Keith Hunt - The New Testament Translation - A History #6 - Page Six   Restitution of All Things

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The New Testament Translation - A History #6

The Bible of the Waldenses and how it survived


              Compiled with some added comments


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

QUOTE

WALDENSIAN BIBLES

     FOUR Bibles produced under Waldensian INFLUENCE touched the
history of CALVIN: namely, a GREEK, a WALDENSIAN vernacular, a
FRENCH, and an ITALIAN. 
     
     Calvin himself was led to his great work by OLIVETAN, a
Waldensian. Thus was the Reformation brought to Calvin.......
     FAREL, also a Waldensian, besought him to come to Geneva and
open up a work there. Calvin felt that he should labor in Paris.
According to LEGER, Calvin recognized a relationship to the
Calvins of the valley of St. Martin, one of the Waldensian Valley
(Allix, Churches of Piedmont, pp. 288, 11).

     Finally, PERSECUTION in Paris and the solicitation of Farel
caused Calvin to settle at GENEVA, where, with, BEZA, he brought
out an edition of the Textus Receptus, - the one the author now
uses in his college class rooms, as edited by Scrivener (this is
Wilkinson talking about himself - Keith Hunt).

     Of BEZA, Dr. EDGAR says that he "astonished and confounded
the world" with the Greek MSS he unearthed. This later edition of
the Received Text is in REALITY a Greek NT brought OUT UNDER
Waldensian INFLUENCE. 
     UNQUESTIONABLY, the LEADERS of the Reformation, GERMAN,
FRENCH, and ENGLISH, were CONVINCED that the Received Text was
the GENUINE NT, not ONLY by its OWN irresistible history and
INTERNAL evidence, but ALSO because it MATCHED with the Received
text which the Waldensian form came down from in the days of the
apostles.

     The other THREE Bibles of Waldensian connection were due to
THREE men who were at Geneva WITH Calvin, or, when he died, with
BEZA, his successor, namely: OLIVETAN, LEGER, and DIODATI. How
readily the TWO STREAMS of DESCENT of the Received Text, through
the GREEK EAST and the WALDENSIAN WEST, ran TOGETHER, is
illustrated by the meeting of the OLIVETAN Bible and the RECEIVED
TEXT.

     Olivetan, ONE of the most ILLUSTRIOUS pastors of the
Waldensian Valleys, a RELATIVE of Calvin, according to Leger
((Leger, History of the Vauldois, p. 167), and a SPLENDID
student, translated the NT into FRENCH. Leger bore testimony that
the Olivetan Bible, which ACCORDED WITH the Textus Receptus, was
UNLIKE the OLD MSS of the Papists, because they were FULL of
FALSIFICATION. Later, Calvin edited a SECOND edition of the
Olivetan Bible. The Olivetan in turn BECAME the BASIS of the
GENEVA Bible in English, which was the LEADING version in England
in 1611 when the King James appeared.   

     DIODATI, who succeeded BEZA in the chair of Theology at
Geneva, translated the Received Text into ITALIAN. This version
was adopted by the Waldenses, although there was in use at that
time a Waldensian Bible in their OWN PECULIAR language. This we
KNOW because SIR SAMUEL MORLAND, under the PROTECTION of Oliver
Cromwell, RECEIVED from Leger the Waldensian NT which NOW LIES in
the CAMBRIDGE University library (remember Wilkinson is writing
this in 1930 - Keith Hunt).
     AFTER the devastating MASSACRE of the Waldenses in 1655,
Leger felt that he should COLLECT and GIVE into the hands of Sir
Samuel Morland as MANY pieces of the ANCIENT Waldensian
LITERATURE as were AVAILABLE.
     
     It is interesting to TRACE back the Waldensian Bible which
LUTHER had BEFORE him when he translated the NT. Luther USED the
TEPL Bible, named from Tepl, BOHEMIA. This Tepl MS represented a
TRANSLATION of the Waldensian Bible into the GERMAN which was
spoken BEFORE the days of the Reformation (Comba, The Waldenses
of Italy, p. 191).
     Of this REMARKABLE MS, Comba says:

     "When the MS of Tepl appeared, the attention of the LEARNED
was aroused by the fact that the text it presents CORRESPONDS
WORD FOR WORD with that of the FIRST THREE editions of the
ANCIENT GERMAN Bible. Then Louis Keller, an original writer, with
the decided, opinions of a layman and versed in the history of
the sects of the Middle Ages, DECLARED the Tepl MS to be
Waldensian. Another writer, Hermon Haupt, who belongs to the OLD
CATHOLIC party, SUPPORTED his opinion VIGOROUSLY (Idem, p. 190),

     From COMBA we also learn that the Tepl MS has an ORIGIN
DIFFERENT from the version adopted by the Church of Rome; that it
seems to agree rather with the LATIN versions ANTERIOR to Jerome,
the author of the Vulgate; and that Luther FOLLOWED it in his
translation, which is probably the reason why the Catholic Church
REPROVED Luther for following the Waldenses (Idem, p. 192).
     Another peculiarity is its SMALL SIZE, which seems to single
it out as one of those little books which the Waldensian
evangelists carried with them under their rough cloaks (Idem, p.
191, note 679).
     We have, therefore, an indication of how much the
Reformation under Luther as well as Luther's Bible owed to the
Waldenses.

     Waldensian INFLUENCE, both from the Waldensian Bibles and
from Waldensian RELATIONSHIPS, ENTERED INTO the King James
translation of 1611. Referring to the King James translation, one
author speaks thus of a Waldensian Bible they used:

     "It is KNOWN that among modern versions they CONSULTED with
an ITALIAN, and though no name is mentioned, there CANNOT be room
for DOUBT that it was the ELEGANT translation made with GREAT
ABILITY from the ORIGINAL Scriptures by Giovanni DIODATI, which
has only RECENTLY (1607) appeared at Geneva" (Dr. Benjamin
Warfield of Princeton University, Collections of Opinions and
Reviews, Vol. 1, p. 99).

     It is therefore evident that the translators of 1611 had
before them FOUR Bible which had come under Waldensian influence:
the DIODATI in ITALIAN, the OLIVETAN in FRENCH, the LUTHERAN in
GERMAN, and the GENEVA in ENGLISH. 
     We have EVERY REASON to believe that they had access to at
least SIX Waldensian Bibles written in the OLD Waldensian
vernacular.

     Dr. NOLAN, who had already acquired fame for his Greek and
Latin scholarship and researches into Egyptian chronology, and
was a lecturer of note, SPENT TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS to TRACE BACK
the Received Text to its APOSTOLIC origin. He was
POWERFULLY IMPRESSED to examine the history of the Waldensian
Bible. He felt CERTAIN that researches in this DIRECTION WOULD
demonstrate that the ITALIC NT, or the NT of those PRIMITIVE
Christians of NORTHERN Italy whose lineal descenders the
Waldenses were, would turn out to be the Received Text. He says:

     "The author perceived, without any labor of inquiry, that it
derived its name from that diocese, which has been termed the
ITALICK, as CONTRADISTINGUISHED from the Roman. This is a
SUPPOSITION, which receives a SUFFICIENT CONFIRMATION from the
FACTS, - that the PRINCIPAL copies of that version have been
PRESERVED in that diocese, the metropolitan church of which was
situated in Milan. The circumstances is at present mentioned, as
the AUTHOR (speaking of himself...Dr. Nolan - Keith Hunt) thence
formed a hope, that some remains of the PRIMITIVE ITALICK
version might be found in the EARLY translations made by the
Waldenses; who were the LINEAL DESCENDANTS of the ITALICK Church;
and who have asserted their INDEPENDENCE against the USURPATIONS
of the Church of Rome, and have EVER enjoyed the FREE use of the
Scriptures. 
     In the search to which these considerations have led the
author, his FONDEST EXPECTATIONS HAVE BEEN FULLY REALIZED. It has
furnished him with ABUNDANT PROOF on that point to which his
INQUIRY was CHIEFLY directed; as it has supplied him with the
UNEQUIVOCAL TESTIMONY of a truly APOSTOLIC branch of the
PRIMITIVE church, that the CELEBRATED text of the heavenly
witnesses was adopted in the version which prevailed in the LATIN
Church, PREVIOUSLY to the introduction of the modern VULGATE"
(Dr. Frederick Nolan, Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, pp. 17,
18).

HOW THE BIBLE ADOPTED BY CONSTANTINE 
WAS SET ASIDE

     Where did the VAUDOIS Church amid the rugged peaks of the
Alps SECURE these UN-corrupted MSS? 
     In the silent watches of the night, along the lonely paths
of ASIA Minor where robbers and wild beasts lurked, might have
been seen the NOBLE missionaries CARRYING MSS, and verifying
documents from the churches in JUDEA to ENCOURAGE
their struggling brethren under the IRON HELL of the Papacy.
     The sacrificing labors of the apostle Paul were bearing
fruit. His wise plan to anchor the GENTILE Churches of EUROPE to
the Churches of JUDEA, provided the CHANNEL of COMMUNICATION
which DEFEATED continually and finally the BEWILDERING PRESSURE
of the Papacy. Or, as the learned Scrivener has beautifully
put it:

     "Wide as in the region which separates SYRIA from GAUL,
there must have been in very early time SOME remote COMMUNICATION
by which the STREAM of EASTERN testimony, or tradition, like
another ALPHEUS, rose up again with FRESH STRENGTH to IRRIGATE
the regions of the DISTANT WEST" (Scrivener, Introduction, Vol 2,
pp. 299, 300).

     We have it NOW REVEALED how Constantine's HEXAPLA Bible was
SUCCESSFULLY met. A POWERFUL CHAIN of churches, few in number
compared to the manifold congregations of an APOSTATE
Christianity, but enriched with the ETERNAL conviction of TRUTH
and with able scholars, STRETCHED from Palestine to SCOTLAND. If
Rome in her own land was UNABLE to beat down the testimony of
apostolic Scriptures, how could she hope, in the Greek speaking
world of the distant and HOSTILE EAST, to maintain her supremacy
of her Greek Bible? 
     The Scriptures of the apostle JOHN and his associates, the
traditional text, - the Textus Receptus, if you please, - arose
from the place of humiliation forced on it by Origen's Bible in
the hands of Constantine and became the Received Text of Greek
Christianity. And when the Greek East for ONE THOUSAND YEARS was
completely SHUT OFF from Latin West, the noble Waldenses in
NORTHERN ITALY STILL POSSESSED in LATIN the Received Text........

     It is NOT true, as the Roman Church claims, that she gave
the Bible to the world. What she gave was an IMPURE TEXT, a text
with THOUSANDS of VERSES so CHANGED as to make way for her
UNscriptural DOCTRINES. 
     While upon those who possessed the veritable Word of God,
she poured out through long centuries, her stream of CRUEL
PERSECUTION. Or, in the words of another writer:

     "The Waldenses were among the FIRST of the people of Europe
to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years
BEFORE the Reformation, they possessed the Bible in MSS in their
native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this
rendered them the special objects of hatred and
persecution.....Here for a thousand years, witness for the truth
maintained the ancient faith.....In a most wonderful manner
it (the Word of Truth) was preserved UNCORRUPTED through all the
ages of darkness" (E.G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 65, 66,
69).

     The struggle against the Bible adopted by Constantine was
won. But ANOTHER warfare, another PLAN to deluge the Latin west
with a CORRUPT Latin Bible was preparing. We hasten to see how
the world was SAVED from Jerome and his Origenism.

NOTE

     The TWO GREAT families of the GREEK Bibles are well
illustrated in the work of that outstanding scholar, ERASMUS.
Before he gave to the Reformation the NT in Greek, he DIVIDED ALL
GREEK MSS, into TWO classes: those which AGREE with the Received
Text and those which agree with the VATICANUS MS (Nolan, Inquiry,
p. 418).

THE TWO PARALLEL STREAMS OF BIBLES

1. APOSTLES (Original)           

A. postates (Corrupted Originals)

2 RECEIVED TEXT (Greek)         

B.Sinaiticus and Vaticanus Bible (Greek)

3.WALDENSIAN BIBLE (Italic)     

C.Vulgate (Latin - Church of Rome's Bible)

4.ERASMUS (Received Text restored)      

D.Vanticanus (Greek)

5.LUTHER'S BIBLE, DUTCH,        
FRENCH, ITALIAN, etc.    
(Received Text)

E.French, Spanish, Italian etc.
from the Vulgate

6.TYNDALE (English) 1535         
(Received Text)    

F.Rheims (English) from Vulgate (1582)

7.KING JAMES, 1611               
(from Received Text)         
                       
G.Wescott and Hort (B and Alph - English, 1881)
H.Dr. Philip Schaff (B and Alph - American, 1901)
                                          

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


END QUOTE

The next chapter is all about how and why the Reformers REJECTED
the Bible of the Papacy. 

Compiled 2003


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