Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cameron gifts King James Bible to Pope Benedict

It was disclosed by Baroness Warsi this week that the Prime Minister sent Pope Benedict XVI a copy of the Authorised Version of the Bible as a gift, which we were told he accepted 'with grace'. It would have been delicious if David Cameron had selected this gift on purpose, perhaps in order to reiterate a 'statement of national independence'; or as a reminder that 'The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England'; or perhaps a deeper theological riposte to the Pope's liturgical reforms, in particular to the restoration of the Tridentine Mass which is so irksome to the Roman Catholic Bishops of England & Wales.

But, of course, the Prime Minister is oblivious to such spiritual matters, not to say utterly ignorant. And Baroness Warsi simply wouldn't have had a clue about the significance of gifting this particular version of the Bible to His Holiness.

Consider these extracts from the Preface and Translators' Introduction of 1611. Doubtless the Prime Minister gave absolutely no thought at all to the potential offence these might cause:
..that right Occidentall Starre Queene ELIZABETH of most happy memory, some thicke and palpable cloudes of darkenesse would so have overshadowed this land..

..manifesting it selfe abroad in the furthest parts of Christendome, by writing in defence of the Trueth, (which hath given such a blow unto that man of Sinne, as will not be healed)..

..since things of this quality have ever bene subject to the censures of ill meaning and discontented persons..

..we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad..

..whom they desire still to keepe in ignorance and darknesse..

..we are enabled to informe and reforme others, by the light and feeling that we have attained unto our selves: Briefly, by the fourth being brought together to a parle face to face, we sooner compose our differences then by writings, which are endlesse: And lastly, that the Church be sufficiently provided for, is so agreeable to good reason and conscience..

..the learned know that certaine worthy men have bene brought to untimely death for none other fault, but for seeking to reduce their Countrey-men to good order and discipline: and that in some Common-weales it was made a capitall crime, once to motion the making of a new Law for the abrogating of an old, though the same were most pernicious..

..hee had not seene any profit to come by any Synode, or meeting of the Clergie, but rather the contrary.. is not unknowen what a fiction or fable (so it is esteemed, and for no better by the reporter himselfe, though superstitious) was devised; Namely, that at such time as the professours and teachers of Christianitie in the Church of Rome, then a true Church, were liberally endowed, a voyce forsooth was heard from heaven, saying; Now is poison poured down into the Church, &c..

..whosoever attempteth any thing for the publike (specially if it pertaine to Religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word of God) the same setteth himselfe upon a stage to be glouted upon by every evil eye, yea, he casteth himselfe headlong upon pikes, to be gored by every sharpe tongue. For he that medleth with mens Religion in any part, medleth with their custome, nay, with their freehold; and though they finde no content in that which they have, yet they cannot abide to heare of altering..

..But now what pietie without trueth? what trueth (what saving trueth) without the word of God? what word of God (whereof we may be sure) without the Scripture?

..But what mention wee three or foure uses of the Scripture, whereas whatsoever is to be beleeved or practised, or hoped for, is contained in them?

..I adore the fulnesse of the Scripture.. is not lawfull (or possible) to learne (any thing) of God or of right pietie, save onely out of the Prophets, who teach us by divine inspiration.

..It is a manifest falling away from the Faith, and a fault of presumption, either to reject any of those things that are written, or to bring in (upon the head of them, ) any of those things that are not written.

The Scriptures then being acknowledged to bee so full and so perfect, how can wee excuse our selves of negligence, if we doe not studie them, of curiositie, if we be not content with them?

..Catholicon the drugge..

Well, that which they falsly or vainely attributed to these things for bodily good, wee may justly and with full measure ascribe unto the Scripture, for spirituall. It is not onely an armour, but also a whole armorie of weapons, both offensive, and defensive; whereby we may save our selves and put the enemie to flight. It is not an herbe, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring foorth fruit every moneth, and the fruit thereof is for meate, and the leaves for medicine. It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oyle, which were for memorie only, or for a meales meate or two, but as it were a showre of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great; and as it were a whole cellar full of oyle vessels; whereby all our necessities may be provided for, and our debts discharged. In a word, it is a Panary of holesome foode, against fenowed traditions; a Physions-shop (Saint Basill calleth it) of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a Pandect of profitable lawes, against rebellious spirits; a treasurie of most costly jewels, against beggarly rudiments..

..repentance from dead workes..

..the Emperour of Constantinople calleth the Latine tongue, barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do storme at it..

Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtaine, that we may looke into the most Holy place; that remooveth the cover of the well, that wee may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which meanes the flockes of Laban were watered. Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacobs well (which was deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with: or as that person mentioned by Esau, to whom when a sealed booke was delivered..

Therefore the word of God being set foorth in Greeke, becommeth hereby like a candle set upon a candlesticke, which giveth light to all that are in the house, or like a proclamation sounded foorth in the market place, which most men presently take knowledge of; and therefore that language was fittest to containe the Scriptures, both for the first Preachers of the Gospel to appeale unto for witnesse, and for the learners also of those times to make search and triall by. It is certaine, that the Translation was not so sound and so perfect, but that it needed in many places correction; and who had bene so sufficient for this worke as the Apostles or Apostolike men? Yet it seemed good to the holy Ghost and to them, to take that which they found, (the same being for the greatest part true and sufficient) rather then by making a new, in that new world and greene age of the Church, to expose themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, as though they made a Translation to serve their owne turne, and therefore bearing witnesse to themselves, their witnesse not to be regarded.

There were also within a few hundreth yeeres after CHRIST, translations many into the Latine tongue: for this tongue also was very fit to convey the Law and the Gospel by, because in those times very many Countreys of the West, yea of the South, East and North, spake or understood Latine, being made Provinces to the Romanes. But now the Latine Translations were too many to be all good, for they were infinite (Latini Interpretes nullo modo numerari possunt, saith S. Augustine.) Againe they were not out of the Hebrew fountaine (wee speake of the Latine Translations of the Old Testament) but out of the Greeke streame, therefore the Greeke being not altogether cleare, the Latine derived from it must needs be muddie.

..they provided Translations into the vulgar for their Countreymen, insomuch that most nations under heaven did shortly after their conversion..

..The Scripture being translated before in the languages of many Nations, doth shew that those things that were added (by Lucian or Hesychius) are false. not to be excepted against by them of Rome..

..the Syrians, Egyptians, Indians, Persians. Ethiopians, and infinite other nations being barbarous people, translated it into their (mother) tongue, and have learned to be (true) Philosophers, he meaneth Christians. have the Scriptures in the mother-tongue is not a quaint conceit lately taken up, either by the Lord Cromwell in England, or by the Lord Radevil in Polonie, or by the Lord Ungnadius in the Emperours dominion, but hath bene thought upon, and put in practise of old, even from the first times of the conversion of any Nation; no doubt, because it was esteemed most profitable, to cause faith to grown in mens hearts the sooner, and to make them to be able to say with the words of the Psalme, As we have heard, so we have seene.

Now the Church of Rome would seeme at the length to beare a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, an unprofitable gift: they must first get a Licence in writing before they may use them, and to get that, they must approve themselves to their Confessor, that is, to be such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the 8. that there should be any Licence granted to have them in the vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frustrateth the grant of Pius the fourth. So much are they afraid of the light of the Scripture, (Lucifugæ Scripturarum, as Tertullian speaketh) that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set foorth by their owne sworne men, no not with the Licence of their owne Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they are to communicate the Scriptures to the peoples understanding in any sort, that they are not ashamed to confesse, that wee forced them to translate it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to bring it to the touch-stone, but he that hath the counterfeit; neither is it the true man that shunneth the light, but the malefactour, lest his deedes should be reproved: neither is it the plaine dealing Merchant that is unwilling to have the waights, or the meteyard brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we will let them alone for this fault, and returne to translation.

Hath the Church bene deceived, say they, all this while? Hath her sweet bread bene mingled with leaven, her silver with drosse, her wine with water, her milke with lime? (Lacte gypsum malè miscetur, saith S. Ireney,)..

Yea, why did the Catholicks (meaning Popish Romanists) alwayes goe in jeopardie, for refusing to goe to heare it?

Now what can bee more availeable thereto, then to deliever Gods booke unto Gods people in a tongue which they understand? Since of an hidden treasure, and of a fountaine that is sealed, there is no profit..

A man had rather be with his dog then with a stranger (whose tongue is strange unto him.)

..for the very Historicall trueth is, that upon the importunate petitions of the Puritanes, at this Majesties comming to this Crowne, the Conference at Hampton Court having bene appointed for hearing their complaints: when by force of reason they were put from all other grounds, they had recourse at the last, to this shift, that they could not with good conscience subscribe to the Communion booke, since it maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which was as they said, a most corrupted translation. And although this was judged to be but a very poore and emptie shift; yet even hereupon did his Majestie beginne to bethinke himselfe of the good that might ensue by a new translation, and presently after gave order for this Translation which is now presented unto thee.

..nay wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God.

..The Romanistes therefore in refusing to heare, and daring to burne the Word translated, did no lesse then despite the spirit of grace, from whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, as well as mans weaknesse would enable, it did expresse.

The translation of the Seventie dissenteth from the Originall in many places, neither doeth it come neere it, for perspicuitie, gratvitie, majestie; yet which of the Apostles did condemne it? Condemne it? Nay, they used it, (as it is apparent, and as Saint Jerome and most learned men doe confesse) which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had bene unworthy the appellation and name of the word of God. And whereas they urge for their second defence of their vilifying and abusing of the English Bibles, or some pieces thereof, which they meete with, for that heretikes (forsooth) were the Authours of the translations, (heretikes they call us by the same right that they call themselves Catholikes, both being wrong) wee marveile what divinitie taught them so. 

..For what varieties have they, and what alterations have they made, not onely of their Service bookes, Portesses and Breviaries, but also of their Latine Translation?

If we should tell them that Valla, Stapulensis, Erasmus, and Vives found fault with their vulgar Translation, and consequently wished the same to be mended, or a new one to be made, they would answere peradventure, that we produced their enemies for witnesses against them; albeit, they were in no other sort enemies, then as S. Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the trueth: and it were to be wished, that they had dared to tell it them plainlier and oftner.

If they say, it was one Popes private opinion, and that he consulted onely himselfe; then wee are able to goe further with them, and to averre, that more of their chiefe men of all sorts, even their owne Trent-champions Paiva & Vega, and their owne Inquisitors, Hieronymus ab Oleastro, and their own Bishop Isidorus Clarius, and their owne Cardinall Thomas à Vio Caietan, doe either make new Translations themselves, or follow new ones of other mens making, or note the vulgar Interpretor for halting; none of them feare to dissent from him, nor yet to except against him.

..doth not Sixtus Quintus confesse, that certaine Catholikes (he meaneth certainte of his owne side) were in such an humor of translating the Scriptures into Latine, that Satan taking occasion by them, though they thought of no such matter, did strive what he could, out of so uncertaine and manifold a varietie of Translations, so to mingle all things, that nothing might seeme to be left certaine and firme in them, &c?

Nay, further, did not the same Sixtus ordaine by an inviolable decree, and that with the counsell and consent of his Cardinals, that the Latine edition of the olde and new Testament, which the Councill of Trent would have to be authenticke, is the same without controversie which he then set forth, being diligently corrected and printed in the Printing-house of Vatican? Thus Sixtus in his Preface before his Bible. And yet Clement the eight his immediate successour, publisheth another edition of the Bible, containing in it infinite differences from that of Sixtus, (and many of them waightie and materiall) and yet this must be authenticke by all meanes. What is to have the faith of our glorious Lord JESUS CHRIST with Yea and Nay, if this be not?

..the imputation of Sixtus had bene true in some sort, that our people had bene fed with gall of Dragons in stead of wine, with whey in stead of milke..

..If they were sure that their hie Priest had all lawes shut up in his brest, as Paul the second bragged, and that he were as free from errour by speciall priviledge, as the Dictators of Rome were made by law inviolable, it were an other matter..

..we have shunned the obscuritie of the Papists, in their Azimes, Tunike, Rational, Holocausts, Præpuce, Pasche, and a number of such like, whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken the sence, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof, it may bee kept from being understood.
Accepting, of course, that neither the Prime Minister nor Baroness Warsi would have wished to so offend the Pope of Rome, one can only conclude that certain officials in the Foreign Office decided to convey this rather insensitive message. They do, after all, have some form in this.


Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

I'm quite sure the Pope is above taking offence in this matter. Afterall, it is rather old and he will know the error of its words - flowery though they be.

16 February 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger David B said...

A splendid gift!

Some might say that the potential of the KJV for causing offence to Catholics should lead to its being censored or banned.

Even though there is much in it that might well be considered offensive to atheists I am not among their number.

On the contrary, I'm always happy to encourage people to read the Bible, as long as they don't just stick to the sanitised cherry picked bits that make the God of the Bible not look the nasty piece of work that a more thorough reading clearly exposes.

As someone who has read many accounts from people who have escaped from some Christian sect or other, I can report that a common - I think the most common - reason given for challenging the faith people were brought up in is simply reading the Bible.


16 February 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

The Pope has, I'm sure, at least one of the original imprints of the KJV already in his collection in the Vatican Library. I've always found it a pity that the 42 scholars who compiled the KJV excluded the 'extra' books which they called the Apocrypha on the grounds "Christ knew these not ..." when John actually opens his gospel by quoting one of them and a number of Jesus' own quotes come from them as well.

I think we can be pretty sure the PM and the Baroness have never read the Preface or the "Authorisation" at the front of it. I think we may be thankful though that the 50 plus "Articles of Religion" originally compiled by Edward VI's "Divines" were pruned back to the 39 we are still left with. As an Anglican I have always had trouble with one or two concerning the Magistrates authority and the more puritanic matters.

Still, better than being lumbered with the pretentions of Rome ...

16 February 2013 at 11:50  
Blogger David Hussell said...

One can regard the King James version as either a wonderful piece of English literature which had an enormous effect on our culture for many centuries or as Holy Scripture. I accept and enjoy it as both those things. However the sad point is that despite their expensive education the anti-democratic , arrogant political elite of all three "main" parties, who seek to remould society to fit their own reductionist views, have no feel or understanding of the role of Christianity in our national story. How can one come up through expensive schools and universities and understand so little about the culture and history of the people that they purport to "govern". Our political leaders are severed from their own national story. It is unbelievable. They need replacing by people who respect both the opinions of those living in the present, and the past, which ledto us to being where we are now. Without this respect and understanding he future is in peril. The Conservative Party is not conservative. It no longer respects either our heritage or the opinions and experience of us now. Ultimately, long term, if this is not corrected the eventual correction will be very unpleasant.

16 February 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I sent him a CD of Papa Don't Preach by Madonna, and a souvenir programme of What The Butler Saw by Joe Orton. No response as yet.

16 February 2013 at 12:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever next... the' 39 articles perhaps'(gift wrapped of course.)

Is it possible we have underestimated Cameron?.

Danjo ( 12:22) LOL.

16 February 2013 at 12:41  
Blogger non mouse said...

Wonderful stuff, Your Grace! Luvvit.

Not that one expects euros moderns to have any neurones to spare: for truth, spiritual beauty, and the Word! As to the fake german noblewoman and the moron ...

[Not that one doesn't also appreciate the Douay-Rheims, of course - in its place.]

16 February 2013 at 13:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector puts it to you all that this is not the work of thicko or memsahib, but that of the rather clever fellows at the Foreign Office. After all, Benedict has gone out of his way to offer to rescue Anglican communions from whatever passes as CoE doctrine and fast track them to Rome.

Has there been any takers yet, one wonders. Surely the spectre of women bishops will bring forth an application or two ?

16 February 2013 at 14:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Breaking news...

In response to the “gift” of the KJV, the Pope is to excommunicate all catholic MPs who voted for same sex marriage.


16 February 2013 at 14:35  
Blogger Anglican said...

Gray Monk 11:50

I have a copy of KJV which contains 14 books of the Apocrypha. I understand that the compilers did translate the Apocrypha, though these books are not normally included.

16 February 2013 at 15:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The KJV is a good translation derived from a relatively inferior textual base. It was also somewhat hampered by the rules set forth when the work was commissioned (i.e. "3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation, &c") The modern English translations are superior.


16 February 2013 at 16:02  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Aah Gray Monk and Anglican, watch this space, watch this space........

16 February 2013 at 16:26  
Blogger Bridget said...

What would Protestants do without the Church to hate? They would have no reason for being. Peddlers of slime for mortar, slogans for truth. What is the point of them? 

16 February 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bridget, you cannot appreciate good unless you know bad. That is Protestantism’s divine purpose.

16 February 2013 at 17:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

' Protestantism’s divine purpose.'

A glimmer of light inspector?

16 February 2013 at 18:12  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

The apology issued in 2010 should suffice:

" ... this is clearly a foolish document that does not in any way reflect UK government or Foreign Office policy or views.

Many of the ideas in the document are clearly ill-judged, naïve and disrespectful ...

... the Foreign Office very much regrets this incident and is deeply sorry for the offence which it has caused".

16 February 2013 at 18:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, the Inspector has no problem applauding the Protestant movement for forcing an increasingly temporal church to return to its spiritual position.
But do we need Protestantism today ?

16 February 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Roy said...

Office of Inspector General said...

Len, the Inspector has no problem applauding the Protestant movement for forcing an increasingly temporal church to return to its spiritual position.
But do we need Protestantism today ?

No, we don't really need Protestantism. It has its faults. The same goes for Catholicism, Greek/Russian Orthodoxy and all the other varieties of Christianity.

What we really need is the New Wine, not the Old Bottles.

16 February 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


But do we need Protestantism today?

No, we wouldn't need it if Rome would:

1. Repudiate Trent.
2. Repudiate the Marian dogmas.
3. Repudiate Sacred Tradition.
4. Repudiate the claims of Papal and Magisterial infallibility.

Then we could get along great.


16 February 2013 at 19:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Blast you Jacobs, you don’t leave us with much !

Inspired thought there Roy, we need Jesus back to bang a few heads together, what !

16 February 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

The guy knows how to ramble on extensively perhaps trying to impress Almighty God with his verbosity but the establishment of the Catholic Religion was associated with miracles performed by Jesus and the Apostles including Peter the first Pope. Do we see the same credibility conferred upon Martin Luther and the other Reformers? Where are the miracles and without them what authority can they claim?

16 February 2013 at 19:50  
Blogger Roy said...

Office of Inspector General said...

Inspired thought there Roy, we need Jesus back to bang a few heads together, what !

Yes, I would agree with that. I hope the new pope, whoever he is, would also agree!

16 February 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger wallygreeninker said...

Benedict shouldn't be too concerned if the behaviour of his predecessor is anything to go by. John Paul kissed a Koran, nearly two thirds of the text of which consists of polemics against non-Muslim religions, with Judaism and Christianity usually being singled out for attention.

16 February 2013 at 19:54  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

He also entered a Synagogue! Surely the actions of the anti-Christ?

16 February 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Wally, one wonders if JP II would have kissed the accursed thing if he hadn’t been shot by one of the blighters...

16 February 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger Roy said...

Shacklefree said...

The guy knows how to ramble on extensively perhaps trying to impress Almighty God with his verbosity but the establishment of the Catholic Religion was associated with miracles performed by Jesus and the Apostles including Peter the first Pope" ...

It was not only the apostles who performed miracles. Stephen the deacon and first martyr did so too. However it was Christianity that they established, not "Catholicism" with all its rituals, funny dress, and hierarchal bureaucracy.

However, I do agree that it would have been no great loss if the preamble to the Authorised Version of the Bible had never been written.

16 February 2013 at 21:01  
Blogger bluedog said...

The Inspector @ 18.36 asks, 'But do we need Protestantism today ?'

The answer is, needed or not, you can't avoid it.

Once Guttenberg had invented the moveable-type printing press which Luther used to publish his version of the Bible in the vernacular, the RCC was under threat. No longer could a largely ignorant and uneducated populace be dictated to by a marginally educated priesthood. The printing press enabled Luther's idea that all men could be 'priests for ever...worthy to appear before God, to pray for others, and to teach one another mutually the things which are of God.'

Reading the voluminous posts of Catholics on His Grace's blog, this communicant concludes that they have, to a man and woman, become Protestant in terms of Luther's definition.

And the KJV was an Anglo-Catholic response to Luther's very Calvinistic edition of the Bible.

16 February 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Won’t be asking that question again, I can tell you !

16 February 2013 at 21:07  
Blogger bluedog said...

Indeed, Mr Inspector @ 21.07, after just under 500 years of conditioning, you possibly don't appreciate the extent to which the RCC has evolved, despite protestations (LOL) from RCs that it has not.

Claims that the Anglican Church alone bends with the wind are at best, specious.

16 February 2013 at 21:28  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

I'm always happy to encourage people to read the Bible
Gosh, thanks!
The modern versions are superior
And thanks to you too.
There are some very gracious and knowledgable people posting here,

16 February 2013 at 21:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Most kind of you to say that Sambo. Now, adopt the position, the constabulary wishes to search you for drugs, knives and firearms...

16 February 2013 at 21:41  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Sorry, but I hate the misuse of the word "gift" as a verb when we have a perfectly good verb "to give". We also have "to present", "to donate", "to bestow," "to confer" and many others in the thesaurus.
@ Anglican, Yes the 1611 translation did include the Apocrypha and you can get it separately. I have a matching set.
@Carl. Yes the modern translations may be based on better sources but they are far inferior in other respects. Most famously the attempt to translate the Sermon on the Mount without using the word "blessed" arrived at "Happy are they who mourn".

16 February 2013 at 22:00  
Blogger Matt A said...

Inspector: I prefer your old photo

16 February 2013 at 22:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Matt A, Lord Charles, no less, is acting Inspector General for the duration...

16 February 2013 at 22:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Julia Gasper

Yes the modern translations may be based on better sources but they are far inferior in other respects.

Yes, you are correct. Many modern translations are decidedly inferior. I was referring specifically to the NASB and the ESV. They are both decidedly superior translations than the KJV, and they are both based upon a better manuscript text type.


16 February 2013 at 22:38  
Blogger Nick said...

I'm NOT surprised that Cameron gave him a version of the Bible that would be offensive, I AM surprised Cameron knows what a Bible is. It is clear from his policies that he is oblivious to its content. Or perhaps this just another example of the government being "progressive" and "moving with the times". The Pope shouldn't take the gift or its domor seriously, he should just feel sorry for us being governed by someone who has such contempt for Chrisitianity in general.

16 February 2013 at 22:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


you don’t leave us with much

You would still possess the orthodox Faith, yet with the Roman accretions stripped away. That is sufficient.


16 February 2013 at 22:43  
Blogger William said...

Inspector @ 22:14

Careful the acting Inspector doesn't play you for a dummy.

16 February 2013 at 22:50  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

What is this nonsense? Roman Catholicism has "evolved" to somehow accept Luther? That it bends in the wind? I don't think so! The Church does not and never will accept Luther's by "faith alone" heresy. He had a point about corruption within the Church but had no authority (accept his own) to attack the dognma and doctrine of the Church. Let's face it, he wanted to be Pope.


Trent stands as a beacon against the errors of your version of Christianity. Even the Anglicans don't accept Calvinism and that's after 500 years.

17 February 2013 at 00:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Trent is from beginning to end a self-confessed anathema of the Gospel. It remains the principle evidence against Rome as a false church that purveys a false witness of God. The Reformation was not a big misunderstanding. The Reformation was not about temporal corruption in the RCC. It was a conflict over the definition of the Gospel. There is no Protestant - Arminian or Calvinist - who would dispute the list of Roman errors that I have earlier presented.

You will call them truth based on Magisterial authority. I will call them falsehood based upon Scriptural authority. And there the argument will stalemate as we each appeal to mutually exclusive authorities.


17 February 2013 at 00:58  
Blogger Che Yeoh said...

Cameron gives the Pope the King James Bible. The Pope resigns and gets two lighting strikes, a meteorite and a near miss by an asteroid. Sorry Cranmer, we're the only religion that God takes seriously..:)

17 February 2013 at 02:20  
Blogger JR said...

I have a copy of the KJV version of the apocrypha bound as a separate volume. It was put out by the SPCK with not a word of introductory notes

17 February 2013 at 02:59  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2013 at 04:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

Julia Gasper @ 22:00 - well said. I agree with you throughout. I imagined, though, that HG might be using the word "gift" to say something about these awful donors.

For me the modern translations are not only ugly, they are limited and limiting (e.g. if they force euro measurements on the audience). KJV gives me the freedom to understand through the richness of old meanings, but to bring the new to bear if necessary.
One of my KJVs also has the Apocrypha, and an excellent introduction by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett- (University of Glasgow). The publication itself is Oxford University Press (Oxford World Classics), 1998.

17 February 2013 at 04:11  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Thank you, Mr Cranmer, for pointing out the similarity between the supposed offence given by gifting a comic book to the Pope and the childish memo from the FO.

Such behaviour only illustrates the vacuity at the heart of Protestantism/secularism and does nothing to detract from the majesty of the Catholic Church or his Holiness the Pope.

17 February 2013 at 08:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

It is sad, but reflective of the human condition, that followers of Christ, recognizing so much in common, can compete and jockey for position as if they were promoters of rival commercial brands, not all adherents of the faith flowing from The Son of God. But I am not advocating that we gloss over real differences either.

17 February 2013 at 08:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

17 February 2013 at 09:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Hussell,

I cannot imagine anyone reading a Bible saying " I must become a Catholic " because Catholicism is not Biblical. Catholicism is a made up' religion, a man made, man orientated religion.If anyone was to make up a religion it would be Catholicism (or Islam)or any of the other religions founded by man. True Christianity is entirely supernatural.Man would never devise a religion like biblical Christianity.

Catholicism and Islam have taken elements of Christianity and formed them into' a religion'which has little or nothing to do with God.

Unless Catholics strip away all their 'traditions'and return to Christ and Muslims accept Christ as the Son of God then these respective 'religions' are powerless to do anything but bar the entrance into heaven for all those that follow them.
This is the reason for the controversy regarding True Christianity and other religions once you know the truth 'the lie' becomes painfully apparent.

17 February 2013 at 09:06  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Roy, You have highlighted a most significant part of the argument for Protestant credibility i.e. that it is necessary to argue that the Catholic Church was rejected by God and that Protestantism takes us back to the original. However, when we look at the OLD Testament Church we find that Almighty God was constantly castigating the Jews for their obstinacy and the fact that they had deviated from the true message. However God did not reject His covenant and kept calling them back. Nobody claims the Catholic Church has been perfect in all it has done. When God did bring them back to the original it was not by setting up a different religion. Jesus was sent to the Jews first and the credibility of his message was guaranteed by his miracles. Jesus said to the Jews “If you do not believe in Me believe in the works I do”. Now there is no doubt that miracles have continued right up to the present day to confirm the authenticity of the Catholic religion but none to confirm the Protestant religion. I am not speaking here about miracles performed for individuals because this occurs for all individuals of faith. Jesus himself mentioned how God cured the leper Naaman who was a Syrian but not Jews. I am appalled by some of the things that have been done by Catholics but my trust is in the Lord Jesus and His message and He has not confirmed the authenticity of the Protestant religion by miracles and there have been no prophesies predicting its coming as there was in the case of Jesus. May I suggest you listen to this video by Peter Kreeft. He makes the point that for 1500 years there were heresies in the Church but none of them were concerned with what divides Protestants from Catholics today. He asks what was the Holy Spirit doing for 1500 years?
If the link does not work look him up on Youtube.

17 February 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger Alison Judith Bailey said...

At least, your Grace, whoever sent this is not whitewashing history, as you and some of your readers appear to prefer. In the 16th century, the entire Continent was awash with the full frontal rejection of the inalienable human right of freedom of religion and belief. So much so that it was dangerous to go to Italy, south of Venice, if you were not Catholic. Large areas of Northern Italy would have gone Protestant by choice, if thousands of nameless Protestants had not be mercilessly burnt at the stake. Preachers went from Geneva to die in France, without ever opening their mouths. Finally in 1605, King James and the whole English government was nearly blown up. Henry IV of France (this week given a new face) was killed by a Catholic around this time. No wonder these words meant a lot them then

17 February 2013 at 10:36  
Blogger Alison Judith Bailey said...

Even long the reign of King James 1st, the people of the Waldensian (Protestant) valleys living remotely and quietly in the Italian Alps, were massacred, en masse - as reflected in a famous poem by Milton. They were centuries old "champions" of the right of freedom of religion
which I know sure your Grace fully subscribes to.

17 February 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

carl said ...

"You will call them truth based on Magisterial authority. I will call them falsehood based upon Scriptural authority. And there the argument will stalemate as we each appeal to mutually exclusive authorities."

True. What you conveniently overlook is the Biblical authority given to the Church to develop its understanding of Scripture through the Bible, Tradition and reason - and all aided by the Holy Spirit.

You also rather conveniently overlook the fact too that nowhere in Scripture does it say the Christian Gospel depends on Scripture alone and man, free of the Church, has the authority to interpret it for itself.

17 February 2013 at 14:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would confirm His Words NOT the Catholic Church.God gave us His Word in the form of the Bible (which the Catholic church disregards in favour of its traditions) Oral traditions cannot be verified so the Catholic Church can say virtually anything and claim it as 'a tradition'.That is precisely why we should rely on the Word of God and not any made up 'traditions'.

17 February 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit to guide his church and if you look right back to the first Creed it says I believe in One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Church started under severe persecution but right from the beginning very soon after the death of Jesus they were claiming that they were Catholic i.e. universal. In other words this was the Church for all people for all time. If you want to focus on violence perpetrated in the name of Catholicism it is a worthy question but the same question has to be applied to all religions including the Old Testament religion and when you look at the whole picture you find the same problem in any human institution. That's why you have to focus on the teaching. Now let's consider what Christ said about divorce for example and see how Protestantism measures up to that teaching. Read his words "This is my body which will be given up for you", My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Lots of his disciples left him because of those words and so did Protestants at the Reformation because they changed that teaching. Look also at the clear words of Christ in Matthew 16 about building his Church on a rock. The words of Jesus are clear and it requires a good deal of re-translation to make the words means something different from the words actually say.

17 February 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...


Do read 1 Corinthians chapter 12.

We know you distain *religion* and organisation, especially doctrine, but that was God's plan, not man's.

The Church is a Body and we all have different parts to play.

"And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you."

As an individual you are not empowered to interpret Scripture as you please. Quite the opposite. Neither are you entitled to dismiss the authority given by Christ to His Body, and its different parts, on earth.

17 February 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

len. If there was ever a "made up" religion it has to be the State inspired, CofE.

You know, the one created by Henry to get around the inconvenience of a barren wife, to sequestrate church property for his own ends and buy off his cronies.

18 February 2013 at 07:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a very poor argument Harry-ca-Nab in fact it is no argument at all.The Reformation was initiated by CATHOLIC PRIESTS who could no longer carry out the farce which is 'Catholicism' and searched for Biblical truth instead.

Dodo,' First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation'(2 Peter 1:20)
(This includes the Catholic Church Dodo, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth )

Jesus gave his authority to His disciples who are the Body('the Church' is not mentioned in the Bible only the Ekklesia)

18 February 2013 at 08:20  
Blogger Jon said...

Dodo said:

"True. What you conveniently overlook is the Biblical authority given to the Church to develop its understanding of Scripture through the Bible, Tradition and reason - and all aided by the Holy Spirit.

You also rather conveniently overlook the fact too that nowhere in Scripture does it say the Christian Gospel depends on Scripture alone and man, free of the Church, has the authority to interpret it for itself."

After Benedict's resignation will he still be infallible? If not, when does he stop being infallible?

But if he is still infallible, what would happen if he were to contradict the next Pope on a matter of doctrine? Who would you side with? And how would you decide?

I would hope that you would side with the one whose version most closely adhered to your understanding of scripture - in other words, freeing yourself to interpret the gospels.

After all, what else can someone of conscience do? And if this is the case, aren't you just at the start of a slippery slope on which Len and Carl have settled into their own comfortable ledges?

18 February 2013 at 13:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


By def'n a Pope cannot infallibly contradict a previous infallible statement - even when he clearly does so. Confer with EENS.


18 February 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...


You clearly do not understand the doctrine of infallibility. The Pope is not personally infallible.

18 February 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger Jon said...

Carl - I don't know what EENS is, but it sounds exciting.

Dodo - I didn't say he was. I asked what would happen if Benedict, after he had stepped down, issued an opinion on a matter of doctrine which contradicted something the new Pope said. Any ideas?

18 February 2013 at 17:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


EENS is a Latin acronym for 'Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus' which means 'outside the church there is no salvation.' It is a very old infallible dogma in the RCC tracing back to the Papal Bull Unam Sanctum in 1302. Now of course if you were to ask Pope Boniface VIII what it meant (or the Council of Trent in 1560 or any average RC priest of 150 years ago) you would get a completely different answer than what you would receive today. EENS used to mean "You must be a member of the RCC." It doesn't mean that any more - not with all this talk of "separated brothers." But it is still an infallible unchanging dogma of the RCC. By definition it cannot be contradicted. So whatever it means today is consistent with what it meant then - even if the meaning has been stood on its head.

As for the Pope, he is only infallible when he is speaking ex cathedra (literally 'from the chair') and he has to tell you that he is doing it. Any old papal bull is not by def'n infallible. Popes are (for obvious reasons) notoriously reticent to use this authority. (Well, except for establishing the infallibility of the Pope. They aren't too reticent then.) When B16 leaves office, he will no longer have the authority to speak ex cathedra and so the situation you envision could never occur.

One of the problems however is that the RCC has never actually defined an infallible list of infallible teachings. At all. Anywhere. You can't find out what they are. This actually provides the RCC with considerable flexibility. If an infallible declaration gets falsified (say, the Two Swords Doctrine) the RCC can claim it was never infallible to begin with. They get to claim infallibility without actually having to establish it.

So what you have is Rome claiming to be infallible and demanding the laity treat its teachings as infallible, but never actually exposing itself to falsification. Great work if you can get it.

Have no fear. If you want the company line, Dodo will be along presently to tell you to ignore me because my presentation is distorted and biased and what not.


18 February 2013 at 18:35  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...

carl and Jon

What a cynical presentation of infallibility from the Calvinist!

One factual error, the doctrine of infallibility was decided by a Church Council, Vatican 1, not by a Pope ex-cathedra.

The dogma states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".

Please note the wording. The Pope cannot just make up something.

The doctrine of infallibility rests on another Catholic dogma: that of Petrine supremacy of the Pope.

The clearest example of the use of this ex cathedra power since Vatican I took place in 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as being an article of faith for Roman Catholics. This authority is considered by Catholics to be Apostolic and of Divine origin.

There is some lack of clarity as to such the solemn ex cathedra definitions. Those most commonly accepted are:

- "Tome to Flavian", Pope Leo I, 449, on the two natures in Christ;
- Letter of Pope Agatho, 680, on the two wills of Christ;
- Pope Boniface VIII in the Bull "Unam Sanctam" of 1302;
- "Benedictus Deus", Pope Benedict XII, 1336, on the beatific vision of the just prior to final judgment;
- Pope Eugene IV in the Bull "Cantate Domino" of 1441;
- "Cum occasione", Pope Innocent X, 1653, condemning five propositions of Jansen as heretical;
- "Auctorem fidei", Pope Pius VI, 1794, condemning seven Jansenist propositions of the Synod of Pistoia as heretical;
- "Ineffabilis Deus", Pope Pius IX, 1854, defining the Immaculate Conception;
- "Munificentissimus Deus", Pope Pius XII, 1950, defining the Assumption of Mary.

The dogma of the Church, once established, are unchanging and free from error.

Some have to be applied to changing circumstances - such a the doctrine of outside the Church there is no salvation set forth in "Unam Sanctam".

18 February 2013 at 20:11  
Blogger Jon said...

Carl - thank you for a wonderfully erudite exposition of the idiosyncrasies of Dodo's faithfully followed party line...

Dodo - "The dogma of the Church, once established, are unchanging and free from error. "

What about that bit where you said that the Sun went around the earth? Or weren't you claiming infallibility about that one? And if you weren't claiming infallibility, was the life of Galileo so cheap that it could have been expended on a Papal uncertainty?

19 February 2013 at 09:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


One factual error, the doctrine of infallibility was decided by a Church Council, Vatican 1, not by a Pope ex-cathedra.

Yes, yes, I know. I was equivocating for effect. But we both know that the driving force behind the declaration of Papal Infallibility at Vatican I was Pope Pius IX.


What Dodo presented was a fallible list of documents containing infallible teachings. Not every word in those documents is considered infallible. For example, EENS traces to Unam Sanctam. But Unam Sanctam also contains the Two Swords Doctrine (which says that the church holds the spiritual sword, and the prince holds the temporal sword - but that the prince wields the temporal sword at the behest of the church.) The Two Swords doctrine is no longer considered infallible. But it gets better. Any arguments used to justify the infallible teachings are themselves not necessarily infallible. Only the dogma is infallible. The arguments underneath the dogma are allowed to be completely wrong. You can see the problems.

The simplicity of this system is mind-boggling. "Just believe us, and tack when we change our minds. K-Thanks-bye."


19 February 2013 at 13:22  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...


You have been researching the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Well done; I'm impressed.

There is no problem at all in what you present. The Holy Spirit inspires the Church and yet man has to use the language and philisophical tools available to him in the time in which he lives to attempt to describe the indescribable. Just like Scripture, Catholic doctrines are not directly dictated by God.

Transubstantiation is a good example. This teaches Christ is physically present in bread and wine once it is consecrated by a properly ordained Priest. Yet it can't be because its substance hasn't changed. How to explain this? Its the same with the Trinity and the Hypostasis. Words always fall short in explaining these mysterious things, yet the doctrines hold true.

The other point concerns the times documents are written. At the time of Unam Sanctam the only Christian Church in the West was Catholic. If you believed in Christ you would be in the His Church. To wilfully put yourself outside the Church through heresy was judged to be a dangerous cardinal sin. Today is different. Many people believe in Christ but because of historical differences the Christian Churches are divided. Also, there are many people to whom Christ has not been preached. This is what Vatican II considered. Its the same with the 'Two Swords'. If you have rule by a Divinely chosen King then it follows Monarchs should adher to Christian precepts - otherwise he forfeits the right to rule. Nowadays, we have a different political system.

I could go on .... but you get the point. I hope.

19 February 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Jon said...

Carl - thank you. Let's have some fun with this!

Dodo - your argument about transubstantiation at least admits of the possibility that spiritual ideas don't translate well into modern reality. It's a step....

But let's say, for the sake of argument (and using Carl's understanding of your Church's intellectual construct of infallibility) that the Catholic Church declared as an infallible teaching;

1. All men must change their name to Cyril, citing the following arguments

A. Everyone called Cyril is really nice
B. The moon is made of cheese

Would you place yourself outside the teaching of the Church or follow it because you believe in the right of the Church to exercise its infallible prerogative?

20 February 2013 at 12:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


You have been researching the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Well done; I'm impressed.

Well, 10 years ago, but yes. I never did quite figure out how the infallible parts of a document could be separated form the fallible parts of that same document, however. It all seems rather arbitrary.

I could go on .... but you get the point. I hope.

Yes, I get the point that you are very good at rationalizing. For example. The Two Swords Doctrine has no necessary connection to a specific place and time. It could just as easily apply today. It was stated as a general principle of authority with support from Scripture. Seems pretty clear to me. I am certain it was pretty clear in AD 1302. Now I realize that presents the RCC with historical problems. But that doesn't change the truth of the matter.

Maybe we should go back to discussing the question I made reference to earlier. Who identified the infallible portions of Unam Sanctam? When were those infallible portions determined? By what criteria were they identified? Where is this information recorded so that we can verify it? Then we can ask the harder questions. How would Pope Boniface VIII have answered? How would the Counicl of Trent have answered?


20 February 2013 at 18:13  
Blogger Hauptmann Dodo said...


You have no respect for the authority of the Catholic Church. No surprises there, then. Would you question a superior ranking officer in this way in the face of an onslaught from the enemy? An authorityin possession of a wider vista than you?

Unam Sanctum lays down dogmatic propositions on the unity of the Catholic Church, the necessity of belonging to it for eternal salvation, the position of the Pope as Supreme Head of the Church, and the duty thence arising of submission to the
Pope in order to belong to the Church and thus to attain salvation. The Pope also emphasises the higher position of the spiritual in comparison with the secular order.

All perfectly reasonable for a Roman Catholic and, from our perspective, underpinned by Scripture, tradition and reason.

The main propositions of the Bull are: the unity of the Church and its necessity for salvation. Next, that as the unity of the Body of the Church so is the unity of its Head established in Saint Peter and his successors. Consequently, all who wish to belong to the fold of Christ are placed under the dominion of Peter and his successors.

Here's the dogma:

"Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

Applying the principles in 1302 were somewhat different to applying them in the 1960's when Vatican II restated the doctrine to take the divisions of Christianity into account.

If you accept Christ is necessary for salvation, our time here on earth is focussed on salvation through Christ, that He appointed a Church and a leader and invested Peter and his successors with His authority until His return, then there's no problem with any of this.

It would follow that a Christian nation would seek to follow the Church in making laws. Not democratic, pluralistic or diverse granted, then neither is the Gospel. Not by scripture or by faith alone, not by a one off "rebirth", admittedly but then these things do not form a part of Catholic theology. And certainly not by predestination as conceived by Calvin.

But you don't accept any of the above so we cannot agree.

Basically, for a Catholic, it is an act of faith in the Church resting on a particular understanding of the Bible and acceptance of this and the authority of the Church.

20 February 2013 at 23:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the evidence in the bible states that Christ is' the Rock' not Peter.
So just on that fact the Catholic Church has a false authority in fact a stolen authority which is no authority at all.

Should a Christian obey a church (which by its own definition) is a false Church?

24 February 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger Mike Harrison said...

Unlike the normal gifts,the meaning and significance can be evaluated in a number of ways. Kings James Bible was significant politically in during last centuries due to the differences between Church and state.But in the modern era all such differences have lost their importance. So the gift from the British Prime Minister to the Pope must be examined from a contemporary and humanitarian point of view.christian gifts

25 February 2013 at 07:18  

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