Robert Shaw on Translation, Vernacular languages, and the Church

“As the Scriptures were originally written in the languages which, at the time of writing them, were most generally understood, God has hereby intimated his will, that they should be translated into the vernacular language of different nations, that every one may read and understand them. This we maintain in opposition to the Church of Rome, which forbids the translation of the Scriptures into the vulgar languages, and declares the indiscriminate reading of them to be highly dangerous. Though the free use of the Scriptures be prohibited by that Church, they were certainly intended by God for all ranks and classes of mankind. All are enjoined to read the Scriptures (John 5:39); and the laity are commended not only for searching them, but for trying the doctrines of their public teachers by them. Acts 17:11. It is, therefore, necessary that the Scriptures should be translated into the language of every nation; and the use of translations is sanctioned by the apostles, who frequently quoted passages of the Old Testament from the Septuagint.”

The Reformed Faith: An Exposition Of The Westminster Confession Of Faith, by Robert Shaw (Christian Heritage Publications, p. 56).


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