Saturday, April 28, 2018

George Ide on Bible

New York Recorder gave an account of the May 1850 session of the American and Foreign Bible Society (it is quoted in Alexander Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger, Series 3, Vol. 7)

George Ide, pastor of First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “We did not need a revised version—we ought not to attempt to make one—and we could not accomplish it if we did try it. Much was said in reference to the imperfections of the authorized English version. Nothing which comes through human hands can be perfect; but after examination it will be found that, for the purpose for which it was designed, for the masses, for the fireside, for the highways and by-ways of ordinary life, a more appropriate, idiomatic, and expressive version, could not be produced. It was superior to the version of Luther himself. We could not have a version of scripture which, in all particulars, would be so well adapted to the masses—to the homes of our land. Some words are obsolete—antiquated; but the smallest scholar in our Sabbath schools can detect the intended meaning of the writers.”

Ide: “We have learned this English Bible at our mother’s knee. Ought we to shake the confidence of the people? Can you put any stop to the course of the Infidel, if you thus shake the confidence of the community in the Bible? Whatever differences there may be between the various denominations of Christians, while we have that good old English Bible, there is a broad golden band that unites us all together—that still makes us one family and household of faith. If we have a new Bible, this band will be sundered. We shall be the Ishmaelites of Christendom. Even if we voted for a new version, it would be impossible to carry it into effect. You may appoint a congress of theologians; but think you that the associations of two hundred and forty years can thus be erased. Think you that Christians who have learned to lisp their Saviour’s name from this book, can thrust it aside and take up with a new version ‘ Dear old English Bible! we will not forsake thee. Thou may’st be slandered, charged with ‘blasphemy,’ but we will not part with thee; and when we lay our heads on our last bed of sickness, this slandered, blessed book, shall be our pillow, and in its own glorious words we will breathe out our last prayer, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’”

Spencer Cone, editor of the new version, said: “A pious Brahmin once desired to offer a sacrifice to God, and looked about him for a fine sheep. Three rogues determined to cheat him. They procured an old, blind and lame dog, and having put him into a sack, one of them contrived to waylay the pious man, with the dog for sale. Accordingly the lame and blind old dog was offered to the Brahmin. On seeing the animal the Brahmin said, ‘Friend, either thou or I must be blind, for this is no sheep. It is nothing but a dog, and a very poor one, too.’ But the fellow insisted that it was a sheep; and presently one of the conspirators came up and says to his coadjutor, ‘What will you take for that very fine sheep!’ ‘You must be drunk, to call this a sheep,’ said the Brahmin. They then agreed, however, to leave the decision of the question to the first man who made his appearance. Presently the third rogue came along, and to him the question was put, ‘ What animal is this!’ He immediately replied, ‘It is a sheep, and a very fine sheep, too.’ Then the Brahmin bought the dog and offered it in sacrifice to his god, who, as the story reads, was so wroth that he inflicted a grievous disease upon the Brahmin. Now, there is no Baptist minister who has not reiterated again and again that this translation of King James is a lame dog; and yet we are asked to endorse it for all time to come, and place it side by side with the inspired original.”

Ide: “In my figure of the golden band, I said that it held together the different denominations of Christians. Shall this golden band be compared to the Papacy that encountered Luther, and sought to turn back his steps! Shall the English Bible, which all Protestant Christians refer, and to which they do reverence, be compared to the Papacy! Has it come to this, that a beardless youth shall stand up, in such an assembly as this, and compare that Bible to a blind and lame dog, which ministers of the gospel offer as a sacrifice!”

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