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Biblical doctrines Church History the Bible

Why are John 7:53—8:11 doubted in many modern Bible translations?

The Traditional Text of the New Testament (in original Greek or other languages, i.e. Versions) traces its continuous history back to the earliest times of the Christian Church. But since 1881 with the Revisers of the Sacred Text the verses, about the woman taken in adultery, John 7:53—8:11, are doubted to have been originally inspired and hence it is claimed by some that they did not appear in the original Greek language manuscript of the Gospel of St. John.

In the following, expert textual critic, John Burgon outlines his case in favour of the Pericope de Adultera, as the verses are called, as genuine inspired writing of the Holy Spirit in the original 4th Gospel. The case for their omission is led by a small group of the earliest extant uncial 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. 232-265, with only some of the original footnotes (with my emphases in bold and my editorial comments in {} brackets).

APPENDIX I

PERICOPE DE ADULTERA

I HAVE purposely reserved for the last the most difficult problem of all: viz. those twelve famous verses of St. John’s Gospel (chap. vii. 53 to viii. 11) which contain the history of ‘the woman taken in adultery,’—the pericope de adultera, as it is called. Altogether indispensable is it that the reader should approach this portion of the Gospel with the greatest amount of experience and the largest preparation. Convenient would it be, no doubt, if he could further divest himself of prejudice; but that is perhaps impossible. Let him at least endeavour to weigh the evidence which shall now be laid before him impartial scales. He must do so perforce, if he would judge rightly: for the matter to be discussed is confessedly very peculiar: in some respects, even unique. Let me convince him at once of the truth of what has been so far spoken.

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
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
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.