Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 16, 1953
NUMBER 49, PAGE 4-5b



More and more it becomes evident that the promoters of the new Revised Standard Version of the Bible have made a bunch of suckers out of a lot of people. And that in the simplest and most elementary fashion. Take, for instance, the bias of the translation:

As further study of the version is made by disinterested and able scholars all over the world, it is becoming crystal clear that the whole version is overwhelmingly UNITARIAN in its bias. The men who made the translation were modernists, rejecting the divinity of Christ. They are honestly convinced (1) that Jesus was not divine, (2) that He never made any claims to divinity, and (3) that the original writers of the New Testament (i.e. His immediate disciples) did not claim divinity for Him. It is their conviction that the early manuscripts, written in very sketchy form by these first authors, were revised, rewritten, modified, added to, subtracted from, and otherwise changed to bring about the notion that Christ was divine. Hence, in every possible passage where there can be found the least excuse for eliminating a claim for divinity, the bias of the translators led them to give the modernistic slant. And even more than that, they went still further in their use of the "you" and "thou" technique, reserving the "thou" form for God and using "you" in reference to Christ. Thus by a simple grammatical devise of their own arrangement they deny divinity to Christ every time He is addressed.

There is still another aspect of this matter which deserves a bit of thinking. And that is that the profits from the huge sale of this new version go not, as might have been supposed, to the commercial publishing house of Thomas Nelson and Sons, but go rather to The Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ. This body is successor to the old National Council of Religious Education. In reply to a series of questions submitted to him by Brother George P. Estes of Maplewood, Missouri, Gerald E. Knoff, executive secretary of the Division of Christian Education wrote:

"In your letter you ask four questions about the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. The National Council of Churches, as such, does not receive royalties on the sale of the RSV. The Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches is the owner of the copyright of the RSV, and, as the owner, receives a royalty on the sale of the Version. All of these proceeds are used by the Division of Christian Education for the benefit of the work of Christian Education of the Boards of Christian Education associated with the Division."

Thus every time one of these new Bibles is sold a portion of the sale price goes to the support of the sectarian bodies cooperating through the National Council. If there is any weight given to the argument that Jorgenson's song-book should not be used because profits from it go to support a false teaching, why should not some consideration be given to the fact that this new translation stands in very much the same category? As the Jorgenson song-book profits go to support premillennialism, so the profits from the sale of Revised Standard Version Bibles go to support denominational bodies. The version itself supports Unitarianism; profits from its sale support denominationalism!

Still another feature needs some study. And that is the gross misrepresentations that were made in the huge advertising campaign by which the book was "sold" to the American public. The advertising firm of Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne was the agency employed to publicize the new translation. That they did a magnificent job of it, we take it nobody would question. This new version was given the "beer and cigarette" routine; all it lacked was a group of half-naked girls singing its praises while they did a tap dance before the TV cameras. And it was here again that a lot of gullible people (including some of our brethren) revealed themselves as suckers. They swallowed the blatant advertising "blurbs," hook, line, and sinker. They accepted at face value the wild claim of Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborne that this was "the most accurate and most beautiful Version scholarship can provide"; that it was "the greatest Bible news in 341 years"; that it was "more accurate than any other version," ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

And when the truth of the matter began to come out, and this new version was revealed for what it is — a Unitarian propaganda commentary — , how many of these journals among us that had puffed the Version had the decency to come out and acknowledge their error and irresponsibility and offer apology to their readers? How many such apologies do you recall having read? It is bad enough for a man or a journal to be a sucker; it is worse when such a man or journal tries to make suckers out of a lot of unsuspecting brethren over the land. We think that demands some sort of retraction — rather than a reiteration and repetition of the false claims and praises.

We think there is something sinister in the way in which this version was foisted on to the public. A true Bible needs no million dollar publicity campaign to put it before people. There was a commercial and monetary angle here, together with a strong bias for false teaching. That such a dangerous version could be recommended to people generally shows a degree of irresponsibility which ill benefits any man in a place or position of responsibility. It is somewhat like recommending a Scofield Bible or the New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses. We believe the good sense of the brethren generally will assert itself and quickly relegate this new version to its proper plat among the commentaries of the modernists. It is NOT an accurate translation, and should never be regarded as such.

— F. Y. T.