The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:6-9 (KJV)
On Easter Sunday about twenty years ago, I picked up my copy of the local Sunday paper to read on the front page headline, “The Myth of Easter.” It was not an article questioning the Easter bunny, or the practice of egg-hunting, but simply proposing the story of Easter as some happy fable. That very next day when their business office opened, I canceled my subscription and have not purchased a copy since.
Most Bible believers are not interested in endless studies of the errors that have arisen concerning the Gospel in our time but would prefer to concentrate on the immutable truths of the Holy Word of God. But it may become necessary at some point for a peace-loving people to deploy in battle array to confront an enemy who proposes to destroy everything they hold dear and reduce them to beggars and slaves. The same is true of those who have arisen to instigate confusion, doubt, and irreverence for the Holy God, His Son, and the Holy Bible. Though we have not yet resisted unto the shedding of blood, the day may be eminent.
To be sure, there is nothing HIGH about Higher Criticism. Its fruits are the vilest and most degenerate of all man-made philosophies and enjoys its beginnings, not high, but in the lowest depths of Hell. It differs little from the first example of ‘higher criticism’ that occurred in the Garden east at Eden. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5 (KJV)
Interesting to note one of Satan’s best tools to arouse doubt is by misquoting scripture with a question’ A question throws its object off guard with the supposition that actual understanding is desire. “Yea, hath God said” prepares the mind to follow through to wonder if God REALLY said. But then Satan misquotes God in the remainder of that question: “Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Is that what God said? No, you know, as well as I, that God did not say that. God said: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:16-17 (KJV) God clearly told Adam he could eat of EVERY tree in the GARDEN including the Tree of Life (symbolizing our Lord) but was forbidden to eat of only one tree – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – the very Tree before which Eve stood and conversed with the beguiling voice.
Once Satan has a fish on the line so far as misquoting Scripture, he will then flatly deny the Word of God: “Ye shall not surely die.” He then goes on to question the righteousness of God; “ For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
It seems ironic that in the very beginning heartland of the Reformation, the modern Higher Critics emerged to question what God had said. They possessed a pretended sophistication and scholarship which was merely self-serving and prideful. They questioned the preserved Word of God passed down from the ancient church and began, from a purely secular vantage point, to question the historicity of the Bible and its miracles. At length, they even questioned the veracity of God’s only Begotten Son about which the purpose of the entire Bible bore testimony and revelation. Ministers of shallow faith rose to the top in world renown for their pretended realism in the approach to Scripture. It was fashionable to question the principles of biblical faith as having, for the most part, to be based upon fable or faulty biblical texts.
The world has never known a movement so gallant, so bold, so full of enlightenment, as the Great Reformation which heralded back to that “faith once delivered to the saints.” The fervor of the Reformation was kindled by the love of the re-discovery of biblical truth contained in the Canon of Scripture. Satan did his best to stem the tide of faith which followed in the wake of the Reformation. He attempted to suppress the restoration of the Holy Bible to the hands of the common man. He failed. All that he tried resulted in renewed vigor and determination to cling to that greatest of all resources man could access on earth. Courageous men and women were suddenly willing to be burned at the stake in defense of a single verse of that Holy Book – a characteristic unquestionably missing in the greater number of ministers who occupy the pulpits of the world today, that is, with the exception of those courageous souls (even children) who suffered beheadings rather than renounce their faith during the recent outrages of the Islamic butchers called Islamic State in Syria (ISIS).
The deceptions of new bible versions are subtle just as was the whispered lies of Satan at Eden. They insist that the underlying texts they use are more reliable and ancient. Can we be deceived by such artless lies? If you believe in God, and you believe that He has given us His Holy Word, inviolable, as a Light to show us the Way, (“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalms 119:105), and you believe God’s promise to preserve His Word Immutable forever, how could you so easily believe man’s word that he has found a new bible that diminishes the standing of Christ and His Holy Spirit. If you doubt the veracity of my claim, please ask, and I shall provide abundant evidence.
The Sixth Article of the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion lists those books of the Bible which the Church accounts as canonical and God-breathed. After listing the present twenty-seven Books of the New Testament, we find this qualification in a single paragraph:
“All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.”
The great Reformers were, by no means, dunces. They were scholars of the highest order; yet their faith was unshakeable. They were willing to die for that faith in the Word of God. Many were fluent in a great number of languages including Hebrew, Greek Latin, etc. They were aware that other manuscript evidence existed, but they were single-minded in accepting the Received Text Bibles only as Canonical. They did not use the so-call Westcott-Hort manuscript and textual evidence though these manuscripts had been on deposit in the Vatican and other Roman depositories long before the Reformation. Why not? Because they considered both the internal evidence of God’s Word to be decisively vested in the Received Text, and they also compared the 5,000+ manuscripts and found that they all agreed fundamentally with each other – the mark of conclusive evidence when all witnesses agree to the same question. On the other hand, the manuscript and textual evidence underlying the NIV, ESV, New World Translation of the Jehovah Witnesses, and an array of other politically correct versions all disagree with each other in many points. They often leave out , or question, entire verses or passages (ex: John 8:1-11, a passage that contains greater grace than most any other) and they attempt to change the elementary meaning of God’s Word. They are written for profit and are copyrighted; therefore, these bibles are not God’s Bible, but belong to men. As our ancient Nicene Creed states,
“I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father.”
Perhaps your newly manufactured bible does not identify Jesus as Begotten of the Father which makes Him of the same substance with the Father. Your new made-for-profit bible (ESV, NIV, etc) refers to Jesus in this way: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV) or this way: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV) Of course, Jesus is not the only son of God. Adam was a son of God: “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” Luke 3:38 (KJV) You and I, if we belong to Christ, are also the sons and daughters of God. So why make God’s Word into a lie?
The errors of the Higher Critics would require volumes to reveal; however, it is enough to know that we should not question the veracity of God’s Word, including the miracles and parables.
“Let God be true, but every man a liar!” Romans 3:4 (KJV)