“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” I Tim. 3:2-4
We, here at Christ The Way Bookstore, have taken a stand for the King James Bible (KJB) since the inception of this business. We believe the KJB is infallible as its Author has not only inspired His Word, but has also preserved His Word with that same power even unto this generation, (Psalm 2:6-7) and is forever settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89) Through the years we have sold only the KJB and rejected all others, because God told us in His Word that He is not the author of confusion. (I Cor. 14:33) God made a promise to you and I that, at this very moment, there would be a perfect Bible for us to read and study and to know of our Heavenly Father and that, because it would be as perfect as God Himself, there would be only one – not a plethora of versions with different words that contradict each other in many ways and on many levels. That said, I turn your attention to a group of teachings and commentary written by one, C.I. Scofield. Here is a man who truly and deeply influenced the doctrine of generations of Bible-believing Christians. Through his scripture teachings, long held doctrines have solidified themselves into the hearts of many even unto this very day. Now, God gave us a command to test all the Spirits, (I Thess. 5:21; I John 4:1), and to search the scriptures daily to see if these things are true, (Act 17:11), and hold to the doctrines and words that we know to be true and reject all the rest, (II Thess.2:15; II Tim.1:13), and even to anathematize the rest, or, in other words, let all others be accursed! (Gal. 1:8). So, we are to check our brethren out. Even Paul rebuked Peter openly for fearing a false doctrine of them that were of the circumcision, (Gal.2:11-21). So, what about this man, C.I. Scofield? I realize to some, particularly, many Bible scholars and Bible School students, this man is something of a golden calf through his teachings, but have we checked him out for ourselves? We should not simply adopt everything any man teaches without placing it against the mirror of God’s Word. If the reflection does not match, then we know the true original is not being reflected. Scofield’s life and doctrines are right out there, front and center, open for all to see and scrutinize and place against the mirror of the scriptures.
We should not simply adopt everything any man teaches without placing it against the mirror of God’s Word. If the reflection does not match, then we know the true original is not being reflected.
Before we have a look at some of C.I. Scofield’s teachings, let’s look at some qualifications. Firstly, did Mr. Scofield fill the requirements to be God’s man in the pulpit? This is obviously important, because if the requirement is not met then God will not be with the man as he leads the church and that man will wrought the work with his own hands under his own power. He would then be, as we have discussed in a previous newsletter entitled, an “Idol Shepherd”, merely a hireling that will scatter the sheep after the first sign of trouble. History has been showing the result of this cause in our churches. Just look around you, there are churches falling left and right for the world and the wiles of the Devil.
Notice The Qualifications of the Bishop:
Husband of one wife;
Of good behavior;
Given to hospitality;
Apt to teach;
Not given to wine,
Not greedy of filthy lucre;
Not a brawler,
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.
With that in mind, let’s find out a little more about Mr. Scofield.
Who was C.I. Scofield?
Cyrus Ingerson Scofield was born in Michigan, U.S.A. on August 19, 1843 and died on July 24, 1921. His parents were Elias and Abigail Goodrich Scofield, who were mainline Anglican, or Episcopalian. He had 6 siblings and was the last child. Shortly after his birth his Mother died and by age 17 Scofield was living with relatives in Lebanon, Tennessee along with his sisters.
In 1866, he married Leontine LeBeau Cerrè, a member of a prominent French Catholic family in St. Louis and had two daughters and one son. Scofield apprenticed at law and was elected to the House of Representatives for two terms, in 1871 and in 1872. On June 9, 1873, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him as the United States District Attorney of Kansas under Kansas Senator, John Ingalls at 29 yrs old, the youngest in the country. Just after a short 6 months, by December 20, 1873, he was forced to resign after allegations of corruption in office. According to a book by Michael Phillips entitled, White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001, Scofield was forced to resign because of questionable financial transactions including, accepting bribes from railroads, stealing political contributions intended for Ingalls, and securing bank promissory notes by forging signatures. According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, District of Kansas website:
“One of the most colorful U.S. Attorneys for the District of Kansas was Cyrus I. Schofield (1873). He was forced to resign from that position due to questionable financial transactions, and shortly thereafter found himself jailed in St. Louis on forgery charges.” [sic]
Scofield reportedly spent six months in the court house jail in St. Louis for forgery. He had also reportedly bilked his mother-in-law out of $1,300.00. Then, in December, 1874, his son, Guy, died and was buried in St. Louis. By 1879 his life had deteriorated to the extent that he drank heavily.
Then, in 1879 at the age of 36, Scofield was saved.
Less than three years later, in 1882, Scofield became the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Dallas, Texas. He remained there until he transferred his work to Northfield, Mass. in 1895. It is reported that in his first year of the pastorate he claimed to have a Doctor of Divinity degree, to which there is no information available as to who or where it was conferred upon him.
Following is an excerpt from the Topeka newspaper, The Daily Capital dated August 27, 1881, which, from my knowledge, was never challenged:
“CYRUS I. SCHOFIELD IN THE ROLE OF A CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER” – “Cyrus I. Schofield, formerly of Kansas, late lawyer, politician and shyster generally, has come to the surface again, and promises once more to gather around himself that halo of notoriety that has made him so prominent in the past. The last personal knowledge that Kansans have had of this peer among scalawags, was when about four years ago, after a series of forgeries and confidence games he left the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada. For a time he kept undercover, nothing being heard of him until within the past two years when he turned up in St. Louis, where he had a wealthy widowed sister living who has generally come to the front and squared up Cyrus’ little follies and foibles by paying good round sums of money. Within the past year, however, Cyrus committed a series of St. Louis forgeries that could not be settled so easily, and the erratic young gentleman was compelled to linger in the St. Louis jail for a period of six months.” It goes on say,
“Among the many malicious acts that characterized his career, was one peculiarly atrocious, that has come under our personal notice. Shortly after he left Kansas, leaving his wife and two children dependent upon the bounty of his wife’s mother, he wrote his wife that he could invest some $1,300 of her mother’s money, all she had, in a manner that would return big interest. After some correspondence he forwarded them a mortgage, signed and executed by one, Chas. Best, purporting to convey valuable property in St. Louis. Upon this, the money was sent to him. Afterwards the mortgages were found to be base forgeries, no such person as Charles Best being in existence, and the property conveyed in the mortgage fictitious…”
In 1883, his wife Leontine divorced him on grounds of desertion of her and his two children. That same year, Scofield remarried, Hettie Hall von Wartz.
It is reported that from 1901 until his death, Scofield was a member of a Gentlemen’s Club, or a private members-only club, in New York City called, Loto’s Club. The highbrow Loto’s Club merged with the Fellowcraft Club in 1892, (it is worth noting: the 2nd blue degree in Freemasonry is also called the “Fellowcraft” degree); and had some very rich and influential members such as author, Mark Twain and others who helped form the future of the U.S. (vis. One such Loto’s member suggested Woodrow Wilson for president in 1906. Shortly thereafter Wilson was elected and went on to set up the treasonous, Federal Reserve Act, 1913; as a result the U.S. was bankrupt by 1933.)
Scofield began the work on his Reference Bible in 1903 and after securing solid financial backing from a number of sources such as, Lyman Stewart, president of the Union Oil Co. of California; Francis E. Fitch, a member of the Plymouth Brethren and the head of a printing company which printed the New York Stock Exchange lists; Alwyn Ball, Jr., a real estate broker and member of the large New York real estate firm of Southack and Ball; John B. Buss, a St. Louis businessman; and John T. Pirie, owner and New York representative of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., the large Chicago department store. It is reported that Pirie owned a large estate at Sea Cliff on the north shore of Long Island, and it was there, in the summer of 1902, that the decision was made to proceed with the Reference Bible.(1.) After Scofield had secured financial backing, he was able to set aside most of his pastoral duties and spend almost full time on the project. It is reported that Scofield had plenty of money to travel with and did so extensively. As he wrote his reference notes, Scofield lived a very transient lifestyle. According to William A. BeVier:
“During the years he spent writing the Reference Bible, Scofield resided in a number of places. He first moved from East Northfield, Mass. back to Dallas, the scene of his first ministry, but in 1904 he decided to visit England and Montreux, Switzerland, where he remained for nine months. He returned to Dallas in 1905, but in 1906 we find him first in New York City and then in Ashuelot, New Hampshire, continuing the work. In the fall of 1906 he again left for Europe, remaining until the following summer. During his two trips abroad he lectured throughout the British Isles, as well as before English speaking audiences in Rome, Paris, and Berlin. He visited Palestine and studied in libraries at Oxford and in Geneva; Switzerland. In the summer of 1907 he was writing in Orion, Michigan. By the fall of 1908 he was living at 21 Fort Washington Ave., New York City.” (2.)
As for Scofield’s doctrine and position on the final authority of scriptures: Scofield was influenced by known occultists, Westcott and Hort. On the second page of the introduction to the first edition published in 1909, Scofield acknowledged that he had been influenced by two Oxford Bible scholars, B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort. In fact, it is reported that he preferred Westcott and Hort’s Revised Version (RV) over the KJV, but used the KJV, because it was more popular and hence, more lucrative. This resulted in many critical differences that were characterized in his notes, for example: Scofield did not believe in the infallibility of the KJV. His outline notes at II Thessalonians state, “The theme of Second Thessalonians is, unfortunately, obscured by a mistranslation of the A.V. …” referring to a translation of, “the day of Christ” where he says, “the day of the Lord” should be.
Scofield also taught a form of hyper-dispensationalism of the Laodecean church in the book of Revelation. Scofield called this time period, “the Laodecean Age”. This doctrine was made popular in fundamentalist evangelical circles at that time and is still widely taught even until this day. Many fundamental pastors speak unequivocally of this Laodecean Age in which a lukewarm apostate church will arise and grow. Have you ever asked yourself where this teaching comes from? This is classic Scofield doctrine on the seven churches. The fact is: the church has been falling away since Jesus day. Paul even preached warnings against it to the churches in his day. Yes, the churches are becoming lukewarm today but, the scriptures reveal: all seven churches of Revelation are represented from Jesus time until today.
Scofield also accepted the “gap theory” and taught it in his notes. It is widely accepted that Scofield was instrumental for spreading this view through his commentary in his old and new reference notes. One such example is found in the old edition of the Scofield Reference Bible, the gap theory is furthered in connected with Genesis 1 (p. 3, notes 2, 3) stating, “clearly indicate that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of divine judgment. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe. There are not wanting imitations which connect it with a previous testing and fall of angels.” Clearly, this doctrine fits nicely with an evolutionist worldview, in particular, pertaining to the age of the earth. For years it was taught that the world was only thousands of years old. However, since the early 1800’s, with this gap teaching, there is room for the world to be billions of years old. The resulting danger is the slippery slope of evolution that leads to other worldly philosophies, ultimately to pantheism, panentheism and atheism.
It would seem to me that Scofield was found to be a very interesting individual in his day. He was certainly very intelligent and obviously sophisticated enough to convince other intelligent people to his way of thinking. But, the Bible teaches us, “to have respect of persons is not good, for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” (Prov.28:21); and, “for there is no respect of persons with God”, (Romans 2:11). From Scofield’s life, we can answer our question whether Scofield should ever have been in the pulpit as the overseer of a flock. It would seem abundantly clear that, while he was intelligent enough, he was fallen in a number of key areas, such as: being remarried while the first wife was still alive, his seeming love of money and allure of the world, and not remaining blameless by belonging to secret clubs where his anonymity would be preserved. It is found he would not stand with God’s promises from His Word about preservation of the scripture, but instead, siding with critical scholars, occultists such as Westcott and Hort, and expound their famous lies. He taught the modern teachings of the day in his notes, on the gap theory, forms of hyper-dispensationalism, and other heresies that are unproven, unsound, and unnecessary. Further, Scofield’s work was strangely wrought from what appears to be his own effort, and in this authors opinion, severely lacks the good testimony of prayer and the funding involvement from his own church. Conversely, it would appear that much of the funding came from business relationship sources that may have borne an unequal yoke.
Finally, the verse comes to mind: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20). The Bible says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8) So, why do we continue to read and support such a commentary? I know there are those scholars that would be very upset with this, but we need to be prepared to cast out all those things that would so easily beset us. The Bible says to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. The Bible says to rebuke them sharply. So, we at least need to make a prayerful decision. Do we hold fast to those things that we have always believed to be or do we, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” ? (I Thess. 5:21) ~R.
- Jordan, David Starr – http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/rapture/chapter7.htm
- BeVier, William A. — “A Biographical Sketch of C. I. Scofield” — A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Southern Methodist University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts with a Major in History — 1960 – pp. 72-81.
© 2012 Remi Fernhout