Riplinger’s Mythology Regarding Wycliffe and the Latin Vulgate

Today, I was able to copy down the passage I was writing about yesterday in such a piecemeal fashion.
Again, the following is from page 788 of Gail Riplinger’s In Awe of Thy Word . . .
Myth 3
Wycliffe Used a Corrupt Latin Vulgate
The verse comparison charts in this book dispel the myth that Wycliffe and his followers used a corrupt Bible translated from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.

The myth that Wycliffe had no access to the original languages is discounted by Wycliffe himself who said that he had access to Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts which were in “complete agreement” with the Old Latin text he followed. He adds, “[T]he Jews were dispersed among the nations, taking with them their Hebrew manuscripts. Now this happened . . . that we (Christians, not Wycliffe and his fellow editors, specifically–CHK) might have recourse to their manuscripts as witnesses to the fact that there is no difference in the sense found in our Latin books and those Hebrew ones” (Truth, p. 157). He also makes reference to manuscripts being “corrected according to the Greek exemplar.” Once Jerome’s text was corrected, there was “complete agreement of his translation [Wycliffe’s] with the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts” (Truth, pp. 143,157 et al.).
Now, I ask you, do not Wycliffe’s words, as quoted in this paragraph, sound like generic statements stretched illogically by Riplinger to provide pseudo-proof of the point she’s attempting to make?
Can’t wait until I get my hands on Wycliffe’s On the Truth of Holy Scripture! Notice the excerpt from the introduction and table of contents provided by Medieval Institute Publications on their website:
“Wyclif sought the restoration of an idealized past even if that meant taking revolutionary steps in the present to recover what had been lost. His 1377-78 On the Truth of Holy Scripture represents such an effort in reform: the recognition of the inherent perfection and veracity of the Sacred Page which serves as the model for daily conduct, discourse, and worship, thereby forming the foundation upon which Christendom itself is to be ordered.”-from the Introduction
Part One: The Veracity of Scripture
Part Two: The Authority of Scripture
Part Three: The Divine Origin of Scripture
Part Four: Scripture as the Law of Christendom
In other words, the scope of Wycliffe’s book as outlined by MIP lends no credence to the idea that Wycliffe was commenting about the materials he had at hand in his own personal effort to translate the Word of God into English. Yet this is exactly how Riplinger uses Wycliffe’s words. Radical King James Onlyists like Riplinger, don’t want their readers to think critically, but they are compelled by true scholarship to look like they do by providing footnotes that, when examined, only serve to demonstrate how weak their case is.

2 responses

  1. Do you have Ian Levy’s translation of this book and can you tell me what was the context of this quotation? Gail Riplinger frequently removes portions of sentences from of their context and combines them with other excerpts so that the quote does not represent what author stated.

  2. John D. Chitty | Reply

    I do not have a copy of the book. When I saw the quote in Riplinger’s book, I hoped I could find an online text of the book, but never managed to track one down. But what I learned about the overall theme of the book was that it treated general truths regarding Scripture. In no way did I find any indication that Wycliffe reported his personal textual work in his translation. This certainly seems consistent with what you and so many others, who bother to examine Riplinger’s documentation, have found regardinhg her misuse of her sources. Bad scholarship all around. An utterly unreliable source.

    When you refered to Levy, I thought to Google him and here are a couple of links. Perhaps if you contact him with your questions regarding Riplinger’s treatment of Wycliffe’s words, he could enlighten you.

    Ian Christopher Levy’s email address is

    Levy is a professor at Lexington Theological Seminary. Here’s a link which details his credentials:

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