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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 Greek New Testament the Bible

Which is the best English Bible?

KJV

The King James Bible (KJB) was translated from the traditional Hebrew and Greek texts (Masoretic Hebrew Text, The Second Great Rabbinic Bible and the Greek Textus Receptus  (TR) or Received Text) and God’s Words in these original sources most Christians would agree are verbally inspired or God breathed. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,…”.

But here’s what interesting. Modern translations (after 1880) are largely based on the Nestle-Aland Greek text, which is an edited version of the Westcott-Hort Greek text, which is largely the Codex Vaticanus with some corrections from Codex Sinaiticus, not Textus Receptus (TR) the Greek Text on which the KJB is based. The Nestle-Aland Greek text differs from the TR by about 9,970 Greek word differences, additions or subtractions equalling 7% of the total 140,521 words in TR. 

Categories
Church History the Bible The Papacy the Reformation

Where are God’s actual Words written?

Would you believe it if someone told you that the Christian Church has been without the true Words of God for at least the period of c.350 to 1870? I am talking about the Gospels and the writings of the early Apostles in their original Greek language. Talk about a conspiracy theory! But that is essentially what we are expected to believe.

423px-Holbein-erasmus
Erasmus of Rotterdam Credit: textus-receptus.com Holbein-erasmus.jpg

You say, how come? We are expected to believe that the Traditional Text of the New Testament, which was passed down through the ages, was copied over and over again, was used by the persecuted Church since the days of the Apostles until Erasmus (in 1516) compiled a Greek New Testament from chosen manuscripts to the produce the Received Text (Textus Receptus), which was eventually translated and published in English in the Authorised King James Bible, was not the true Words of God but contained many early corruptions, which had arisen during the first few centuries of the Church.

That is an incredible story. We are expected to believe that God left His Church without the true text of the New Testament for  about 1520 years until a few men found several manuscripts (one in the Vatican library, one in the waste basket in St Catherine’s monastery in Sinai) from which they were able to recover the true Words of God. Really??

Categories
Belief in God Biblical doctrines the Bible

The Deity of Christ in the New Testament Scriptures

The deity of Christ is explicitly stated in the Scriptures. But some verses are subject to the revisionists who exclude certain readings, depending on which Greek NT manuscript they were translated from.  Whether the Traditional Text in the Textus Receptus (the Received Text, published by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1516 A.D.) is used or the Critical Text (CT), derived from the revised Greek NT of Westcott and Hort. Thus the CT is based largely on the 4th century Vaticanus B codex (book) with some readings from the Sinaiticus ℵ (Aleph) codex and a handful of others manuscripts.1 Refer here for more details on some of their corruptions.

The Textus Receptus (TR) has been classified into what some call the Majority Text (MT) because the majority (99%) of extant Greek manuscripts (mss) agree with its readings. However most modern Bible translations rely on the CT where the claim is made that the older mss are more accurate, i.e. closer to the original autographs, which, by the way, are all lost.

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.