OUR AUTHORIZED BIBLE VINDICATED
Back in 1930 B. G. Wilkinson published Our Authorized Bible Vindicated. Some of his college colleagues took exception to his book and criticized it publicly. Since Wilkinson, who was a professor in one of our colleges, was having his scholarship questioned, it was mandatory that he reply.
This book is his reply to their "review" and criticism. It literally "downs" them on every argument.
Since feelings and rivalry were running high, the General Conference of those days required Wilkinson to not publish this work. He agreed.
Since the individuals concerned are no longer on the scene, and since the issue of modern versions is now a very important topic, we feel that this work should be available to students.
Many in our denomination are "pushing" the use of the New International Version and repressing the use of the King James Version from the pulpits. Since our doctrines, particularly the Investigative Judgement and 2300 Day Prophecy cannot be taught from the NIV, our people should be made aware of the dangers of this Romanized Bible being foisted upon them.
It is time our members studied for themselves the history of the English Bible, and its many modern versions. If we are to adopt the NIV as a standard for use in the pulpit and in our schools, then we might as well give up being Seventh-day Adventists and join the ecumenical movement back to Rome. This is not an idle statement. Just a real honest bit of study will soon reveal how the enemy has crept within our ranks.
At the time Our Authorized Bible Vindicated was published, the NIV had not come on the scene. Wilkinson's main concern was with the Revised Version and the American Revision, both springing from the works of Westcott and Hort All modern versions also have taken their basis from the Westcott-Hort Greek Text. It is time we re-examine their sources and reasoning. Our very denomination is at stake.
[Special Note: The Bible version Wilkinson was concern with (the Revised Version) became the Revised Standard Version in 1952. This Revised Standard Version became the "New" Revised Standard Version in 1992, with the IMPRIMATUR of the Roman Catholic Church stamped inside the front cover. This one fact alone proves that Dr. Wilkinson, a true and faithful Seventh-day Adventist, was right in denouncing this spurious translation in 1930.]
Dr. Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Preface, "Answers to Objections" to Our Authorized Bible. (page 2).
Who was Dr. Wilkinson, and why did he feel qualified to speak for Adventists on the subject of Bible translations? The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia gives the answer.
WILKINSON, BENJAMIN GEORGE (1872-1968). Dean, administrator, evangelist, author. Wilkinson was born in Canada and began to study for the ministry at Battle Creek College in 1891. The following year he worked in evangelism in Wisconsin. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1897 and that same year became dean of theology at Battle Creek College. The following year he became president of the Canadian Conference and in 1899 he was asked to serve as dean of theology at Union College. He served for four years as president of the Latin Conference, which later became the Southern European Division. During this time he started the work in Rome, Paris, and in Spain. Returning to the United States, he held evangelistic meetings in large cities of the Columbia Union, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, West Virginia. He also served as dean of theology at Washington Missionary College for five years. In 1908 he received his doctoral degree from George Washington University and the following year became president of Columbia Union Conference, where he served for 10 years. In 1920 he accepted the presidency of the Kansas Conference. He then served for a short time as temporary mission superintendent in Haiti. After a time as president of the East Pennsylvania Conference he gave 24 consecutive years of service to Washington Missionary College, serving as president from 1936 to 1946. He is the author of Truth Triumphant and Our Authorized Bible Vindicated. He retired from active work after 56 years of service.
Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Revised Edition, 1976, page 1609. (emphasis supplied).
Although Dr. Wilkinson was an impeccably honest man and a brilliant Bible scholar, he was later challenged to defend the scholarship of his book Our Authorized Bible Vindicated. (See, "Answers to Objections" to Our Authorized Bible, Vindicated: Note:- This paper can be purchased from Leaves-Of-Autumn-Books, P. O. Box 449, Payson, Arizona 85547).
"How and when did Seventh-day Adventists come to accept these erroneous revisions of the Bible?" you ask. An excellent question! The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia states that the time was "shortly after the death of Ellen White."
"Shortly after the death of Ellen G. White (1915), the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church began to publish articles in the Signs of the Times and Ministry magazines promoting the American Revised Version of the Bible,"so states the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Who was the editor of TheMinistry magazine in 1928 when these articles "promoting" the American Revised Version began to appear? Again the SDA Encyclopedia gives the answer.
"Leroy Edwin Froom. . . was called to the General Conference headquarters, where he was first associate secretary and then secretary of the Ministerial Association from 1926 to 1950," the SDA Encyclopedia states. "During this time he founded The Ministry magazine and was its editor for 22 years." (ibid, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Second Revised Edition, 1995, Review and Herald Publishing Association, emphasis supplied).
"A book was published (W. P. Pearce, The World's Best Book, Pacific Press Publishing Association) also promoting the American Revised Version as on an equal par with the Authorized King James version." (Art., Wilkinson, Benjamin George, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Revised Edition, 1976, page 1609, emphasis supplied).
Notice that the time was "shortly after the death of Ellen G. White." Actually this event took place in 1928, thirteen years after the death of Ellen White. Leroy Froom was editor of Ministry magazine in 1928 and would later be the most important figure in the Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956. (Leroy Edwin Froom, Movement of Destiny, pages 469, 470).
"Dr. Wilkinson felt the need to write in defense of the Authorized version," the Editors stated. "This project was highly opposed by the leadership of the church." (ibid., SDA Encyclopedia, page 1609, emphasis supplied).
An "unofficial" letter, dated November 18, 1928, from the then President of the General Conference, W. A. Spicer, was sent to Dr. Wilkinson asking him not to enter into this controversy. However, the magazine articles and the book The world's Best Book were published after this letter was written to Dr. Wilkinson. Because these articles and book were published after his letter to Dr. Wilkinson, General Conference President Spicer was quoted as saying to Elder Robbins, "Then let Elder Wilkinson write his side of the question." The book was eventually published by the author [Wilkinson] in England under the appropriate title, Our Authorized Bible, Vindicated.
ibid., Art., Benjamin George Wilkinson, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Revised Edition, 1976, page 1609. (emphasis supplied).
The very first sentence in this statement in the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia reveals much. "Shortly after the death of Ellen G. White" in 1915. Then, and only then, "the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church began to publish articles in the Signs of the Times and Ministry magazines promoting the American Revised Version of the Bible. Not only that, but the leadership was "promoting the American Revised Version as on an equal par with the Authorized King James version!" (ibid., p. 1609). Obviously, the leadership had to wait until the messenger of the Lord had passed from the scene. When Dr. Benjamin Wilkinson took up the banner of truth and wrote "in defense of the Authorized version," the project "was highly opposed by the leadership of the church." (ibid., p. 1609). Why? Because the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church desired the Ecumenical Bible of the National Council of Churches over the Authorized King James Version so dearly esteemed by our pioneers. This was one more early ecumenical move on the part of Seventh-day Adventist leadership. More ecumenical "wrong steps" would soon follow.
Notice also that Dr. Wilkinson's book "was eventually published by the author in England under the appropriate title, Our Authorized Bible, Vindicated." (ibid., p. 1609). Evidently the SDA Church publishing houses would not publish Dr. Wilkinson's book defending the Authorized Version of the Bible. Sadly, the book had to be published by Dr. Wilkinson himself - and that in a foreign country!