THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES AND ROME
Updated and enlarged November 20, 2008 (first published via the FBIS on February 6, 2006; this article replaces “Bible Societies and Rome” which was first published in Sept. 17, 1996, and “The United Bible Societies and Rome,” which was first published in September 18, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org) -
Nearly 80 percent of the world’s Bibles are distributed through the United Bible Societies, an international umbrella organization that was formed in 1946 and that presently coordinates the work of most of the world’s Bible societies. As of 2004, there were 142 member societies participating in the United Bible Societies, including the British & Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, and the Canadian Bible Society. In 2003 the member societies of the UBS distributed more than 430 million Bibles, New Testaments, and Scripture portions, including 21.4 million Bibles and 14.4 million New Testaments. As of 2001, the United Bible Societies were involved in translation work in 672 different languages.
THE STRANGE HISTORY OF THE BIBLE SOCIETIES
Consider the strange history of the first Bible Society, which was formed in 1804 in England and named the British & Foreign Bible Society (BFBS). It was established on March 7, 1804, at London Tavern (The History of Christianity, Lion Publishing, 1977, p. 558). The BFBS, which was a founding member of the UBS in 1946, was deeply leavened with heresy from the beginning. Consider a few well-documented facts regarding this group’s early history:
The British & Foreign Bible Society cooperated with Roman Catholic priests from its earliest days. “Roman Catholics also enjoyed the support of the BFBS. Soon after its founding, the BFBS sent funds to Bishop Michael Wittmann [Roman Catholic] of Regensburg. When the Bavarian priest, Johannes Gossner, prepared a German translation of the New Testament, he too was supported by the BFBS. The main Catholic agent of the BFBS was, however, Leander van Ess, a priest and professor of [Catholic] theology at Marburg” (Lions’ History of Christianity, p. 558). We should note that the American Bible Society also invited Roman Catholic leaders to participate in its founding in 1816. This was reported in “The Bible Societies,” Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record, Jan.-Mar., 1979, pp. 13-14.
The BFBS also invited Unitarian participation in its early days. Most of the readers of this study will know that Unitarians, while claiming to be Christian, have no right to be called such. They deny the very Triune God of the Scriptures, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They scoff at Christ’s full Deity, vehemently denying that our Lord was very God and very Man. They also deny the infallibility of Holy Scripture, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, etc. How, then, can they possibly be considered Christians? And yet, the British & Foreign Bible Society brought these heretics into its membership upon its founding at the turn of the 19th century.
This shameful history is given briefly from firsthand accounts and historical documents quoted from the files of the Trinitarian Bible Society in London. “When the constitution of the British and Foreign Bible Society was first formulated, it was understandably not foreseen that the question of Unitarianism would have much relevance to the society’s work. Before long, however, UNITARIANS GAINED SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE UPON THE AFFAIRS OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY IN EUROPE, WHERE SOME AUXILIARY SOCIETIES WERE RUN ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY BY PERSONS OF UNITARIAN BELIEFS” (Andrew Brown, The Word of God Among All Nations, p. 12).
It was the failure to secure a provision in the society’s constitution to remove the Unitarian heretics which led to the formation of a separate organization, the Trinitarian Bible Society. “The Trinitarian Bible Society was founded in 1831 after a period of controversy among supporters of the British and Foreign Bible Society regarding the constitution and policy of that Society. Deep concern was expressed over the lack of a Scriptural doctrinal basis sufficiently explicit to ensure that ‘Unitarians’ denying the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ could not be admitted to membership or hold office in the Society. A motion recommending the adoption of such a basis was the subject of a prolonged and heated debate in Exeter Hall in the Strand, London, at the Annual Meeting. THE MOTION WAS REJECTED BY A LARGE MAJORITY ... When it became clear that there was no prospect of bringing this about [the changing of the BFBS’s unscriptural policies], the ‘Provisional Committee’ convened a meeting to establish a Bible Society on Scriptural principles” (Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record, No. 475, April-June, 1981, p. 3). Thus the Trinitarian Bible Society’s birth in 1831 was a testimony to the apostasy of the British & Foreign Bible Society, a founding member of the United Bible Societies.
The BFBS did not even allow public prayer or Bible quotations in its meetings! The history of the British and Foreign Bible Society becomes even stranger. One compromise leads to another, as the Bible so solemnly warns. “There arose a question over the desirability of offering up prayer to God at meetings of the society, concerning which there was no provision in the society’s constitution. Lack of such provision would perhaps not have led to serious disagreement were it not for the simultaneous problem about Unitarians. There was a feeling that public prayer to God, offered in the name of Christ, was being avoided for fear of giving offence to Unitarian members. ... It was to be expected that, with these emotive issues occupying the minds of many people, the Anniversary Meeting would run into stormy weather. The meeting took place on Wednesday, May 4th, 1831, at the newly built Exeter Hall in the Strand. ... On this occasion the annual report included a recommendation that oral prayer should not be introduced at meetings of the society, but made no explicit reference to the problem about Unitarians. ... At the conclusion of the seconder’s speech, a degree of excitement seemed to pervade the Meeting ... J.E. Gordon immediately advanced from the northern end of the platform, and took his place on the right of the chair, amidst loud and continued applause. Several minutes passed before order was restored, and then Gordon spoke: ‘If, instead of thus clapping your hands, you would lift up your hands to the throne of grace, I must take the liberty of saying, you would perform an act more becoming a Christian Society. ... The first portion which I seek to establish is, that the British and Foreign Bible Society is preeminently a religious and Christian Institution, and that no person rejecting the doctrine of the triune Jehovah. ...’ -- interrupted by thunders of applause, which lasted several minutes, BUT WHICH WERE IMMEDIATELY REPLIED TO BY MOST DETERMINED HISSING FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE MEETING. When order was restored, Gordon resumed his speech: ‘... That no person rejecting the doctrine of the triune Jehovah can be considered a member of a Christian institution. Thirdly, that in conformity with this principle, the expression denominations of Christians in the Ninth General Law of the Society, be distinctly understood to include such denominations of Christians only as profess their belief in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.’ He went on to say that he would not at present raise the question of opening meetings with prayer, as this would be an utter waste of time if the proposition about non-Trinitarians was not at first accepted. When he sought to justify his arguments by quoting from Scripture, HE WAS MET BY REPEATED INTERRUPTIONS AND HECKLING FROM PART OF THE AUDIENCE. THE CHAIRMAN, LORD BEXLEY, SIDED WITH THE INTERRUPTERS AND RESTRAINED GORDON FROM CITING SCRIPTURE, ON THE GROUNDS THAT TO COMMENT ON THE SCRIPTURE WAS ‘TO GO AGAINST THE PRINCIPLE OF THE INSTITUTION.’ A general uproar ensued which the Rev. William Howels vainly tried to calm ... Gordon was seconded by the Rev. George Washington Philips ... Amid scenes of wild disorder, one speaker after another failed to make themselves heard. ... AT THE END OF THE MEETING, WHICH LASTED FIVE AND A HALF HOURS, GORDON’S PROPOSALS WERE VOTED ON BY A SHOW OF HANDS, AND REJECTED BY A MAJORITY ESTIMATED AT 6 TO 1 (Brown, The Word of God Among All Nations, pp. 12-16, quoting The Record, May 5th, 1831).
THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES AND ROME
Today the United Bible Societies are fully committed to an unholy ecumenism. Hundreds of examples could be given to illustrate this. The UBS is “in effect the Bible society wing of the World Council of Churches” (Andrew Brown, The Word of God Among All Nations, p. 124). It matters not that the major Protestant denominations today are filled with theological modernism. It matters not that the Roman Catholic Church preaches a false gospel that leads multitudes to Hell. It matters not that Roman Catholicism is filled with all sorts of doctrinal error. The UBS intends to “serve all churches” no matter what they believe and no matter what the Word of God says about separation from error!
The UBS ecumenical program is fueled by its policy of not asking doctrinal questions. This was outlined in a booklet published by the American Bible Society in 1970: “Referring to the interdenominational character of the Bible societies, the article states that ‘their sole concern is to recruit every believer, WHATEVER HIS PRIVATE CREED MAY BE,’ to join in the urgent task of proclaiming the Gospel in every tongue. ... The Societies ‘endeavor to serve the whole Church of Christ IRRESPECTIVE OF denominational divisions and CREEDAL [DOCTRINAL] DISTINCTIONS’” (Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record, Jan.-Mar. 1979, pp. 13-14). The Bible Societies have thus acknowledged that they are unconcerned about doctrinal beliefs. How strange it is that those who publish the Bible are unconcerned about its teachings!
CONSIDER SOME EXAMPLES OF THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES’ RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
In most countries, you will find the Bible societies in the very center of any ecumenical adventure, especially in national councils and interdenominational fellowships. The following examples could be greatly multiplied:
(1) “[The American Bible Society meeting was] one of the most widely representative Christian gatherings in the U.S.A., or possibly in the entire world, and included a Roman Catholic archbishop as speaker and one panel had a Seventh-day Adventist. There were representatives from 46 different denominations, including Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and even a Christian Scientist” (Plains Baptist Challenger, Sept. 1982).
(2) Consider the example of Michael Ramsey. Ramsey, former Archbishop of Canterbury. He was a president of the United Bible Societies as well as one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches. Ramsey denied the Virgin Birth of Christ, and said, “Heaven is not a place for Christians only. ... I expect to see many present day atheists there” (Daily Mail, London, Feb. 10, 1961). Ramsey was a leader in the back-to-Rome movement in the Church of England. In 1966, Ramsey made a visit to the Pope in an effort to rebuild bridges to Rome. Apart from Ramsey’s predecessor, Geoffrey Fisher, no Archbishop of Canterbury had called on a Pope since 1397, long before Henry VIII broke with Rome. Ramsey addressed the Pope as, “Your Holiness, dear brother in Christ,” and said, “It is only as the world sees us Christians growing visibly in unity that it will accept through us the divine message of peace.” Pope Paul described the meeting as a rebuilding of “a bridge that for centuries had lain fallen between the Church of Rome and Canterbury; a bridge of respect, of esteem and charity.” The two men sealed the symbolic reconciliation of the denominations by a “kiss of peace”—actually an embrace. The Anglican bishops and clergy of Canterbury’s retinue bowed to kiss the Pope’s ring (Don Stanton, Mystery Babylon, Secunderabad: Maranatha Revival Crusade, April 1981). The following year, 1967, Ramsey visited the United States. At a service in Little Rock, Arkansas, he mentioned his meeting with the Pope and described it in this way: “The Pope and I walked arm in arm out in St. Peter’s Basilica and there we bowed and dedicated ourselves in a common dedication, the task of unifying the church. We did not mean we were going to unify the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church only, but we meant we were going to unify all Christendom and all the churches of the world. By unifying them, we did not mean just establishing diplomatic recognition among denominations, but we were going to unify all of them into one church. That is the task that is before us today, to unify all Christendom into the Holy Catholic Church” (quoted by M.L. Moser, Jr., Ecumenicalism under the Spotlight, Challenge Press, pp. 22-23). Ramsey’s unscriptural ecumenical activities illustrate the things that are happening in the United Bible Societies.
(3) “The work of joint Bible translation and distribution between Protestants and Catholics was encouraged by the Driebergen conference of Bible societies in June 1964, which was attended also by Roman Catholics. The chief recommendations of the conference were: to prepare a ‘common text’ of the Bible in the original languages, acceptable to all Churches, including Roman Catholics; and to explore the possibility of preparing a ‘common translation’ in certain languages, which could be used by Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. It was further recommended that the Bible societies should consider translating and publishing the Apocrypha when Churches specifically requested it” (Andrew Brown, The Word of God among All Nations, p. 122).
(4) “One result of Vatican II was the setting up in 1966 of the Vatican Office for Common Bible Work ... An example of the new spirit of co-operation was soon found, in the revision of the Bible in Swahili. It was reported in 1966 that the Roman Catholic Tanganyika Episcopal Conference had reached agreement with the British and Foreign Bible Society on the use of the text of the Union Version of 1952, with the understanding that the Apocrypha would be included as well as selected notes and comments from the Jerusalem Bible [a Roman Catholic Version]. ... The BFBS thus again abandoned its former policy of excluding the Apocrypha, and notes and comments” (The Bible Translator, United Bible Societies, April 1966; The Word of God among All Nations, pp. 123-124).
(5) The American Bible Societies’ Today’s English Version, which was published in 1966, gained almost immediate acceptance by the Roman Catholic Church. “The best-selling Bible translation in history has been cleared for use by Catholics as well as Protestants. ... The translation has received the official approval or imprimatur, of Cardinal Richard Cushing, the Catholic archbishop of Boston. It was Cardinal Cushing who earlier gave an imprimatur to the Protestant-sponsored Revised Standard Version. Protestant and Catholic scholars in recent years have reached substantial agreement on the translation of the Bible into English, and CARDINAL CUSHING’S EXPERT CONSULTANTS DID NOT SEEK A SINGLE CHANGE IN THE TEXT OF THE TEV BEFORE APPROVING IT FOR CATHOLIC USE” (Louis Cassels, United Press International).
(6) “In 1969 another development took place, with the formation of the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate. The object of this organization was to co-ordinate the Bible translation work of Catholic scholars and facilitate their co-operation with the United Bible Societies” (Brown, The Word of God among All Nations, p. 124).
(7) “The Secretary of the Italian Bible Society reported that in 1975 Pope Paul VI distributed during his personal audiences 300,000 copies of the Epistle of James, specially prepared by the United Bible Societies and the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate” (Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record, Jul.-Sep. 1978, pp. 6-8).
(8) It was in 1976 that the complete “common language” New Testament was published in Italian as a joint project of the United Bible Societies and a Catholic group with explicit Vatican approval.
(9) 1977 witnessed a Europe-wide Bible society conference attended by officials representing Catholic and Orthodox churches: “Delegates from the whole of Europe met at the Ludwigshafen conference to discuss the future of the United Bible Societies. Monsignor Ablondi, Bishop of Livorno, Professor Tavares of the Catholic University of Lisbon, and representatives of the Greek Serbian and Rumanian Orthodox Churches, were present as full members of the assembly” (The Biblical Apostolate, VIII/2/78; quoted in Trinitarian Bible Society Quarterly Record, Jul.-Sep. 1978, pp. 6-8).
(10) In 1979, the head of the American Bible Society’s translation department, Eugene Nida, said the burgeoning participation of Roman Catholics in its work was a “very important development” (Calvary Contender, Sept. 1, 1992). Also in 1979, United Bible Societies leaders attending a Catholic conference in Mexico pledged closer cooperation with Rome: “The [Catholic] Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopacy took place at Puebla, in Mexico, and was opened by Pope John Paul II. At the conference, representatives of the United Bible Societies participated in an ecumenical religious service, and also provided a Bible information stand and closely co-operated with the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate. Regarding this co-operation, we are told: ‘It signifies an official recognition of the services being offered by the UBS and announces the beginning of a new era and A NEW SPIRIT OF COLLABORATION at the service of God’s Word”(Word-Event, United Bible Societies, No. 36, p. 27).
(11) By 1981, over 500,000 copies of the Good News Bible, with the Apocryphal Books added, had been published and distributed by the American Bible Society (Foundation, Jul.-Aug. 1981).
(12) 1986 was a high water mark in relations between the UBS and Rome. That was the year the UBS presented a copy of the new Italian interconfessional Bible to the Pope: “The Italian Bible Society recently presented Pope John Paul II with a copy of a new Italian interconfessional Bible in a ceremony at the Vatican. Italian President Francesco Cossaga has also received a copy in the presidential palace. Both Protestants and Catholics co-operated in translating the new Bible, which is the result of 7 years’ work. It has been published jointly by the Italian Bible Society and a Salesian publishing firm. ... The presentation of the Bible to Pope John Paul II was made by Luca Bertalot, the young grandson of the Italian Bible Society’s general secretary Revd Dr. Renzo Bertalot. United Bible Societies was represented by consultant to the UBS, Revd Dr Laton E. Holmgren. Addressing the Pope, Dr. Holmgren said, ‘For the first time in four centuries the Bible is a bond of unity rather than a source of division. Despite differences of tradition, dedicated people are producing more and more common Bibles which are being used in scores of lands and languages.’ Pope John Paul replied, ‘Accept the warmest expression of my grateful appreciation for the result of your efforts. The task which you have undertaken is an important moment of collaboration. I ardently desire that it should not pass in vain, but that it truly produce a fertile rediscovery of our common base of origin. In returning to it, the entire Church cannot fail to benefit in rejuvenation, mutual cohesion and effective testimony to the world. I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon all of you and upon your work.’ The edition presented to the Pope carries the imprimatur (official Catholic approval) of the Bishop of Turin. ... Also present at the Vatican ceremony was Bishop Alberto Ablondi of Livorno, Italy, who is a member of the United Bible Societies General Committee and president of the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate. Members of the Bible translation team attended with him (“Pope Receives New Bible,” Word in Action, British and Foreign Bible Society, Spring 1986, No. 49, p. 4).
(13) In the May 1996 issue of the American Bible Society Record, a biographical sketch appears of “Father” Robert J. Robbins, vice chairman of the ABS church relations and volunteer activities committees. The Record says that Robbins, a Catholic priest, “helps guide the American Bible Society in working with its vital network of church supporters and volunteers.” The article continues, “An ABS Board member since 1991, Father Robbins also serves on the Committee on Trustees and on the Finance/Administration and Executive committees.” In December 2000, the American Bible Society mailed a letter written by Robbins to Roman Catholics in which Robbins urged fellow Catholics to support the ABS as a response to Pope John Paul II’s plea for “all baptized persons to participate in mission activity through the precious offering of prayers and suffering and with material aid.”
(14) The UBS-Rome connection was further demonstrated during the Pope’s 1996 visit to the United States. The following is from the American Bible Society’s 1996-97 Catalog of Scripture Resources: “When Pope John Paul II visited the United States last autumn, ABS was on hand to help celebrate. Over half a million specially produced commemorative editions of the Gospel of John in the Contemporary English Version were distributed at local churches and various sites where the Pope conducted Mass ... As the highlight of the Bible Society’s celebration, ABS President Dr. Eugene Habecker PRESENTED THE POPE WITH A WHITE, LEATHER-BOUND CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION BIBLE and a commemorative Gospel of John at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York. The Contemporary English Version is now the translation used in the Lectionary for Masses with Children. An upcoming CEV BIBLE WITH DEUTEROCANONICALS AND APOCRYPHA IN TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC ORDER is scheduled for publication in the spring of 1997” (American Bible Society’s 1996-97 Catalog of Scripture Resources, p. 13).
(15) By 1997, 174 of the UBS translation projects were joint endeavors with the Roman Catholic Church.
(16) In February 1999, the National Bible Society of Ireland published a Bible study by Catholic priest Pat Collins entitled Seeking with … the Father.
(17) In early June 1999, the translators of the new interconfessional Polish Bible were presented to Pope John Paul II at a special ecumenical service in Drohiczyn, Poland. On May 31, 1999, the Pope mentioned the new translation while speaking at the 46th Eucharistic Congress in Wroclaw, Poland. He praised the ecumenical spirit of the Bible societies and said that once Christians are committed to the path of ecumenism there is no turning back.
(18) In December 2000, the Austrian Bible Society co-produced a six-hour radio program entitled Long Night with the Bible, which featured Roman Catholic priest Wolfgang Schwartz, Jewish rabbi Chaim Eisenberg, and Lutheran Michael Bunker.
(19) In 2001, the Houston, Texas, office of the American Bible Society honored Catholic Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, at a Leadership Awards Luncheon.
(20) In 2002 Pope John Paul II received 70 representatives of the United Bible Societies and Bible Societies of Europe and the Middle East and commended them for their ecumenical approach to Bible translation. “Commenting on the occasion, David Bedford, the UBS Head of Global Development, said that the Papal audience -- and the Pope’s affirmation of the Bible Societies’ mission -- had touched him deeply” (TBS Quarterly Record, Jan.-Mar. 2003).
(21) In July 2002 the United Bible Societies opened a joint exhibition in Rome with the Vatican Library, which traced the history of the printed Bible and its impact on culture and people. The grand opening was attended by Monsignor Raffaele Farina, Director of the Vatican Library, and UBS General Secretary Fergus Macdonald. One thing that was missing from this exhibit, of course, was the documentation of Rome’s vicious inquisition and her millennia-long attempt to keep the Bible out of the hands of the common people.
(22) In April 2005, a representative from the United Bible Societies participated in the funeral for Pope John Paul II and in the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI. The following is from the UBS web site for May 6, 2005: “Dr. Valdo Bertalot, General Secretary of the Bible Society in Italy (BSI), represented both the national Bible Society and the global UBS fellowship at the funeral of Pope John Paul II on April 9 and at the inaugural mass of Pope Benedict XVI on April 24. He also took part the following day in Pope Benedict’s first audience, for foreign and non-Catholic guests. ‘I had the opportunity to greet the Pope personally on behalf of UBS and BSI,’ said Dr. Bertalot, ‘offering him BSI’s latest ecumenical literary translation of the Gospel of Mark as an example of the UBS service to the churches.’ Mr. Wigglesworth said Dr. Bertalot’s presence at the events was ‘EVIDENCE OF THE STANDING OF THE UBS IN THE EYES OF THE VATICAN, and a consequence of all the work that he -- and his father before him -- have done to establish close ties with the Vatican on behalf of UBS.’”
(23) In April 2008 the American Bible Society printed a special edition of the Gospel of Luke for distribution at papal masses during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. The booklet featured a picture of the pope on the cover (“American Bible Society Welcomes Pope,” Assist News Service, April 15, 2008).
(24) At the Vatican on October 7, 2008, delegates from the American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict XVI with a special Polyglot Bible. The 3,200-page Bible was created “in honor of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops,” which is currently in session at the Vatican (“American Bible Society,” Christian Post, Oct. 7, 2008). Consisting of the Bible’s text in five languages--Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, and Spanish--the Polyglot Bible bears the seals of the Vatican and the American Bible Society. Dennis Dickerson, chairman of the board of trustees of the ABS, said, “It is with great pleasure and happiness we return to the Bible again and again to deepen our understanding of the Word of God and rekindle our love for it.” In fact, they don’t love the Bible at all, or they would cease to disobey it by affiliating with and blessing those who have exalted their own false tradition to the same level of authority as God’s Word (Romans 16:17-18). Further, if they loved the Bible they would cease to pervert it through discredited Egyptian manuscripts and the fearfully unfaithful translation methodology of dynamic equivalency. (See “Dynamic Equivalency: Its Influence and Error” at the Way of Life web site.)
CONSIDER SOME EXAMPLES OF ROMAN CATHOLICS WHO HAVE HELD LEADERSHIP POSITIONS WITHIN THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES:
In the 1970s a Catholic woman named Maria Teresa Porcile Santiso was employed full time by the United Bible Societies as directress of ecumenical affairs in the regional centre of Mexico (Word-Event, No. 36, p. 6).
Monsignor Alberto Ablondi, Catholic bishop of Livorno, Italy, was “simultaneously a member of the General Committee and European Regional Executive Committee of the United Bible Societies, thus playing a part in the formulation and review of the UBS general policy” (Quarterly Report, Trinitarian Bible Society, Oct.-Dec. 1985, p. 24).
Cardinal Francis Arinze, Roman Catholic archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria, was a vice-president of the United Bible Societies.
Cardinal Carlo Martini, retired Archbishop of Milan, was one of the editors of the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (beginning in 1967 with the second edition) until his retirement in 2002.
There are 142 different Bible societies associated with the United Bible Societies and all of these societies are tied together organizationally as well as spiritually. To support any one of the Bible societies is to participated in the apostasy that has permeated the UBS.
Yes, I realize there are some born again people working with the Bible societies. Revelation 17-18 describes the apostate one world religion and one world government of the last hours of the church age. The picture is that of total apostasy and wickedness, and yet the Bible says some true people of God are involved in these movements because God’s call is “Come out of her, MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”(Rev. 18:4).
Consider three simple lessons from this passage. First, there are some truly saved people in the End Times movement of apostasy. Second, God calls from heaven to those who are saved, exhorting them to separate from the apostasy. Third, those who ignore this call are partakers of the sins of the apostasy and will be judged.
The Bible warns in other places, as well, that if we affiliate with those who are apostate and disobedient we will be partaker of their evil deeds.
“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 8-11).
The decision is clear. The pressures of family, tradition, security, fear of the unpopularity of a separated position, and many other things are brought to bear against the Christian who desires to be faithful to God in an apostate day. God is calling from heaven and requiring a complete separation of His people from apostasy. Whom will we fear--God, or man? To whose voice will we hearken--heaven’s or the world’s?