King James Bible Only versus the Latin Vulgate Only Argument
One common complaint I hear all the time from the unbelievers in the infallibility of ANY Bible and Bible agnostics (they do not know [a = not + gnostic = to know] where to find an infallible Bible) and mentioned by Mr. Rick Norris in his book, the Unbound Scriptures, is that we who believe there is only one Bible that is the pure, complete, and infallible word of God is that this is similar to the Catholic view concerning the Latin Vulgate.
If interested, you can see my Response to Rick Norris' book here -
Allow me to address this accusation. The Council of Trent met from 1545 to 1563 in an effort to rally the forces of the Catholic church to combat what they considered the heresies of the Reformation and their Bibles.
The Catholic church decided that the Latin Vulgate should be their official bible and none other allowed. Problem was, even when they made this decree, there was no settled text or single Latin Vulgate considered authoritative. Their own language reveals this.
Here is a quote taken from the Council of Trent's own decree issued in 1556 "Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,--considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, IF IT BE MADE KNOWN WHICH OUT OF ALL THE LATIN EDITIONS, NOW IN CIRCULATION, of the sacred books, IS TO BE HELD AS AUTHENTIC,--ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever. Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, -- wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,-- hath held and doth hold." (end of quote)
A papal commission worked for many years after the Council of Trent, but was not able to produce an authentic edition. Pope Sixtus took matters into his own hands and produced his own revision, which appeared in May 1590. The Sixtus Latin Vulgate was full of errors, "some two thousand of them introduced by the Pope himself" (Janus, The Pope and the Council, Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870).
In September 1590 the College of Cardinals stopped all sales and bought up and destroyed as many copies as possible. Another edition finally appeared in 1592, which became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church (H. Wheeler Robinson, Ancient and English Versions of the Bible, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940, p. 120)
In Catholicism today there is no single official Bible, and the ultra-corrupt Nova Vulgata, Latin taken from the Westcott-Hort, UBS/Nestle-Aland Critical text, is as official as any, since it is used in their papal decrees.
The Nova Vulgata is the official Latin version of the Bible for the Catholic Church. It has its origins in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which put forth the mandate for a revision of the Latin Psalter in order to bring it in line with modern text-critical research. Then in 1965, Pope Paul VI established a commission to expand the revision to cover the entire Bible. The revised Psalter was completed and published in 1969, followed by the New Testament in 1971, and the entire Vulgate was completed in 1979. A second edition was then published several years later in 1986.
You can see it here - It is missing the same entire verses, phrases and words as the modern Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, [NASB], NET, Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the modern Catholic versions.
There are several fundamental differences and similarities to what the Catholic church tried to do with the Latin Vulgate, and the Bible version issue as it stands today.
First - the Catholic church wanted to place the words of God in a DEAD LANGUAGE which most people could not read and they forbade translations into other languages to be made. Thus they were keeping the words of God out of the hands of the common people and making them dependent on a special class of priests to interpret it for them.
Second - This official bible had no settled text at the time the decrees were made. There were several competing Latin Vulgate bibles circulating at the time and one was not settled upon till 36 years later.
Third - This official bible was produced by an apostate church which denied salvation by faith alone in the finished work of Christ; denied salvation outside of this Catholic church system, and established a special group of priests who alone could interpret the Scriptures for us.
The King James Bible believer does not deny salvation to anyone who happens to read any Bible version other than the KJB. We approve of the translation of Scripture into other languages, desiring only that they attempt to follow the same underlying Hebrew and Greek texts, and the meaning as found in the King James Bible, as best as possible and not omit some 3000 to 4000 words, including 17 to 45 whole verses, from the New Testament as do versions such as the RSV, NASB, NIV, ESV. All these modern versions just mentioned also depart frequently from the Hebrew texts that underlie our King James Bible.
See the Proof of this in these two verse and word comparisons - Part One Genesis to Psalms -
Part Two - Proverbs to Malachi -
First - the modern versionist has no settled text, just as the Council of Trent did not when they made their decree. The Greek text that underlies the modern versions such as the NIV, NASB, ESV, ISV, Holman Standard, Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the MODERN Catholic versions etc. is in a continual state of flux and constant change. Every new version changes the actual TEXT, as well as the meanings of other verses, from the previous versions.
Second - The modern versionist would likewise place the Final Authority in the hands of a special group of religious leaders - the Critical Text scholars. They affirm that no translation is the inspired words of God and that we must "go to the original Hebrew and Greek texts" (which don't even exist). Thus they remove the common people from the words of God by appealing to DEAD LANGUAGES as their final authority.
However, it is painfully obvious that these same scholars cannot agree among themselves as to WHICH Hebrew and WHICH Greek texts are authentic. This is similar to the case of the conflicting Latin Vulgate versions that were circulating at the time of the decree of the Council of Trent in 1556.
Third - The ever changing Greek text now used to translate most modern versions is compiled by men who themselves are apostates who believe no Bible is inspired and much of what we do have is "ancient folktale, popular legend, and traditions penned by unknown authors". (See Bruce Metzger, Cardinal Carlo Martini, and the other liberal editors of the UBS Greek text.)
In fact, versions that are based on the ever changing UBS (United Bible Society) Nestle-Aland critical Greek texts are the new Vatican Versions. The Vatican has made a formal agreement with the UBS and is directly involved with them in creating what they themselves call an "interconfessional" text.
Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, the Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the modern Catholic Versions like the St. Joseph New American bible and the New Jerusalem bible are ALL based on the same, constantly changing Greek text and they all often reject and add to the Hebrew readings.
You say "Ridiculous, Preposterous or That's Crazy!"? Well, here is the Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions". See for yourself in their own words -
Then check out Part Two where you can see in black and white the verse and word comparison among versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, Jehovah Witness NWT and the Modern Catholic versions. -
Satan counterfeits every spiritual truth. If there really is One true Holy Bible, then the devil will say there is only one true bible and it is the Catholic bible. Can you guess which bibles today generally OMIT ALL THE SAME VERSES from the New Testament as do modern Catholic bible versions? You got it. The new Vatican Versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET and the Jehovah Witness NWT.
All of God's grace, believing the Book - the Authorized King James Holy Bible
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“If we would destroy the Christian religion, we must first of all destroy man’s belief in the Bible.” Voltaire - Now dead French philosopher and FORMER unbeliever in the true God.
Notes from the Internet
The End of the Vulgate's "Popularity Argument".
It is often claimed (e.g. James White) that KJB Believers can't make the argument that God has blessed the KJB, and thus the KJB is God's book; because the Latin Vulgate has been blessed by God for centuries as well.
There are two problems with this. The first is that there was not one single Vulgate being read by the people. Due to copyist errors, there were many Vulgates floating around with variant readings. As the 1546 Catholic Council of Trent testified:
"Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,—considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, IF IT BE MADE KNOWN WHICH OUT OF ALL THE LATIN EDITIONS, NOW IN CIRCULATION, OF THE SACRED BOOKS, IS TO BE HELD AS AUTHENTIC,—ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many ages, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever."
The Roman Catholic Church admitted freely that there were MANY "Latin editions", and that they would hold to the Vulgate Bible ONCE "it be made known WHICH out of ALL the Latin editions...is to be held as AUTHENTIC". They were admitting that there was no one Latin Vulgate, but rather many. They didn't actually finalize the text until 1592 with the Clementine Vulgate. Contrast that with the King James Bible, which has remained unchanged since it's publication, "The English Bible, as left by the translators, has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text..."
So, THE Latin Vulgate wasn't being blessed by God for centuries because there was NOT ONE LATIN VULGATE! It's like arguing for the blessing of God on the NASB based on how all Bibles combined are growing. Both are fallacious.
But what about beginning at 1592, when there actually was ONE finalized Latin Vulgate text? Hasn't it been growing and being read since then? Well, no. Starting from the 9th century, the Latin language was starting to become a dead language:
"The end of the eighth century is the terminus ad quem for Vulgar Latin, at least in a large portion of the Romance area. Beyond this point, the new Romance languages begin to make their appearance, cautiously and hesitatingly at first, then more boldly, even while the bulk of writing is still done in what is meant to be Latin. But from this point on, we know that this Latin, however corrupt, is no longer the language of the people, even though it continues to infiltrate, and to be infiltrated by, the spoken tongues of the masses." (Mario Pei, "The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages", (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1976), p. 77).
This means that by the 16th century, Latin was done and dead with respect to the people (a few priests still knew it). Which means that there is no possible way that the Vulgate grew after it was finalized, because nobody read it after it came out. Contrast that with the KJB, which is still the number one Bible today.