Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Radio Replies First Volume - Protestants and the Bible

559. In any case you have to admit that Protestants have more love for Scripture than Catholics. We owe the rediscovery of the Bible chiefly to the early Protestants.

I deny absolutely that Protestants love Scripture more than Catholics. Nor was the Bible ever re-discovered. Through all the centuries it had been carefully transcribed and preserved in Catholic monasteries, and was there already for Luther and others to broadcast.

560. To whom am I indebted for my English Bible?

You are indebted to many collaborators. Between 1525 and 1536 William Tindale translated into English various Greek and Latin copies of the Bible which had been made by Catholic monks, copies which could be traced back to the original Scriptures. Cromwell was not satisfied with Tindale's translation, so commissioned Miles Coverdale to make a new one. Coverdale used and perfected to some extent Tindale's version, and published the "Great Bible" in 1539. Not satisfied with this, a committee of Anglican Bishops revised it, and in 1568 published what is known as the "Bishops' Bible." This was also faulty, and King James 1st of England ordered a new revision. Taking as their basis the Bishops' Bible, a committee oi 47 revisers whose names are not known produced what is known as the "Authorized Version" in 1611. In 1881 a new revised version was published, correcting some 5,000 mistakes in the Authorized Version. Further revision of this "Revised Version" is being demanded.

Thus you owe your English Bible to many unknown revisers, the Bishops of 1568, Miles Coverdale 1539, Tindale 1525, Monastic copyists through the ages, and thence to the originals.

561. Have Catholics a true copy of the Bible as used by Protestants?

Protestants have not a true copy. Their copy contains many mistranslations and omits complete Books. The Catholic Church provides a substantially true copy or version in English for her own subjects.

562. You speak of mistranslations. Do you accuse the Protestant translators of grossly infamous conduct in tampering with the text?

I do. Dixon, in his Introduction to Scripture says, "That the early Protestant translations were full of gross errors no unprejudiced Protestant will now deny, and that these errors were willful, Ward, in his Errata, satisfactorily proves." Bishop Ellicott, in his book, "Considerations on the Revision of the English Version," says that the translation "yields erroneous doctrinal inferences not to be drawn from the original." Blunt, in his "Key to the Knowledge and Use of the Bible," says, "The characters of the translators were not such as to command the respect of men." Robert Gell, chaplain to Archbishop Abbott, one of the revising committee, wrote of the discussions, "Truth was often outvoted. Dogmatic interests were in some cases allowed to bias the translation. The Calvinism of one party, the prelatic views of another, were both represented at the expense of accuracy."

563. What books are omitted from the Protestant Version?

Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the two Books of Machabees, and the various sections of other Books.

564. Is not the Douay Version a poorer rendering into English than the Protestant Version, apart from its Romish viewpoint?

The Douay Version has not a "Romish" viewpoint in the sense of having been deliberately accommodated to Catholic teaching. It is a substantially true Version which, because true, necessarily indicates the Catholic Church as the true Church. For that is the truth of Scripture. From a literary point of view, it is a less beautiful translation than that of the Authorized Version. But why? Merely because it is a more exact translation. When a foreign language, classical or modern, is translated into English, the more one clings to the text, the less purely literary beauty one attains in the new language. To obtain a more beautiful rendering one must translate more freely, thus more or less forfeiting the exact sense of the original. But in the matter of God's Word, we want, not so much literary beauty, but just what God intended. And for that, the Douay Version far surpasses the Authorized Version, despite its rather awkward literary structure at times.


Krista said...

Per the first English translations...

There are extant fragments of the Scriptures in Anglo-Saxon, so I guess that would trump the Protestants of Henry's day as Anglo-Saxon is the root of the English language.

Anonymous said...

Protestants sure have a bunch of false theories on the Bible--too bad they believe them--rather than search for the truth.

Vincenzo said...