Pastor Jory Brooks’ Comments: Ferrar Fenton (1832–1920) was the acclaimed author of “The Holy Bible In Modern English,” the product of a half century of labor, first published in 1903 after being issued in sections over eleven years. He was a confirmed British-Israelite who dedicated his Bible translation to “all those nations who have sprung from the race of the British Isles.” In a letter to a correspondent, Fenton wrote, “I am a believer in the Identity…What we Identists need to do is to win the literary and learned world, and I applied to them as a scholar to scholars. The two evidences of Language and Archaeology supply us with matchless weapons of war, and our enemies are the enemies of the Israel of God!” Fenton was a man of great learning and understanding, and a scholar of ancient Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew and Latin, as well as being a distinguished member of the Royal Asiatic Society. The goal of his life was “to study the Bible absolutely in its original languages, to ascertain what its writers actually said and thought.”
The Ferrar Fenton Bible is available in both hardbound and leatherette versions from CBIA and its online bookshop at www.migrations.info.
The comments below by Ferrar Fenton are from letters he wrote in 1882 and 1885, and give additional insight into his scholarly views on the truth of British-Israel and the authority of Scripture:
Concerning the Semitic origin of our nation
Of the Semitic discovery and colonization of this country, there can be no doubt in the eyes of the school of true philology (and, we would add, ethnology). These colonists attained a very high state of civilization previous to the Babylonian captivity and continued as a portion of the Carthaginian Empire, until the total ruin of that state by Scipio Africanus the Younger, about B.C. 150…No one who has at all studied ancient history doubts the Semitic colonization of Britain as the oldest one. This is no historic heresy, but one never doubted till the Arian craze set in during the last 40 years. That there is a large Arian element in our population is certain, for the basis of our nation was in the East – i.e., the race of Shem.
The ruins of monuments still existing, often in error called Druidic cult worship, seem to show this; and the remains of prehistoric mining works that are often found in Wales and the west of England, corroborate this view. These ancient remains also seem clearly to prove that the early Israelite colonists were idolaters, who held Baal as the chief God, or a coequal with Jehovah; for, indeed, the fires to Baal are still on Mid-Summers-Day lighted, the feasters rush through them in honor of Baal, and the elders throw the children into them as described by the Hebrew prophets.
I can vouch for these facts from the evidence of my own eyesight, having witnessed them when an inhabitant of South Wales. Large tracts of furze bushes, in full golden flower, are also fired in honor of Baal at sunset.
That Dagon, the fish god, was also worshiped by them, is proved by the numerous gigantic masses of imperishable stone, often of quite a different sort to that of the perishable rocks of the localities where they were erected. These were carved into the forms of the whale and the shark, which I have examined; and it is curious that none of these monuments are found east of the Trent and Ouse rivers of Yorkshire. However, no archaeologist that I am aware of, except myself, has noted this fact; but it affords strong confirmation of the basis of accuracy wrapped up in some of the oldest Cymric myths that were reduced to writing in about the 12th century of our era.
I also deciphered an ancient Greek inscription on an Oriental formed cross in a remote village in Wales, written in letters of the age of the Apostles – not in modern Greek letters – and so encrusted with lichens as to have to be shaded in the sun to trace them; and I have not the least doubt that it is the record of some apostolic preacher, perhaps of St. Paul himself.
Not many miles off I came across a curious vase, used now for baptisms, of what seemed to me to be Oriental porphyry (igneous rock), and, if I am not greatly mistaken, carved with an inscription in archaic Arabic or Syriac characters; but I had not time to get a photograph of it, or to endeavor to trace it out absolutely.
These seem to show that our British church was really apostolic in its origin; and not an offshoot in the seventh century of the Roman Popish sect; and the oldest Cymric historians state that such was the case. Nay, some modern scholars hold that there still exists a series of essays, or sermons, in old Cymric, by the pen of St. Paul himself; at least what a manuscript of some seven or eight centuries old claims to be such.
All these facts or deductions would, however, play “old harry” with the Darwinian Theory, as it would intimate the existence of a wealthy, commercial, and civilized population here at the time when our Darwinian lunatics are groping amid stone ages of prehistoric development towards a human organization, and all that bosh. This would rather tend to the proof of the Scriptural statement that man was created civilized and intellectual; and that the brute savage man is the degraded result of vices, and the stultification of the intelligence that, in course of time, comes from idolatry and the rejection of reflective reason which it demands.
I cannot now devote myself to these researches, but, if my life is spared, I may be able some time to do it. That is, unless a riper intellect appears who has been able to give all his life to subjects worthy of it. This might turn some of the crowd away from the dementia that prevails, trying to destroy all evidence of God, His Christ, His Providence, and His design in the world and in human history. This would also show them that there are more important things than secular mechanics and the temporal pleasures of the senses. There is a present growing out of the past, and a future beyond our world as well as in it; a future – as Disraeli so eloquently and consistently taught – when the house of Israel “will, in carrying out human destiny, again become the leader of the nations.”
The above is the substance of some correspondence in the years 1882 and 1885, and may be interesting to readers who will be able to bring it up to date at their own discretion. It will be seen, as from other views of our identity, the “Higher Criticism” has no standing room, and cannot be accepted as a standard by which to interpret Scripture and make it plain to the meanest intellect, so that “the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not error therein,” which is done by accepting all of Scripture as literally true and “given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), to attain a definite and successful perfecting of the children of God.