From "Understandable History of the Bible" ©2000 by Samuel C. Gipp.
Reproduced by permission
Excerpt from chapter 7
"It is necessary to salvation that every man should submit to the Pope." (Boniface VIII Unum Sanctum, 1303.)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9.
Here lie two totally contradictory statements. They cannot both be correct. The one which you believe will depend on which authority you accept.
The Roman Catholic Church has long been antagonistic to the doctrine of salvation by grace. If salvation is by grace, who needs "mass?" If salvation is by grace, who needs to fear purgatory? If Jesus Christ is our mediator, who needs the Pope? If the Pope cannot intimidate people into obeying him, how can he force a nation to obey him?
The true Bible is the arch-enemy of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome can only rule over ignorant, fear-filled people. The true Bible turns "unlearned and ignorant" men into gospel preachers and casts out "all fear."
Rome must find a way to supplant the true gospel with "another gospel." The only way to do this is to eliminate our faith in the Word of God.
Rome received the corrupted Local Text of Alexandria, Egypt and further revised it to suit her own needs. Some scholars call this revision the "Western" text. This, of course, makes it part of the already corrupted text and, therefore, still contains the Local Text readings. This text suited the Roman Catholic Church well, since it attacked the doctrines of the Bible. Rome is wise. To attack salvation by grace directly would expose her plot to all. So instead she used subtly. The Roman Catholic Church strips Jesus Christ of His deity, separates the divine title "Lord" and "Christ" from the human name Jesus, having the thief on the cross address Him as "Jesus" instead of "Lord" (Luke 23:42). It also removes the testimony to His deity in Acts 8:37, and it eliminates the Trinity in I John 5:7.
You may ask, "Would not a weakening of the place of Jesus Christ weaken the Roman Catholic Church's reason for even existing?" The answer is "No." The Roman Catholic Church does not even claim to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romanist Karl Adam admits this: "We Catholics acknowledge readily, without any shame - nay with pride - that Catholicism cannot be identified simply and wholly with primitive Christianity, nor even with the Gospel of Christ."45
The vacancy left by the removal of Christ would be easily filled by Mary and other "saints" along with a chain of ritualism so rigid that no practitioner would have time to really "think" about the true gospel.
The true gospel was fast spreading all over Europe due to the Old Latin translation of the Universal Text into the "vulgar" or "common" language. This Bible became known as the "Vulgate" since it was used so commonly all over Europe.
Rome enlisted the help of a loyal subject by the name of Jerome. He quickly translated the corrupt Local Text into Latin. This version included the Apocryphal books, fourteen books which no Bible-believing Christian accepts as authentic. To insure its success over the Old Latin, the Roman Catholic Church gave it the name "Vulgate," meaning "common." There was one problem which the Roman Catholic Church did not anticipate, the same problem which the businessmen publishing new versions cannot seem to avoid. The common people recognized the true Word of God because the Holy Spirit bears witness to it! They refuse to accept other versions!
True, many versions have been sold in the past and are being sold now. Yet, this is primarily due to the media "blitz" by which EVERY new Bible has been introduced since 1881. This is the same tactic used by Satan in Genesis chapter 3. Notice his first recorded words. Do you believe that Satan just walked up to Eve and asked, "Yea, hath God said?" No! In Genesis 3:1 we are picking up in the middle of a conversation, possibly one of many. Satan paved the way for his attack on God's Word by a little "softening up" publicity. Christians today do not realize that they "need a better translation" until they are told so by the Bible salesman a few times. Suddenly, they "realize their need" for a translation which is "closer to the originals." (Most of these Christians have never even read the one they have.) The next thing they know, they have eaten the fruit, and God's blessing is gone. To get God's blessing back, obviously, they need the next "thoroughly reliable" translation.
This is not an overstatement. An example of the "Bible business" is revealed by Dr. Edward Hills. He speaks in reference to the committee of the American Standard Version promising not to publish their translation at the same time as the English Revised Version. He points out, "They promised not to publish their own revised edition of the Bible until 14 years after the publication of the English Revised Version (R.V.), and in exchange for this concession were given the privilege of publishing in an appendix to this version a list of the readings which they favored but which the British revisers declined to adopt."46 It was obvious to these "contenders for the faith" that two new Bibles hitting the market at the same time just would not be conducive to good profits. These men are obviously "led by the spirit" but I am not entirely sure it is "Holy." It is a sad thing when men make merchandise of the Word of God.
The name "Vulgate" on the flyleaf of Jerome's unreliable translation did little to help sales. The Old Latin Bible, or "Italic" as it is sometimes called, was held fast by all true Christians who upheld the authority of the Bible over the authority of education.
Dr. Wilkenson informs us in reference to the Old Latin, "Not only were such translations in existence long before the Vulgate was adopted by the Papacy, and well established, but the people for centuries refused to supplant their old Latin Bibles by the Vulgate." He records Jacobus' words, "The old Latin versions were used longest by the western Christians who would not bow to the authority of Rome - e.g. the Donatists; the Irish in Ireland, Britain, and the Continent; the Albigenses: etc;"47
Dr. Wilkenson also records the words from the "Forum" of June 1887, "The old Italic version, into rude Low Latin of the second century, held its own as long as Latin continued to be the language of the people. The critical version of Jerome never displaced it, and only replaced it when the Latin ceased to be a living language, and became the language of the learned. The Gothic version of Ulfilas, in the same way, held its own until the tongues in which it was written ceased to exist."48
So we see that the Vulgate of Jerome was unused and unwanted by the true Christians for over nine hundred years. This caused the Roman Church much grief. There was only one remedy to the situation, eliminate the "other" old, archaic Bible. If it was necessary to violently eliminate the people who used this faithful translation, then they did it.
The Roman Catholic Church has long been known for its persecution of true New Testament Christians. Beginning in about 600 A.D., persecution hounded these Christ-honoring, Bible-loving people. Pope Gregory I went so far as to systematically destroy and alter historical records pertaining to these Christians. Concerning one group, the Waldenses (or Waldensians), Dr. Gilly reports, "It is a singular thing, that the destruction or rapine, which has been so fatal to Waldensian documents, would 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."49
Gilly also enlightens us with this report of the actions of Rome: "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 further - they made use of words written against ancient heresies to strike out the name of 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 Gretserin 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."50 We find that Rome's wicked persecutions of the Waldenses culminated in a devastating massacre of their number in 1655.51 They were hounded as "heretics" until the mid 1800's when their persistence paid off and the vile actions against them ceased.52
A major blow to the authority of Rome came in 1517, when a young Catholic priest by the name of Martin Luther nailed his historic 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg. The nail drove deep into the hearts of truly born-again Christians who had for centuries been laboring under the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church. The people flocked to their new, brave leader. From this, Lutheranism was established, but even more important, the fires of the Reformation were kindled.
The tide of the Reformation soon came sweeping across all of Europe until it washed the very shores of England. The already weakened authority of Rome was devastated by the onslaught of truth. Two-thirds of Europe was swallowed up in what can probably be referred to as the greatest spiritual awakening of all time. The Reformation was vital to the then future translation of the King James Bible. England, too, had been shackled to the hierarchy of Rome. It was the removal of these superstitious bonds that created the spirit in England of the supremacy of the Scripture which was prevalent at the time of the translation of the King James Bible. This would not have been the case had Luther not sparked the Reformation.
The most vital and immovable weapon in Luther's arsenal came in the form of his German translation of the New Testament of 1522. This put the pure words of the Universal Text back into the hands of "Bible-starved" Christians. The Reformation ran wild across the continent, fueled by this faithful translation. Rome at this point was totally helpless to stop it. The Papacy needed something with which to fight this dreaded scourge of truth. It turned in desperation to two different sources.
In 1545 the Roman Catholic Church formed the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent systematically denied the teachings of the Reformation. The Council decreed that "tradition" was of equal authority with the Bible. It decreed also that justification was not by faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In fact, it stated that anyone believing in this vital Bible doctrine was cursed. The Council's exact words are: "If anyone saith that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be anathema."53 (Emphasis mine.)
We now see that the Roman Catholic Church is guilty of officially cursing Jesus Christ! Would God use this church to preserve His Words?
The Council of Trent was viewed by the Protestants as somewhat of a "paper tiger." It certainly did not hold any authority over them. The barn door appeared securely locked, but the horse was triumphantly roaming all over the countryside! Yet there was to be an enemy much more feared than the boisterous Council of Trent - the Jesuits!
The Diabolical Jesuits
The Society of Jesus was founded in 1534 by a Spaniard by the name of Ignatius Loyola. Loyola was born don Inigo Lopez de Racalde, in the castle of Loyola in the province of Guipuzcoa in 1491. He was known as a youth to be treacherous, brutal and vindictive. He was referred to as an unruly and conceited soldier. Loyola was wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in 1521. Crippled by a broken leg and plagued by a limp the rest of his life, he sought "spiritual" conquests.54
Loyola produced an elite force of men, extremely loyal to the Pope, who would set about to undermine Protestantism and "heresy" throughout the world. Their training would require fourteen years of testing and trials designed to leave them with no will at all. They were to learn to be obedient. Loyola taught that their only desire would be to serve the Pope.
The head of the Jesuits is called the "Black Pope" and holds the title of General, just as in the military. That they were to be unquestionably loyal to this man and their church is reflected in Loyola's own words, "Let us be convinced that all is well and right when the superior commands it," also, "...even if God gave you an animal without sense for master, you will not hesitate to obey him, as master and guide, because God ordained it to be so." He further elaborates, "We must see black as white, if the Church says so."55
The Devil's Plainclothesmen
What would be the method used by the Jesuits to achieve their goals? Would it be military might? Would it be acts of daring? Would it be a violent revolution to install a Roman sympathizer as ruler? No, these actions would all have their day of usefulness, later.
The Jesuits were to be the Vatican's "plainclothesmen." They were founded to be a secret society, a society that was to slide in behind the scenes and capture the positions of leadership. The Jesuits knew that to capture the leaders of any particular country or organization is to conquer the entire body.
Edmund Paris, the noted French author and leading authority on the Roman Catholic Church, has written many books exposing the true spirit and goals of the Vatican. He points out, "Politics are their main field of action, as all the efforts of these 'directors' concentrate on one aim: the submission of the world to the papacy, and to attain this the 'heads' must be conquered first."56
The Jesuit priests were not required to dress in the traditional garb of the Roman Catholic priests. In fact, their dress was a major part of their disguise. They presented themselves to the world in a variety of manners. They passed themselves off in a number of ways. Paris asserts that this is still true today, "It is the same today: the 33,000 official members of the Society operate all over the world in the capacity of her personnel, officers of a truly secret army containing in its ranks heads of political parties, high ranking officials, generals, magistrates, physicians, faculty professors, etc., all of them striving to bring about, in their own sphere, 'Opus Dei,' God's work, in reality the plans of the papacy."57
They have often been known to join the religious persuasion which they wish to destroy. Having done this, they would manifest all of the destructive force at their hands to weaken and tear down their sworn enemy of "Protestantism." Paris again reports just such an event which took place in Scandinavia in the late 16th Century, "In 1574 Father Nicolai and other Jesuits were brought to the recently established school of technology where they became fervent Roman proselytizers, while officially assuming Lutheranism."58 Dr. Desanctis points out, "Despite all the persecution they (the Jesuits) have met with, they have not abandoned England, where there are a greater number of Jesuits than in Italy; there are Jesuits in all classes of society; in Parliament; among the English clergy; among the Protestant laity, even in the higher stations. I could not comprehend how a Jesuit could be a Protestant priest, or how a Protestant priest could be a Jesuit; but my Confessor silenced my scruples by telling me, omnia munda mundis, and that St. Paul became a Jew that he might save the Jews; it is no wonder therefore, if a Jesuit should feign himself a Protestant, for the conversion of Protestants."59
Murder is not above the "means" which might be necessary to reach the desired "end." The General of the Jesuits will forgive any sins which are committed by the members of this Satanic order. In reference to the Jesuit General it is stated, "He also absolves the irregularity issuing, from bigamy, injuries done to others, murder, assassination ... as long as these wicked deeds were not publickly known and this cause of a scandal."60
That the Jesuit priests have such liberties as murder is reflected in the following lengthy quote from Paris' book The Secret History of the Jesuits.
"Amongst the most criminal jesuitic maxims, there is one which roused public indignation to the highest point and deserves to be examined; it is: 'A monk or priest is allowed to kill those who are ready to slander him or his community.'
So the order gives itself the right to eliminate its adversaries and even those of its members who, having come out of it, are too talkative. This pearl is found in the Theology of Father L'Amy.
There is another case where this principle finds its application. For this same Jesuit was cynical enough to write: 'If a Father, yielding to temptation, abuses a woman and she publicizes what has happened, and because of it, dishonours him, this same Father can kill her to avoid disgrace!'"61
In 1572, the Jesuits, with the help of Prince Henry III were responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. At this infamous event, which took place on August 15, 1572, the Jesuits murdered the Huguenot (Protestant) leaders gathered in Paris for the wedding of Princess Margaret, a Roman Catholic, and Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot. The murders inspired Roman Catholics to slaughter thousands of Huguenot men, women, and children. Henry of Navarre was not killed but was forced to renounce Protestantism, although his renounciation was insincere, and he remained a Protestant until 1593. The number of victims in this Jesuit conspiracy is estimated to be at least 10,000.62 In 1589, when Henry III was no longer useful to the Roman Catholic Church, he was assassinated by a monk by the name of Jacques Clement.63 Clement was called an "angel" by the Jesuit priest, Camelet.64 Another Jesuit priest by the name of Guigard, who was eventually hanged, taught his students that Clement did nothing wrong. In fact, he voiced his regrets that Henry III had not been murdered earlier at the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. He instructed them with lessons such as this: "Jacques Clement has done a meritor-ious act inspired by the Holy Spirit. If we can make war against the king, then let us do it; if we cannot make war against him, then let us put him to death ... we made a big mistake at the St. Bartholomew; we should have bled the royal vein."65
The Jesuits' murderous ways were not yet completed in the history of French Protestants! When Henry III was murdered, Henry of Navarre a Huguenot, came to power. A hope for Catholic rebellion never materialized, and Henry IV was allowed to reign. In 1592, an attempt was made to assassinate the Protestant king by a man named Barriere. Barriere admitted that he had been instructed to do so by a Father Varade, a Jesuit priest.66 In 1594, another attempt was made by Jean Chatel who had been taught by Jesuit teachers and had confessed to the Jesuits what he was about to do.67 It was at this time that Father Guigard, the Jesuit teacher previously mentioned, was seized and hanged for his connection with this plot.68
In 1598, King Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, granting religious freedom to the Huguenots. They were allowed full civil rights and the right to hold public worship services in towns where they had congregations.
This was the last straw! Henry IV had to be eliminated! This time the Jesuits would allow for more careful planning. Edmund Paris details the assassination of King Henry IV:
- "On the 16th of May, 1610, on the eve of his campaign against Austria, he was murdered by Ravaillac who confessed having been inspired by the writing of Fathers Mariana and Suarez. These two sanctioned the murders of heretic "tyrants" or those insufficiently devoted to the Papacy's interests. The duke of Epemon, who made the king read a letter while the assassin was lying in wait, was a notorious friend of the Jesuits, and Michelet proved that they knew of this attempt. In fact, Ravaillac had confessed to the Jesuit Father d'Aubigny just before and, when the judges interrogated the priest, he merely replied that God had given him the gift to forget immediately what he heard in the confessional."69
THIS is the spirit of our enemy! THIS is the ruthlessness of the Roman Catholic Church against those who will not bow their knee to Rome! Would God use this church to preserve His Word?
Wherever there is a conspiracy against God's people or God's Word, there seems always to be the shadow of a Jesuit priest near. Often they present themselves as seemingly innocent to the proceedings around them when, in fact, they are the driving force behind such plots against God's work.
It is often said that you can tell a lot about a man by taking a close look at his enemies. If a man is disliked by Communists, then that shows that he is a non-Communist and considered dangerous to their cause. If a man is disliked by the Roman Catholic Church, then this shows that he is not useful in spreading the Roman Catholic dogma.
This same thing is true of the Bible. What did the Jesuits, the sworn enemy of truth, think of the Authorized Version?
The Gunpowder Plot
To show the hatred of the Roman Catholic Church against King James for initiating a translation which would not use the corrupt Latin Vulgate or the Jesuit Bible of 1582, we must quote from Gustavus Paine's book, The Men Behind the King James Version. The account recorded took place in 1605-1606.
- "The story is too involved to give detail here, but on October 26, the Lord Chamberlain, Monteagle, received an unsigned letter begging him to stay away from Parliament on the day it opened. He took the letter to Robert Cecil, who on November 1 showed it to the king at a midnight meeting. The King shrewdly surmised a good deal of what it meant.
- Monday, November 4, an agent of the royal party found in a cellar beneath the House of Lords a man named Guy Fawkes, disguised as a servant, beside piles of faggots, billets of wood, and masses of coal. The agent went away. Shortly Monteagle and one other came and talked, but gave no heed to Fawkes, who was still on guard until they were about to go. He told them he was a servant of Thomas Percy, a well-known papist. Still later, at midnight, soldiers found Fawkes booted and spurred and with a lantern outside the cellar door. He had taken few pains to conceal his actions. They dragged him into an alley, searched him, and found on him a tinderbox and a length of slow match. In a fury now, they moved the faggots, billets and coal and came upon barrel after barrel of powder, thirty-six barrels in all. Fawkes then confessed that he meant to blow up the House of Lords and the king.
- On November 6, Percy, with others, rushed into an inn at Dunchurch, Warwickshire, with the news that the court was aware of their plan. By the 8th the whole attempt had dearly failed. When Parliament met a week after the stated day, the King, calm, gracious, and splendid told what had happened and then adjourned the meeting. At first Fawkes refused to name any except Percy who, with others, was killed in the course of a chase. In time he gave the names of all, who would have blown up the House of Lords 'at a clap.'
- Guy Fawkes was baptized at St. Michael le Belfrey, York, April 16, 1570, son of Edward Fawkes, a proctor and advocate in the church courts of York. The father died and the mother married a Papist. In 1603 Guy Fawkes went to Madrid to urge that Philip III invade England. Thus he was a confirmed traitor, though egged on and used by more astute plotters.
- Some of these men had been involved in the rising of the Earl of Esses. A number were former members of the Church of England. Most of them had some land and wealth. They were all highly disturbed beings, throwbacks, who meant to subvert the state and get rid of King James. Church and state, they were sure, must be at one, with fealty to the Pope.
- For nearly a year, the plotters had been digging a tunnel from a distance, but had found the wall under the House of Lords nine feet thick. They had then got access to the cellar by renting a building. They had planned to kill the King, seize his children, stir up an open revolt with the aid from Spaniards in Flanders, put Princess Elizabeth on the throne, and marry her to a Papist. Though all but one, Sir Everard Digby, pleaded not guilty, the court, such as it was, condemned them all to death. That same week they were all hanged, four in St. Paul's churchyard where John Overall, the translator, could have looked on and four in the yard of the old palace.
- Three months later came the trial of Henry Garnet, a Jesuit, thought to be head of the Jesuits in England. Brought up a Protestant, he knew of the plot but had shrunk in horror from it, though he left the chosen victims to their fate. The court condemned him also to die.
- All this concerned the men at work on the Bible. At Garnet's hanging, May 3, in St. Paul's churchyard, John Overall, Dean of St. Paul's took time off from his translating to be present. Very gravely and Christ-ianily he and the Dean of Winchester urged upon Garnet 'a true and lively faith to God-ward,' a free and plain statement to the world of his offense; and if any further treason lay in his knowledge, he was begged to unburden his conscience and show a sorrow and destination of it. Garnet, firm in his beliefs, desired them not to trouble him. So after the men assigned to the gruesome duty had hanged, drawn, and quartered the victim Dean Overall returned to St. Paul's and his Bible task."70
Thus the "Gunpowder Plot" failed. As usual, where there was treachery there was a Jesuit.
Did the failure of this plan stop the Jesuits? Of course not. Garnet had allowed this drastic plan to be carried out too soon. He had forgotten the Jesuit rule to act a little at a time "surtout, pas trop de zele" (above all, not too much zeal).