The "Critical Text" Criticized

cfowen

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Ok - I won't try to tackle these points as they are for other topics. What are your impressions on the reliability of Codex Sinaiticus?
I certainly don't use any Bible that relies on it, so I could care less. However, there's not a Bible that doesn't contain errors. I do think that DD stands for Dumb and Dumber, especially for those DDs that are part of any denomination you could name. The longerbthey are in divinty school, the dumber they get. Sort of like the public school system, but worse.

Since only dispensationalists rightly divide and, except for a few Baptists that are of the weaker Ac 2 dispensationalist ilk, no member of any mainstream denomination is a dispensationalist, officially, so, by definition, no loyal member of a mainstream denomination is approved unto God, according to 2Tim 2:15. The ONLY way to truly understand scripture is to be an Ac 28:28 dispensationalist that is strongly into right division. The truth is not in anyone that doesn't rightly divide, period. To be otherwise is impossible.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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Is the second step, after rightly dividing the Bible, to then subtract all of those other Christians who didn't rightly divide it with you?
I think sometimes it is easy to lose focus in a thread. The reason why I posted this one up is that there appears to be a case to answer on the authenticity of the "oldest, best and most scribbled on" copy of the Bible.

Specific interpretations based on our understanding of the text falls under a different topic than looking at the text itself, in the same way as getting Shakespeares "original words" for Hamlet might be a very different topic to what he thought about the idea of ghosts.
 






Alanantic

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If you really need a book to figure out Life, the Universe, and Everything, "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" is pretty good. Most of the world's "holy scripture" is...well...holey.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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Simonides, a man who claimed to have formed what is now known as Codex Sinaiticus.

A review of a debate

"Although I enjoy listening to debates, I’m not a big fan of them. This may sound contradictory, so let me explain. On the one hand, debates are a great way to become familiar with different points of view, be they non-Christian or Christian. In this respect, I appreciate the knowledge that can be gained from assessing each point and counterpoint making up the debate. However, on the other hand, personality can often take the place of sound reasoning. The more aggressively one pursues his debate opponent, for instance, the stronger he appears to the audience, as one who is in the right. Why? Because his personality trumps the weakness of his argumentation. Thus, debates can swing in the favor of men who present well, as opposed to presenting their case well.
The debate over whether or not Codex Sinaiticus is a modern forgery, a debate between James White and Chris Pinto was, unfortunately, one that made me dislike debates even more. Before I listened to the background information that Pinto presented in his documentary and on his podcast/radio show, I was pretty sure James White’s statements about Pinto’s ideas being far-fetched and based on loose threads woven together by conspiracy were right. But when the debate took place a couple nights ago, I saw that Dr. White was wrong. Pinto presented documented history that challenged the official story regarding Simonides (i.e. the man who claimed to have penned Codex Sinaiticus); Dr. White, however, did not refute Pinto’s challenge.
Dr. White appealed to authority, asking Pinto if he had ever collated manuscripts of the Bible or if he was competent in Greek, in an attempt to show that Pinto’s ignorance was the only justification he had for believing that the case of Simonides was not a closed case. But this kind of reasoning is fallacious. Pinto was not arguing from the standpoint of one who knew either the collation process or was competent in, if not a scholar of, koine Greek. His credentials in these two fields (i.e. manuscript collation and ancient Greek) is completely irrelevant. Pinto’s argument was drawn from historical records regarding the events and persons surrounding Codex Sinaiticus. Dr. White, therefore, had no reason to ask for such credentials.
If the historical data Pinto presented are to be jettisoned, then Dr. White should have presented an argument in favor of ditching the historical sources to which Pinto made reference. But Dr. White did no such thing.
Also, Dr. White reduced Pinto’s cogent reasoning to a “conspiracy theory,” a term which is often used in American media to dismiss viewpoints that contradict the official story. And Dr. White used it in just that way. In other words, Dr. White uncritically dismissed Pinto’s argument to a “conspiracy theory.”
In short, here are the problems I had with the debate: 1. Dr. White argued fallaciously, appealing to authority when no such appeal was relevant to the matter at hand. 2. Dr. White made assertions, central to his argument, that cannot be empirically verified. For instance, he claimed that the task of manuscript collation could not be done by a nineteen year old. This is not an argument, nor is it an empirically verifiable fact, as it is a universal proposition. There are many people in history who have accomplished great things at even younger ages. Are these people historical fictions? If they are real people, then are the historical accounts of their great abilities to be dismissed as “conspiracy theories” or overblown accounts of otherwise “normal” individuals? This is not a point that can be taken very seriously, moreover, considering the renown that Simonides had for his unusual intellectual gifts as a young man.
Whether or not he was a prodigy, I don’t know. However, when there is evidence of men speaking highly of Simonides’ superior intellectual endowments, and there is no evidence to prove that a nineteen year old cannot collate biblical manuscripts and form a unique copy of the Bible from those collated texts, the testimony of writers contemporaneous with Simonides actually holds weight, where Dr. White’s assertion has none. Chris Pinto presented a logically cogent case for his position.
Dr. James White neither presented a logically cogent case, nor did he succeed in refuting Pinto’s position. Again, Pinto presented actual historical documentation that drills numerous holes into the “official” story regarding Simonides, whereas Dr. White simply dismissed Pinto’s sources, failing to provide counter evidence to Pinto’s argument. Consequently, it is Pinto, in my opinion, who won the debate. And what is troubling to me is that many will not (i.)be able to identify Dr. White’s fallacious reasoning and (ii.)will depend on personalities in their assessment of the debate."

https://involutedgenealogies.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/disappointment-with-the-white-vs-pinto-debate/
 






Red Sky at Morning

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"It was the CORRUPT BYZANTINE form of text that provided the basis for almost all translations of the New Testament into modern languages down to the nineteenth century." This quote is from Bruce Metzger's book, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. On the same page, he also calls the Byzantine text-type "disfigured" and the Textus Receptus (TR), which is based upon it, "debased" (p.xxiii).

In a similar vein, Kurt Aland considers Greek manuscripts which are "purely or predominately Byzantine" to be "IRRELEVANT for textual criticism."
Furthermore, Aland refers to the Critical Text (CT) as "the modern SCHOLARLY text." This is because it is based mainly on the Alexandrian text-type, which he believes to be "of A VERY SPECIAL QUALITY which should always be considered in establishing the original text." And Aland considers this type of text to be the "Standard text" for our day (Aland, pp.viii,31,155).

In contradiction to this view is that of the Majority Text (MT) proponents. J.P. Green, for instance, claims the CT is based on "a handful of CORRUPTED Egyptian manuscripts." And further, he believes these manuscripts were produced by "GNOSTIC HERETICS." Thus, by basing their Greek text on these Alexandrian type texts, the CT scholars are, "RE-INSERTING THESE HERESIES into what they boldly call a 'Holy Bible'" (from press releases for the LITV and MKJV).

These two sets of quotes demonstrate the strong feelings held by proponents of both the CT and the MT. They also show that, for the most part, the CT is based on "Alexandrian" type Greek manuscripts and the MT is based on "Byzantine" type Greek manuscripts.
 






cfowen

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Is the second step, after rightly dividing the Bible, to then subtract all of those other Christians who didn't rightly divide it with you?
The name of the form of dispensationalism, like Ac2, Ac9, or Ac28, shows where the right division cut is cut and when they say the Gentile church started. All dispensationalism divides what pertains to Israel from what they think pertains to Gentiles, but they do it in different places.

It's not a matter of just cutting or dividing God's Word, it's a matter of dividing it rightly or correctly. We strongly believe that we're cutting it correctly and the other 2 types of dispensationalists are not cutting it correctly.

1- Acts 2 (Darby, Scofield, Larkin, etc.) thinks the Gentile Church started in Ac2. However, according to scripture, since no Gentile, except a proselyte, became a member of the Acts Church until 8 years after Ac2, and other reasons, I discount Ac 2 dispensationism as being false. Plus, everyone in the so-called Ac 2 Gentile church was an Israelite.
2- Ac 9 (Stam, O'Hair, etc) have the Gentile church starting in Ac 9, when Paul, THE apostle to the Gentiles, was saved on the Damascus Road. I discount Ac 9 for several reasons. One of the Ac 9 main tenants is that Israel was set aside, or whatever words they use, in Rom 11. If Israel wasn't set aside, it would be impossible to have a Gentile church. I discount Ac 9 for many different reasons. Here's a few.
----A- Israel's blindness in Ac 11 was only in "part", according to 11:25. It wasn't in "full" until Ac 28:26-27, when the full brunt of blindness from the curse of Isa 6:9_10 was imposed on them
----B- Later in Rom 11, we find that the Gentiles were let in to provoke Israel to Jealousy. Also, in Rom 11, we find that the saved Gentiles were grafted into the good Olive tree which was Israel. Back then, is was common to graft a wild olive branch into an old non-productive olive tree to make the old tree start producing again. Neither letting in Gentiles or grafting them into Israel make any sense if Israel was already set aside. The church throughout all of Acts is Jewish, because thevsaved Gentiles were grafted into and were, thus, part of Israel
---- C- In Ac 28, Paul was still preaching to the Jews first in Acts 28, a long time after Ac 20, aboutwhen Romans was written
3- Ac 28 dispensationalism (Welch, Oscar Baker,Allen, etc.) is the only one that covers all the bases. Although we absolutely believe a brand New church started in Ac 28:28, it doesn't come right out and say so. Here's a few of the reasons we believe the way we do.
----A- That powerful blinding, deaf curse of Isa 6 was definitely pronounced on Israel in Ac 28:26-27. Also, something was obviously transferred away from Israel and to the Gentiles in vs 28. It says the Salvation of God was passed. Most of us think this is Jesus Christ. The Messiah has dismissed Israel for the last 1950, or so, years
----B- The hope, calling, church, mystery, and everything else in Paul's last 7 books are totally different in most every respect than Paul's Acts books. The only thing I know of that was carried over from the Acts epistles to the post-Acts epistles was Paul's Gospel of Salvation of 1Cor 15:1-4, as is proven by several verses. Most importantly, there are many verses that prove those Gentiles in the after-Acts books have a calling of spending eternity in Heaven. No other people in the Bible have this calling. The calling of all the others is either the Earth or the New Jerusalem, which is not Heaven
----C- Unlike the churches selected by the other 2 types of dispensationalism, the after Acts church is all Gentile. In these books, it is obvious that Paul is only talking to Gentiles. Israel is almost totally absent, except to say thit, on this dispensation, Jews and Gentiles are equal. If a Jew wants to get saved, they have to believe Paul's Gospel in 1Cor 15:1-4, just like us Gentiles. Also, most all Jewish words are absent. "It is written" appears in Paul's Acts books 33 times. In his post-Acts books, it does not appear once.

I just re-read Eph and Col for the jillionth time, and it's amazing to me why people can't see the huge difference between Acts and after-Acts. To see after-Acts, I think you have to first remove your Acts spectacles and stomp on them. And mainly, stomp hard on the rature. Your "rapture" is the infinitely better "appearing", mentioned at least 5 times in Paul's after-Acts books, if you want. If you see it and believe it, it's yours if you accept the gift. If you accept it, whether it's true or not, it's a win-win proposition. If it's not true, you still have the rapture, which is not going away, no matter what you believe. You can't lose. What you believe now doesn't gain you anything beyond your salvation, which most all of us have. If what I am telling you is true, and I believe it is 100% true, it's the only thing other than salvation that takes faith to get. Get it before you get hit by a truck.
 






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Serveto

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The name of the form of dispensationalism, like Ac2, Ac9, or Ac28, shows where the right division is done. These scripture numbers are when they say the Gentile church started. All dispensationalism divides what pertains to Israel from what they think pertains to Gentiles, but they do it in different places.
It's not a matter of just cutting or dividing God's, it's a matter of dividing it rightly or correctly. We strongly believe that we're cutting it correctly and the other 2 types of dispensationalists are not cutting it correctly.

1- Acts 2 (Darby, Scofield, Larkin, etc.) thinks the Gentile Church started in Ac2. However, according to scripture, since no Gentile, except a proselyte, became a member of the Acts Church until 8 years after Ac2, and other reasons, I discount Ac 2 dispensationism as being false.
2- Ac 9 (Stam, O'Hair, etc) have the Gentile church starting in Ac 9, when Paul,THE apostle to the Gentiles, was saved on the Damascus Road. I discount Ac 9 for several reasons. One of the Ac 9 main tenants is that Israel was set aside, or whatever words they use, in Rom 11. If Israel wasn't set aside, it would be impossible to have a Gentile church. I discount Ac 9 for many different reasons. Here's a few.
A- Israel's blindness in Ac 11 was only in "part", according to 11:25. It wasn't in "full" until Ac 28:26-27, when the full brunt of blindness from the curse of Isa 6:9_10 was imposed on them
B- Later in Rom 11, we find that the Gentiles were let in to provoke Israel to Jealousy. Also, in Rom 11, we find that the saved Gentiles were grafted into the good Olive tree which was Israel. Back then, is was common to graft a wild olive branch into an old non-productive olive tree to make the old tree start producing again. Neither letting in Gentiles or grafting them into Israel make any sense in Israel was set aside. The church throughout all of Acts is Jewish, because
C- In Ac 28, Paul was still preaching to the Jews first in Acts 28, a long time after Romans was written
3- Ac 28 dispensationalism (Welch, Oscar Baker,Allen, etc.) is the only one that covers all the bases. Although we absolutely think a New church started in Ac 28:28, it doesn't come right out and say so. Here's a few of the reasons we believe the way we do.
A- That curse of Isa 6 was definitely pronounced on Israel in Ac 28:26-27. Also, something was obviously transferred away from Israel and to the Gentiles in vs 28. It says the Salvation of God was passed. Most think this is Jesus Christ.
B- The hope, calling, church, mystery, and everything else in Paul's last 7 books are totally different in most every respect that Paul's Acts books. Most importantly, there are many verses that prove those Gentiles in the after-Acts books have a calling of spending eternity in Heave. No other people in the Bible have this calling. The calling of all the others is either the Earth or the New Jerusalem, which is not Heaven
C- The after Acts church is Gentile. In these books, it is obvious that Paul is only talking to Gentiles. Israel is almost totally absent. Most all Jewish words are absent. "It is written" appears in Paul's Acts books 33 times. In his post-Acts books, it does not appear once.


I just re-read Eph and Col, and it's amazing to me why people can't see the huge difference between Acts and after-Acts. To see after-Acts, I think you have to first remove your Acts spectacles and stomp on them.

I was sort of good-naturedly messing with you in that above post of mine. I realize the importance you place upon so called Acts 28:28 dispensationalism, given that most of your posts concern, almost to the point of belaboring, the topic, but it's best to let this thread concern itself with Codex Sinaiticus. Even more than either Codex Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, I, personally, am interested in that most remarkable of all books, or laws: the one that was supposed to be written upon one's heart.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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@Serveto

"Even more than either Codex Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, I, personally, am interested in that most remarkable of all books, or laws: the one that was supposed to be written upon one's heart."

Me too!

In a major flashback to a young teen version of myself, this once wrote something on my heart....

 






Serveto

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@Serveto

"Even more than either Codex Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, I, personally, am interested in that most remarkable of all books, or laws: the one that was supposed to be written upon one's heart."

Me too!

In a major flashback to a young teen version of myself, this once wrote something on my heart....

Not to denigrate the sincerity of your post, of course, but speaking of flashbacks, I think some of us schoolboys, when those tracts were circulating through our church, used to call them "[Jack] Chick Flicks."
 






cfowen

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I think sometimes it is easy to lose focus in a thread. The reason why I posted this one up is that there appears to be a case to answer on the authenticity of the "oldest, best and most scribbled on" copy of the Bible.

Specific interpretations based on our understanding of the text falls under a different topic than looking at the text itself, in the same way as getting Shakespeares "original words" for Hamlet might be a very different topic to what he thought about the idea of ghosts.
The oldest copies are usually not the best copies. The best copies were the most desired and read copies and were, therefore, the copies that wore out the fastest. The oldest copies were often those that weren't very good and no one wanted to read them.
 






cfowen

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I was sort of good-naturedly messing with you in that above post of mine. I realize the importance you place upon so called Acts 28:28 dispensationalism, given that most of your posts concern, almost to the point of belaboring, the topic, but it's best to let this thread concern itself with Codex Sinaiticus. Even more than either Codex Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, I, personally, am interested in that most remarkable of all books, or laws: the one that was supposed to be written upon one's heart.
Sorry,

I just know, for a fact, that rightly dividing Paul's epistles is, by far, the 2nd most important thing in the Bible for a Saint to know, since, if you truly see it, you are rewarded. First, of course, is believing the Biblical report of Jesus Christ with every fiber and braincell of yourself, a living soul.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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An interesting find - wonder if anyone else has heard of the early Byzantine Garima Gospels?

The oldest remaining Byzantine text?

The Ethiopian Garima Gospels - both housed in Ethiopia's Abba Garima Monastery - are the oldest known illuminated manuscripts in existence, earlier even than the Rabbula Gospels (c.586, Laurentian Library, Florence) from Syria. Consisting of two separate 10-inch-thick books - Garima 2 (the older text) and Garima 1 (the younger text) - written on goat skin and decorated with colourful illustrations, these priceless masterpieces of Biblical art are written in Ethiopic, the ancient Semitic language of Abyssinia.

Originally believed to date to the medieval era, about 1100, radiocarbon dating results obtained by researchers at Oxford University, under the umbrella of the Ethiopian Heritage Fund, shows that they actually date from between 390 and 660 CE. Garima 2, the older of the two books, is therefore the earliest known Christian decorated text in the history of illuminated manuscripts, as well as being one of the oldest versions of the early Byzantine Text of the Gospels.


From another source...

False claim exposed:

“Mark 16:9-20 is omitted by important Ethiopic codices.”

This claim can still be found in influential commentaries and apologetics-handbooks. It still circulates on page 322 of the fourth edition of The Text of the New Testament, the work of Metzger (now deceased) and his student Bart Ehrman. (Interesting where his name crops up, @Etagloc ) The late Eugene Nida (remember me me mentioning him, @Serveto ?) also was guilty of spreading this claim.

However, in 1980, Metzger demonstrated in a detailed essay (published as chapter 9 in a volume of New Testament Tools and Studies) that the statement is false.

Metzger concluded that the claim was based on a mistake made by researchers in the 1800’s regarding three Ethiopic manuscripts – all three of which really contain the passage.

To repeat: all known undamaged Ethiopic manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark include 16:9-20.
Furthermore, research on the Ethiopic version has not stood still since 1980: the Garima Gospels, an Ethiopic manuscript which was previously thought to have been written around A.D. 1000, was tested via carbon-dating, and its production-date was reassigned to 430-540.

The Garima Gospels contains Mark 16:9-20 immediately after 16:8.

http://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2016/03/?m=1
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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A re-used piece of the Gospel of Mark papyrus has reportedly been found in a mummy mask dated at around 90AD.

If verified, as it would be a re-used fragment, this would make a very good case for an early dating of the Gospel of Mark.

In turn, this would greatly weaken the popular "legend" hypothesis of the "Jesus Seminar" and further support the case for the account of Jesus in the Bible having historical substance.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/papyrus-found-mummy-mask-may-be-oldest-known-copy-gospel-180953962/


However -

We are still waiting for the forensic work to be completed and published. When the final results on in, if conclusive, it is bound to cause a stir!

This is the point the investigation has reached at this time:

http://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2017/07/first-century-mark-more-information.html?m=1
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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Ever wondered how the Jesuits feel towards the traditional text of the Bible?

Here is a quote from The Jesuits in History, where Hector McPherson quotes from a Jesuit meeting in Cheri, Italy in 1825, and gives us shocking insight as to the Jesuits' true view of the Bible:

"...then the Bible, that serpent which with head erect and eyes flashing, threatens us (the Jesuits) with its venom while it trails along the ground, shall be changed into a rod as soon as we (the Jesuits) are able to seize it…for three centuries past this cruel asp has left us no repose. You well know with what folds it entwines us and with what fangs it gnaws us."

(The Jesuits in History, Hector Macpherson, Ozark Book Publishers, 1997, Appendix 1).
 






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