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Gnosticism Reborn In The End Times


 

any who have considered the many new English Bible translations believe the issue between the King James Version and the NIV, and other new versions, is merely one of translating the Greek text in different ways. They do not know that the real issue is which Greek texts are used for a New Testament translation. There are two main Greek texts now, and they differ on many verses, sometimes in unimportant ways and sometimes the Westcott-Hort Greek text abbreviates, reduces and weakens the statement of a doctrine. In a few cases, Westcott-Hort texts leave out a doctrine entirely (as in John 3: 13).

This verse says, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." the words "which is in heaven" are left out of the new Bible versions following Westcott-Hort. "Which is in heaven" states the doctrine that Jesus Christ, while on earth in human flesh, was also omnipresent and in heaven with the Father.

Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Antony Hort created a Greek New Testament text, based on the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus texts, to replace the Textus Receptus. The King James Version is based largely on later editions of the Textus Receptus, and so Westcott and Hort also set out in the 19th century to overthrow the KJV. Here is what Hort wrote about replacing the Textus Receptus:

"One result of our talk I may as well tell you. He (Westcott) and I are going to edit a Greek text of the New Testament some two or three years hence, if possible. Lachmann and Tischendorf will supply rich
materials, but not nearly enough; and we hope to do a good deal with Oriental versions. Our object is to supply clergymen generally, schools, etc., with a portable Greek text which shall not be disfigured with Byzantine corruptions."

This citation is from The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, by Arthur Hort, Vol. I, p. 240. p. 250. It is important to cite sources when making statements about the intentions, beliefs and occult activities of Westcott and Hort. Their contemporary followers will deny that Westcott and Hort set out to  deliberately overthrow the Textus Receptus/King James version, or that they rejected many of the doctrines of the New Testament and were into the occult. Westcott and Hort were 19th century Anglican clergymen.

In contrast to them, the Anglicans in the King James translation group of the early 17th century were, by their fruit, faithful to Christ and were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they did their work in cooperation with the Calvinists in the group.

Westcott and Hort were unlikely to have had the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide them into truth (John 16: 13). John Burgon, Dean of Chichester in England during the late 19th century, said the following about the inclusion of a Unitarian on the 1881 Revision Committee led by Westcott and Hort that:

"But even if the Unitarian [Vance Smith] had been an eminent Scholar, my objection would remain in full force; for I hold (and surely so do you!), that the right Interpretation of God's Word may not be attained without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, whose aid must first be invoked by faithful prayer."

The 1881 committee's purpose was to consider the issue of revising the King James translation. Dean Burgon and F. H. Scrivener lost their battle with Westcott and Hort over the revision of the King James Version. Hort said the Textus Receptus has "Byzantine corruptions." The Textus Receptus was created using some late Byzantine Greek texts.

I have been interested in the idea that perhaps for some of the verses in the Westcott-Hort Greek text different from those of the Textus Receptus - and there are many - these differences are in agreement
with the gnostic theology of the second and third centuries.

GNOSTICISM AS BLASPHEMY

There were different versions of Gnosticism that made some use of Christian terminology and which deceived some baby Christians in the second and third centuries. Even a few early church fathers, like Origen of Alexandria, Egypt may have been, in part, influenced by Gnosticism. The effect of believing Gnostic teachings is to bring doubt about the basic doctrines of the Bible.

Gnostics thought that the Supreme Father is remote and unknowable. He/she created supernatural beings called Aeons. One of the Aeons was Sophia - wisdom in Greek - who gave birth to the "inferior" creator
being Gnostics call the Demiurge. The Demiurge then created the material world which Gnostics said was evil, corrupt and flawed. To Gnostics, the demiurge is the God of the Old Testament, seen by them as evil, rigid, and lacking in compassion. Many Gnostics said the pride, ignorance and incompetence of the demiurge caused the sorry state of the world as we know it.

One version of Gnosticism says that Sophia, when she realized that her creation, the Demiurge, was evil, in defiance to him, put a spark of divinity in humans, or in some humans. Valentinus, a Gnostic leader in Alexandria, Egypt taught that the supposedly evil physical universe was created because of a mistake by
Sophia.

But in Genesis 1:4-25 God says several times that the material universe and the earth which He created was good, not evil. For the Gnostics to say the physical earth and material universe are evil is an insult to God.

One of the major Gnostic movements was founded by Valentinus whose dates are about 100 to 153 AD. Tertullian (about 155 to 230) AD wrote a book opposed to the teachings of Valentinus, entitled Adversus
Valentinianos
.

Irenaeus (about 130 to 200 AD) writes about the Gnosticism of Valentinus in his book Against Heresies. See http://www.pohick.org/sts/fathers.html for online texts of the five books of Against Heresies. Irenaeus' Against Heresies contains a number of quotes from the New Testament, many of which are identical
or almost exactly the same as wordings in the King James Version.

Scholars say he wrote this book in about 180 AD. Only fragments of the original Greek text of Against Heresies have survived, though one web site claims much of Book One has survived. A complete Latin translation from 380 AD has survived. There is more than one English translations of the Latin, such as that by Alexander Roberets and James Donald (1867).

Esoteric, or secret teachings, were passed on in private by Jesus to his apostles, or so says Valentinus. Valentinus quotes Luke 8: 9-10 "The knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but to the rest it comes by means of parables so that they may look but not see and listen but not understand" (Luke 8:9-10, see. Irenaeus Against Heresies 1:3:1). 1.

Also, Valentinus claims that when Paul met the risen Christ on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:9-10), he received this secret knowledge from Jesus. Valentinus says Theudas gave Valentinus the secret knowledge, and that Theudas received it from the Apostles.

The Gnostic Valentinus taught that the scriptures are not easily understood and their truth can only be had by those who have the secret Gnostic knowledge (Irenaeus Against heresies, Book Three, Chapter Two, paragraph One). Valentinian Gnostics thought that the secret knowledge is understood only by those who are spiritually mature. The Valentinians claimed that the Gnostic knowledge is nonsense to those who are not ready to receive them. They said Paul and other Apostles only gave these teachings to those who were
spiritually mature.

What Valentinus and his followers created was a false religion which stole some of the terminology of Christianity. The Gnostics tried to make themselves an elite caste who were the only ones having the
correct knowledge which was said to be necessary to be saved at death from the evil material world. Since they were not spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit, they were arrogant in their assumed elite status as the sole bearers of the truth.

In Revelation 2:15 Christ says the church at Pergamos held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which he hates. It may be that Christ hated the doctrine of the Nicolaitans because they engaged in pagan
ceremonies and orgies and because they were proud in their assumed status as a religious ruling elite. Irenaeus and some other early Fathers said some of the Gnostics engaged in pagan practices, and did
not follow Christian morals. As a movement trying to rule over others as an elite group, Gnosticism was probably like the Nicolaitans. The lesson for us from this is that there should be no elite, or more precisely, no elite priesthood, among Christians.

The Valentinian teaching draws a sharp distinction between the human Jesus and the divine Jesus. The human Jesus was born the true biological son of Mary and Joseph, they say. When he was thirty years old, he went to John the Baptist to be baptized. As soon as he went down into the water, the divine Savior, referred to as the "Spirit of the Thought of the Father," descended on him in the form of a dove. This is the true "virgin birth" and resurrection from the dead, for he was reborn of the virgin Spirit. Jesus was then born of the Spirit, or so said the Gnostics. 2.

This account seems to suggest that the Gnostics thought Jesus became fully spiritual as a savior at his baptism. Other Gnostics said that the savior, who came from the spiritual world of the Eternal Father,
could not have entered the material world and taken on human flesh because the material world and human flesh are evil.  3.

The Gnostics differentiated between the human Jesus and the spiritual Christ. Some said that the evil material world causes a corruption of the spiritual state, and so Christ as pure spirit could not become human flesh in the material world.

Those of the Gnostic movements who followed the Docetism of Julius Cassianus believed that Christ was pure spirit, and only appeared to be in human flesh. Arianism, as taught by Arius, said that Jesus was a created being and not God. These false teachings about Jesus Christ are also blasphemy, as is the teaching that salvation is not by the blood atonement of Christ, but by obtaining secret knowledge.

Remember, for the Gnostics, salvation is not being set free from the domination of sin and given eternal life with Christ. For them, salvation is liberation at death from the bondage to the material world. This implies a form of reincarnation which some Gnostics taught. I have read that Origen, the early Church father of Alexandria, believed in some form of reincarnation and he also thought Jesus Christ was a lesser God than God the Father.

Marcion (about 85 to 160 AD), another important Gnostic, said Jesus was a spirit and was not in the flesh. Marcion rejected the baby stories about Jesus, and his crucifixion and resurrection. Marcion thought the Eternal Father took pity on humanity and sent Christ, as spirit alone, to rescue some men from the material world and from the God of the Old Testament.

Gnostics did not want to acknowledge that Jesus Christ took on human flesh in the material world. If it was some of the Gnostics who removed words and phrases from some verse of the Greek New Testament, in the copies associated with Alexandria, Egypt, then this rejection of the teaching that Christ took on human flesh could account for some of these omissions on the topics of the deity of Christ and his incarnation in human flesh.

The second and third century Gnostics did not accept the Genesis account saying that man and the earth degenerated as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. For the Gnostics, the material world was evil from its creation. Again, this insults the Lord. There may have been some Gnostics around during the first century when Paul, John and other apostles wrote.

Irenaeus in Against heresies, Justin Martyr in Apologies and Hippolytus in Philosophemena all wrote abut a Simon Magnus who was a heretic, and perhaps an early Gnostic. Irenaeus in Against Heresies (written about 175-185 A.D.), devotes all of chapter 23 of Book One to Simon Magus. He said that Emperor Claudius
honored Simon Magus with a statue because of his magic. Irenaeus says that Simon taught that he appeared to the Jews as the Son, to the Samaritans as the Father, and to other nations as the Holy Spirit.

Tertullian in Against All Heresies (200-210 AD), devotes the first chapter to discussing Simon Magus. Tertullian says that Simon called himself "The Supreme Virtue," and that his successor was Menander. Tertullian also says in A Treatise on the Soul (chapter 34), that Simon devoted his energies to destroying the truth after Peter rebuked him.

Hippolytus in The Refutation of All Heresies (book 6 chapters 2-7, 225-235/6 A.D.) also goes into Simon's pseudo-Platonic nonsense.

In Book One Chapter 23 of Against Heresies, Irenaeus has a lot to say about Simon Magnus. He said:

"Simon the Samaritan was that magician of whom Luke, the disciple and follower of the apostles, says, "But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime used magical arts in that city, and led astray the people of Samaria, declaring that he himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This is the power of God, which is called great..."

Irenaeus goes on to say "...they have a name derived from Simon, the author of these most impious doctrines, being called Simonians; and from them `knowledge, falsely so called,' received its beginning, as one may learn even from their own assertions." In this citation, "they" are the followers of Simon. Here Irenaeus is quoting part of I Timothy 6: 20. Irenaeus ends his discussion of Simon in saying

"The successor of this man was Menander, also a Samaritan by birth, and he, too, was a perfect adept in the practice of magic. He affirms that the primary Power continues unknown to all, but that he himself is the person who has been sent forth from the presence of the invisible beings as a saviour, for the deliverance of men. The world was made by angels, whom, like Simon, he maintains to have been produced by Ennoea."

I Timothy 6: 20 and I John 4: 3, at least, seem to deal with the problem of Gnosticism. I Timothy 6:20 says "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." "Science" is from "gnosis" and could have been translated as "knowledge." Because of this linguistic connection, Paul might be warning Timothy to stay away from Gnosticism which promotes a kind of "knowledge" that is false.

Then, I John 4:3 could be warning about the Gnostic teaching that Jesus Christ could not have taken on the flesh of man in the incarnation. John says "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist..."

The Gnostics of the second and third centuries had the spirit of antichrist. Furthermore, though there are many different kinds of Gnosticism, the contemporary New Age Occult Movement is a continuation of aspects of that early Gnosticism. So it too is the spirit of antichrist. It has infiltrated some of the churches of the Multitude as a kind of religious mysticism that is not authentically led by the Holy Spirit. 4.

COMPARISON OF KING JAMES WORDINGS WITH QUOTES BY IRENAEUS

If the New Testament quotes by Irenaus in Against Heresies are faithful copies of his original Greek text, then we have evidence that the wordings of many verses of the Textus Receptus and King James Version existed at the time he wrote, in the late second century (somewhere around 175 to 185 AD). The Westcott-Hort theory says that the two Greek manuscripts associated with Alexandria, Egypt, the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, from the fourth century, are the best because they are the oldest copies available.

There are in existence fairly sizeable Papyrus fragments (p66 and p75 for example) from the second and/or third centuries which contain wordings supporting both the Textus Receptus and Westcott-Hort which suggests the Textus Receptus wordings existed at least in the late second century. Papyrus p66 is supposed to be from 125 to 200 AD, and Papyrus p75 is from 175 to 225 AD. An important consideration for p66 and p75 is that both were found in the dry climate of Egypt. Experts claim these papyri were copied from other Greek texts in about the time of the late second century. Some verses of these papyri are like Textus Receptus wordings and some like Westcott-Hort wordings.

I am not certain what implications this mixed type of wording might have for the transmission of early Greek New Testament texts. One possibility is that in Egypt during the late second century, a process of changing some verses was going on, but it was not as far advanced as it was by the time Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were copied in the fourth century. Whatever the implications of the mixed wordings in these papyri, the Textus Receptus wordings that are in the papyri came from some Greek texts existing in the second century.

If Irenaeus had the Textus Receptus wordings in the late second century (about 175 to 185 AD), this shoots big holes in the Westcott-Hort theory that the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus texts are better because they are older, as well as the claim the Textus Receptus is inferior because of its much later date. Scholars claim Irenaeus wrote Against Heresies in 175 to 185 AD. I made a list of most of his quotes in all five Books of Against Heresies (about 22 quotes), and he has paraphrases of some more. Some are identical to the King James wordings and others are almost identical. I will include some of these here.

This is II Corinthians 4: 4 in the King James Version: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

And this is from Against Heresies Book Four, Chapter 29: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them." And again, Irenaeus quoting the letter to the Romans: "And as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient."

Romans 1: 28 in the King James Version says: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."

In the quote of II Corinthians 4: 4 by Irenaeus, he leaves out "who is the image of God."

Colossians 1: 14 in the King James says "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

Book Five, Chapter 2.2 of Against Heresies says: "For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins."

Colossians 1: 14 is one of those verses where an important word has been left out of the New International Version. It reads: "in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Lets look at the Westcott-Hort Greek text and see if blood is left out there too for Colossians 1: 14. Their Greek text says: "en w echomen ten apolutrosin the aphesin ton amartion."

The Textus Receptus, used for the King James, says: "en w echomen ten apolutrosin dia tou aimatos autou ten aphesin ton amartion." The Greek words "dia tou aimatos" are in the Textus Receptus but not in the Westcott-Hort Greek text. "dia tou aimatos" means "through his blood."

Luke 1:6 in the King James reads: "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Book Three, Chapter 10.1 of Against Heresies says: "Luke also, the follower and disciple of the apostles, referring to Zacharias and Elisabeth, from whom, according to promise, John was born, says: "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

And again, speaking of Zacharias: "And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense;"

Irenaeus here is also quoting Luke 1: 8-9 which reads in the King James "And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office his lot was to burn incense when he went the temple of the Lord." Irenaeus does not quote the last part of this sentence "when he went into the temple of the Lord."

In the King James, Galatians 4:4-5 has this wording: "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

In Book Three, Chapter 16.3 of Against Heresies, Irenaeus says "And again, in his Epistle to the Galatians, he says: "But when the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under
the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption;" plainly indicating one God, who did by the prophets make promise of the Son, and one Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the
seed of David according to His birth from Mary; and that Jesus Christ was appointed the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, as being the first begotten in all the creation; the Son of God being made the Son Of man, that through Him we may receive the adoption,--humanity sustaining, and receiving, and embracing the Son of God."

Irenaeus leaves out "of sons" after adoption. In this paragraph, he is arguing from Scripture, as he does so often in Against Heresies, against the Gnostic confusion of the nature of the godhead, with their many Aeons etc. 5.

WESTCOTT-HORT VERSUS TEXTUS RECEPTUS ON THE DEITY OF CHRIST

If I quote all the verses in the Textus Receptus, Westcott-Hort text, the KJV, NIV, etc. that I've found on the deity of Christ where the Westcott-Hort differs from the Textus Receptus, it would go on and on. On the topic of the incarnation of Christ in human flesh, there are also verse wordings different in the two Greek texts, enough verse differences (eight or more) to suggest a possible Gnostic influence.

The Gnostics opposed the doctrine that Jesus Christ was fully God who took on human flesh in what they considered to be the evil material world. I am going to briefly go over some of the verse differences between the Westcott-Hort-NIV, etc wordings and Textus Receptus-King James Version wordings on the subject of the deity of Christ, as follows:

Matthew 16:20: "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." "Jesus" is left out of the Westcott-Hort Greek text and is also left out of the NIV. This seems to conform to the Gnostic view that there is a separation between Jesus in human flesh and the spiritual Christ.

Mark 1:1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." "Son of God" is left out of the Westcott-Hort Greek text. It is in the NIV. The Gnostics did not accept the Biblical teaching that Jesus was fully God.

John 1:18: "No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." While the Textus Receptus and King James have "only begotten Son," the
Westcott-Hort text says "only begotten God." The NIV does not translate "monogenes," or "only begotten," but instead says "God the One and Only." The new translations do not clearly say that Jesus is the Son of God, making him fully God. Some Gnostics, especially Arius, said Jesus was a created being.

John 4:42: "And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." "Christ" is left out of the
Westcott-Hort text and the new translations. Gnostics did not want to teach that Christ is the Saviour.

Acts 2: 30: "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne (II Samuel 7:12)." The Westcott-Hort text leaves out "to raise up Christ according to the flesh." The NIV says "that he would place one of his descendants on his throne," which is not saying that the descendant is Christ. Removing "according to the flesh to raise up Christ" fits the gnosic teaching that Christ was a purely spiritual being. To say that Jesus Christ was incarnated in human flesh as a descendant of David opposes Gnostic theology.

I Corinthians 5:4: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Westcott-Hort text leaves out "Christ." The NIV also leaves out "Christ." This omission is in agreement with the Gnostic view that Jesus Christ was not God.

I Corinthians 15: 47: "The first man is of the earth, earthly: the second man is the Lord from heaven." The King James Version identifies the second man or second Adam as Jesus Christ. But the Westcott-Hort text does not say who the second man is. It omits "Lord." The NIV also fails to say who the second man is. It says only "the second man from heaven." That statement is simply not as clear as saying "the second man is the Lord from heaven." Leaving "Lord" out of I Corinthians 15: 47 could weaken faith in the promises of Jesus Christ, who is the second Adam as our head.

Christ as the second Adam paid the price for our sins when, as fully God, he took on human flesh and died on the cross. As the replacement of Adam as the head of His people, he gives to us, on faith, His righteousness, so that we might come to be on the right side of the plumb line of Amos (7:7-8). Christ, as the second Adam, at his appearing will give us a body and a likeness somewhat like his own. I John 3: 2 promises "...we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

The only Greek texts that omit "Lord" are the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Ephraemi Rescriptus. The word "Lord" is in most Byzantine texts as well as the Alexandrinus. The papyrus fragment p46 replaces "the Lord" with "the spiritual" (pneumatikos). 6.

The omission of "Lord," which identifies the second Adam as Jesus Christ to Christians, fits with some Gnostic ideas. Many Gnostics of the second and third centuries thought that man had a physical nature (soul) and a spiritual nature. His spiritual nature was corrupted by being in the dark and evil material world created by the Demiurge. The spiritual part of man could be liberated by gnosis - knowledge or insight - and might join the Eternal Father in the spiritual realm. This Gnostic Eternal Father is not a personal being, but is some kind of spiritual force (Daniel 11:38); he is not the God of the Bible.

In Gnostic theology the Eternal Father created several spiritual beings called Aeons. The lowest of these is Sophia and she rebelled because of her low status and created the Demiurge, who in turn created the evil material world which corrupts the spiritual side of man. Then, in some Gnostic teachings, Sophia gave men, or some men, a spark of spirituality to defy the evil demiurge. Another Aeon, the Christos or the Christ of the Gnostics, was sent into the world to bring gnosis or secret knowledge to some men. He did not die to atone for our sins, and in Gnostic theology sin is not a problem. Man, or some men, have a spark of spirituality or "god-nature" in them, and secret knowledge can develop this spark and liberate them from bondage to the material world. Though the Gnostics used some of the terminology of Christianity, their theology was really quite different from Biblical doctrine.

Removing the Lord (referring to Jesus Christ) from I Corinthians 15:47, could make the verse appear consistent with Gnostic doctrine, for the Gnostics and for a few Christians who were taken in by this
deception. If some Gnostic scribes did make this change to omit Lord in a few New Testament copies before the Alexandrian Vanticanus and Sinaiticus were copied in the fourth century, this one verse change does not prove much. But if many changes like this in the Westcott-Hort Greek text are in line with Gnostic teachings, this supports the idea that Gnostics changed a few copies of Scripture. Obviously, it may not be seen as decisive proof to the followers of Westcott and Hort.

If the second Adam is not identified as Jesus Christ, the Gnostics might have placed some doubt on the gospel itself, which may be the effect they desired.

The omission of Lord in this verse could throw it into partial agreement with the Gnostic teaching of the Apocryphon of John, part of the deeply occultic Nag Hammadi manuscript find, that the first Adam was created with soul (psyche), and the second Adam was created with spirit (pneumatos). The omission of "Lord" in I Corinthians 15: 47 could be read as supporting the Gnostic teaching that the first man was an earthly creation of the Demiurge, but that the second man, who had pneuma or the spiritual, was from heaven.

Remember, in the Gnostic system, all spirituality came from the Eternal Father and from heaven. The change from "the Lord" to "the spiritual" in the papyrus fragment p46 could also help change this verse from a Christian to a Gnostic view.

It should be recognized the change from a Christian to a Gnostic view is not found consistently in the Westcott-Hort Greek text, as this kind of radical change is not found in all verses dealing with the deity and incarnation of Christ. However, it is found in many verses, and there are enough to justify taking a close look at the possibility that Gnostics tampered with some verses of the New Testament. If the Gnostics actually did change some verses in some copies of Scripture, the effect of this change is to create doubt in the minds of Christians using the new translations about the Christian doctrines. Over time this doubt could grow into apostasy.

It looks like some in the Christian Multitude may have become hungry for spiritual experience because they are not being led into it in most of the churches. As a result, they fall into a kind of Gnostic spiritual experience that masquerades as authentic Holy Spirit inspiration. The Holy Spirit works through Scripture to bring us its truth, and He may not work as well from the modern Bible versions as He does through the King James Version.

THE NEW AGE OCCULT AS GNOSTICISM REBORN INFILTRATED
SOME CHRISTIAN GROUPS

Many New Age writers talk about a Christ Mind or Christ Spirit. Some early Gnostics taught that Jesus was just a man who, at his baptism, was infused with the "Christ Mind." New Agers believe there have been many Christs, with Jesus being only one of many.

New Age prophetess Alice Bailey in her book, The Reappearance of The Christ, describes the "Avatar of Synthesis," who she says is a "close Associate" of "the Christ." She says: "He works under the great
natural Law of Synthesis, producing at-one-ment, unification and fusion."

The New Agers say God is within us and can be fully realized, but they are glorifying man himself as the creator, not the creature (Romans 1:22-24). They lure people with their "I am God" teaching since this appeals to man's ego and thirst for power. All this also reinforces and fits in with the self psychology of Carl R. Rogers, A. H. Maslow and others, that the goal of man is to fulfill the desires of the self and attain self-actualization.

Robert Schuller got hold of the self psychology of Rogers and Maslow, and brought it into his version of Christianity in the early eighties. He published Self-Esteem:The New Reformation in 1982. Schuller
said in 1982 that almost all problems, all sin and evil, is a result of people having low self-esteem. Therefore, in the theology of Schuller, our greatest need is to have self-esteem. He said "I strongly suggest that self-love is the ultimate will of man that what you really want more than anything else in the world is the awareness that you are a worthy person." Schuller turns the Gospel and the Biblical teachings on humility upside down. Remember, in the Garden of Eden. Satan promised Eve "Ye shall be as God."

A recent form of clear apostasy within the "Christian" Multitude is a movement called "Christ Mind." On his internet site, the "Reverend" Lorne McLean, Ph. D., says that

"The Key that enables us to function AS THE SOURCE, is the realization that God (the Father) is the I AM WITHIN US, and the belief that we are the person we have been programmed to believe ourselves to be, is what keeps us from attaining this realization." 7.

This teaching has seeped over into Christianity from the New Age Occult movement, which derives in great part from Theosophy's H P Blavatsky, and Alice Bailey.

The second and third century Gnostics thought that a spark of divinity was in human beings, or at least in some people. If a person acquired secret knowledge he might be enlightened and have insight into the god nature within him so he could escape at death from the evil material world. New Agers, as modern day followers of this idea of Gnosticism, also believe that there is a "Christ Consciousness" within us which can be developed.

Dr. McClean goes on to say on his web site that "I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE" initiates the real
Spiritual Rebirth, without which we cannot attain a consciousness of Oneness... the CHRIST MIND."

Robert Clark is another promoter of the "Christ Mind," which again uses some of the terminology of the New Testament, but is a form of Gnosticism and the New Age Occult religion. Clark's book, "The Christ Mind," is published on the internet. On a related Yahoo Group, it says

"The gist is:`I and My Father are One.' This is the seed, (the thought) that will lead us into the Kingdom of God, into a consciousness of Oneness, into "The Christ Mind". This seemingly egotistical idea sets in motion the real Spiritual Rebirth. By no other means can we enter the Kingdom of God. By no other means can we attain the Christ Mind. In our search for God, we have failed to realize that the God we are searching for is the I AM within us, our real self! Discover who you really are and may you "see" the truth that will set you free."

This theology uses some of the terminology of the Bible, but it is a form of Gnosticism. In addition to the Gnostic influenced teaching of "Christ Mind," there are other Christians who, although they are not following such obvious false teachings, may be fooled into believing the highly emotional and inspiring spiritual experiences they have are from the Holy Spirit. For some of these Christians, the New Age Occult Movement may be influencing them to think their spiritual highs are authentic, when in fact they are a kind of Gnostic mysticism.

Jeff Cross, a former host of The Threshing Floor broadcast on the Christian Media Network, did a broadcast in late August, 2006 about the New Age Occult movement coming into Christianity as the "Christ Mind." It was entitled The Spirit of Promise, Part 4: the "Christ Mind" or the "mind of Christ." For details on The Threshing Floor, see the Snapshots section of this site under the letter T.

Both the New Age Occult Movement and the secret societies, including Freemasonry, derive in large part from the Jewish Kabballah and Gnosticism. This is one reason why, if Gnostics did chang some New Testament verses in copies leading to the Alexandarian copies, the Westcott-Hort Greek text and its huge number of English translations is an important study. It is also why author Gail Riplinger, a staunch defender of the KJV, calls the NIV and other new translations New Age Bibles. Because so many differences between the King James Version-Textus Receptus and the Westcott-Hort-NIV, etc are consistent with Gnostic theology, this is evidence (although not absolutely conclusive) the Gnostics changed some New Testament copies.

The cause and effect relationship between the Westcott-Hort Greek text (and its huge number of English translations) and lukewarm Churchianity, is likely to be complex. The subject encompasses various end times apostasies, loss of Christian morality, and a widespread loss of the authentic Holy Spirit. Furthermore, it's not just the use of these new translations that can open a door to apostasy, as some who use the King James and actually read it are also in various kinds of false doctrines.

For example, Harold Camping and his loyal followers (and believe me, they really are loyal to him) use the King James Version. Camping's teachings on some topics are also problematic. He used time spans in the Old Testament and numerology to predict the end of the world in 1994 and now again in 2011.

Another example is N. C. Turner who, on his radio show The 1611 Hour, promotes the King James version. He said in a December 2003 letter that "First, I am coming from the perspective that the King James Bible is literal, absolute truth and has been given to us by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3: 16)." However, Turner follows dispensationalist theology, claiming Old Testament prophecy shows that God will provide a kingdom in the end time or during the millennium for physical Israel, that is, the Jews. There probably are other dispensationalists who are what the loyal riders of the Westcott-Hort "Wrecking Machine" call the "King James Only" people.

The first American translation based on the Westcott-Hort Greek text was the 1901 American Standard Version. The New Revised Standard Version, also from Westcott-Hort, first appeared in 1952. By 1984 Francis Schaeffer wrote his last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, noting that evangelicals had lost faith in the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. Maybe to avoid being divisive, Schaeffer did not say that a major cause of this disaster was the new translations and the teaching of higher criticism. He also failed to mention the historical-critical method and textual criticism, as well as the Westcott-Hort theory being propagated in many seminaries.

It is true that some older Christians and preachers (and younger ones too), brought up on the King James Version, but who now use the new translations are grounded in sounder Bible teachings given them by the KJV. It is also true, the attack upon the Bible in the seminaries and widespread use of the new translations have been around long enough to create a Christian culture based on the rebellion of Westcott and Hort.

Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (I Samuel 15: 28), and the sons of Westcott and Hort in their books on their fathers say they were into the occult. Even those who use the King James Version may be influenced by this Christian culture of rebellion set off so many years ago (1881) by the two Anglican clergymen, Westcott and Hort.

Therefore, it;s not just a matter of saying that the use of the King James Version will keep almost all people from apostasy. We could say that among those who read the KJV, and find God's truth in it by inspiration from the Holy Spirit, there will be fewer who fall from the faith than from among those who read the NIV, and don't find God's truth. A follower of Westcott and Hort would likely say, "Wrong, here is someone who reads the KJV and he or she is in false doctrines." Of course, a few exceptions do not disprove the general idea stated above. You need to read the King James Version, and pray to the Lord to open his truth to you and to keep you from falling.

In addition, the devil is out to lure us into false doctrines, lukewarm Churchianity, failure to uphold Biblical morality, and loss of the Holy Spirit. If he can deceive even the readers of the King James Version, he has made a bigger catch. Don't let him do it. Pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire you and open the truth of the Scriptures to you, and to keep you from falling away into false teachings.


-- Bernard Pyron


©2006 CHRISTIAN MEDIA RESEARCH, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



See Also the following:

The King James Controversy

Satanic Translations

The Poisoned Tree Called The NIV



Footnotes:


1. This information is found at gnosis.org under Valentinus

2. ibid.

3. See also studytoanswer.net under bible versions.

4. The link for all five of the Irenaeus Books of Against heresy is  pohick.org then sts then fathers.

5. Sites where comparisons of the wordings of the Greek Textus Receptus, and Westcott-Hort, as well as many English translations are unbound.biola and olivetree.com under bibles. The latter also delves into possible Gnostic influence on omissions of words, phrases and entire verses from the Westcott-Hort Greek text.

6. This material is stated at studytoanswer.net under bible versions.

7. Beware the subtlety of the serpent at the so called "christmind" related websites.


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