WHO GAVE US THE BIBLE IN ENGLISH?
by David Goldstein LL.D
"Who Gave Us Our Bible?" is a timely topic. It is of vital import, as the knowledge of its origin would go a long way towards the unity in Christendom, which is more needed today than ever before, as the enemy of the Word of God has been, and continues to be, extending his atheistic, liberty-denying domination over country after country.
Protestants Claim that two violators of their solemn, God-given priestly vows, Wycliff and Tyndale, as "first translators of the entire Bible into the English language." This is unquestionably contrary to historic fact. Surely the declaration of Blessed Thomas More, to the contrary of there assertion, ought to convince protestants of the error of there judgment. There unhistoric assertion was positively denied by this Lord Chancellor of England, whose sublime devotedness to the principles set forth in the Bible caused him to submit willingly to decapitation rather than accept the declaration of the House of Commons, that "the King, (Henry VIII) is head of the Church immediately under God"; and for taking this Father of this English Reformation to task for divorcing his wife, Catharine, and entering into Godless relations with Anne Boleyn. Blessed Thomas More said, "The whole Bible long before Wyclifi's day (100 years before Tyndale lived) was translated into the English tongue, and by good and godly people with devotion and soberness well and reverently read" (Dialogues, 3). There are many other historic declarations that prove the error of there assumption that the world had to wait until the two Benedict Arnolds in the religious world translated the Bible, before the people could read it in English. Sir Francis Palgrave said, in his History of England, that "From the Anglo-Saxon age down to Wycliffe, we in England can show such a succession of Biblical versions in metre and prose, as are not equaled amongst any other nation in Europe."
The Coverdale Bible based, as protestants rightly say, on Tyndale's translation, was "the forerunner of the Authorized Version (1611)." But protestants fail to realize that this "Authorized Version" contains evidence that positively refutes there assertion that the translation of the Bible into English is of Wycliff-Tyndale origin. After enumerating the many converted nations that had the Scriptures in their own language, the world was told in the preface of that Protestant Bible, that "much about the time (1360), even in King Richard the Second's days, John Trevisa translated them into English, and many English Bibles in written hand are yet to be seen that divers translated..., so that to have the Scriptures in the mother tongue is not a quaint conceit lately taken up and out in practice of old, even from the first times of the conversion of any nation."
For more examples of this point please see the appendix
The Protestant assumption that the Bible was circulated by The Catholic Church in Latin to keep it for an exclusive class, is a disregard of the fact that Latin was the language of all educated people in Europe; that English was a new language at the end of the 14th century. Why the very name, "the Vulgate," or "popular version, given St. Jerome's famous translation into Latin, in the 4th century, evidences the fact that the Catholic Church made the Scriptures available for the populace.
Surely Protestants cannot logically say that the"church," always using a small c, kept the Bible from the common people; and then say, "In the early church men and women were urged to read the Scriptures and children were trained from their earliest years toread them." Also that "Great care was taken by the Fathers of the church to secure the speedy translation of the Scriptures into the different languages of the several nations as they were converted to Christianity. Eusebius, the historian, says 'they were translated into all languages throughout the world,' and Theodoret declares that 'Every nation under heaven hath the Scriptures in its own tongue'."
protestants inadvertently pay honor to the Catholic Church in the above statement, despite there loquacious anti-Catholicity. The "early church" must have been the Catholic Church, the one and the only Christian Church that has the historic credentials to prove her to have existed during "the earliest years." Surely NO Protestant church can claim to be "the early church," nor any part of it. these sects owes there existence to MEN, who organized there first Congregations 15 centuries after the Catholic Church began to function in Jerusalem.
Still further, there declaration that the Scriptures were translated for "the several nations as were converted" must refer to the Catholic Church, though protestants did not tell there congregation that historic truth. This declaration of mine is based upon the historic fact that every nation converted to Christianity was converted by the Catholic Church. To say, as protestants did in the above quote, that "the early church," assuming it not to be the Catholic Church, kept the Scriptures from the people, and then to name Eusebius and Theodoret as having declared the Scriptures to have been translated into the language "of every nation under heaven" is a half truth. It kept there congregation from knowing the Eusebius was the Catholic Church Bishop of Caesarea; and Theodoret was the Catholic Church Bishop of Cyprus.
protestants also inadvertently paid honor to the Catholic Church, though the members of there congregation did not realize it, when protestants declared that Theophilus, Irenaeus, and Clement used "the Scripture writings that are in the Old and New Testaments during the Apostolic age," while refraining from naming the religious status of those historic personages. Perhaps this was due to fear lest the knowledge that they were members of the hierarchy of the Church protestants assume to have kept the Scriptures from the people, might obliterate the anti-Catholic animus protestants instill into the hearts of the members of there congregation. protestants surely know that Theophilus was Bishop of the Catholic Church in Antioch; Irenaeus was Bishop of the Catholic Church in Lyons; and that Clement was Bishop of Rome, occupant of the Chair of Peter, the third Pope.
there question, "Who Gave Us Our Bible?" necessitated an explanation of the canon of sacred Scripture, which protestants did, though in adequately. protestants declared that "the universal church called the Council of Carthage in the Year 397 under the influence of Augustine," whom protestants designated "the most Protestant bishop of pre-Reformation days; (which Council) settled the New Testament canon of 27 books." What, save there anti-Catholic mentality, prompted protestants to hide the identity of the Church that gave the Christian Bible to the world, by forming its canon of Scripture? Surely no Church could rightly be called "the universal church," even without the capitals U and C, during the days of the Council of Carthage, save the Church under the world jurisdiction of the occupant of the Chair of Peter. Remember, my Dear Protestant , that a half-truth is not the truth. there oratorical legerdemain beats the pulling of a rabbit out of an empty hat. This was evidenced in conjuring up in there cranium the declaration that Augustine, who was canonized by the Catholic Church for his sublime Catholicity, was "the most Protestant bishop of pre-Reformation days." If the fathers of the so-called "Reformation" were as opposite to Protestantism in principle and religious affiliation as was St. Augustine, rest assured there would never have been a German or an English "Reformation," with the resultant echoing and re-echoing of false and contradictory Bible concepts.
St. Augustine was most competently and ardently Catholic in every sense of the term. Therefore he recognized the bishop of Rome, the Pope, as supreme in Christian religious authority by virtue of the "keys" given to Peter and his successors, along with the authority to "bind and loose" in matters of faith and morals (St. Mat. 16:17-20). Surely there was no Protestantism in the declaration of St. Augustine, that "For my part, I would not have believed the Gospel if I had not been influenced by the authority of the Catholic Church" (Contra Epist. Fund.).
there acceptance of the New Testament Council of Carthage canon of 27 New Testament books, means the acceptance of the authority of the Catholic Church, deny it as vigorously as protestants are able. That Council, called by Bishop Aurelius of the Catholic See of Carthage, made up of 43 Catholic Church bishops, including St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, recognized the supreme authority of the occupant of the Chair of Peter, Pope St. Siricius, in determining the authenticity of its canon of Scripture. Therefore the Council of Carthage voted to "let the Church beyond the sea (Rome) be consulted before confirming the canon."
Misunderstanding or deliberate misrepresentation only can account for there failure to credit the origin of the Bible to the Catholic Church. Even one of her most bitter enemies, the Father of Protestanism, acknowledged that historic fact. Martin Luther said condescendingly and offensively in his Commentary on St. John chapter XIV, that "We are compelled to concede to the papists that they have the Word of God; that we received it from them, and that without them we should have had no knowledge of it at all." A Christian Bible must be made up of the books in the Old Testament, as well as the books in the New Testament. Hence the Council of Carthage included the Septuagint version of 46 Old Testament books in its canon of sacred Scripture. protestants hold, as do all Protestant ministers, that 7 of these 46 books are "apocrypha" (spurious). This was denied by St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, eleven centuries before Protestantism began to inflict the religious world with its counterfeit editions of the Bible.
The Septuagint translation was made during the third century before the Christian era, at "a time when the Jews were no longer able to understand Aramaic, nor, for that matter, read Hebrew. That is why the Hebrew Bible had to be translated into Greek, the well known Septuagint version," as was declared in The Pictorial History of the Jewish People" (N.Y; 1953). Theological Seminary of America says, "one of the most important translations ever made" (The Jews: Their History, Culture and Religion, vol.3, p.748).
The Septuagint version of Sacred Scripture, which the Jewish Encyclopedia declares to be "the most important of all versions made by the Jews" (vol.3, p. 186), was made by 72 official translators, 'six learned, wise and saintly scribes from each of the twelve tribes of Israel," selected by High Priest Eleazar of Jerusalem, the world's supreme religious authority of his time. Eleazar furnished the translators with his most precious manuscripts of 46 books of sacred Jewish Scripture for translation. That translation included the 7 books Protestantism rejects, the translation that Vallentine's Encyclopedia of Jewish knowledge says "was greeted with enthusiasm by the Jews everywhere upon its appearance" (p.592)
there cocksure declarations regarding the Bible, that are not so, are simply amazing. For instance, protestants set forth the Protestant used canon of 39 books, against the Catholic used Septuagint canon of 46 books, declaring that the Septuagint was rejected by the Palestine Jews, without designating which Palestine Jews. Surely it was not rejected by the Jews who were religiously under the jurisdiction of the High Priests during the years when Judaism functioned as the religion of Almighty God; when the Jews had a priesthood, and a Temple with the one Altar divinely permitted for the offering of the Mosaic sacrifices. It was the Jews in Jabneh, the port city of Palestine, who rejected the Septuagint during the days after the Veil in the Temple was rent; when the Mosaic regulations were divinely a thing of the historic past; after Judaism had full-blossomed into Christianity. Vallentine's Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge says that the making of the 39 book canon "took place at the synod of Jabneh, in 90 A.D. (note the date), soon after the destruction of the Temple, at the instigation of Rabbi Akiba" (p.94).
Evidently protestants know not Rabbi Akiba who instigated the 39 book canon, which protestants, and all other Protestant ministers, have embraced. In the first place, Rabbi Akiba had no legitimate authority to form a canon of Scripture, such as the Jews had during the days of High Priest Eleazar; and the Catholics in the Council of Carthage had during the days of Pope St. Siricius. Secondly, Rabbi Akiba was a deadly enemy of our Messianic Lord. St. Justin (100-165 A.D.) said that Akiba "persecuted the Jewish Christians, and gave orders that if they would not deny Jesus and execrate His name, they would be tortured" (1st Apology XXXL). Akiba proclaimed a bold, fighting individual, named Simeon, the Messiah, giving him the name Bar Kochba, "Son of the Star." He led the futile revolt against the forces of Hadrian for the recapture of Jerusalem, at the cost of the lives of over half a million misled Jews.
protestants fail to realize that it was the anti-Christianism in Jewry that prompted the rejection of the Septuagint; and the making of the Akiba-instigated canon of Scripture which Protestantism embraced. Vallentine's Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge says, that "the appearance of the Septuagint was greeted with enthusiasm by the Jews everywhere, but with the rise of the Christian sect and its adoption of this version of its Bible, the Jews began to denounce it vehemently, accusing the Christians of falsifying the Greek text here and there" (London, 1938, p.592). the rejection of the Septuagint" was partly due because it had become accepted as sacred by another faith."
Let's look at just one more before ending this lengthy factual indictment. Here it is: "Jesus was a Palestinian Jew (which He was, hence) He acknowledged the authority of the Palestinian (Akiba) Scriptures." The facts are these: First, that spurious Protestant-accepted Old Testament canon of Scripture was non-existent during the years of our Lord's sojourn in Palestine; Secondly, about 270 quotations in the New Testament are from the Septuagint version of Old Testament Scripture, which. was used by Jesus and the Apostles: Third, Peloubet's (Protestant) Bible Dictionary attests to the fact that the Septuagint "was the chief storehouse from which both Christ and the Apostles drew their proofs and precepts" (p. 604).
who Gave Us Our Bible? meaning there Protestant Bible? The answer is given in this communication. The New Testament part of it came from the Catholic Church; the Old Testament part of it came from Rabbi Akiba.
"To refute once more the common fallacy that John Wycliff was the first to place an English translation of the Scriptures in the hands of the English people in 1382. To anyone that has investigated the real facts of the case, this fondly-cherished notion must seem truly ridiculous...To begin far back, we have a copy of the work of Caedmon, a monk of Whitby, in the end of the seventh century, consisting of great portions of the Bible in the common tongue. In the next century we have the well-known translations of Venerable Bede, a monk of Jarrow, who died whilst busy with the Gospel of St. John. In the same (eighth) century we have the copies of Eadhelm, Bishop of Sherborne; of Guthlac, a hermit near Peterborough; and of Egbert, Bishop of Holy Island; these were all in Saxon, the language understood and spoken by the Christians of that time. Coming down a little later, we have the free translations of King Alfred the Great who was working at the Psalms when he died, and of Aelfric, Archbishop of Canterbury; as well as popular renderings of Holy Scripture like the Book of Durham, and the Rushworth Gloss and others that have survived the wreck of ages. After the Norman conquest in 1066, Anglo-Norman or Middle-English became the language of England, and consequently the next translations of the Bible we meet with are in that tongue. There are several specimens still known, such as the paraphrase of Orm (About 1150) and the Salus Animae (1250), the translations of William Shoreham and Richard Rolle, hermit of Hampole (died 1349). I say advisedly ‘specimens' for those that have come down to us are merely indications of a much greater number that once existed, but afterwards perished."(Where we got the Bible 1911, )
In the preface of The Coverdale Bible the world was told that "much about the time (1360), even in King Richard the Second's days, John Trevisa translated them into English, and many English Bibles in written hand are yet to be seen that divers translated..., so that to have the Scriptures in the mother tongue is not a quaint conceit lately taken up and out in practice of old, even from the first times of the conversion of any nation."
Anglican dignitary, Dean Hook, tells us that "Long before Wycliff’s time there had been translator’s of the Holy Writ."(Where we got the Bible 1911, )
The Protestant scholar Mr. Karl Pearson, says: "The Catholic Church has quite enough to answer for, but in the 15th century it certainly did not hold back the Bible from the folk: and it gave them in the vernacular (i.e. their own tongue) a long series of devotional works which for language and religious sentiment have never been surpassed. Indeed, we are inclined to think it made a mistake in allowing the masses such ready access to the Bible. It ought to have recognized the Bible once for all as a work absolutely unintelligible without a long course of historical study, and, so far as it was supposed to be inspired, very dangerous in the hands of the ignorant." (Academy, August, 1885)
The Encyclopedia Britannica declares that: "(In) Eadwine's Psalterium triplex,(A.D. 1180) which contained the Latin version accompanied by Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Saxon renderings, appeared... By 1361 a translation of most of Scripture in this dialect (Anglo-Norman) had been executed."(© 1999-2000 Britannica) This was 20 years before Wycliffe "translated" his version "From August 1380 until the summer of 1381, Wycliffe was in his rooms at Queen's College, busy with his plans for a translation of the Bible" (© 1999-2000 Britannica)
St. Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, said in his "Dialogue" (p.138), that:"the whole Bible was long before Wycliff's day (who lived during the century before Tyndale) by virtuous and well learned men translated into the English tongue and by good and godly people with devotion and soberness, well and reverendly read . . ."
Even Cranner, Henry Viii's Archbishop of Canterbury, said in the preface of the "Great Bible," that the. Holy Bible: "was translated and read in the Saxon tongue, which at that time was the mother tongue, whereof there remaineth yet divers copies. ..; and when this language waxed old and out of common use, it was translated into the (English) language, whereof yet also many copies remain and be daily found."
The very Preface of the 1611 Authorized Version says: "Bede by Cister- tiensis, to have turned a great part of them (the books of scripure) into Saxon: Efnard by Trithemius, to have abridged the French Psalter, as Beded had done the Hebrew, about the year 800: King Alfred by the said Cistertien- sis, to have turned the Psalter into Saxon: [Polydor. Virg. 5 histor.] ...even in our King Richard the second's days , John Trevisa translated them into English, and many English Bibles in written hand are yet to be seen with divers, translated as it is very probable, in that age".
Even Foxe, the martyologist, makes the same acknowledgment: "If history be well examined we shall find both before the conquest and after, as well before John Wickliffe was born as since, the whole body of the scriptures was by Sundry men translated into our country tongue." (This was in 1571, in the declaration to Queen Elizabeth, written by Foxe).
"In England there were current from early times(A.D. 800) vernacular versions of the Bible, especially of the Gospels, since the Gospel was often read at Mass in the vernacular after its recitation in Latin" (The Columbia Encyclopedia, copyright 1958, p. 197)
Archbishop Ussher of Armagh quotes a fragment from the Worcester Cathedral library, "The Venerable Bede translated the Bible, at least the greater part of it, into English, in many copies of his version are sill found in English monasteries." (Historia Dogmatica, 1763, XII, page 356)
"The Latin Vulgate (q.v.), from which a considerable number of versions were made into that form of English commonly called Anglo-Saxon, the most noted translators being Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborn, Bede (8th c.); Alfred (6th c.); and Aelfric (10th c.)." (The Imperial Encyclopedia and Dictionary, volume 4, copyright 1902)