I was quite upset a couple weeks ago when Chris Rosebrough broadcast Dan Wallace and his Introduction to Textual Criticism. A lot of what was passed off as being “science” was actually the interpretation of Occultists, and enemies of God. Meanwhile both Wallace and Rosebrough avoided talking about real science. Why? Maybe because real science supports the Textus Receptus? I think so.
Here’s what I mean;
In Canada we got rid of the dollar bill in 1987, because it was getting too expensive for our mint to keep on printing them. Every bill had to be replaced in a few short years. We replaced them with brass coins, which last quite a bit longer, although they are also subject to decay.
I can’t remember how long Canadian bills lasted, I think I heard seven years, but here are some figures from the US Federal Reserve, about how long their bills last;
You can find the rest of the page here
The definition of “science” technically is “knowledge”, but the “scientific method” refers to a fact that can be tested, repeated, and observed.
Every day we carry out a simple science experiment with paper money. And, by the way, paper money is made out of premium paper. The best money can buy!
So, when paper money is used regularly, like a one dollar bill, it lasts about 5.9 years. This is a scientific fact that can be verified by the average person.
If you want to, you could make two paper copies of something. Put one copy in an envelope, on a shelf between two books, and don’t touch it for ten years. Now put the other copy in a prominent place and pick it up and handle it every day. If you miss one day, pick it up twice the next day. Do this every day for ten years.
After ten years, what will be the difference between these two pieces of paper? The one you have handled will be worn, ripped, and beginning to shred. Maybe entirely gone! The one kept in an envelope, will be almost like new.
Your body, as all human bodies, produces oils and acids which go from your fingers to whatever you are handling. Not only do these chemicals destroy paper in a very short time, but they even cause degradation to metal coins. I have a coin dating from the time of Diocletian, which is barely discernible because it was handled by humans. Incidentally the Roman emperor Diocletian lived within about a century of the production of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.
As I said, this is simple science, but it is also real science. There is an application of this science to the text of the bible, and to the “science” of Textual Criticism.
Now, if you are using a newer version of the bible like the NIV, CEV, NASB, ESV, etc., turn to the last page of the book of Mark. You will see an interesting footnote there at verse 8.
My NIV has a line at the end of Mark 16:8, and a note that says “The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20”. In other words, Mark 16:9-20 does not belong in the bible.
The New King James version has this note in a footnote at the end of verse 8; “Vv. 9-20 are bracketed in NU as not in the original text. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other mss. of Mark contain them.”
The “most reliable early manuscripts” referred to in the NIV are the very same Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus mentioned in the NKJV footnote. Both of these footnotes are being somewhat disingenuous here, although the NKJV is at least partially honest.
The NU is a reference to Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies text. The Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus texts are bound books dating from the fourth century of the Christian era.
Some people, like Chris Pinto, doubt the age of these texts, but I think they are genuine. They probably date from the fourth century, and may be a part of a series of bibles commissioned by Jerome, when he produced his corrupt Vulgate.
If the translators of the new bible versions really believed these verses didn’t belong in the bible they would remove them, but instead they insert these footnotes to make you doubt the Word of God.
Now we have to apply some science which we examined earlier; How did these ancient books survive some 1,600 years, given the fact that dollar bills only last 5.9 years? According to REAL science, testable science, these manuscripts could not have survived 1,600 years…unless.
Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus could not have survived as long as they have unless they sat on a shelf for most of that time. And they did!
No one ever used these two manuscripts until they were used by Westcott and Hort when they produced their “Textus Criticus” in 1881. The early church never used these manuscripts… because they knew they were corrupt.
What text did the early Christians use? They used the same text as the majority of the existing manuscripts, a text commonly referred to as the Textus Receptus. As they made faithful copies their originals, and then copies, wore out, but were replaced by newer, faithful copies. So do we have a word-for-word copy of the originals today? For all intents and purposes, yes! The Textus Receptus, and translations based on it, like the Authorized Version are faithful representations of the original biblical text.
Of the nearly six thousand extant manuscripts of the bible, well over five thousand support the Textus Receptus, and the King James Bible. Only about 250 manuscripts support the Critical Text, and these fail to agree with each other, let alone the majority!
So, does science prove the Critical Text is superior? No! Real science corroborates the Textus Receptus and the old translations like the AV, the King James Bible.
Are bible translation committees being honest when they call Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus “the oldest and best manuscripts”? They may believe they are the best, but they are deceived. Unfortunately an industry has built up around the Critical Text, which provides employment for many people, including translators, and professors. For them to admit they were wrong would mean a loss of employment, and reliance on God. From time to time some of the Critical Text people come over to the side of the Textus Receptus, but don’t expect a landslide, not in this age of apostasy.
For further reading:
Kent Brandenburg has a wealth of information about the Textual issues, and a series of rebuttals to several articles by Dan Wallace. You can find links to these articles by going to his main page, and scrolling down and clicking on the titles on the right hand side of the page. http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.ca/
Brother Dan, while I don’t consider myself “an average dude”, I do have a few comments for your thoughtful consideration. First of all, while I don’t dispute your defense of the Textus Receptus, textual criticism is a highly complicated field of study and amateurs such as you and me can very quickly get over our heads when making bold assertions regarding issues involved in the subject. But that’s not what I’m here to comment on, so let’s proceed to the real object of my comments.
You make the following statement in this article: “They probably date from the fourth century, and may be a part of a series of bibles commissioned by Jerome, when he produced his corrupt Vulgate.” Interesting! I personally would be curious to have a little more information here to understand your claims in this regard.
But what I find most interesting is that you regard at least some works of Jerome as “corrupt”, yet, if I’m not mistaken, you accept his wholesale revamping of the great Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel chapter 9 without serious question. Based upon this assumption, I challenge you to use any translation of the LXX that you please and find in Daniel 9:24-27 any mention whatsoever of a FUTURE SEVEN YEAR tribulation in the wording of the text, keeping in mind that the LXX is the oldest translation of the Old Testament in existence.
First I have to say that Textual Criticism is a fraud. God does not place His word at the mercy of sinful, arrogant men. The first observation that jumps out at me when I listen to Textual Critics is the arrogance of these men.
The Christian Church always had a copy of the true word of God. Thus, later manuscripts are actually more accurate than the so-called more ancient ones.
As for the Textus Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus, Chris Pinto may actually be correct that these are late counterfeits. What I am saying is that their alleged age is of no importance to the Word of God, we already have that!
My “bold assertions” are based on years of studying the issues.
Someone produced a series of bibles in the fourth century. I believe it was Jerome, but I could be wrong. Again it is of no import. They were corrupt anyway.
The Sinaiticus manuscript has over 23,000 deletions and additions. One could not honestly claim that this is an accurate manuscript. (another bold assertion)
Vaticanus also shows evidence of erasure and of being written over. It could well be the product of the Vatican’s counterfeiting office of the sixteenth century.
As for Jerome’s “revamping” of Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy, I have no knowledge of Jerome’s hand in it. The AV that I use is based on the ben Chayyim (Masoretic) text, not on the LXX.
I find it interesting that you date the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy to Jerome. Really? That would mean that Pre-Trib-rapturism must at least date from the fourth century! Thanks! In reality it was taught by the Apostles.
Amillennialism is an abomination that was invented by the arch-heretic Augustine in the fourth century. No-one ever heard of Amillennialism until its invention by Augustine.
Some doubt the existence of the LXX, and others think it has been modified relatively recently. I have not made up my mind. I don’t read it and I don’t read bibles based on it. I have read others articles about it, and it seems that the word “Christian” does indeed come from an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew, perhaps the LXX or maybe only another Greek translation.
Chapter one of MY book discusses how to read the bible. By all means get a copy of it and then you will understand where I am coming from. While I come from a relatively intelligent family, we have lots of doctors, teachers, and lawyers, I do not depend on my own intelligence when studying the bible. I depend on the Holy Spirit of God.
Just a small clarification (as well as an invitation to read my book “Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20,” and check out the YouTube videos I’ve prepared on this subject): Sinaiticus contains thousands of corrections, or attempts at correction. This implies that it was being read. Like most books, it was on a shelf most of the time, but it was not merely in storage, so you may want to adjust the “No one every used” reference regarding Codex Sinaiticus.
I suspect that the corrections were done around the time it was created, and since that time, until Tischendorff “found” it, it was not used. It could not have been used much or it would have fallen apart.
Meanwhile the majority of the extant manuscripts follow another textual stream, and are so uniform as to be considered one text. The Byzantine text. That is the true biblical text and the very same one that the King James Bible follows. Why bother with a text that is so obviously doctored?