Chapter 13



You mention a little paper that was given to you. Actually I have put out a dozen leaflets, giving reasons why I do not use the N.I.V. or any modern version in the work of soulwinning. I wrote these papers in reply to the literally hundreds of questions that came to me. I get questions by phone, visits and letters from West Australia to New Zealand, and from North Queensland to Tasmania. Every Sabbath afternoon there are dozens of people at my home to deal with any Bible subject they want.

I have to turn down literally dozens of pleas to study the Bible with people as it is impossible to be with them all. I started to print out answers to try to cover the requests. I do not regard myself either a writer or a printer, but despite that, I cannot keep up to the demand for my literature. Literally tons of literature goes out. I do not send out leaflets, except to those that request them. Evidently a young person picked up the one that eventually came to you. I get plenty of young people calling.

You have asked quite a few good questions and I will at least try to give an answer as to why I reject the modern translations and stand by the precious old Authorized Version. But before attempting that, may I give you a background.

It was the Bible and its truth that changed my life. It’s words have burned within me ever since. I lost two jobs over the Sabbath and felt that I could gladly lose fifty more if heed be. The Bible became my life.

Forgive me for repeating things you probably know, but I want to make this vital issue clear as to why I take the present position.

It is plain to me there are two Bibles. The true and the corrupted.

FIRST. God who inspired the Scriptures guarantees they will be preserved and remain.

1 PETER 1:23 "Being born the word of God which liveth and abideth forever."

1 PETER 1:25 "The word of the Lord endureth forever."’ ISA. 40:8 "The word of our God shall stand forever."

MATT. 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. As our Lord has promised, one must conclude that it is God’s Word—the true Bible, which is with us still. Therefore:

EPH. 6:11-17 The Christians armour, that we must put on, so "ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" is in every part based on the Word of God.

EPH.6:11-17 The "sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, was the only weapon our Lord used against Satan.

If Eve had heeded the word of God and not the reasonings of Satan she would have been safe. The reasoning and philosophy of scholars have led many astray. We are warned against it in:

COL. 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.... and not after Christ:" Christ is our Example. He inspired the Bible, therefore we must follow the Bible and not "the traditions"’ and theorizings of men.

As God promises that His word will stand and never pass away, that Word is with us today. "My Word shall not pass away." It, is good to stand on the promises of God, especially this one.

Therefore we have a true, living, pure Bible. Sister White confirms this. I know you have confidence in her writings from past conversations and by a comment in your letter.

She wrote: "The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will." G.C. p VII.

"Man is fallible, but God’s Word is infallible. 1 SM 416.

PROV. 30:5 "Every word of God is pure." As these words are pure, they are free from corruption, free from error.

"The Bible is not to be tested by man’s ideas of science, but science is to be brought to the test of this unerring standard." E.G. White S.T. March 13, 1884, p. 417.

SECONDLY. The Scriptures warn against attacks that would be made against it.

JER.23:36 "Ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts, our God."

JER.23:30 "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words everyone from his neighbour."

May I add I was not opposed to the R.S.V. etc. I was waiting at the shop for the first of the R.S.V. (likewise the N.I.V.) but the first thing that disappointed and pained me was the amount of Scripture that was cut out of these modern versions. They had stolen God’s "words, every one from his neighbour" To take one word from God’s book is serious. Do we not read:

PROV.30:5 "Every word of God is pure."

LUKE 4:4 "Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

Is it not significant that the underlined words are missing from the N.I.V. (Also from the R.S.V. and all the other modern versions) In D.A. we read: "Every promise in God’s word is ours, by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God are we to live’" p.123.

"Every word" means if one word is taken away it leaves the Scriptures incomplete. What can we say when literally hundreds of words are taken from God’s’ Scripture of Truth" in the N.I.V. and other modern versions.

2 COR.2:17 "For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God."

The N.I.V. and other modern versions have not only taken away hundreds of words from God’s word but they also have corrupted many other passages. They have stolen God’s words and corrupted others.

REV. 22:14 is an example of corruption. Instead of "Blessed are they that do His commandments" they corrupt it to read "wash their robes." Read this verse again in the N.I.V. It is certainly corrupted. It also makes it almost an absurdity. As it reads one has only to wash his clothes and that gives him a right to the Holy City.

You asked regarding:

REV.7:14 Note how clear and beautiful. These "have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." That is truth! Full, and complete. On the other hand "wash their robes" could mean just about anything.

It is significant that Sister White quotes Rev. 22:14 probably a dozen times. Never once does she quote it from any modern version "wash their robes" but always "do His commandments."

Our God warned of corruptions. They have "perverted", "wrested" and corrupted, and taken away from the Word of God.

Therefore as Christ has pledged that His Word would be preserved and on the other hand that others would corrupt it, it is self evident that there are two Bibles, the true and the false, the pure and the corrupted. In Early Writings, Sister White says that she saw that men had changed the words of the Bible. Therefore we have the "pure" preserved Bible and also a "changed corrupted Bible. The true and the false.

In G.C. 56 we read as suggested "by the father of lies. Ancient writings were forged by monks ... And a church that had rejected the truth greedily accepted these deceptions."

You indicate that I have over emphasised the matter when I wrote that "the fourth century was the century of corruptions on a gigantic scale." It was Sister White that first led me to notice this. She wrote:

"The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century ....Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. ...."This compromise between paganism and christianity resulted in the development of ‘the man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is the, masterpiece of Satan’s power." G.C.49,50.

Since noticing this, I have been impressed with the number of times that even the Catholic Encyclopaedias etc., and historians refer to "the fourth century" when many practices found their origin. I certainly feel I did not exaggerate when I wrote as I did on the fourth century as the time when "corruption rapidly progressed."

To me it is evident that there are now two Bibles before us. They have come down to us through two channels.

The "Received Text" has been handed down to us by the Waldenses, Iona, Reformers, Tyndale, and Luther to the Advent Movement of 1844 and 1888.

The corrupted channel came through Origen, Jerome, Eusebus, Constantine, the Vulgate, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Westcott and Hort, John H. Newman, and Dr. Pusey to the revised versions.

The vital question is, from which channel must we seek the Water of Life?

I go to inspiration for the answer. I do so because I find the writings of so-called scholars so contradictory. Even too many historians write with a bias. I feel we are a greatly privileged people, for God has given us an inspired guide in history. This is found in the Spirit of Prophecy and the prophecies of the Bible. Here I stand. "To the Law and to the Testimony"—to the Bible and to the Spirit of Prophecy. I stand flat-footed on this inspired rock.

I have quoted the promises and prophecies of the Bible. Now notice again some gems from the "Testimony of Jesus." I will try to keep the statements brief so as not to get this letter too long. Here we have inspiration’s word on church history. "The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated." G.C. 63.

"The Voudois churches, in their purity and simplicity, resembled the church of apostolic times. Rejecting the supremacy of the pope and prelate, they held the Bible as the only supreme, infallible authority They fed the flock of God, leading them to the green pastures and living fountains of His holy word." G.C. 65.

Theirs was not a faith newly received. Their religious belief was their inheritance from their fathers. They contended for the faith of the apostolic church." G.C. 64.

Likewise in Scotland truth goes back to the apostolic church, to the first centuries.

"In Great Britain, Primitive Christianity had very early taken root. The gospel received by the Britons in the first centuries was then uncorrupted by Roman apostacy. Persecution from pagan emperors, which extended even to these far-off shores, was the only gift that the first churches of Britain received from Rome. . .But Rome had fixed her eyes on Britain, and resolved to bring it under her supremacy... .the papal leaders and their converts encountered the primitive christians. A striking contrast was presented. The latter were simple, humble, and Scriptural in character, doctrine and manners, while the former manifested the superstition, pomp and arrogance of popery." G.C. 62,63.

Which its the Channel of Truth?

Note this gem from inspiration "The church in the wilderness; and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world’s great capital (Rome) was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God has committed to His people to be given to the world." G.C. 64.

Thus inspiration makes it crystal clear that Rome was not "the guardian of the treasures of truth," "the Scripture of Truth."

But the precious Scriptures were in the hands of "the church in the wilderness," in the mountains of northern-Italy and the high­lands of Scotland. This was the main cause of Rome’s persecution. I quote again from G.C.:

The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution. G. C. 63.

These inspired words make it clear that "the church in the wilderness" was the guardian of God’s truth. It was largely because they held to the Bible—unadulterated by Rome—that they were so cruelly persecuted. Rome hates the Bible as we well know. Truth did not come down to us through Rome.

The fourth century greatly aided the formation of the papacy. This is the century that saw the Sabbath changed "In the early part of the fourth century Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire." G.C. 51.

"The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine."

"Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?’

A. "We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea (AD 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." Note this was in the fourth century—the century of corruption. This was the century that brought the cross into the church. This was the century of Constantine, Jerome,-Bishop Eusebius ("the special friend and flatterer of Constantine." G.C. 574) and Augustine.

This was the century in which Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate.—Every Roman Catholic Bible "must be translated from the Vulgate and not directly from the Greek." Preface to the Douay Bible, p. VII.

The evidence is clear too that the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus both came from this same fourth century. It is apparent that they are two of the fifty Bibles ordered by Constantine for use in the churches.

Now let us come to the question of these modern versions. I was keen to get anything that would make the Word of God clearer so I early procured the Revised Version. I remember waiting at the shop to purchase the first of the R.S.V. I bought it as soon as it arrived, probably the first. Likewise the N.I.V. and others. I now have about thirty different translations and versions. I valued them all and read and reread them.

What first shocked me was the omissions. Verse after verse was missing. Scores of parts of verses. Then changes came to view. Changes that altered the meaning. Rev. 22:14 was one of many. I noticed that Sister White repeatedly quoted Rev. 22:14, but always as in the King James Version.

I noticed also that "scholars" and even historians varied greatly. They wrote to suit their particular ideas. It seemed to me one could prove just about anything from the scholars. So I turned again to the "Scripture of Truth." I was reminded of Col. 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.. after the traditions of men.. and not after Christ."

As Christ is the author of Scripture that must be the test.

"To the Law and to the Testimony." This is my supreme guide. . I know it works. It changed my life from a careless, gambling, cigarette-smoking, thoughtless youth. I have seen it do the same in the lives of thousands. Scores of debates with agnostics, ministers of many religions, scholars, University professors etc. have settled me on the rock of "inspiration".

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." ISP.8:20.

The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy is settled in my thinking. Any writings not in harmony with this I reject. I believe we are a very privileged people to have the guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy in the field of history. Any that do not "speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." This has made this subject of versions as clear as crystal to me.

I will quote very briefly as I do not want to make this too long.

The question as I see it is the question as to which Bible. The Scriptures make it clear that God has declared that His Word "will endure forever." Christ declared "My word shall not pass away.

On the other hand our God has told us of those who would corrupt the word, "wrest the Scriptures" and steal His word from people.

Here I believe is God’s answer to these vital questions. So to sum up and briefly state:

"The Waldenses were among the first of the people of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures." G.C. 65.

"They had the truth unadulterated." G.C. 65.

"They stood unflinchingly for God’s word." G.C. 65.

They "resembled the church of apostolic times." G.C. 65.

"They held the Bible as the only supreme, infallible authority." G.C.-65.

"They were employed also copying the Scriptures. Some manuscripts contained the whole Bible." G.C. 65.

"Their’s was not a faith newly received. Their religious belief was their inheritance from their fathers. They contended for the faith of the apostolic church." G.C. 64.

Thus we see that the Waldenses had the Bible and its truth from the earliest of days. This was the Word, God guaranteed would never fail or pass away, but would endure forever.

In contrast inspiration tells us it was because "the Waldenses were among the first of the people of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. . . they possessed the Bible in manuscripts in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution." G.C. 65.

"The representative of Satan—the bishop of Rome." G.C. 50

He hated the Bible—"The detector of error." G.C. 51.

"Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power." G.C. 51.

"Therefore it’s sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their homes," G.C. 51.

From inspiration we also read that as "Suggested by the father of lies. Ancient writings were forged by monks ... And a church that had rejected the truth greedily accepted these deceptions." G.C. 56.

Again in Early Writings we read regarding the Bible "I saw... learned men had in some instances changed the words." P. 200

Yet our God "After having given His word to man, He had carefully preserved it." E.W. 220.

"While other books might be destroyed, this was to be immortal." E.W. 220.

Thus despite corrupt versions our Lord has preserved for us His Infallible Bible. It has come down to us stained with the life blood of Christ’s saints. How we should love and cherish it.

That precious Word did not come down to us through Rome but through God’s persecuted, hunted church. We again read from inspiration:

"‘The church in the wilderness’ and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world’s great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God had committed to His people to be given to the world." G.C. 64

"The sure word of prophecy" declares of Rome that it would "cast down the. truth to the ground." Dan. 8:12

Christ said "Thy word is truth." John 17:17. "Daniel the prophet" called the same precious Word "The Scripture of truth." Dan.10:21. Thus this power that would "cast down the truth" certainly did so and was not "the guardian of the treasures of truth." G.C.64.

Thus inspiration is clear that the true Word of God did not come down to us through the Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Vulgate—the catholic manuscripts of the fourth century, and through the Revised Version of Westcott, Hort, Cardinal Newman and Dr. Pusey. Men who hated the Received Text and pushed the Vaticanus and Sianaiticus. The truth came through the Received Text as used by the Waldenses, the primitive Christians of Scotland, Erasmus, Tyndale, Luther and the pioneers of the Advent Message.

Now for some of your questions and points: You give Tertullian at A.D. 220.

I notice that our book "Problems in Bible Translation" gives him as living A.D. 145-220. You question his reliability. I, with you, may not accept his teachings, but it is certain that a man lived about that time, by that name and he quoted Rev. 22:14 that supports the King James Version. Therefore the evidence shows this verse must have been there at that time. We find none of those men quoting "wash their robes" until the fourth century.

Cyprian A.D. 200 -258 also quotes in favour of the K.J.V.

The first to quote in favour of the N.I.V. is Athanasius A.D. 298-373. That you will notice was in the corrupt fourth century when "the work of corruption rapidly progressed." GC 49.

"Problems in Bible Translation" adds these words "Tertullian and Cyprian, who were Latin Theologians undoubtedly had access to the manuscripts of the Apocalypse that contain the reading "commandments". The fact that they used this reading at such an early date is significant." p. 260

I also believe this is very significant and shows definitely that the K.J.V. rendering of Rev. 22:14 was the oldest and therefore the host of modern versions are corruptions.

NO.2. You mention the Aramaic. I purchased my "New Testament according to the Eastern Text", "translated from original Aramaic sources" at our Theological Seminary at Takoma Park in 1946. I chatted with Dr. Losby, who certainly knew Greek and other languages, and Pastor Keough, who had spent his life’s work in the middle east. Neither of these men raised a question that I can recall regarding this volume.

In the "Introduction" p. 5, it states:

"The Peshitta New Testament is an ancient and only authoritative document of the New Testament in use among the Syriac Aramaic speaking people of Palestine, Syria, Mount Lebanon, Mesopotamia, Persia and Malabar (South India) from the first century A.D. to the present day. The terms Aramaic and Syriac are interchangeable."

All I have read and heard has borne out the same. This was taken for granted at the Seminary in 1946.

On page VI of the introduction it states, referring to the Aramaic:

"In this language in which our Blessed Lord, His disciples and the early Christians spoke and wrote, these facts are known to all Biblical-scholars. Even those who have made translations from the Greek, frankly admit that Jesus spoke Aramaic and His teachings were handed down in that language."

You quote from Metzger. I have not had the privilege of reading this writer. However; I find among "scholars" a very confused account. This confirms my confidence in the Law and the Testimony. My feet are set, flat footed on the rock of inspiration, on the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. With me, if historians or scholars speak in harmony with this word, I accept them, if not I reject them as having no light in them. That has never failed me in over forty years of city evangelism, and scores of debates with ministers of many churches, and scholars of all kinds.

You ask: "On the other hand, if it is true that the Catholics introduced the change from ‘commandments’ to ‘robes’ is it that whoever, of the Catholic heirarchy, made the change did such a poor job? Why would they have left the same expression in Rev.12:17 and 14:12?"

In answer I would say that in meeting opponents they nearly all brushed aside Rev. 12:17 and 14:12 as referring to the Jews who have been left on earth after the Rapture. They were nearly Futurists. To refute them is not difficult, but it takes time and that is usually limited in a debate. Futurism, as you are well aware, originated in the Vatican and so we are back to the source of corruption.

On Rev. 22:14 opponents could not throw this out, as being only Jews. This verse shows who is going to the Gloryland. God’s final glimpse of His saints marching home is Rev. 22:14, where He clearly states they "keep the Commandments of God." The opponents only hope was to grasp a false modern version—with it’s translation as "wash their robes." I have repeatedly thanked my Lord for the clear statements of the Spirit of Prophecy where she always quotes the K.J.V. on this mighty passage of Holy Writ.

You ask re: Rev. 7:14."Is that also a Catholic perversion?"

To me this is a striking contrast. Rev.7:14 states that the saints "have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb". What a glorious statement of a wondrous truth. It reveals the only means of our cleansing. This is a truth that often needs repeating and is seldom heard. What a full and complete statement. By way of contrast, note Rev. 22:14 in these modern (to me) "perversions."

"Wash their robes." What does that mean? It means nothing!

Is it laundry work? It does not give one any idea how the washing is to be done. Like too many statements in these modern versions(?) they are almost absurd. I can see the hand of the enemy here. May we ever be able to say with Christ’s servant of old "We are not as many which corrupt the word of God." 2 Cor.2:17.

If the corrupter of Rev. 22:14 had been trying to present truth, why did he not state it clearly as in Rev. 7 where the great truth is presented that the robes were to be washed in the blood of the Lamb? As found in the N.I.V. It appears to be a weak attempt to get rid of this most powerful appeal to obedience to the commandments of God.

Permit me to take one more illustration:

LUKE 4:4 "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

The N.I.V. and its companion modern versions miss out "but by every word of God." That perversion makes the word of our Lord almost an absurdity too.

"Man shall not live by bread alone." We could ask what are we to live by? Weetbix? Fish? Potatoes? Is Christ giving a talk on diet? etc. etc. When the enemy stole away these words from our Lord he left little!

"But by every word of God" not only completes, it gives power to our Lord’s statement. That is what we must live by! This the devil, through his agents, omits. So does the N.I.V. So does the R.S.V.

It was the tragic omissions from the Word of God that first turned me from the R.S.V. and N.I.V. Rev. 22:19 stands out too plainly to be trifled with.

I notice many scholars of history claim the Vulgate was the first to have "washed their robes." That is logical. Rome has always hated the commandments of God. God’s sacred prophecy told of their changing His law and that they would "cast down the truth to the ground." Dan.8:12

You write "It seems that you are interested in upholding the K.J.V."

Yes, you are right there. I am for the K.J.V. 100%. It is the text of the Waldenses, Iona, Tyndale, Luther, Erasmus, all the reformers and martyrs and the Adventist pioneers. It is the Bible of 1844 and 1888. The K.J.V. is the only English Bible that the Review and Herald Press ever printed.

In reply to your question may I say that I am not at all opposed to revision. But I am opposed to omissions from the word of God and changes in the book of Truth. These are too painfully apparent.

"The Revisers had a wonderful opportunity. They might have made a few changes and removed a few archaic expressions, and made the Authorized Version the most acceptable and beautiful and wonderful book of all time to come. But they wished ruthlessly to meddle. Some of them wanted to change doctrine. Some of them did not know good English literature when they saw it . . . There were enough modernists among the Revisers to change the words of Scripture itself so as to throw doubt on the Scripture." Herald and Presbyter (Presbyterian), July 16, 1924, p. 10.

You state "At least I find it easier to teach our beliefs on death from the N.I.V."

My experience is that anti-Adventist opponents like to use the N.I.V. and similar modern translations. On the state of the dead they use:

2 PETER 2:9 "If this is so; then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."

EX. 20:10 Has "a" sabbath instead of "the" sabbath.

COL. 2:10 "A" sabbath is abolished. This is a favourite with any opponent who knows his job.

DAN.8:14 The cleansing of the sanctuary gives place to a mere reconsecration.

DAN.9:25 The "messiah" gives way to "the annointed one". Every priest was annointed, so was every king, even Saul, the first king of Israel who died by suicide, was an annointed one..

Anti-Adventists and apostates rejoice in these modern perversions as they speak "perverse things" and it fits in nicely with their perverse teachings.

Well Brother I have gotten all that off my chest. Thank you for the privilege to give my convictions. The more I look into this question, the more the conviction grows that the modern versions are contributing to the general apostacy that is taking place in our ranks. They are aiding in "the shaking. They weaken many. I feel we as a people are losing the Bible. It is used so little now. The modern translations are greatly aiding in the confusion that is, filling our ranks. Despite it all our God will purify His church and gloriously finish His work. Rev.18:1-4 will be fulfilled and that fulfilling will be tremendous.

May the Lord keep us both close to Him and strong in His truth. Your Brother in Christ.

George Burnside.


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