AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED #21
The Rising Tide of Modernism and Modern Bibles
"The Revisers had a wonderful opportunity. They might have made a
few changes and removed a few archaic expressions, and made the
Authorized Version the most acceptable and beautiful and
wonderful book of all time to come. But they wished ruthlessly to
meddle. Some of them wanted to change doctrine. Some of them did
not know good English literature when they saw it ... There were
enough modernists among the Revisers to change the words of
Scripture itself so as to throw doubt on the Scripture." (Herald
and Presbyter [Presbyterian]), July 16, 1924, p.10.
BECAUSE of the changes which came about in the nineteenth
century, there arose a new type of Protestantism and a new
version of the Protestant Bible. This new kind of Protestantism
was hostile to the fundamental doctrines of the Reformation.
Previous to this there had been only two types of Bibles in the
world, the Protestant, and the Catholic. Now Protestants were
asked to choose between the true Protestant Bible and one which
reproduced readings rejected by the Reformers.
A NEW PROTESTANTISM WHICH IS NOT PROTESTANT
The new Protestantism arose from the new doctrine concerning
the Person of Christ. The deep love of all Christians for Christ
makes them ready listeners to any teachings which seem to exalt
Jesus and increase the glory of Christ. For this reason
Protestants easily fell in with the new doctrines concerning
Christ which were entirely different from those held by the
Reformers. The new Protestantism rejected the sole authority of
the Scriptures. They held that the church was instinct with a
mysterious life which they called the Person of Christ.
They taught that this life came into all humanity when Jesus
was manifest in the flesh; not simply the flesh of Jesus of
Nazareth, but in the flesh of all humanity. They held that this
life was progressive, and therefore, from time to time, it led
the church to new doctrines. The Bible was secondary. This life
was communicated through the sacraments, and the participants in
the sacraments graduated from one experience to a higher
experience. So Christ had two bodies, His own body in which
divinity and humanity were united, and His "theanthropic" life
common to all believers, which life constituted the body of the
church, or Christ's second body.
This new Protestantism captured most of the Church of
England, permeated other Protestant denominations in Great
Britain, and flooded the theological seminaries of America. One
college professor, alarmed at the atmosphere of paganism which
had come into American universities and denominational colleges,
investigated them and reported that "ninety per cent or more
teach a false religion as well as a false science and a false
False science teaches the origin of the universe by organic
development without God, and calls it evolution. German
philosophy early taught the development of humanity through the
self-evolution of the absolute spirit. The outstanding advocates
of this latter philosophy, Schelling and Hegel, were admitted
pantheists. Their theory was applied to theology in the hands of
Schleiermacher whose follower was Dr.Schaff, and whom Dr.Schaff
characterizes as "the greatest theological genius" since the
Reformation. He also said, "There is not to be found now a single
theologian of importance, in whom the influence of his great mind
is not more or less to be traced." The basis of Schleiermacher's
philosophy and theology was acknowledged by such men as Dorner to
be "thoroughly pantheistic."
One definition of pantheism is the belief that "the totality
of the universe is God." God is in the grass, the trees, the
stones, earth, man, and in all. Pantheism confounds God with
matter. Gnosticism is essentially pantheistic. "Dr.Schaff says
there is 'a pantheistic feature which runs through the whole
system' of Popery." Both Gnosticism and Pantheism are at war with
the first verse of the Bible which reads, "In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth" This verse places God before
matter, makes Him the Creator of matter, and hence apart and
distinguished from the material universe.
Modernism, or the new Protestantism, is essentially
pantheistic and therefore anti-Scriptural and anti-Protestant.
Schaff says that by following this new theology, modern
evangelical Germany is as widely separated from the Reformation
as the Reformation was from Roman Catholicism. The Reformers
taught that every child of God is in immediate contact with
Christ and grows in grace and the knowledge of God through the
Word and through the Spirit. The new theology taught that
Christianity was not "a system of truth divinely revealed,
recorded in the Scriptures in a definite and complete form for
all ages," but that Christianity is Christ. The church is the
development of Christ very much as in this false philosophy, the
universe is the development of God. This, of course, is
pantheistic, though perhaps all who profess this teaching are not
avowed pantheists. The new theology changed the Protestant
conception of Christ; then very naturally it changed all the
fundamental doctrines and consequently made the Bible secondary
as the fountain of faith, while nominally giving to the Bible its
customary usages. However, like the Gnostics of old, this new
theology would not scruple to change sacred passages to support
THE GLORIFICATION OF THE VATICANUS AND SINAITICUS
Why was it that at so late a date as 1870 the Vatican and
Sinaitic Manuscripts were brought forth and exalted to a place of
supreme dictatorship in the work of revising the King James
Bible? Especially when shocking corruptions of these documents
betray a "systematic depravation"? On this Dean Burgon says: "The
impurity of the texts exhibited by Codices B and (Z) is not a
matter of opinion, but a matter of fact. These are two of the
least trustworthy documents in existence ... Codices B and (Z)
are, demonstrably, nothing else but specimens of the depraved
class thus characterized."
Dr.Salmon declares that Burgon "had probably handled and
collated very many more MSS than either Westcott or Hort" and
"was well entitled to rank as an expert." Nevertheless, there has
been a widespread effort to belittle Dean Burgon in his
unanswerable indictment of the work of Revision. All assailants
of the Received Text or their sympathizers feel so keenly the
powerful exposures made by Dean Burgon that generally they labor
to minimize his arguments.
Concerning the depravations of Codex (a), we have the
further testimony of Dr.Scrivener. In 1864 he published "A Full
Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus." In the "Introductions" he
makes it clear that this document was corrected by ten different
scribes "at different periods." He tells of "the occurrence of so
many different styles of handwriting, apparently due to penmen
removed from each other by centuries, which deform by their
corrections every page of this venerable-looking document." Codex
(Z) is "covered with such alterations, brought in by at least ten
different revisers, some of them systematically spread over every
Each of these manuscripts was made from the finest skins and
was of rare beauty. "The Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century
is made of the finest skins of antelopes, the leaves being so
large, that a single animal would furnish only two ... Its
contemporary, the far famed Codex Vaticanus, challenges universal
admiration for the beauty of its vellum."
Evidently these manuscripts had back of them royal gold.
They were reasonably suspected to be two of the fifty Greek
Bibles which the Emperor Constantine ordered at his own expense.
Why should ten different scribes, through the centuries have
spread their corrections systematically over every page of the
beautiful Sinaiticus? Evidently no owner of so costly a document
would have permitted such disfigurements unless he consideredthe
original Greek was not genuine and needed correcting.
As the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are evidently the product of
Gnosticism, what would be more natural than that the Catholicism
of Cardinal Newman and the Gnosticism of his followers, who now
flood the Protestant churches, would seek, by every means
possible, to reinstate in leadership, Gnosticism's old
title-papers, the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus?
THE GNOSTICISM OF THE REVISERS
Cardinal Newman believed that tradition and the Catholic
Church were above the Bible. Westcott and Hort, great admirers of
Newman, were on the Revision Committee in strong leadership. Dean
Stanley believed that the Word of God did not dwell in the Bible
alone, but that it dwelt in the sacred books of other religions
as well. Dr.Schaff sat in the Parliament of Religions at the
Chicago World's Fair, 1893, and was so happy among the Buddhists,
Confucianists, Shintoists, and other world religions, that he
said he would be willing to die among them. The spirit of the
Revisionists on both sides of the ocean was an effort to find the
Word of God by the study of comparative religions. This is the
spirit of Gnosticism; it is not true faith in the inspiration and
infallibility of the Bible.
How far the new theology has been adopted by the editors of
the many different kinds of modern Bibles, is a question space
does not permit us to pursue. In the main, all these new editions
conform to the modern rules of textual criticism. We have already
mentioned Fenton, Goodspeed, Moffatt, Moulton, Noyes, Rotherham,
Weymouth, Twentieth Century, the Polychrome, and the Shorter
Bible. To these the names of others might be added. The Fenton
Farrar translation opens thus in Genesis, first chapter:
"By periods God created that which produced the Solar Systems;
then that which produced the Earth ... This was the close and the
dawn of the first age."
Here is plenty of scope for evolution, Gnosticism, and the
The latest sensation is "A New Commentary," by Bishop Gore
(formerly of Oxford, and a descendant of the Tractarians), and
others. According to this publication David did not kill Goliath,
Noah never had an ark, Jonah was not swallowed by a whale, the
longevity of Methuselah was an impossibility, and certain Gospel
miracles are regarded with skepticism.
"Every theological seminary of standing in this country, we are
told," says one of the most widely read weeklies of America, "has
been teaching for a quarter of a century almost everything
contained in the new Commentary."
Under these circumstances, how can these theological
seminaries regard the Hebrew and the Greek of the Bible as
dependable or attach to them any degree of inspiration?
When Doctors Westcott and Hort called "vile" and
"villainous" the Received Text which, by the providence of God,
was accounted an authority for 1800 years, they opened wide the
door for individual and religious sects to bring forth new
Bibles, solely upon their own authority.
It will be necessary to cite only two texts to show why the
Protestants cannot use the Douay or Catholic Version in its
Genesis 3:15 reads: "I will put enmities between thee and the
woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and
thou shalt lie in wait for her heel."
This rendering opens the way to exalt the Virgin Mary as a
redeemer instead of her divine Seed.
Heb.11:21 reads: "By faith Jacob dying, blessed each of the
sons of Joseph, and adored the top of his rod." What is this, if
it is not image worship? One has only to read the 13th chapter of
Daniel in the Douay, a chapter which does not exist in the King
James, to be shocked at one of the corruptions of the Word of
God, which the martyrs rejected.
What becomes, then, of the statement that all versions are
good, and that all versions contain the true, saving Word of God?
The numerous modern Bibles, translated from the Westcott and Hort
text, or from one built on similar principles, are no better in
many respects than the Douay.
Will not God hold us responsible for light and knowledge
concerning His Word? Can we escape His condemnation, if we choose
to exalt any version containing proved corruptions? Shall we not
rather, avoid putting these versions on a level with God's true
And what is the practical result of this tide of modernism
which has largely engulfed England and is sweeping the
theological schools and popular Protestant churches in America?
It renders such a missionary useless in the foreign field. He
will find that the heathen have been in possession of a
philosophy like his for 3,000 years. He is no more certain of his
ground than they are. It is sad to see the heathen world deprived
of the Bread of Life because of modernism.
Uniformity in expressing the sacred language of the one God
is highly essential. It would be confusion, not order, if we did
not maintain uniformity of Bible language in our church services,
in our colleges and in the memory work of our children. "For God
is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches
of the saints." I Cor.14:33.
It is not those who truly love the Word of God, who wish to
multiply various versions, which they design shall be authorized
for congregational use or exalted as authority for doctrine. Let
the many versions be used as reference books, or books for study,
but let us have a uniform standard version.
How revolutionary have been the effects of that movement in
England which embraced Ritualism and Revision, let the following
statements from a book just off the press (1929), by H.L.
Stewart, entitled, "A Century of Anglo-Catholicism," speak:
"Condemned or sanctioned, the Movement is now admittedly beyond
all stopping. What seemed chimerical a hundred years ago seems
irresistible today. Four bishops, out of forty-three, are still
definitely hostile. On the other hand, two thousand two hundred
Anglican priests have lately published their unalterable
conviction about the Sacrament in terms which no honest man can
pretend to think different in any essential respect from those of
the Church of Rome."
Speaking of "Reservation," the practice of consecrating the
sacramental elements some time in advance of the hour when they
are to be used, and of worshiping them, H.L. Stewart gives good
authority to indicate over 800 churches and institutional chapels
"where the sacramental Elements were not only reserved but
adored." And, "One finds in Crockford's Clerical Directory for
1927, a forecast that ten years of further decline like that of
the ten just ended would wipe the Church of England out of
In referring to the "Prayer Book" controversy, which lately has
repeatedly convulsed England and which arose from the new Prayer
Book so arranged as to make a ritual like the Catholic legal in
the Church of England, this new volume says:
"Mr Rosslyn Mitchell told the House of Commons that if the
English clergy were armed with the Alternative Prayer Book, they
could make England Roman Catholic within a generation."
Speaking of the controversy in England between Higher Criticism
and belief in the Bible, he further says:
"Making its normal speed of progress, according to the rate at
which new thought travels westward, it has now reached America,
to divide the churches of the United States into Modernist and
Indeed today we have more and more people and "churches" using
modern versions based upon the corrupt MSS of the Vaticanus and
Sinaiticus, popularised by Westcott and Hort. Put that together
with a huge chunk of "Christians" that do not read much of the
Bible anyway, and you have a mixture of luke warm Laodicea church
attenders that fit very well indeed the prophetic 7th church of
Revelation chapter three. They think they are in need of nothing
on the spiritual side, but Jesus tells them to anoint their eyes
with eye slav (get true spirituality of mind-set) that they made
truly see correctly spiritual truths; they are admonished to