Waldensian pastors travelled from their Alpine hideaways as peddlers selling their wares. Hidden in their garments were portions of the Scriptures to be given to those who appeared to have spiritual minds and hearts. In this way, many were taught the truth of salvation, and they too treasured the Bible with their lives.
However, some betrayed their trust and reported the peddler-pastors to Church authorities. They were immediately tracked down and imprisoned, or put to death.
But the enemy was not satisfied. Every man, woman and child martyred, brought forth new believers. One high Church official complained, The blood of marytrs is the seed of the church.
When William Tyndale said to a Church leader, “If God spare my life ‘ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou doest….” He was sent to the stake, but before being strangled to death, cried out, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”
God answered his prayer in the printing of thousands of Bibles. Those who did not own a Bible could hear it read in the churches, and the message was understood by all, including the boy driving the plough.
The Alexandrian School began to formulate a diabolical plot to corrupt the Scriptures. Instead of their own scholars, they would use men from the Church of England: Dr Brook F. Westcott and Dr Fenton J.A. Hort.
Publicly it was said Westcott and Hort would revise the King James, but this was not their intent; they would replace the Greek Majority text! The text from which the New Testament of the King James was translated, would be replaced with a new Greek manuscript! For their base, they chose three corrupted manuscripts, the Latin Vulgate, the Vaticanus and the Sinaiaticus. And for the next seventeen years, the two men worked behind closed doors, achieving their aim by stealth.
In 1870, the false text was almost complete, and the next part of the plot was put in place -- there would be a new translation of the Bible based on the text of Westcott and Hort. (For the New Testament)
In 1881, the Revised Version was printed. It had 36,000 changes. Eminent Greek scholars were horrified, saying, “It is a manufactured article throughout… full of errors from beginning to end.” Dean Burgon, Dean of Westminster.
The average person reading the Revised Version might not notice much difference; Dr Hort compared it to a forgery of a Raffaelle painting. The genuine would bring millions on the market; a forgery nothing. Tiny strokes, hardly noticeable on their own, make a worthless forgery, instead of a masterpiece. Only the experts know the difference.
Since the Revised Version was printed, millions of Bible translations have come off the presses, all following the Westcott and Hort Greek text.
Many who once stood by the Majority Text and the King James Bible are now promoting the new translations: victims of subtlety and deception.
The plot continues with every new translation, and every re-print of current versions. With tiny strokes, the text is changed a little more.
Reader, there is no need for you to be deceived.
Voltaire, the 18th century French historian and Jesuit philosopher once said, “Within one hundred years, the Bible will be a forgotten book.” These are truly ‘famous last words’.
The Bible Society’s attempt to calculate the number of Bibles printed between 1816 and 1976 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time.
However, during the 16th century, the Bible was placed on the Vatican’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Forbidden Books) by the Congregation of the Index, a separate office launched in 1571 to deal just with books.
Catholics were forbidden to own or read the Bible under pain of excommunication.
The first Index (in 1559) banned the writings of Martin Luther, John Calvin and other reformers, including all translations of the Bible, except the Latin Vulgate.
In 1998, the Vatican permitted scrutiny of these archives, (separate from its central archives), and the forbidden list was made public.
“Translations of the holy book ended up on the bonfires along with other "heretical'' works because the Church, whose official language was Latin, was suspicious of allowing the faithful access to sacred texts without ecclesiastical guidance.” http://withchrist.org/archives.htm
The Inquisition was established by Pope Gregory IX in 1233, as a special court to help curb the influence of heresy. “It escalated when Church officials began to count on civil authorities to fine, imprison and even torture heretics. It reached its height in the 16th century to counter the Reformation.” Ibid.
During the Reformation men and women were able to learn the truth of the Scriptures, and the hierarchy was fearful of losing control. If men and women learned the truth, they would not obey their priests.
Copies of the Latin Vulgate Bible were chained to the pulpit in the large churches and cathedrals where priest and scholar alone could read and understand it’s message.
It was an era of great ignorance.
Sadly millions were kept in darkness, unable to read Latin, and forbidden to ascend the pulpit. Instruction was from the Latin Vulgate, with an interpretation according to the school of Alexandria.
But the Bible cannot be locked away forever, and in spite of it being on the condemned Index, the Scriptures were translated, circulated and read in secret. Men and women were willing to risk their lives to read its precious message of salvation.
One Christian woman, when the authorities were approaching her house, quickly put the Bible in pastry she was preparing, and placed it in the hot oven. When asked what she was cooking replied, A pie. The soldier-priest looked in the oven and said, If it was cooked, we would stay and share it with you.
Not all were so fortunate.
Unable to stem the tide of Bible translation and copying of the Scriptures, the papal Church of the Dark Ages hunted out those who possessed ‘corrupt copies’, and condemned them to the stake; together with their Majority Text Bible.
It was a fearful time.
The Bible identifies the Papacy during this era as the ‘little horn’, which would have dominion for twelve hundred and sixty years. (538 – 1798)
Faithful men and women guarded the sacred Scriptures during these years, living in the secluded mountain recesses of Europe. One of these groups were the Waldenses, in the mountains of northern Italy.
"The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discern of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.
The Amazing Bible