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The Scofield Bible

Heresy in Disguise

The Scofield Bible,[1] first published in 1908, has the author’s notes adjacent to the biblical text. It was extremely popular for decades after and is still revered by many of its readers. These notes present a unique theological perspective, first expounded by J. N. Darby.[2]

The change began in the 19th century with an extremely godless, one could say satanically led and perhaps satanically indwelled individual, John Nelson Darby. This man spent his life in a continuous attack on the Christian faith that hugely influenced the Western World. He travelled, it is said, to almost every country in the world, and wrote several books, essays and articles. These, disguised as Christian writings surreptitiously and in places overtly attacked the Christian faith. Darby held to much of what God gives us in His Word but deviates at enough points to effectively turn the previously widely held faith on its head. Darby, an extremely dedicated, tenacious and powerful individual taught that:

First, Darby rejected the Bible as God’s inspired Word:

He wrote: “I do not receive the Bible, that is, a revelation of God from the hands of men. I receive paper and ink. The revelation I receive of God directly—“They shall all be taught of God.” The revelation is the divinely-wrought conscience, and, I repeat, in the conscience.”[3]

This is an incredibly audacious statement. It says:

  1. The Bible is not a revelation from God. It is just paper and ink, the work of men.
  2. God reveals His will directly to the conscience of all those that He teaches.
  3. God’s revelation to man is located within him. It is his own God-created conscience.
  4. This is God’s means of teaching. It is directly to the heart.

So, we can just ignore the Bible; it’s just man’s word. God never spoke to His creatures. He just put, within us all we need to know about Him, about sin, righteousness, Christ’s sacrifice for us, repentance, forgiveness, and about how to live in this world.

How did God’s people ever fall for this, certainly Satan-inspired pack of lies that so blatantly contradicted everything we believed before? God tells us that he is a deceiver and the father of lies.

Second, Darby pursued his anti-biblical stance:

 He held that entire portions of Scripture are wholly irrelevant for Christians today. He did not hesitate to deem certain verses ungenuine, and at times reworded verses to support his system. God’s Law was limited to ancient Israel and does not apply today.

Third, Darby held to a peculiar system of Bible study:

Open a concordance, pick a word, read all the verses with the word regardless of context, and make a few comments on each verse. This system of context-less “Bible study” occurs frequently in Darby’s writings and teachings.

Fourth, the theological understanding developed over the previous 1800 years was completely rejected as invalid, in favor of Darby’s new method of “Bible readings.”

Fifth, Darby was consumed with the immediate return of Christ:

A strong mark of all Darby’s teaching is an unholy obsession with unfulfilled prophecy. Christians were taught that true Christianity meant waiting to be snatched away any moment; it was vain to do anything constructive in the long-term, because the Lord could return at any moment.

Sixth, Darby taught that it was sinful of God’s true followers to engage in anything to change the culture, i.e. to bring the Gospel of Jesus to bear on civil matters, mathematics, science, business, etc. Darby wrote: “But meanwhile what are we to do as regarding setting the world right? Nothing, and this the flesh cannot understand.” … “I am anxious about a rumour I heard of your becoming a doctor, and I am sure you will forgive my anxiety for the Lord’s sake and yours.” … “when I set about to learn a profession or trade, it is not merely the time, but Christ, and Christ’s work, is put in a second place, and faith is set aside” [4]  

[1] For a long list of the errors and falsehoods in the Scofield Bible’s embedded notes, see:

[2] See: Also:

[3] (

[4] Letter to: Sydney Smith, Barbados, March 9th, 1869. STEM Publishing : J. N. Darby : Letters : Volume 2, number 4;

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