ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS
A REPLY TO THE "REVIEW" OF MY BOOK
"OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED"
B. G. Wilkinson
Back in 1930 B. G, Wilkinson published OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED. Some of his college colleagues took exception to his book and criticized it publicly, Since Wilkinson, who was a professor in one of our colleges, was having his scholarship questioned, it was mandatory that he reply.
This book is his reply to their "review" and criticism. It literally "downs" them on every argument. Since feelings and rivalry were running high, the General Conference of those days requested Wilkinson to not publish this work. He agreed.
Since the individuals concerned are no longer on the scene, and since the issue of modern versions is now a very important topic, we feel that this work should be available to students.
Many in our denomination are "pushing" the use of the New International Version and repressing the use of the King James Version from the pulpits. Since our doctrines, particularly the Investigative Judgment and 2300-Day Prophecy cannot be taught from the NIV, our people should be made aware of the dangers of this Romanized Bible being foisted upon them.
It is time our members studied for themselves the history of the English Bible, and its many modern versions. If we are to adopt the NIV as a standard for use in the pulpit and in our schools, then we might as well give up being Seventh-day Adventists and join the ecumenical movement back to Rome. This is not an idle statement, Just a real, honest bit of study will soon reveal how the enemy has crept within our ranks.
At the time OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED was published, the NIV had not come on the scene. Wilkinson's main concern was with the Revised Version and the American Revision, both springing from the works of Westcott and Hort (on the RV), All modern versions also have taken their basis from the Westcott-Hort Greek Text, It is time we re-examined their sources and reasoning. Our very denomination is at stake!
I wish first of all to thank the committee for giving me more time than first was contemplated, in order that I should not have to work under too heavy pressure. I appreciate this very much and wish to take occasion to thank you.
Perhaps a number of my hearers may think that this matter is receiving too much attention; to them it may appear like much ado about nothing. To all who may feel this way, I will say that if they will do me the honour to follow me attentively, I shall attempt to show them that it is of great importance.
I trust that in all that I shall say on the subject, I shall avoid all unkindness, and if I say some things which have that appearance, I hope that you will forgive me and remember that it was my intention to be charitable and kind.
In the process of vindicating a matter, it is proper and obligatory,- if you would vindicate successfully- to not only state and quote those things that vindicate, but also it may be equally necessary to take away the foundations of opponents. Those who wrote this document -- my Reviewers -- took exception to my use of Dr. Hemphill, saying that I used only those statements from him which corroborated my viewpoint. As I was not reviewing Hemphill, but simply gathering from him such facts as I needed, I was under no obligation to quote also the opposite side. But those who wrote the document, to which I now reply, were under obligation, since they called it a review, to be impartial and to present the good and strong side of my arguments as well as those phrases which seemed to them to be weak, This they notably failed to do.
Their document purports to be a review, not a reply. They should, therefore, have reviewed all my chapters and leading points; but they did not. Therefore, their document is not a review, it is a reply; yet not a fair, square reply; it is notably an attempt to refute such parts of my book as they consider weak; it is a defense of the Revisers, and an exaltation of the RV and a disparagement of the AV. (Authorized Version)
They completely ignored many of my main lines of argument, as follows:
1. They failed in this document to examine, much less to justify the apostate, Romanizing, and Unitarian character of Westcott and Hort, leading English Revisers.
2. They likewise failed even to notice, much less to answer, the grave charges my book brought against Dr, Philip Schaff, President of both American Revision Committees, and his great Romanizing influence over American Theological colleges.
3. Their document, likewise, ignored and failed to meet the argument drawn from the Oxford movement which Jesuitized England, revised her Protestant prayer book and articles of faith, and created the men and measures which could produce the Revised Version.
4. They failed to notice or to meet the arguments drawn from the Council of Trent, which voted as its first four articles: (1) Establishing tradition; (2) Establishing the Apocryphal books (3) Putting the Vulgate on its feet; (4) Taking the interpretation of the Bible out of the hands of the laity- all of which split the world into Protestantism and Catholicism.
5. They failed to meet the indisputable testimony which I brought forth from Catholic scholars, that in the Revised Version were restored the Catholic readings denounced in Reformation and post-Reformation times.
6. They made no attempt to handle the argument drawn from the chapter, "The Reformers Reject the Bible of the Papacy".
7. They failed completely to meet, or even to notice, the tremendous argument drawn from the great struggle over the Jesuit Bible of 1582.
8. They paid absolutely no attention to my chapter, "Three Hundred Years of Attack on the King James Version", which showed the monumental work done by Jesuits, higher critics, and pantheistic German scholars in undermining the Inspired bases laid by the prophets of God for His divine Word, laid so that all men could see that the miracle of preservation was as great as the miracle of inspiration. Those higher critics substituted for these bases their subtle pantheistic, Romanizing, Unitarianistic, figments of imagination under the dignified title of "critical intuition".
With regard to the charge that my book "was published at disregard of General Conference counsel, and over the plea of the executive officers that agitation of this question should cease", I will say: Perhaps the brethren listening to me know something that I do not know. But I can honestly state that the only thing in the nature of General Conference counsel or of the plea of executive officials of the General Conference which came to me, was a copy of the letter written by Elder Spicer, then President of the General Conference, November 18, 1928, jointly to Elders Robbins, Hamilton, Martin, Prescott and myself. But if my Reviewers intended to be fair, frank, and impartial, why did they not call attention to others who published the other side of the question after the letter was written by Elder Spicer?
Elder Spicer made it clear in his letter that there was no official action back of it, and that he was only writing it unofficially. In that letter he stated: "that this denomination, by years of usage, has taken no position on the comparative merits of the Bible translations". However, when proper protest was made from the field against publishing the articles in the "Signs of the Times", and reference was made to an article in the "Ministry" and one previously printed in the "Signs of the Times", at that time Elder Spicer, President of the General Conference, turned to Elder Robbins and said, "Then let Elder Wilkinson write his side of the question."
The Reviewers refer to the "hidden identity of the printers". Perhaps they tried to convey to your minds that there was intent to cover or hide the real printer. If this has any bearing on the subject, I am glad to give the information that the printer, since he was not the publisher, did not want to be troubled with re-mailing to me orders sent to his address, and for that reason preferred not to print the name of the firm in the book.
With reference to using my official title in my book: I simply followed the custom of nearly 100 per cent of all writers; and the title page of millions of books will testify to this fact. But if you wish to be frank, fair, just and impartial, you must give me as much freedom as you did to the book entitled, "The World's Best Book" (W.P. Pearce), published by one of our large published by one of our large publishing houses, which in its ultimate, is a plea for the American Revised Version.
This book would likewise, be regarded as setting forth the denominational views on this subject; and much more than a book privately printed with the author's official position on the title page. That book went far astray in expressing denominational views. Then on what grounds of justice and equity do my Reviewers bring up this point? If that publishing house had the liberty to present their side of this question without censure, why should I not have the same liberty?
Under the title of violating primal laws of evidence, my Reviewers produced three counts:
(1) That my first quotation is from a journal which has since been merged into another; (2) That I started out on my research for evidence with a bias (3) And that I took statements out of their settings.
1. I considered the charge that I was guilty because I quoted from a journal which has since been merged into another journal too inacceptable to be either made or to be answered. My first quotation in the book, "Our Authorized Bible Vindicated", was taken from a journal of first rate standing, which has since changed its name. Anyone who would trouble himself to go to the Congressional Library could obtain a bound copy of this journal. Here it is with my quotation in it. (At this point, Elder Wilkinson held up a large bound volume.)
2. I am further charged with being guilty of violating the primal laws of evidence because I sought available facts from reliable sources with a bias I plead guilty to this charge. I did seek for available and reliable evidence with a Christian, a Protestant, and with even a Seventh-day Adventist bias.
I started out with a bias created in me by the statements of the Spirit of Prophecy. What may be the bias of my Reviewers we shall attempt to discover in the following pages.
3. I am further charged with violating the primal laws of evidence by taking statements out of their setting. This charge I will immediately attempt to answer in Section I.
To vindicate the Authorized Version it is not enough to tell its wonderful history and great merits, but to make the vindication complete, one must also give the history and character of other versions, which try to overthrow its authority. My book has covered these grounds and has thus lived up to its name, "Our Authorized Bible Vindicated."