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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ye Shall Know the Truth

Written by  Susan Claire Potts, M.A., Ph.D., M.F.T.
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Author’s Note: This is the first of three articles dealing with the Alteration of Sacred Scripture. Part One is an Overview of Exegetical History and Method. Part Two is Textual Comparison and Analysis. Part Three deals with the Psychological Ramifications of the New Translations.  SP

We are in a dreadful situation. It feels like apostasy. Truths are decayed from among the children of men, the Psalmist sings,[1] and the words pierce the heart.  What happens when Truth is abandoned? What becomes of the world?

I am a psychologist, trained in languages and literature as well as psychodynamic processes, but it doesn’t take professional degrees to see that there is something terribly wrong with people’s minds. Nobody seems to think straight anymore. There is confusion everywhere. Everyone is affected. The disorder is not some esoteric psychopathology caused by the stresses of modern life. It is far more sinister. The Mystery of Iniquity has risen up, billowing like a toxic cloud, blotting out the Light. Minds are darkened. Preternatural forces are in play.

Invited? It sure seems like it.

People can’t seem to carry on a decent conversation anymore, much less a deep discussion. Not even Catholics. How can they? There are all kinds of Catholics now: Traditional. Conservative. Novus Ordo. Liberal. Progressive. Everybody has a label. It’s hard to find a regular Catholic anymore. People are sorted (and judged) by assumed orientation. No discussion is necessary or possible. Their identity will be known, their belief system understood before they say a word. There is no meeting of the minds, no shared principles. People are expected to formulate their own “truth,” forge their own path. To where? They don’t know. They have no destination point, no supernatural end goal. They’ve lost their way.

The truth will make you free, Our Lord promised, but how are people supposed to find that precious thing, that binding Truth? How are they to know what to think and do? A thousand voices clamor in their ears.

It shouldn’t be so difficult. The Church—which speaks the Word of the Master—lays it out clearly and infallibly: Quicumque vult… begins the Athanasian Creed, Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. The words roar like thunder: Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

So there it is. Keep the Faith and live; lose it and die.

From ancient times, the path to Heaven was clearly marked. People knew which way to go, what to think, how to behave. They could be rescued if they willed; they need not be lost forever. They could avoid being plunged into the Abyss with those who turn their back on God. They could hold the Deposit of Faith, that treasure kept inviolate in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture—two channels like streams of truth, singing water flowing from Truth Himself. They could drink from them. Drink deeply and know.

Not now. Something terrible has happened. Nothing is clear. The streams are clogged with muck.

How Did This Happen?

This was no accident. It is the work of human hands, the product of disordered human minds. Faithless and arrogant, false teachers have laid their hands on holy things and profaned sacred words. Those in high places bear the responsibility for the blindness, confusion, and disorientation that are ravaging the faith (and sanity) of the Catholic people.

Let’s take a look at what they’ve done.

First, they did away with Tradition. Oh, no, they say. Tradition is upheld. They scold us like we’re a bunch of kindergarteners. You must differentiate between Tradition with a capital T and the lesser, lower case, traditions. Lesser things can be changed or abolished, cast off like outgrown clothes. Disciplines, customs, rituals, all non-essential, they say. No problem, get rid of them, and then tell people nothing has changed because there are the sacraments.

But they changed the Mass! we protest. Oh, no, they assure us. The Mass cannot change; liturgy can change. And then we get a lecture about development and accretions and all sorts of gobbledygook that has no substance or meaning. What about Extreme Unction? Oh, that--it’s the Sacrament of the Sick. It doesn’t have to be given in extremis. Any sick person can receive it. It’s a holy anointing, after all. But what about the dying? They look at you like you’re an idiot. It’s not necessary. Everybody is received in the arms of the Father.

I could go on, but I need not. It’s obvious. Tradition has been trampled. Now what about the other sacred channel of truth? Sacred Scripture?

It’s been unraveled. They’ve laid their lying hands on it. We’ve been subjected to one idiotic translation after another. Words and phrases have been tossed about like juggling balls. It’s not just the vernacular, either. Latin, too, has been subjected to the renovators. First, they changed the Psalter. Ripped the music right out of the psalms. And now there’s even a New Vulgate--a fatuous recasting of Sacred Scripture into neo-Latin.

st. jeromeSt. Jerome’s work has been updated. By tone-deaf scholars. In committee, of course.  It’s too shocking for words. I couldn’t make this up. Get a copy of the modern version and compare it to the true Vulgate. Latin is a dead language. It cannot change. That’s why it was so perfect a vehicle for religious truth. But they changed it. They simplified the Latin, changed the spelling, changed the rhythms, altered the song of the words so that the Nova Vulgata reads like a reference manual for technocrats. Would you believe that this manufactured thing is now the official Catholic Bible?[2]

Sacred Scripture? Hardly. It’s like the very Breath of God has been snuffed out of it.

How dare they? And how can we accept their revised Bible without insulting Almighty God and calling down His wrath upon us? Do people think He doesn’t care? That He doesn’t know what they’re up to? That there are no consequences, no penalties for intellectual sin? Everyone knows that God is Love, God is Mercy, but is He not also Justice Itself?

We dare not fall away. We must stand against these perfidious reformers, reject their lying work, and affirm, not just what we believe, but what we know. Here it is: We know that God has revealed Himself in the Sacred Scriptures, inspiring writers from the time of Moses to the end of His work, the mysterious Apocalypse of St. John the Evangelist.  Filling the writers’ minds and guiding their work, He tells us about Himself, about us, about our world and the world to come. The Bible is true. There is no other Book like it. It is of divine origin.

This is what the ersatz scholars with all their degrees and certifications and exalted positions reject. Their attack is not new. This assault on the Holy Word of God started long before Vatican II, long before the New American Bible was foisted on us, laid like concrete over the sacred words we knew so well, crushing them.

The betrayal was born in the minds of pedants, Germans mostly, who invented a revolutionary method of biblical exegesis--the historico-critical method of higher criticism.

Another German Bible revisionist...luther translates

Gone was the traditional layered way of approaching the Scriptures. Remember how it used to be done? First one considered the manifest meaning of the words, the clear and obvious fact that words meant at least what they said. From there, one could go deeper, ponder the historical, allegorical, and mystical meaning of what was written. But one did not deviate from the text. One plunged into it, immersed oneself, allowed the Truth to penetrate the soul.

Not so for the scholars. Non sic impii, non sic.[3] The underlying principle of modern exegetes is that truth lies in the historical context, not in the words.  That’s the hidden deceit behind all the strange translations, transliterations, and explanations of the Word of God. They destroy what is right in front of their eyes. For them, words don’t necessarily mean what they say.

Beware!

Their work is poison; once imbibed, it is death to the soul. Let’s break down the method they use to destroy all sense and reason.

1) They reject the true, formal sense of words and call their “translations” an expression of “dynamic equivalence.” That’s a fancy way of saying, the translation need not be exact.[4] The words must be re-interpreted in a more relevant context.

2)  Using fragments of historical documents, they attempt to reconstruct the past in an effort to “understand the world behind the words”—as if now, centuries later, these specialists know more than those who lived and wrote in those times.

3) Through the application of literary critical methods, they assert they can discover the original meaning of the Bible in its “historical context.” They’ve coined an erudite phrase for this discovery: the sensus literalis historicus. Sounds impressive, but all it means is the “literal historical sense”--as if that is something real.

4)  They attempt to reimagine the “historical situation of the author (!) and the person who reads or hears the text.” They have no problem twisting the plain sense of the words of Sacred Scripture, using various “ancient documents” as source material in reinventing the past.

Most people have no idea that this is going on, being stuck as they are, with puerile translations and tortured exegesis. What is absolutely outrageous is that the experts take the method even further. They use the tools of literary criticism (an abominable way of studying literature) and archeology to determine the authorship of the various books of the Bible.

Thus, Moses didn’t actually write the Torah, they say. David didn’t compose the psalms. The Book of Isaiah was done in two different historical periods—so, of course, Isaiah didn’t write them—if he even existed. They treat the Bible like it is solely the work of man, not recognizing how absurd that is. For them, the Scriptures are myths that must be reinterpreted by experts. Even the miracles of Our Lord become metaphors, literary constructions, the stuff of legend.

These scholars, disdainful of truth, have sidestepped actual translation and substituted “equivalent” words that they believe better fit the “historical context” of the Sacred Scriptures. They bastardize the text, scrutinizing the dates, events, historical accounts of the times, substituting trite modern expressions for the revealed Word of God. They claim their work is not new—that the method of examining texts for greater historicity and authenticity goes all the way back to the Church Fathers, to the medieval period, and to the Renaissance. They call it their “search for the historical Jesus.”

But the blasphemy doesn’t stop there. From the historico-critical method, they moved on to “form criticism,” which--get this--maintains that the gospels were compiled of small “units” which were handed down through oral tradition and then pieced together by someone, according, they say, “to the needs of the community.” Of course, they have no evidence for this. They simply imagine it.

But it doesn’t end there. Following “Form Criticism” is “Redaction Criticism.” This nefarious method purports to emphasize the “theological implications” of the narrative. In plain English, this means that the Evangelists picked and chose material that substantiated their claims for the “Messiahship of Jesus.” The proponents of this method assert that the Gospels were written—not to teach of the Kingdom of God, but to teach Christians how to live in the “continuing future.”

Who can swallow this stuff?

This is the New Era, the Era of Man Come of Age, the Apotheosis of Humanity. False teachers have abandoned the Catholic religion. The New Translations are not the Word of God. They are not divinely inspired. No pope or bishop or council can alter the Sacred Scriptures with impunity.  Recall the words of the Psalm:[5]

May the Lord destroy all deceitful lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.
Who have said: We will magnify our tongue;
Our lips are our own; who is Lord over us?  

There is punishment for what they have done.  I shudder to think of it.

This article appeared in the latest print edition of The Remnant. To see what else was in that issue, subscribe today!


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[1] Psalm 61: 1-2

[2] Pope Paul VI established a commission to expand the revision to cover the entire Bible. The revised Psalter was completed and published in 1969, followed by the New Testament in 1971. The entire Vulgate was completed in 1979. A second edition was published in 1986.

[3] Ps 1,4. Not so the wicked, not so.

[4] The pro multis mistranslation as for all in the Novus Ordo Missae is a prime example of this. The periti knew very well what multis meant. Using “dynamic equivalence,” they substituted what, for them, was a more appropriate word.

[5] Psalm 11: 2-6

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