Did KJV translators persecute others?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Logos1560, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    The documented evidence that some of the translators of the KJV were involved in the persecution of believers has been requested.

    Paine noted that KJV translators George Abbot and Lancelot Andrewes were two of the Church of England divines who urged the burning at the stake of Bartholomew Legate in March of 1611
    (MEN BEHIND THE KJB, p. 142). This same source noted that George Abbot presided over the proceedings (p. 93). At its article about Abbot, The standard reference work THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY pointed out that Legate and Edward Wightman were brought before the court of George Abbot and that "Abbot was from the first resolved that no mercy should be shown them" (p. 11). This same reference work also noted that in another case involving clergyman Edmund Peacham that Abbot "approved the use of torture" (p. 11).

    Alexander McClure noted that prelate Thomas Ravis [another KJV translator] was "a fierce persecutor of the Puritans" (KJV TRANSLATORS REVIVED, p. 150).

    McClure also pointed out that Archbishop Richard Bancroft, who was overseer for the translating of the KJV, "was the ruling spirit in that infamous tribunal, the High Commission Court, a sort of British Inquisition" (p. 217).

    There were other KJV translators that were members of the Church of England's High Commission Court and Star Chamber that persecuted believers.
     
  2. Phillip

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    The period of time in England's life when King James finally moved into England and took control is quite fascinating.

    In fact, off the subject, it is said that the King was a major contributor to spreading the plague because he would go around to different cities in England (before he went to London to seal the throne) and with many followers, they spread the disease across the whole country.

    I know this was off-track, but a LOT more was going on in England at the time of King James than people today realize.
     
  3. HankD

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  4. icthus

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    The allegations that some of the translators of the KJV were actually involved in the persecution of of believers, is completely false and based on the accounts of mischief makers. To say that these men tortured believers because of the KJV is an injustice to great men of God, and a disgraceful attempt to smear not just the KJV, but also to try and destroy the credability of the translators involved.

    Firstly, before you fire any shots at us who defend the KJV, let us bring to your attention the name of one Michael Servetus. Do you know this name? This is the "heretic" who John Calvin, yes, none other, saw burned at the stake! What do you make of this?
    http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/ashes.htm

    Further, you say that these men, Bartholomew Legate and Edward Wightman, were believers? So does your introduction say: "The documented evidence that some of the translators of the KJV were involved in the persecution of believers has been requested"

    Why don't you guys check your facts before posting here? Both these men were blasphemers, who denied the Holy Trinity, and the Deith of Jesus Christ, and were nothing more than trouble makers!

    I suggest that you look at the following links before you respond:

    http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/guilty.htm
    http://www.exlibris.org/nonconform/engdis/seekers.html
    http://www.la.utexas.edu/research/poltheory/fuller/churchhist.b10.s04.html
    http://www.reformedreader.org/history/cramp/s06ch03.htm

    On the KJV translators
    http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/transtoc.htm

    Lets not try to make something from nothing, and to discredit good men of God!
     
  5. Deacon

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    One doesn't need to know a whole lot of American history to have heard that the Puritans pilgrims fled persecution in England, first residing in Holland and then later making the treacherous sea voyage to America.

    They spurned the KJV!

    Rob
     
  6. williemakeit

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    I believe that the the pilgrims fled persecution, but the Puritans were fed up with the 'liberalism' of the Church of England. American history, as it is being portrayed today, will just call them a bunch of white anglo-saxons persecuting the indians, the witches, and the Quakers. Of course, I would be the first to admit that they weren't lax on the persecuting and punishing side themselves.
     
  7. HankD

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    First of all Wightman was a Baptist who was accused of every sin under the sun as was all other martyrs (Baptists or otherwise) at the hand of the English crown. He was reknown in the line of preachers of the Gospel:
    Second, I ask you whether it be King James or Calvin, is it right for any who names Christ to murder their brethren? Where in the Scripture does Christ say to do this?

    Is it right for any man to murder his brother even a brother in Adam who disagrees in the matters of faith and does him no other wrong?

    The name of this thread is "Did KJV translators persecute others?" Yes they did, they (the "bishops" among them) persecuted and killed (or gave their assent of the same) Baptists, anabaptists, Dissenters, Presbyterians, lumping them together with "hereticks" which wicked practice of calumniation they learned well from their parent Church, the Church of Rome.

    Lastly, the Church of England is a church which denies each of the Baptists distinctives and has the blood of many Christian martyrs upon their hands as an historical witness to that fact.

    HankD
     
  8. Ransom

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    williemakeit said:

    I believe that the the pilgrims fled persecution, but the Puritans were fed up with the 'liberalism' of the Church of England.

    It wasn't liberal per se, but the C. of E. still had the trappings of Romanism and it wasn't reforming as quickly as the Puritans would have liked.

    Note that the Hampton Court conference, from whence the idea for the KJV was born, was convened to debate such reforms. James I made no secret of his opposition to the Puritans and made exactly one concession, a minor change to the Book of Common Prayer. He rejected every other one of their proposals. (As I recall a new translation of the Bible wasn't even on the table but was introduced by John Rainolds, a moderate Puritan, off the record.)
     
  9. Logos1560

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    No one claimed that some of the KJV translators persecuted people for their faith because of the KJV. I did not mean to imply that everyone that the KJV translators persecuted were genuine believers, but they were persecuted for their professed faith. While it is true that Edward Wightman was accused of accepting some heresies, the mere accusation by those who were seeking to justify their burning him at the stake is not solid evidence that the accusations were true. Do you have any reliable documented statements or writings of Wightman himself that proves he actually believed all the things he was accused of? Some of the things that Wightman of which he was accused are contradictory and could not be true. Several of the charges are too various and too vague to be accepted as accurate and are much like the charges that Roman Catholics made against believers.

    Phil Stringer, a KJV-only author and fundamental Baptist, observed that Wightman was burned at the stake "for declaring that baptism of infants was an abominable custom" or "for being a Baptist" (FAITHFUL BAPTIST WITNESS, p. 7). In the book MEMORIALS OF BAPTIST MARTYERS, J. Newton Brown noted that among the charges made against Wightman were these; "That the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom; that the Lord's supper and baptism are not to be celebrated as they are not practised in the church of England; and that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the church of England, but only in part" (p. 240). William Cathcart pointed out that the "only charges of false doctrine against Mr. Wightman about the truth of which there was no doubt" were the same ones listed by Brown above (BAPTIST ENCYCLOPAEDIA, p. 1241).

    Rev. Valentine Wightman, a descendant of Edward Wightman, was a doctrinally sound Baptist pastor in America.

    A history of English Baptists by Thomas Crosby
    told how King James and his state church persecuted Baptists with fines, imprisonments, dispossessions of property, beatings, expulsions, and even burning at the stake.

    Cathcart's BAPTIST ENCYCLOPEDIA noted that King James treated Baptists with "royal barbarity" (p. 75). J. W. Griffith observed that King James and his government "vigorously tried to prevent the preaching of Baptists, driving them into hiding, imprisoning their ministers and deacons and sometimes entire congregations, imposing enormous and ruinous fines on those arrested for unlawful assembly and preaching" (MANUAL OF CHURCH HISTORY, Vol. III, p. 84). J. W. Cramp contended that Baptists suffered severely during the reign of James I (BAPTIST HISTORY, p. 260).

    In 1612, Baptist pastor Thomas Helwys returned to England and established a Baptist Church. Hewlys wrote a book in defense of the right of religious liberty and was imprisoned in Newgate Prison by order of King James for distribution of his book (SOUTHWESTERN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY, April, 1964, pp. 44-45). In 1614, a Baptist named Leonard Busher claimed that "his Majesty's bishops and ministers had been armed and weaponed with fire and sword and not with Scripture" (Goadby, BYE-PATHS IN BAPTIST HISTORY, p. 80).
     
  10. Logos1560

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    This link you yourself provided confirms the same information that I posted in response to your post. This source indicated that those who accused Wightman were "manifestly 'forgers of lies.'" This source noted that "it was found necessary to blacken the victim."
     
  11. Bluefalcon

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    Logos, thanks for this Baptist history lesson. Very interesting...

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  12. Logos1560

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    King James I and his Church of England's High Commission Court persecuted many including Puritans, Presbyterians, Baptists, and others.

    When the High Commission Court was brought into Scotland in 1610, Scottish reformer George Gillespie compared it to "the Spanish Inquistion" (DISPUTE AGAINST THE ENGLISH POPISH CEREMONIES OBTRUDED ON THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, p. 183).
    Stuart Babbage noted that in 1610, "the House of Commons addressed a Petition to the king for the redreww of grievances arising through the Court
    of High Commission" (PURITANISM AND RICHARD BANCROFT, pp. 286-287). Daniel Neal observed that this Court's methods "were almost equal to the Spanish Inquisition" with its "ong imprisonments of ministers without bail or bringing them to trial" (HISTORY OF THE PURITANS, p. xi).

    Several of the translators of the Bishops' Bible including Archbishop Matthew Parker had used the High Commission Court to persecute the translators of the Geneva Bible. Surely, the translators of the good Geneva Bible would be accepted as believers. For example, Christopher Goodman, a translator of the Geneva Bible who had been a pastor of the English congregation along with John Know at Geneva, was examined in 1571 by Archbishop Parker, "beaten with three rods, and forbidden to preach" (DNB, VIII, p. 129). Thomas Sampson, another translator of the Geneva Bible, was deprived of his office and imprisoned by the
    High Commission Court.

    In his book THE RISE AND FALL OF THE HIGH COMMISSION, Roland Usher listed many of the members of the various High Commission Courts.
    The names of several of the KJV translators (George Abbot, Lancelot Andrewes, Thomas Bilson, John Bois, Arthur Lake, John Layfield, Nicolas Love, James Montague, John Overall, Thomas Ravis,
    Sir Henry Savile, Miles Smith, and Giles Thompson)
    were on the High Commission courts that persecuted others.
     
  13. TCassidy

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    There is no doubt that the High Commission Court was guilty of the persecution of those who did not toe the Anglican line. It is also true that a least of couple of the translators served on the High Commission.

    However, to say that Edward Wightman was a Baptist as most of us understand that term may be something of a stretch. There is no doubt he was pastor of the Six-Principle Anabaptist Church and was outspoken regarding his belief "that the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom," and it is equally beyond doubt that the 16 point indictment brought against him was largely a work of fiction, however, the Baptists in England never really claimed him, in part because he was very erratic (some said he was insane).

    It must also be understood that, while lashed to the stake and the fires roaring, he recanted and signed a letter of recantation, and the fire was extinguished and he was set free. He later repudiated that recantation as was once again strapped to the stake, and this time, burned to death. (I suppose he may have been the only man to have been burned at the stake twice!)

    However, we must remember that King James tried to save him from the fire, and went to his prison cell to talk to him. The King left the prison with the opinion he was crazy, and allowed the decision of the High Commission Court to stand.

    The conclusion of the whole matter is that such burnings were quite common in Europe in the late 1500s and early 1600s, Wightman's being notable for being the last such terrible act in England. But being common is no excuse for such barbaric behavior and the High Commission and the King must accept responsibility for their actions just as John Calvin must accept responsibility for his part in the death of Michael Servetus. Neither episode is a high point in ecclesiastical history.
     
  14. Ransom

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    However, to say that Edward Wightman was a Baptist as most of us understand that term may be something of a stretch.

    Landmarkers and Baptist successionists claim practically everyone in history who ever threw a guy into a lake as "Baptists." Wightman is closer to being genuinely Baptist than 99% of them.
     
  15. av1611jim

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    Thank you, sir, for your voice of reason and balance in this matter.

    I would NEVER condone the burning of ANY man for conscience sake, however I could not understand the times unless I lived then. I suppose there are many on this board who would have been right there in the thick of things calling for the burning of "heretics" (of any stripe) had they lived back there, back then. While we can't know for sure, we can "guess-timate" based on their intolerance on this board. (Even I myself, might be viewed in such a fashion.)

    It is the same with slavery. We could never know unless we have "been there done that". Our mindset today is a product of today.

    For me, today, it is inconceivable for any man to burn another for conscience sake. But what do I know? I am just a "modern" American, with "sensibilities". [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  16. Logos1560

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    The evidence shows that you made the incorrect allegation. Even if you consider Edward Wightman not to be a believer, there were others whose lives indicate that they were believers that were persecuted by King James I and some of the KJV translators who were members of the High Commission Court. Are you ignoring all the documented evidence provided thus far?

    Would you consider Andrew Melville, preacher and the leader of the Scottish Reformation after John Knox, to be a believer?

    King James I summoned Andrew Melville to London in 1606, threw him into the Tower, imprisoned him four years, and afterwards forced him into exile. Assisting him in this imprisonment of Andrew Melville was at least two KJV translators. For a while Melville was placed in the custody of KJV translator John Overall and later in that of KJV translator Thomas Bilson. THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY noted that part of Melville's confinement was solitary and that "pen, ink, and paper were forbidden him" (Vol. XII, p. 235).
     
  17. TCassidy

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    However, if the "first Baptist Church on English soil" was founded by Thomas Helwys in 1611/12 how could Wightman have been a Baptist for two years prior to Helwys founding the first Baptist church on English soil? It just doesn't add up.
     
  18. TCassidy

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    James was trying to enforce his Episcopalian polity on the Church of Scotland and Milville was the strongest opponent of the Episcopalian system, preferring the old rule of the Presbytery taught by John Knox.

    Not only did James imprison Milville, but he also sent George Abbot and Lord Dunbar to Scotland in 1608 to "restore the Scottish episcopate." The following year Abbot became Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield and a few months later was elevated to the office of Bishop of London to take over the duties of the ailing Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Bancroft. Abbot was elected Archbishop of Canterbury at the next meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England in 1611. Abbot was one of the members of the Oxford Committee that translated the Gospels, Acts and Revelation.
     
  19. Scott J

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    [ April 01, 2005, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: Scott J ]
     
  20. HankD

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    But one who defends a church which persecuted Baptists, killed believers then (AD1611) and opposes each of the Baptist distinctions both then (AD1611) and now.
    Actually Jim, you would be far more likely to be the one singing the Te Deum seeing your view of King James Bible Only (KJVO) as did the first KJVO, King James himself, persecuting those who criticised it and him.

    Personally, after leaving the Church of Rome, I found that the Baptist distinctives were in line with my perception of the Truth of Scripture.

    I apply the following verse to both the Church of Rome and ALL the "Protestant" churches of the Reformation which did not go far enough and remain to this day in the shadow of the darkness of Rome.

    KJV 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

    Ironic coming from the KJV no?

    Some advice FWIW: Baptists ahouldn't defend the CoE. There is no defense for what they did. In fact they are the root of suffering IMO that lead to the modern Baptist church(es).

    HankD
     

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