History of the Bible

By Elder Robert L. Webb

The written word of God is reverenced for its vital
importance to the welfare of the Church of Jesus Christ, but it
was never intended as a means of eternal salvation. Jesus said,
"Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal
life, and they are they which testify of me." - John 5: 39.
Jesus Christ is the Living Word, and our salvation is wholly and
completely in Him.

Ancient Texts and Manuscripts (Original and Copies)

The earliest books of the Old Testament were written over
1,400 years before the time of Christ. None of the actual
original manuscripts of the Old or New Testament books are known
to exist. It pleased God to give His inspired oracles to men of
three basic languages, Hebrew, Chaldean, and Greek.

The Old Testament Books

The Old Testament "oracles of God" were providentially
committed to the Jewish, or Hebrew people (Romans 3: 1,2). The
ancient Massoretes (students of Moses' law) devoted their lives
to perfection in preserving and copying the Old Testament books.
The story of their work is a marvelous testimony to God's
preservation of His word to all generations. There is very
little controversy regarding the Hebrew text.

The New Testament Books

About 5,000 copies of the Greek text of the New Testament
exist in safekeeping around the world. The great majority of
these are identical or almost identical to the "received text"
(also called "majority text, "textus receptus," or "Byzantine
text"). This text was used by the Waldenses, and was preserved
by the true church through the ages. The King James Version in
the English language was translated from this text. Currently
published copies of the Greek "textus receptus" are readily
available to be purchased by the inquiring student.

Translation Versus Private Interpretation

There is a vast difference between making more copies of
original manuscripts in the same language and translating from an
original text into a completely different language. Gaussen
likens the work of translation to "the same body putting on
different clothing." (See Theopneustia, or The Plenary
Inspiration of the Scriptures, by L. Gaussen). It is worthy of
consideration that the Old Testament books were not translated
into other languages until very near the time of the Christian
age. In addition, Jesus and the Apostles evidently quoted the
Greek translation (Septuagint), at least in part; but God
expressly taught that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
"private interpretation." The reader should make this clear
distinction in his mind. The word "interpret" is sometimes used
in the New Testament Scriptures to mean "translate" (See I
Corinthians 14: 13, 27). The great question regarding a
translation is whether the Lord has authorized it (not whether
the Church has authorized it). Since I believe He purposed that
the scriptures should be kept by His Church, I believe He has
providentially directed their translation into the languages
(tongues) where His Church has existed.

Early Greek Translations

The Apostle Paul, the preacher to the gentiles, could speak
or write in both Hebrew and Greek (see Acts 21: 40; the New
Testament epistles by Paul were written in Greek). The Apostles
quoted from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament in many places
in the New Testament. They undoubtedly had access to the
original Hebrew text in the original language.

Early English Translations

The Scriptures were translated into Latin, French, Dutch,
German, and other languages where the Church of Jesus Christ
existed through the centuries. When persecution drove the church
into English-speaking nations, the Lord providentially directed
its translation there. Some of the early English translations
include: John Wycliffe (1380); William Tyndale (1526); Cranmer's
(1539); The Geneva Bible (1557); and The Anglo-Rhemish (1582).
These five are shown with the King James Version in a book called
the English Hexapla.

The King James Translation

There can be little doubt that it is to the advantage of the
Church of Jesus Christ that the same translation be generally
used by the people in the nations where the church exists. The
King James Translation translators were primarily Puritan and
Anglican scholars, whose personal biases were thereby balanced,
resulting in a translation which could be generally used by
English-speaking people. These were men of remarkable talent and
integrity. King James was not personally involved in the work of
translation, so his character and name is of no special
consequence. What IS IMPORTANT is the evidence of God's
providential direction of this English translation, and His
blessing upon it since.

Position of the Primitive Baptist Church

We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy
Scriptures. Plenary means "total" or "every word." The word
"scripture" means "that which is written." When the Apostle Paul
wrote that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God", he
meant the written text. When the Apostle Peter wrote that "holy
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," he meant
that which was spoken (even if penned by scribes). The word
prophecy means "the sayings of God" and thus we may include both
Old and New Testaments in the expression ". . . no prophecy of
the scripture is of any private interpretation." - II Peter 1:
Elder Sylvester Hassell expressed the following belief (p.
508 of History of the Church of God): "The seventeenth century
was the century of the publication of the King James or
Authorized Version of the English Bible (in 1611), the best and
noblest of all the translations of the Bible ever made in any
We believe the King James Version is the inspired Word of
God, dressed in English clothing. As such it has divine
authority, and should be accepted as such. We also believe God
is able to direct its translation again if that is necessary for
the welfare of His Church.


by Elder Robert L. Webb

A careful study of the history of the ancient Waldenses, and
of Bible texts and translations, clearly reveals how inseparable
the true Bible is from the true Church. Perhaps this should seem
obvious, but we think it should encourage the Church in her
loyalty to the Received Text, and its best English translation,
the King James Version. We also sound a solemn warning to the
uninformed: "Do not regard the nearly 100 modern translations
and paraphrases made from corrupted texts as the inspired word of
We have recently added several of the oldest English
translations of the New Testament scriptures to our collection,
including reprints of the original 1611 King James Version, a
1607 edition of the "Geneva" New Testament, the 1526 Tindale New
Testament, and a 1388 manuscript of the Wickliffe New Testament.
We have also added books by Jean Leger (1669), George S. Faber
(1838), and William S. Gilly (1824) to our collection of books on
the ancient Waldenses and Albigenses. See the Appendix in this
pamphlet for a complete listing of holdings of the Primitive
Baptist Library on the subject of the history of the Waldenses.
We wish to quote from a book entitled Our Authorized Version
Vindicated, copyright 1930, by Benjamin G. Wilkinson, who (being
a Seventh-Day Adventist) cannot be accused of being partial to
us. Mr. Wilkinson wrote: "... down through the centuries
there were only two streams of manuscripts. The first stream
which carried the Received Text in Hebrew and Greek, began with
the Apostolic churches, and reappearing at intervals down the
Christian Era among enlightened believers, was protected by the
wisdom and scholarship of the pure church in her different
phases; by such as the church at Pella in Palestine where the
Christians fled, when in 70 A. D. the Romans destroyed Jerusalem;
by the Syrian Church of Antioch which produced eminent
scholarship; by the Italic Church in northern Italy; and also at
the same time by the Gallic Church in southern France and by the
Celtic Church in Great Britain; by the pre-Waldensian, the
Waldensian, and the churches of the Reformation. This first
stream appears, with very little change, in the Protestant Bibles
of many languages, and in English, in that Bible known as the
King James Version, the one which has been in use for three
hundred years in the English speaking world.
The second stream is a small one of a very few MSS. These
last manuscripts are represented: (a) In Greek:--The Vatican MS.,
or Codex B, in the library at Rome; and the Sinaitic, or Codex
Aleph, its brother (in the Russian Museum in Moscow). (b) In
Latin:--The Vulgate or Latin Bible of Jerome. (c) In English:--
The Jesuit Bible of 1582, which later with vast changes is seen
in the Douay, or Catholic Bible. (d) In English again:--In many
modern Bibles which introduce practically all the Catholic
readings of the Latin Vulgate which were rejected by the
Protestants of the Reformation; among these, prominently, are the
Revised Versions."--pp. 12, 13.
But let us see what the Waldenses believed, according to
their own historian, Jean Leger. Wilkinson, page 32, says: "This
noble scholar of Waldensian blood was the apostle of his people
in the terrible massacres of 1655, and labored intelligently to
preserve their ancient records. His book, the "General History
of the Evangelical Churches of the Piedmontese Valleys,"
published in French in 1669, and called "scarce" in 1825, is the
prized object of scholarly searchers. It is my good fortune to
have that very book before me. Leger, when he calls (Robert)
Olivetan's French Bible of 1535 "entire and pure," says:
"I say 'pure' because all the ancient exemplars,
which formerly were found among the Papists, were full of
falsifications, which caused Beza to say in his book on
Illustrious Men, in the chapter on the Vaudois, that one
must confess it was by means of the Vaudois of the Valleys that
France today has the Bible in her own language. This godly man,
Olivetan, in the preface of his Bible, recognizes with thanks
to God, that since the time of the apostles, or their immediate
successors, the torch of the gospel has been lit among the
Vaudois (or the dwellers in the Valleys of the Alps, two terms
which mean the same), and has never since been extinguished." -
-Leger, General History of the Vaudois Churches, p. 165.

Wilkinson also shows (pp. 42-43) that Erasmus recognized two
parallel streams of Bibles:


Apostles (Original) Apostates (Corrupted

Received Text (Greek) Sinaiticus and Vaticanus
Bible (Greek)

Waldensian Bible (Italic) Vulgate (Latin).
Church of Rome's Bible.

Erasmus (Received Text Vaticanus (Greek).

Luther's Bible, Dutch, French, Spanish, and
French, Italian, etc., Italian (from Vulgate).
(from Received Text).

Tyndale (English) 1535 Rheims (English) from
(from Received Text) Vulgate (Jesuit Bible
of 1582).

King James, 1611 Oxford Movement.
(from Received Text) Westcott & Hort (B and
Aleph). American
Revised 1901.

This should be sufficient to persuade the reader not to
regard these two streams of Bibles as equally pure or good. We
believe that translations arising from the corrupted texts have
been largely responsible for departures from many of the most
essential doctrines of the Christian faith, e. g., the
creation, plenary inspiration and preservation of the scriptures,
the divinity and virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and the
resurrection from the dead.
The English and Welsh Baptists, having arisen from the
Anabaptists, who were descendants of the Waldenses, were
supporters of translations made from the textus receptus. The
same may be said of the early Baptists in America. We find no
evidence that Wickliffe's translation ever gained much favor or
support from them. Wickliffe's English translation was made from
the Latin Vulgate, he being ignorant of Greek and Hebrew.
The "Great Reformation" which followed over a century after
Wickliffe's death did not make the Catholic Bible the "true
Bible," any more than it made the Catholic Church the "true
church." As shown above, the Protestant Reformers and the
Waldenses all refused to use the Catholic manuscripts (either
Vulgate or Vatican).
We do not claim that the King James Version is the only
translation that can be called the inspired word of God, but
rather that the Received Text is the only underlying basis for
any past, present or future New Testament translation that should
be so regarded by Christian people. Translations from the
Received Text have been made in most of the major languages of


From Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, 1930, pp. 31-42
by Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Ph. D.

The Bible of the Waldenses Brought from Judea

"To show that the messengers of God who carried manuscripts
from the churches of Judea to the churches of northern Italy and
on, brought to the forerunners of the Waldenses a Bible different
from the Bible of Roman Catholicism, I quote the following:
"The method which Allix has pursued, in his History of the
Churches of Piedmont, is to show that in the ecclesiastical
history of every century, from the fourth century, which he
considers a period early enough for the enquirer after
apostolical purity of doctrine, there are clear proofs that
doctrines, unlike those which the Romish Church holds, and
conformable to the belief of the Waldensian and Reformed
Churches, were maintained by theologians of the north of Italy
down to the period, when the Waldenses first came into notice.
Consequently the opinions of the Waldenses were not new to Europe
in the eleventh or twelfth centuries, and there is nothing
improbable in the tradition, that the Subalpine Church persevered
in its integrity in an uninterrupted course from the first
preaching of the gospel in the valleys." - Gilly, Waldensian
Researches, pp. 118, 119.
There are many earlier historians who agree with this view.
(Allix, Leger, Gilly, Comba, Nolan). It is held that the pre-
Waldensian Christians of northern Italy could not have had
doctrines purer than Rome unless their Bible was purer than
Rome's; that is, was not of Rome's falsified manuscripts. (Comba,
p. 188.)
The Waldenses of northern Italy were foremost among the
primitive Christians of Europe in their resistance to the Papacy.
They not only sustained the weight of Rome's oppression but they
were successful in retaining the torch of truth until the
Reformation took it from their hands and held it aloft to the
world. Veritably they fulfilled the prophecy of Revelation
concerning the church which fled into the wilderness where she
hath a place prepared of God. Revelations 12: 6, 14. They
rejected the mysterious doctrines, the hierarchal priesthood and
the worldly titles of Rome, while they clung to the simplicity of
the Bible.
The agents of the Papacy have done their utmost to
calumniate their character, to destroy the records of their noble
past, and to leave no trace of the cruel persecution they
underwent. They went even farther - they made use of words
written against ancient heresies to strike out the name of the
heretics and fill the blank space by inserting the name of the
Waldenses. Just as if, in a book written to record the lawless
deeds of some bandit, like Jesse James, his name should be
stricken out and the name of Abraham Lincoln substituted. The
Jesuit Gretser in a book written against the heretics of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, put the name Waldenses at the
point where he struck out the name of these heretics. (Gilly, p.
8.) Nevertheless, we greet with joy the history of their great
scholars who were ever a match for Rome.
In the fourth century, Helvidius, a great scholar of
northern Italy, accused Jerome, whom the Pope had empowered to
form a Bible in Latin for Catholicism, with using corrupt Greek
manuscripts. (Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6, p. 338.) How could
Helvidius have accused Jerome of employing corrupt Greek MSS. if
Helvidius had not had the pure Greek manuscripts? And so learned
and so powerful in writing and teaching was Jovinian, the pupil
of Helvidius, that it demanded three of Rome's most famous
fathers - Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose - to unite in opposing
Jovinian's influence. Even then, it needed the condemnation of
the Pope and the banishment of the Emperor to prevail. But
Jovinian's followers lived on and made the way easier for Luther.
History does not afford a record of cruelty greater than
that manifested by Rome toward the Waldenses. It is impossible
to write fully the inspiring history of this persecuted people,
whose origin goes back to apostolic days and whose history is
ornamented with stories of gripping interest. Rome has
obliterated the records. Dr. DeSanctis, many years a Catholic
official at Rome, some time official Censor of the Inquisition
and later a convert to Protestantism, thus reports the
conversation of a Waldensian scholar as he points out to others
the ruins of Palatine Hill, Rome:
"'See,' said the Waldensian, 'a beautiful monument of
ecclesiastical antiquity. These rough materials are the ruins of
the two great Palatine libraries, one Greek and the other Latin,
where the precious manuscripts of our ancestors were collected,
and which Pope Gregory I, called the Great, caused to be
burned.'" (DeSanctis, Popery, Puseyism, Jesuitism, p. 53.)
The destruction of Waldensian records beginning about 600 A.
D. by Gregory I, was carried through with thoroughness by the
secret agents of the Papacy.
"It is a singular thing," says Gilly, "that the destruction
or rapine, which has been so fatal to Waldensian documents,
should have pursued them even to the place of security, to which
all, that remained, were consigned by Morland, in 1658, the
library of the University of Cambridge. The most ancient of
these relics were ticketed in seven packets, distinguished by
letters of the alphabet, from A to G. The whole of these were
missing when I made inquiry for them in 1823." (Gilly, Waldensian
Researches, p. 80.)

Ancient Documents of the Waldenses

There are modern writers who attempt to fix the beginning of
the Waldenses from Peter Waldo, who began his work about 1175.
This is a mistake. The historical name of this people, as
properly derived from the valleys where they lived, is Vaudois.
Their enemies, however, ever sought to date their origin from
Waldo. Waldo was an agent, evidently raised up of God to combat
the errors of Rome. Gilly, who made extensive research
concerning the Waldenses, pictures Waldo in his study at Lyon,
France, with associates, a committee, "like the translators of
our own Authorized Version." (Comba, Waldenses of Italy, p. 169,
note 596.) Nevertheless the history of the Waldenses, or
Vaudois, begins centuries before the days of Waldo.
There remains to us in the ancient Waldensian language, "The
Noble Lesson," (La Nobla Leycon), written about the year 1100 A.
D., which assigns the first opposition of the Waldenses to the
Church of Rome to the days of Constantine the Great, when
Sylvester was Pope. This may be gathered from the following
"All the Popes, which have been from Sylvester to the
present time." (Que tuit li papa, que foron de Silvestre en tro
en aquest.) (Gilly, Excursions, Appendix 2, p. 10.)

Thus when Christianity, emerging from the long persecutions
of pagan Rome, was raised to imperial favor by the Emperor
Constantine, the Italic Church in northern Italy - later the
Waldenses - is seen standing in opposition to papal Rome. Their
Bible was of the family of the renowned Itala. It was that
translation into Latin which represents the Received Text. Its
very name "Itala" is derived from the Italic district, the
regions of the Vaudois. Of the purity and reliability of this
version, Augustine, speaking of different Latin Bibles (about 400
A.D.) says:
"Now among translations themselves the Italian (Itala) is to
be preferred to the others, for it keeps closer to the words
without prejudice to clearness of expression." (Nicene and Post-
Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 542.)
The old Waldensian liturgy which they used in their services
down through the centuries contained "texts of Scripture of the
ancient Version called the Italick." (Allix, Churches of
Piedmont, 1690, p. 37.)
The Reformers held that the Waldensian Church was formed
about 120 A. D., from which date on, they passed down from father
to son the teachings they received from the apostles. The Latin
Bible, the Italic, was translated from the Greek not later than
157 A. D. (Scrivener's Introduction, Vol. 2, p. 43.) We are
indebted to Beza, the renowned associate of Calvin, for the
statement that the Italic Church dates from 120 A. D. From the
illustrious group of scholars which gathered around Beza, 1590 A.
D., we may understand how the Received Text was the bond of union
between great historic churches. As the sixteenth century is
closing, we see in the beautiful Swiss city of Geneva, Beza, an
outstanding champion of Protestantism, the scholar Cyril Lucar,
later to become the head of the Greek Catholic Church, and
Diodati, also a foremost scholar. As Beza astonishes and
confounds the world by restoring manuscripts of that Greek New
Testament from which the King James is translated, Diodati takes
the same and translates into Italian a new and famous edition,
adopted and circulated by the Waldenses. (McClintock & Strong
Encycl., Art. "Waldenses.") Leger, the Waldensian historian of
his people, studied under Diodati at Geneva. He returned as
pastor to the Waldenses and led them in their flight from the
terrible massacre of 1655. (Gilly, Researches, pp. 79, 80.) He
prized as his choicest treasure the Diodati Bible, the only
worldly possession he was able to preserve. Cyril Lucar hastened
to Alexandria where Codex A, the Alexandrian Manuscript, is
lying, and laid down his life to introduce the Reformation and
the Reformers' pure light regarding the books of the Bible.
At the same time another group of scholars, bitterly hostile
to the first group, were gathered at Rheims, France. There the
Jesuits, assisted by Rome and backed by all the power of Spain,
brought forth an English translation of the Vulgate. In its
preface they expressly declared that the Vulgate had been
translated in 1300 into Italian and in 1400 into French, "the
sooner to shake out of the deceived people's hands, the false
heretical translations of a sect called Waldenses." This proves
that Waldensian Versions existed in 1300 and 1400. It was the
Vulgate, Rome's corrupt Scriptures against the Received Text--the
New Testament of the apostles, of the Waldenses, and of the
That Rome in early days corrupted the manuscripts while the
Italic Church handed them down in their apostolic purity, Allix,
the renowned scholar, testifies. He reports the following as
Italic articles of faith: "They receive only, saith he, what is
written in the Old and New Testament. They say, that the Popes
of Rome, and other priests, have depraved the Scriptures by their
doctrines and glosses." (Allix, Churches of Piedmont, pp. 288,
It is recognized that the Itala was translated from the
Received Text (Syrian, Hort calls it); that the Vulgate is the
Itala with the readings of the Received Text removed. (Kenyon,
Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, pp. 169, 170.)

Waldensian Bible Translations

Four Bibles produced under Waldensian influence touched the
history of Calvin: namely, a Greek, a Waldensian vernacular, a
French, and an Italian. Calvin himself was led to his great work
by Olivetan, a Waldensian. Thus was the Reformation brought to
Calvin, that brilliant student of the Paris University. Farel,
also a Waldensian, besought him to come to Geneva and open up a
work there. Calvin felt that he should labor in Paris.
According to Leger, Calvin recognized a relationship to the
Calvins of the valley of St. Martin, one of the Waldensian
Valleys. (Leger, History of the Vaudois., p. 167.)
Finally, persecution at Paris and the solicitation of Farel
caused Calvin to settle at Geneva, where, with Beza, he brought
out an edition of the Textus Receptus, the one the author now
uses in his college class rooms, as edited by Scrivener. Of
Beza, Dr. Edgar says that he "astonished and confounded the
world" with the Greek manuscripts he unearthed. This later
edition of the Received Text is in reality a Greek New Testament
brought out under Waldensian influence. Unquestionably, the
leaders of the Reformation, German, French, and English, were
convinced that the Received Text was the genuine New Testament,
not only by its own irresistible history and internal evidence,
but also because it matched with the Received Text which in
Waldensian form came down from the days of the apostles.
The other three Bibles of Waldensian connection were due to
three men who were at Geneva with Calvin, or when he died, with
Beza, his successor, namely, Olivetan, Leger, and Diodati. How
readily the two streams of descent of the Received Text, through
the Greek East and the Waldensian West, ran together, is
illustrated by the meeting of the Olivetan Bible and the Received
Text. Olivetan, one of the most illustrious pastors of the
Waldensian Valleys, a relative of Calvin, according to Leger,
(Leger, History of the Vaudois, p. 167) and a splendid student,
translated the New Testament into French. Leger bore testimony
that the Olivetan Bible, which accorded with the Textus Receptus,
was unlike the manuscripts of the Papists, because they were full
of falsification. Later, Calvin edited a second edition of the
Olivetan Bible. The Olivetan in turn became the basis of the
Geneva Bible in English, which was the leading version in England
in 1611 when the King James appeared.
Diodati, who succeeded Beza in the chair of Theology at
Geneva, translated the Received Text into Italian. This version
was adopted by the Waldenses, although there was in use at that
time a Waldensian Bible in their own peculiar language. This we
know because Sir Samuel Morland, under the protection of Oliver
Cromwell, received from Leger the Waldensian New Testament which
now lies in the Cambridge University Library. After the
devastating massacre of the Waldenses in 1655, Leger felt that he
should collect and give into the hands of Sir Samuel Morland as
many pieces of the ancient Waldensian literature as were
It is interesting to trace back the Waldensian Bible which
Luther had before him when he translated the New Testament.
Luther used the Tepl Bible, named from Tepl, Bohemia. This Tepl
manuscript represented a translation of the Waldensian Bible into
the German which was spoken before the days of the Reformation.
(Comba, Waldenses of Italy, p. 191.) Of this remarkable
manuscript, Comba says:
"When the manuscript of Tepl appeared, the attention of the
learned was aroused by the fact that the text it presents
corresponds word for word with that of the first three editions
of the ancient German Bible. Then Louis Keller, an original
writer, with the decided opinions of a layman and versed in the
history of the sects of the Middle Ages, declared the Tepl
manuscript to be Waldensian. Another writer, Hermann Haupt, who
belongs to the old Catholic party, supported his opinion
vigorously." (Comba, p. 190.)
From Comba we also learn that the Tepl manuscript has an
origin different from the version adopted by the Church of Rome;
that it seems to agree rather with the Latin versions anterior to
Jerome, the author of the Vulgate; and that Luther followed it in
his translation, which is probably the reason why the Catholic
church reproved Luther for following the Waldenses. (Comba, p.
192.) Another peculiarity is its small size, which seems to
single it out as one of those little books which the Waldensian
evangelists carried with them hidden under their rough cloaks.
(Comba, p. 191, Note 679.) We have, therefore, an indication of
how much the Reformation under Luther as well as Luther's Bible
owed to the Waldenses.
Waldensian influence, both from the Waldensian Bibles and
from Waldensian relationships, entered into the King James
translation of 1611. Referring to the King James translators,
one author speaks thus of a Waldensian Bible they used:
"It is known that among modern versions they consulted was
an Italian, and though no name is mentioned, there cannot be room
for doubt that it was the elegant translation made with great
ability from the original Scriptures by Giovanni Diodati, which
had only recently (1607) appeared at Geneva." (Dr. Benjamin
Warfield, Princeton Univ., Collection of Opinions and Reviews,
Vol. 2, p. 99.)
It is therefore evident that the translators of 1611 had
before them four Bibles which had come under Waldensian
influences: the Diodati in Italian, the Olivetan in French, the
Lutheran in German, and the Genevan in English. We have every
reason to believe that they had access to at least six Waldensian
Bibles written in the old Waldensian vernacular.
Dr. Nolan, who had already acquired fame for his Greek and
Latin scholarship, and researches into Egyptian chronology, and
was a lecturer of note, spent twenty-eight years to trace back
the Received Text to its apostolic origin. He was powerfully
impressed to examine the history of the Waldensian Bible. He
felt certain that researches in this direction would demonstrate
that the Italic New Testament, or the New Testament of those
primitive Christians of northern Italy whose lineal descendants
the Waldenses were, would turn out to be the Received Text. He
"The author perceived, without any labor of inquiry, that it
derived its name from that diocese, which has been termed the
Italick, as contradistinguished from the Roman. This is a
supposition, which receives a sufficient confirmation from the
fact that the principal copies of that version have been
preserved in that diocese, the metropolitan church of which was
situated in Milan. The circumstance is at present mentioned, as
the author thence formed a hope, that some remains of the
primitive Italick version might be found in the early
translations made by the Waldenses, who were the lineal
descendants of the Italick Church; and who have asserted their
independence against the usurpations of the Church of Rome, and
have ever enjoyed the free use of the Scriptures. In the search
to which these considerations have led the author, his fondest
expectations have been fully realized. It has furnished him with
abundant proof on that point to which his inquiry was chiefly
directed; as it has supplied him with the unequivocal testimony
of a truly apostolical branch of the primitive church, that the
celebrated text of the heavenly witnesses was adopted in the
version which prevailed in the Latin Church, previously to the
introduction of the modern Vulgate." (Dr. Frederick Nolan,
Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, pp. xvii, xviii.)

How the Bible Adopted by Constantine Was Set Aside

Where did this Vaudois Church amid the rugged peaks of the
Alps secure these uncorrupted manuscripts? In the silent watches
of the night, along the lonely paths of Asia Minor where robbers
and wild beasts lurked, might have been seen the noble
missionaries carrying manuscripts, and verifying documents from
the churches in Judea to encourage their struggling brethren
under the iron heel of the Papacy. The sacrificing labors of the
apostle Paul were bearing fruit. His wise plan to anchor the
Gentile churches of Europe to the churches of Judea, provided the
channel of communication which defeated continually and finally
the bewildering pressure of the Papacy. Or, as the learned
Scrivener has beautifully put it:
"Wide as is the region which separates Syria from Gaul,
there must have been in very early times some remote
communication by which the stream of Eastern testimony, or
tradition, like another Alpheus, rose up again with fresh
strength to irrigate the regions of the distant West."
(Scrivener's Introduction, Vol. 2, pp. 299, 300.)
We have it now revealed how Constantine's Hexapla Bible was
successfully met. A powerful chain of churches, few in number
compared with the manifold congregations of an apostate
Christianity, but enriched with the eternal conviction of truth
and with able scholars, stretched from Palestine to Scotland. If
Rome in her own land was unable to beat down the testimony of
apostolic Scriptures, how could she hope, in the Greek speaking
world of the distant and hostile East, to maintain the supremacy
of her Greek Bible? The Scriptures of the apostle John and his
associates, the traditional text, the Textus Receptus, if you
please, arose from the place of humiliation forced on it by
Origen's Bible in the hands of Constantine and became the
Received Text of Greek Christianity. And when the Greek East for
one thousand years was completely shut off from the Latin West,
the noble Waldenses in northern Italy still possessed in Latin
the Received Text.
To Christians preserving apostolic Christianity, the world
owes the Bible. It is not true, as the Roman Church claims, that
she gave the Bible to the world. What she gave was an impure
text, a text with thousands of verses so changed as to make way
for her unscriptural doctrines. While upon those who possessed
the veritable Word of God, she poured out through long centuries
her stream of cruel persecution.

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