Francis Bacon and James 1st Bible
[There is no better English written this side of Shakespeare than that in the King James Translation.”-Charlton Heston 1992]
The 1611 King James Bible is ornamented with Bacon’s symbols and in my own special copy of the record edition, also dated 1611, these symbols are Rosicrucianly marked to call the attention of the initiated to them and to tell them that the 1611 Bible is without possibility of doubt, one of Bacon’s books…..When Bacon was born, English as a literary language did not exist, but once he died he had succeeded in making the English language the noblest vehicle of thought ever possessed by mankind. This he accomplished merely by his Bible and his Shakespeare.” –Edwin D. Lawrence author of Bacon is Shakespeare and The Shakespeare Myth from a lecture October 9, 1912
…The Bible which all of us read and admire from a literary point of view because of it’s peculiar and beautiful English was written in that form by Bacon who invented and perfected that style of English expression. The first editions of this Bible were printed under the same guidance and in the same manner as were the Shakespeare plays, and the ornaments for the various pages were drawn in pen and ink and on wood by artists engaged by Bacon who worked under his supervision. Everyone of the ornaments concealed some Rosicrucian emblem and occasionally a Masonic emblem or some initials that would reveal Bacon’s name or the name of the Rosicrucians. Such ornaments were put not only in the Christian Bible that Bacon had rewritten but in the Shakespeare plays, and in some of Bacon’s own books, and a few other books that were typically Rosicrucinan in spirit.– Dr. H Spencer Lewis Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order during the 1920-30’s, from the Rosicrucian Digest, April 1930
The first edition of the King James Bible, which was edited by Francis Bacon and prepared under Masonic supervision, bears more Mason’s marks than the Cathedral of Strasburg.-Manly P. Hall, from a lecture Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins 1929
Bacon edited the Authorised Version of the Bible printed in 1611. Dr. Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, one of the chief translators, was Bacon’s close friend. The MSS are missing. That Bacon revised the manuscripts before publication is certain. Neither Bilston nor Miles, to whom the MSS were entrusted for final revision, could have given the world such a literary masterpiece. We have their writings. They are mediocre, barren of style, lacking the creative touch.- Alfred Dodd, Francis Bacon’s Life-Story 1986
Title page of the 1611 King James Bible.
Francis Bacon and the James 1st Bible
By A. E. Loosley
In the correspondence columns of Baconiana of January 1948, there appeared a letter on the above subject from Earle Cornwall. In it he says:
Here of late I have been reading a bound volume or two of the Baconian booklets, two years earlier Baconiana Magazine, and the Life of Alice Barnham and Thos. Meautys, all from curiosity concerning Bacon’s life. He was surely a fascinating character. I have as yet no “Life” of Bacon.
Somewhere I have seen one of those short references to his connection with the translation and publication of King James’ Holy Bible, 1611 — at least the statement that he had some connection with this great work. Yet in my recent search I cannot find any reference whatever to Bacon and the Bible: if he was connected with it he should have credit.
I own a set of Enyclopaedia Americana (1941 latest ed.) which is the counterpart of the Britannica in size and number of volumes. Under “Bacon” I find a generous four-page article by Frederick N. Robinson, Prof. of English, Harvard University; a mention of Bacon’s full literary activities, but not a word on Holy Bible. Then under “Holy Bible” dozens of pages by Wm. Berry Smith and under “King James’ Version” a record of the 47 translators, “including three or four ancient and grave divines,” who worked seven years on the project; again no word of Bacon.
May I, in reply to the inquiry, contribute a little light on the subject? Some years ago, I forget how many, I came to the conclusion that Francis Bacon was mainly, if not entirely, responsible for a threefold undertaking, (1st) the Shakespearian Plays; (2nd) the creation in its present form of Freemasonry, and (3rd) the translation of the Holy Bible into its present well-known Authorised Version. The three were undoubtedly intermingled. All three had very largely the same foundation, the training Bacon received from his foster-mother, Lady Ann Bacon, who was very devoted in her religious beliefs and practise. The young Francis would unquestionably be largely influenced by Lady Ann’s guidance.
Bacon evidently knew his Bible very well, and it is my belief that the whole scheme of the Authorised Version was his. He was an ardent student, not only of the Bible but of the early manuscripts. St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and writers of the theological works, were studied by him with industry. He has left his annotations in many copies of the Bible and in scores of theological works. The translation must have been a work in which he took the greatest interest; in fact, it may well be he inspired it. He would follow its progress from stage to stage, and when the last stage came there was only one writer of the period capable of turning the phrases with the matchless style which is the great charm, and is so abundantly evident, in the Authorised Version and the Shakespearian plays. Whoever that stylist was, he produced a result which, on its literary merits, is without a rival.
I have been able, quite recently, to clear up one point of possible doubt and at the same time to establish a claim for its certainty. It was in connection with that 46th Psalm, in which, in the Authorised Version, the 46th word from the beginning is “shake” and the 46th from the end is “spear.” Such an arrangement–especially in the 46th Psalm–would be a most remarkable coincidence if it were not intentionally so arranged. In order to satisfy myself on the question, I sought an opportunity of comparing the wording in the Authorised Version with that in one of the earlier versions. I have now been able to satisfy myself that it was not a coincidence at all, but was plainly the result of deliberate planning. I give below, side by side, the wording of the first three and last three verses in the “Breeches” Bible and that in the Authorised Version. In the former the 47 words up to the word “Shake” and the 44 words from “Spear” to the end of the Psalm were altered to 46 in each case in the Authorised Version.
There are thus three 46’s in the Psalm, but it is possible, and I hope admissable, to count a fourth 46. It is recorded that there were 47 divines entrusted by King James with the work of translation. If Francis Bacon was counted as one, though he was probably only in charge of the whole undertaking from a literary standpoint, that would leave 46 as the actual divines entrusted with the translation work, with Bacon as the final editor. If this be true, and I feel one is justified in believing it, a very interesting light is thrown on the keen working of Bacon’s mind. The trick would be one in which he would take a keen delight.
From William Smedley’s, The Mystery of Francis Bacon
THE AUTHORIZED VERSION OF THE BIBLE 1611
Is it not strange that there is no mention of any connection of Francis Bacon with this work? There was a conference held at Hampton Court Palace before King James on January, 1603, between the Episcopalians and Puritans. John Rainoldes urged the necessity of providing for his people a uniform translation of the Bible. Rainoldes was the leader of the Puritans, a person of prodigious reading and doctrine, and the very treasury of erudition. Dr. Hall, Bishop of Norwich, reports that “he alone was a well furnished library, full of all faculties, of all studies, of all learning–the memory and reading of that man were near a miracle.” The King approved the suggestion and commissioned for that purpose fifty-four of the most learned men in the universities and other places. There was a “careful selection of revisers made by some unknown but very competent authority.” The translators were divided into six bands of nine each, and the work of translation was apportioned out to them.
A set of rules was drawn up for their guidance, which has happily come down to modern times–almost the only record that remains of this great undertaking. These concise rules have a homogeneity, breadth and vigour which point to Bacon as their author. Each reviser was to translate the whole of the original allocated to his company; then they were to compare their translations together, and, as soon as a company had completed its part, it was to communicate the result to the other companies, that nothing might pass without the general consent. If any company, upon the review of the translation so sent, differed on any point, they were to note their objection and state their reasons for disagreement. If the differences could not be adjusted, there was a committee of arbitration which met weekly, consisting of a representative from each company, to whom the matter in dispute was referred. If any point was found to be very obscure, letters were to be addressed, by authority, to learned persons throughout the land inviting their judgment. The work was commenced in 1604. Rainoldes belonged to the company to whom Isaiah and the prophets were assigned. He died in 1607, before the work was completed. During his illness his colleagues met in his bedroom so that they might retain the benefit of his learning. Only forty-seven out of the fifty-four names are known. When the companies had completed their work, one complete copy was made at Oxford, one at Cambridge, and one at Westminster. Those were sent to London. Then two members were selected from each company to form a committee to review and polish the whole. The members met daily at Stationers’ Hall and occupied nine months in their task. Then a final revision was entrusted to Dr. Thomas Bilson and Dr. Miles Smith, and in 1609 their labours were completed and the result was handed to the King. Many of the translators have left specimens of their writing in theological treatises, sermons, and other works. A careful perusal of all these available justifies the assertion that amongst the whole body there was not one man who was so great a literary stylist as to be able to write certain portions of the Authorised Version, which stamp it as one of the two greatest examples of the English language. Naturally the interest centres on Dr. Thomas Bilson and Dr. Miles Smith, to whom the final revision was entrusted.
There are some nine or ten theological works by the former and two sermons by the latter. Unless the theory of a special divine inspiration for the occasion be admitted, it is clear that neither Bilson nor Miles Smith could have given the final touches to the Bible. And now a curious statement has come down to us. In 1609 the translators handed their work to the King, and in 1610 he returned it to them completed. James was incapable of writing anything to which the term beautiful could be applied. What had happened to the translators’ work whilst it was left in his hands?
James had an officer of state at that time of whom a contemporary biographer wrote that “he had the contrivance of all King James his Designs, until the match with Spain.” It will eventually be proved that the whole scheme of the Authorised Version of the Bible was Francis Bacon’s. He was an ardent student not only of the Bible, but of the early manuscripts. St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and writers of theological works, were studied by him with industry. He has left his annotations in many copies of the Bible and in scores of theological works. The translation must have been a work in which he took the deepest interest and which he would follow from stage to stage. When the last stage came there was only one writer of the period who was capable of turning the phrases with that matchless style which is the great charm of the Shakespeare plays. Whoever that stylist was, it was to him that James handed over the manuscripts which he received from the translators. That man then made havoc of much of the translation, but he produced a result which, on its literary merits, is without an equal.
Thirty years ago another revision took place, but, notwithstanding the advantages which the revisers of 1880 had over their predecessors of 1611, their version has failed to displace the older version, which is too precious to the hearts of the people for them to abandon it
Although not one of the translators has left any literary work which would justify the belief that he was capable of writing the more beautiful portions of the Bible, fortunately Bacon has left an example which would rather add lustre to than decrease the high standard of the Bible if it were incorporated in it. As to the truth of this statement the reader must judge from the following prayer, which was written after his fall, and which was described by Addison as resembling the devotion of an angel rather than a man::
Remember, O Lord, how Thy servant hath walked before Thee; remember what I have first sought, and what been principal in mine intentions. I have loved Thy assemblies; I have mourned for the divisions of Thy Church; I have delighted in the brightness of Thy sanctuary.
This vine, which Thy right hand hath planted in this nation, I have ever prayed unto Thee that it might have the first and the latter rain, and that it might stretch her branches to the seas and to the floods.The state and bread of the poor and oppressed have been precious in mine eyes. I have hated all cruelty and hardness of heart. I have, though in a despised weed, procured the good of all men.
If any have been mine enemies, I thought not of them, neither hath the sun almost set upon my displeasure; but I have been as a dove, free from superfluity of maliciousness.
Thy creatures have been my books, but Thy scriptures much more. I have sought Thee in the courts, fields, and gardens, but I have found Thee in Thy temples.
Thousands have been my sins and ten thousand my transgressions, but Thy sanctifications have remained with me, and my heart, through Thy grace, hath been an unquenched coal upon Thine altar.
O Lord, my strength, I have since my youth met with Thee in all my ways, by Thy fatherly compassions, by Thy comfortable chastisements, and by Thy most visible providence. As Thy favours have increased upon me, so have Thy corrections, so that Thou hast been ever near me, O Lord; and ever, as Thy worldly blessings were exalted, so secret darts from Thee have pierced me, and when I have ascended before men, I have descended in humiliation before Thee.
And now, when I thought most of peace and honour, Thy hand is heavy upon me, and hath humbled me according to Thy former lovingkindness, keeping me still in Thy fatherly school, not as a bastard but as a child. Just are Thy judgments upon me for my sins, which are more in number than the sands of the sea, but have no proportion to Thy mercies; for what are the sands of the sea to the sea? Earth, heavens, and all these are nothing to Thy mercies.
Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before Thee that I am debtor to Thee for the gracious talent of Thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it (as I ought) to exchangers, where it might have made most profit, but misspent it in things for which I was least fit so that I may truly say my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage.
Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for my Saviour’s sake, and receive me into Thy bosom or guide me in Thy ways.
There is another feature about the first editions of the Authorised Version which arrests attention. In 1611 the first folio edition was published. The design with arches, dogs and rabbits which is to be found over the address “To the Christian Reader” which introduces the genealogies is also to be found in the folio edition of Shakespeare over the dedication to the most noble and Incomparable paire of Brethren, over the Catalogue and elsewhere. Except that the mark of query which is on the head of the right hand pillar in the design in the Bible is missing in the Shakespeare folio, and the arrow which the archer on the right hand side is shooting contains a message in the design used in the Bible and is without one in the Shakespeare folio.
In the 1612 quarto edition of the Authorised Version on the title-page of the Genealogies are two designs; that at the head of the page is printed from the identical block which was used on the title-page of the first edition of “Venus and Adonis,” 1593, and the first edition of “Lucrece,” 1594. At the bottom is the design with the light A and dark A, which is over the dedication to Sir William Cecil in the “Arte of English Poesie,” 1589. An octavo edition, which is now very rare, was also published in 1612. On the title-page of the Genealogies will be found the design with the light A and dark A which is used on several of the Shakespeare quartos and elsewhere.
The selection of these designs was not made by chance. They were deliberately chosen to create similitudes between certain books, and mark their connection with each other.
The revised translation of the Bible was undertaken as a national work. It was carried out under the personal supervision of the King, but every record of the proceedings has disappeared. The British Museum does not contain a manuscript connected with the proceedings of the translators. In the Record Office have been preserved the original documents referring to important proceedings of that period. The parliamentary, judicial, and municipal records are, on the whole, in a complete condition, but ask for any records connected with the Authorised Version of the Bible and the reply is: “We have none.” And yet it is reasonable to suppose that manuscripts and documents of such importance would be preserved. Where are they to be found?
Chapter I What was the Church Trying to Hide?
excerpt from the Book The Bible Fraud by Tony Bushby
Secret ciphers in the New Testament
It was the ‘wisest fool in Christendom’,2 who ‘authorised’ the translation and publication of the first Protestant version of the Bible into English. He came to the English throne in 1603 and quickly became unpopular because of ‘his disgusting personal habits and his unsavoury character’. 3 He pretended to be a scholar in theology and philosophy,but his learning was shallow and superficial. He wallowed in filth,moral and physical,but was endowed with a share of cunning that his associates called,‘a kind of crooked wisdom ’.4
For his new edition of the Bible he issued a set of personal ‘Rules’ the translators were to follow and ordered revisions to proceed, although he never contributed a farthing to its cost. Work began early in 1607 and took a committee of forty-seven men (some records say fifty-four, others say fifty)two years and nine months to rewrite the Bible and make ready for the press.Each man received thirty shillings per week for his contribution. Upon its completion in 1609,a remarkable event occurred —the translators handed over the reviser’s manuscripts of what is now called the King James Bible to King James for his final personal approval.‘It was self-evident that James was not competent to check their work and edit it,so he passed the manuscripts on to the greatest genius of all time …Sir Francis Bacon.’
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 –1626) was a man of many talents, a lawyer, linguist and composer. He mastered every subject he undertook; mathematics, geometry, music, poetry, painting, astronomy,classical drama and poetry, philosophy, history, theology and architecture. He was a man of many aims and purposes, the father of modern science, remodeler of modern law, patron of modern democracy, and possibly the reviver of Freemasonry. His life and works are extensively documented, and his intellectual accomplishments widely recognized, particularly in academic circles. At the age of sixteen, he was sent to Paris ‘direct from the Queens Hand’ and there studied Egyptian, Arabian, Indian and Greek philosophy with particular attention given to the Ancient Mysteries and their Ritual Rites. He personally recorded that, while in Paris, he created a secret cipher system that could be inserted into a document without arousing suspicion.While living in Europe, Francis Bacon was initiated into the mysterious Order of the Knights Templar and learnt a very special secret.Before he returned to London,he travelled to France, Italy, Germany and Spain and at the age of twenty completely devoted himself to the study of law. From his understanding of the secret information he had learned during his initiation into the Knights Templar, he conceived the idea of reactivating various Secret Societies and in 1580 founded the secret Rosicrosse Literary Society in Gray’s Inn. Later in the same year,he founded the Lodge of Free and Accepted or Speculative Masons, also at Gray’s Inn.
On 25 June 1607 Sir Francis Bacon was appointed Solicitor-General and Chief Advisor to the Crown. He had presented new ideas to the Government for the Reformation of the church and was officially instructed to commence restructuring the Bible. Research in the Records Office of the British Museum revealed that original documents still exist which refer to important proceedings associated with Sir Francis Bacon’s involvement with the editing of both the Old and New Testaments. They revealed that he personally selected and paid the revisers of the New Testament who completed their task under the instructions of Bacon’s long-time friend, Dr Andrews.
The first English language manuscripts of the Bible remained in Bacon ’s possession for nearly a year.During that time :
…he hammered the various styles of the translators into the unity,rhythm, and music of Shakespearean prose,wrote the Prefaces and created the whole scheme of the Authorized Version. 6
He also encoded secret information into both the Old and New Testament An ancient document recorded that the true history of early Christianity was known to the initiates of the Order of the Knights Templar,having originally been
…imparted to Hugh de Payens by the Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the Temple (of the Nazarene sect),one named Theocletes, after which it was learned by some Knights in Palestine.
Regarding the months of editing work applied to the Bible by Bacon,his biographer,William T.Smedley, confirmed the extent of the editing :
“It will eventually be proved that the whole structure of the Authorised Bible was Francis Bacon’s. He was an ardent student not only of the Bible, but also of early manuscripts.St Augustine, St Jerome,and writers of theological works,were studied by him with industry.”8
At the completion of the editing, Sir Francis Bacon and King James I had a series of meetings to finalise editorial matters associated with the new Bible. It was at this time that King James ordered a ‘Dedication to the King’ to be drawn up and included in the opening pages. He also wanted the phrase ‘Appointed to be read in the Churches’ to appear on the title page.This was an announcement clarifying that King James had personally given the church ‘Special Command ’ for this particular version of the Bible to be used in preference to the vast array of Greek and Latin Vulgate Bibles current at the time. His reason was personal, as King James had previously instructed the revisers to ‘defend the position of the king’ in their restructuring of the texts.This was seen as an attempt to distance the Protestant Bible from the Catholic version.The Protestant versions of the Bible are thinner by seven books than the Catholic version and the variant churches have never agreed on a uniform Bible.In their translation of 1 Peter 2:13 the revisors changed the phrase ‘the emperor, as supreme’ to ‘the king, as supreme’. Because King James’ Bible was written to support the authority of a king, the later church often referred to it as the one from ‘authority’, band it later came to be presented as if officially ‘authorised’. In subsequent revisions,the word ‘authorised’ found its way onto the title page and later still came to be printed on the cover, giving King James’ new Bible a false sense of authenticity.