A Little Bible History: 1857 J.C. Philpot Against KJV Revision

'The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever' PSALMS 12:6-7

"Concerning the words being purified "seven times," it is interesting to observe that the King James Version is the seventh major English translation. The six translations before it were: Wyclif's Bible (1382), Coverdale's Bible (1535, using Tyndale's New Testament from 1525), Matthew's Bible (1537), The Great Bible (1539), The Geneva Bible (1560), and The Bishop's Bible (1568). Each of these Bibles was (and still is) a valuable translation, but the King James of 1611 is the purest—the seventh and final purification. It has completely replaced all six of its predecessors." KJV - T. Morton

The Desirability of Keeping the Authorized Version by J. C. Philpot (Written in 1857 when the Revised Version was contemplated)

We take this opportunity to express our opinion upon a question much agitated of late--whether it would be desirable to have a new (or at least a revised) translation of the Scriptures. We fully admit that there are here and there passages of which the translation might be improved, as, for instance, "love" for "charity" all through 1 Corinthians 13; but we deprecate any alteration as a measure that, for the smallest sprinkling of good, would deluge us with a flood of evil. The following are our reasons:

1. Who are to undertake it? Into whose hands would the revision fall? What an opportunity for the enemies of truth to give us a mutilated false Bible! Of course, they must be learned men, great critics, scholars, and divines, but these are notoriously either Puseyites or Neologians (We should say: Anglo-Catholics and Modernists.)--in other words, deeply tainted with either popery or infidelity. Where are there learned men sound in the truth, not to say alive unto God, who possess the necessary qualifications for so important a work? And can erroneous men, men dead in trespasses and sins, carnal, worldly, ungodly persons, spiritually translate a book written by the blessed Spirit? We have not the slightest ground for hope that they would be godly men, such as we have reason to believe translated the Scriptures into our present version.
2. Again, it would unsettle the minds of thousands as to which was the Word of God, the old translation or the new. What a door it would open for the workings of infidelity, or the temptations of Satan! What a gloom, too, it would cast over the minds of many of God's saints to have those passages which had been applied to their souls translated in a different way, and how it would seem to shake all their experience of the power and preciousness of God's Word!
3. But besides this, there would be two Bibles spread through the land, the old and the new, and what confusion would this create in almost every place! At present, all sects and denominations agree in acknowledging our present version as the standard of appeal. Nothing settles disputes so soon as when the contending parties have confidence in the same umpire and are willing to abide by his decision. But this judge of all disputes, this umpire of all controversy, would cease to be the looser of strife if the present acknowledged authority were put an end to by a rival.
4. Again, if the revision and re-translation were once to begin, where would it end? It is good to let well alone, as it is easier to mar than mend. The Socinianising (Denying the Godhead of Christ) Neologian would blot out "God" in 1 Timothy 3:16, and strike out 1 John 5:7,8, as an interpolation. The Puseyite would mend it to suit Tractarian views (Led by Newman and Keble, the Tractarians were moving towards Romanism). He would read "priest" where we now read "elder," and put "penance" in the place of "repentance."
Once set up a notice, "THE OLD BIBLE TO BE MENDED," and there would be plenty of workmen, who, trying to mend the cover, would pull the pages to pieces. The Arminian would soften down the words "election" and "predestination" into some term less displeasing to Pharisaic ears. "Righteousness" would be turned into "justice," and "reprobate" into "undiscerning." All our good Bible terms would be so mutilated that they would cease to convey the Spirit's meaning, and instead of the noble simplicity, faithfulness and truth of our present version, we should have a Bible that nobody would accept as the Word of God, to which none could safely appeal, and on which none could implicitly rely.
5. Instead of our good old Saxon Bible, simple and solid, with few words really obsolete, and alike majestic and beautiful, we should have a modern English translation in the pert and flippant language of the day. Besides its authority as the Word of God, our present version is the great English classic generally accepted as the standard of the English language. The great classics of a language cannot be modernised. What an outcry there would be against modernising Shakespeare, or making Hooker, Bacon or Milton talk the English of the newspapers or of the House of Commons!
6. The present English Bible has been blessed to thousands of the saints of God; and not only so, it has become part of our national inheritance which we have received unimpaired from our fathers, and are bound to hand down unimpaired to our children. It is, we believe, the grand bulwark of Protestantism ; the safeguard of the Gospel, and the treasure of the Church; and we should be traitors in every sense of the word if we consented to give it up to be rifled by the sacrilegious hands of Puseyites, concealed Papists, German Neologians, infidel divines, Arminians, Socinians, and the whole tribe of enemies of God and godliness.
(excerpted from Sin & Salvation, by J. C. Philpot [original source])
Unfortunately the haters of God's Words would not listen.
From: Sticking w/the KJV : "The history of the bible is a topic that requires a lot of study, but every Christian should at the very least know something about a certain two men by the names of Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. These two men came along in the early 1870's and basically set about to rewrite the King James Version of the bible, evidently convincing the right people that it was necessary to do so. After many years of work, Westcott and Hort produced their own Greek text designed to replace the textus receptus, i.e. the 'received text', which is the Greek text that the King James New Testament is based upon. This new Westcott-Hort Greek text was markedly inconsistent with the 'textus receptus', with thousands of words having been changed and entire verses either rephrased or missing altogether. It was the basis for the first ever revision of the King James Bible, released by Westcott and Hort in 1881. They called it the "English Revised Version"...Many more revisions and newer 'versions' were to follow, and to this present day the anti-KJV'ers are seemingly still [literally hundreds of tries later - Ed.] searching for just the 'right one'.
Meanwhile, the incomparable King James Bible, aka the Authorized Version, will soon be celebrating it's 400th birthday in 2011 - and it still has all of it's words." [see post]


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

He was right about the new versions. It's too bad that so many church leaders today have been led astray with new Catholic backed Bibles that have changed the word of God.

tom m. said...

It is. And the thing about it too is that they don't care, and they don't want to hear about it, and they will argue to no end to defend their Westcott-Hort imitations.

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.' [DEUT. 4:2]

Greg said...

I was pleased to read this article by JC Philpot in defence of our beloved KJB.
I have recently discovered that the enemies of the gospel have found there way into the writings of many great and Godly men including Mr Philpot's.
Since the enemies of the KJB are not afraid to tarnish the very Bible itself with their erroneous insertions and denials, they will not be afraid to do it also to the very best writings of the faithful who have vigorously defended it.
Be diligent to find authentic, unedited copies of their books to avoid suspect publishers.
When in doubt, dig deeper or just stick with reading the scripture.
Modern E-books may give better access to more material, but be mindful of the tainted works of evil hearted publishers that would corrupt the best and oldest teachings.
Paul warned that letters 'as from us' were in circulation even while he lived, so beware.

tom m. said...

Well said, Greg.

Anything "modernized" or "updated" should definitely be "discarded", because it cannot be changed without being "corrupted".

And often it is not clearly stated that a book has been altered, you have to read the fine print, so to speak, to find it.

Like you say, above all, stay in the Word - yes, KJV only - only there can you let down your guard and breathe freely and drink deeply, always. Hallelujah