Scofield Reference Bible

Oxford Press has done a great injustice to C.I. Scofield, for the sake of money. They hold the copyright to his Reference Bible. It, in several places, steps on the toes of various religious groups and those of certain beliefs. It, being the personal comments of Scofield at the beginning of and throughout various books of the Bible.

Oxford, or whoever was ultimately responsible for the publication of the New Scofield Reference Bible, took it upon themselves to take out the “barbs” so those that were offended with the Old Scofield Reference Bible, would buy the New. It was a very bold investment. People remember for a long time and it seems like it would take at least one generation to remove the offense from the buying public. The positive step is that the rest of his notes will no doubt be a great blessing to Bible students that otherwise wouldn’t even bother to pick up the Old.

The quality and feel of the Oxford Press Bible is second to none. When you buy a Bible it should be one of quality, so it will give many years of service and have character. Oxford, knowing that, only wanted to get into that market, which is why they are in the business. Who can blame them for that? I only hope and pray that they never get rid of the Old version, because that is what Scofield really had to say. His comments are what the church really needs today. They are blunt and to the point. We are in the age of “soft soap” and I don’t think anyone has the right to pervert and or destroy what a man has said, for the sake of profit or unity.

I will not be able to put all the changes into this publication, but I hope to put in enough to make a strong point.

I must address the little pieces of “cover up” I found in the introduction to the 1967 edition (New). “The committee feels, as C.I. Scofield felt of his 1909 and 1917 editions, that its work is not absolutely final.” That no doubt is true, but “the committee” took liberties eliminating works that Scofield no doubt wanted the reader to know, if for no other reason, to show that there are differences in interpretation. Another one reads: “Recent controversies and differing opinions have been taken into account, where necessary, in order to strengthen and clarify notes which have already brought help to many readers.” I think this is really the one they use to cut up his notes, primarily as they (the notes) relate to apostasy.

Genesis 1:2, the word “without,” in the Old, has a (3) by it. In the New it has a (5). The Old, makes reference to Jer. 4:23-26 and Isa. 24:1, the New, leaves them out. They are not even mentioned in connection with Isa. 45:18 (note 2). Jeremiah 4:23-26 is something that happened to “backsliding Judah” but as in other scriptures, God, says Scofield, is looking beyond the (then) present and into the future, which is why the Bible, written then, speaks to us today. In the New, there is no comment whatsoever for Jer. 4:23.

In the Old, the word “replenish” is replaced by the word “fill” in the New. It is correct, but replenish better conveys what had to be done after the “first judgment.” They had to refill the world with people much like after the flood of Noah’s time.

In Exodus 8:25, the Old reads, “Invariably it ends in world-conformity, world pleasing, and seeking the world’s money for God…” The New reads, “This invariably ends in conformity with the world.” I admit there is little difference, but in this day and age of certain TV evangelists, you can see that the Old is giving the specific warning that we Christians should be listening to. Scofield knew the traps then, and they are the same today.

Exodus 29:33 They are similar.

Leviticus 10:1 The New leaves out, “It typifies any use of carnal means to kindle the fire of devotion and praise” which is just after the reference to Col 2:23.

Judges 2:13 The Old reads: “Jeremiah refers (44:18,19) to Ashtoreth as the queen of heaven.” The New stops the quote right after the scriptural reference to 2 Kings 23:13. I think this was done because the (or at least some) Roman Catholics refer to Mary as the queen of heaven.

2 Samuel 6:3 The New leaves out, “It is a constant point of failure.”
Just after the 1 Sam 6:7-8 reference, they also left out, “The church is full of Philistine ways of doing service to Christ.”

Jonah 1:17 The New has added quite a bit more to Jonah than the Old. The first sentence is exactly the same. Concerning the next couple, the New says, “It has been claimed that a whale could not swallow a man, etc., etc.,” then goes on to say, “The real miracle is not the swallowing but the fact that Jonah was alive when he was cast out of the great fish on to the dry land.” Being alive inside of a large fish is no miracle either. There have been instances in history where men and animals have lived through such a happening. When Jesus, in Matt. 12:40, said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The fact that Jesus died and was in the heart of the earth, shows me that when He quoted Jonah that there is all the reason in the world to believe that Jonah (his body) was dead inside the great fish also. The last sentence is just about the same. In the New, the note in 2:1 implies that he was still alive and conscious. Our spirit can do things that our bodies can’t. When the body dies, the spirit goes back to God who gave it, Eccl. 12:7. If God was not done with it here on earth, it seems reasonable to me that He could have left it long enough in the belly (sheol) for it to cry out to Him. When you read it, it sounds like it took a while. When you carefully read 2:1-10, it sure sounds like he died and considering that the spirit is eternal, it could have been a long prayer, but I doubt it. The New also makes apologies for miracles as in the case after he was put out on the beach and his speedy journey to Nineveh.

In the – From Matthew to Malachi – introduction, the New, changes, “and enslaved great numbers of the inhabitants,” to “and slew many of the inhabitants. In the next sentence it leaves out December 25, and just starts with, In 168 B.C. … In the last sentence of that paragraph the New exchanges the word “condemned” for “compelled” as it is in the Old.

1 Corinthians Introduction. The New leaves out a lot of the form and content of the Old. The most striking is the sentence that is the biggest offence to Pentecostals. “Minor disorders were due to vanity, yielding to a childish delight in tongues and the sign gifts, rather than to sober instruction (1 Cor. 14:1-28).” That little sentence is probably the main reason that group wouldn’t be caught dead with the Old Scofield. It’s a matter of economics for the Oxford people to make these changes.

Revelation 1:20, note (3) in the Old and (4) in the New. This section would be mostly offensive to Roman Catholics. The New, pretty much says what the Old says until it gets to the sentence just past the 3:22 reference, and ends …”go beyond the local assemblies mentioned.” From here out is where it changes. He (Scofield) basically states which churches are represented by certain conditions. I will take it up at Pergamos. “Pergamos, the church settled down in the world, “where Satan’s throne is,” after the conversion of Constantine, say, A.D. 316. Thyatria is the Papacy, developed out of the Pergamos state: Balaamism (worldliness) and Nicolaitanism (priestly assumption) having conquered. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel, so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies.” I don’t know about the first part, but from “Balaamism (worldliness), on, that is absolutely true. You can see that it not only steps on the toes of the Catholics, but anyone celebrating Christmas, Easter, and whatever else God never told us to do.

Revelation 2:6, note (1). The New says, “1(2:6,15) The name “Nicolaitians,” according to early church fathers… refers to those who, while professing themselves to be Christian, lived licentiously.” The Old says, “From nikao, “to conquer,” and laos, “the people.” or “laity.” There is no ancient authority for a sect of the Nicolaitians. If the word was symbolic it refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order, or “clergy,” which later divided an equal brotherhood (Mt. 23:8), into “priests” and “laity.””

You can see that there is quite a difference between the two. The above mentioned “early church fathers” would quite naturally not agree with breaking down the word (nikao-laos) because it casts a negative shadow over being a “priest,” which is something the N.T. does not teach. We are under the “elder” system today. “Know those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.” 1 Thess. 5:12 Quite a different system than a paid preacher fresh out of a church school who has been “assigned” to shepherd over your flock.

There are many differences throughout the whole Bible on Scofield’s notes. I have just tried to point out the most obvious. I would be horrified if someone changed my words just for the sake of money. What is even worse is, that the warnings or rebukes meant to bring one back to God’s fold (because they are found to be offensive by the liberal mind) are being changed for the sake of unity and/or money. Vinegar does not attract many flies. By the same token, medicine meant to make you well is not always sweet to the taste. In 2 Corinthians 13:10, Paul declares, “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” No doubt there were those in the congregation that thought Paul was overstepping his authority. That opinion was probably based on their “offense” at what he said and how he said it, and that, based on their own liberalized sense of, “Let’s not offend anyone” (for the sake of unity).

There is a right and a wrong, a good and a bad. Our sense of morality has to be based on the Bible, or one man’s right will be another man’s wrong. But even using the Bible as a guideline, if we lack the Spirit of God to teach those truths, we will be back in the dark ages.