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  • Pastor Paul Davis

“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”

“In 2011, during commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized Version of the Bible, the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C. stated that the Church of Rome had greatly contributed to its production as it was based on earlier translation work made by a ‘Roman Catholic priest’, William Tyndale. Most readers, acquainted with Reformation history and the origin of the English Bible, will view this claim with abject incredulity. However, there is a sad truth about many people today who claim to be Christians: they have very little knowledge of the Scriptures and know very little of the history of the Church.

“The Church of Rome has been and is constantly active in revising and rewriting history as well as in undermining the positions of Bible believers with their cunning reasoning. One of the claims which is often used by Roman Catholic apologists, particularly when they are unable to cope with the Bible disproving the teachings of their church, is that the Roman Catholic Church gave the Bible to the world. Before the Second Vatican Council, the Church of Rome was very much against the translation of the Bible in the vernacular and its distribution among the people.

“The work of Bible Societies throughout the 19th Century and early 20th Century, combined with the zeal of many missionaries, alarmed the Roman Catholic Church. Bibles became available in large quantities in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese and were being given to people who were under Rome's darkness. Large numbers of conversions followed and the Church of Rome was forced to respond.”

In 1824 Pope Leo XII, in addressing the Catholic bishops, expressed Rome’s long held attitude about the Bible, “You have noticed a society, commonly called the Bible society, boldly spreading throughout the whole world. Rejecting the traditions of the holy Fathers and infringing the well-known decree of the Council of Trent, it works by every means to have the holy Bible translated, or rather mistranslated, into the ordinary languages of every nation. There are good reasons for fear that (as has already happened in some of their commentaries and in other respects by a distorted interpretation of Christ’s gospel) they will produce a gospel of men, or what is worse, a gospel of the devil!”

Twenty years later, Pope Pius IX fulminated against the “portentous errors and deceits by which the sons of this world try most bitterly to attack the Catholic religion and the divine authority of the Church and its laws. They would even trample underfoot the rights both of the sacred and of the civil power … This is the goal too of the crafty Bible Societies which renew the old skill of the heretics and ceaselessly force on people of all kinds, even the uneducated, gifts of the Bible. They issue these in large numbers and at great cost, in vernacular translations, which infringe the holy rules of the Church. The commentaries which are included often contain perverse explanations; so, having rejected divine tradition, the doctrine of the Fathers and the authority of the Catholic Church, they all interpret the words of the Lord by their own private judgment, thereby perverting their meaning. As a result, they fall into the greatest errors. Gregory XVI of happy memory, Our superior predecessor, followed the lead of his own predecessors in rejecting these societies in his apostolic letters. It is Our will to condemn them likewise.”

Most people today find Rome’s violent history hard to believe. Presently she is conciliatory, not combative. Her shift in tactics began with Vatican II. By the mid-20th century the Roman Catholic Institution had lost much of its strength. Craving the power she formerly possessed, the ecumenical Second Vatican Council convened in the 1960s. Here she changed her attitude and approach to the world. Her policies were altered, not her doctrines. These she will never renounce. Heretics were now “separated brethren”. Rome remade her image, posturing as a lamb instead of a ravening, rampaging wolf.

The Vatican website explains, “The origin of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is closely linked with the Second Vatican Council. It was Pope John XXIII’s desire that the Catholic Church’s involvement in the ecumenical movement be one of the Council’s chief concerns. Thus, on 5 June 1960, he established a ‘Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity’ … This was the beginning of the Catholic Church’s formal commitment to the ecumenical movement ... Pope John Paul II changed the Secretariat into the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) ... The Council … is entrusted with the promotion, within the Catholic Church, of an authentic ecumenical spirit according to the conciliar decree Unitatis redintegratio ... the PCPCU was entrusted with promoting ecumenical collaboration for the translation and diffusion of Holy Scripture (Dei Verbum, n.22). In this context, it encouraged the formation of the Catholic Biblical Federation, with which it is in close contact. Together with the United Bible Societies it published the Guidelines for Interconfessional Cooperation in Translating the Bible.”

The United Bible Societies is the umbrella for most Bible societies in the world. Rome, by way of UBS has infiltrated these Bible societies. On its website, UBS boasts, “We are interconfessional: That means we serve and work with all churches of all traditions and denominations - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Emerging.” Interestingly, Catholic is listed first in the UBS denominations.

What must be understood, however, is that UBS and her affiliates translate the Scriptures from the Critical Text, not the Received Text of the King James Bible. The Critical Text is a corrupt set of manuscripts. Its lineage is a who’s who of heretics, Bible critics and apostasy: Origen, Eusebius, Wescott, Hort, Nestle, Aland, Metzger, Higher Criticism, Modernism, CCM and the ecumenical movement. The aforementioned persons all rejected the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible. Scripture warns of those who “corrupt the word of God” (II Cor. 2:17) and these men did just that. All modern Bibles are heavily influenced if not entirely translated from the Critical text. No great revival anywhere at any time has ever come from the Critical Text and the versions associated with it.

Conversely, the Received Text, from which came the King James Bible has a lineage of missionaries, martyrs and revival: the Waldenses, Tyndale, George Whitfield, The Great Awakening, Shubal Stearns, the Sandy Creek Revival, the great missionary movement and proliferation of Bible societies in the 18th century and most churches today seeking to maintain Biblical separation.

“Down through the centuries there were only two streams of manuscripts. The first stream which carried the Received Text in Hebrew and Greek, began with the apostolic churches, and reappearing at intervals down the Christian Era among enlightened believers, was protected by the wisdom and scholarship of the pure church in her different phases ... This first stream appears, with very little change … in English, in that Bible known as the King James Version, the one which has been in use for three hundred years in the English speaking world … The second stream is a small one of a very few manuscripts. These last manuscripts are represented … In many modern Bibles which introduce practically all the Catholic readings of the Latin Vulgate which were rejected by the Protestants of the Reformation; among these, prominently, are the Revised Versions. So the present controversy between the King James Bible in English and the modern versions is the same old contest fought out between the early church and rival sects; later between the Waldenses and the Papists from the fourth to the thirteenth centuries; and later still, between the Reformers and the Jesuits in the sixteenth century.”

Rome’s current modus operandi, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, has deceived the masses. Under the pretense of giving God’s Word to the world she has given them a counterfeit instead. Her cunning knows no rival. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Spiritual vigilance is absolutely essential for survival in these last days.

1 If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them: Rome’s Changing Approach to controlling the Bible, by the Protestant Alliance of Great Britain, edited by Dr. Paul M. Elliott,

2 Ubi Primum, Pope Leo XII, 1824.

3 Qui Pluribus, Pope Pius IX, 1846.

6 Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, Benjamin G. Wilkinson, 1930, pgs. 9-10.

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