OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED
BENJAMIN G. WILKINSON, PH.D.
THE JESUITS AND THE JESUIT BIBLE OF 1582
I HAVE now before my eyes, on a shelf of my library, a book entitled "The Black Pope." There are two Popes, the White Pope and the Black Pope. The world little realizes how much that fact means. The White Pope is the one we generally know and speak of as the Pope, but the real power is in the hand of that body directed by the Black Pope. The Black Pope, which name does not refer to color, is the head of the Jesuits, an organization which, outside of Gods people, is the mightiest that history has ever known. On the other hand, it is the most subtle and intolerant. It was formed after the Reformation began and for the chief purpose of destroying the Reformation.
The Catholic Church has 69 organizations of men, some of which have been in existence for over one thousand years. Of these we might name the Augustinians, the Benedictines, the Capuchins, the Dominicans, and so on. The Benedictines were founded about 540 A.D. Each order has many members, often reaching into the thousands, and tens of thousands.
The Augustinians, for example, (to which order Martin Luther belonged), numbered 35,000 in his day. The men of these orders never marry but live in communities, or large fraternity houses, known as monasteries which are for men what the convents are for women. Each organization exists for a distinct line of endeavor, and each, in turn, is directly under the order of the Pope. They overrun all countries and constitute the army militant of the Papacy. The monks are called the regular clergy, while the priests, bishops, etc., who conduct churches, are called the secular clergy. Let us see why the Jesuits stand predominantly above all these, so that the general of the Jesuits has great authority within all the vast ranks of the Catholic clergy, regular and secular.
Within thirty-five years after Luther had nailed his thesis upon the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, and launched his attacks upon the errors and corrupt practices of Rome, the Protestant Reformation was thoroughly established. The great contributing factor to this spiritual upheaval was the translation by Luther of the Greek New Testament of Erasmus into German. The medieval Papacy awakened from its superstitious lethargy to see that in a third of a century, the Reformation had carried away two thirds of Europe. Germany, England, the Scandinavian countries, Holland, and Switzerland had become Protestant. France, Poland, Bavaria, Austria, and Belgium were swinging that way.
In consternation, the Papacy looked around in every direction for help. If the Jesuits had not come forward and offered to save the situation, to-day there might not be a Catholic Church. What was the offer, and what were these weapons, the like of which man never before had forged?
The founder of the Jesuits was a Spaniard, Ignatius Loyola, whom the Catholic Church has canonized and made Saint Ignatius. He was a soldier in the war which King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain were waging to drive the Mohammedans out of Spain, about the time that Columbus discovered America.
Wounded at the siege of Pampeluna (1521 A.D.), so that his military career was over, Ignatius turned his thoughts to spiritual conquests, and spiritual glory. Soon afterwards, he wrote that book called "Spiritual Exercises," which did more than any other document to erect a new papal theocracy and to bring about the establishment of the infallibility of the Pope. In other words, Catholicism since the Reformation is a new Catholicism. It is more fanatical and more intolerant.
Ignatius Loyola came forward and must have said in substance to the Pope:
Let the Augustinians continue to provide monasteries of retreat for contemplative minds; let the Benedictines give themselves up to the field of literary endeavor; let the Dominicans retain their responsibility for maintaining the Inquisition; but we, the Jesuits, will capture the colleges and the universities. We will gain control of instruction in law, medicine, science, education, and so weed out from all books of instruction, anything injurious to Roman Catholicism. We will mould the thoughts and ideas of the youth. We will enroll ourselves as Protestant preachers and college professors in the different Protestant faiths. Sooner or later, we will undermine the authority of the Greek New Testament of Erasmus, and also of those Old Testament productions which have dared to raise their heads against the Old Testament of the Vulgate and against tradition. And thus will we undermine the Protestant Reformation.
We now quote a few words to describe their spirit and their methods from a popular writer:
"Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time, the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of Popery... To combat these forces, Jesuitism inspired its followers with a fanaticism that enabled them to endure like dangers, and to oppose to the power of truth all the weapons of deception. There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the reestablishment of the papal supremacy.
"When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed. It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants, to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites."f79
How well the Jesuits have succeeded, let the following pages tell. Soon the brains of the Catholic Church were to be found in that order. About 1582, when the Jesuit Bible was launched to destroy Tyndale's English Version, the Jesuits dominated 287 colleges and universities in Europe. Their complete system of education and of drilling was likened, in the constitution of the order itself, to the reducing of all its members to the placidity of a corpse, whereby the whole world could be turned and returned at the will of the superior. We quote from their constitution:
"As for holy obedience, this virtue must be perfect in every point in execution, in will, in intellect doing what is enjoined with all celerity, spiritual joy, and perseverance; persuading ourselves that everything is just; suppressing every repugnant thought and judgment of ones own, in a certain obedience;... and let every one persuade himself that he who lives under obedience should be moved and directed, under Divine Providence, by his superior, just as if he were a corpse (perinde ac si cadaver esset), which allows itself to be moved and led in any direction."f80
That which put an edge on the newly forged mentality was the unparalleled system of education impressed upon the pick of Catholic youth. The Pope, perforce, virtually threw open the ranks of the many millions of Catholic young men and told the Jesuits to go in and select the most intelligent. The initiation rites were such as to make a lifelong impression on the candidate for admission. He never would forget the first trial of his faith. Thus the youth are admitted under a test which virtually binds forever the will, if it has not already been enslaved. What matters to him? Eternal life is secure, and all is for the greater glory of God.
Then follow the long years of intense mental training, interspersed with periods of practice. They undergo the severest methods of quick and accurate learning. They will be, let us say, shut up in a room with a heavy Latin lesson, and be expected to learn it in a given period of hours. Of the results achieved by means of this policy and the methods, Macaulay says:
"It was in the ears of the Jesuit that the powerful, the noble, and the beautiful, breathed the secret history of their lives. It was at the feet of the Jesuit that the youth of the higher and middle classes were brought up from childhood to manhood, from the first rudiments to the courses of rhetoric and philosophy. Literature and science, lately associated with infidelity or with heresy, now became the allies of orthodoxy. Dominant in the south of Europe, the great order soon went forth conquering and to conquer. In spite of oceans and deserts, of hunger and pestilence, of spies and penal laws, of dungeons and racks, of gibbets and quartering-blocks, Jesuits were to be found under every disguise, and in every country; scholars, physicians, merchants, serving men; in the hostile court of Sweden, in the old manor-house of Cheshire, among the hovels of Connaught; arguing, instructing, consoling, stealing away the hearts of the young, animating the courage of the timid, holding up the crucifix before the eyes of the dying. Nor was it less their office to plot against the thrones and lives of the apostate kings, to spread evil rumors, to raise tumults, to inflame civil wars, to arm the hand of the assassin. Inflexible in nothing but in their fidelity to the Church, they were equally ready to appeal in her cause to the spirit of loyalty and to the spirit of freedom. Extreme doctrines of obedience and extreme doctrines of liberty, the right of rulers to misgovern the people, the right of every one of the people to plunge his knife in the heart of a bad ruler, were inculcated by the same man, according as he addressed himself to the subject of Philip or to the subject of Elizabeth."f81
And again: "If Protestantism, or the semblance of Protestantism, showed itself in any quarter, it was instantly met, not by petty, teasing persecution, but by persecution of that sort which bows down and crushes all but a very few select spirits. Whoever was suspected of heresy, whatever his rank, his learning, or his reputation, knew that he must purge himself to the satisfaction of a severe and most vigilant tribunal, or die by fire. Heretical books were sought out and destroyed with similar rigor."f82
THE CATHOLIC COUNCIL OF TRENT (1545-1563) CALLED TO DEFEAT THE REFORMATION. HOW THE COUNCIL REFUSED THE PROTESTANT ATTITUDE TOWARD THE SCRIPTURES AND ENTHRONED THE JESUIT
"The Society came to exercise a marked influence to which their presence in the Council of Trent, as the Popes theologians, gave signal testimony. It was a wise stroke of policy for the Papacy to entrust its cause in the Council so largely to the Jesuits."f83
The Council of Trent was dominated by the Jesuits. This we must bear in mind as we study that Council. It is the leading characteristic of that assembly. "The great Convention dreaded by every Pope" was called by Paul III when he saw that such a council was imperative if the Reformation was to be checked. And when it did assemble, he so contrived the manipulation of the program and the attendance of the delegates, that the Jesuitical conception of a theocratic Papacy should be incorporated into the canons of the church.
So prominent had been the Reformers denunciations of the abuses of the church, against her exactions, and against her shocking immoralities, that we would naturally expect that this council, which marks so great a turning point in church history, would have promptly met the charges. But this it did not do.
The very first propositions to be discussed at length and with intense interest, were those relating to the Scriptures. This shows how fundamental to all reform, as well as to the great Reformation, is the determining power over Christian order and faith, of the disputed readings and the disputed books of the Bible. Moreover, these propositions denounced by the Council, which we give below, the Council did not draw up itself. They were taken from the writings of Luther. We thus see how fundamental to the faith of Protestantism is their acceptance; while their rejection constitutes the keystone to the superstitions and to the tyrannical theology of the Papacy.
These four propositions which first engaged the attention of the Council, and which the Council condemned, are:
They Condemned: I"That Holy Scriptures contained all things necessary for salvation, and that it was impious to place apostolic tradition on a level with Scripture."
They Condemned: II"That certain books accepted as canonical in the Vulgate were apocryphal and not canonical."
They Condemned: III"That Scripture must be studied in the original languages, and that there were errors in the Vulgate."
They Condemned: IV"That the meaning of Scripture is plain, and that it can be understood without commentary with the help of Christ's Spirit."f84
For eighteen long years the Council debated. The papal scholars determined what was the Catholic faith. During these eighteen years, the Papacy gathered up to itself what survived of Catholic territory. The Church of Rome consolidated her remaining forces and took her stand solidly on the grounds that tradition was of equal value with the Scriptures; that the seven apocryphal books of the Vulgate were as much Scripture as the other books; that those readings of the Vulgate in the accepted books, which differed from the Greek, were not errors, as Luther and the Reformers had said, but were authentic; and finally, that lay members of the church had no right to interpret the Scriptures apart from the clergy.
THE JESUIT BIBLE OF 1582
The opening decrees of the Council of Trent had set the pace for centuries to come. They pointed out the line of battle which the Catholic reaction would wage against the Reformation. First undermine the Bible, then destroy the Protestant teaching and doctrine. If we include the time spent in studying these questions before the opening session of the Council in 1545 until the Jesuit Bible made its first appearance in 1582, fully forty years were passed in the preparation of Jesuit students who were being drilled in these departments of learning.
The first attack on the position of the Reformers regarding the Bible must soon come. It was clearly seen then, as it is now, that if confusion on the origin and authenticity of the Scriptures could be spread abroad in the world, the amazing certainty of the Reformers on these points, which had astonished and confounded the Papacy, could be broken down. In time the Reformation would be splintered to pieces, and driven as the chaff before the wind. The leadership in the battle for the Reformation was passing over from Germany to England.f85 Here it advanced mightily, helped greatly by the new version of Tyndale. Therefore, Jesuitical scholarship, with at least forty years of training, must bring forth in English a Jesuit Version capable of superseding the Bible of Tyndale. Could it be done?
Sixty years elapsed from the close of the council of Trent (1563), to the landing of the Pilgrims in America. During those sixty years, England had been changing from a Catholic nation to a Bible-loving people. Since 1525, when Tyndale's Bible appeared, the Scriptures had obtained a wide circulation. As Tyndale foresaw, the influence of the divine Word had weaned the people away from pomp and ceremony in religion. But this result had not been obtained without years of struggle.
Spain, at that time, was not only the greatest nation in the world, but also was fanatically Catholic. All the new world belonged to Spain; she ruled the seas and dominated Europe. The Spanish sovereign and the Papacy united in their efforts to send into England bands of highly trained Jesuits. By these, plot after plot was hatched to place a Catholic ruler on England's throne.
At the same time, the Jesuits were acting to turn the English people from the Bible, back to Romanism. As a means to this end, they brought forth in English a Bible of their own. Let it always be borne in mind that the Bible adopted by Constantine was in Greek; that Jerome's Bible was in Latin; but that the Jesuit Bible was in English. If England could be retained in the Catholic column, Spain and England together would see to it that all America, north and south, would be Catholic. In fact, wherever the influence of the English speaking race extended, Catholicism would reign. If this result were to be thwarted, it was necessary to meet the danger brought about by the Jesuit Version.
THE GREAT STIR OVER THE JESUIT BIBLE OF 1582
So powerful was the swing toward Protestantism during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and so strong the love for Tyndale's Version, that there was neither place nor Catholic scholarship enough in England to bring forth a Catholic Bible in strength. Priests were in prison for their plotting, and many had fled to the Continent. There they founded schools to train English youth and send them back to England as priests. Two of these colleges alone sent over, in a few years, not less than three hundred priests.
The most prominent of these colleges, called seminaries, was at Rheims, France. Here the Jesuits assembled a company of learned scholars. From here they kept the Pope informed of the changes of the situation in England, and from here they directed the movements of Philip II of Spain as he prepared a great fleet to crush England and bring it back to the feet of the Pope.
The burning desire to give the common people the Holy Word of God, was the reason why Tyndale had translated it into English. No such reason impelled the Jesuits at Rheims. In the preface of their Rheims New Testament, they state that it was not translated into English because it was necessary that the Bible should be in the mother tongue, or that God had appointed the Scriptures to be read by all; but from the special consideration of the state of their mother country. This translation was intended to do on the inside of England, what the great navy of Philip II was to do on the outside. One was to be used as a moral attack, the other as a physical attack; both to reclaim England. The preface especially urged that those portions be committed to memory "which made most against heretics."
The principal object of the Rhemish translators was not only to circulate their doctrines through the country, but also to depreciate as much as possible the English translations."f86
The appearance of the Jesuit New Testament of 1582 produced consternation in England. It was understood at once to be a menace against the new English unity. It was to serve as a wedge between Protestants and Catholics. It was the product of unusual ability and years of learning.
Immediately, the scholarship of England was astir. Queen Elizabeth sent forth the call for a David to meet this Goliath. Finding no one in her kingdom satisfactory to her, she sent to Geneva, where Calvin was building up his great work, and besought Beza, the co-worker of Calvin, to undertake the task of answering the objectionable matter contained in this Jesuit Version. In this department of learning, Beza was easily recognized as chief. To the astonishment of the Queen, Beza modestly replied that her majesty had within her own realm, a scholar more able to undertake the task than he. He referred to Thomas Cartwright, the great Puritan divine. Beza said, "The sun does not shine on a greater scholar than Cartwright."
Cartwright was a Puritan, and Elizabeth disliked the Puritans as much as she did the Catholics. She wanted an Episcopalian or a Presbyterian to undertake the answer. Cartwright was ignored. But time was passing and English Protestantism wanted Cartwright. The universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Episcopalian though they were, sent to Cartwright a request signed by their outstanding scholars.f87 Cartwright decided to undertake it. He reached out one arm and grasped all the power of the Latin manuscripts and testimony. He reached out his other arm and in it he embraced all the vast stores of Greek and Hebrew literature. With inescapable logic, he marshaled the facts of his vast learning and leveled blow after blow against this latest and most dangerous product of Catholic theology.f88
Meanwhile, 136 great Spanish galleons, some armed with 50 cannons were slowly sailing up the English Channel to make England Catholic. England had no ships. Elizabeth asked Parliament for 15 men-of-war, they voted 30. With these, assisted by harbor tugs under Drake, England sailed forth to meet the greatest fleet the world had ever seen. All England teemed with excitement. God helped: the Armada was crushed, and England became a great sea power.
AFTER THE EXPOSURE BY CARTWRIGHT AND FULKE, THE CATHOLICS DOCTORED AND REDOCTORED THE JESUIT BIBLE OF 1582, UNTIL TODAY THE NAME DOUAY IS A MISNOMER
The Rheims-Douay and the King James Version were published less than thirty years apart. Since then the King James has steadily held its own. The Rheims-Douay has been repeatedly changed to approximate the King James. So that the Douay of 1600 and that of 1900 are not the same in many ways.
"The New Testament was published at Rheims in 1582. The university was moved back to Douai in 1593, where the Old Testament was published in 1609-1610. This completed what is known as the original Douay Bible. There are said to have been two revisions of the Douay Old Testament and eight of the Douay New Testament, representing such an extent of verbal alterations, and modernized spelling that a Roman Catholic authority says, The version now in use has been so seriously altered that it can be scarcely considered identical with that which first went by the name of the Douay Bible, and further that it never had any Episcopal imprimatur, much less any papal approbation.
"Although the Bibles in use at the present day by the Catholics of England and Ireland are popularly styled the Douay Version, they are most improperly so called; they are founded, with more or less alteration, on a series of revisions undertaken by Bishop Challoner in 1749-52. His object was to meet the practical want felt by the Catholics of his day of a Bible moderate in size and price, in readable English, and with notes more suitable to the time... The changes introduced by him were so considerable that, according to Cardinal Newman, they almost amounted to a new translation. So also, Cardinal Wiseman wrote, To call it any longer the Douay or Rhemish Version is an abuse of terms. It has been altered and modified until scarcely any verse remains as it was originally published. In nearly every case, Challoners changes took the form approximating to the Authorized Version."f89
Note the above quotations. Because if you seek to compare the Douay with the American Revised Version, you will find that the older, or first Douay of 1582, is more like it in Catholic readings than those editions of today, inasmuch as the 1582 Version had been doctored and redoctored. Yet, even in the later editions, you will find many of those corruptions which the Reformers denounced and which reappear in the American Revised Version.
THE NEW PLAN OF THE JESUITS TO DESTROY PROTESTANTISM
A thousand years had passed before time permitted the trial of strength between the Greek Bible and the Latin. They had fairly met in the struggles of 1582 and the thirty years following in their respective English translations. The Vulgate yielded before the Greek; the mutilated version before the pure Word. The Jesuits were obliged to shift their line of battle. They saw, that armed only with the Latin, they could fight no longer. They therefore resolved to enter the field of the Greek and become superb masters of the Greek; only that they might meet the influence of the Greek.
They knew that manuscripts in Greek, of the type from which the Bible adopted by Constantine had been taken, were awaiting them, manuscripts, moreover, which involved the Old Testament as well as the New. To use them to overthrow the Received Text would demand great training and almost Herculean labors; for the Received Text was apparently invincible.
But still more. Before they could get under way, the champions of the Greek had moved up and consolidated their gains. Flushed with their glorious victory over the Jesuit Bible of 1582, and over the Spanish Armada of 1588, every energy pulsating with certainty and hope, English Protestantism brought forth a perfect masterpiece. They gave to the world what has been considered by hosts of scholars, the greatest version ever produced in any language, the King James Bible, called "The Miracle of English Prose." This was not taken from the Latin in either the Old or the New Testament, but from the languages in which God originally wrote His Word, namely, from the Hebrew in the Old Testament and from the Greek in the New. The Jesuits had therefore before them a double task, both to supplant the authority of the Greek of the Received Text by another Greek New Testament, and then upon this mutilated foundation, to bring forth a new English version which might retire into the background, the King James. In other words, they must, before they could again give standing to the Vulgate, bring Protestantism to accept a mutilated Greek text and an English version based upon it.
The manuscripts from which the New Version must be taken, would be like the Greek manuscripts which Jerome used in producing the Vulgate. The opponents of the King James Version would even do more. They would enter the field of the Old Testament, namely, the Hebrew, and, from the many translations of it into Greek in the early centuries, seize whatever advantages they could.
In other words, the Jesuits had put forth one Bible in English, that of 1582, as we have seen; of course, they could get out another.