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Christian Scholars Recognize Contradictions in the Bible (part 7 of 7):  “Inspired” Modifications of the Church

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Description: Role of the Church in hiding and tampering with the truth.

  • By Misha’al ibn Abdullah (taken from the Book: What Did Jesus Really Say?)
  • Published on 10 Aug 2009
  • Last modified on 04 Oct 2009
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So what did they do? Let us ask Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. In his book “Where did we get our Bible?” he writes:

“Of the MSS. of Holy Scripture in Greek still existing there are said to be several thousand of varying worth ... Three or four in particular of these old, faded out, and unattractive documents constitute the most ancient and the most precious treasures of the Christian Church, and are therefore of special interest.” First in Rev. Richardson's list is the “Codex Vaticanus” of which he says: “This is probably the most ancient of all Greek MSS. now known to exist. It is designated as Codex 'B.' In 1448, Pope Nicholas V brought it to Rome where it has lain practically ever since, being guarded assiduously by papal officials in the Vatican Library. It's history is brief: Erasmus in 1533 knew of its existence, but neither he nor any of his successors were permitted to study it... becoming quite inaccessible to scholars, till Tischendorf in 1843, after months of delay, was finally allowed to see it for six hours. Another specialist, named de Muralt in 1844 was likewise given an aggravating glimpse of it for nine hours. The story of how Dr. Tregelles in 1845 was allowed by the authorities (all unconscious to themselves) to secure it page by page through memorizing the text, is a fascinating one. Dr. Tregelles did it. He was permitted to study the MS. continuously for a long time, but not to touch it or to take notes. Indeed, every day as he entered the room where the precious document was guarded, his pockets were searched and pen, paper and ink were taken from him, if he carried such accessories with him. The permission to enter, however, was repeated, until he finally had carried away with him and annotated in his room most of the principle variant readings of this most ancient text. Often, however, in the process, if the papal authorities observed he was becoming too much absorbed in any one section, they would snatch the MS. away from him and direct his attention to another leaf. Eventually they discovered that Tregelles had practically stolen the text, and that the Biblical world knew the secrets of their historic MS. Accordingly, Pope Pius IX ordered that it should be photographed and published; and it was, in five volumes which appeared in 1857. But the work was very unsatisfactorily done. About that time Tischendorf made a third attempt to gain access to and examine it. He succeeded, and later issued the text of the first twenty pages. Finally in 1889-90, with papal permission, the entire text was photographed and issued in facsimile, and published so that a copy of the expensive quartos was obtainable by, and is now in the possession of all the principle libraries in the biblical world.”[1]

What were all of the Popes afraid of? What was the Vatican as a whole afraid of? Why was the concept of releasing the text of their most ancient copy of the Bible to the general public so terrifying to them? Why did they feel it necessary to bury the most ancient copies of the inspired word of God in a dark corner of the Vatican never to be seen by outside eyes? Why? What about all of the thousands upon thousands of other manuscripts which to this day remain buried in the darkest depths of the Vatican vaults never to be seen or studied by the general masses of Christendom?

“[And remember] When God took a Covenant from those who were given the Scripture: You shall make it known and clear to mankind, and you shall not to hide it; but they flung it behind their backs, and purchased with it a miserable gain! How evil was that which they purchased!”  (Quran 3:187)

“Say: 'O People of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper], trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the straight path.'“ (Quran 5:77)

Returning to our study of some of the “discrepancies” to be found between our modern Bibles and between the most ancient copies of the Bible available to the chosen few, we find that the verse of Luke 24:51 contains Luke's alleged account of the final parting of Jesus, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and how he was “raised up into heaven.” However, as seen in previous pages, in the Codex Sinaiticus and other ancient manuscripts the words “and was carried up into heaven” are completely missing. The verse only says:

“And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them.”

C.S.C. Williams observed, if this omission were correct, “there is no reference at all to the Ascension in the original text of the Gospel.”

Some other “inspired” modification of the Church to Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles:

·       Matthew 17:21 is missing in Codex Sinaiticus.

·       In our modern Bibles, Mark 1:1 reads “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” however, in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts, this verse only reads “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” Strangely, the very words which are most grating to the Muslim's Qur'an, “the Son of God,” are completely missing. Isn't that interesting?

·       The words of Jesus in Luke 9:55-56 are missing.

·       The original text of Matthew 8:2 as found in Codex Sinaiticus tells us that a leper asked Jesus to heal him and Jesus “angrily put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean.” In our modern Bibles, the word “angrily” is strangely absent.

·       Luke 22:44 in Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles claim that an angel appeared before Jesus, strengthening him. In Codex Vaticanus, this angel is strangely absent. If Jesus was the “Son of God” then obviously it would be highly inappropriate for him to need an angel to strengthen him. This verse, then, must have been a scribal mistake. Right?

·       The alleged words of Jesus on the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) were originally present in the Codex Sinaiticus but was later erased from the text by another editor. Bearing in mind how the Church regarded and treated the Jews in the Middle Ages, can we think of any reason why this verse might have stood in the way of official Church policy and their “inquisitions”?

·       John 5:4 is missing from Codex Sinaiticus.

·       In Mark chapter 9, the words “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” are again missing.

·       In Matt. 5:22, the words “without cause” are missing in both the codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

·       Matt. 21:7 in our modern Bibles reads “And [the disciples] brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set [Jesus] thereon.” In the original manuscripts, this verse read “and they set [Jesus] upon them,” However, the picture of Jesus being placed upon two animals at the same time and being asked to ride them at once was objectionable to some, so this verse was changed to “and they set [Jesus] upon him” (which “him”?). Soon after, the English translation completely avoided this problem by translating it as “thereon.”

·       In Mark 6:11, our modern Bibles contain the words “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” However, these words are not to be found in either of these two most ancient of Christian Biblical manuscripts, having been introduced into the text centuries later.

·       The words of Matthew 6:13 “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.” Are not to be found in these two most ancient manuscripts as well as many others. The parallel passages in Luke are also defective.

·       Matthew 27:35 in our modern Bibles contains the words “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, they parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” This passage, once again, is not found according to Rev. Merrill in any Biblical uncial manuscript dating before the ninth century.

·       1 Timothy 3:16 originally read “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: which was manifest in the flesh.” This was then later (as seen previously), ever so subtly changed to “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh….” Thus, the doctrine of the “incarnation” was born.



Footnotes:

[1] “Where did we get our Bible?”, Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. Harper and Brothers Publishers, pp.110-112

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