Chapter 2

N.I.V* and REVELATION 22:14

G. Burnside

THE N.I.V. and REVELATION 22:14.

REV. 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they-may have right -to the tree of life, and say enter in through the gates into the city." KJV

REV.22:14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city." NIV.

These two translations of this verse are certainly not the same. They are different statements. The question naturally arises which is the original? Which is the oldest? Which one has been corrupted? Which is the true version and which is the perversion? The claim for the N.I.V. and other modern Versions is that they are found in such ancient manuscripts as the Siniaticus and Vaticanus and the lesser known Alexandrian manuscripts of the fourth century. This claim instead of supporting the N.I.V. condemns it as we shall see.

The evidences on the other hand in favour of the Authorized Version (KJV) go back to much earlier years. Note these facts:

1. One very interesting and little used line of evidence is found in the writings of the earliest Church Fathers. When quoting Rev. 22:14 they All quote "do His commandments." These Include Tertullian (AD 200) Cyprian (AD 248-258) and. Tertonius (AD 390). The first of the others to quote Rev.22:14 as "wash their robes" was Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century (AD 326-373)

This proves positively that the only earliest and true words of this text are "do His commandments." They were the originals. These early men knew nothing of "wash their robes." The words "wash their robes" did not appear—until the fourth century.

The fourth century was the century of corruptions on a gigantic scale. It was the century of Constantine, Jerome and Eusebius. It was the century of the intro­duction of the pagan symbol, the cross. It was the century that brought in Sunday in place of the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. It was the century in which the church adopted so many corruptions of doctrine and practice. It was a bad century, moreover, it brought many corruptions into the Scripture. This was the century that gave birth to the Latin Vulgate by Jerome. This was the manuscript of Scripture that contained "many errors." G.C. 56.

These corrupt words of Rev. 22:14 "washed their robes" most likely began in the home of corruption—Alexandria. Alexandria was the home of Clement, and Origen, philosophers who greatly corrupted Christianity.

Thus the plain facts of church history show that the Christians of the first centuries knew that Rev. 22:14 said "do His commandments." The words "washed their robes" was a corruption that probably originated in Egypt in the time of corruption, namely "the fourth century." It appears all that came out of the fourth century is corruption and perversions. Another interesting line of evidence is found in the:

2. The Aramaic or Syriac.

As I write, before me is the New Testament in the Syriac. All authorities "frankly admit that Jesus spoke Aramaic and His teachings were handed down in that language." Here is a photocopy of a large section of the Introduction. This is both interesting and to the point.

THE NEW TESTAMENT

ACCORDING TO THE

EASTERN TEXT

TRANSLATED FROM ORIGINAL ARAMAIC SOURCES BY

GEORGE M. LAMSA

INTRODUCTION

It is also the root from which Hebrew sprang. Peshitta is the authorized text of the Scriptures and had its origin in the lands from which Christianity sprang and it is written in the 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.

The Christians in Palestine and Syria were the first to embrace Christianity. They must have had Gospels in Aramaic in order to preach to Greeks and other people. Gospels were in circulation before St. Paul’s conversion. They were written ten or fifteen years after the Crucifixion. They were the recordings of the eye witnesses who had traveled with Jesus and who could record most of the teachings of their Lord. Papias tells us that Matthew wrote in the language of the Hebrews, that is Aramaic. This is supported by the testimonies of the early fathers and historians.

Aside from the historical and geographical support, the Peshitta New Testament text varies considerably from the Greek and Latin versions which were made later for the use of new converts to Christianity. There are hundreds of passages where the meaning is different from that of the Greek version. The style of writing is purely Aramaic and the idioms are Eastern. Neither does Peshitta agree with recent New Testament translations made from Greek into Aramaic.

The New Testament revisions in the Monophysite text had no effect on the main body of the Church in the East under the Persian Empire. The Church rejected the doctrines advanced at the Council of Ephesus and bitterly opposed the spread of Greek and Monophysite doctrines. Neither were these revisions used in Monophysite Churches. They were only used privately by bishops and scholars as Greek sources of the Scriptures to facilitate their work in achieving unity between the Imperial Byzantine Church and the Monophysites in Syria and Egypt. Then again, Persia, an enemy of the Byzantine empire, for political reasons was strongly opposed to the Introduction of Greek doctrines among the Christians in the East. The Persian kings issued decrees to imprison and expel priests and bishops found to be sympathetic to the Byzantine Church.

Such were the political and religious conditions which isolated the Christians in the East from the rest of the Christians in the Byzantine Empire and the rest of the Christian world. This isolation continued through Arab, Mongol and Turkish rule from the sixth to the thirteenth century. As the result of this continued isolation, the Biblical customs and manners and the Aramaic language remained unchanged and the Scriptures escaped additions and revisions.

Asahel Grant, M. D., the first American missionary to discover the Assyrians, writes in his book, The Nestorians, or the Lost Tribes: "The Nestorians have preserved the scriptures in manuscript with great care and purity." He puts the date of Peshitta New Testament in the early part of the second century A. D.

The Christians in the Persian Empire, because of con­tinuous warfare between Persia and Rome, did not participate in the Councils which took place in the Roman Empire, and therefore, escaped the introduction of new doctrines and dogmas which might make necessary Scriptural revisions. Until the coming of American and English missionaries in the early part of the nineteenth century, the Assyrian Christians were not aware of the religious and political changes which had taken place in the Byzantine Empire and the rest of the Western World. They had not even heard of Martin Luther, The Reformation, or the discovery of America. The news that others had escaped the fury of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane was a surprise to them.

One thing which has impressed the readers of these manuscripts is the care with which they were produced. There is hardly a word of variance. Eastern scribes always copy Scriptures carefully. Time is immaterial to them when copying the Word of God.

Sir Frederick Kenyon, Curator at the British Museum, in his book Textual Criticism of the New Testament, speaks highly of the accuracy and antiquity of Peshitta MSS.

This translation is made from ancient MSS., facsimile pages of which are reproduced in this volume.

This edition is not made as a revision. It is a transla­tion from ancient Aramaic texts and from ancient manuscripts. We either have them or we have been granted to make photostats from the ancient manuscripts by either their private owners or their public custodians.

The Peshitta New Testament is an ancient and the 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.

Thus the Syriac, the language of Jesus, unites with the Scripture quotes of the earliest Fathers in proclaiming the truth of Rev.22:14 in the Authorized Version.

It is "do His commandments" and not the corrupt text "washed their robes." Here is a photocopy of Rev.22:14 in the Syriac:

14 Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City

3. The Coptic Version, one of the earliest, likewise has "do His commandments".

4. Inspiration Confirms.

"But not so did prophets and apostles regard the holy law of God. Said David: "I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts." Psalm 119.45. The apostle James, who wrote after the death of Christ, refers to the Decalogue as "the royal law" and "the perfect law of liberty." James 2:8; 1:25. And the revelator, half a century after the crucifixion, pronounces a blessing upon them "that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14." G C 466.

Sister White quotes Rev. 22:14 probably a dozen times and in every case she quotes from the Authorized Version. (KJV) When quoting Rev. 22:14 she never uses any of the perverted modern versions, "wash their robes."

She does also give us some very interesting and helpful light. This light from heaven shines clearly through the mists and confused reports of history. Here we have truth, uncontaminated by the bias of humanity.

E.W. 220,221 "I saw that God had especially guarded the Bible, yet when copies of it were few, learned men had in some instances changed the words, thinking that they were making it more plan, when in reality they were mystifying that which was plain, by causing it to lean to their established views, which were governed by tradition."

Much of that changing of the ancient writings (Scripture=writings) was done by monks.

G.C. 56 "Suggested by the father of lies. Ancient writings were forged by monks and a church that had rejected the truth greedily accepted these deceptions."

Men like Origen, Cement of Alexandria, Jerome and Eusebius looked to philosophy as the supreme authority. To change Scripture to fit in with their philosophy was an easy matter. In the case of Rev. 22:14 this was especially easy. First, they like many modern professed Christians, wanted to get rid of the bothersome commandments. The following translation shows how easy it was to corrupt this vital text of Scripture:

hoi poiounles las entolas auiou, "that keep his commandments"

hoi plunontes tas stolas auton, "that wash their robes."

THE FOURTH CENTURY.

This happened in the fourth century. Note the facts:

G.C. 49 "The nominal conversion of Constantine in the early part of the fourth century ... Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed.

G.C. 51 "In the early part of the fourth century the Emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire."

G.C. 574 "Eusebius, a bishop who sought the favor of princes, and who was the special friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced the claim that Christ had transferred the Sabbath to Sunday- Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwittingly acknowledges its falsity and points to the real authors of the change. ‘All things’, he says, ‘whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s Day."’ Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, page 538.

Of the same fateful times we read again from inspired history.

G.C. 51 "Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power. It was by the Word that even the Saviour of the world had resisted his attacks. At every assult, Christ presented the shield of eternal truth, saying, ‘It is written.’ To every suggestion of the adversary, He opposed the wisdom and power of the word. In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, and establish the authority of the papal usurper, he must keep them in ignorance of the Scrip­tures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its 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 houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. Thus the pope came to be almost universally acknowledges as the vicegerent of God on earth, endowed with authority over church and state.

The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws.’ Daniel 7:25." GC 51

"In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire." CC 51.

The "fourth century", the century of corruptions, saw apostasy flourish.

This was the century that saw the origin of Jerome’s Latin Vulgate—the basis of the Roman Catholic Bible—the Douay Version. This is clearly seen by this photocopy:

THE DOUAY BIBLE

Latin the common medium of the learned world, had become the language of the Church’s worship and doctrine. When the Council of Trent reaffirmed the Faith and revived the discipline of the Church amid the confusion of that age, its earliest sessions (in 1545) repeated the list of the Bible’s books and the truth of their sacred authority. At the time there were different Latin versions known in Europe. To fix upon one of them as an authoritative standard, the Council gave its approbation to "the Vulgate", prepared late in the fourth century by Saint Jerome, the greatest biblical scholar of antiquity.

The same "fourth century" saw the origin of the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. These two corrupt :manuscripts are the basis and foundation of the N.I.V. and it’s companion perversions—other modern versions.

The enemy’s desire to downgrade God’s Commandments is well known to you all. His corrupt methods are seen in the Emphatic Diaglott. It is apparent the work of deception has not ceased. Notice the deliberate changing of the words. The left hand column contains the Greek Text of the Vatican Manuscript and interlined with it the literal word corresponding in English. Now read the right hand column for deliberate change. Are they traded on the ignorance of trusting people?

THE

EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT

WITH AN

INTERLINEAR WORD FOR WORD ENGLISH TRANSLATION

THE VATICAN MANUSCRIPT

No. 1200 In the Vatican Library

Publishers:

INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION

WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

End. Blessed those doing the commandments of him so that shall be the authority of them over the wood of the life, and by the gates they may enter into the city.

VS. / 14 Blessed are THOSE who WASH their ROBES, so that their RIGHT may be to the WOOD of the life and they may enter by gates into the city.

REV. 22:14 has never been popular with nominal "Christians" who reject "the commandments of God." They would make void the law of their Creator by their professed faith in Christ. The apostle Paul separated himself from such teachings and so should we all.

ROMANS 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

Despite this clear statement of Scripture we need not be surprised by the rejection of God’s law. The sure word of prophecy foretold of just such apostate teaching.

PSALMS 119:126 "It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law."

The time has come when they have made void God’s law and wonder of wonders they do it by claiming that faith makes void this law. Therefore-with them Rev. 22:14 must be gotten rid of so as to silence God’s Eternal Ten. A well known religious periodical "The Sword of the Lord" rejected "do His commandments" of Rev. 22:14. They declared it teaches "salvation by works." They say it teaches "Legalism", "Works," as opposed to "Grace." How inconsistent, for according to the N.I.V. and all other Jesuit versions they too teach legalism and works just the same. "Oh consistancy thou art a jewel."

Notice according to the popular N.I.V. the ones who wash their robes have right to the tree of life.

They do the washing. Is that not works? Note, nothing is said about the finished work of Christ. Nothing about the new birth. Merely they wash their robes. In all my experience I have never heard any one try to expound this perversion. It came from the corruption of Origin, Jerome and Eusebius, and the flatterers of Constantine. It came in, in the fourth century. The inspired words of the early church of the first century must be our foundation. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus shows who are going to Heaven and who will not go there. Our Lord closes His sermon with an appeal to build on the Rock. He shows us how:

MATT. 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock."

Now from the words of our only Guide to Glory we see the perfect harmony of Scripture and expose the perversions of the "fourth century." Read again the two contrasting statements.

REV. 22:14 These two Bibles are teaching two different doctrines.

"Wash their robes" is claimed by most N.I.V. users to mean forgiveness for past sins.

"They that do His commandments." are people who are abiding in Christ. Jesus clearly states:

JOHN 15:10 "If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide: in My love."

JOHN 15:14 "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

JOHN 14:15 "If ye love Me, keep My commandments."

JOHN 14:21 "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them he is it that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

When a person abides in Christ, he can by that abiding do the commandments of God. Jesus promises:

JOHN 15:5 "He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing."

It is such exceeding great and precious promises of Christ abiding in His servants that grants them power to obey and a place in the City Eternal. Note these clear statements.

2 PETER 1:4 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature."

By partaking of the divine nature of our Lord you are enabled:-

2 PETER 1:10,11 "To make your calling and election. sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly. into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

That is why we read in:

REV. 22:14 "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

Those who only "wash their robes" and then keep on sinning, will never have right to the tree of life. The verses just before call for a "holy," "righteous" people. Jesus states in:­

REV. 22:12 "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

The Authorized (KJV) is correct:

(a) By the context.

(b) By the early fathers before the fourth century.

(c) By the earliest of manuscripts. The Syriac.

(d) By the Coptic.

(e) By the Received Text.

The N.I.V. has the support of Origen, the perverter of Scripture. Constantine and Jerome of the fourth century—the century of corruption of truth. The century of the change of the Sabbath to Sunday. The century of the introduction of the pagan sign of the cross. The century of the first church father to quote the perversion "wash their robes."

The Advocates of the N.I.V. proudly claim that it is based on "The two most reliable early manuscripts." These go back to the "fourth century". They are the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. They are both from the Papacy. "Come out of her My people."

May our Lord lead you to love and follow:

The Bible of the early church writers.

The Bible of the Waldenses.

The Bible of Tyndale, Luther and all the Reformers.

The Bible of Wesley, Whitefield, and Spurgeon.

The Bible of the Adventists of 1844.

The Bible of God’s Truth of 1888.

The only Bible that S.D.A.’s ever published in English—the Authorized Version (KJV).

Read again these inspired words. Note too that Sister White repeatedly quoted Rev. 22:14. Never once did she quote it as found in the N.I.V. or as found in the eighty other corrupt per-versions. All of these per­versions came from the Jesuit selected manuscripts.

Appendix.

In desperation to uphold the corrupt modern versions, and "wash their robes" instead of "do His commandments," Sister White’s statement in E.W. 17 was mentioned. However, look it up for yourself. Here is the full statement: Jesus said unto us "You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in. We all marched in and we felt that we had a perfect right In the city." E.W. 17.

Now look at this good statement again.

It certainly gives no support to say modern version.

None whatsoever.. Note: "stood stiffly for My truth."

In Psalms 119:142 we read "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth." This favours the good true version and refutes the modern corrupt versions including the N.I.V.

There are two other statements in Early Writings that leave no question as to where our Christ-given Spirit of Prophecy stands.

E.W. 35 "Jesus threw open the gates of the golden city, and led us in. Here we were made welcome, for we had kept the ‘commandments of God,’ and had right to the tree of life."

E.W. 51. "All, all who keep the commandments of God, will enter in through the gates into the city, and have right to the tree of life."

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