Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Here are my tips to Catholics asking Bro. Eli Soriano in his program

I have no personal grudge against Bro. Eli. As a Catholic, I just want to help Filipinos whom he calls ignorant of the Bible. Bro. Eli often claims he knows the Bible very well. 

These are just some of the questions you can ask Bro. Eli and hopefully, he answers you honestly and without rancor.

First, he often mentions the Dead Sea Scrolls in his program. Ask him if he can read the Dead Sea Scrolls. Challenge him to read the manuscript of the Great Isaiah Scroll since the text is available at dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah. Why will we ask this? This is for us to know if Bro. Eli really knows the Bible as he claims because he always reads translations. I don’t have a problem if he reads translations. My point is, be humble if you’re only reading translations. Don't call other people "Bobo sa Bibliya" and only you are knowledgeable. Many people can read Hebrew and Greek but are not too arrogant like him. There was one time that I heard him read one verse of Greek text which he pronounced wrongly. 

Second, in once occasion, one of the members of Bro. Eli posted that Codex Sinaiticus is much better than Codex Vaticanus. Most probably, this member learned from their teacher, Bro. Eli. This is my question: Can you read the actual text of Codex Sinaiticus for you to give such a declaration? Can you demonstrate the difference between the two manuscripts in your live program? Most importantly, we want to see in your program if you really know when you discuss textual criticism using Codices to resolve textual variants between the Masoretic Text and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Give at least 5 verses with variant readings between MT and DSS.

Third, you frequently use the King James Version in your program to answer questions. Were you able to discuss that King James Version has many extra phrases which cannot be found even in Codex Sinaiticus? 
"..the King James Version, based on the Textus Receptus, have all these extra verses, phrases, and words.  Those who read the King James Version (also the New King James Version) are reading a "leavened" version---that is, it is a text with thousand of extra words...In short, the additions were the result of scribal gap-filling wherein scribes added words as they read and copied a text. The sources for the additions came from their own minds, other gospels, other scriptures, and oral traditions" (A Commentary on Textual Additions to the New Testament, Philip W. Comfort, Kregel Academic (December 27, 2017), pp. 7-8) 

I hope the followers of Bro. Eli will not get mad at me since I only wanted to answer Bro. Eli honestly and we will know if it is true that only he knows the Bible and the others are ignorant.

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Three Important Information we can see in Papyrus 75 but are not seen in other Greek Manuscripts

Papyrus 75 or P75 is one of the most vital Greek manuscripts for New Testament scholars especially those who value textual criticism.  For Catholic and Protestant scholars, Codex Vaticanus, a 4th century manuscript is very important. 

Bear in mind that Vaticanus is very close to P75. Their closeness is deemed regarded very close to the "sibling" relationship and the "parent-child" relationship.

Papyrus 75 is included in the Alexandrian-text type, and for Bruce Metzger, one of the best New Testament scholars, it is considered superior by most critics. 

Papyrus 75 like Codex Vaticanus is found at the Vatican library and the website of Vatican library with 75,000 manuscripts. This manuscript was written in the 3rd century. At the Vatican Library, all types of manuscripts are kept like theological works from the early church and Middle Ages, secular documents, sermons and biblical manuscripts written in Hebrew, Syriac, Greek and Latin. Some are complete. Others are incomplete. If you can read ancient manuscripts and look at Papyrus 75, you will notice something different in some Greek manuscripts.

1. Staurogram

In this part of P75, we can read the Greek word, bastazei ton stauron meaning “carry the cross.” 

This manuscript is shaped like a cross. 

It looks like this: 
2. The Name of Rich man 

In some Greek manuscripts, we cannot find the name of the Richman in Luke 16:19 and even today’s translations in the Bible. But in this manuscript, we can see the name of Rich man and it is Neues.

3. Sacred Names or Nomina Sacra

In Papyrus 75, the scribe who wrote this manuscript used Nomina Sacra. For the sacred names, they don’t write the complete Greek words but just the first letter and last letter. One is the word, Theos meaning “God.” The scribe wrote Theta and Sigma which we will notice in John 1:18 of this manuscript. P75 confirms the ancient “Monogenis Theos” or “God the only Son” and not “Ho Monogenis Huios” or “The only begotten Son.” 

Although “Ho Monogenis Huios” is found in Codex Alexandrinus, a 5th century manuscript, P75 supported Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, both 4th century manuscripts. Even textual criticism scholars like Daniel Wallace (Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, p. 74) and Comfort (Encountering the Manuscripts, p. 336) believe that “Monogenis theos” is original. For Larry Hurtado, the early manuscripts are better (The Earliest Christian Artifacts, p. 15). Even Bart Ehrman who doesn’t believe that Christ is God admit that the first reading is the one found in the manuscripts that are the oldest and generally considered to be the best—those of the Alexandrian textual family (Misquoting Jesus, pp. 161-162)

Note: Images in the manuscripts of this post are owned by Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

Friday, June 19, 2020

If it is not right to call any person on earth "Father" (Matthew 23:9), why did St. Paul say, “I became your father through the gospel (1 CORINTHIANS 4:15)”?

Is there a contradiction between these two verses? Or, is it wrong to call a Catholic priest or spiritual adviser here on earth, “Father”? Is it enough to understand this literally or not to carefully analyze what the Lord Jesus meant by, “And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven” (Matthew 23:9)?

Is it wrong to call any priest or spiritual mentor or adviser, “Father”? 

Christ was a priest and this is biblical (Hebrews 7:26). He called his disciples “children” which is written in the gospel (John 13:33).  

Here is what a Bible scholar said in his analysis: 
Jesus addresses his disciples as “children” in 13:33 (cf. paidi/a in 21:5), which figures in the Jesus tradition  as well as being a standard title for disciples in John’s circle (1 John 2:1, 12, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21; paidi/a in 2:14, 18). This title should not be thought to betray a confusion between the roles of Father and Son; apart from its application to Jesus, one would not even need to assume divine implications in Jesus being their implied “father” here...“Father” could apply to any respected elders;  thus, for example, the honorary title “father of a synagogue” (The Gospel of John, Volume One & Volume Two, Craig S. Keener, Baker Academic, 2010, pp.921-922).

Regarding the statement of Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:15. Students could affectionately call and treat special teachers as "fathers"; that St. Paul here calls himself their "father through the gospel"(1 Corinthians 4:15).

“Philosophers, rabbis and teachers in general were models to imitate as well as to listen to. This is one of the most common ideas in Greek literature. A disciple of a teacher could be called his "child" (4:15); Timothy as an imitator of Paul can become a model for St. Paul's "children" in Corinth” (The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Craig S. Keener, IVP Academic; First edition (February 1994), p. 461).

According to Historians, St. Paul was a spiritual father.
Cf. also 1 Cor. 4:15, where Paul says that he became the spiritual father (Gk. egennesa) of the Corinthians (page 285, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume 2 edited by Geoffrey W. Bromile).

In Matthew 23, Jesus made us understand that we must learn how to be humble while religious leaders must not seek honorary titles. 
"Religious leaders must not seek honorary titles (23:7-11). Most of the people respected sages and their disciples (Goodman 1983: 77-78), and honors for rabbis seem to have grown in time (cf., e.g., Neusner 1972: 76, 101; Edersheim 53) (The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary ,Craig S. Keener, p.543).

If we study the message carefully, the Pharisees wanted to grab the Glory of God. You can call your mentor, “Father” provided you do not consider him god or equal to God, the Father in heaven. This is the message of Jesus. 
"By the same token, they ought not call anyone on earth "father" (23:9), because they have only on Father -- "the one in heaven," to whom Jesus taught them to pray in filial confidence and love (6:9-13)" (p. 955, The Paulist Biblical Commentary).

No other should be called “teacher” or “father” except God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ: Father, because from him are all things…. It is one thing to be a father or teacher by nature, something else to be one by tender feeling. If we call a man “father,” we are conferring honor to his age; we are not pointing out the Creator of our life (260-261, Commentary on Matthew (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series).

Jesus taught the “Our Father” to his disciples (Matthew 6:9-13).

Let us observe closely: Instead of using the word “God” when He taught the prayer to His disciples, He used the word “Father” since it refers to the only God in Heaven.
“I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land – the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me” (Jeremiah 3:19).

Here are my tips to Catholics asking Bro. Eli Soriano in his program

I have no personal grudge against Bro. Eli. As a Catholic, I just want to help Filipinos whom he calls ignorant of the Bible. Bro. Eli often...