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Biblical doctrines Greek New Testament the Bible

The inspiration of Scripture

At some point in the history of the Christian Church, the Church chose the writings (gospels and epistles) of the Apostles and other disciples as the canonical inspired Scriptures. How were those Scriptures chosen? And what constitutes inspired Scriptures? How were they established?

Quite obviously the writings, which now constitutes the accepted Scriptures, were written by humans and not directly by God like He did when He wrote the 10 commandments (with Moses) on Mount Sinai using His own finger to write in stone.  So what defines inspired writings in the vein of 2 Timothy 3:16?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God [meaning God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We know through the 1st to 3rd centuries AD there were many cults and schisms in the early Church over different heresies. There were many spurious writings claiming inspiration of God, including false gospels, some promoting pet heresies. Then in the modern period there have been much discussion about the preservation of the inspired writings.

In 1881 Westcott and Hort produced the first revised Greek NT manuscript, since the late 16th century, which they compiled largely from the Codex Sinaiticus, also known as “Aleph” (the Hebrew letter א), found by Tischendorf in 1859 at the Monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai, and, Codex Vaticanus, also known as “B”, which was found in the Vatican.  It is not known when B arrived at the Vatican, but it was included in a catalog listing in 1475. Both of these manuscripts are dated to the 4th century.

evidence-for-including-1-john-5-7-johannine-comma-kjv

Categories
Church History the Bible

Causes of corruption in the Traditional Text

The Traditional Text of the New Testament (in original Greek or other languages, i.e. Versions) from which the true believers took their spiritual sustenance through all ages goes back to the earliest times of the Christian Church. But so does corruptions of that text in the original Greek language. The causes of corruption introduced to the Traditional Text of Holy Scripture can be broken into two categories, Unintentional and Intentional. Unintentional causes include various kinds of copyist errors. In the following, expert textual critic, John Burgon explains how and what some intentional errors were introduced by heretics into some early manuscripts. The corruption was chiefly at the hands of the editors of a small band of manuscripts headed up by the Codexes Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus ℵ (Aleph).

9781888328035The following text is excerpted from Dean John William Burgon’s book “The Causes of Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Gospels,” Volume II, pp. 192-205, without original footnotes (with my emphases in bold and my comments in {} brackets).

CHAPTER XIII: CAUSES OF CORRUPTION CHIEFLY INTENTIONAL.

IX CORRUPTION BY HERETICS

We are constrained to inquire, How all this can possibly have come about? Have there even been persons who made it their business of set purpose to corrupt the [sacred deposit of Holy Scripture entrusted to the Church for the perpetual illumination of all ages till the Lord should come ?]

Categories
Greek New Testament the Bible

Why are Mark 16:9-20 missing in most modern Bible translations?

Most modern Bible versions have a footnote to the effect that “these verses are not in the oldest, best, most reliable Greek manuscripts”. In laymen’s terms this means that Mark 16:9-20 are not in the 4th century Greek manuscripts,Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph which were derived from Origen’s (AD 185-254) edited New Testament (a 12th century minuscule also omits the verses). These verses are the Great Commission spoken by our Lord as recorded by Mark. It is an apostolic commission delegating great power to the body of Christ that it may continue the ministry of the Lord Jesus.1

This is the opening paragraph of the essay by Floyd Nolen Jones Th.D. Ph.D entitled “The Mutilation of Mark 16:9-20.”2

The claim has been made that since the publication of the King James Bible in 1611 many more and more ancient (i.e. earlier) Greek manuscripts from the New Testament have been discovered. And hence the claim is that these older manuscripts are probably more accurate, that is, they are closer to the original autographs, which were the God-breathed Greek words (2 Timothy 3:16), which God gave to the writers of the New Testament.