|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Part one of two
Editor's Note: During the 19th century the popes of Rome, employing the devious forces of the Jesuit order, began a systematic campaign to discredit the Bible of the Protestant Reformers, which had been translated from the Received Text in the original languages. But during the 20th century, it became apparent that these tactics were not fully achieving the desired result. Therefore Rome cleverly shifted its tactics. Instead of openly opposing Protestant Bible societies and institutions of linguistic scholarship, Rome began to infiltrate them and effectively take them over.
Rome has achieved that goal. In the five decades since the end of the Second Vatican Council, through clever maneuvers the Jesuits have gained effective dominance of the field of Bible translation - Protestant as well as Catholic. Today, over 95% of Bible translation worldwide uses source texts that are counterfeits, not the providentially preserved Word of God in the original languages. The Roman Catholic hold on Bible translation and linguistic scholarship grows ever stronger.
How, specifically, has this affected Bible translation? In this article and one to follow, we present material on one of the most significant examples - mistranslation of a verse in the Gospel of Matthew in "evangelical" Bible versions in order to support Rome's false doctrines of the perpetual virginity and sinless perfection of Mary, which facilitate Romanism's false portrayal of Mary as a mediatrix for sinners and co-redemptrix alongside Jesus Christ.
This material first appeared in The Reformer, the publication of the Protestant Alliance of Great Britain. We thank Mr. Charles Scott-Pearson, Organizing Secretary of the Alliance, for permission to reproduce it. Other articles on this subject that we have reproduced from The Reformer can be found here. - Dr. Paul M. Elliott
There are many translations available today of the Bible in English. The New Testaments of the majority are based on the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, which greatly differs from the Received Text which the New Testament of every English Bible from Tyndale's New Testament until the Authorized Version is based upon.
One verse [of thousands] which differs between the Nestle-Aland and Received Text is Matthew 1:25. Here is Matthew 1:25 from the Authorized Version followed by the quotations from the latest revisions of the most widely used Bible versions in the English-speaking world:
Authorized [King James] Version (AV) - "And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."
New King James Version (NKJV) - "And did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus."
Today's New International Version (TNIV) - "But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus."
English Standard Version (ESV) - "But knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus."
You will notice that the word "firstborn", present in the AV and NKJV, is absent from the other modern versions quoted. This verse is very important in the defense of the Gospel as it stands as a rock against one of the [false] Roman Catholic dogmas - the perpetual virginity of Mary [which is connected with Rome's companion false teaching of Mary's perpetual sinlessness and her purported roles as mediatrix for sinners and co-redemptrix with Christ]....
First Roman Catholic English Bible Agreed with the Received Text
The translation of the Bible into the English language at the time of the Reformation and its success in this country [Britain] forced the Roman Catholic Church to produce an English version of the Bible. The first Roman Catholic Bible in English was translated partially in the English Roman Catholic seminary of Douay and then in the town of Rheims, France and was published in 1610. It is known as the Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB) and it is still used today by Traditional Roman Catholics - it is a translation based on the Latin Vulgate and it translates Matthew 1:25 as follows: "And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son: and he called his name Jesus." (Matthew 1:25 DRB).
The English Roman Catholic bishop, Richard Challoner, revised the Douay-Rheims in 1750 providing extensive notes and commentary to support the teachings of the Church of Rome. The footnote provided for Matthew 1:25 uses one verse in the Old Testament and one of the Apocrypha with the commentary of Jerome to indicate that the word "till" does not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph consummated the marriage after the birth of Christ.
Later Translation Manipulates the Word of God
An interesting change in the translation of the Roman Catholic Bible can be noticed in the version produced by Ronald Knox, a former Anglican clergyman who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1918. He completed a translation of the Bible in 1949 in which Matthew 1:25 is translated as follows: "and he had not known her when she bore a son, her first-born to whom he gave the name Jesus." To justify the manipulation of the text, Knox added a footnote stating that "the Hebrew word represented by 'till' does not imply that the event which might have been expected did take place afterwards." The quote is followed by the list of verses used by Challoner in 1750.
This interpretation is based on the assumption that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Aramaic and then he translated it into Greek. Scholars have debated this hypothesis and concluded two things: First, that there is no extant copy of the Aramaic or Hebrew version of this Gospel and, second, that the early church only used the Greek version we have today.
However, the Church of Rome, since the Second Vatican Council and the co-operation with the United Bible Societies, has been very busy in the production of Roman Catholic Bibles in English and other languages. After all, the Second Vatican Council encouraged the faithful to read the Bible, but there was a double plan: to influence the editing of biblical texts and to produce a Roman Catholic Bible which agreed with their heretical doctrines.
Next: How Rome Justifies Its Mistranslation of Matthew 1:25
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