James Moffatt
September 2, 2021
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061

The following is excerpted from The Modern Bible Version Hall of Shame, www.wayoflife.org -

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1. James Moffatt (1870-1944) was Yates Professor of Greek at Mansfield College, Oxford, and later Professor of Church History at the United Free Church College, Glasgow. From 1927-1940, he was Washburn Professor of Church History at Union Theological Seminary. In addition to participating on the translation committee for the Revised Standard Version New Testament, he made two translations of his own. The first was The Historical New Testament in 1901. The second, The Moffatt Version New Testament, first appeared in England in 1913 and in the United States in 1917. The Moffatt complete Bible was published in 1926.

2. The following quotations demonstrate Moffatt’s theological modernism:

Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament (Scribner’s, 1925), Moffatt plainly denied the infallibility of the Scripture. He frequently denied the historicity and authorship of the New Testament books. For example, he claimed the book of Revelation is a composite work by unknown authors (pp. 488, 501). Moffatt denied that 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus were written by Paul (p. 406). He claimed that the book of Ephesians was not written by Paul and was not written to the church at Ephesus (pp. 389, 393) and that 2 Peter was not written by Peter (p. 366).

“But once the translator of the New Testament is freed from the influence of the theory of verbal inspiration, these difficulties cease to be so formidable” (Moffatt, Preface, New Testament: A New Translation, 1913).

“The writers of the New Testament made mistakes in interpreting some of the Old Testament prophecies” (Moffatt
, The Approach to the New Testament).

“Only one or two of these visions [of Christ’s resurrection] are recorded in the gospels, and it is still a mystery how Jesus rose. But what is common to all the tales of the resurrection is the belief that the personality of Jesus passed into life eternal, that he lived again and lived as Lord of life and death. … Such is the fundamental truth which the tales of the resurrection embody and imply in their own way, a truth which is naturally far greater than any expression of itself” (Moffatt,
Everyman’s Life of Jesus, New York: George H. Doran Co., 1925, pp. 221-223).

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