..To ancient SDA's ............ To "What's New?"


Our Authorized Bible, 



Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Ph.D.

Dean of Theology, Washington Missionary College,

Takoma Park, D. C.

Published June 1930

Some of the paragraphs have been broken up to emphasise certain statements.
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The colouring and other emphasis have been added by us.  The Roman numerals have been replaced with the more common Arabic.

The footnotes in the original have been relocated to the end of the chapter.

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{Testimonies to Ministers 31.1-2}

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.

We are now a strong people, if we will put our trust in the Lord; for we are handling the mighty truths of the word of God. We have everything to be thankful for. If we walk in the light as it shines upon us from the living oracles of God, we shall have large responsibilities, corresponding to the great light given us of God. We have many duties to perform because we have been made the depositaries of sacred truth to be given to the world in all its beauty and glory. We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin. 




Fundamentally, Only Two Different Bibles

“There is the idea in the minds of some people that scholarship demands the laying aside of the Authorized Version of the Bible and taking up the latest Revised Version. This is an idea, however, without any proper basis. This Revised Version is in large part in line with what is known as modernism, and is peculiarly acceptable to those who think that any change, anywhere or in anything, is progress. Those who have really investigated the matter, and are in hearty sympathy with what is evangelical, realize that this Revised Version is a part of the movement to ‘modernize’ Christian thought and faith and do away with the established truth.”  The Herald and Presbyter (Presbyterian), July 16, 1924, p. 10.

In one of our prominent publications, there appeared in the winter of A.D. 1928, an article entitled, “Who Killed Goliath?” And in the spring of A.D. 1929, an article named, “The Dispute About Goliath.” Attention was called to the fact that in the American Revised Version, 2 Samuel 21:19, we read that Elhanan killed Goliath. A special cablegram from the “most learned and devout scholars” of the Church of England, said in substance, that the Revised Version was correct, that Elhanan and not David killed Goliath; that there were many other things in the Bible which were the product of exaggeration, such as the story of Noah and the ark, of Jonah and the whale, of the Garden of Eden, and of the longevity of Methuselah. The first article says that these modern views have been held and taught in practically all American theological seminaries of standing, and that young ministers being graduated from them, have rejected the old beliefs about these events whether the public knew it or not. (p2) This publication aroused a national interest and its office was “inundated,” as the editor says, with letters as to whether this Revised Version is correct or whether, as we have always believed, according to the Authorized Version, David killed Goliath.[1]

Is the American Revised Version correct on this point, or is the Bible, which has led the Protestant world for three hundred years, correct? Is the Revised Version correct in thousands of other changes made, or is the King James Version correct?

Back of this and other changes lie the motives and events which, in A.D. 1870, brought into existence the Committees which produced the Revised Versions both the English and the American. During the three hundred and fifty years following the Reformation, repeated attempts were made to set aside the Greek New Testament, called the Received Text, from which the New Testament of the King James in English and other Protestant Bibles in other languages were translated. Many individual efforts produced different Greek New Testaments. Likewise furious attacks were made upon the Old Testament in Hebrew, from which the King James and other Bibles had been translated. None of these assaults, however, met with any marked success until the Revision Committee was appointed by the southern half of the Church of England under the Archbishop of Canterbury although the same church in the northern half of England, under the Archbishop of York, refused to be a party to the project. This Revision Committee, besides the changes in the Old Testament, made over 5000 changes in the Received Text of the New Testament and so produced a new Greek New Testament. This permitted all the forces hostile to the Bible to gather themselves together and pour through the breach. Since then, the flood gates have been opened and we are now deluged with many different kinds of Greek New Testaments and with English Bibles translated from them, changed and mutilated in bewildering confusion.

(p3) Again, in the story of the dark hour when Jesus hung on the cross, the King James Bible declares that the darkness which was over the whole land from the sixth to the ninth hour was produced because the sun was darkened. This reason offers the Christian believer a testimony of the miraculous interposition of the Father in behalf of His son, similar to the darkness which afflicted Egypt in the plagues upon that nation.  In the New Testament, as translated by Moffatt and certain other modern Bibles, we are told that the darkness was caused by an eclipse of the sun.  Of course, a darkness caused by an eclipse of the sun is very ordinary; it is not a miracle. Moreover, Christ was crucified at the time of the Passover which always  occurred when the moon was full. At the time of a full moon, no eclipse of the sun is possible. Now which of these two records in Greek did God write: the miraculous, as recorded in the King James Bible and which we have believed for three hundred years; or the unnatural and impossible, as recorded in Moffatt’s translation? Moffatt and the Revisers both used the same manuscript.

Some of those who had part in these Revised and Modern Bibles were higher critics of the most pronounced type. At least one man sat on the Revision Committee of A.D. 1881 who had openly and in writing denied the divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. On this account, their chairman of high standing absented himself almost from the first.[2] Also, men sat on the Revision Committee who, openly and in a critical hour when their word was of weight, had defended the great movement to Romanize the Church of England.

It is too late to beguile us with soothing words that all versions and all translations are of equal value; that nowhere is doctrine affected. Doctrine is seriously affected. So wrote Dr. G.V. Smith, a member of the English New Testament Revision Committee:

(p4) “Since the publication of the revised New Testament, it has been frequently said that the changes of translation which the work contains are of little importance from a doctrinal point of view . . . . To the writer, any such statement appears to be in the most substantial sense contrary to the facts of the case.”[3]

Life is bigger than logic. When it comes to the philosophy of life, scholarship and science are not the all which counts. It is as true to‑day as in the days of Christ, that “the common people heard him gladly.” If it be a question of physics, of chemistry, of mathematics, or of mechanics, there, scientists can speak with authority. But when it is a question of revelation, of spirituality, or of morality, the common people are as competent judges as are the product of the schools. And in great crises, history has frequently shown that they were safer.

Experience also determines issues. There are those among us now who would change the Constitution of the United States, saying: “Have we not men today who have as great intellect as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the others? Have we not much more light than they? Why must we be tied to what they taught?” We will not deny that there are men now living as brilliant as the founding fathers. But no men to‑day ever went through the same experience as the framers of the Constitution. Those pioneers were yet witnesses of the vicious principles of the Dark Ages and their cruel results. They were called upon to suffer, to endure, to fight, that principles of a different nature might be established. Experience, not reading or philosophizing, had thoroughly wrought in them the glorious ideals incorporated into the fundamental document of the land.

Experience can throw some light also upon the relative value of Bible Versions. (p5) The King James Bible was translated when England was fighting her way out from Catholicism to Protestantism; whereas, the Revised Version was born after fifty years (A.D. 1833‑1883) of terrific Romanizing campaigns, when one convulsion after another rocked the mental defenses of England and broke down the ascendency of the Protestant mentality in that empire. The King James Version was born of the Reformation; the Revised Versions and some modern Bibles were born of Higher Criticism and Romanizing activities, as this treatise will show.

We hear a great deal to‑day about the Sunday Law of the Roman Emperor Constantine, A.D. 321. Why is it that we do not hear about the corrupt Bible which Constantine adopted and promulgated, the version which for 1800 years has been exploited by the forces of heresy and apostasy? This Bible, we regret to say, lies at the bottom of many versions which now flood the publishing houses, the schools, the churches, yes, many homes, and are bringing confusion and doubt to untold millions.

Down through the centuries, the pure Bible, the living Word of God, has often faced the descendants of this corrupt Version, robed in splendor and seated on the throne of power. It has been a battle and a march, a battle and a march. God’s Holy Word has always won; to its victories we owe the very existence of Christian civilization and all the happiness we now have and hope for in eternity. And now, once again, in these last days, the battle is being renewed, the affections and the control of the minds of men are being contended for by these two rival claimants.

Devotion to error can never produce true righteousness. Out of the present confusion of Bibles, I propose to trace the situation back to its origin, that our hearts may be full of praise and gratitude to God for the marvelous manner in which He has given to us and preserved for us the Holy Scriptures.


For the present, the problem revolves mostly around the thousands of different readings in the Greek New Testament manuscripts. (p6) By the time of Christ, the Old Testament was in a settled condition. Since then, the Hebrew Scriptures had been carried down intact to the day of printing (about A.D. 1450) by the unrivalled methods of the Jews in transmitting perfect Hebrew manuscripts. Whatever perplexing problems there are in connection with the Old Testament, these have largely been produced by translating it into Greek and uniting that translation to the Greek New Testament. It is around the problems of the Greek New Testament that the battle for centuries has been fought. We must, therefore, confine ourselves largely to the Christian Era; for the experience which befell the New Testament and the controversies that raged around it, also befell the Old Testament. Moreover, the Revisers, themselves, would have no one think for an instant that they used any other manuscripts in revising the Old Testament than the Massoretic text, the only reliable Hebrew Bible. Dr. Ellicott, chairman of the English New Testament Committee, repeatedly recommends the story of the Old Testament Revision by Dr. Chambers. Dr. Chambers says:

“The more sober critics with one consent hold fast the Massoretic text. This has been the rule with the authors of the present revision. Their work is based throughout upon the traditional Hebrew. In difficult or doubtful places, where some corruption seems to have crept in or some accident to have befallen the manuscript, the testimony of the early versions is given in the margin, but never incorporated with the text.”[4]


Inspired by the unerring Spirit of God, chosen men brought forth the different books of the New Testament, these originally being written in Greek. For a few years, under the guidance of the noble apostles, believers in Christ were privileged to have the unadulterated Word of God.

(p7) But soon the scene changed; the fury of Satan, robbed of further opportunity to harass the Son of God, turned upon the written Word. Heretical sects, warring for supremacy, corrupted the manuscripts in order to further their ends. “Epiphanius, in his polemic treatise the ‘Panarion,’ describes not less than eighty heretical parties.”[5]  The Roman Catholics won. The true church fled into the wilderness, taking pure manuscripts with her. 

When the apostle Paul foretold the coming of the great apostasy in his sermon and later in his epistle to the Thessalonians, he declared that there would “come a falling away,” 2 Thess. 2:3; and then he added that the “mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thess. 2:7. 

Later when he had gathered together, on his journey to Jerusalem, the bishops, those who were over the church of Ephesus, he said, “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Acts 20:30, 31.

Though there are many important events in the life of the great apostle which have been left unrecorded, the Holy Spirit deemed it of high importance to put on record this prophecy, to warn us that even from among the elders or bishops there would arise perverse leadership. This prophecy would be fulfilled, was fulfilled. Until we sense the importance of this great prediction of the Holy Spirit and come to recognize its colossal fulfillment, the Bible must in many things remain a sealed book.

When Paul was warned of the coming apostasy, he aroused the Thessalonians not to be soon shaken or troubled in spirit “by letter as from us.” 2 Thess. 2:2. It would have been bold at any time to write a letter to a church and sign to it the apostle’s name. (p8) But how daring must have been that iniquity which would commit that forgery even while the apostle was yet alive! Even in Paul’s day, the apostasy was built on lawless acts.

Later in his labors, Paul specifically pointed out three ways in which the apostasy was working;

1, by exalting man’s knowledge above the Bible;

2, by spiritualizing the Scriptures away; and lastly,

3, by substituting philosophy for revelation.

1 False Knowledge Exalted Above Scripture

Of the first of these dangers we read as follows: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” 1 Tim. 6:20.

The Greek word in this verse which is translated science is “gnosis.” “Gnosis” means knowledge. The apostle condemned, not knowledge in general, but false knowledge. False teachers were placing their own interpretations on Christian truth by reading into it human ideas. This tendency grew and increased until a great system bearing the name of Christianity, known as Gnosticism, was established. To show that this religion was not a theory without an organization among men, but that it had communities and was widespread, I quote from Milman:

“The later Gnostics were bolder, but more consistent innovators on the simple scheme of Christianity . . . . In all the great cities of the East in which Christianity had established its most flourishing communities, sprang up this rival which aspired to a still higher degree of knowledge than was revealed in the Gospel, and boasted that it soared almost as much above the vulgar [grassroots] Christianity as the vulgar paganism.”[6]

The mysterious theories of these Gnostics have reappeared in the works of theologians of our day. The following words from the Americana, will prove the tendency of this doctrine to break out in our times. (p9) Note the place of  ĉons” [long periods of time] in their system:

“There have been no Gnostic sects since the fifth century; but many of the principles of their system of ema­nations reappear in latter philosophical systems, drawn from the same sources as theirs. Plato’s lively representation had given to the idea of the Godhead, something substantial, which the Gnostics transferred to their ĉons.”[7]

In fact, the ĉons system has found a treatment in the Revised Version. Bishop Westcott who was one of the dominating minds of the English New Testament Revision Committee advocates that the Revised New Testament be read in the light of the modern aeon theories of the Revisers. He comments thus on the revised reading of Eph. 3:21:

“Some perhaps are even led to pause on the wonderful phrase in Eph. 3:21, margin, ‘for all the generations of the age of the ages,’ which is represented in English (A.V.) by ‘to all generations forever and ever;’ and to reflect on the vision so open of a vast aeon of the which the elements are ĉons unfolding, as it were, stage after stage, the manifold powers of one life fulfilled in many ways, each aeon the child (so to speak) of that which has gone before.”[8]

J.H. Newman, the Oxford divine, who was made a Cardinal after he had left the Church of England for the Church of Rome, and whose doctrines, in whole or in part, were adopted by the majority of the Revisers, did more to influence the religion of the British Empire than any other man since the Reformation. He was invited to sit on the Revision Committee. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman speaks thus, referring to his Gnosticism:

(p10) “From the fathers, Newman also derived a speculative angelology which described the unseen universe as inhabited by hosts of intermediate beings who were spiritual agents between God and creation . . . . Indeed, Newman’s cosmogony was essentially Gnostic, and echoed the teachings of Cerinthus, who is best entitled to be considered as the link between the Judaizing and Gnostic sects.”[9]

The following quotation from a magazine of authority gives a description of this modern species of Gnosticism which shows its Romanizing tendency. It also reveals how Bishop Westcott could hold this philosophy, while it names Dr. Philip Schaff, President of both American Committees of Revision, as even more an apostle of this modern Gnosticism:

“The roads which lead to Rome are very numerous. . . . Another road, less frequented and less obvious, but not less dangerous, is the philosophical. There is a strong affinity between the speculative system of development, according to which every thing that is, is true and rational, and the Romish idea of a self‑evolving infallible church . . . . No one can read the exhibitions of the Church and of theology written even by Protestants under the influence of the speculative philosophy, without seeing that little more than a change of terminology is required to turn such philosophy into Romanism. Many distinguished men have already in Germany passed, by this bridge, from philosophical skepticism to the Romish Church. A distinct class of the Romanizing portion of the Church of England belongs to this philosophical category. Dr. Nevin had entered this path long before Dr. Schaff came from Germany to point it out to him.”[10]

2 Spiritualizing the Scriptures Away

The next outstanding phase of the coming apostasy, – spiritualizing the Scriptures away, – is predicted by the apostle:

“But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” 2 Tim. 2:16‑18.

(p11) The Bible teaches the resurrection as a future event. One way these prominent teachers, full of vanity, could say that it was past, was to teach, as some of their descendants do to-day, that the resurrection is a spiritual process which takes place, say, at conversion. The prediction of the apostle was fulfilled in a great system of Bible spiritualizing or mystifying which subverted the primitive faith. Turning the Scriptures into an allegory was a passion in those days. In our day, allegorizing is not only a passion, but is also a refuge from truth for many leaders with whom we have to do.

3 Substituting Philosophy for Scripture

The third way in which the apostasy came, was predicted by the apostle thus:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Col. 2:8.

The philosophy condemned in this passage is not the philosophy found in the sacred Word, but the philosophy which is “after the tradition of men.” Even before the days of Christ, the very existence of the Jewish religion was threatened by intellectual leaders of the Jews who were carried away with the subtleties and glamour of pagan philosophy. This same temptress quickly ensnared multitudes who bore the name of Christian.

“Greek philosophy exercised the greatest influence not only on the Christian mode of thought, but also through that on the institutions of the Church. In the completed church we find again the philosophic schools.”[11]

The greatest enemies of the infant Christian church, therefore, were not found in the triumphant heathenism which filled the world, but in the rising flood of heresy which, under the name of Christianity, engulfed the truth for many years. (p12) This is what brought on the Dark Ages. This rising flood, as we shall see, had multiplied in abundance copies of the Scriptures with bewildering changes in verses and passages within one hundred years after the death of John (A.D. 100). As Irenĉus said concerning Marcion, the Gnostic:

“Wherefore also Marcion and his followers have betaken themselves to mutilating the Scriptures, not acknowledging some books at all; and, curtailing the Gospel according to Luke, and the epistles of Paul, they assert that these alone are authentic, which they have themselves shortened.”[12]


Anyone who is interested enough to read the vast volume of literature on this subject, will agree that 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; by such as the church at Pella in Palestine where Christians fled, when in A.D. 70 the Romans destroyed Jerusalem;[13] by the Syrian Church of Antioch which produced eminent scholarship; by the Italic Church in northern Italy; and also at the same time by the Gallic Church in southern France and by the Celtic Church in Great Britain; by the pre-Waldensian, the Waldensian, and the churches of the Reformation. This first stream appears, with very little change, in the Protestant Bibles of many languages, and 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. (p13) These Manuscripts have in agreement with them, by far the vast majority of numbers. So vast is this majority that even the enemies of the Received Text admit that nineteen‑twentieths and some ninety‑nine one‑hundredths of all Greek Manuscripts are of this class; while one hundred per cent of the Hebrew Manuscripts are for the Received Text.

The second stream is a small one of a very few manuscripts. These last Manuscripts are represented:

(a) In Greek: The Vatican Manuscript, or Codex B, in the library at Rome; and the Sinaitic, or Codex Aleph (à) its brother. We will fully explain about these two Manuscripts later.

(b) In Latin: The Vulgate or Latin Bible of Jerome.

(c) In English: The Jesuit Bible of A.D. 1582, which later with vast changes is seen in the Douay, or Catholic Bible.

(d) In English again:‑ 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.


In his later years, the apostle Paul spent more time in preparing the churches for the great future apostasy than in pushing the work farther on. He foresaw that this apostasy would arise in the west [Europe]. Therefore, he spent years laboring to anchor the Gentile churches of Europe to the churches of Judea. (p14) The Jewish Christians had back of them 1500 years of training. Throughout the centuries God had so molded the Jewish mind that it grasped the idea of sin; of an invisible Godhead; of man’s serious condition; of the need for a divine Redeemer. But throughout these same centuries, the Gentile world had sunk lower and lower in frivolity, heathenism, and debauchery. It is worthy of notice that the apostle Paul wrote practically all of his epistles to the Gentile churches,  to Corinth, to Rome, to Philippi, etc. He wrote almost no letters to the Jewish Christians. Therefore, the great burden of his closing days was to anchor the Gentile churches of Europe to the Christian churches of Judea. In fact, it was to secure this end that he lost his life.

“St. Paul did his best to maintain his friendship and alliance with the Jerusalem Church. To put himself right with them, he traveled up to Jerusalem, when fresh fields and splendid prospects were opening up for him in the West. For this purpose he submitted to several days restraint and attendance in the Temple, and the results vindicated his determination.”[14]

This is how Paul used churches in Judea as a base, – “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews.” 1 Thess. 2:14.

“There is not a word here of the church of Rome being the model after which the other churches were to be formed; it had no such preëminence: – this honor belonged to the churches of Judea; it was according to them, not the church at Rome, that the Asiatic churches were modeled. The purest of all the apostolic churches was that of the Thessalonians, and this was formed after the Christian churches in Judea. Had any preëminence or authority belonged to the church of Rome, the apostle would have proposed this as a model to all those which he formed, either in Judea, Asia Minor, Greece, or Italy."[15]


The last of the apostles to pass away was John. His death is usually placed about A.D. 100. In his closing days, he coöperated in the collecting and forming of those writings we call the New Testament.[16] An ordinary careful reading of Acts, Chapter 15, will prove the scrupulous care with which the early church guarded her sacred writings. And so well did God’s true people through the ages agree on what was Scripture and what was not, that no general council of the church, until that of Trent (A.D. 1645) dominated by the Jesuits, dared to say anything as to what books should comprise the Bible or what texts were or were not spurious.[17]

While John lived, heresy could make no serious headway. He had hardly passed away, however, before perverse teachers infested the Christian Church. The doom of heathenism, as a controlling force before the superior truths of Christianity, was soon foreseen by all. These years were times which saw the New Testament books corrupted in abundance.

Eusebius is witness to this fact. He also relates that the corrupted manuscripts were so prevalent that agreement between the copies was hopeless; and that those who were corrupting the Scriptures, claimed that they really were correcting them.[18]

When the warring sects had been consolidated under the iron hand of Constantine, this heretical potentate adopted the Bible which combined the contradictory versions into one, and so blended the various corruptions with the bulk of pure teachings as to give sanction to the great apostasy now seated on the throne of power.

(p16) Beginning shortly after the death of the apostle John, four names stand out in prominence whose teachings contributed both to the victorious heresy and to the final issuing of manuscripts of a corrupt New Testament. These names are,

1, Justin Martyr,

2, Tatian,

3, Clement of Alexandria, and

4, Origen.

We shall speak first of Justin Martyr.

The year in which the apostle John died, A.D. 100, is given as the date in which Justin Martyr was born. Justin, originally a pagan and of pagan parentage, afterward embraced Christianity and although he is said to have died at heathen hands for his religion, nevertheless, his teachings were of a heretical nature. Even as a Christian teacher, he continued to wear the robes of a pagan philosopher.

In the teachings of Justin Martyr, we begin to see how muddy the stream of pure Christian doctrine was running among the heretical sects fifty years after the death of the apostle John.

It was in Tatian, Justin Martyr’s pupil, that these regrettable doctrines were carried to alarming lengths, and by his hand committed to writing. After the death of Justin Martyr in Rome, Tatian returned to Palestine and embraced the Gnostic heresy. This same Tatian wrote a Harmony of the Gospels which was called the Diatessaron, meaning four in one. The Gospels were so notoriously corrupted by his hand that in later years a bishop of Syria, because of the errors, was obliged to throw out of his churches no less than two hundred copies of this Diatessaron, since church members were mistaking it for the true Gospel.[19]

We come now to Tatian’s pupil known as Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 200.[20] He went much farther than Tatian in that he founded a school at Alexandria which instituted propaganda along these heretical lines. Clement expressly tells us that he would not hand down Christian teachings, pure and unmixed, but rather clothed with precepts of pagan philosophy. (p17) All the writings of the outstanding heretical teachers were possessed by Clement, and he freely quoted from their corrupted Manuscripts as if they were the pure words of Scripture.[21] His influence in the depravation of Christianity was tremendous. But his greatest contribution, undoubtedly, was the direction given to the studies and activities of Origen, his famous pupil.

 When we come to Origen, we speak the name of him who did the most of all to create and give direction to the forces of apostasy down through the centuries. It was he who mightily influenced Jerome, the editor of the Latin Bible known as the Vulgate. Eusebius worshiped at the altar of Origen’s teachings. He claims to have collected eight hundred of Origen’s letters, to have used Origen’s six‑column Bible, the Hexapla, in his Biblical labors. Assisted by Pamphilus, he restored and preserved Origen’s library. Origen’s corrupted Manuscripts of the Scriptures were well arranged and balanced with subtlety. The last one hundred years have seen much of the so‑called scholarship of European and English Christianity dominated by the subtle and powerful influence of Origen.

Origen had so surrendered himself to the furore of turning all Bible events into allegories that he, himself, says, “The Scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they are written.”[22] In order to estimate Origen rightly, we must remember that as a pupil of Clement, he learned the teachings of the Gnostic heresy and like his master, lightly esteemed the historical basis of the Bible. As Schaff says, “His predilection [liking] for Plato (the pagan philosopher) led him into many grand and fascinating errors.”[23] He made himself acquainted with the various heresies and studied under the heathen Ammonius Saccas, founder of Neo‑Platonism.

(p18) He taught that the soul existed from eternity before it inhabited the body, and that after death, it migrated to a higher or a lower form of life according to the deeds done in the body; and finally all would return to the state of pure intelligence, only to begin again the same cycles as before. He believed that the devils would be saved, and that the stars and planets had souls, and were, like men, on trial to learn perfection. In fact, he turned the whole law and Gospel into an allegory.

Such was the man who from his day to this has dominated the endeavors of destructive textual critics. One of the greatest results of his life, was that his teachings became the foundation of that system of education called Scholasticism, which guided the colleges of Latin Europe for nearly one thousand years during the Dark Ages.

Origenism flooded the Catholic Church through Jerome, the father of Latin Christianity. “I love . . . . the name of Origen,” says the most distinguished theologian of the Roman Catholic Church since A.D. 1850, “I will not listen to the notion that so great a soul was lost.”[24]

A final word from the learned Scrivener will indicate how early and how deep were the corruptions of the sacred manuscripts:

“It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a hundred years after it was composed; that Irenĉus (A.D. 150), and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church, used far inferior manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or Stephens thirteen centuries later, when moulding the Textus Receptus.”[25]

The basis was laid to oppose a mutilated Bible to the true one. How these corruptions found their way down the centuries and reappear in our revised and modern Bibles, the following pages will tell.


On to chapter two

To the story of the church in the wilderness

(This explains what happened to the true Sabbath-keeping church during 538 – 1798AD.)

[1]  The Literary Digest, Dec. 29, 1928; Mar. 9, 1929.

Click on the footnote number to return to the text

 [2]   Samuel Hemphill, A History of the Revised Version, pp. 36, 37.

 [3]  Dr. G. Vance Smith, Texts and Margins of the Revised N. T., p. 45.

 [4]   Dr. Chambers, Companion to the Revised O.T., p. 74.

     Dr. Chambers was a member of the American O. T. Revision Committee.

 [5]  G.P. Fisher, History of Christian Doctrine, p. 19.

 [6]  History of Christianity, Vol. II, p. 107.

 [7]  Americana (1914 ), Art., “Gnostics.” 

 [8]  Bishop Westcott, Some Lessons of the R. V., pp. 186. 187.

 [9]   S. Parkes Cadman, Three Religious Leaders of Oxford, pp. 481, 482.

 [10]  Princeton Review, Jan., 1854, pp. 152, 153.

 [11]  Harnack, History of Dogma, Vol. I., p. 128.

 [12]  Ante‑Nicene Fathers (Scribner’s) Vol. I, pp. 434, 435.

 [13]  G.T. Stokes, Acts of the Apostles, Vol. II, p. 459.

 [14]  G.T. Stokes, The Acts of the Apostles, Vol. II, p. 459.

 [15]  Dr. Adam Clarke, Commentary on N. T., Vol. II, p. 544.

 [16]  Eusebius, Eccles. History, Book III, Chap. 24.

 [17]  Dean Stanley, Essays on Church and State, p. 136.

 [18]  Eusebius, Eccles. History, Book V., Chap. 28.

 [19]  Encyclopedias, “Tatian.”

 [20]  J. Hamlyn Hill, The Diatessaron of Tatian, p. 9.

 [21]  Dean Burgon, The Revision Revised, p. 336.

 [22]  McClintock and Strong, Art. “Origen.”

 [23]  Dr. Schaff, Church History, Vol. II, p. 791.

 [24]  Dr. Newman, Apologia pro vita sua, Chapter VII, p. 282.

 [25]  Scrivener, Introduction to N. T. Criticism, 3rd Edition, p. 511.




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