Excerpt taken from "But I Trust the Scholars"
Copyright © 2019 by David W. Daniels. Reproduced by permission.
Often, in the discussion related to Bible versions, you may hear these words pop out: “But I trust the scholars.”
But there’s more than one kind of scholar, just like there’s more than one kind of person. Some people you can trust with your life, and others you wouldn’t trust to help you cross the street. We must ask: “Are we trusting the right scholars?” Well, how many kinds of scholars are there? And what difference does it make, which kind we trust? Isn’t it enough that they are scholars?
Because there are two streams of Bible history, as I showed in Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?, they produce two kinds of scholars with two different agendas. One kind was dedicated to preserving accurate translations of exact copies of the original writings. The other kind was dedicated to using the scriptures as a vehicle to promote their own questionable agenda. So we end up with two methods of scholarship based on two very different agendas.
The one began from fear of God’s commands not to tamper with His words (See Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6), and trust that God would keep His promise to preserve His words through the generations of copies and translations (See Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; and Luke 21:33).
The other ignores the warnings, doubting that we could have accurate copies, or else that God would keep His promise. This book will give enough of a general outline of the competing histories to illustrate for you the two different agendas. Details can be found in the other books that I have written on Bible versions.
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Early Church Fathers
Many people are confused about who the church fathers were. People usually refer to the ones starting about 100+ AD. They are divided by the time in which they spoke, and the language they wrote, Latin or Greek. But the true early church fathers are just eight people: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James and Jude.
These were the only “fathers” to the church. They were inspired by the holy Spirit of God. Everything they wrote is doctrine we can rely on. No one else comes close.
In comparison, everyone else is a pretender to the title. Every other writer wrote without being inspired of God. Every other one wrote his own opinions, not God’s words. And we can take them or leave them. But the eight actual church fathers, we must trust with our hearts, because they wrote exactly what God wanted them to. No one else after them can claim that level of inspiration.
This is key: every book of the “church fathers” (or in theologian-speak, the patristics) involves writings that are uninspired and tainted either less or more. No one had it all right. That’s what happens when humans write without God’s Holy Ghost moving them.
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21)
The Holy Ghost moved the New Testament scholars, the real church fathers. His wind drove their sails. The others were puffing into the sails of their boats.
Why is this?
The patristic scholars are unreliable. And many were instrumental in creating the prostitute church that developed in the Vatican in Rome. Here are some examples:
Origen taught two opposing doctrines, depending upon whether the student was one of his elect, or not.
200-253 AD - Two-faced Origen taught “orthodoxy” publicly to some students, and esoteric occultic religion, at the same time, to special, “elect” pupils.
Created the Hexapla through many servants —a bunch of versions, with his own version and notes as well.
October 312-337 - Politician and Emperor Constantine maneuvered himself into being “bishop of bishops” and the first pope. He also convened “church” councils to determine what doctrines would be accepted in his “Christianized” empire.
380s-405 - Stuck-up scholar Jerome made his own Catholic Latin version of the Greek and Hebrew Bible books and added apocryphal books he translated from various languages.
Aug 24, 410 - Visigoths invaded Rome. After Rome fell, the Bishop of Rome collected properties, making this counterfeit church the most powerful entity, both religious and political.
During this period, Church Councils met to resolve questions that arose about various doctrines:
Some things the committees decided were scriptural. Others were not. The moral of the story is we don’t need councils. We need scripture. We need to trust scripture. So, we need to have scripture we can trust.
Modern church scholars have come up with different groupings of these “church fathers”:
And they were grouped another way by language:
These guys are all a mixed bag. Soon after the apostles died, some began venerating dead people. Christians who died for their faith would have their graves visited by other Christians, who lifted them up above the rest of them.
One story of this quasi-worship given to dead people involves Origen, who, as a teen, tried to run and die with the martyrs one day when his dad, Leonidas, was being led away to be beheaded for his faith. His mother held him back only by hiding his clothes. His sense of modesty, at least, overrode his passion for following other Christians to their death.
Origen became one of the most prominent “fathers” in the modern text critic’s history of the Bible. Origen’s own Greek Septuagint, the 5th column of his giant parallel Old Testament called the “Hexapla,” became the main version of the Septuagint Old Testament that circulated from that day forward in the proto-Catholic churches.
Why is Origen important? He was an extremist in just about every sense of the word. Like Freemasonry, he taught both exoteric doctrines (the religion seen by the public) and esoteric (secret doctrines for the “initiated” or “elect”).
The codices [CO dih sees], “big books,” that are labeled as “Alexandrian,” are known as Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus. Nowadays those are the Greek Bibles that scholars connect to Origen and what they consider his Septuagint.
Origen has continued to be revered by Catholics, text critics, Protestants and even occultists. We must be careful when examining his writings. He is a truly mixed bag. He was honest in one regard: his work on the Hexapla did at least use symbols to note which words were translated from the Hebrew, and which were not.