THE WORD • “For we are not as many, which corrupt the Word of God.”—2 Corinthians 2:17. “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 shaltpreserve them from this generation for ever.”—Psalm 12:6-7
William Miller on the Bible • I have found the Bible, as a whole, one of the most simple, plain, and intelligible books ever written, containing proof in itself of its divine origin and full of all knowledge that our hearts could wish to know or enjoy. I have found it a treasure which the world cannot purchase. It gives a calm peace in believing, and a firm hope in the future. It sustains the mind in adversity, and teaches us to be humble in prosperity. It prepares us to love and do good to others, and to realize the value of the soul. It makes us bold and valiant for the truth, and nerves the arm to oppose error. It gives us a powerful weapon to break down infidelity, and makes known the only antidote for sin. It instructs us how death will be conquered, and how the bonds of the tomb must be broken. It tells us of future events, and shows the preparation necessary to meet them. It gives us an opportunity to hold conversation with the King of kings, and reveals the best code of laws ever enacted. This is but a faint view of its value; yet how many perishing souls treat it with neglect, or, what is equally as bad, treat it as a hidden mystery which cannot be known.
make it your chief study, try it well • Oh my dear reader, make it your chief study. Try it well, and you will find it to be all I have said. Yes, like the Queen of Sheba, you will say the half was not told you. The divinity taught in our schools is always founded on some sectarian creed. It may do to take a blank mind and impress it with this kind, but it will always end in bigotry. A free mind will never be satisfied with the views of others. Were I a teacher of youth in divinity, I would first learn their capacity and mind. If these were good, I would make them study the Bible for themselves, and send them out free to do the world good. But if they had no mind, I would stamp them with another’s mind, write bigot on their forehead, and send them out as slaves. —Miller’s Works. Volume I, 20–24.
TextusReceptus • TextusReceptus is the name given to the third edition of Erasmus’ Greek Text, from which nearly all European Reformation-era Bibles were translated from—and all English Bibles. The exceptions were the 9th-century Alfred’s, the 14th-century Wycliffe’s translation, and the Catholic Rheims-Douai (Douay). The TextusReceptus(the “Received Text”) is the Majority Text which has been rejected by 20thcentury Bible translators.
Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus • There are over 5,000 Bible manuscripts but the modern versions are based on only two!-the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus!The men behind this work are Westcott and Hort
SINAITICUS & VATICANUS • SINAITICUS • In April 1844, a young German scholar, Constantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874), sailed to Egypt, in search of Bible manuscripts. He had just completed a two-year study of ancient manuscripts in Paris. In May, he arrived at the Monastery of St. Catharine, at the foot of Mount Sinai.
large and wide basket full of old parchments • “In visiting the library of the monastery . . I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide basket full of old parchments; and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that the two heaps of papers like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames.”—I.M. Price, Ancestry of Our English Bible
VATICANUS • The Codex Vaticanus (B) is the most complete known manuscript of the Greek Bible; it includes much of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament while breaking off at Hebrews 9:14.
Vatican Library • It was brought to the Vatican Library by Pope Nicholas V, who heard about it in 1448; and it was listed in the first catalog of the library in 1475. Its earlier history is not known. But everything about it—the age of the vellum skin, the lettering, the type of ink, etc.—identifies it as having been written at about the same time as the Sinaiticus.
no Bibles! • It has been said that the Vatican secretly wrote it. It is more likely that it was an ancient copy of the Bible. Rome did not want the world to know about it—and did everything possible to keep scholars from reading it. They did not like Bibles being made available to people. If the Reformation had not occurred, the people still would have no Bibles!
The Waldenses • “The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution. They declared the Church of Rome to be the apostate Babylon of the Apocalypse, and at the peril of their lives they stood up to resist her corruptions.- ‘Great Controversy’
Waldensian Bible • Both the Waldensian Bible (from the Italia) and the great majority of Greek manuscripts were from the same source. We call it the Majority Text.
THE TYNDALE BIBLE (1525-1526) • In the history of the English Bible, William Tyndale’s (1494-1536) is the most important of the Bible translators. In a sense, Tyndale’s Bible towers over all the others. There are two reasons for this: It was the first English translation to be translated from the Greek Text. Tyndale used Erasmus’ text.
translations of a translation • “Before Tyndale’s day, the English versions of the Bible had been but translations of a translation, being derived from the Vulgate or older Latin versions. Tyndale, for the first time, went back to the original Hebrew and Greek. And not only did he go back to the original languages seeking for the truth, but he embodied that truth when found in so noble a translation that it has ever since been deemed wise by scholars and revisers to make but few changes in it; consequently every succeeding version is in reality little more than a revision of Tyndale’s.
peculiar genius • It has been truly said that the peculiar genius which breathes through the English Bible, the mingled tenderness and majesty, the Saxon simplicity, the grandeur—unequalled, unapproached in the attempted improvements of modern scholars— all are here, and bear the impress of the mind of one man, and that man William Tyndale.”—John Foxe, Foxes’ Christian Martyrs of theWorld, p. 362.
opening a closed Bible “ • While Luther was opening a closed Bible to the people of Germany, Tyndale was impelled by the Spirit of God to do the same for England. Wycliffe’s Bible had been translated from the Latin text, which contained many errors’- Great Controversy, p. 245.
Father of the English Bible. • As he died at the stake, Tyndale cried out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” • It is because of the powerful influence of his translation on the five subsequent Bibles, that William Tyndale has been justly designated the “Father of the English Bible.”
not as old as the Majority Text. • The Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are not as old as the Majority Text. They originated in Alexandria, Egypt, a continual breeding ground for paganizing Christian error. They were influenced by the Alexandrian heretic, Origen.(King James and modern versions pg 39)
Their cost • They required the sacrifice of well-over a thousand antelopes (since each adult antelope could only provide skin for two leaves—four pages—of a codex). • Only an extremely wealthy person could afford to commission the preparation of such a book;
Constantine • It is believed that both codices were commissioned by Constantine I, as part of an order for fifty copies. It is also believed that they were transcribed in Alexandria, Egypt. “Constantine applied to Eusebius for fifty handsome copies, amongst which it is not improbable that the manuscripts . . B and Aleph were to be actually found.”—Burgon, Traditional Text, p. 163.
Alexandria • Not only was 4th-century Alexandria noted for its mixture of pagan philosophy with Christianity, but it had a reputation for very early “textual criticism”: i.e., trying to change the Word of God.
shocking example • 1 Timothy 3:16 is a shocking example of what happens when modern translators take two manuscripts (the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus)— and ignore all the rest. Under the urging of Westcott and Hort, the Revision Committee of 1871-1881 viciously attacked the Deity of Christ in 1 Timothy 3:16. They altered the traditional, “God was manifest in the flesh,” to the corrupt, “he who was manifest in the flesh.” They had the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus as support for this change.
Rejected • It has been said that Erasmus’ Greek Text, the basis of the King James Bible, is inferior because he only had access to the Majority Text and not to the superior Vaticanus. The truth is that he was the first to reject the Vaticanus as a source.
The sources • Bible text sources. .. were (1) Greek manuscripts, (2) lectionaries (Bible compilations read in churches which could not afford a larger manuscript of a Bible portion), (3) quotations by the early church “fathers,” and (4) translations into other languages. ..the great majority of those four sources, when they are very early, support the Majority Text, which, as you know, is the basis of the King James Bible!
90% Support majority text • “The outstanding feature of the Received [Majority] Text is its high percentage of agreement among so many thousands of independent witnesses. This agreement is often placed at about 90 percent; ...The King James and the Modern Versions existing manuscripts agree with one another so miraculously that they are able to form their own unique text. In contradistinction to such unity, the remaining 10 percent comprises a selection of manuscripts that will both agree with the Majority Text in many particulars while disagreeing wildly in others. —W.P. Grady, Final Authority, p. 28.
ONLY A 1% MINORITYSUPPORTS THE MODERN VERSIONS • The Bible says, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 11:1). That is what the modern versions are based on. • This handful not only disagrees with ‘the Majority,’ as to what the New Testament says, but disagree among themselves! These include such manuscripts as Vaticanus (B), Sinaiticus (Aleph), Bezae (D), Papyrus 75.
Differ from one another • “All four are discovered on careful scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from the 99 out of 100 of the whole body of extant manuscripts, but even from one another.”—John Burgon, The Revisions Revised, p. 12
1% minority ! • Astoundingly, in the year 1881, this 1% minority text type supplanted the Majority Text with its almost two thousand years as the leading manuscript source. A ‘New’ Greek Text, based on the Vaticanus manuscript was introduced by Westcott and Hort. It has been used as the Greek Text for all subsequent versions.
mutual agreement • In the above statement, Pickering says that it is not 90% of the manuscripts saying this, as opposed to 10% which say that; but it is 90% which stand solidly in mutual agreement while 10% disagree fiercely among themselves.Therefore, on any given passage, it is 90% against 1% or 2%, not 90% vs. 10%.Then there is Hodges; he says that modern textual critics do the opposite of scientists in other fields: Everyone else goes by what majority research proves, not that which the minority presents.
one geographical area • Not only are these manuscripts a minority of witnesses, but they represent only one geographical area: Alexandria, Egypt. The Majority Text, on the other hand, come from manuscripts from Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Syria, Africa, Gaul, South Italy, Sicily, England, and Ireland. • “A reading found in only one limited area cannot be original . .—Op. cit., pp. 143-144
Erasmus • The first scholar to prepare a Greek Text was Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536). It is a tragedy that he timidly refused to unite with the Reformers, since it was His Greek Text which laid the foundations of the Reformation throughout Europe. This is because all Reformation translations (with the exception of the French translation, based on the Waldensian Bible) were translated from Erasmus’ Greek Text.
published in 1516 • Erasmus’ Greek text was published in 1516, just one year before Martin Luther pounded nails into the thesis on the church door at Wittenberg and began the Reformation.
abhorred in the depths of hell • But not everyone liked the King James Bible. A marginal note in the Catholic Rheims- Douai Bible, produced later specifically to introduce Catholic errors and take the place of the King James Bible, said this: The men who made the King James Bible “would be abhorred in the depths of hell” (quoted in McClure, Translators Revised, p. 88).
The Apocrypha. • According to the critics, another “problem” with the King James is the fact that it had the Apocrypha in it. • “It is also interesting—and perhaps you are not aware of it—that the early editions of the Authorized Version contained the Apocrypha. Horrors!”—Robert L. Sumner, Bible Translations,p. 9.
Why the Apocrypha? • Why was the Apocrypha included in this Bible? • It has been suggested that the translators believed the Apocrypha were inspired books. That is not true. They did not want it in the King James Bible, but the king asked that it be included. • ... They listed seven reasons why the apocryphal books were to be categorically rejected as part of the Inspired canon.
great disadvantage • “The Catholics in England were placed at great disadvantage when the Protestant Bible was translated. Armed with the Bible in English, the Protestants could quickly turn to it in a dispute and simply read the passage. The unfortunate Catholic had no English Bible and had to translate [from the Vulgate] on the spot. Even in teaching their own parishioners, the Catholic priests were handicapped.”—S. Kubo and W. Specht, So Many Versions? p. 53.
legends and fables • In previous centuries, the priests merely recounted the legends and fables of the church for the hearing of the ignorant. But, now that the Bible was available in the language of the people—the extent of their ignorance was becoming embarrassing.Something had to be done.
Three agencies • Three agencies were used to destroy the Reformation and its followers: The Jesuits, the decisions of the Council of Trent, and the production of Catholic Bibles with their various mistranslations and errors. • (Example is 1st John 3:4) “Whosoever committeth sin commiteth also iniquity; and sin is iniquity.”—1 John 3:4, Rheims-Douai. The translators garbled that wonderful verse into a tautology: The definition of sin is said to be sin!
commit thou to faithful men • Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. • And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.(2 Tim 2:1-2) • Were Westcort and Hort faithful men?what was their character?
Faithful men? • 1859 “My dear Lightfoot, thank you very much for your kind present. But why did you send beer instead of coming yourself?”—Hort Vol. 1, p. 403. • 1851 Westcott and Hort started the Ghostly Guild (weekly meetings for spiritualistic séances). • 1866 “All the questionable doctrines which I have ever maintained are in it.”—Westcott, Vol. 1, p. 290. • “I reject the word ‘infallibility’ of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.”—Westcott, Vol. 1, p.207. • “Our Bible, as well as our faith, is a mere compromise.”—Westcott, On the Canon of the New Testament • “Much evil would result from the public discussion of our beliefs.”—Westcott, Vol. 1, p. 229.
FEW EXAMPLES? • Exodus 20:10 • Daniel 3:25 • Micah 5:2 • Isaiah 14:12 • Revelation 22:14 • Mathew 9:13 • Mark 2:17 • Romans 8:1 • Hebrews 9:12 • 1 John 5:7 • Mark 10:24 • 1 Timothy 3:16 • 1 John 4:3 • Mark 16:9-20 • Mathew 18:11 • Mark 11:26 • 1 Cor 15:47 • Mark 9:29
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.”—Isaiah 40:8.