Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Old Latin and Waldensian Bibles [pdf + text]


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The Old Latin and Waldensian Bibles

Note that References in this write-up correspond to those in the KJO James White Review Full Text

Doug Kutilek has a blatantly obvious strategy to destroy bible belief and replace it with himself or his cronies as the final arbiters of what God said and where God said it.

Kutilek is present-day proof of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s prophetic warning uttered over 150 years ago in 18568 pp 45-6.

When you are confused or perplexed by a variety of versions, you would be obliged to go to some learned pundit in whom you reposed confidence, and ask him which version he recommended; and when you had taken his version, you must be bound by his opinion. I hold this to be the greatest danger that now threatens us. It is a danger pressed upon us from Germany, and pressed upon us by the neological spirit of the age. I hold it to be far more dangerous than Tractarianism, or Popery, both of which I abhor from the bottom of my heart. This evil is tenfold more dangerous, tenfold more subtle than either of these, because you would be ten times more incapable of dealing with the gigantic mischief that would stand before you”

Kutilek’s bible-subverting strategy is found in his attempt to prove that Waldensian bibles are derived mainly from Jerome’s Vulgate.


He states, while also seeking to discredit the researches12 of Benjamin Wilkinson.

Wilkinson claimed also that the Received Text had authority enough to become, either in itself or by its translation, “the Bible of…the Waldensian Church of northern Italy,” (Our Authorised Bible Vindicated, p.24; Which Bible?, p.197). “The noble Waldenses in northern Italy still possessed in Latin the Received Text,” (OABV, p.42; WB, p.214). “The Latin Vulgate…was different from the Bible of the Waldenses,” (OABV, p.22; WB, p.195). This received text supposedly possessed by the Waldensians was alleged to be in the form of a Latin translation, the Old Latin or Itala version, which predates the Vulgate: “They [i.e., the Waldenses] knew and possessed the Vulgate. But the Italic, the earlier Latin, was their own Bible, the one for which they lived and suffered and died,” (OABV, p.28; WB, p.201).

Wilkinson summarily said, “Some authorities speak of the Waldenses as having as their Bible, the Vulgate. We regret to dispute these claims,” (OABV, p.28; WB, p.201). And well should Wilkinson have regrets, for his disputation is utterly groundless!”

Citing Wylie, History of the Waldenses, p 11-12, Kutilek asserts further, author’s emphases.

Mr. J. A. Wylie, in his book, History of the Waldenses (1870, 4th ed.), reported, “The ‘Lingua Romana,’ or Roumant tongue, was the common language of the south of Europe from the eighth to the fourteenth century…Into this tongue - the Roumant - was the first translation of the whole of the New Testament made so early as the twelfth century. This fact Dr. Gilly has been at great pains to prove in his work, The Roumant Version of the Gospel according to John [1848]. The sum of what Dr. Gilly, by a patient investigation into the facts, and a great array of historic documents, maintains, is that all the books of the New Testament were translated from the Latin Vulgate…into the Roumant, that this was the first literal version since the fall of the empire, that it was made in the twelfth century, and was the first translation available for popular use…it was made, as Dr. Gilly, by a chain of proofs, shows, most probably under the superintendence and at the expense of Peter Waldo of Lyons, not later than 1180,” (pp. 12, 13).

Here, then, is the conclusion of the acknowledged expert in the field: the Waldensian Bible was made from the Vulgate. An examination of Gilly’s work directly provides a little more detail to the picture. Gilly [from The Romaunt Version of the Gospel According to John, by William Stephen Gilly] plainly states about the translators of the Roumant version that, “They used the Vulgate of Jerome for their text” (p. xcix)…”



Citing Neander’s General History of the Christian Religion and Church, Vol. IV, p 608, 2nd ed., 1853, Kutilek states, “The Waldensians having produced this translation, “sent delegates from their body to pope Alexander the Third, transmitting to him a copy of their Romance version of the Bible, and soliciting his approbation as well as that of their spiritual society.” It is highly unlikely that the Waldensians would have submitted such a version to the pope for approval if it were not Vulgate-based.”

Kutilek cites 26 examples from the New Testament to show the departure of the Old Latin from the Received Text underlying the AV1611 and concludes.

These 26 examples gleaned practically at random from the apparatus of The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition, 1975, published by the United Bible Societies, represent only a small fraction of the Old Latin departures from the received text (as well as from the Byzantine text). Very many more could be listed, but surely these are enough to refute the false claim that the Old Latin in any of its forms is Byzantine in text type.”

Kinney’s effective refutation of Kutilek’s claim is found on these sites. His article is The Old Latin Versions and the KJB.


Kinney discusses all Kutilek’s 26 examples in turn and states, “You will notice that most of Mr. Kutilek’s examples are quite insignificant and in many of these the Old Latin readings are divided, some siding with the KJB and others not. You will also notice that he mentions only 11 or 12 of the Old Latin manuscripts; not the readings for the others among the 61 copies [extant]... I seriously doubt that Doug Kutilek “gleaned practically at random” his minor selections in an effort to prove to us that the Old Latin version is not “in any of its forms a Byzantine text.” Do you really think Mr. Kutilek is an impartial judge in these matters, or does he have an agenda to promote himself as the Final Authority of what God did or did not say? Other equally qualified scholars have examined the same evidence and arrived at a very different conclusion than that of men like James White, Gary Hudson, and Doug Kutilek.”

One of these scholars is Dr Moorman9 pp 28ff. In contrast to Kutilek’s sketchy analysis, Dr Moorman provides 1252 Old Latin citations of 356 doctrinal passages against the Received Text but 2340 citations with the Received Text or 2:1 in favour of the Received Text. Dr Moorman notes that the Vulgate of Jerome is about evenly divided in this respect. Moorman states.

It seems likely that the Old Latin was translated in the Syrian Antioch by missionaries going to the West. Existing manuscripts certainly show a strong Syrian and Aramaic tendency. This being the case, the Old Latin is associated with that city which is the missionary center of the Book of Acts, and had immediate concourse with those centers in Asia Minor which received the Epistles of Paul. History is so unanimous to Antioch being the fountainhead of the Traditional Text that it has been called the “Antiochan Text.”

The 55 or 60 OL manuscripts which remain for us today show varying amounts of corruption, and frequently disagree among themselves. As such they are but an imperfect reflection of the original OL Text. The OL of North Africa show some of the strange cases of addition and subtraction associated with the so-called Western Text, while those of Europe are generally favourable to the Traditional Text.

It is the branch of the Old Latin used in northern Italy that attracts our interest most, and establishes one of the crucial chapters in Bible transmissional history. This version, known as the Itala, is associated with the Christians of the Vaudois – the valleys of northern Italy and southern France. These noble believers withstood every attempt of Rome to “bring them into the fold.” From the days of Pope Sylvester (early 300’s) unto the massacres of 1655, they were slaughtered, their names blackened and their records destroyed; yet they remained true to the Scriptures. They are known by a number of names, but best as the Waldensians. Research into the text and history of the



Waldensian Bible has shown that it is a lineal descendent of the Old Latin Itala. In other words, the Itala has come down to us in the Waldensian form, and firmly supports the Traditional Text.”

See also remarks by Dr Ruckman and Dr Mrs Riplinger on Matthew 20:22 and the corrupting influence of Origen and Jerome on the Old Latin. See The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship by Dr Peter S. Ruckman, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, pp 98-99 and In Awe of Thy Word by G.A. Riplinger, A.V. Publications Corp., 2003, p 963.

Of the Waldensian overtures to Pope Alexander III, Dr Ruckman [The History of the New Testament Church, Volume 1 by Dr Peter S. Ruckman, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1982, p 293] notes with reference to the exhaustive church history by Philip Schaff, “In 1179 they asked Alexander III to let them preach on the streets and even gave him a copy of their Bible which they had translated from the Old Latin of the King James Bible. They were forbidden to preach and were laughed out of the council. Later their Bibles were committed to the flames and eighty of their preachers were burned at the stake in [Strasburg] in 1212.”

Wilkinson gives a credible explanation12 pp 201, 205-206, 209 for the intensity of the papal reaction, with numerous references. See also remarks from the KJO James White Review Full Text under Early Conspirators and Corrupters. (J .J. Ray is citing Wilkinson.)

This extract includes what Kutilek cited plus some crucial statements that he omitted.

Some authorities speak of the Waldenses as having as their Bible, the Vulgate. We regret to dispute these claims. But when we consider that the Waldenses were, so to speak, in their mountain fastnesses, on an island in the midst of a sea of nations using the Vulgate, without doubt they knew and possessed the Vulgate; but the Italic, the earlier Latin, was their own Bible, the one for which they lived and suffered and died. Moreover, to the east was Constantinople, the center of Greek Catholicism, whose Bible was the Received Text; while a little farther east, was the noble Syrian Church which also had the Received Text. In touch with these, northern Italy could easily verify her text. It is very evident that the Latin Bible of early British Christianity [i.e. of the same lineage as the Waldensian Bibles] not only was not the Latin Bible of the Papacy, that is, the Vulgate, but it was at such variance with the Vulgate as to engender strife.

The following quotation from Dr. Von Dobschutz will verify these two facts:

““When Pope Gregory found some Anglo-Saxon youths at the slave market of Rome and perceived that in the North there was still a pagan nation to be baptized, he sent one of his monks to England, and this monk, who was Saint Augustine, took with him the Bible and introduced it to the Anglo-Saxons, and one of his followers brought with him from Rome pictures showing the Biblical history, and decorated the walls of the church in the monastery of Wearmouth. We do not enter here into the difficult question of the relations between this newly founded Anglo-Saxon church and the old Iro-Scottish church. Differences of Bible text had something to do with the pitiful struggles which arose between the churches and ended in the devastation of the older one.””

The savagery of the papal reaction to the Waldensian approach to Alexander III, which Wilkinson also documents and which documentation on Wilkinson’s part Kutilek also neglects to mention, stems not simply from the Waldensian efforts to translate the scriptures into the vernacular but because their translation came from a different Latin text compared to that of Jerome’s Vulgate. Wilkinson provides further evidence to this effect.

In the fourth century, Helvidius, a great scholar of northern Italy, accused Jerome, whom the Pope had empowered to form a Bible in Latin for Catholicism, with using corrupt Greek manuscripts. How could Helvidius have accused Jerome of employing corrupt Greek MSS. if Helvidius had not had the pure Greek manuscripts? And so learned and so powerful in writing and teaching was Jovinian, the pupil of Helvidius, that it demanded three of Rome’s most famous fathers — Augustine, Jerome, and Ambrose — to unite in opposing Jovinian’s influence. Even then, it needed the condemnation of the Pope and the banishment of the Emperor to prevail. But Jovinian’s followers lived on and made the way easier for Luther…



The Reformers held that the Waldensian Church was formed about 120 A.D., from which date on, they passed down from father to son the teachings they received from the apostles. The Latin Bible, the Italic, was translated from the Greek not later than 157 A.D. We are indebted to Beza, the renowned associate of Calvin, for the statement that the Italic Church dates from 120 A.D. From the illustrious group of scholars which gathered round Beza, 1590 A.D., we may understand how the Received Text was the bond of union between great historic churches. As the sixteenth century is closing, we see in the beautiful Swiss city of Geneva, Beza, an outstanding champion of Protestantism, the scholar Cyril Lucar, later to become the head of the Greek Catholic Church, and Diodati, also a foremost scholar. As Beza astonishes and confounds the world by restoring manuscripts of that Greek New Testament from which the King James is translated, Diodati takes the same and translates into Italian a new and famous edition, adopted and circulated by the Waldenses.”

The Diodati Version remains in circulation to this day and is the Italian equivalent of the AV1611. Wilkinson continues, highlighting a principle reason why the Waldensian Bible could not have been a direct translation of the Vulgate. This author’s emphasis.

At the same time another group of scholars, bitterly hostile to the first group, were gathered at Rheims, France. There the Jesuits, assisted by Rome and backed by all the power of Spain, brought forth an English translation of the Vulgate. In its preface they expressly declared that the Vulgate had been translated in 1300 into Italian and in 1400 into French, “the sooner to shake out of the deceived people’s hands, the false heretical translations of a sect called Waldenses.” This proves that Waldensian Versions existed in 1300 and 1400. It was the Vulgate, Rome’s corrupt Scriptures against the Received Text — the New Testament of the apostles, of the Waldenses, and of the Reformers.”

Dr Mrs Riplinger states further [In Awe of Thy Word pp 960, 966-968, 982-9833], Emphases are hers:

The Old Itala Bible, dating back to the time of the apostles, matches Erasmus’ Greek New Testament and the King James Bible. (This author collated them.) Even Augustine in his fourth century writing, De doctrina Christiana, admitted that ‘in the early centuries of the church, a very great number of Latin’ [pre-Jerome] Bibles were available…

Erasmus wrote in his Preface that he consulted, not the Latin Vulgate, but these ancient Italic Bibles…

When Erasmus was in Italy he would have seen, not only the ancient pure Old Itala manuscripts, but the Italian Bibles of his day, as well. These Italian Bibles did not match the corrupt Latin Vulgate of Jerome, according to Samuel Berger, who has done the definitive work on the history of the Italian translations. [Citing the Cambridge History of the Bible] “Berger’s general conclusion was that Italian translators depended in large measure on previous French and Provincial versions…before the mid-thirteenth century and representing, in part at least, non-Vulgate versions…These conclusions have been accepted in the main…The formation of the Italian Bible was influenced by transalpine versions…It is probable…that the first Italian versions were the work of Waldensian(s)…”

Today we have copies of Italian Bibles that would have been very familiar to Erasmus: the Tuscan version of the 1200s, a Venetian dialect Bible of the 1300s, the Riccardiani Bible of 1252, the Malermi Bible of 1420, and the Jenson Italian Bible. Erasmus would have had no problem determining what readings were accepted by the real body of Christ in Italy.”

Today there are six remaining copies of the 1180 edition of the French Provencal (Roumant) version of the Bible. This language was spoken in the south of Europe between the 9th and 14th centuries. It carried forward the pure old Itala Bibles of the Waldenses.”

Dr Mrs Riplinger cites both Gilly and Wylie (who quotes Gilly), as Kutilek does.



Rev A. G. Ashdown, at one time secretary to the Protestant Alliance and overseer of regular tours to the Waldensian Valleys, has this evaluation [The Evangelical Library Bulletin, Spring 1986, No. 76, p 3] of the Waldensian Bible.

They had a version of the Bible in their local ancient Romance language. It is believed that this was derived from the Greek and Hebrew and not a translation of the Latin Vulgate.”

Wilkinson, whom Kutilek accuses of gross error with respect to his remarks on the Waldensians and their bible, states in a work that is supplementary to the work cited earlier in this study12:

See p 241.

Since the Waldenses existed from the early Christian centuries, it would naturally be expected that their first Bible in their own tongue would be in Latin. Diligent research has proved that this is so. They early possessed that beautiful Latin version of the Bible called the Itala, which was translated from Greek manuscripts. This is proved by comparing the Itala version with the liturgy, or fixed form of divine service, used in the diocese of Milan for centuries, which contains many texts of Scripture from this Itala. H. J. Warner says: “The version current among the Western heretics can be shown to be based upon the Greek and not upon the Vulgate.” When the fall of the Roman Empire came because of the inrush of the Teutonic peoples, the Romaunt, that beautiful speech which for centuries bridged the transition from Latin to modem Italian, had become the mother tongue of the Waldenses. They multiplied copies of the Holy Scriptures in that language for the people.”

Wilkinson cites Allix, a noted historian of the Waldensians and states that he has himself viewed one of the extant Waldensian bibles.

Cloud’s comments6 with respect to White’s book are instructive and apply equally to Kutilek. Underline emphases are this author’s.


White ignores the old Latin tradition, which had a wide influence separate from and alongside the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate. He ignores the Waldensian Romaunt translations and other translations that followed a textual stream akin to the Received Text and distinct from the modern critical text.

In his diligent research into the early history of the Bible in the first few centuries following the Apostles, and into the Waldensian Romaunt and the old Latin, Frederick Nolan (1784-1864) concluded that the critical variations from the Received Text which were being introduced in his day (and which are found in modern Bibles) were reflections of textual corruptions introduced by Origen and Eusebius of [Caesarea] and other heretical editors during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries. Dr. Nolan concluded that the Received Text underlying the old Protestant Bibles (such as the English Authorized Version) is the text of the Apostles, and that the key omissions (such as those in Mark 16:9-20; Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:16) found in the modern versions were introduced by heretics of the second and third centuries, or by those who were attempting to oppose the heretics.

Nolan found evidence that the early Latin version called the Italick or old Latin was produced by Bible-believing Christians who were separate from Rome and its growing apostasy, and this biblical witness continued to be maintained in translations made by the Waldenses. The Waldensians, in the 16th century, raised the funds to publish the Olivetan French Received Text Bible, because they recognized that the text underlying it (the same text as that used by Luther for German and Tyndale for English) was the one they had used for centuries in the translations which were sought out and destroyed by the Roman Catholic authorities. We have documented this history in our book Rome and the Bible: Tracing the History of the Roman Catholic Church and Its Persecution of the Bible and of Bible Believers and also in our book For Love of the Bible (Way of Life Literature, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277).”



Cloud states from his own* observations [ This page is no longer available] that “Textually, the two Waldensian Bibles that I have examined so far follow the Latin New Testament. For example, they omit the word “God” in 1 Timothy 3:16 but contain the Trinitarian statement in 1 John 5:7.”

*Dr Cloud has since stated to me in an email reply that these two bibles appear to have been based on Jerome’s Vulgate. A possible explanation of why the Waldenses may have produced translations of both the Old Itala and Jerome’s Vulgate is ventured below.

Dr Mrs Riplinger states14, p 353, nevertheless, that the Diodati Version – see above - does attest to “God was manifest in the flesh,” in 1 Timothy 3:16.

If Kutilek has accurately cited Gilly, the above documentation suggests that the Waldenses may have compiled Romaunt translations from both the Old Itala and Jerome’s Vulgate, to highlight the differences between the true Bible and Rome’s counterfeit.

So that their congregations could “by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” Hebrews 5:14.

This is exactly how Pensacola Bible Institute functions and is one of the main reasons for the existence of bible believing ministries like AV Publications.

There is no reason why the Waldenses could not have done likewise.

Wilkin addressed the nature of the Waldensian bibles in detail in his response to the intial criticisms of Our Authorized Bible Vindicated.

See, Section III The Itala and the Bible of the Waldenses.

Note that Wilkinson’s comments largely address the earlier Waldensian translations, or ““Versio Itala,”” not the Romaunt Version. His statements below, adducing numerous distinguished references, clearly counter Kutilek’s opinion on the Waldensian bibles.

It would appear appropriate to let Wilkinson have the last word. Readers may decide on the true nature of the Waldensian bibles for themselves from what has been given and from what follows. This author’s conclusion is that Wilkinson is essentially correct in his evaluation of the Waldensian bibles (stemming originally from the ““Versio Itala””) and that Kutilek is wrong. Remember that Kutilek’s assertions about the Old Latin have been refuted by Kinney. Remember too that Kutilek’s opinion of the Waldensian bibles as “Vulgate-based” stems only from his consideration of the Romaunt John’s Gospel, which he neglects to mention is – even if also in agreement with Jerome’s Vulgate - 75-80% in agreement with the AV1611 in 40 key passages against the text of the NIV, Nestle-UBS, Westcott and Hort and Alexandria that Kutilek prefers.

Wilkinson’s comments on the Waldensian bibles that this author has used extensively earlier in this work would therefore appear to have been vindicated.

Wilkinson states as follows, his underlinings. His analysis concludes thischapter.

From Dr Kenyon, “Our Bible and Ancient MSS”,

““The Italian Text being evidently due to a revision of those with the help of Greek copies of a Syrian type.” Ibid. p. 169…

Note Dr. Kenyon’s remarkable statement to the effect that the Italian text was the revision with the help of Greek copies of a Syrian type. Since Dr. Kenyon had adopted Hort’s word “Syrian” to mean the Textus Receptus, here we have positive evidence that the Itala or the Italic type of Latin manuscript was of the Textus Receptus type. It is this Itala which Dr. Nolan proves was the Bible of the Waldenses. Moreover, Dr. Kenyon specifically names the Codex Brixianus, as does Dr. Nolan. Thus we have the testimony of Dr. Nolan, Dr. Kenyon, also Burgon and Miller, to the effect that the Codex Brixianus is of the type of the Textus Receptus…



My Reviewers used a quotation from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia in their effort to prove that the Itala was the Vulgate, (Sec. I, page 16). They overlooked a paragraph preceding, which demolishes their theory or rather Cardinal Wiseman’s theory... when they say that the Old Latin manuscripts were of African origin. I will now quote the paragraph, which my Reviewers overlooked:

““Although the evidence has, up to the present time, been regarded as favoring the African origin of the first Latin translation of the Bible, recent investigation into what is called the Western Text of the N.T. has yielded results pointing elsewhere. It is clear from a comparison that the Western type of text has close affinity with the Syrian witnesses originating in the Eastern provinces of the Empire. The close textual relation disclosed between the Latin and the Syrian versions has led some authorities to believe that, after all, the earliest Latin version may have been made in the East, and possibly at Antioch.” “International S.B. Encyclopedia.” Vol. III, p. 1842. (Emphasis mine)

It is interesting to note that the quotation which they did use from this same Encyclopedia, and which followed (the former paragraph preceded) the above quotation, was an effort on their part to prove that the Itala was the Vulgate. (This was on page 16, Section I.) However, on page 15, section I, they used another quotation (from Scrivener) to prove that the Itala was a stepping stone to the Vulgate. Now will my Reviewers please tell us which of the two they meant it to be, the Vulgate, or a stepping stone to the Vulgate? It can’t be both. They have delivered to us here contradictory testimony.

In their endeavor to disprove the Itala as a text of the Textus Receptus type they bring quotations to show that it was a stepping stone to the Vulgate. I cannot see what bearing this has on the situation. Suppose Jerome did use the Old Latin getting out his Vulgate. In fact we know he did use it. But the Old Latin still persisted after the Vulgate was made even until the 12th and 13th centuries. So all quotations about the Old Latin being a stepping stone to the Vulgate are beside the point.

Why did my Reviewers say (Section I, p. 16): “Waldenses had only the Vulgate.” I take issue with this statement, when the Spirit of Prophecy shows that the Vulgate contained many errors (Great Controversy, p. 245), and also declared that the Waldensian Bible was preserved uncorrupted. (Great Controversy, p. 65) The evidence is clear that the true Waldensian Bible was not the Vulgate. Of course they had access to the Vulgate as we Protestants today also have, but it was not their own proper Bible. Dr. Schaff says: “This high place the Vulgate holds even to this day in the Roman Church, where it is unwarrantably and perniciously placed on an equality with the original.” Do not accuse the Waldenses of this “unwarranted” and “Pernicious” doing. (Mclintock and Strong, Art. Jerome.)…

All the forgoing arguments may be found in my book summed up in one paragraph which my Reviewers did not notice, much less attempt to answer. This paragraph reads, (O. A. B. V. p. 37)

““It is recognized that the Itala was translated from the Received Text (Syrian Hort calls it); that the Vulgate is the Itala with the readings of the Received Text removed.”

Of course this means the variant readings removed. Why did Jerome remove the Textus Receptus variant readings from the Itala, if the Itala and the Vulgate were the same? See also article on Jerome in McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopedia which shows that Jerome in getting out the Vulgate, departed widely from the “traditional text” (i.e. Textus Receptus), “the only text which was known” to those who resisted Jerome’s innovations. If Helvidius, Jovinian and Vigilantus (reputed founder of the Waldenses) were fighting Jerome, it was not likely they would accept his Bible, edited under the flatteries of the Pope…

Dr. Jacobus says:

““The old Latin versions were used longest by the Western Christians who would not bow to the authority of Rome.” “Bible Versions Compared.” Appendix, Note 15



This quotation proves that several bodies of Western European Christians for 900 years refused the Vulgate and clung to the Old Latin Bible. The Reformers also recognized the thousands of errors in the Vulgate. It was impossible therefore for the Waldenses as one of those Christian bodies opposed to Rome to do otherwise than refuse to accept the Vulgate.

I wish here also to emphasize the difference between the older Romaunt language and the later. Confusion may arise unless we emphasize the splendid tongue of the early Waldenses stretching from the year 400 on in comparison with that used by Waldo about the year 1200, when he and his followers added themselves to the ancient Waldenses.

Just here I give a quotation to show the great influence the Waldenses had upon the Reformation:

““Seemingly they took no share in the great struggle which was going on around them in all parts of Europe, but in reality they were exercising a powerful influence upon the world. Their missionaries were everywhere, proclaiming the simple truths of Christianity, and stirring the hearts of men to their very depths. In Hungary, in Bohemia, in France, in England, in Scotland, as well as Italy, they were working with tremendous, though silent power. Lollard, who paved the way for Wycliffe in England, was a missionary from these Valleys. The Albigenses, whose struggle with Rome forms one of the most touching episodes of history, owed their knowledge of the truth to the Vaudois missions. In Germany and Bohemia the Vaudois teachings heralded, if they did not hasten, the Reformation, and Huss and Jerome, Luther and Calvin did little more than carry on the work begun by the Vaudois missionaries.” McCabe, “Cross and Crown”, p. 32.

We have proved before that the Old Latin Bible for 900 years resisted the Vulgate and persisted in the hands of those who never bowed the knee to Rome. We will now bring you up to the time of the Reformation, or the 13th century. Did the Waldenses then accept the Vulgate? No indeed.

When the early leaders of the Reformation came, by invitation, into the valleys of the Waldenses, to meet their assembled delegates from all over Europe, they saw in the hands of their learned pastors, what, - the Vulgate? No! They saw manuscripts going back to “time out of mind” in the ancient and not the modern, Romaunt language*. By agreement between the Waldenses and the Reformers, these manuscripts were translated into French, compared with the original Hebrew and Greek, and became the Olivetan Bible, the first Protestant Bible in the French language, Olivetan came with Farel, the leading Reformer to this council of the Waldensian churches. The second edition of the Olivetan Bible produced by Calvin, became the basis of the Geneva Bible in English. The Geneva Bible was a foundation and forerunner of the King James. Is not the chain now complete, and is it not now clear that our Authorized Version is the Bible of the Apostles coming down through the noble Waldenses? Let me give you an authoritative quotation on these facts:

““‘The Reformers,’ says one who was present at the meeting, ‘were greatly rejoiced to see that people, who had ever proved faithful, the Israel of the Alps, to whose charge God had committed for so many centuries the Ark of the New Covenant - thus eager in his service. And examining with interest,’ says he, ‘the manuscript copies of the Old and New Testaments in the vulgar tongue which were amongst us’...It will be perceived that it is a Vaudois who speaks... ‘correctly copied with the hand at a date beyond all memory, they marveled at that favour of Heaven which a people so small in numbers had enjoyed, and rendered thanks to the Lord that the Bible had never been taken from them. Then, also, in their great desire that the reading of it might be made profitable to a greater number of persons, they adjured all the other brethren, for the glory of Cod and the good of Christians, to take measures for circulating it, showing how necessary it was that a general translation should be made of it into French, carefully compared with the original texts and of which large numbers would be printed.’” Musten, “Israel of the Alps,” Vol. I, p. 97.”

*Thus it appears that more than one Romaunt Version existed. Wilkinson continues.

I quote another account of this event from McCabe, “Cross and Crown.”

““Thus the time passed on until the Reformation dawned upon the world. The Vaudois were well pleased at this general awakening of the human mind. They entered into correspondence with the



Reformers in various parts of Europe, and sent several of their Barbas [scholars (?)] to them to instruct them. The Reformers on their part, admitted the antiquity of the Vaudois rites and the purity of their faith, and treated the mountain Church with the greatest respect. On the 12th of September, 1532, a Synodal Assembly was held at Angrogna. It was attended by a number of deputies from the Reformed Churches in France and Switzerland. Among them was William Farrel, of France, to whom we shall refer again in another part of this work. He manifested the greatest interest in the manuscript copies of the Bible which the Vaudois had preserved from the earliest times, and at his instance the entire Bible was translated into French, and sent as a free gift from the Vaudois to the French.” page 37.

I have given all this practically in my book. To be sure, I do not use the same authors and the same quotations, but I give the same history and results. In the quotation I give in my book (page 32) from Leger he contrasted this Olivetan French Bible of 1535 (or 1537) with the manuscripts formerly found among the papists, which he said “were full of falsifications.”

Recall that about forty years after this, the learned fathers of the Council of Trent, upon the recommendation of Gregory XIII in 1578, made a study of all the Greek MSS in the libraries of Italy for one MS with which to defend the Vulgate and they chose the Vaticanus M.S. Nevertheless, forty years previous the Waldenses declared that the MSS found among the papists were full of falsifications.

It will be interesting to listen to another account of this meeting of the Reformers with the Waldenses, as taken from the Life of William Farel by Bevan, (written in French):

““During the remainder of his visit in the valley of Angrogna, Farel had interesting interviews with the pastors and the villagers. They showed him their old manuscripts; some of these they said dated back 400 years in the past. The Vaudois preserved them as precious treasures from father to son; these books were very rare, were all which they possessed in the nature of religious readings. There were among those manuscripts, ancient Bibles, copied with care in the old French. While, in the so-called Christian countries, the Word of God had become an unknown book, these mountaineers possessed it and read it from generation to generation.”...Bevan, “Life of Wm. Farel,” p. 207 (Translated by B.G. Wilkinson.)

Gilly, Leger, and Muston were put in the Index. (Muston 11:400).

If then, as Muston said, this Bible had never been taken from the Waldenses, and they claim in the preface to this Olivetan Bible that they had always enjoyed the free use of the Holy Scriptures since the days of the Apostles, it follows that our Authorized Version passed straight in a clear line back through the Waldenses to the days of the Apostles.

Please note again the quotation I have already given that “In the very earliest times translations must have been made from Aramaic or Syriac into Latin, as afterwards from Greek. Thus a connection between the Italian and Syriac churches, and also between the teaching given in the two countries, must have lain embedded in the foundations of their common Christianity, and must have exercised an influence during very many years after.” Burgon and Miller, “Traditional Text”, p. 145.”




Numbers corresponding to reference numbers in the KJO James White Review Full Text

6., David Cloud. This page is no longer available. The extracts copied from it for this work were reproduced without alteration apart from necessary re-formatting

8. “O Biblios” The Book by Alan O’Reilly, Covenant Books, 2005,

9. Early Manuscripts and the Authorized Version, A Closer Look! B.F.T. #1825 by Jack A. Moorman, The Bible for Today, 1990

12. Which Bible? 5th Edition edited by Dr David Otis Fuller, Grand Rapids International Publications, 1984. See also

14. New Age Versions by G.A. Riplinger, Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation, 1993, A. V. Publications, 2008


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