were
possessed by Clement, and he FREELY QUOTES from their CORRUPTED
MSS, as if they were the PURE WORDS of Scripture (Dean Burgon,
"The Revision Revised"., p. 336).

     When we come to ORIGEN, we speak the name of him who did the
MOST of ALL to create and give DIRECTION to the forces of
APOSTASY down through the centuries. It was he who MIGHTILY
INFLUENCES Jerome, the editor of the Latin Bible known as
     EUSEBIUS WORSHIPPED at the altar of ORIGEN'S teachings. He
claims to have collected 800 of Origen's six-column Bible, the
HEXAPLA, in his Biblical labors. Assisted by Pamphilus, he
restored and preserved Origen's library. Origen's corrupted MSS,
of the Scriptures were well arranged and balanced with subtlety.
The last one hundred year have seen MUCH of the so-called
scholarship of European and English Christianity DOMINATED by the
SUBTLE and POWERFUL influences of ORIGEN (remember Wilkinson
wrote this in 1930...we have had another 70 plus years of subtle
and powerful influence by so-called "scholars" of the NT - Keith

     ORIGEN had so SURROUNDED himself to the furore of turning
ALL Bible events into ALLEGORIES that he himself, says, "The
Scriptures are of LITTLE USE to those who UNDERSTAND them as they
are WRITTEN (MaClintock and Strong, Art. "Origen.").

     In order to estimate Origen rightly, we must remember that
as a pupil of Clement, he learned the teachings of the GNOSTIC
heresy and LIKE his master, LIGHTLY ESTEEMED the HISTORICAL basis
of the Bible. As Schaff says, "His PREDILECTION
for PLATO (the pagan philosopher) led him into MANY grand and
fascinating ERRORS" (Dr. Schaff, Church History, Vol. 2, p. 791).
     He made himself acquainted with the various HERESIES and
STUDIED UNDER the heathen Ammonius Saccas, founder of

     He taught that the SOUL EXISTED FROM ETERNITY BEFORE it
inhabited the body, and that AFTER death, it MIGRATED to a HIGHER
or LOWER form of life, according to the deeds done in the body;
only to BEGIN AGAIN the SAME CYCLES as before. 
     He BELIEVED that the DEVILS would be SAVED, and that the
STARS AND PLANETS had SOULS, and were, like men, on TRIAL to
learn PERFECTION. In fact, he turned the WHOLE LAW and GOSPELS
into an ALLEGORY.......

father of Latin Christianity. "I LOVE.....the name of ORIGEN,"
says the most distinguished  theologian of the Roman Catholic
Church since 1850, "I will NOT LISTEN to the notion that so great
a soul was lost" (Dr. Newman, Apologia pro vita, Chapter 7, p.

     "It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that
the WORST CORRUPTIONS to which the NT has ever been subject,
ORIGINATED WITHIN a HUNDRED years after it was composed; that
Irenaeus (A.D. 150), and the African Fathers, and the WHOLE
Western, with a PORTION of the Syrian Church, USED far
INFERIOR manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or
Stephens, THIRTEEN centuries later, when MOULDING the Textus
Receptus" (Scrivner, Introduction to N. T. Criticism, 3rd
Edition, p. 511).

     The basis was laid to oppose a mutilated Bible to the true
one. HOW these CORRUPTIONS found their way DOWN the CENTURIES and
REAPPEAR in our REVISED and MODERN Bibles, the FOLLOWING pages
will tell.



Compiled 2003

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