TEXTUAL CORRUPTIONS

By John Henry





INTRODUCTION

There is a satanic attack upon the Doctrine of the Word. This is the #1 most important doctrine of all time. In these last days the Doctrine of the Bible is being attacked. I believe that eventually, after the Church is gone, I hope, an ecumenical bible will be put forth that all apostates will agree upon. It will teach New Age doctrine, including reincarnation, Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, etc., etc.

THE PRESERVED WORD OF GOD

The Bible cannot be clearer concerning it's inspiration and preservation:

Psalm 138:2: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Isaiah 8:20: "To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."

Matthew 5:17-18: "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled."

Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away."

Psalm 12:6-7: "The Words of the LORD are pure Words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven."

1 Peter 1:24-25: "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

ARE THE OLDEST MANUSCRIPTS WE HAVE TODAY THE BEST?

How important are "early Greek manuscripts"? How do we know we have the "Perfect Law of Liberty"? Can we consider translations as the Word of God, or preserved ancient manuscripts (MSS), or were only the original autographs God's Word? Is the Bible complete?

According to Norman Geisler and William Nix in their book General Introduction to the Bible (pg. 406), the earliest portion of Scripture we have is called p52 (John Rylands Fragment). This fragment was found in Egypt, and it contains portions of John 18:31-33, 37-38. It is a piece of fragment 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches and dates from around 117-138 AD, although a fellow named Adolf Deissmann argues that it may be even earlier.

This may be the oldest Greek manuscript. But it is important to consider the oldest translations that were accurately translated from very early Greek MSS. The oldest translations follow the Received Text (TR) of the KJV:

1. The Old Latin Vulgate (AD 157) was used by the Waldenese in N. Italy. Shortly afterwards the French Waldenese received their Gallic Bible (AD 177). The Reformers held that the Waldenese church was formed around AD 120. They gave much blood to protect the True Bible. (Which Bible, pg. 208; The Bible Version Manual, pg. 19; Defending the King James Bible, pg. 45)

2. The Syriac Version (The Peshitta) of AD 150. Called the "Queen of Versions" because of it's beauty and simplicity. There are 177 of these MSS, most in the British Museum. (The Bible Version Manual, pg. 19) This was the translation used by the church at Antioch. It is the Word of God.

God promised to preserve the original letters of Scripture down to the smallest stroke of the pen (Matt 5:18), but He also said, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable..." (2 Tim 3:16) If the original was "given by inspiration of God" does not common since dictate that the final ancestor would retain that inspiration. Notice in the verse it says, "IS [not was] given by inspiration", and that it says, "ALL Scripture". That would indicate that every correctly translated word is "given by inspiration of God". So we have the inspired Word of God both in the originally given languages (Hebrew and Greek), and we have it in many other different languages also.

After the Rylands Fragment (p52) the next earliest collection of NT papyri is in the Beatty Museum near Dublin p45, p46, p47. It was written around 250 AD and contains most of the NT. p45 is made up of pieces of 30 leaves of a papyrus codex: 2 from Matt.,2 from John, 6 from Mark, 7 from Luke, and 13 from Acts. The original codex consisted of some 220 leaves. The type of text in Mark is nearer to the Caesarean family. This collection is Alexandrian and Western text-types.

Kurk Aland, however, says, "...the fact [is] that the oldest manuscript does not necessarily have the best text. P47 is, for example, by far the oldest of the manuscripts containing the full or almost full text of the Apocalypse, but it is certainly not the best." (Which Bible, pg. 27) It is a myth that the oldest MSS are best. I can see the logic in thinking the oldest is best, because it is closer to the original autograph. However, this logic does not hold up when we take the early Bible corrupters into account. The most notorious corrupters were Origen (Alexandrian Text) and Eusebius (Western Text).

Principals to note:

1.The oldest manuscripts are not necessarily carefully written.
3.The oldest manuscripts were subject to the greatest corruption.
4.The oldest manuscripts are in perpetual disagreement with each other.
2.The oldest manuscripts extant are not necessarily copied from oldest manuscript master.
(http://www.hutch.com.au/~rlister/bible/mvam1.htm)

The next earliest is called the Bodmer Papyri p66, p72, p75 and dates around 200 AD and is a mixture of Alexandrian and Western text-types.

Here again oldest is not best:

P66 contains portions of the Gospel of John. It has:

* 200 nonsense readings.
* 216 careless readings
* 269 corrections
* 482 singular readings
* 54 leaps forward, 22 backwards
Pickering notes it has "Roughly two mistakes per verse."

P75 contains portions of Luke and John. It has:

* 275 singular readings
* 57 careless readings
* 27 leaps forward, 10 backwards
Pickering notes, "...scarcely a good copy."
(New Age Bible Versions, pg 582)

The next earliest are Uncial codices Codex Vaticanus 325-350 AD.; Codex Sinaiticus 340 AD.; Codex Alexandrinus 450 AD.; Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus 345 AD.; Codex Bezae 450 or 550 AD.

A Uncial Codice is a capital letter Classical Greek manuscript. The best manuscripts were the lower case (cursives) Koine Greek of the common people. The Koine Greek MSS are the ones that are in 99% agreement: the Received Text (TR). The original autographs were Koine, not Classical.

Codex Sinaititus (Aleph) (4th Century) "From the number of errors, one cannot affirm that it is very carefully written. The whole manuscript is disfigured by corrections, a few by the original scribe, very many by an ancient and elegant hand of the 6th Century whose emendations are of great importance, some again by a hand a little later, for the greatest number by a scholar of the 7th Century who often cancels the changes by the 6th Century amender, others by as many as eight (8) different later writers. " (Scrivener, Pg 93, Vol. I.)

Codex Vaticanus (B) (4th Century) "One marked feature is the great number of omissions which induced Dr. Dobbin to speak of it as an abbreviated text of the New Testament. He calculates that whole words or clauses are left out no less than 2556 times." (Scrivener, Pg 120, Volume I.)

Codex Bezae Graeco-Latinus (D) (5th or 6th Century) "The manuscript has been corrected, first by the original penman and later by 8 or 9 different revisors." And again: "No known manuscript contains so many bold and extensive interpolations (600 in ACTS alone) countenanced, where they are not absolutely unsupported, chiefly by the Old Latin and Curetonian Syriac Version." (Scrivener, Pgs 128,130, Volume I.)

THE ANCIENT BIBLE CORRUPTERS

Vaticanus, and Sinaitcus are the two main manuscripts that almost all of the new translations are based on. They are indirectly the result of the work of Origenes Adamantius (AD 184-254).

Some feel that we should not bring up the errors and apostasy of the early and later Textual critics who corrupted the Bible. I beg to differ! It helps us see the problem much more clearly. Satan is clearly the head of this conspiricy, and he uses men.

Matthew 7:16-20 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

The below indicated men deleted words and phrases that honored the Lord Jesus Christ, and affected about every important doctrine of the Bible including it incarnation, deity, and resurrection of Christ.

Origenes Adamantius (or Origen for short) was the third in a line of heretics that corrupted the Word of God. Tatian, a pupil of Justin Martyr (AD 100 -165), was a Gnostic (see note #1). "...Tatian wrote a Harmony of the Gospels...called the Diatessaron....The Gospels were...notoriously orrupted by his hand..." (Which Bible, pg. 191) Clement of Alexandria, Egypt (AD 150-217), was Tatian's pupil. "Clement himself claimed the...title of Gnostic often." (Church Leaders In Primitive Times, pg. 286; cf. The Revision Revised, pg 336) Clement established a school there in Alexandria. "[He] expressly tells us that he would not hand down Christian teachings, pure and unmixed, but rather clothed with preceptsof pagan philosophy." (Which Bible, pg. 191) "Clement and Origen used concepts of Platonism and Pythagoreanism..." (Eerdmans' Handbook To The History Of Christianity, pg. 109) (see note #2) "All the writhigs of the outstanding heretical teachers were possessed by Clement, and he freely quoted from their corrupt manuscripts as if they were the words of Scripture." (Which Bible, pgs. 191-192) Origen was Clement's pupil and took over the apostate school that he started. Origen originated the Christ denying Arian heresy (see note #3) Origen also believed in the reexistence of the soul (i.e. reincarnation); baptismal regeneration; purgatory; etc.

Eusebius (AD 260-340) and Constantine the Roman Emperor (AD 306-337): "Eusebius worshipped at the altar of Origin's teachings. He...used Origen's six column Bible...in his Biblical labors....As the Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, it became necessary for him to choose...(which Bible text to sanction. He had 3 to choose from: the Constantinoplitan [TR], the Hesychian, or the Eusebio-Origen)....[The Emperor] preferred the one edited by Eusebius and written by Origin...[who] combined Christianity with Gnostisticism [see note #1] in his philosophy, even as Constantine himself was the political genius that was seeking to unite Christianity with pagan Rome." (Which Bible, pg. 192, 194, 195) Eusebius like Origen also leaned toward Arianism, [see note #3] as did the Emperor. Constantine, the new "Christian" Pontifex Maximus, commissioned Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the bible. These are the main source for the corruptions we see today.

FIRST JOHN 5:7

First John 5:7 is perhaps the weakest link in the chain for the TR. Origen did not believe in the Deity of Christ nor the Trinity so he or one of his followers excised it from the Greek text early in Church History. However, the Latin speaking church preserved it from the earliest time of Church History.

One that I once debated concerning the superiority of the KJV said, "Tischendorf's New Testament which compares Codex [A] Alexandrinus, Codex [B] Vaticanus, and Codex [Aleph] Sinaiticus with the KJV omitts 1 John 5:7 is from these 3 MSS. My understanding is that 2nd century Greek copies don't exist."

True, 2nd century Greek copies don't exist. However, as has already been shown, 2nd century translations do exist in Latin and Syriac. It has also been shown that Aleph and B are of the corrupt Alexandrian family of MSS. It can be clearly seen that A also is a member of this family although the corruptions in it are fewer. If we had the original copies some might be worshipping them. However, we can be sure that God is faithful to keep His word to preserve His Word. We have it. What every Christian needs to decide is this: Is it the Origin's Alexandrian Family of MSS, or is it the Received Text of the Waldenses? The answer is so simple! But many textual critics continue to make the issue difficult.

There is much confusion concerning the MSS evidence. For example, Evangelicals consistently state that there are, for example, no Scholars that believe that 1 John 5:7 were in the original text of the Bible. This statement excludes at least 40 Fundamentalist scholars that I know of. I am not a scholar, just study their teachings. Some of God's people are confused. A few wolves are destroying the faith of many. That does not mean that all the evangelical scholars are wolves or are not sincere. For example, I have great respect for, Dr. Norman Geisler.

My debater, "As far as 1 John 5:7-8 reading in the KVJ, they say that Erasmus omitted this reading from his first 2 editions of his Greek NT (1516, 1519) and was challenged for this omission. He replied that he would include it in his next edition if anyone could produce even one Greek manuscript that included that reading. One 16th century Greek minuscule was found, a 1520 manuscript…so he inserted it into his 1522 edition.

Dr. Thomas Holland answers this charge, "The Comma [1 John 5:7-8] did not appear in the first two editions of Erasmus' Receptus but was added to his third. Some have stated that Erasmus added the Comma reluctantly. Erasmus had been criticized for his earlier editions which did not contain the passage. Metzger writes, 'In an unguarded moment Erasmus promised that he would insert the Comman Johanneum, as it is called, in future editions if a single Greek manuscript could be found that contained the passage. At length such a copy was found--or was made to order!' (Metzger, The Text Of The New Testament, p 101.) This statement, however, is in question. Others have shown that Erasmus did not add the verse aversely, but was in fact searching for a Greek text which supported what was already in the Old Latin texts. (Donald L. Brake indicates this in his thesis present to Dallas Theological Seminary and reprinted in the book Counterfeit Or Genuine, edited by Dr. David Otis Fuller..., p 205. This is further verified by both Dr. Fuller and by Dr. Edward F. Hills in his book The King James Version Defended, p 209)." (MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE, lessons given by Dr. Thomas Holland)

The "three heavenly Witnesses" (1 John 5:7) is contained in practically all of the extant Latin Vulgate MSS. Although not included in Jerome's original edition, around the year 800 it was taken into the text of the Vulgate from the Old Latin MSS. (Hills, Jones) This historic usage of the text in the Western Church lay behind its final inclusion in the Greek Text of Erasmus.

There is an abundance of evidence for 1 John 5:7's inclusion in the Bible. Today we know of at least ten Greek MSS that contain it (Dr. Kurk Aland names at least 6, and Dr. D.A. Waite an additional 4). It is cited by several sources prior to 500AD. Among them Tertullian (AD 200) (Gill, "An exposition of the NT", Vol 2, pp. 907-8); and Cyprian (AD 250), who writes, "And again concerning the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit it is written: 'and the Three are One'" (Vienna, vol. iii, p. 215)

In addition to the significant Greek and Latin MSS evidence, there is an abundance of Historical, Theological, and Greek Grammatical evidences that prove that 1 John 5:7 is inspired Scripture.

Floyd Jones says, "Finally, it cannot be overly stressed that the successive editors of the TR could have omitted the passage from their editions. The fact that Stephens, Beza, and the Elzevirs retained the Pericope, despite the reluctance of Erasmus to include it, is not without significance. The learned Lutheran text critic J.A. Bengel ("Gnomon", published in 1742) also convincingly defended its inclusion29 as did Hills in this century. The hard fact is that, by the providence of God, the Johannie comma obtained and retained a place in the Textus Receptus. We emphatically declare that the most extreme caution should be exercised in questioning its right to that place." "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." (Proverbs 22:28)

DR. NORMAN GEISLER

Dr. Norman Geisler is an outstanding defender of the faith. However, in the case of Textual Criticism I think he has worked himself into a corner. "The footnotes and brackets are subtle artillery, but have resulted in what Norman L. Geisler calls 'The Battle For The Resurrection'. His book [by this name] and others become necessary since new versions question almost every appearance of Jesus after his resurrection. As a result of the new omissions 'evangelical scholars' and the cults are beginning to agree." (New Age Bible Versions, pg. 357) In "The Battle For The Resurrection" Geisler says, "Some are now contending that the resurrection body [of Jesus] was only spiritual or immaterial. They deny that the resurrection was empirically observed or historically verifiable. This PLATONIC (and GNOSTIC) tendency to 'spiritualize' or ALLEGORIZE the literal truth of Scripture is not new. What is new is that those who claim to be evangelicals apply it to fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the inspiration of the Bible and the resurrection of Christ." (The Battle For The Resurrection, pg 28; emphasis mine) I think Geisler knows the score. He is no doubt referring to Origen, Eusebius and others. Origen was notorious for allegorical interpretation of the Bible, and as has been stated he was a Gnostic and a Greek Platonic philosopher (He put human wisdom above the Word). Concerning the resurrection of Christ check these verses in your NASV against the KJV: Luke 24:12, 40, 51, 52 (ONLY Codex Bezae omits these words). Note Mark16:9-20 and check the footnotes in your NIV and NASV. In Acts 1:3 the Greek word "tekmerion" = "infallible proofs" is changed to "elegcho" = "convincing proofs". Furthermore, Nestle's Greek (based on Eusebio-Origen MSS; the basis of the NIV and NASV) also omits Luke 24:7, and who knows what they will come up with for the next [per]version of the Bible. There is a real problem!

EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE

My debator once said, "I am not trying to put down the Trinity doctrine. But personally I use less controversial passages [than 1 John 5:7] to show this doctrine…" To this I replied, Every part and every word of the Word of God is as much the Father's and the Son's as it is the Holy Spirit's. God "…exhort[s] you that ye should earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the saints." 1 John 1:7 is part of the Word and thus part of the Faith. It is worthy of contending for! "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." (Prov 30:5) Jesus said:

John 15:7: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

Luke 9:26: "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."

John 12:48: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The above verse do not have anything to do with losing one's salvation.

ANYONE FOR SOME POISON?

It should be noted that even the worst corrupted MSS are 90% correct. But why use a 90% correct MS or translation when we have the 100% pure Word of God, The Perfect Law Of Liberty (the TR & the KJV). Also note that only good stuff is worth counterfeiting and a counterfeit must look like the real thing. That is the way it is slipped in on us. It is important to keep in mind that 5% or 10% poison in 90% or 95% pure water can still make one very sick and kill others. These corruptions are the cause of the type of confusion we see that Joyce has, and they are also the cause many doctrinal errors. Most of the scribes of the Word used great care to copy or translate exactly and word for word from their Master in order to preserve the integrity of the document, and we can be sure that God was overseeing the endeavors of godly scribes. The corrupted MSS often do not exhibit such care, and are full of errors and corrections. However, when the majority of the MSS agree, it is strong evidence for God's preservation of His originally given Word.

When it's not broke, don't fix it!!! There has never been a time since it was given that the Word of God was not in the hands of God's people. God has used them to preserve His every word, just like He promised.

THOUSANDS OF MANUSCRIPTS

Josh McDowell says in his book "A Ready Defense" that there are more than 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the NT in existence (5255 Greek manuscripts of NT; 10,000 Vulgate; 9,300 other early versions).

Many of the 10,000 Vulgate MSS referred to here are the pure Old Latin Vulgate, not Jerome's, and the 9,300 other early MSS include the Syriac and other reliable ancient MSS. The Word of God has been translated into various languages in order for the people to understand in their heart language from the earliest times of the church.

The vast majority of the Greek NT MSS follow the TR (5,210 out of 5255 MSS or 99%) (Defending the King James Bible, pg. 46) The KJV is based on the TR.

CONCLUSION

My debater, "Did you ever notice when King James Only people try to discredit Westcott and Hort that they never mention that the translators of the KJ were not exactly Baptist themselves?"

People that believe the Word of God (KJV) do not have to discredit Westcott and Hort. Those liberal heretics did a good job of that themselves. See http://jesus-is-lord.com/hort.htm

I don't see the relevance of mentioning that the KJV translators were not Baptists. However, I have seen Baptists mention the fact that Anglican KJV translators were godly men yielded to the Holy Ghost. I have seen Bible (KJV) believing Baptists lift up the names of Hus, Savonarola, Zwingli, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, R.A. Torry, D. L. Moody, Billy Sunday and other non Baptist Bible believers, including the Spirit filled translators of the KJV. Some of these men loved the Word of God so much that they gave up fortunes and even their lives for it. I have seen them defend Bible believing Erasmus who was a Bible believing Catholic. I find it interesting that deceptive tactics are used to try to discredit Erasmus. For example this deceptive treatment has been used without explanation:

"The man who edited the text [of the Greek TR] was a humanist named Erasmus." (Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary)

Desiderius Erasmus (1467 - 1535) was a humanist, a Christian humanists. The humanists of that day were not Godless evolutionist like today. The humanist scholars of the Renaissance were interested in recovering the texts of the Hebrew and Greek of the Bible. To just say Erasmus was a humanist is misleading. Erasmus was brought up in an unusual Catholic order called "the Brethren of the Common Life." They were unusual because they had a great reverence for the Bible. Erasmus held this respect and awe for the Word of God all his life. He said, "I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and the Epistles of Paul...I would have it translated into all languages so that...[all] might read them. I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow....These sacred words give you the very image of Christ speaking, healing, dying, rising again..." The Pope offered to make him a cardinal, but he refused as he would not compromise his conscience. History indicates that his driving desire was only to study write and translate the Scriptures. He spoke out strongly against heresies in the Roman Catholic Church. This was in a age when it could have cost him his life for doing so. It did result in the Catholic Church branding him as an "impious heretic", and the Pope forbade the reading of his works. He died among Protestant friends in 1535. This was the humanist, Desiderius Erasmus!

END NOTES

1. Gnosticism: It emphasized, "knowledge for salvation, as for example in the Dead Sea Scrolls....[T]hey set a transcendent God over against an ignorant creator....Gnostics viewed the material creation as evil. [But s]parks of divinity...[are] in the bodies of certain 'spiritual' individuals destined for salvation....God sends down to them a redeemed who brings them salvation in the form of secret knowledge (gnosis)....[S]ome Gnostics indulged in extreme...licentious behavior....[others] venerated the serpent for bringing 'knowledge' to Adam and Eve....[They] maintained that Christ was not a material being..." (Eerdmans' Handbook To The History Of Christianity, pg. 98, 100)

2. Pythagoreanism: One of the doctrines of the Greek philosophy of Pythagoreanism is reincarnation: "Pythagoras [BC 530] and his followers held that after death the souls of men passed into other bodies..." (1828 Webster's Dictionary under "metempsychosis")

3. Arianism: This heresy taught that Jesus Christ was a created being. Origen taught that the "Son owed his being eternally to the Father...and was inferior to him....Origen's ideas were deeply colored by Middle Platonism, which graded existence into different levels." (Eerdmans' Handbook To The History Of Christianity, pg. 112) Origen's pupil Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, use words which implied that the Father had created the Son and that there had been a time when the Son did not exist." (A History of Heresy, pg. 45) Origen taught the Lord Jesus Christ is a created being who did not have eternal existence as God. (1936 Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 16, pgs 900-902)