A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of The Bible Transcript2021-05-29T06:13:49+00:00
A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of The Bible
A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of The Bible
A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of The Bible
For almost 2000 years the bible has remained the most controversial and contested book of all time. While we in our modern world, take for granted, the abundance of biblical translation, there was a time when men who handled of even read this sacred book, had to consider wether it would cost them their very life.
Since the crucifixion of Christ, from who the gospel record was set forth, it might be said, that the bible had become the most blood stained book in all of history.
Men have fought for it, have been burned at the stake for it. Believers have been in-prisoned, beaten, killed, and even buried alive just for reading it.
While others would have their bones, this interred, and for their faith in the word of God, been accursed to the uttermost.
We judge him damned, with the Devil and his Angels and all the reprobates, to eternal fire. ‘So be it’.
Bible believing Christians, have suffered all this, and more, for daring to communicate the powerful words of the Holy Scripture to a lost and dying world.
True the centuries, there have always been those, who desired to share the love of the gospel message. And with them, others, who where determined to destroy it. Yet for those who believe, the light of God’s word shines through even the darkness of times.
The Gospel Record
2,000 years ago, the life and death of a Jewish carpenter, named Jesus of Nazareth forever changed the world. He was condemned for heresy by the Jewish people for claiming to be the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. He was crucified, died, and was buried. In fear his followers initially abandon him, but in time they were soon strengthened and emerged, testifying of an empty tomb and telling all the world that God had raised Jesus from the dead.
For David speak if concerning him: Psalm 16:10 ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption’ He, seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in Hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we all are witnesses, that all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Upon hearing this the Jewish people were pricked to the heart, when they asked; what shall we do? They were told: repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. With the passage of time, and the saving of many souls, the same gospel preached at first to the Jews, would also be preached unto the Gentiles, at the house of a devout man Cornelius the Centurion.
Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
From the house of Cornelius, the good news of Jesus Christ spread among both Jews and Gentiles alike, in time the Apostle Paul would appear, establishing many churches, and as the gospel spread, it would be said that those who preached it, had turned the world upside down.
By the middle of the first century, the testimony of Jesus Christ began to be
recorded in the four Gospels. Along with these were letters, written by the
Apostles, which would collectively establish the record of the New Testament. The clearest connection between the Old Testament and New, is found in prophecy. The scripture says that: 2 Peter 1:21 ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’
The scriptures foretold of the first coming of Christ into the world, and look forward to his second coming, when he will judge the quick and the dead. But before that time, Jesus had warned that the church would endure great trials and afflictions for the sake of the gospel. The Apostle Paul gave a similar warning when he bade farewell to the Ephesian elders.
Paul and others warned but what would take place. Paul for example said: ‘Acts 20:29 ‘For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.’
Paul was so adamant about this imminent threat that he said: Act 20:31 ‘Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.’
He not only warned of grievous wolves, but also, of the many which corrupt the word of God.
While the Apostle Peter warned that false teachers would bring in, what he called: ‘damnable heresies’, and that many would follow their pernicious ways, and because of them, the way of truth, would be evil spoken of.
‘Satan is very clever in his ways of deception, and he will form a counterfeit spirit, a counterfeit Christ, and a counterfeit gospel.’
Jesus had also foretold that his disciples would be persecuted and killed for their faith. He said: Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
The Apostle Paul had also been inspired to write:
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Jesus said: Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
In fulfillment of these warnings, the church was persecuted in the early centuries. Christians were hated and hunted by a succession of Roman emperors, beginning
with Nero in the first century and ending with Diocletian at the start of the fourth century.
But by 313 A.D. the face of what was called Christianity would undergo a dramatic transformation. When the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great won his famous battle at ‘Milvian Bridge’. A victory that would ultimately make him the sole emperor of Rome. Before the battle Constantine claimed he had seen a vision of a cross emblazoned on the Sun, and heard a voice tell him: in this sign conquer. Adopting the symbol he went forth and conquered his enemies. A short time later Constantine would sign the Edict of Milan. Granting tolerance and protection to Christians.
With the Emperor’s reported conversion Christianity would eventually become the state religion.
‘There was no Church of Rome when the book of Romans was written but ultimately when Constantine comes to power, I don’t think it was a good thing
for the church I think it was a corrupt thing, he began to put his cronies in
power, but ultimately the church begins to develop its doctrine and to point Pope’s and separate them over the laity. After Constantine was converted and he issued the edict that the Christians were to be protected at least until 331 A.D. when he issued another edict that those who had not come under the authority of Rome were to be arrested and persecuted in their churches and records and all those things burned.
But if Constantine were a true believer how could he turn and persecute other Christians? Some researchers believe it was because his faith was divided. Researcher Dave Hunt writes that: ‘While heading the Christian Church Constantine continued to head the pagan priesthood to officiate at pagan celebrations and to endow pagan temples even after he began to build Christian churches.’
‘As head of the pagan priesthood he was the Pontifex Maximus, and needed a similar title as head of the Christian Church. The Christians honored him as Bishop of Bishops, while Constantine called himself the ‘Vicarius Christi’, ‘Vicar of Christ’
For the cause of unifying the Empire, the pagan practices of Rome were eventually
combined with what was called the Universal or Catholic Church. But many Christians saw in this new system an apostate union between the church and
the powers of the world. Through Constantine would begin the persecution of those who opposed the new universal faith. As a result of his edict against heretics it would be said that more Christians were persecuted after his conversion than before it.
When the Roman Empire would eventually suffer its decline, the bishops of Rome would rise up and take to themselves the titles of Constantine, Pontifex Maximus, Bishop of bishops, and the ‘Vicarius Christi’ the vicar, or substitute of Christ.
As 17th century historian, Thomas Hobbes wrote: ‘If a man consider the original of this great ecclesiastical Dominion, he will easily perceive that the papacy is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.’
Because of his influence some researchers marked the so-called conversion of Constantine the Great and his persecution of Christians as the real beginning of the Dark Ages.
Jesus had warned his disciples saying:
John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
John 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
John 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Dominic and the Inquisition
While some may attribute the beginning of the Dark Age to Constantine, the record of history shows that the name of this era was given because the Bible was
The psalmist writes: Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
But in the 13th century Rome made a concerted effort to put out that light and to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures. The conflict began with a Catholic priest named Dominic Guzmán. It could be said that Dominic along with Pope Innocent the III, were the two original founders of Rome’s most dreadful engine of terror and destruction, the Inquisition. The Inquisition itself began, not because of witches, or as a crusade against Muslims, but rather because of Bible believing Christians.
These particular believers were known as the Albigenses, so named because of the city of ‘Albi’ in France. The Albigenses often debated with the Catholic priests, most notably with Dominic Guzmán, today known as Saint Dominic in the Catholic Church. Though Dominic accused the Albigenses of believing heretical doctrines, his famous testimony against them reveals important details about their true faith.
He said: ‘It is not by the display of power and pomp … or by gorgeous apparel, that the heretics win proselytes…’ ‘it is by zealous preaching, by apostolic humility, by austerity, by seeming, it is true but, by seeming holiness.’
Domenic argued that the holiness of the Albigenses was counterfeit and should
be overcome by the allegedly true holiness of Catholicism. Initially Dominic tried to oppose the Albigenses through preaching but his efforts met with little success. The Albigenses were known for their extensive knowledge of the scriptures and they refused what they saw as Dominic’s apostate teachings from Rome.
In the year 1206 the Albigenses made a confession that the Church of Rome was not the spouse of Christ, but the Church of confusion, drunk with the blood of the martyrs. That the Church of Rome was neither good, nor holy, nor established by Jesus Christ.
It was at the Colloquy of Montreal in 1207 A.D, where the final theological debate took place between the Catholic priesthood, represented by Dominic Guzmán and the Albigenses. Historians relate what was clearly seen as a defeat for Dominic, who was said to be no match for the Albigenses leader: Benoît de Termes.
Researcher James McDonald writes that ‘Guzmán was humiliated by his failure,
speaking on behalf of Christ, Guzmán promised slavery and death to his
opponents.’ To carry out his threat Dominic Guzmán would eventually form the order of the Dominicans, which became the chief instrument of Rome’s Holy Inquisition.
Two years later, partly inspired by Dominic’s fury, Pope Innocent the III ordered the famous crusade against the Albigenses. The bloody effort was led by a close friend of Dominic’s, the nefarious Simon de Montfort. Remembered by Catholics as a brave Crusader, yet by Protestants as a brutal mass murderer, who was determined to wipe out not only the Albigenses, but all traces of their teaching.
We read that ‘the crusade of Simon de Montfort so utterly destroyed them that Simon stamped out not only a people but a literature.
By 1233 A.D. Pope Gregory the 9th would establish the Inquisition as official church doctrine, and thus began some 600 years of bloodshed against Bible believers. As a direct result of the Albigenses crusade the Pope’s began to outlaw the translation, possession or reading of the bible.
Historian David Cloud explains that: ‘the light brought by the scripture made Rome’s heresies plain. The persecutions which Rome poured out upon these peace-loving people were intended to destroy them, as well as their scriptures.
Beginning with the Albigenses Rome’s Inquisition continued its bloodthirsty cause for centuries. It’s estimated death toll was recorded by historian John Dowling in 1845 who wrote: ‘It is estimated by careful and credible historians that more than 50 millions of the human family have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by Popish persecutors.’
The Pilgrim Church
In modern times it is traditionally thought that Roman Catholicism was the only form of Christianity until the Protestant Reformation. But history shows that Bible believers have always existed outside the Roman Church and were hated by Rome because of it.
A history of these groups can be found in the book ‘The Pilgrim Church’ by E.H. Broadbent. Broadbent shows that what these groups had in common was that they did not submit to the Roman papacy, and they sought to follow God’s word as their final authority. The Albigenses were one of these ancient groups and with them were the Waldensians.
‘The Waldensians as a bible-believing people actually go back, although this is disputed by some Bible critics, they nevertheless, go back to the second century. And it appears that they had what was in effect an ‘Old Latin Bible’ (original Vulgate) called the ‘Italic Version’ as far back as the 2nd century and they were known as the ‘Vaudois’ which means ‘the people of the valleys’.
Rome persecuted the Waldensians again and again through the centuries for over
a thousand years, and tried to wipe them out. Because by the grace of God they were located in an area which was easily defended, the mountains of northern Italy. They were at least to cling on to survival for centuries.
The Waldensians commitment to the scriptures was legendary. Their early Bibles were in Latin, but in the 12th century their most famous leader Peter Waldo would translate the Bible into what was called the Romavnt Language. Romavnt was a combination of Middle English and old French. Yet Waldo’s translation was rejected by the Church of Rome. Pope Alexander the third expelled him and his followers while Pope Lucius the third pronounced the papal curse on them.
They were persecuted, their records were burned, destroyed, their names slandered, our true church history though must ever seek to find this silver stream of believers that were never a part of Rome. They were in the Valleys of the Piedmont between northern Italy and southern France, in the South of France, they went by different names, the Waldenses, Albigenses, the Cathars, the Donatists.
Yet in spite of Rome’s efforts to destroy them, the ancient faith of the Pilgrim Church would prevail and their example would influence the great men of faith that would follow. When the Reformation occurred in the sixteenth century Rome would accuse Martin Luther saying: ‘He only renewed the heresies of the Waldenses and Albigenses which had long ago and condemned.
But before the time of Luther the faith of the pilgrim church would shine forth in the man who would be known as ‘the morning star’ of the Protestant Reformation.
The first complete Bible in the English language is attributed to John Wycliffe who would translate the scriptures from Latin into what is called middle English by about 1384.
John Wycliffe is is really called the ‘Morningstar of the Reformation’ because Wycliffe believed things that the Reformers picked up and believed ‘Oh’ more than a hundred years later. Like William Tyndale and Martin Luther and those reformers at that time, Wycliffe trained his followers to go out and preach to the people, they were known as Lollards and were so effective it was said that if a man met two men on the street in England, one of them would be a lollard. But because England was still a Catholic country, Wycliffe followers suffered greatly, and many of them were put to death.
During the 14th century and before the onset of the English Protestant Reformation, Lollards, when they were captured, they were burned at the stake, and if they had any copies of Wycliffe’s translation then those translations were tied around their necks and those translations were burned along with their owners.
Like the Pilgrim Church that had come before him, Wycliffe taught that the authority of the Scriptures was greater than the authority of any man. He said that: ‘We ought to believe in the authority of no man unless he say the word of God. That if any man in earth, either angel of heaven teaches us contrary of Holy Writ we should flee from him as from the foul fiend of hell and hold us steadfastly to the truth and freedom of the Holy gospel of Jesus Christ.’
In addition to translating the Scriptures Wycliffe became known for rejecting the most deadly doctrine of the dark ages, transubstantiation.
J.C. Ryle makes it clear in his writings why the Reformers were under attack, because they went against what the Roman Catholic Church was for. For example here’s what he wrote: ‘The point I referred to is a special reason why our reformers were burned, the principal reason why they were burned was because they refused one of the peculiar doctrines of the Roman Church. On that doctrine in almost every case hinged their life or death, if they admitted it they might live, if they refused it they must die, the doctrine in question was the real presence of the body and blood of Christ and the consecrated elements of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper.
And just about everybody who was tried was tried for their rejection of transubstantiation, and so what we have here is Rome coming down hard and saying; you have to bow to the host because that is Jesus Christ, and that’s why you don’t let the host drop on the ground, because that is Jesus Christ, and you have the whole development of the mass, which is a Re-crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ because literally they teach that of the body and the blood of Christ is literally physically actually there in the elements.
As stated before Wycliffe boldly rejected this doctrine. In his lifetime the Catholic authorities tried to condemn him for heresy, but failed repeatedly. Nevertheless decades after his death, Rome would officially accurse him to the uttermost.
Rome hated Wycliffe so much for bringing forth the Bible in English, it was the first complete Bible in English, and Rome hated him so much for that that they actually exhumed his corpse and smashed it to pieces and actually burnt the bone fragments.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel had called Wycliffe a child of the old Devil who had crowned his wickedness by translating the scriptures into the mother tongue.
In 1428 the Church of Rome ordered Wycliffe’s bones dug up and burned.
Lutterworth, England 1428
One can only imagine the intense hatred Rome must have had to dig up Wycliffe’s bones 44 years after his death. While Wycliffe had never been excommunicated in his lifetime, the Council of Constance had officially anathematized or accursed him after his death never been excommunicated in his lifetime the Council of Constance had officially anathematized or accursed him after his death.
In the Middle Ages when a person was anathematized a ritual was held, known as the Bell book and candle ceremony, the words to which are well documented, Wycliffe official cursing may have sounded something like this: ‘We separate the same Wycliffe, together with his accomplices and the betters, from the precious body and blood of the Lord and from the Society of all Christians. We exclude him from our Holy Mother, the church, in heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicate and anathema, we judge him damned with the Devil and his angels and all the reprobates, to eternal fire.’ (so be it)
So they dug up his bones out of the ‘Lutterworth’ churchyard they burned him to ashes and dumped him into the River Swift. Now the historian says that the River Swift ran into the River Severn and the River Severn into the narrow seas thus illustrating how Wickliffe doctrines spread throughout the world.
Indeed the teachings of John Wycliffe and the Bible he translated would
continue to influence Christianity right up to the present day and would dramatically impact the greatest event of the Middle Ages.
The Great Reformation
As the Council of Constance had condemned John Wycliffe it also condemned one of his most notable followers, a passionate Reformer in Bohemia named Jan Hus whose disciples were called Hussites. Inspired by Wycliffe, Jan Hus opposed the
doctrine of papal infallibility and asserted the authority of the Bible over the opinions of church leaders. As a result he was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake in 1415. But before he died he claimed that God had given him a promise. The name Hus means goose in the Czech language, and so the Lord had told him: ‘They will silence the goose but in 100 years I will raise a swan from your ashes that no one will be able to silence. A century later inspired in part by the sermons of Jan Hus, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg Germany. An event that would launch the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
While it is often thought that the Reformation was somehow an anti-catholic movement, the reality is that most of the reformers began as Catholic priests. All these guys originally were Roman Catholic priests, Wycliffe was a Roman Catholic priests but he came to know Christ as his Savior and that changed his theology, and then the same way with William Tyndale, he was defrocked there in Vilvoorde Castle, he was a Roman Catholic priest.
The same was true of Jan Hus and others such as John Knox, Huldrych Zwingli and most famously Martin Luther. It might be said that Luther had broken the dam of a great flood that had been gathering for centuries, because of the controversies with the Albigensis and the Waldenses, because of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague. A friend of Jan Huss who with many others were condemned by Rome and burned at the stake for reading and believing the Holy Scriptures.
There can be no question that the Bible itself was the weapon of choice used by the Reformers who took up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Yet there were certain conditions that came about in Luther’s time that made a Reformation possible, not just in Germany but throughout all Europe. One of them was the invention of movable type by a man named Johann Gutenberg in 1440.
Johann Gutenberg who has invented not the printing press but the movable type that you could take apart and put back together, Gutenberg started as a goldsmith. There had been printing on wood blocks for quite some time but he makes it easy because you can make type and then reformat that type and so they start producing numerous books of the Reformation, numerous Bibles of the Reformation.
Prior to Gutenberg’s invention, producing just one Bible took the average scribe some ten months to copy. But in 1455 Johann Gutenberg published the now famous Gutenberg Bible along with 200 copies in a single year.
For centuries Rome had been burning Bibles along with the books written by men like Wycliffe and others. But now these books could be reproduced at unprecedented levels.
And that’s why Luther could have such an influence, that’s why William Tyndale could have such an influence, that’s why books were starting to be printed that a scribe didn’t have to sit down for, and took ten months to do a Wickliffe Bible, you could do it in a matter of weeks now, a bunch of them and get them out. So boy that’s what really fueled the Reformation.
Gutenberg first Bible was based on the (new) Latin Vulgate originally translated by Jerome in the fourth century. Vulgate simply means vulgar, the common language.
John Wycliffe translation had also been based on Latin manuscripts, although it
has been disputed what manuscripts they were. Yet Wycliffe and others acknowledged that the original writings of the Bible were mostly in Hebrew and Greek. The Jewish scribes had carefully preserved the writings of the Old Testament in the Hebrew language with selectively passages in Aramaic.
The fall of the city Constantinople
Meanwhile the writings of the New Testament were recorded in Koine Greek. Which brings us to the second great event, that brought forth the Reformation, the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The city of Constantinople was so named because it had been built by Constantine the Great in the fourth century and was originally intended to replace Rome as the capital of the empire. But after Constantine’s death the Roman Empire was divided, east and west, while the West was primarily dominated with Latin as their earliest form of scripture. In the east the people continued to read write and speak in Greek. In time they would be known as the Byzantine Empire.
Then in 1453 the Ottoman Turks led by the Islamic sultan Mohammed ii conquered
Constantinople, in a victory that stunned the Western world. As a result many of the Byzantine scholars fled into the West, bringing with them thousands of ancient Greek manuscripts, including many copies of the Greek New Testament.
You had them fleeing and taking their manuscripts with them, so you have
Muhammedism coming in, the Ottoman Turks coming in and there they’re taken over. So they’re fleeing to Western Europe.
In the years that would follow many of these Byzantine scholars would begin teaching the Greek language in the universities of Europe one of them was a man named George Hermonymus or ‘Hermonymus of Sparta’. It said that he was the first person to teach Greek at the University of Sorbonne in Paris. Among his famous students was the great intellectual Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam.
The Reformation gathered momentum and indeed was sustained by the work of the great scholar Erasmus who produced the first Greek New Testament as a single addition.
For Erasmus and many scholars of the time the introduction of the Greek New Testament into the Western world opened a whole new understanding of the Bible.
Erasmus work’s about the different manuscripts in different languages and was one of the novelties of this book because as we can open this book we can immediately see that we are on the same page two different texts. One is the version of the Greek text and at the right column with the Latin text.
And this form of this text was very very radical at the time for Erasmus because at the time of Erasmus, the man usually published this text only with the Latin text. Erasmus was the first in 1516 to publish the two texts on the same page. It was revolutionary for this time because the men of this time could compare the original and the translation of Erasmus. And that modified the system of the religious thinking of this time.
The religious thinking that was modified had to do with a more in-depth and detailed understanding of the word of God Erasmus wrote that Latin scholarship however elaborate is maimed and reduced by half without Greek, for whereas we Latins have but a few small streams, a few muddy pools, the Greek possessed crystal-clear Springs and rivers that run with gold.
When the Greek manuscripts became available and scholars began to compare the Vulgate against the Greek it became very evident very quickly that the Vulgate went off in its own direction.
Erasmus says that the Vulgate was so corrupt he made a completely new translation of the Latin based upon the Greek and people who could read Latin read Erasmus his Latin text and the Latin Vulgate of the Roman Catholic Church. They said, whoa, this doesn’t agree.
Erasmus recognized that what he uncovered through the Greek and what he would write about would strike at the very heart of Catholic tradition.
And we can also read on the title page, …. …. … …. that means: everybody that loves the real theology.
…… … … …… that was also very typical of Erasmus: I want to say to the new Lectors of this time, you must first read, you must understand, and after only, you must have a new opinion about my works.
It was Erasmus who confronted certain key corruptions in the Latin text. Translations that had greatly affected the understanding of the Christian faith.
For instance, there’s a whole big difference between the word penance and repentance, and Jesus says except you repent ye shall all likewise perish, well it had gotten translated in the Latin: except you do penance you shall all likewise perish. Well Erasmus said, except you repent ye shall all likewise perish. And not to get in the doctrinal things but there’s a whole big difference between repentance towards God, and doing penance on the part of a man.
Penance according to the Catholic Church is a sacrament that requires absolution from a Catholic priest. Before granting this forgiveness the priest may require fasting, almsgiving, prayer, or some other labor on the part of the person being forgiven.
The council of Trent stated that: ‘We are by no means able to arrive by the Sacrament of Penance without many tears and Labor’s on our part.’
Yet the word repent carries with it a different meaning, a change of heart and mind, to turn away from sin, and toward faith in God.
And so as one author puts it: ‘Because of Erasmus, the church its complex and somewhat cumbersome mechanics of penance, was thus converted at a stroke, into a simple demand for a personal change of heart.
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Erasmus also discovered another major corruption in the Latin, one that pertained to the virgin Mary. For centuries it had been believed that Mary was somehow in charge of the grace of God. The reason is because of the Latin translation of Luke chapter one, where the angel Gabriel announces the birth of Christ to Mary.
The (Jerome) Latin Vulgate reads: ‘’And the angel went in and said to her: ‘Hail o one that is full of grace, The Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women.
Church historian Alister McGrath writes that: ‘The angelic words, in Latin, were often interpreted in the Middle Ages as meaning that Mary was like a reservoir, full of God’s grace. She could therefore be a source of God’s grace to those who needed it, and who could access this grace through prayer to her.
But McGrath says that Erasmus was scathing about this translation: ‘’The words of the angel could not possibly be translated as: ‘Hail, O one that is full of
‘Perhaps it could be rendered.. Hail, O one that has found grace!’ or ‘Hail O
‘The implication of the passage was that Mary had found God’s favor – not that she could bestow that favor on others.’
Still some Catholics like Louis Marie de Montfort, whose writings inspired Pope John Paul the second, took the Latin reading to an extreme asserting that all grace comes only through Mary. Yet in the Greek New Testament we are told that it is Jesus, not Mary, who is: ‘full of grace and truth’. John 1:14
Needless to say, Erasmus discoveries in the Greek manuscripts were like a bombshell impacting the Church of the Middle Ages. The crystal-clear springs of knowledge that he wrote of laid the groundwork for the Reformation that would follow.
In addition to his Greek text, Erasmus wrote extensively against the immorality of the priesthood at that time. Condemning the Inquisition and teaching that the Bible should be read by all. Meanwhile, Martin Luther had discovered Romans chapter 1, where the Apostle Paul says: ‘The just shall live by faith.’
Luther who had spent years as a monk, struggling to please God through penance and the works of Catholicism, realized that according to the Bible men could only be justified by God’s grace, his free gift through faith in Christ alone.
Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Armed with the newly revealed Greek text published by Erasmus, Luther would produce a German translation of the New Testament in 1522. (Luther Bible)
And so it would be said that Erasmus laid the egg that Luther hatched.
Let’s remember that Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, he went far and wide collecting manuscripts and manuscript reading. What he did is, he went and collected readings and read manuscripts and wrote down portions of them and then what he does is brings those all together, and in 1516 he publishes his first edition. But it was done kind of hastily, so he does another one in 1519 and it’s the 1519 Edition that Martin Luther uses for a September Bible in 1522. And then the 1522
Edition is the one that William Tyndale uses in 1526 to give us our English Bible.
William Tyndale has been called the apostle of England, and by some: one of the finest men who ever lived. He was a man loved by those who love God, but hated and hunted by Rome because he was the first to translate the Bible from Greek into English. He was ultimately betrayed by a trusted friend and then imprisoned for a time, before being strangled and burned at the stake in a place called Vilvoorde.
I know many people here in Vilvoorde who knew who William Tyndale was.
They have forgotten him. Vilvoorde is located just north of Brussels in Belgium.
While most people there have no idea who Tyndale was.
Do you know who William Tyndale is? I just told him.
Still there are some who keep his memory alive.
A grim stone monument bears his name along with a bronze plaque of his likeness. Elsewhere in the town is a local Protestant Church that also houses the Tyndale Museum.
What does it say? Lord speak, because your servant listens. Samuel 3:10
Here the curator tells us the important role played by William Tyndale in the development of the English Bible and the Protestant Reformation. In 1517 he was consecrated as priest, thats one thing, in the same year Martin Luther nailed his 95 propositions on the church of Wittenberg. Tyndale was influenced by the example of Luther along with John Wickliffe and those who had come before, who desired to communicate the gospel to the common man.
But from the time of Pope Innocent it had been declared by Rome that: ‘As by the old law the beasts touching the holy Mount was to be stoned to death.’ ‘So simple and uneducated men were not to touch the Bible or venture to preach its doctrines.’
In Tyndale’s time England was still a Catholic country, and the priests communicated the mass only in Latin, a language the common people could not understand. While Tyndale knew Latin he desired to know Greek also so he could better understand the scripture.He went to the University of Oxford and in 1515 he had already his Master of Arts, but he wants to be a theologist and because in Oxford everything was in Latin, he went to Cambridge because in Cambridge they teach also Greek. By Erasmus, the well-known Erasmus who translated the New Testament in Greek, that was forbidden to read, but Erasmus teach their in Greek.
Some think Erasmus may have taught Tyndale directly, while others think Tyndale arrived at Cambridge shortly after Erasmus departed. In either case it was at Cambridge that Tyndale’s conflict with Rome seems to have begun. A young Tyndale spoke out against Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a powerful clergyman, who was also the Lord Chancellor of England in the court of King Henry the eighth.
Cardinal Wolsey visit the University of Cambridge, he had golden rings and golden chains, and William Tyndale shout out that it was a shame that the clergyman lived a certain wealth, and that poor people are so poor, and they could not even understand what they said, and that they don’t know any word in Latin, the Chancellor went away very angry, Tyndale then was chased from Cambridge but he came by John Walsh at Little Sodbury in Gloucestershire.
Tyndale was convicted that: ‘It was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth except ye scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue.
Some believe it was at Little Sodbury where he began his translation of the New Testament.
He started translating I believe at Little Sodbury, where he had that horrible run-in with the Catholic priest because Sir John Walsh the knight there would invite the Catholic prelate, and the high church officials there, and Tyndall was the teacher of his children and the pastor of his church that was behind his house at the time. And as they were eating dinner one time they began talking, and every time the priest would say something, Tyndall would say: well the word says this, and he say, well the word said this, and the the guy finally got mad and said: ‘We would be better to be without God’s law than without the Pope’s law.’
Tyndale in his great zeal spoke against what he saw as blasphemy, he famously declared: ‘I defy the Pope and all his laws, if God spare my life, here these many years, I will cause a boy that drive at the plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dust.’
Tyndale got in real big trouble for that, tells us in ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’ that he had to appear before the local religious officials, ecclesiastical officials, and it says they they berated him as though he were a dog. And so, but Tyndall had the burning desire to get the scriptures into the language that the plowboy could read because as he would be up in his little room at Little Sodbury there he’d look out across the severn valley and he would see the plow boys plowing the field and he knew that unless they could read the scriptures they wouldn’t come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and that that was his driving force to get the scripture out so that people could read it and come to know Christ.
For Tyndale his declaration about the plowboy was not spoken in vain but would become his life’s work, for which he would be hated and persecuted by Rome.
As the Apostle Paul had written: 2 Timothy 2:9-10
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
We have William Tyndale being burned because he claimed that salvation was by grace through faith, he claimed that praying to the Saints did no good, he affirmed that people needed the Bible in their own language, and so they defrocked him and they did show him some mercy, if you can can call it mercy because they strangled him before they burned him.
Inquisitors find he was innocent, and therefore before burning on the burn stake they strangled him. This is the approximate location where Tyndale was killed, outside the castle at Vilvoorde. While the castle itself has since been destroyed, the Tyndale museum has a model of what it would have looked like on display. They have also built a replica of the prison cell where Tyndale was kept. While paintings of him in captivity present an almost romantic prison setting the reality seems to have been quite different. The replica was made to scale and is the same size as
the one in which Tyndale was held for some 16 months before his execution.
I show you a copy of his prison how it was prisoned. Now is it believed that the room was the small? Yes, yes certainly, because the restored correction, that is built with the stones of the old castle, and they are cells that are not bigger than this. Here he sleeps and there was his toilet, it was very indeed very cold here.
Centuries later and debates continue about Tyndale’s life and death. The European Institute of Protestant studies even believes that Tyndale was not fully killed by strangulation and continued to suffer while being burned alive. There is even contention about exactly why he was put to death.
The only mistake he made, is that he didn’t recognize the Pope as chief of the Catholic church.
Why was William Tyndale put to death, what’s the real history? I suppose essentially because he translated the Bible into English, and there was a strong feeling that the Bible shouldn’t be translated into the vernacular, it shouldn’t be translated into English. He also fell foul of Henry the eighth’s, from a point where he supported Henry’s move towards becoming supreme head of the church, Tyndale moved into opposition to Henry’s divorce. He was put to death ostensibly because he was a heretic, because there was great unease about making the Bible available in English where everybody could read it, and have their own personal relationship with God rather than paying attention to the hierarchy of the church, being under the authority of their betters as it were.
There is no question but that the politics of England at this time were complicated. King Henry 8th went to great lengths to achieve an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The term red-tape is said to have originated from all the red seals Henry had obtained in his petition to the Pope. While Henry would eventually cast off the papacy and make himself the temporal head of the Church of England, at heart, his loyalties were much toward Rome.
So much so that he was once cautioned about giving too much honor to the Pope, to which he replied: ‘There is no such thing as giving too much honor to the Pope’. Henry’s Lord Chancellor of England at this time was Sir Thomas More who would become the chief opponent of William Tyndale and his Bible. Sainted by Rome for his undying loyalty to the papacy, Thomas More called Tyndale ‘a beast and a hellhound in the kennel of the devil’.
All in all Thomas More wrote nine books against William Tyndale filling more than a thousand pages with arguments and invective against the reformer and always defending the ultimate authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
When King Henry made his break with Rome Thomas More was condemned as a traitor and put to death because of his continued allegiance to the Pope. This may be why Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 named Saint Thomas More ‘the heavenly patron of statesmen and politicians.’ This declaration was made on october 31st which is known as reformation day in parts of Europe, the anniversary of the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg.
Could this have been intended as a modern-day insult to the Reformation? Some Protestants in Europe found Thomas More patron sainthood disturbing. Because Sir Thomas More not only hated Tyndale and spent years trying to hunt him down, but also had a number of his followers tortured and burned to death for heresy.
Thomas More even had his Chelsea home equipped with stocks and a whipping tree, so he could interrogate heretics himself. Thomas More had written: ‘And for heretics as they be, the clergy doth denounced them. And as they be well worthy, the temporality doth burned them. And after the fire of Smithfield, hell doth received them where the wretches burn forever.’
Protestant historians to this day believe it was Thomas More who orchestrated Tyndale’s betrayal and execution. But in the end Tyndale’s final prayer would overcome his opponents. Before he died he famously cried out: ‘Lord, open the king of Englands eyes.’
The sadness of all the story is that six months after the death of William Tyndale the king ordered Myles Coverdale to translate the Bible in English and therefore he used the Bible the translation that William Tyndale admit.
To this day men believe that God answered the prayer of Tyndale. Not only would King Henry authorized the translation of an English Bible for the first time in history but Tyndale’s work as a translator would go on to influence nearly every English Bible that would follow.
Tyndale has a very large impact that’s still with us today, I think the most obvious quotation is: ‘Let there be light’ which is often used, and the one that I like best is: ‘The powers that be’ which of course occurred in a quite different context. Tyndale is is the first widely disseminated translation of the Bible into English.
William Tyndale in his 1526 New Testament was the one who laid the foundation for the English languages we as we know it today.
Tyndale was giving English to the English, if you like, and because his
bible is printed and has been widely disseminated it’s helping the language to develop.
And the Bible became the most read book because previously it was anathema, you couldn’t read it, the common man couldn’t read it, so it helped people to learn to read.
While previous Bibles were very large and kept in churches the idea of Tyndale’s Bible was to make it smaller in size so that a person could carry it with them wherever they went. Because most of Tyndale’s Bibles were destroyed by the Inquisition, only a few copies remain, one of them is at The British Library in London.
This copy is a very pretty book, it’s also a very important book in terms of it it’s its language, because although it was printed in 1526, it’s so familiar to us still today because it survives in the language of later copies of the Bible notably the King James Bible of 1611 with which it’s usually exhibited in our treasures gallery here so that people can draw a comparison between the language of the two versions that are nearly a hundred years apart in printing.
Before his death Tyndale would also be the first to translate much of the old testament from Hebrew into English, including the first five books of Moses then from Joshua to second Chronicles, and the book of Jonah. While he was not able to finish his Old Testament translation all his material became the basis of what was called: ‘The Great Bible’ Commissioned by Henry the eighth and the basis for the ‘Geneva Bible’ that would be known as the Bible of the Reformation.
Modern scholars using computer technology even believe that some 83 percent of the King James Bible 1611 was based on the work of William Tyndale.
What follows are just a few of the well-known biblical phrases that come directly from his translation: ‘Let there be light’ ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ ‘The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee.’ ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name’ ‘The signs of the times’ ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’ ‘he went out … and wept bitterly’ ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels’ ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being’ ‘Fight the good fight’ ‘be weary in well doing’ And ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith’
This is the current facsimile of the Tyndale new testament and it’s approximately the same size as the original, perhaps just a little bit bigger, you need a big pocket for this, the original is definitely a pocketbook. He produces a wonderful translation of the New Testament the issue is a pocketbook of the Bible, that’s the idea of your own Bible, it’s so familiar to people but Tyndale is the man who sort of got there first.
Given that Tyndale’s Bible was ordered to be burnt, and we’ve only got three copies left it’s amazing that we have what’s almost a complete copy left. And that it’s so beautifully decorated in this way, it was somebody’s prized possession. I have to say I think it’s a very beautiful book, it’s a very touching book, and it’s a very important volume, it’s the whole thing comes together, you can see why it’s such an attractive story to people, it is the word of God, something that people prize, and it’s a precious object, and it’s a very rare object, and a very special object associated with a remarkable man.
To this day some scholars still consider William Tyndale to have been the single best of all the English translators, but his enemies fought hard against him burning his Bibles and burning those who dared to read them. Furthermore the Bishop of London Cuthbert Tunstall along with Sir Thomas More, declared that Tyndale the so called hellhound had thousands of errors in his Bible.
Tyndale’s reply was: ‘I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus that I never altered one syllable of God’s word against my conscience, nor would do this day if all that is in earth, whether it be honor,
pleasure, or riches might be given me.’
Tyndale knew the importance of men knowing the true words of God because Jesus said:
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Tyndale to King James
A brief history of how the English Bible developed from the time of Tyndale onward might be told this way: Miles Coverdale had been a friend of Tyndale’s from their time together at Cambridge. Making use of Tyndale’s work, Coverdale finished the translation of the Old Testament and produced the ‘Coverdale Bible’ in 1535. This was the first complete Bible with the old and New Testaments to be printed in the English language.
Tyndale was executed in 1536 and afterward one of his followers a man named John Rogers would publish a complete Bible under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Matthew’. The Matthews Bible of 1537 combined the work of Tyndale with that of Myles Coverdale, this was the first complete Bible to be printed in England.
Before this, Tyndale’s New Testament was printed in Germany and the Coverdale Bible in Switzerland. Both had to be smuggled illegally into the country. But after Tyndale’s dying prayer, Thomas Cromwell compelled King Henry the eighth to officially authorize an English Bible for the new Church of England.
Cromwell then commissioned Myles Coverdale to revise his original translation. The result was ‘The Great Bible’ of 1539. It was called The Great Bible because of its size but is also known as the ‘Cromwell Bible’ or the ‘Cranmer Bible’ because of the preface written by Thomas Cranmer the Archbishop of Canterbury.
This was the Bible commanded to be put in all the churches of England where it was then called the chained Bible since it was chained to the pulpit as shown here.
As a result of this authorized Great Bible the word of God in English was openly and freely proclaimed to the people of England. Needless to say the Catholic clergy were not pleased since England had not only cast off the authority of the Pope, but now all the people could read and hear the words of the true gospel which from the days of Dominic and even before were always contrary to the papal teachings of Rome.
But then in 1547 King Henry the Eighth died, and his nine-year-old son Prince Edward the sixth took the throne. The new King Edward believed in the cause of the reformers and with the help of Archbishop Cranmer England would become for a time, a firmly Protestant nation. The new King Edward was seen as a Josiah figure who was to fully reform England from idolatry and popery.
There is no question but that English Protestants saw their cause as a struggle between the Word of God and the deceptions of Rome.
This painting shows the young Edward sitting on the throne with the Pope at his feet and the words idolatry, superstition, and all flesh is grass, written about him, while above the Pope’s head is an open book that reads: ‘The word of the Lord endureth forever.’
A typical view is portrayed in this Protestant allegory where the four Evangelist Matthew Mark Luke and John are stoning a fallen Pope, as if crushing him with the word of God.
At age 11 the young King Edward even wrote that: ‘The Pope was the true son of the Devil, a bad man, an antichrist, and abominable tyrant.’ But the reign of the new king was short-lived and within six years he fell ill and died. Edward tried to preserve the Reformation by naming his Protestant cousin Lady Jane Grey to be his successor but she would be known as the ‘Nine days Queen’ because within such a short time Edwards Catholic sister Mary would object and claim the throne.
The would-be Queen Jane was put to death and the reign of Bloody Mary took hold.
Queen mary’s nefarious title would begin with her desire to deliver England back into the arms of Rome. Author Gary DeMar writes: ‘Determined to force the English people back to Roman Catholicism, she ordered the burning of all copies of the Bible in English but not content with that, Mary would also burn those who were reading the Bibles, including some of the translators.
The first martyr she burned at the stake was John Rogers who had published the ‘Matthews Bible’ but he died in faith, and it was said that even his children assisted comforting him in such a manner that it seemed as if he had been led to a wedding.
‘Lord receive my spirit’
Thomas Cranmer the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had written the preface to ‘The Great Bible’ was also put to death. When his life was threatened by Mary, the elder Cranmer, out of fear agreed to renounce his faith, and write things in favor of Rome but his conscience overtook him and he recanted again and was sent to the stake.
Before they burned him Cranmer said: ‘I have written many things untrue. And for as much as my hand hath offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be burned. And as for the Pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and antichrist, with all his false doctrine.
And so thrusting his hand into the flames Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake and with him many other Protestant believers during the days of Bloody Mary.
John Dowling in his history of Romanism, writes that: ‘According to the lowest calculations, 288 persons were burned alive by her order for the crime of heresy and among them were the wealthy and the poor, the priests and the laymen, the merchant and the farmer, the blind and the lame, the helpless female and the newborn babe. With this outbreak of persecution, some 800 English scholars fled the country, many of them found refuge in Geneva under the protection of John Calvin and the Reformers of Switzerland.
Among the English exiles were Myles Coverdale and the renowned Scottish reformer John Knox. At Geneva they determined to produce yet another revision of the English Bible, this time one that would be based on the best manuscripts of the original Hebrew and Greek languages without the limitation of either the crown of England or Rome.
Before his death, William Tyndale had produced the revision of his New Testament in 1534, at Geneva they made use of this addition to produce the first part of the Geneva Bible in 1557.
The following year queen Mary died and her Protestant sister Elizabeth ascended to the throne. By 1560 a complete version of the Geneva Bible Old Testament and New was published and dedicated to the ‘New Queen of England Elizabeth the first’.
The first Bible that was translated completely from the Hebrew the the Aramaic and the Greek was the Geneva Bible of the pilgrims.
The Geneva translation is often called the Bible of the pilgrims, because it was this Bible that they brought with them to America when they landed at Plymouth in 1620.
And they loved that Bible.
The Geneva translation became the most popular and widely used English Bible that had ever been produced. With over 200 editions from 1560 to 1644, it is also considered the first Study Bible because it was filled with extensive footnotes from the leading Bible scholars of that era. Including John Calvin, Theodore Beza, John Knox, Myles Coverdale and other reformers of the time. With over 300.000 words of commentary on the holy scripture.
It was like a Bible college education, there’s all kinds of the reformers notes packed into the Geneva Bible.
The Geneva translation was the Bible used by John Bunyan, John Milton, Oliver Cromwell, William Shakespeare, William Bradford. It was also the first complete Bible to divide up the scriptures into chapter and verse, chapter divisions had been established in the 13th century by Stephen Langton the Archbishop of Canterbury.
While the verse divisions for the Old Testament were done by the Jewish rabbi Nathan in1448, meanwhile it was Robertus Stephanus who was also at Geneva with the Reformers, who had first employed verse divisions for his publication of the Greek New Testament in 1551. And so the translators of the Geneva Bible made use of all these methods, Old Testament and new, for a complete English Bible in 1560.
It’s the first Bible to have verse divisions so the people love that because that was
the first time there’s a John 3:16.
The Geneva translation would continue to dominate until it was replaced by the Bible destined to be called the best-selling book of all time, The King James Bible of 1611.
But this would only occur after the Geneva Bible was outlawed in England, with some even being arrested for owning it. It seems to have been forbidden because of the very footnotes that had made it so popular. Commentaries that represented the collective views of the Reformers at the time. But were in direct opposition to the Church of Rome.
Rome’s ongoing persecution of Bible believers only convinced them that she was indeed the great Whore of Revelation chapter 17, the woman that sits atop the scarlet coloured Beast full of names of blasphemy. In the Geneva translation we read:
‘Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
The scripture says the woman is a city that sits upon seven mountains, or Hills. The Geneva translators wrote: ‘Very children know what that seven hilled city is, which is so much spoken of. That is the damnable harlot, the spiritual Babylon, which is Rome. In manner of deeds: She is red with blood and sheddeth it most licentiously, and therefore is colored with the blood of the Saints.’
Meanwhile their view of the Pope is shown in revelation 11:7 which speaks of ‘the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit’. The Reformers wrote: ‘That is the Pope that hath his power out of hell and cometh thence.’
Needless to say these teachings were offensive to Rome, but had been handed down for centuries. After the death of King James, his son Charles the first took the throne. King Charles was a controversial monarch, accused by Protestants of ‘popish and tyrannical actions’. And was suspected of supporting: ‘an international papist conspiracy against the Protestant faith.’
It was during his reign that the Geneva Bible was outlawed. Could the footnotes concerning Rome have been the reason why?
Protestants & the papacy
Originally the word Protestant was a reference to those who protested the claims made by the Roman Church. Even in the 19th century Charles Spurgeon said: ‘For truth’s sake, our Protestantism must protest perpetually, No peace with Rome.’ But in times past such teachings from the Albigensis the Waldenses and to a great extent those of Wycliffe and the Lollards were suppressed and nearly stamped out by the Crusades and Inquisitions.
Yet with movable type and the printing of books and Bibles faster than the Pope’s could burn them, the teachings of the Reformers spread like a fire across Europe. But some claim that it was not simply the teaching of salvation by grace that brought the reform, but the recognition of the papal system as the fulfillment of God’s greatest warnings to the church, as set forth in the prophecies of the Bible.
Was it this teaching that created such determination in men like Tyndale, Luther and others. Protestant minister Dr. Ian Paisley writes: ‘It has been claimed that when Luther recognized the papacy as antichrist, it was only then that the Reformation gained momentum.’
Yet Luther himself acknowledged that what he was teaching did not begin with him, but had been handed down from centuries earlier, he wrote: ‘We are not the first to declare the papacy to be the kingdom of Antichrist, Since for many years before us so many and such great men whose number is large and whose memory is eternal, have undertaken to express the same thing so clearly and plainly.’
Believing that the papacy is antichrist, was standard for Reformed believers, who claimed the Pope was the prophetic fulfillment of the Apostle Paul’s warning of:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
They held to this view because in the New Testament the church is called the temple of God, and the Pope’s were well known for exalting themselves in the midst of the church. Paul wrote:
‘1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
Early Christians and the Reformers were very familiar with the blasphemous declarations from the papacy. Which were often the subject of intense debate, because from ancient times the Popes had declared themselves to be equal to God.
Jesus said in Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Yet the Popes took to themselves the name Holy Father, along with all claims of authority that might be assumed by such a title. Pope Innocent the third who fathered the Inquisition said: The Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man, but of the true God.’
Meanwhile Pope Nicholas said of himself: ‘I am in all, and above all, so that God himself, and I, the Vicar of God, hath both one consistory. And i am able to do almost all that God can do. I then being above all, seem by this reason to be above all gods.’
Nicholas even claimed that the Pope’s had the power to change the gospel itself saying: ‘Wherefore no marvel if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ.
But in the Bible Jesus says:
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
The Apostle Paul warned that:
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Yet despite these biblical warnings, the Popes repeatedly claimed they were equal to and above God, and were even called by Catholics ‘Our Lord God the Pope’. The Lateran Council while addressing Pope Julius II said to him: ‘Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou has given us, for thou art shepherd, thou art physician, thou art governor, thou art husbandmen, thou finally art ANOTHER GOD ON EARTH.’
In the 19th century Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto who would later become Pope Pius the tenth declared: ‘The Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ: On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking. Hence, when anyone speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine, but to obey’.
Jesus said of himself: John 14:6 ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’
Yet Pope Pius ninth blasphemously declared: ‘I alone and the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, I am the way the truth and the life.
The Popes have not only made claims to be God, but have insisted that salvation itself depends directly upon obedience to them. Pope Boniface the eighth said: ‘We declare, say define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary, for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff.
Pope Clement the six said: ‘No man outside obedience to the Pope of Rome can ultimately be saved. All who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church and died in final impenitence have been damned and gone down to hell.’
Even in modern times pope john xxiii in 1958 declared: ‘Into this fold of Jesus Christ no man may enter unless he be led by the sovereign Pontiff and only if they be united to him can men be saved.
In 1984 Pope John Paul the second was quoted as saying: ‘Don’t go to God for forgiveness of sins come to me.’ The quote was based on a Los Angeles Times article which reported: ‘Rebutting a belief widely shared by Protestants and a growing number of Roman Catholics, Pope John Paul II dismissed the widespread idea that one can obtain forgiveness directly from God.’
Furthermore according to traditional catholicism obedience to the papacy is said to be required no matter how dreadful the Pope might be. Catherine of Siena one of the patron saints of Italy whose mummified head is still preserved in Rome today said: ‘Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest in his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him, we do to Christ. We honor Christ if we honor the Pope.
Such demands for blind obedience were confirmed by the Pope’s themselves but confronted by the Reformers. By men like Martin Luther who said: ‘The Pope, possessed by demons, defends his tyranny with the cannon, ‘Si papa’ or ‘Yes Father’. This cannon states clearly: If the Pope should lead the whole world into the
control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted.
It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood.
Because of this evidence Luther declared: ‘I believe the Pope is the masked and incarnate Devil, because he is the antichrist.’
It is important to understand that this belief was not just confined to Luther but was held by all the Reformers from, John Wycliffe in the 14th century to Charles Spurgeon in the late 19th century. Spurgeon said: ‘It is the bound and duty of every Christian to pray against antichrist, and as to what antichrist is, no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name.’
The Westminster Confession of faith along with a Savoy confession, the old Baptist confession, and the Methodist views of John Wesley, all included the declaration that: ‘The Pope, is that antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the Church.
This was also the belief of the men who translated the King James Bible, in their opening dedication they commended the King for: ‘Writing in defense of the truth, which have given such a blow unto that man of sin as will not be healed.’
The view of the antichrist, not as a single man but of many men in a single office, was based in part on the teaching of John Wycliffe. In the Gospel of Matthew the disciples asked Jesus: ‘What shall be the sign of thy coming and
of the end of the world?
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Wycliffe believe that the many who say, ‘I am Christ’, are in fact the Popes. The Popes title ‘Vicarius Christi’ literally means ‘another Christ’. Wycliffe concluded that: ‘Antichrist is thus a monstrous composite’. In further explaining the Pope’s title author Dave Hunt writes: ‘The Latin equivalent of the Greek ‘anti’ is ‘vicarius’ from which comes ‘vicar’. Thus ‘Vicar of Christ’ literally means Antichrist.
But the view of the papacy as Antichrist is not widely held by Protestants today. Still there are those who continue to uphold the Reformers original beliefs. Perhaps it has something to do with this official Vatican portrait of the current pope, it is called: ‘The truth the way and the life’ portrait of His Holiness Pope Benedict the 16th. But can this really mean that in the modern world, there are some who still believe the Pope to be equal to Christ and God?
Mr. president, final question: You said famously when you looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes you saw his soul, ‘yeah’, when you’re looking to Benedict the sixteenth, what do you see? ‘God’ good way to end the interview. Thank you sir.
In contrast Dr. Ian Paisley, a Protestant minister with a long history of opposing Rome’s influence in Great Britain, he has been a member of the British and European Parliament’s and retired in 2008 as the first minister of Northern Ireland.
Paisley considers himself a modern successor of the Reformers, what follows is typical of his preaching: ‘The darkest days in Church history were always the brightest days for the Church of Jesus Christ. When they were burning the saints of God, thank God, the gospel burned with mighty fire. And thank God it was said in Scotland, when they burned Patrick Hamilton, the first martyr of the Scottish Reformation, that everybody his smoke blew upon they came a Christian, and left old harlot, scarlet, Church of Rome. We need to discover that in the darkest day, God has victory for his people. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith, and thank God for the faith, once for all delivered to the saints.’
In 1988 when Pope John Paul II delivered a speech at the European Parliament, Paisley opposed him, shouting the words of Archbishop Cranmer who had been burned at the stake. Like the Reformers of old, Paisley held up a sign and denounce the Pope as the Antichrist, ‘But making me to say how much i..’ ‘i announce you the Pope as the Antichrist’ ‘ ‘i denounce you! i denounce you! as Christ enemy and Antichrist!’ ’and all your false doctrine’ ‘i denounce you as Christ enemy’ ‘ Mister Paisley i call you to order I ask you to stop this disturbance.’
There was another poster in his pocket for each one snatched away, waiting with the text which spoke of: Europe as the beacon of civilization looked on with faint amazement. ‘Mister Paisley i now exclude you.. ’
Mr. Paisley claims he was punched and that he later received a personal apology from the head of security for failing to protect him.
The poster stated simply “Pope John Paul the II antichrist”
Paisley: ‘I am the historic succession of the Reformers. I mean what the they wrote in to the press, they said that I wrote the confession of faith and called the Pope the antichrist. When I was far from the first person who accepted the fact that the Church of Rome was a false Church and therefore was the church as depicted in the 17th chapter of the book of Revelation. Now that is historic Protestants.’
Paisley makes it clear that he still believes the Pope or Papal system is the fulfillment of the biblical warnings about Antichrist. Yet it is only fair to acknowledge that many prophecy teachers today believe that “the Antichrist” is yet to come. But like the Pope he will claim to be equal with God.
Someday they will emerge a man who proclaims that he is God and Christ, according to the Bible will he be the antichrist, but he is a man, but the Bible says Satan will empower him.
But for the Reformers the Antichrist had already been revealed through the papacy. John Wycliffe was so convicted about it he even said: ‘Why is it necessary in unbelief to look for another Antichrist’.
In Second Thessalonians when warning about the man of sin Paul wrote:
2 Thessalonians 2:8
‘And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:’
Martin Luther believed that the reformers were themselves as the spirit of the Lord’s mouth, and by preaching the Word of God they were consuming the Papacy even as fire consumes a bundle of wood. Luther wrote: “For we must slay him with words; the mouth of Christ must do it. That is the way he is torn out of men’s hearts, and his lies become known and despised. Let us be wise, thank God for His Holy Word, and be bold with our mouths this is the way Christ is, through us, slaying the papacy.”
Luther believed that the Papal Antichrist would continue to be thus consumed. Until the Lord completely destroys him at Armageddon. As such the need for translating, and publishing the Word of God, was greater than ever.
Luther recognized that people were being held in darkness because they did not have the light of the word, so when the word was translated so that the people could understand what it had to say of course this was what brought the Reformation about. People were being led away from Catholicism to true Christianity.
One thing about the Roman Catholic Church they adhered very strongly to what I would call sacramental salvation and John Foxe and his Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, that’s where he takes Rome to task because you had to take the communion and you had to do all these sacraments here for salvation, and John Foxe says, that they built a whole new foundation for the Roman Catholic Church and left the original salvation which was by grace through faith, that was free, it was the gift of God, in other words, at Rome you have to work for it.
In Catholicism the concept of suffering for one’s own sins and the sins of others runs throughout, the work of atonement is centered around the Catholic Mass in which the priest summons the presence of Jesus Christ into the Eucharist, where he is offered over and over again to atone for the sins of the living and the dead in purgatory.
The idea of transubstantiation places the power or the ability in the hands of a priest to take a wafer and and conjure up the presence of Jesus Christ and then offer this wafer as Christ as an unbloody sacrifice for the sins of man.
Through the regular practice of the mass an ongoing atonement is made for the dead souls that are burning in purgatory, these are said to be true believers who need to spend some time burning to have their sins completely purged. This image from a Catholic Church shows the process perfectly, the priest offers the host that conjures forth Christ who was pouring out his blood again and again each time the mass is performed, for the sake of the souls who are still suffering in purgatory because supposedly their sins have not yet fully been atoned for.
According to Rome only an ordained Catholic priest has the power to call forth Christ into the Eucharist also: ‘The doctrine of the Church is that Holy Communion is morally necessary for salvation.’
So a priest then intervenes or becomes the one that’s necessary in dispersing salvation unto man because it’s necessary to take part in the sacrament of the Eucharist which requires a priest.
Furthermore Rome makes it clear that a person does not have the freedom to believe that the mass is merely symbolic and not a literal sacrifice. She declares that: ‘If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice on the cross and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, let them be anathema.’ ‘let them be accursed’.
See this whole idea that a church has to disperse salvation in no way is found in the scriptures.
It was this doctrine that the Reformers fought so hard against. According to the Gospel of John when Jesus was crucified he cried out on the cross: ‘It is finished’.
As was revealed in the Greek manuscripts the word for finished is ‘Tetelestai’ which means: ‘paid in full’ and so in the book of Hebrews we read that:
Hebrews 10:10 ‘By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Hebrews 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
It is absolutely clear that Jesus Christ died upon the cross, his blood was shed, and the sacrifice was made, there is no other sacrifice that can be made.
The message of salvation was plainly set forth in the new testament. When the Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They simply answered: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ (Acts 16:30-31)
Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
But the Church, headed by a man and other man, came up with the idea that they would disperse salvation and that people would have to go through, them it is completely contrary to what the bible teaches. They had in my opinion a neat little thing going, you could get money for this and you could get money for that, you had the Mendicant Friars going around begging and the poor people were even supposed to give to them provide them food and all this kind of stuff because that was all a part of their salvation and then at the end you had to pay money to have masses set to get your soul out of purgatory.
The reformation itself had begun over the issue of merchandising the souls of men through the sale of indulgences that were literally written licenses authorized by the pope as pardons for sin. The indulgences were sold to pay for the building of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This was the principal issue that compelled Luther and the rest of the reformers to speak out.
They all rediscovered that salvation wasn’t of works, it was as the bible said a free gift: ‘John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Rome didn’t like that.
When the reformation, the protestant reformation was gathering momentum thanks to Martin Luther and other great protestant leaders, Rome was desperate obviously to counter the reformation.
And so obviously if the god of this world is behind the deception there’s going to be a counter-attack, and that’s what took place.
After more than 20 years of preaching the gospel of grace and denouncing the pope as antichrist, the world had been turned upside down again, and the authority of Rome was greatly diminished. But in response the powers of darkness would not be silent.
Satan raised up individuals in the name of christ who then attacked those who were becoming true christians.
The counter reformation is definitely Rome’s plot to destroy the protestant reformation.
What happened next was as if the bowels of hell itself had opened and spat forth the most dreadful and wicked society ever assembled.
Enter the Jesuits
In the New Testament the apostle Paul warned that: 2 Timothy 3:13 ‘But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’
This was certainly true of the progressive efforts Rome put forth to fight against the teachings of the reformers and the widespread publication of the word of God.
In 1540 just one year after England had published the Great Bible, Pope Paul III would commission a new order in Rome, Their purpose was to specifically combat and if possible overthrow the protestant reformation.
When Rome saw the consequence of the word of God being translated so that the people could understand without the priests they had to meet this with some sort of opposition. This new company of priests was founded as a military order by a former Spanish soldier named Ignatius Loyola.
Ignatius Loyola actually his name was Iñigo López, born in spain 1491, has become known as the founder of the jesuits or the ‘Society of Jesus’ without question the major group of individuals who throughout history have played a significant role in an attempt to bring the separated brethren back to the mother of all churches.
The term separated brethren is a reference to protestant heretics who are to be reunited with Rome by whatever means necessary. Historically the Jesuits are known for their insidious methods of deception, spying, infiltration, assassination and revolution. I believe you cannot understand history unless you understand the Jesuits and the role that they’ve played.
In his book ‘The Babington Plot’ author J.E.C Shepherd writes that: ‘Between 1555 and 1931 the society of Jesus was expelled from at least 83 countries, city-states and cities for engaging in political intrigue and subversive plots.
President John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson once wrote: ‘I do not like the resurrection of the Jesuits. Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gypsies can assume? If ever there was a body of men who merited eternal damnation on earth and in hell, it is this Society of Loyola’s.’
19th century author Edwin Sherman called them ‘The Engineer Corps of Hell’ in this modern copy of his book we see the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on the front cover. Because it was claimed by 19th century Catholic priest Father Charles Chiniquy that the Jesuits were responsible for the killing of Lincoln.
Charles Chiniquy details this in his own book titled ‘50 years in the “church” of Rome’. Abraham Lincoln himself had said: ‘It is not against the Americans of the South alone, I am fighting. It is more against the Pope of Rome, his perfidious Jesuits and their blind and bloodthirsty slaves that we have to defend ourselves.’
Even in the 20th century, author Edmund Paris in his book The Secret History of the Jesuits, documents how the society influenced Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. In particular he says: ‘The SS organization had been constituted according to the principles of the Jesuit Order.
Hitler referred to Heinrich Himmler as his Ignatius of Loyola and even obtain the Swastika symbol (hakenkruis) at a catholic abbey from a priest named father Hagen the Jesuit general, a position created by Loyola himself is often referred to as ‘The Black Pope’ because of the black robes he wears and the tremendous power he is said to hold.
Former Jesuit general Michelangelo Tamburini once boastfully said: ‘See sir, from this chamber i govern not only Paris, but to China, not only to China but to all the world, without anyone knowing how i do it.’
Even in modern times Ian Paisley has spoken openly against the Jesuit order in mainstream media. He had this to say: ‘When i explained to the press who the Black Pope really was, the head of the Jesuits, they again said: who are the jesuits? And i describe them as the Gestapo of the Roman Catholic Church, the front man who carried out the Pope’s orders throughout Christendom.’
To justify his association of the Jesuits with the Gestapo, Paisley quoted from the book by Edmund Paris, he related words that were published under the authority of Francisco Franco the Spanish dictator during World War II, shown here with Adolf Hitler.
Ian Paisley: “I quote from the (book) ‘The Secret History of the Jesuits’ by Edmund Paris: ‘ I’m giving a quotation from The Reforme, which is what the press of the Spanish dictator, Franco published, on the 3rd of may, 1945 the day of Hitler’s death. Quote: ‘Adolf Hitler, son of the Catholic Church, died while defending Christianity. It is therefore understandable that words cannot be found to lament over his death, when so many were found to exalt his life, over his mortal remains stands his victorious moral figure, with the palm of the martyr, God gives Hitler the laurels of Victory.’ End of the quotation.”
Concerning this quote Edmund Paris writes: ‘This funeral oration is voiced by the Holy See itself, it is a communique of the Vatican given via Madrid.’ During the second World War it was the Jesuit Order who put forth that: ‘The building up of the Third Reich unites a national socialist state to Catholic Christianity.’
In all their history the ultimate aim of Loyola Society is said to be the same as it was from the beginning. Within less than a century after their formation Rome’s Jesuit order would become an elite company of spies, assassins and intellectuals, hated and feared by kings and commoners alike. With all these things in mind consider that it was this society that was specifically commissioned by the Pope to launch the counter reformation in 1540, under the direction of ignites Loyola.
He decided and along with his friends to form some kind of an organization that would be loyal to the Pope and that would counter the Reformation, and so that’s exactly what occurred the Counter-Reformation was a way to resist what had taken place, the reforming that had occurred, and take people back to roman Catholicism.
Countless books and essays have been written about the Jesuits, repeatedly warning the Church and others of their grand scheme to take over the world for the Pope. But exactly how would they do it?
In various ways through education, through social programs, and through infiltration of organizations to advance the cause for the Roman Catholic Church. There is perhaps no more chilling and enlightening detail than the dreadful oath the Jesuits are made to swear. This oath was well known prior to the 20th century and can be found in the library of congress. The oath begins with an admonition from the Jesuit superior, one that reveals the methods of infiltration used by the order.
He says: “My son heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler. Among the Reformers to be a Reformer, among the Calvinists to be a Calvinist, among the Protestants to be a Protestant and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits. You have been taught your duty as a spy, to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of heretics of every class and character, as well as among the schools and universities.”
The contribution of Loyola and his followers to the Inquisition and and to opposing the Reformation would be in the academic and educational sphere, and that they would become leaders in all disciplines of learning and that they would pursue a intensive academic intellectual strategy which would capture the universities and the centers of learning.
The plan of the society was to overthrow the bible-based education of the Protestants. In his book on the Jesuits ‘Rulers of Evil’, Tupper Saussy writes that: “By 1556 three-fourths of the Society’s membership were dedicated in 46 Jesuit Colleges, to learning against learning, to indoctrinate minds with the learning of illuminated humanism as opposed to the learning of scripture. This network would expand by 1749 to 669 colleges, 176 seminaries, 61 houses of study and 24 universities. Partly or holy under Jesuit direction.”
In the 19th century Charles Spurgeon warned of the impact of Jesuit education, he spoke of certain preachers saying: ‘They keep back a portion of the gospel, having studied in the Devil’s new Jesuitical college.’
But even with their intellectual methods the Jesuits would not abandon the centuries-old practice of persecuting heretics who would not convert. As the rest of their dreadful oath reveals the initiate is made to swear that he will do the utmost in his power to destroy all opposition to papal authority. He says: “I furthermore promise and declare, that i will, when opportunity presents, make and wage, relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants, and Liberals, as i am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth. That when the same cannot be done openly, i will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the pointyard or the leaden bullet as i at any time may be directed to do, by any agent of the pope or superior of the Society of Jesus.
Once the bloody oath is finished the Jesuit superior says: “Go ye then into all the world and take possession of all lands, in the name of the Pope. He who will not accept him as the Vicar of Jesus and his Vice Regent on earth let him be accursed and exterminated.
Professor Arthur Noble writes: “The reinstatement of the inquisition in the 16th century was spearheaded by the Jesuits as were its atrocities, and it is estimated that in that century alone no less than 900.000 Protestant martyrs laid down their lives for Christ.”
Among the horrors the jesuits instigated were the ‘St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre’ of 1572, in which some 70 to 100.000 Protestants were slaughtered throughout France. They also famously manipulated King Louis 14th, to revoke ‘The Edict of Nance’ in 1685, which had once protected the rights of french Protestants, its revocation made the Protestant faith illegal and ultimately caused the death of half a million men, women and children who perished in all the highways of France. King Louis father confessor was a Jesuit priest named Pierre Lachaise his revoking of the Edict of Nance outlawed the reading of the bible in France for the next 100 years.
In England the Jesuits worked closely with William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury who had outlawed the printing or importation of the Geneva Bible into England. We read that: William ‘Laud’, perpetrated the greatest cruelty against Protestants who dared to support the doctrines of the Reformation, one prominent Protestant William Prynne had his ears twice cut off; then the stumps of his ears were dug out. Others were flogged, their noses were slit in public, and their faces were branded with hot irons. William Laud was eventually found guilty of conspiring with Jesuits to bring England back under Popery, and was put to death for treason. Among his private papers was found a letter addressed to the Jesuit superior in Brussels.
The jesuits would also continue Rome’s centuries-old persecution of the Waldenses in their dogged attempts to finally annihilate them. Several of the Reformers explained why Rome hated them. Theodore Beza called the Waldenses: ‘The very seed of the primitive and purer church.’ he said ‘They NEVER adhered to papal superstition for which reason they have been continually harassed by bishops and inquisitors so that their continuance is evidently miraculous.’
Meanwhile Heinrich Bullinger said: ‘Throughout the world the Waldenses have sustained their profession of the gospel of Christ. In several of their writings as well as by continual preaching they have accused the pope as the real Antichrist foretold by the Apostle John. They have consistently and openly given testimony to their faith by glorious martyrdoms, and still do even to this day (1530).’
The most well known persecution of the Waldenses happened in the year 1655 and it was really, the armies of the ‘Duke of Savoy’ who was another papal puppet who was sent in to wipe these people out once and for all, now the Waldenses managed to resist the first attack but then again with Jesuit subtlety the Catholics resorted to a different tactic and they persuaded the Waldenses that they would have another army which would come in to protect them and sadly the Waldenses believed this and when the army when the troops these Vatican troops were bulleted amongst the Waldenses they turned on them and carried out the most horrific massacre, and it’s known in history as the Massacre in Piedmont and it’s even commemorated by the English poet John Milton and was called ‘On the Late Massacre in Piedmont’ to commemorate the sufferings of the Waldenses and there are some famous lines which go: ‘Avenge o Lord thy slaughtered Saints whose bones lie scattered on the Alpine Mountains cold, even they who kept thy truth so pure of old when all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones. ‘that is to say idols’.
And surviving Waldenses actually appealed, or managed to appeal, to Oliver Cromwell who was at the time the Lord Protector of England for protection and Oliver Cromwell successfully managed to negotiate with cardinal Mazarin of France to actually get the persecution lifted. But i think it’s worth remembering the words, indeed the eyewitness account of one of the Waldensians Pastors, Jean Léger, he actually tried to persuade his Waldensians fellow believers that they should not fall for Rome’s duplicity which then as i said resulted in the massacre. After the massacre he’d managed to escape, he came and tried as best he could as a christian pastor to administer to these shocked survivors.
And he even wrote about it and he said that: ‘The tears mingle with my ink when i write about these deeds of darkness, yea worse even than the deeds of the prince of darkness himself.’ because he saw firsthand the horrible cruelties that these Catholics had inflicted on these innocent Bible Believers.
During the middle ages the Jesuits were without question the most radical society ever conceived. Professor Arthur Noble writes: ‘So great in fact was the mischief done by the Jesuits that they were expelled from over 70 countries, four-fifths of which were Roman Catholic and they were cursed and denounced for their hypocrisy by 11 Popes, the society was repeatedly repressed and became known and feared for their revenge.
In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams wrote: ‘My history of the Jesuits is in four volumes, the work is anonymous because as i suppose the author was afraid, as all the monarchs of Europe were of Jesuitical assassination. Pope Clement 14th suppressed the order in 1773 by a perpetual decree: ‘And while signing the papal Bull he remarked, I am signing my death warrant.’ A year later he died by poisoning and is said to have perished in great agony.
But for Rome the real stronghold of the Reformation was in England. The Jesuits made more than 25 attempts on the life of Queen Elizabeth the first and tried repeatedly to invade the country with foreign armies. The reason for their tenacity was summed up by cardinal Manning in 1859, who said: ‘England is the head of Protestantism, the center of its movements and the stronghold of its power. Weakened in England it is paralyzed everywhere. Conquered in England it is conquered throughout the world. Once overthrown here all else is but a warfare of detail.’
To understand the Jesuit goal we must consider the statue of founder Ignatius Loyola, which can be found inside Saint Peter’s in Rome. Loyola stands with an open book in his hand, on one side is written the constitutions of the Society of Jesus, on the other side is a latin phrase meaning: ‘To the greater glory of God’. Meanwhile the Jesuit’s foot is found on the neck of a wild haired figure with a serpent beneath him, the figure is said to symbolize Protestantism. Notice that Protestantism has a book beneath his arm. While there are no discernible markings on it, we ask the viewer to consider what that book might be.. as we unfold the following evidence.
Through the middle ages the source of Protestant authority was the Holy Bible, the words of God which justified all rejection of the papacy. The Bible became known as the paper pope of Protestantism, a term of derision applied by Rome.
To counter the authority of the Bible the Jesuits developed a confession for Protestants to make, who converted to Roman catholicism, Protestant converts were made to say: ‘We confess that whatever new thing the pope of Rome may have instituted, whether it be in scripture or out of scripture, is true, divine, and full of salvation and therefore ought to be regarded as of higher value by lay people than even the precepts of the living God. We confess that the pope has power of altering scripture, or increasing, or diminishing it according to his will. We confess that the most holy Pontiff ought to be honored by all with divine honor, with more prostration than even what is due to Christ himself.
Let the viewer consider that these confessions are confirmed by a number of sources in the 19th and 20th centuries, we have listed only one of them here. On the intellectual front the Jesuits were largely behind the ‘Council of Trent’ which began in 1545.
Yes the counter-reformation really got underway to a major extent when pope Paul III convened what became known in history as ‘The Council of Trent’ and the council actually ran in i think at least three sessions for 18 years up until the year 1563.
Trent was specifically designed to refute the doctrines and teachings of the Reformation. So whatever the Reformers were fore, the Jesuits we’re against.
The key point of contention was the issue of grace and salvation. The council declared that: ‘If anyone says that men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification, let him be anathema (cursed).’ It is worth noting that the declarations of Trent were reconfirmed by the book ‘Vatican Council 2’ in the 20th century. Vatican II is the most up-to-date doctrinal declaration from Rome, but also on the agenda at Trent were the Jesuits attacks against the bibles which had been translated by the Reformers
And the council was certainly dominated by the Jesuits who as i’ve said before captured the universities and majored in academic and intellectual endeavors, and it was by their intellectualism and their scholarship that they ultimately aimed to discredit the Protestant bibles. Well they dominated the Council of Trent, and it appears that the major resolutions of the Council were all against the the pure Bibles, the Protestant scriptures.
In his book on ‘The History of the English Bible’ author Benson Bobrick writes that: ‘The Council of Trent had declared the vulgate not only better than all other Latin translations, but better than the Greek text itself, in those places where they disagree.
And it appears also that what the Council of Trent did was to actually take from the writings of none other than the great reformer Martin Luther, and they just condemned these directly. For example they condemned the belief that the Apocryphal books which are in the Catholic bibles as part of the old testament, they condemned the belief that the the apocryphal books were not scripture, and they were quite prepared to punish by death any so-called heretic who said that the apocryphal books were were not scripture, now it is true it is true that the Apocrypha was in the early bibles, i have early bibles in my office just across the hallway where you see the apocrypha was, some people say it’s not, but in the 1611 King James Bible the apocrypha was there and previous to that in the Geneva Bible the Apocrypha was there except in some bootleg editions of the 1599 where it was left out, but mind you it was never to be accepted on the level of scripture, it was never considered to be inspired while the Roman Catholic Church makes a pronouncement that it is.
But Rome and her Jesuits would not be content with merely condemning Protestant doctrine, they intended to counter the Reformation Bibles.
The next step of the Jesuits was to produce their own version in English of the New Testament that became known as the Jesuit Rheims Version because it was compiled by Jesuit scholars in the town of Reims in France and later on became known as the Douay Rheims Version.
The Jesuits inserted curious words and footnotes into their translation in part to Justify Catholic Doctrine. That’s why they work so hard to translate the Douay Rheims bible because in Matthew chapter 6, instead of saying like Wycliffe did, like Tyndale did, like the Geneva Bible: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ they say: ‘Give us this day our super substantial bread.’ and so they change it. The Greek word is not super substantial or whatsoever, but nonetheless they do that to be able to support their doctrine of transubstantiation.
The Douay Rheims also countered the Reformers view that the Church of Rome had been mass murdering the saints through the inquisition. In Revelation chapter 17 verse 6, where it describes Mystery Babylon saying she is ‘drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.’ The jesuit footnote reads: ‘But the blood of Protestants is not called the blood of saints, no more than the blood of thieves, man killers, and other malefactors, for the shedding of which by the order of justice, no commonwealth shall answer.’
Oddly enough the Douay Rheims also acknowledged that the whore of Babylon symbolized the city of Rome, but they insist it must have been pagan Rome during the time of Nero.
The Gunpowder Plot
But by far the most nefarious conspiracy the Jesuit set forth during the middle ages was ‘the Gunpowder plot’ of 1605. The gunpowder plot came about because when Elizabeth the first died in 1603, Rome was very interested to have a Catholic monarch on the throne, and the Pope at the time sent the Jesuit provincial father Henry Garnett of England two bulls which set out this strategy and urged him to ensure that no one should ascend the throne of England unless they declared themselves to be a faithful Roman Catholic. What happened was that James the first, when he ascended the throne he declared himself to be a Protestant and therefore Rome decided that he had to be removed.
The instrument Rome would employ to get rid of the new King was a Spanish soldier named Guy Fawkes, a man whose name is remembered every year to this day as the English burn effigies of him on Guy Fawkes night. Why? Because Guy Fawkes planted some 36 barrels of gunpowder beneath the houses of parliament intending to blow up King James and the entire government of England.
Out of the chaos that would follow Rome and her Jesuit order had planned to re-establish control of the country. Guy Fawkes was i think what we would call a Jesuit co-agitator he wasn’t a Jesuit priest as such to my knowledge, but he was a he was a professional mercenary soldier and he had fought in the Catholic army of Spain.
Guy Fawkes was discovered just moments before detonating the gunpowder, in what the english people clearly saw as an act of God. Guy Fawkes was publicly executed as was his fellow conspirator the Jesuit provincial Henry Garnett. But Garnett was not the only Jesuit to be involved in the plot. At the trial the esteemed lawyer Sir Edward Koch said: ‘I never knew a treason without a Romish priest, but in this, there are very many Jesuits who are known. Garnett in England, Cresswell in Spain, Baldwin in Flanders, Parsons at Rome. So the principal offenders are the seducing Jesuits, men that use the most sacred and blessed name of Jesus as a mantle to cover all manner of wickedness.
Tupper Saussy writes that during this era the Play Macbeth by William Shakespeare was actually a so-called ‘powder play’ commemorating the Gunpowder plot and that: ‘Macbeth is an elaborate condemnation of the Jesuits as satanists, murderers and witches.’
But the year before the Jesuit plan was overthrown Puritan leader John Rainolds had proposed that a new bible translation be set forth. King James gave his approval and the work began on the King James Bible. Was it just a coincidence that one year later the gunpowder treason took place?
Certainly an expected outcome of a successful plot would be that all work on the new Bible translation which was taking place at that time, that started in 1604, that all that work would be terminated and terminated permanently there’s no doubt in my mind that that is what the Jesuits intended as well.
But by the grace of God the Gunpowder plot was overthrown and King James would survive to see the famous Bible that would bear his name come to completion.
The King James Version
After nearly 100 years of laboring through the fires of persecution and bloodshed, all the while their chief object being the preaching of the gospel and the communication of the word of God in a language the people could understand. The English Reformation arrived at what many believe to have been their finest achievement. The translation of the King James Bible in 1611.
Since 1526 there was a rash of bible translation and bible publication and it all came to a screeching halt after the King James Version of the Bible, they finally got it right they finally because as we follow through, Tyndale only gave us the new testament, though he did, Genesis through Second Chronicles and Jonah, but they were published individually. They never where a complete Bible.
So Myles Coverdale took his work and then they added translated from the German and from the Latin and makes the first English Bible, however it’s not completely from the original languages, so John Rogers comes and and he takes all of Tyndale his work and puts it in there, but he has to use some of Myles Coverdale and then get done with that, and finally we get to the Geneva Bible and the Geneva Bible does all the translation from the original languages, but in my opinion it’s still a little rough, though it’s based on the Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic Text, it’s very close to the King James but i can see where there is some rough spots so now you have the King James Bible and it’s all of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and it is accepted.
In the preface to their work the King James translators wrote: ‘To the reader’ in which they spoke of those translators and translations which had come before them. They said: ‘We acknowledge them to have been raised up of God, for the building and furnishing of His Church. Therefore blessed be they, and most honored be their name which helpeth forward to the saving of souls.’
And we would look to translators, who like the preface to the readers, the Authorized Version translators (King James Bible 1611) sought him that hath the key of David, and they were humble men, and they were scholars, but they were spiritual men.
The King James committee deemed it important to confess their faith, that the Holy Scriptures were given by inspiration of God.
Inspiration refers to the author, 2 Peter 1:21 ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ That’s the original.
Concerning the Greek and Hebrew scriptures they said: ‘The original thereof being from heaven not from earth, the author being God, not man; the editor, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or Prophets. 2 Timothy 3:16 ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:’ So god gave it, the church recognized it.
In their preface the King James committee also said: ‘Truly (good Christian reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet, to make of a bad one a good one. But to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principle good one, that have been our endeavor, that our mark.’
They went on to say that: ‘To that purpose there were many chosen that were greater in other men’s eyes than in their own.’ These men everyone had to be so skilled in the languages that they themselves had to do the translating, this was a team technique unsurpassed either before or since.
54 scholars were originally chosen but it is said that only 47 of them actually took part. What followed over the next seven years was perhaps the most ingenious, the most detailed, the most exhaustive and systematic translation process ever conceived or carried out.
They called them companies, they had six companies in three different cities, it’s called the special team technique, each of the teams had two divisions, the old testament en new testament, and they had a very ingenious method of translating, they had the averred average of seven men per team, just to take that as an average, they went through every word of the King James Bible 14 times, here’s how they did it: each man in the team had to translate for himself that portion of scripture, Old or New testament assigned to him, one two three four five six seven seven different translations came in and they met at their team, and they went over everyone’s translation, which is the best, throw out the bad keep the good, that’s the eighth time they went through it in the team.
Then King james was very specific: I want you to take what you have in each team and give it to the other five teams, so here is eight and five is 13 times, the other teams went into it, when they looked at things they wanted to change some things they didn’t agree with these teams then they had a 14th time, at the end of the time when it was finished, two from each of the teams, 12 men, the leading men at the final went over everything. And so there are 14 times everyone went through and that wasn’t the end of it because the King was very specific, each of the bishops or leaders of the church of England had a copy of this draft of the King James Bible and these bishops sent to everyone in their charge who are skilled in Hebrew skilled in Greek to go over this and see if there’s any problems that they had. And to give that information to these teams and these three different cities, the six different teams, and that was the way the thing was done.
Their method that was used was two things, verbal equivalence and formal equivalence, verbal equivalence meaning they wanted to translate Hebrew Aramaic and Greek words into English words, not messages or thoughts or ideas but they want to have words and words wherever possible, formal equivalence has to do with the forms of the words, they wanted to be as surely as they can of a noun in the Hebrew Aramaic or Greek, put it over in a noun in english, pronouns to pronouns, adjectives to adjectives, they didn’t want to have dynamic equivalence which is add subtraction changes the words of God, they didn’t want to change any of these things.
In addition to its detailed translation the King James Committee was instructed to keep the footnotes of the new bible to a minimum, only providing cross-references to other scriptures or brief notes on the original languages, because of its simplicity, trusted accuracy and the poetic beauty of the language in time the King James Version would overtake all the other English translations.
It ultimately down the road a little ways replaces, not right away but down the road replaces Geneva Bible, people had a rough time giving up their Geneva Bible because it was like a study Bible, you know, but then there wasn’t any need to do that.
English Protestants would become very familiar with the Bible and its doctrines and the King James translation would come to symbolize the unified efforts of all the Reformers who had hazarded their lives for the sake of the word of God.
The Authorized Version of the Bible (King James Bible) is seen almost as a unifying text for English Protestantism produced in 1611. This is, this is the first edition of the King James Bible and what actually happened in first instance of course it was produced to be put in churches, so as you can see it is a very large folio volume and i just opened it at the beginning of the gospel according to saint Luke. This is the final chapter of Mark (Chapter introduction phrase): ‘An angel declares the resurrection of Christ to three women, Christ himself appears to Marry Magdalena, to two going into the country then to the apostles whom he sendeth forth to preach the gospel and ascendeth into heaven.’
Sometimes called the best-selling book of all time there is perhaps no other version that has brought about more controversy. The translation was no sooner completed than it came under attack by Romanists and some Protestants. One scholar in particular a puritan named Hugh Broughton said he would rather be torn to pieces by wild horses than to impose the King James Bible on the poor Churches of England. Yet there are other curiosities about Hugh Broughton, Dr. Matthew Mcmahon writes that: ‘He was highly esteemed by many of the learned Jesuits; and though a bold and inflexible enemy to popery, he was offered a cardinal’s cap.’
In centuries past the Jesuits were known for seducing men with money and laudation and it was not uncommon for someone to outwardly oppose Rome while secretly supporting their cause and doctrines. But could this have been the case with Hugh Broughton? The famed English poet John Donne who would become the dean of saint Paul’s in London and who lived during this era recorded the following in one of his letters, he said: ‘A gentleman that visited me yesterday told me that our church hath lost mr. Hugh Broughton, who has gone to the roman side. I have known before that Serarius the Jesuit was an instrument from cardinal Baronius to draw him to Rome.’
According to John Donne, Hugh Broughton was offered a stipend to avoid controversies with the Catholic church it, seems that he cooperated to some extent since he compelled his congregation to refrain from conflict with Rome, we read that: ‘He often urged them, saying, study your Bibles, labor for the edification of one another; be peaceable, but popery you have no reason to fear, it will never again overspread the land but keep your hands clean, and keep clear of the quarrel.’
To modern eye’s Broughton’s words are curious, especially when one considers this image of Rowan Williams the archbishop of Canterbury and religious head of the church of England bowing down to pope John Paul II and kissing his ring in 2003.
Or this image of Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair signing the constitution of the European Union beneath the gigantic statue of Pope Innocent the tenth. The agreement was signed on capitoline hill, which is one of the seven hills of Rome.
Could these things suggest that Rome’s counter-reformation continues even today? I believe that the counter-reformation continues to this day, yes, i think there are a number of indications of that, Britain is of course part of the European Union and the European Union although it’s based in Brussels is very definitely a Vatican project and is described as such by a researcher named Adrian Hilton in the book ‘The principality and power of Europe’ very definitely a Vatican counter, ongoing counter reformation tactic.
Just before leaving his office as prime minister Tony Blair had a private audience with Pope Benedict the 16th in july of 2007. This was a meeting the prime minister was unlikely to miss, his visit to the Vatican was to be his last foreign engagement, significant certainly to some Catholics and though today there was no mention of whether he might one day convert, there are plenty who think he will. Which perhaps explains the prime minister’s choice of gift, in the frame were photographs of cardinal John Henry Newman a former Anglican priest who did convert to Catholicism, in the 19th century he was a major figure in trying to bring the church of England back to its Catholic roots.
John Henry Newman is a very significant character in the history of England, Rome and the Bible, in a nutshell he is the perfect symbol of Rome’s counter-reformation. Newman began as one of the Protestant leaders of what was called the Oxford Movement in the middle of the 19th century.
The Oxford movement which began in 1833 was an attempt effectively to romanize the church of England and to get the church of England away from the scriptures and back to the ritualistic practices of Rome. Some believe that a parallel to the Oxford movement is the current Emerging church movement in America today.
In the Emerging church where people are being encouraged to go back and find the experiences of the past that brought people to church, where are they being led? To Roman Catholicism, to statues, idols, icons, incense, these various kinds of things, contemplative Christianity, going back and studying the monastic disciplines, none of this is in the Bible, the inerrant word of God is under attack by people who have ideas and beliefs that are unscriptural.
Such was the environment of 19th century England, John Henry Newman was one of the leading lights of the Oxford movement and caused many Anglicans to turn away from the church of England and convert to Roman Catholicism. Newman himself became a Catholic priest and was eventually made a cardinal. Two of his chief admirers were Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. It was these two men who developed a new Greek manuscript in the late 19th century. One that would radically change the world of biblical scholarship, but what was their real intention?
For over a hundred years debates have continued about their work and whether or not it was a deceptive effort. (English Revised Version, first bible to use Westcott & Hort Greek Text) This is not what they claim it to be, they claim it to be being the version set forth in a.d. 1611, it is not it, is an entirely new translation based on the new Greek text created by Westcott and Hort.
Considering that both men spoke favorably of the Oxford movement and greatly admired cardinal Newman, is it possible that Westcott and Hort were somehow a part of Rome’s counter-reformation? It is curious that their revised Greek text would be further developed by the Nestle Aland committee in the 20th century whose members included Carlo Maria Martini, a Jesuit priest who would also become a Roman Catholic cardinal. To more fully consider the significance of a Jesuit priest on a bible committee we look to the year 1825, shortly before the beginning of the Oxford movement and to a famous meeting of Jesuit leaders in the town of Chieri, Italy.
The meeting was recorded by a Jesuit initiate named Abbate Leone. In his book Leone records how the Jesuits spoke of: ‘The great work, namely, the raising up of the church, the salvation of the world, and the union of all sects and parties under the authority of him who as the representative of God himself on earth cannot but act in the interest of all, on condition, however, that all consent to obey him.’
As part of their plan for world domination Leone wrote that: ‘The Jesuits intended to take control of the Bible, in particular one Jesuit superior said: ‘Then the Bible, that serpent which, with head erect and eyes flashing, threatens us with its venom, shall be changed again into a rod, as soon as we are able to seize it, for you know but too well that for three centuries past, this cruel asp has left us no repose. You well know with what folds it entwines us, and with what fangs it gnaws us!’
And the main target is the crowning achievement of the Protestant reformation which is of course the ‘1611 Authorized King James Holy Bible’ that is the fruit of the Reformation that the Jesuits want to destroy above all because until they do that they cannot be sure of getting indeed the entire world and especially England back under the thrall of the popery.
Eighteen years after the Jesuit meeting in Chieri, a german scholar named Constantin von Tischendorf would travel to Rome for what he described as: ‘A prolonged audience with the pope.’ One year later Tischendorf arrived at saint Catherine’s monastery at the base of what is called mount Sinai in Egypt. Here he discovered a manuscript that he claimed was more ancient than any of those used by the Reformers, in time and after further visits to the monastery the manuscript he found would be named Codex Sinaiticus, oddly it had more corrections or changes in it than any other manuscript in biblical history. Tischendorf claimed there were some 14.800 corrections done in the manuscript, is that true? ‘It sounds about right’ ‘Codex Sinaiticus is the the most corrected manuscript of a Greek manuscript of the the scriptures.’
Years later after Tischendorf published the manuscript a copy would be presented to pope Pius 9th, the pope would send a letter in which he expressed his highest appreciation of the publication. About the same time a second manuscript emerged from the Vatican library named ‘Codex Vaticanus’ the Vatican book also said to be more ancient than the manuscripts used by the Reformers. Vaticanus has a very strange appearance, when you look at it as a manuscript expert, although you know that people tell you that it’s a is a fourth century manuscript, it actually looks like a 15th century manuscript and there’s one very simple reason for that, that is that almost the entire text has been overwritten by a 15th century scribe.
Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are the two Greek manuscripts that would be embraced in the 19th century as older and more reliable than the texts used by the Reformers. Westcott and Hort would combine them into what is now known as the critical Greek text that would be used for biblical translation throughout the 20th century.
According to the Vatican website cardinal Martini completed his studies in theology at the faculty of theology in Chieri, Italy. Where he was first ordained a priest in 1952. In 1967 with the help of a man named Eugene Nida, the United Bible Society entered into a: ‘UBS/Vatican agreement to undertake hundreds of interconfessional Bible translation projects worldwide, using functional equivalence principles.
The term functional equivalence is another way of saying, paraphrase. Many believers have expressed a concern over the progressive use of paraphrase in the newer Bibles. With each edition becoming farther and farther removed from the original languages, since the scripture says that: “Romans 10:17 ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” How do such changes impact the faith that was once delivered to the saints?
Luke 18 and verse 8 i believe it is:
Luke 18:8 ‘I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’
That word ‘faith’ which is ‘pistis’ is articular with an article, ‘the faith’. Will he find: ‘the faith’ on the earth? And every time in the Greek language of the new testament, whenever ‘the faith’ is mentioned, it means ‘the body of doctrine’ held by the churches, the doctrine of the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the blood atonement, the miracles, all these doctrines, the faith, so that is implied he will not find the faith, as it says in other portions of scripture: ‘2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ All these different signs of the last times.
In october of 2008 delegates from the American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict 16th with a special Polyglot Bible that bears the seals of the Vatican and the American Bible Society. The American Bible Society also publishes the ‘Contemporary English Version’ a newer Bible that has now completely removed the word antichrist from its translation. In its place they use the term ‘enemy of Christ’ which removes half the original meaning.
Anti has two meanings in Greek, anti means ‘instead of’ and also ‘against’. The antichrist is against the Lord Jesus Christ and he’s instead, in replacement of the Lord Jesus, and to have a a version like the CEV ‘Contemporary English Version’ that takes away antichrist and all these things it’s making provision for this man who calls himself God, as it says in second Thessalonians chapter 2:3-4, The man of sin who says he’s God and goes into the temple, maintains his deity, that’s antichrist.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
How these prophetic events will fully unfold, only time will tell, but the understanding of bible prophecy will surely be affected by how the words of God are translated. Some are even predicting that a New International Bible is being planned, one that will completely omit the book of Revelation. Through various Bible Societies the Vatican now influences biblical translation in hundreds of languages around the world. (Het Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap) the question that all christians should ask is after a thousand years of persecuting and killing the saints for reading the Holy scriptures, has Rome now turned over a new leaf?
Or is she simply pursuing new tactics to achieve an ancient agenda?
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.