Considering Corrupt and Corrupting the Scriptures by John Trapp, 1650, on Proverbs 30:5-6

Verse 5. Every word of God is pure: he is a shield] Albeit all the sacred sentences contained in this blessed book are pure, precious and profitable, yet as one star in heaven outshineth another, so doth one Proverb another, and this is among the rest, velut inter stellas luna minores, and eminent sentence often recorded in Scripture, and far better worthy than ever Pindarus his seventh Ode was, to be written in letters of gold. Every word of God is pure, purer than gold tried in the fire, Rev. 3:17, purer than silver tried in a furnace of earth, and seven times purified, Psalm 12:6, 7. Julian (therefore the odious apostate) is not to be hearkened to, who said there was good stuff in Phocyllides as in Solomon, in Pindarus his Odes as in David’s Psalms. Nor is that brawling dog Porphyry to be regarded, who blasphemously accuseth Daniel the Prophet and Matthew the Evangelist, as writers of lies. Os durum! The Jesuits (some of them) say little less of Saint Paul’s Epistles, which they could wish by some means censured and reformed, as dangerous to be read, and favouring of heresy in some places. Traditions they commonly account the touchstone of doctrine, the foundation of faith, the Scriptures to be rather a Commonitorium, (as Bellarmine calls it,) a kind of storehouse of advice, then Cor [sp] animam Dei, the heart and soul of God, as Gregory calls them, a fortress against errors, as Augustine. The Apostle calleth concupiscence sin, at non liocet nobis ita loqui, but we may not call it so saith Possevine the Jesuit. The Author to the Hebrews saith, Marriage is honorable among all men. But the Rhemists on 1 Cor. 7:9 say that the marriage of Priests is the worst sort of incontinency. Christ saith the sin against the Holy Spirit hath no remission. Bellarmine saith that it may be forgiven. The Counsel of Constance comes in with a non-obstante against Christ’s institution, withholding the Cup from the people at the Sacrament. And the Parisian Doctor tells us that although the Apostle would have sermons and service celebrated in a known tongue, yet the Church for very good cause hath otherwise ordered it. Bishop Bonners Chaplain called the Bible in scorn, his little pretty God’s book, and judged it worthy to be burnt, tanquam doctrina peregrina, as strange doctrine. Gilford and Reynolds saith it contained some things prophane and apocryphal. Others have styled it the mother of heresy, and therefore not fit to be read by the common people, lest they suck poison out of it. Prodigious blasphemy! Of the purity and perennity of the holy Scriptures, see in my true treasure, page 85, 139.

He is a shield to them that put their trust in him] See Gen 15:1[1] with the note and Prov. 29:25.[2]

Verse 6. Add thou not unto his words] As the Jews at this day do by their traditions, which they arrogantly call Mashlamnutha Completion Perfectio: because they think that thereby the Law is completed and perfected, as the Artemonites, (and after them the schollmen) corrupted the Scripture out of Aristotle and Theophrastus, turning all into questions and quillets. As Mohomet joined his Alfurta his service book, an horrible heap of all blasphemies, to the three parts othe Holy Scriptures (as her divides them) the Law, Psalms, and Gospel: as the Papists add their human inventions, and unwritten verities: which they equalize unto, if not prefer before the book of God, as appears by their heathenish decree of the Council of Trent. And when the Counsel of Basil, the Hussites denied to receive any doctrine that could not be proved by Scripture, Cardinal Casun answered that the Scriptures were not of the being of the Church, but of well-being, and they were to be expounded, according to the current rite of the Church, which if it change its mind, the judgment of God is also changed. Lastly, such add to God’s word, as wrest and rack it, making it speak that which is never thought, causing it to go two miles where it would go but one, gnawing and tawing it to their own purposes, as the Shoemaker taws his upper leather with his teeth. Tertullian calls Marcion the heretic Mus Ponticus, of his eroding and gnawing the Scripture to make it serviceable to his errors.

Lest he reprove thee] Both verbally and penally; both with words and blows. Lest he severely punish thee, as one adds to his Will, or imbaseth[3] his coin.

And thou be found a liar] As all Popish forges and foysters[4] at this day are found to be. God hath ever raised up such as have detected their impostures and vindicated the purity and perfection of the sacred Scriptures.


John Trapp, Solomonis PANAPETOS: or, A Commentarie Upon the Books of PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES, and the Song of Songs (London: Printed by T.R. and E.M. John Bellamie, and are to be sold at his shop at the three golden Lyons in Corn-hil near the R. Exchange, 1650), 350-51.

[1] Gen. 15:1, “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

[2] Prov. 29:25, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” “This cowardly passion expectorates and exposes a man to many sins and sufferings. And albeit faith, when it is in heart, quelleth and killeth dreadful fear, and is therefore fitly opposed to it in this sacred sentence.” 343

[3] Imbase or embase (archaic): to lower especially in rank, dignity, or quality: DEBASE

[4] Foyster or foister (archaic): PICKPOCKET; obsolete: a palmer of dice: CHEAT, ROGUE. Trapp’s use of the word denoting deception and trickery is interesting. For the untrained, scholars utilize not reason but “sleight of hand” to deceive the simple.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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