Keith Hunt - The New Testament Translation - A History #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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The New Testament Translation - A History #2

The Roman Catholic Church forms its NT Bible

All CAPITAL letter words are mine, for emphasis (Keith Hunt).



     Constantine became emperor of Rome in 312 A.D. A little
later he embraced the Christian faith for himself and for his
empire. As this so-called first Christian emperor took the reigns
of the civil and religious world to bring about the amalgamation
Bibles, vying for supremacy: the TEXTUS RECEPTUS or
Constantinopolitan, the PALESTINIAN or Eusebio-Origen, and the
EGYPTIAN or Hesychius (N. B. Swete, Introduction to the Old
Testament in Greek, pp. 76-86)......
     The DEFENDERS of the Textus Receptus were of the HUMBLE
CLASS who earnestly sought to follow the early church......The
Eusebio-Origen text.....It might be called the ADAPTATION of the
Word of God to GNOSTICISM.

     As the emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, it became
necessary for him to CHOOSE which of these Bibles he would
SANCTION. Quite naturally he preferred the one edited by Eusebius
and written by Origen, the outstanding intellectual figure that
had combined Christianity with Gnosticism in his philosophy, even
as Constantine himself was the political genius that was seeking
to unite Christianity with pagan Rome. Constantine regarded
himself as the director and guardian of this anomalous world
church, and as such he was responsible for selecting the Bible
for the great Christian centers......The philosophy of Origen was
well suited to serve Constantine's religio-political theocracy.
     Eusebius was a great ADMIRER of Origen and a deep student of
his PHILOSOPHY. He had just EDITED the FIFTH column of the
HEXAPLA which was Origen's Bible. Constantine chose THIS, and
asked Eusebius to prepare FIFTY copies for him. Dr. Ira M. Price
refers to the transaction as follows:

     "Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340), the first church historian,
assisted by Pamphilus or vice versa, issued with all its critical
marks the fifth column of the Hexapla, with alternative readings
from the other columns, for use in Palestine. The Emperor
Constantine gave orders that fifty copies of this edition should
be prepared for use in the churches" (Dr. Ira M. Price, The
Ancestry of our English Bible, p. 70).
     Thus we see that Constantine CHOSE the HEXAPLA Bible of
Origen, one of the Eusebio-Origen type. This Bible, chosen by
Constantine, was thereby given PRESTIGE and INFLUENCE over the
over Bibles, wherever Constantine authority was recognized.
While the Hexapla was the work of Origen, Dr. Price makes it
plain that Eusebius and Pamphilus EDITED the work.
     The VATICANUS MS (codex B) and the SINAITICUS MS (codex
Aleph) BELONG to the Eusebius-Origen type, and many authorities
believe that they were actually two of the fifty copies prepared
for Constantine by Eusebius. Dr. Robertson singles out these
two MSS as POSSIBLY two of the FIFTY Constantine Bibles. He says:

     "Constantine himself ordered fifty Greek Bibles from
Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, for the churches of Constantinople.
It is quite POSSIBLE that Aleph and B are two of these fifty"
(A.T. Robertson, Introduction to Textual Criticism of NT., p.

     Both these MSS were written in Greek, each containing the
whole bible, WE THINK, though parts are MISSING in them NOW. The
Vatican MS is in the Papal Museum at Rome; the Sinaitic MS, is in
the Soviet  Museum at Moscow, Russia (this is of course when
Wilkinson wrote his book in 1930 - Keith Hunt).

     Dr. Gregory, a recent scholar in the field of MANUSCRIPTS,
also thinks of them in connection with the fifty. We quote from

     "This Manuscript (Vaticanus) is SUPPOSED, as we have seen,
to have come from the same place as the Sinaitic Manuscript. I
have said that these two show CONNECTIONS with each other, and
that they would suit very well as a PAIR of the FIFTY manuscripts
written at Caesarea for Constantine the Great" (Dr. Gregory, the
Canon and Text of the NT., p. 345).

     The following quotation is given as EVIDENCE that the
Sinaitic MS was the work of Origen:

     It (Sinaitic MS) seems to have been at one time at Caesarea;
one of the correctors (probably of seventh century) adds the note
at the end of Esdras (Ezra): "This Codex was compared with a very
ancient exemplar which had been corrected by the hand of the holy
martyr Pamphilus (d. 309); which exemplar contained at the end,
the subscription in his own hand: 'Taken and corrected according
to the Hexapla of Origen: Antonius compared it: I, Pamphilus,
corrected it' "......The text of Aleph bears a very close
resemblance to that of B (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 86).

     TWO OUTSTANDING scholars, Burgon and Miller, thus express
their belief that in the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus MSS, we have
TWO of the Bibles prepared by Eusebius for the Emperor:

     "Constantine applied to Eusebius for fifty handsome copies,
among which it is NOT IMPROBABLE that the MSS B and Aleph were to
be actually found. But even if this is NOT SO, the Emperor would
not have selected Eusebius for the order, if that Bishop had
not been in the HABIT of providing copies: and Eusebius in fact
carried on the work which he had commenced under his friend
Pamphilus, and in which the latter must have followed the path
pursued by Origen. Again, Jerome is KNOWN to have RESORTED to
this quarter" (Burgon and Miller, The Traditional Text, p. 163).

     Both ADMIRERS and FOES of the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus MSS
They are so near together as to compel one to believe that they
were of common origin. Dr. Philip Schaff says:

     "The Roman editors contend of course, for the primacy of the
Vatican against the Sinaitic MS, but admit that they are not far
apart" (Dr. Philip Schaff, Companion to the Greek Testament., p.
115, N.1.)

     Eusebius, the author of the Vatincanus, was a great admirer
of Origen as noted above, TRANSMITTED HIS VIEWS, and PRESERVED
and EDITED his works. Whether or not the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus
were ACTUALLY two of the FIFTY Bibles furnished by Eusebius for
Constantine, at least they BELONG to the SAME FAMILY as the
Hexapla, the Eusebio-Origen type. So CLOSE were the relations of
Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, that Dr. Scrivener says:

     "The readings approved by Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome
should closely agree" (Dr. Scrivener, Introduction to the
Criticism of the NT., Vol. 1, p. 270).

     It is evident that the so-called Christian Emperor gave to
the Papacy his indorsement of the Eusebius-Origen Bible. It was
from this type of MS that Jerome translated the Latin VULGATE
which became the authorized Catholic Bible for all time (it
may not be today, but it was in 1930 when Wilkinson wrote this -
Keith Hunt).

     The Latin VULGATE, the Sinaiticus, the Vaticanus, the
Hexapla, Jerome, Eusebius, and Origen, are TERMS for IDEAS that
are INSEPARABLE in the minds of those who know. The type of Bible
SELECTED by Constantine has held the dominating influence at all
times in the history of the Catholic Church. This Bible was
DIFFERENT from the Bible of the WALDENSES, and, as a result of
this difference, the Waldenses were the OBJECT of HATRED and
CRUEL PERSECUTION, as we shall now show. In studying this
history, we shall see HOW it was POSSIBLE for the pure
manuscripts, not only to LIVE, but actually to GAIN the

END QUOTE from Wilkinson's book (1930)


Compiled 2003

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