Bible - Versions & Translations

Rome Came, Rome Saw. Is Rome Conquering?

By The Protestant Alliance of Britain, edited by Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Through subtle but strategic changes in its infiltration of the United Bible Societies, the Vatican has achieved its goal of controlling Bible translation - both Protestant and Catholic - worldwide.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part four (final) of a series. Read part three.

Editor's note: This final installment of the series originally published in The Reformer, the bimonthly publication of The Protestant Alliance of Britain, reveals how subtle but strategic changes in Rome's infiltration of the United Bible Societies has achieved the Vatican's goal of controlling Bible translation - both Protestant and Catholic - worldwide. - Dr. Paul M. Elliott


The Vatican, having gained its foothold within the biggest "Protestant" Bible Society of the world, was not slow in beginning its policy of infiltration and control. After all, the Roman Catholic scholars working with the U.B.S. came from the religious order founded to destroy Protestantism: The Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits. A slogan began to circulate in the circle of the U.B.S. - "The work is one, let the money be one" - with the result that Roman Catholic Bible translation projects were to be financed by Protestant churches!

A revision of the Guiding Principles for lnterconfessional Co-operation in Translating the Bible was issued in 1987 under the guidance of the Jesuit Cardinal Johannes Willebrands[1] and approved by the then Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Donald Coggan[2], honorary president of the U.B.S.. This document had some subtle, interesting changes regarding the translating team: "Consisting of not more than six persons of high competence from the Roman Catholic and other Christian constituencies and possessing four essential characteristics: a) comparable qualifications, b) complementary abilities, c) mutual respect, and d) capacity to work together."

There is no longer an equal proportion between Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars, actually the word "Protestant" has been removed. Protestants are referred to as being of "other Christian constituencies". A very high competence in Biblical languages is required to be part of this translating team which without the clause of being equal in proportion could have a majority of Roman Catholic scholars and a minority of other Christian scholars. It should be noted that there has never [before] been anyone on this team [who] is not from a traditionally Protestant denomination.

The Roman Catholic Church has been very busy for decades in preparing excellent scholars in biblical languages. They have trained them to become the most able scholars in the field. This is in order that they will dominate the committees tasked with publishing future editions of the Greek New Testament which will be used by Bible Societies and other Bible translating agencies, such as Wycliffe Bible Translators.[3]

Where Are These Roman Catholic Brilliant Scholars Trained?

The Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome was founded by Pope Pius X in 1909 to counteract the work of Bible societies by training scholars to study and interpret the Scriptures in order to promote the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Institute was run by the Jesuits since its birth and it has also a branch in Jerusalem. It runs courses on biblical languages and conferences for future Bible translators.

The Roman Catholic Church, having not been successful in the suppression of Bible societies and their work, has patiently and methodically worked to gain control and influence on them. The 1987 Guiding Principles imposed on the inter-confessional translation projects dictate that the scholars involved should have a common way of interpreting the Scriptures based on the use of "mutually acceptable commentaries and scholarly works."

This means that commentaries and scholarly work of Protestant persuasion cannot be ever used if in their exposition of the Scriptures they undermine the primacy of Peter, the doctrine of transubstantiation, the worship of Mary, salvation by works and the doctrine of purgatory.

These Guiding Principles also impose the use, where it is necessary, of "alternative readings, being texts, which represents a significant possibility of being original or which reflect a long tradition in existing translation." This means in practice that, in order to give "biblical authority" to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church a weaker manuscript [i.e., the Critical Text] should be used instead of the ones which clearly contradict Rome's heretical claims [the Received or Byzantine Text].

The Reformers studied Greek and Hebrew to be able to better understand the Scriptures and translated them into the vernacular. The Reformation gave great impetus to the study of Biblical languages and it is sad to notice that today, in spite of the great availability of material and modern technology, few Bible believers are studying these languages. This lack of knowledge and understanding are urgently needed to counteract the manipulation of Scriptures by the Church of Rome, apostate Protestants, and misguided Evangelicals working together.

Satan's approach to challenge God's sovereignty has always been, is now, and shall be to the end of time, "Yea, hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1). He managed to largely withhold the Scriptures from us during the Dark Ages and is rapidly leading us into another age of spiritual ignorance and superstitious fear. We need Almighty God to appear in reviving power on His Church and awakening power in the nations.


1. Johannes Willebrands (1909-2006) was a Dutch cardinal of the Roman Catholic church and president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity during the crucial period from 1969 to 1989. Willebrands was considered a strong candidate for the papacy at both papal elections in 1978 (after the deaths of Paul VI in August and John Paul I in October). He reportedly withdrew his candidacy at the October conclave to clear the way for Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtya to be elected as John Paul II.

2. Donald Coggin (1909-2000) was the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. During his prelacy he advocated the ordination of women, and sought inter-communion and eventual re-union with both the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. Coggin attended the 1978 enthronement of John Paul II, the first Archbishop of Canterbury to attend such a ceremony since before the Reformation.

3. The co-opting of Wycliffe Bible Translators is already quite evident in its obsession with so-called "cultural contextualization" - a strategy involving radical mis-translations of Scripture that very much follows the Jesuit maxim that "the ends justify the means." See our article, Wycliffe's Islam-Friendly Bibles: The Abomination of Cultural Contextualization.


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