Keith Hunt - The New Testament Translation - A History #4 - Page Four   Restitution of All Things

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The New Testament Translation - A History #4

When Britain received the Gospel and the Latin/Greek MSS



              Compiled with some added comments


FROM THE BOOK "OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED" by B. Wilkinson
PhD.
Written 1930.
All CAPITAL letters are mine, for emphasis (Keith Hunt)

Continuing from where we let off in the last chapter:

QUOTE

     God in His wisdom had invested these Latin versions by His
Providence with a CHARM that OUTWEIGHED the learned artificiality
of Jerome's VULGATE. This is WHY they persisted through the
CENTURIES. A characteristic OFTEN overlooked in considering
VERSIONS, and one that cannot be too greatly EMPHASIZED, needs to
be pointed out in COMPARING the Latin Bibles of the WALDENSES, of
the GAULS, and of the CELTS with the LATER Vulgate. To bring
before you the UNUSUAL CHARM of those Latin Bibles, I quote from
the FORUM of June, 1887:

     "The OLD Italic version into the rude Low Latin of the
SECOND century HELD ITS OWN as long as Latin continued to be the
language of the PEOPLE. The critical version of JEROME NEVER
DISPLACED it, and only REPLACED it when the Latin CEASED to
be a LIVING language, and BECAME the language of the LEARNED. 
     The GOTHIC version of ULFILAS, in the same way, held its own
until the tongue in which it was written ceased to exist.
     LUTHER'S Bible was the FIRST genuine BEGINNING OF MODERN
German literature. In Germany, as in England, MANY critical
translations have been made, but they have FALLEN STILLBORN from
the press. The reason of these facts seems to be this: that the
languages into which these version were made, were almost
perfectly adapted to express the broad, generic simplicity of the
original text. Microscopic accuracy of phrase and classical
nicety of expression may be very well for the student in his
CLOSET, but they do not represent the HUMAN and DIVINE SIMPLICITY
of the Scriptures to the MASS of those for whom the Scriptures
were written.
     To render that, the translator NEEDS not ONLY a SIMPLICITY
of MIND, RARELY FOUND in companies of LEARNED CRITICS, but also a
LANGUAGE possessing in some LARGE measure that BROAD, SIMPLE, and
GENERIC character which we have seen to BELONG to the HEBREW and
to the GREEK of the New Testament.
     It was partly BECAUSE of the LOW Latin of the SECOND
century, and the GOTHIC of Ulfilas, and the rude, STRONG German
of Luther had that character in a REMARKABLE degree, that they
were CAPABLE of rendering the Scriptures with a FAITHFULNESS
which GUARANTEED their PERMANENCE" (Fulton in the Forum, June,
1887).

     For NINE hundred years, we are told, the FIRST Latin
translations HELD their own AFTER the Vulgate appeared (Jacobus,
Catholic and Protestant Bibles, p. 4).
     The Vulgate was born about 380 A.D. Nine hundred years later
brings us to about 1280 A.D. This accords well with the FACT that
at the FAMOUS Council of TOULOUSE, 1229 A.D., the Pope gave
ORDERS for the MOST TERRIBLE crusade to be waged AGAINST the
SIMPLE Christians of Southern FRANCE and Northern ITALY, who
would NOT bow to his power.
     CRUEL, RELENTLESS, DIVESTING, this war was waged, DESTROYING
Bibles, books, and EVERY VESTIGE of documents to tell the STORY
of the Waldenses and Albigenses. Since then, some authorities,
speak of the Waldenses as having as their Bible, the Vulgate. We
regret to dispute these claims. But when we consider that the
Waldenses were, so to speak, in their MOUNTAIN fastnesses, on an
island in the MIDST of a sea of NATIONS using the Vulgate;
without doubt they KNEW and POSSESSED the Vulgate; but the
ITALIC, the EARLIER Latin, was their OWN Bible, the one for which
they LIVED and SUFFERED and DIED. Moreover, to the east was
CONSTANTINOPLE, the CENTER of GREEK Catholicism, whose Bible was
the Received Text; while a little farther EAST, was the noble
SYRIAN Church which also had the Received Text. In touch with
these, NORTHERN Italy could easily verify her text.

     It is VERY EVIDENT that the Latin Bibles of EARLY BRITISH
Christianity not only was NOT the Latin Bible of the Papacy, that
is, the Vulgate, but it was at SUCH VARIANCE with the Vulgate as
to engender STRIFE. The following quotation from Dr. Von
Dobschutz will VERIFY these TWO FACTS.

     "When Pope Gregory found some Anglo-Saxon youths at the
slave market of Rome and perceived that in the North there was
still a pagan nation to be baptized, he sent one of his monks to
England, and this monk, who was Saint Augustine, took with
him the Bible and introduced it to the Anglo-Saxons, and one of
his followers brought with him from Rome pictures showing the
Biblical history, and decorated walls of the church in the
monastery of Wearmouth. We do not enter here into the DIFFICULT
question of the NEWLY founded Anglo-Saxon church and the OLD
Iro-Scottish church. DIFFERENCES IN BIBLE TEXT HAD SOMETHING TO
DO with the PITIFUL STRUGGLES which AROSE between THE CHURCHES
and ENDED in the DEVASTATION of the OLDER one" (Van Dobschutz,
The Influence of the Bible on Civilization, pp. 61, 62).

     FAMOUS in history among ALL centers of Bible knowledge and
Bible Christianity was IONA, on the little island of HY, off the
Northwest coast of SCOTLAND. Its MOST historic figure was
COLUMBA. Upon this island rock, God breathed out His Holy Spirit
and from THIS center, to the tribes of Northern EUROPE. When Rome
AWOKE to the necessity of sending out missionaries to EXTEND her
POWER, she found GREAT BRITAIN and Northern EUROPE, ALREADY
PROFESSING Christianity whose ORIGIN could be TRACED BACK through
IONA to ASIA MINOR. 
     About 600 A.D. Rome sent missionaries to England and to
Germany, to BRING these simple Bible Christians UNDER HER domain,
as much as to SUBDUE the pagans. 
     D'Aubigne has furnished us THIS PICTURE of IONA and her
missions:

     "D'Aubigne says that COLUMBA esteemed the cross of Christ
HIGHER than royal blood which flowed in his veins, and that
PRECIOUS MANUSCRIPTS WERE BROUGHT to IONA, where a theological
school was FOUNDED and the WORD was STUDIED. Erelong a missionary
spirit breathed over this ocean rock, so justly named 'the light
of the Western world.' BRITISH missionaries CARRIED the LIGHT of
the GOSPEL to the NETHERLANDS, FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, GERMANY, yea,
even into ITALY, and DID MORE for the CONVERSION of CENTRAL
EUROPE than the half-enslaved Roman Church" (J. N. Andrews and L.
R. Conardi, History of the Sabbath, pp. 581, 582).

END QUOTE

Ah, yes indeed, all this truth of early Christianity in the
British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland) is
documented  in many recorded histories of those people.
Christianity had reached Britain not many years after the
founding of the NT apostolic church in 30 A.D. on the day of
Pentecost. The facts of this are all out there preserved
and recorded in the ancient writings of the four nations that
make up the land of Britain. I have a number of books in my
library relating all these histories in detail.

It is fascinating and thrilling in many way to read those
histories. The conflict between the Roman Catholic Church,
arriving around 600 A.D. in the land of Britain, and the old
British (or what some call the Culdee Church) Church is well
documented (by Bede and others). The old British Culdee Church is
NOT to be confused with the Church of England, or Anglican
Church......which came on the scene centuries later. There is a
world of difference between the Church of England and the old
ancient British or Culdee Church, that Rome faced when she
arrived with her perverted doctrines and corrupted Bible.
     The old ancient British Church would not bow to Rome, either
in doctrine or in what Bible version, translation to use. 
     We know from recorded history that in Britain the Culdee
Church observed the 7th day Sabbath, and observed the death of
Christ as taught to them they claimed by the apostle John
himself. They were so much different from the Christianity of
Rome that Augustine the missionary sent by the Pope, called them
"Jewish heretics."
     It would take Rome about 600 years before it finally stamped
out the ancient British Church from Scotland and Wales. England
fell prey at an earlier date as the Anglo-Saxons were converted
to Roman Christianity (as they, the Anglo-Saxons arrived in
Britain at about the same time Roman Christianity did). Keith
Hunt.

                .................................

Compiled 2003
     

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