Brethren Archive

Philip Mauro

Born: 7th January 1859
Died: 7th April 1952

Intro, Biographical Information, Notes etc:

Charles North said ...
I have always loved and sought the writings of Philip Mauro. My pastor of 45 yrs. ago , the Rev. Lawrence L. Foster, originally of Manassas, VA., told me of his meeting with Mauro near the end of his life. He told me there were few who could pray and teach like Bro. Mauro. I continue to collect and read his writings to this day. Thank you for speaking so well of him.
Saturday, Apr 9, 2022 : 03:12
Seeker said ...
Thanks for this collection. The very last one you list is a truly amazing compilation and a rather full visual into a topic obfuscated by bickering and large scale publishing royalties nowadays: few have any idea of the academic resistance in the 19th century and early 20th century to the NT texts underlying the 1881 Revised Version Bible. I mean it’s mentioned at a cursory level but that is like a ladies tea discussion versus a Mauro parking a battleship sitting offshore of the squalid RV academic borough and pounding the shab buildings with salvo after salvo…. 120 pages of densely packed quotations, rebuttal and intense discussion of the machinations and issues with Westcott & Hort’s Frankenstein … as well as the pseudo-methodology they instituted. Modern scholarship has perpetuated and resurrected this beast like some sort of Alexandrian mummy.
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 : 11:49
Syd said ...
Illustrious words, but spot on. Sadly Mauro’s prediction: “It is now more than forty years—the Scriptural period of full probation—since the R.V. appeared; and as we contemplate the existing situation (in the year 1924) the most conspicuous fact that presents itself to our view is that the New Version (in either or both of its forms) has not superseded the A.V., and that there is not the faintest indication that it will ever do so,” would sadly not pass the test.

Apart from JN Darby’s “textually critical” version (it reaches into the critical texts), which came out soon after the RV, it was soon after Mauro’s death that the NASB appeared, then the NIV, and so forth. The W&H text has spawned every modern version today. We thank the Lord for men like Scrivener, Dean Burgon and others who most ably exposed the “fraudulent handling” of W&H during the revision, but modern scholars scoff at this.

W. Hoste wrote a good paper on the RV debacle; not on this site under his name, but here it is -
Thursday, Oct 20, 2022 : 22:10
Theodore said ...
Reading Daniel Hummels book about dispensationalism, it refers to a booklet of him from 1927 "How long the end?". I just would like to know why he became so anti-dispensationalist. Can it be read/download somewhere here?
Monday, Dec 11, 2023 : 01:26
Martin Arhelger said ...


Hoste's text is from "The Witness" 1931, p. 225-228.

I hope this was never published separately, because it is one-sided as to textual critizism. May I recommend to read carefully the prefaces of JND's German and French Bible translations? They date from 1855 and 1859 and are older than the RV, but also more objective and accurate than Hoste's article. See here:

You should also read the "preface" and the "introduction” of C. E. Stuart's "Textual Criticism of the New Testament for English Bible Students", see here:    (unfortunately the preface is missing in this version).


Monday, Dec 11, 2023 : 20:46
Martin Arhelger said ...

Stuart's second edition (including the "Preface") is here: and here:
I also have the 3rd edition which I put here for some days:


Monday, Dec 11, 2023 : 22:22
Syd said ...

Thanks Martin; these are helpful for all who are interested in the subject of textual criticism. Yes, I have read Stuart’s excellent treatise, and JND’s overview in both of his prefaces of the history of available MSS, their uses, transmission and the work of editors, is well documented.

We know today where textual criticism has taken us. Nearly every English translation since the 1881 Revision, has used the “critical Greek text” for its basis. There are really only two groups or streams—the “received text” or “critical Greek text.” The translators of the AV were also critical of course, but for them it was rather about the textual basis of Scripture, rather than the textual criticism of Scripture. The latter has become the norm.

Mr Darby didn’t follow the W&H approach; his commitment to and love for the Word of God is well-known, and shines through. Yet he adopted an informed critical approach and leaned much on the “agreements” among the editors. So what became known as “the earliest and best MSS,” often took preference. Mr Darby refers to “the very old Sinaitic manuscript.” This Sinai MS (called the “oldest Bible in the world”) was found to have over 14 000 corrections; made by many different scribes. Its agreement with the Alexandrian Codex is also poor, yet these two codices, with some others, have become the touchstone of NT translation.

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 : 02:43
Martin Arhelger said ...

First of all: To save W. Hoste'shonour, it should be said that he did not defend the readings of the AV as blindly as one might expect from his article. For example, he has seen that in Rev 22,19 the reading "book of life" is wrong and should read "tree of life". (Hoste, W.: The Visions of John the Divine, p. 191). To put it more sharply: the words "book of life" in this verse are erroneous human words and not the infallible word of God. On the other hand, Mauro apparently considers the wrong reading of the "book of life" (in Rev 22:19) to be correct, see his book "The Patmos Visions - A Study of the Apocalypse", p. 541.


Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 : 03:51
Martin Arhelger said ...

Darby followed the old Manuscripts (what you call the “critical” text) in much more cases than the Textus Receptus (which is the basis of the AV). The same is true of W. Kelly and C. E. Stuart (see their translations in their expositions). Without having counted I would guess that JND, WK und CES did not follow the Textus Receptus in about 80% of the cases, where the Textus Receptus and the “critical text” differ.
In fact Darby’s German translation (called “Elberfelder” from the first place of print) became the first widespread NT-translation in Germany which did NOT follow the Textus Receptus any longer.
BTW: We have much older Manuscripts today, for example the Papyri, see here:
It becomes more and more difficult to defend the readings of the Textus Receptus (and the AV) today while having papyri dating from the second (!) century which do NOT have the Textus Receptus of the AV.

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 : 04:21
Timothy Stunt said ...

It's very easy to make Westcott and Hort the whipping boys, but to do so is manifestly mistaken. Long before W&H produced their 'critical' text, scholars were questioning the reliability of the textus receptus and, as has rightly been pointed out by Martin Arhelger, JND, WK and CES were often among their number. Without questioning JND's 'commitment to and love for the Word of God', it is only fair to remember that the defenders of the textus receptus did not have a monopoly of respect for scripture. As I have shown in my recent biography of 'a Forgotten Scholar', Samuel Prideaux Tregelles was a lifelong exponent of the plenary inspiration of Scripture as well as a relentless critic of the textus receptus.                    Timothy Stunt

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2023 : 23:17
Steve H said ...
Which English version of the Bible (Old & New Testaments), is the most accurate?

Or, to ask the question another way, which is the least inaccurate?

Some (especially, modern paraphrase) versions, do not even pretend to be accurate translations, but were produced to help the reader to more easily understand it.

Other versions were published with specific groups of people in mind - e.g. The Messianic Jewish Family Bible - Tree of Life Version.

Steve H
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 : 07:40
Mark Best said ...

I suggest in the matter of Bible translation the more accurate the rendering the better. However, modern versions or so called “modern paraphrase versions” are based on the notion of “dynamic equivalence” as opposed to the “formal equivalence” translation method of the Authorised King James Version and the Darby Translation. 

I am well aware that Greek words have areas of meaning, and depending on the context, might be translated by different words in English. It is impossible therefore always to translate one Greek word everywhere it occurs by the same English word. 

However, I find that these “modern paraphrase versions” – and I refrain from calling them "translations" – go further and tend to follow one another in perpetuating the same errors. For example, Psalm 2 verse 7, and as quoted in Hebrews 1 verse 5, is frequently rendered as, “You are my Son, today I have become your Father.” 

These “translators” might think that is what it means but that is not what either the Hebrew text for the Psalm or the Greek text in Hebrews says. Nor indeed means that. Doubtless it is done to avoid the archaic verb “to beget”, but as with all subjects, words specific to them of necessity must be learnt. Such, for example, is the case for Science lessons in schools. This certainly applies to youngsters of secondary school age if not earlier. 

Modern paraphrase versions here are teaching incarnational sonship and would satisfy those who deny the eternal sonship of Christ. 

Another paraphrase supported by those of the dynamic equivalence school is found in Psalm 8 verse 4. In the NLT it is rendered, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? The NIV is hardly better with, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them.” Why render as plural in English verbs which are in the singular in the Hebrew text? Similarly, with the nouns and objective pronouns. 

The rendering of Hebrews 2 verse 6 in the NIV is hardly better: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?” The question might well be asked, ‘Who is this Son of Man?’ (Jn. 12.34). Thankfully, the Bible supplies the answer: 'But we see Jesus' (Heb. 2.9). 

Sadly, these sorts of blunders are found all over the place. Even worse is that “modern paraphrase versions” are corrupting the Bible in attempt to suit the world, a world that rejects God and His Christ. 

The KJV has its limitations, but it has been valuable for committing to memory Bible verses or even whole chapters to memory. Meditation is not to be underestimated. The Darby Translation is more accurate for reasons already discussed on this website. 

We believe the Book we are considering to be divinely inspired, the word of God. For young children, many Bible story books have been written, but let us not make the Holy Bible itself into a story book! 

Mark Best 

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 : 19:42
Timothy Stunt said ...
Discussion concerning translation, dynamic equivalence or modern paraphrase can only be a secondary concern if there is no agreement on the text of the original. What we are translating has to be decided before we ask how to translate it.
Timothy Stunt
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 : 20:21
Mark Best said ...

As already pointed out above, J N Darby, William Kelly, F W Grant, and other leading teachers among "brethren" did not keep to the Textus Receptus. Indeed JND examined numerous ancient manuscripts, some only recently discovered in his day, in his translation work. 

However, is there any Greek text which does not have in Psalm 2 verse 7 or in the first part of Hebrews 1 verse 5 which is quoting it fom the Septuagint, 'huios mou ei su, ego semeron gegenneka se'? There is no word 'pater' in the Greek text of Hebrews 1 verse 5a. Nor is the verb there 'ginomai' but 'gennao'

(Incidentally, I am not dealing here with the second part of Hebrews 1 verse 5 - Heb. 1.5b - and its citation of 2 Samuel 7 verse 14 in the Septuagint where indeed the word 'pater' does occur.) 

I also add that there is no word for "Father" - 'ab - in Psalm 2 verse 7 in the Hebrew, and the Septuagint translation is pretty accurate to the Hebrew here, allowing for the differences in their verb conjugation. 

In other words, whatever text is used, there is no excuse for making out that [supposely] said to the Son as being, “Today I have become your Father.” 

The modern way of "translation" by "dynamic equivalence" is to give us what the “translators” consider to be the "meaning" and is going down the dangerous line of making their version a running commentary based on their own ideas rather than a true translation. 

We now have "gender neutral translations" made to suit the present trends in the World that ignore the fact that 'God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them' (Gen. 1:27, Darby Translation). 

The disregarding of this is leading to confusion, not only in the World, but sadly, now in the Church. It started with the abandonment of the head-covering for the women, the dispute concerning women bishops, and now, churches where everyone whatever their preferred "sexual orientation" is welcome to join – I mean as church members; not as being unwelcome to hear the Gospel, of course. 

In the Gospel, the invitation goes out to all, "whosoever will may come." But there is such a thing as conversion, "changed lives" as they say, being born again, having new life in Christ. 'Repent therefore and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins’ (Acts 3.19, Darby). Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ' (Acts 20.21, Darby). 

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 : 21:45
Timothy Stunt said ...

This exchange was originally concerned with Philip Mauro's powerful opposition to the Revised Version of 1881 and the version's dependence on the Westcott and Hort text. In the course of this exchange the bête noir has now become something entirely different and I am merely pointing out that the RV never countenanced the sort of dynamic equivalence which is now under attack. On the other hand the word 'pater' does occur [Hebrews i.5] in both Westcott and Hort and in the textus receptus. Changing the subject does not win the argument. Timothy Stunt

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2023 : 23:12
Mark Best said ...

I have now made clearer (I hope) by relevant changes to my earlier comment that it is the citation of Psalm 2 verse 7 in the first part of Hebrews 1 verse 5 - i. e. Heb. 1.5a - to which I was referring, and not the second part of Hebrews 1 verse 5 - Heb 1.5b, if I may so put it. 

Yes, the citation from 2 Samuel 7 verse 14 in Hebrews 1 verse 5b does indeed have the word 'pater' in both texts mentioned, and I am looking at both the Received Text and a BFBS Nestle-Aland Greek text which is based among others on that of Westcott and Hort. 

However, the second part of Hebrews 1 verse 5 - Heb. 1.5b - was not my concern. I was concentrating on Psalm 2 verse 7 in which there is no 'pater' in the Greek Septuagint, nor is there in its citation in both texts in Hebrews 1 verse 5a. 

Sorry, I should have made that clear.

Whatever the failings of the Revised Version of 1881 and the use of Westcott and Hort, it is of relative minor concern compared with the more recent use of so-called dynamic equivalence in translation. Simply put: if it doesn't say it, it doesn't mean it. 

Irrespective of the text used as the basis for translation, this method is fraught with danger in terms of the translator's doctrinal bias creeping in, indeed sometimes even destroying the significance of a word or expression. The examples stated earlier are enough to show it. 

Comments might well now return to Philip Mauro and the matter of textual criticism, but the question of accuracy in translation had been raised.   

Thursday, Dec 14, 2023 : 00:03
Syd said ...
Perhaps lastly from my side on the topic of textual criticism and the textual base we might trust. Timothy is right about the issue being on, “agreement on the text of the original. What we are translating has to be decided before we ask how to translate it.”

Mr Darby wisely and transparently said in his preface to his German and French testaments that for the majority of Bible readers, knowledge of MSS, textual criticism, etc, is wanting, so he explained how he went about choosing the best text. And so every Greek scholar, translator or editor today is deciding on the best text, as long as it is not the Textus Receptus.

How do we agree on the text of the original? Recently an elderly brother said in a meeting that the phrase in 1 Cor 11:24, “this is my body which, is broken for you,” was the wrong translation because (1) not one bone of the Lord’s body was broken, and (2) the phrase is not in the original; rather it should be: “this is my body which is for you.” If the latter is indeed the original, then it is plain wrong to teach, write or sing about the “broken body” of the Lord, because it is fact that 1 Cor 11:24 has inspired every mention of it over hundreds of years. Theodoret of Cyrus (393-457 AD) writes in his Dialogue III: “After taking and breaking it and giving it to His disciples He said, ‘This is my body which was given for you’ (Luk 22:19), or according to the apostle ‘broken’ (1 Cor 11:24).” What evidence did he have for “broken body”? Various church fathers of the 3rd and 4th centuries quote from Scripture the “broken body” in their homilies and liturgies. What “original” did they use?

Is “tree of life” or “book of life” of Rev 22:19 in the original? One you eat of; the other we find our names in; or not. Now it is claimed (seems to have originated with Bengel) that Erasmus back-translated the last six verses of Rev 22 from the Latin Vulgate because they were missing in the Greek MS he was using. This claim is somewhat spurious as has been shown by some scholars. There are Greek minuscules in which the words "book of life" are found. But then the ordinary believer may consider the internal evidence which is quite compelling. The application of “tree of life” in the three places in the NT (excluding Rev 22:19) is different from the application of “book of life” in the eight places in the NT (including Rev 22:19) . Mauro, in this regard, perhaps demands a closer look.
Thursday, Dec 14, 2023 : 02:04
Mark Best said ...

Once the matter of the "best text" has been assembled and decided upon (and the brothers named earlier used others besides the Received Text, in numerous places departing from it), the question is then how to translate it: formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence? 

I suggest, the answer lies somewhere between the two; not by any means abandoning the former, but within reason, as close as possible to it; certainly not entirely the latter, the result then being merely a paraphrase. 

Darby in his translation favours “this is my body which is for you” in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 24 and “tree of life” in Revelation 22 verse 19. 

I am mindful that "this exchange was originally concerned with Philip Mauro's powerful opposition to the Revised Version of 1881 and the version's dependence on the Westcott and Hort text." 

However, suppose the very best text is now available, with or without Westcott and Hort, what is the point of having it if the "translation" into English hardly represents it? 

Take for instance, the "Good News Translation." Among claims made is that it is "a true translation" and  is "accurate and reliable." 

Well, let us consider that most simple but profound writer, the Apostle John. In the GNT for John 1 verse 3, I read, "Through him God made all things." However, where has the word "God" come from? There is no word 'Theos' here in the Greek. It misses the point that the Word Himself is the One through Whom all things came into being. Hence the significance of 'the Word'  is lost. Similarly in verse 10. 

Take verse 14: "We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father's only Son." Where is there in any Greek text the notion here stated that the Word "received" this glory? If so, when did He receive it? Was it when He became flesh - a human being to put it that way - or was it eternally His glory as being the 'only-begotten' of the Father as seen by John and the other apostles in the Word as now incarnate ? It was not a "received" glory. I venture to say that it is the glory of His own eternal Person as the Eternal Son. 

These are only two examples out of the many. 

My conclusion is that this "Good News Translation" is hardly what it professes to be. A claim made is, "It is easy to read and uses understandable modern English." That might be so, but that does not make it a reliable and trustworthy translation. In fact, looking at a Greek New Testament, whether the Textus Receptus or Nestle-Aland text, it is hard in places to see the correspondence. 

Keeping with the opening verses of John 1, the New Living Translation is only marginally better, with words appearing for which again there is no equivalent in the Greek. And yet, conversely, some verses are compressed with words ignored. For example, there is nothing that corresponds exactly with 'tois pisteuousin eis to onoma outou' in verse 12. Not to mention 'His name' is a serious omission. 

Elsewhere the cases of nouns are disregarded, nominatives are translated as though in the accusative case, genitives as though nominative. Verbs are not treated accurately with tenses changed, the passive voice replaced by the active, the subjuctive mood becoming an infinitive, etc. Verbs even somehow becoming nouns. 

What is the point of having the best texts available if this sort of mess is made out of them? 

Returning to the GNT, what are we to make of this "translation" of Hebrews 1 verse 3? "After achieving forgiveness for the sins of all human beings, he sat down in heaven at the right side of God, the Supreme Power." 

This is not translation. It is paraphrasing at its worst.

Not only is the purging or making purification of sins missed, the whole point of the Hebrew epistle, but it amounts to universalism. 

(If "forgiveness" had been meant, the word in the Greek would have been 'aphesin' - the accusative of 'aphesis' - but instead it is 'katharismon' - the accusative of 'katharismos' - meaning "purification" or "cleansing". There is nothing whatever in the Greek about "all human beings" even though in the KJV it reads, 'when he had by himself purged our sins', that being based on the TR, but there it concerns the sins of believers in Christ, and theirs only.) 

And what about this? "But even though he was God's Son, he learned through his sufferings to be obedient." (Heb. 5.8 GNT.) 

These are citations from something promoted as "a clear and simple modern translation that is faithful to the original Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic texts. The GNT is a highly trusted version." 

A school pupil would have had it all crossed out in red line and told to do it again --- and this time ... properly ! 

I am pretty sure that Mr Mauro would have had much to say concerning not only the texts now being used but also the modern methods used in translation. 

But enough from me. 

Thursday, Dec 14, 2023 : 03:08
Martin Arhelger said ...


It's obvious that you've been taken in by false information. Please learn the real facts.

I will confine myself to Rev 22:19.

We have hundreds of Greek manuscripts of the Apocalypse. But NONE of these Greek manuscripts prior to 1500 has “book of life” in Rev. 22:19. No, not one.

There are two manuscripts with „book of life”, both from the 16th century, but both manuscripts were (more or less) copied from printed editions of the Textus Receptus (first issued in the 1510th.) That’s not “spurious” but the truth.

Erasmus created this false Greek reading in Rev 22:19 because in the manuscript, which he used to print his Greek New Testament, some verses or words were missing at the end of Rev 22. So Erasmus himself retranslated his Latin text back to Greek and his Latin text had the false reading “book of life” (Latin: libro vitae) instead of “tree of life” (Latin: ligno vitae). Erasmus himself had to admit in some places of his writings that he had retranslated a few passages of the book of Revelation from Latin into Greek.

If someone seriously wants to hold on to the "book of life" reading of Rev 22:19 this person virtually says that the Catholic scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (ca. 1467 - 1536) was a writer of the New Testament and what he wrote became the inspired word of God!

Read also "The Bile Treasury", vol. 14, p. 320. Kelly summarizes: “the Revisers agree with all critics, it is a question of ‘the tree,’ not of the ‘book’ of life here, an error due to Latin influence, though even then the form would be incorrect as before.“ (Kelly speaks of the missing article before βίβλου and that it should have been βιβλίου and not βίβλου. That is, if „out of the book of life“ were the right reading in Rev 22:19 , it should be ἀπὸ τοῦ βιβλίου τῆς ζωῆς and not ἀπὸ βίβλου τῆς ζωῆς.)


Friday, Dec 15, 2023 : 04:30
Syd said ...

Martin and interested readers

Over 400 years ago, 47 of the most learned Hebrew and Greek scholars and devoted servants of God, produced what is commonly known as the Authorised Version of the Bible (also KJV). As the preface records—To that purpose there were many chosen, that were greater in other men's eyes than in their own, and that sought the truth rather than their own praise ….they came or were thought to come to the work, learned, not to learn.

One thing we need to remember—God inspired and preserved His Word. How did He do this, let’s say, through the 1500 years until we have a Greek text for a complete NT? One day we’ll know just how God in His providence, wisdom and grace intervened, enabled and protected to preserve His Word.

On the issue of Rev 22:16-21, precisely how Erasmus went about supplying the Greek for this portion that was missing from the Reuchlin MS is still not certain. We know from his Annotations on the NT that “we have added from the Latin.” But he did not just use the Latin Vulgate as such. In his Greek NT, he had one column in Greek, accompanied by his own new Latin translation in another column. So the Latin and the Greek (Textus Receptus) are similar in the last six verse of Rev 22.

There is also the matter of minuscule 2049 of the 16th century that scholars suggest provided a source of the Greek for Erasmus. Now of course some scholars find fault with this. But Erasmus settled on his Greek NT, and so we have the Textus Receptus.

Now one may quibble back and forth. A MS in the hand is one thing, and we thank God for every piece He preserved and which has found its way into our excellent versions. But how God used these devoted scholars, NOT to supply Scripture themselves! but to find His words through meticulous searching, scrutiny, consultation and agreement - and to preserve Scripture as the 1611 translators said - we may not fully know whilst still on earth.

Let Scripture interpret Scripture as it should. Let it be the Word itself, and not a textual variant, that teaches us the applications of the “tree of life” and the “book of life.”

For the reader who is interested in the subject of textual criticism and why we find so many Bible versions, there are many sources on this website that will give some insight. If anything, the discussion has perhaps inspired some to research.

Friday, Dec 15, 2023 : 23:50
Steve H said ...
Mark, Martin, Syd &Timothy,

Thank you or your recent contributions, and I certainly hope that this discussion has prompted some additional research.

I was expecting even more lively discussion from a wider variety of contributors, and more versions of the Bible to be mentioned - I have about sixteen different English Language versions in book form, and also use e-Sword, where it is easy to "compare" ( on screen) many versions of a particular verse or "parallel" larger passages of at least four versions.

Every blessing,

Steve H
Saturday, Dec 16, 2023 : 01:50

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