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Monday, 17 July 2017

C.I. SCOFIELD'S HIDDEN SIDE BY DAVE MACPHERSON

     C. I. S. can stand for "Crime Investigation Scene" or C. I. Scofield.
     But I repeat myself. The venerable old C. I. Scofield of Scofield Bible fame was, in a sense, a 19th century "crime scene" that many still don't know about.
     Cyrus Scofield is best known in Christian circles as the greatest promoter of the pretrib rapture during the past century by means of his Scofield Reference Bible which came out in 1909.
     He preferred the pretrib rapture view over other prophetic views and never missed an opportunity to plug that 19th century fantasy and sneak it into his "explanations" which he included alongside Bible verses.
     Maybe we should call his Bible the Scofield "Preference" Bible!
     Some remarkable things happened after his reported conversion to Christ in 1879:
     An article in the "Topeka [Kansas] Daily Capital" on Aug. 27, 1881 began in this manner:
     "Cyrus I. Schofield [sic], formerly of Kansas, late lawyer, politician and shyster generally, has come to the surface again, and promises once more to gather around himself that halo of notoriety that has made him so prominent in the past. The last personal knowledge that Kansans have had of this peer among scalawags, was when about four years ago, after a series of forgeries and confidence games he left the state and a destitute family and took refuge in Canada."
     It continued: "Within the past year [1880]...Cyrus committed a series of St. Louis forgeries" which landed him "in the St. Louis jail for a period of six months." (I obtained a copy of this article at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.)
     One of the forgeries was a real estate scam he cooked up during which he robbed his own mother-in-law of her life savings ($1300.00)! (Would most crooks target their own family members?!)
     Scofield deserted his first wife Leontine (and their two girls), she divorced him in 1883, he remarried three months later and also lied to "Who's Who in America" about his criminal past. (To see a copy of C. I. Scofield's divorce decree which I found in the Atchison County Courthouse in Kansas, Google "Scofield: The Man Behind the Myth."  I included highlights of the above in my 1983 book "The Great Rapture Hoax.")
     Leontine died in 1936 fifteen years after Cyrus died. She never remarried and spent many years as the librarian at the Atchison Library. To see where she is buried in a Catholic cemetery, Google "gravestone of Leontine Cerre Scofield."
     Although Scofield never had any theological training, he brazenly added "D.D." after his name in the 1890s even though no institution had conferred that degree on him!
     Those interested in many other shocked aspects of Scofield's hidden (and criminal) side are invited to obtain "The Incredible Scofield and His Book" (1988) by Joseph M. Canfield. Another great book on C. I. S. in "The Praise of Folly" (2009) by David Lutzweiler.
     Somehow the Scofield saga continues. His pretribized Bible is still being merchandised in numerous Christian bookstores and I am forced to conclude that many pretribbers are still Scofieldelirious!

2 comments:

colin said...

What a 'fine' man Mr Scofield was!

Even if the publisher asked Mr MacPherson to write a preface for the Scofield Bible, I'll bet it wouldn't dent its sales! People will believe what they want to believe.
Although these 'notes' are not inserted into the actual verses, nevertheless they still lead folk astray. I don't know how close this comes to a violation of Revelation 22.18, as the reference is right next to the verse of truth?

It is a wonder that some Christian scientist hasn't come up with "The Evolution Bible" where the marginal notes on Genesis 1.1 would read;
"And this all happened after a BIG BANG! and umpteen billion years later, the Creation account now proceeds"!
God bless.

Irv said...

Thanks for your truthful and much needed comments about criminal Scofield and his Bible, Colin. Speaking of evolution, here's a spoof I ran across several years ago on the net that was, to my knowledge, never approved by Darwin:

Big Evolution Discovery !

British professor Nigel Swiggerton of Chapsworth College has recently found a missing link in the evolution/creation debate. Everyone is familiar with the "stages of man" chart found in textbooks which begins with a naked, hairy, bent over, grunting Neanderthal type which over millions of years finally learns how to stand erect while sporting a 1930s-style haircut. Well, Dr. Swiggerton discovered that someone accidentally reversed the negative. It turns out that the first man was actually standing erect with a short haircut but has been descending over the years until he has finally reached the last stage - the stage at any rock concert filled with naked, hairy, bent over, grunting Neanderthal types!