bishoprick and apostolic succession claims

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Gustavus Paine maintained that Miles Smith, final editor of the KJV with Thomas Bilson, “protested that after Bilson and he had finished their editing, Bishop Bancroft made fourteen more changes.” He gave as an example Bancroft's insistence on using "the glorious word bishopric even for Judas in Acts 1:20" (Men Behind the KJV, p. 128). Paine added: “The fact that Smith was the one to protest Bancroft’s amendments suggests that he stood against both Bilson and Bancroft in such matters as the importance of bishoprics” (Ibid.). Edward Whiston asserted that “many of those in King James’ time (had they been as well conscientious in point of fidelity and godliness, as they were furnished with abilities, they) would not have moulded it to their own Episcopal notion rendering episkope, (the office of oversight) by the term Bishoprick Acts 1:20 as they do in 14 places more” (Life, p. 44).

    Acts 1:20 quotes Psalm 109:8: "let another take his office" which was translated in the Geneva Bible in Acts 1:20 as "let another take his charge." Although it is not in many current KJV's, the 1611 KJV did have the following note in the margin indicating other acceptable words: "Or, office: or charge." Thomas Hill suggested that this change was made “that you may believe that the Bishops are the Apostles successors” (Six Sermons, p. 24). In 1593, Bishop Thomas Bilson, who would be co-editor of the 1611, had quoted Acts 1:20 as “his bishopric let another take” and had used this verse as his basis for his question “will you grant, that an apostle doth not differ from a bishop” (Perpetual Government, p. 291). Bilson contended that “Peter himself calleth the apostleship ‘a bishopship’” with the reference Acts 1:20 (p. 296). Thus, Bilson used the rendering “bishopric” at Acts 1:20 as part of his arguments for the divine origin of episcopacy and for apostolic succession. Bilson also claimed that “I am sure all the fathers with one mouth affirm the apostles both might be and were bishops” (p. 295). Bilson asserted that “whatsoever becometh of the names, it cannot be denied but the apostles had that power of imposing hands, and delivering unto Satan, which they after imparted unto bishops” (p. 296). Bilson claimed: “as by imposing of hands, so by succeeding in the chair, have bishops ever since the apostles’ times been severed from presbyters in the church of Christ: which to all that do not eagerly seek to captivate the truth to their own desires, is an argument unrefellable, that the first placing of bishops above presbyters was apostolic” (p. 332). Henry Dexter asserted: “If Judas had had a bishopric, he must have been a bishop; and if Judas had been a bishop, then the man who was to take the vacant place would be a bishop; and the twelve were all bishops” (Hand-Book, p. 25). Abel Stevens asserted that this doctrine of apostolic succession “is the basis of the arrogance and pretension of the prelatical system” (Essay on Church Polity, p. 62). The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology noted that bishopric is a compound of two words: bishop [overseer] and rice or ric [realm, province, dominion, power] (p. 95). White’s Dictionary of the King James Language noted that “a bishoprick is ‘the realm or province over which a bishop has control” (p. 168). Does White’s definition of this English word match the meaning of the Greek word? Ross Purdy contended that “what bishopric meant to the English mind was that it was the diocese of a ruling bishop” (I Will Have, p. 58). In his comments about this verse in his commentary, Adam Clarke asserted that “surely the office or charge of Judas was widely different what we call bishopric, the diocese, estate, and emoluments of a bishop” (p. 687). In his commentary on Acts, J. A. Alexander observed that the rendering bishopric “suggests foreign ideas by its modern usage and associations” (p. 30). Did a diocesan bishop want to use a rendering that could convey a hierarchal sense that a bishop has a bishopric, diocese, or realm? Is the rendering “bishopric” more favorable to Episcopal or prelatic views and to Bancroft’s and Bilson’s claim that bishops were of divine origin than the rendering “charge“ or “office?” In his 1853 commentary on Acts, Abiel Abbot Livermore claimed that “this rendering [bishopric] betrays its Episcopalian origin” (p. 22). Andrew Edgar asserted that “the prelatic word ’bishopric’ appears in Acts 1:20” (Bibles of England, p. 295). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia noted that the Revised Version “corrects the rendering ’bishopric’ to ’office,’ thus relieving the verse of possible ecclesiastical pretensions” (I, p. 482). In his comments on Acts 1:20 in his Bible commentary, Adam Clarke asserted: “Surely the office or charge of Judas was widely different from what we call bishopric, the diocese, estate, and emoluments of a bishop” (p. 687).

    Some may attempt to excuse or justify the KJV’s rendering “bishoprick” because this same rendering had also been used in several earlier English Bibles. John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale seem to have used this rendering in a general sense with the meaning “office” or “overseership.” The Oxford English Dictionary gave this as an “obsolete” meaning of the word and cited Acts 1:20 in Wycliffe’s Bible and the 1535 Coverdale’s as examples of this use (II, p. 224). After Bancroft and Bilson advocated their new theory of the divine origin of episcopacy and apostolic succession, the word bishoprick became more associated with a specific hierarchical sense or meaning as this rendering was used to argue for apostolic succession in a book written by Bilson in 1593. Based on the clear, first-hand evidence in Bilson’s book, it was and is valid for believers to think that the rendering bishoprick was intended by them to be understood with a different meaning from that intended by Wycliffe, Tyndale, or Coverdale. If this different sense or meaning was not intended, Bilson could not have linked his apostolic succession argument to this rendering at Acts 1:20. The meaning affixed to bishoprick by Bilson and Bancroft for readers who were members of the Church of England should not be explained in a manner inconsistent or even contradictory to their known sentiments and the meaning that they intended for it. If “bishopric” was possibly considered one of the ecclesiastical words, it would be further evidence that indicates that it was used in a specific hierarchical sense to advocate apostolic succession and not in the general sense? In the 1610-1611 edition of his book first printed in 1590, KJV translator Hadrian Saravia asserted: “St. Peter, himself an Apostle, calls the Apostleship of Judas his Bishopric” (Treatise, p. 192). In a book printed after 1611, KJV translator Lancelot Andrewes also cited Acts 1:20 for his assertion that “the apostles were called” “bishops or overseers” (Pattern, p. 359). Andrewes maintained that “upon these [bishops] was transferred the chief part of the apostolic function” (Ibid., p. 355). Purdy contended: “They made a conscious choice to retain the language here that glorified and seemingly sanctioned their church organization; one run by the ordained bishops. This gives those who are ordained the appearance of a connection with the apostles and supports the Roman Catholic doctrine of apostolic succession adopted by the Anglo-Catholic Church” (I Will Have, p. 58).
     
  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Since this thread relates to the issue of the claims of Episcopal bias and Acts 14:23, I am commented on it so that a new poster could see it.
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Ah, those devious episcoplotters!
    Astutely manipulating the English language AND the KJB to further their nefarious plan!
    And bolstering their claim by tying it to a passage about . . .Judas Iscariot? Absolute genius:laugh:
     

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