Salem, Oregon, August 25, 1881.
W. J. PURINGTON – MY DEAR SIR: – I see in the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, No. 16, current volume, a communication from you, in which you say, “This so-called new translation of the New Testament is not a translation, but a modernizing of the written word.” Now, sir, allow me to say, I indorse all you did say. I hope you will write for the SIGNS, and give us your views on the subject. Was there any need for this? Who authorized them? Who gave them such authority? I would be glad for the SIGNS to come out on the subject.
REPLY. – In making a brief answer to my friend's questions, I have to state that our present translation, known as that authorized by King James, has been blessed of our God to the comfort and edification of his church and people; and if our God designed the letter of the word for us Gentiles, as we firmly believe, he raised up the men to do what he designed; and now every time that uninspired men tamper with the written word in order to have it read to suit their carnal ideas, and make it more “palatable” to the taste of the fashionable world of mankind, the further do they get from the inspired original. The men whom God raised up to perform that work showed critical skill, and rendered the scriptures out of the original Hebrew and Greek texts so that the letter represents the truth of sound doctrine. What! has the righteous One been owning and blessing a falsehood these many years, to the comfort and edification of his believing children?
Many of the changes made in this modernized version now scattered broadcast over our land show the work of sciolists, or novices, if they made the changes according to their judgment; but if they made them against their better judgment, it shows a desire to please the world, instead of holding forth the truth by faithfully vindicating the original text, for many of the alterations savor strongly of puerility, instead of the sober, sound, discriminating judgment of intelligent men. But this spirit of innovation upon the written letter of the scriptures has been gradually showing itself for a number of years. The writer of this brief reply has formerly been in some rather warm arguments with some of those leading characters, and when they were sorely pressed he has received answers like the following, “O, I know it reads so, but then it does not mean that.” “The bible would do for the time it was written, and in oriental climes; but it will not now, because such progress has been made in science, the record in the bible has become antiquated,” and many such like answers. Right here I would say to my friend Cooley, that the object is to have a book called the bible, so written as to “bolster up” all the religious hypocrites throughout the length and breadth of our land. What an appalling sight it is to every humble follower of the meek and lowly Jesus to see the rapid strides the hydra-headed monster, priestcraft, is making in our land, and the only consolation is that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth; and if permitted at some future day to grasp the reigns of power in our government, his myrmidons will not ask persons to purchase their so-called bible, but will compel the community to have one of them in every family.
You ask” who authorized them?” Their own self-constituted authority; for their temerity has been according to their own sic volo, or thus they will, without any higher authority than the paramount desire to remove the plain, positive teaching of the written word of God.
My friend, excuse the brevity of the reply, but in few words I have told you how I feel about the matter.
WILLIAM J. PURINGTON.
Hopewell, N. J., Sept. 12, 1881
Signs of the Times
Volume 49, No. 19
October 1, 1881