Monday, March 30, 2020

Do You Read the Bible? The Protestant Pastor Asked

Three persons asked me if I read the Bible. One is a Protestant Pastor whom I met before the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples

The purpose of this article is not to attack Protestants and show that I am better than others. I only wanted to show how I refuted a pastor who thinks he is better than others just because he reads the Bible. By the way, this pastor criticizes the sacred images. 

Well, not all Protestant pastors are like him because I have many friends who are pastors and do not attack Catholics. 

How did we meet? Someone asked for my help to possibly meet the pastor of his wife and hold a sharing session. We met this pastor at their church.

The pastor asked me. Do you read the Bible? 
I answered, “Which Bible are you referring to?” 





And he pointed at the KING JAMES VERSION he was holding. 

I answered, “you are just holding a translation and many were added which are not in ancient Greek manuscripts and I also said “THIS IS THE BIBLE” and showed to him my Hebrew and Greek Bibles.

I’ll move forward with our conversation. Towards the end, he said, “It is important that the Holy Spirit is with you.” I asked him, you claim the Holy Spirit is inside you?  He answered “YES.” I opened my Hebrew Bible and asked him. If the Holy Spirit is with you, can you read it to me?  He answered that he could not read it. That is why I advised him to instead be humble.

In the Philippines, there are many preachers who read translations but feel that they know everything about the Bible when they assail those who have different faiths. In fact, there is one preacher who often attacks the Catholic Church and mentions the Dead Sea Scrolls and Codex Sinaiticus in his program. But I have never heard or seen him read the Hebrew Bible. 


NOW, WHY DID I SAY THE KING JAMES VERSION, USED BY ALL THOSE WHO ATTACK THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS FULL OF ADDITIONS? 

The Text used to prepare King James Version was Textus Receptus (Received Text). 

Textus Receptus does not match the majority text.

Those who defend the "textus receptus" would say "textus receptus" was established on the byzantine-text type.

In fact, hundreds of readings probably depend on a few recent manuscripts. There are many witnesses who can prove Byzantine text is not superior when it comes to establishing the original text. For famous textual criticism scholars and most critics, Alexandrian text is superior.

Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, a proficient new testament scholar and expert in textual criticism, mentioned in his book, The Text of the New Testament (page 280):
“As we have seen, however, the fact that the bulk of witnesses attest the Byzantine text is no sign of its superiority when it comes to establishing the original text. To that end, the earlier attested text forms, the Western and most especially the Alexandrian, are today considered by most critics to be far superior.”


Aside from that, this is what is written on page 223 of Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective:
“It is fair to say that most biblical scholars prefer the Alexandrian text family, earlier called the “Neutral Text” by Westcott and Hort, over the Textus Receptus Greek text which is much later and less accurate than manuscripts from the Alexandrian family. Scholars know that many biblical texts were altered in transmission and translation, and following tireless comparisons of ancient texts they have almost universally abandoned the King James Version as the most reliable English translation of the Greek New Testament.”(Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective, Edited by Craig A. Evans and Emmanuel Tov, Baker Academic (2008), p. 223)


Also, this is what we can read on page 6 of An Introduction to the Old Testament: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts of the Hebrew Bible:
"The King James Version (also known as the “Authorized Version”), though beautiful and cherished by many, is not an up-to-date translation. It was done four hundred years ago. Scholars knew far less about Hebrew and Greek then than they do now. And the translation is based on manuscripts with more errors and expansions than the manuscripts used for translations today. Therefore, the King James Version should not be used for readings in a twenty-first-century academic course on the Bible." (An Introduction to the Old Testament: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts of the Hebrew Bible, David M. Carr, Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (March 8, 2010), p.6)


According to the introduction of the book, A Commentary on Textual Additions to the New Testament written by a Textual Criticism Scholar, Philip Comfort:
"..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)



HERE ARE THE EXTRA WORDS OF THE KING JAMES VERSION:

KJV - Matthew 17:21 




The earliest manuscripts (Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) do not include verse 21.  I marked, and you can see the part where ancient texts of Matthew 17:20 and the subsequent Matthew 17:22


(Codex Sinaiticus, 4th Century Manuscript)

This is what is written on page 157, A Commentary on the Manuscript and Text of the New Testament:
"If the verse was originally part of Matthew's Gospel, there is no good reason to explain why it was dropped from so many early and diverse witnesses."

KJV - Matthew 18:11 



The earliest manuscripts (Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) do not include Matthew 18:11.

This is what is written on pages 28-29, A Commentary on Textual Additions to the New Testament:
"The absence of this verse in several important and diverse witnesses attests to the fact that it was not part of the original text of Matthew."

KJV - Matthew 23:14

Verse 14 is not part of the original text of Matthew according to excellent documentary evidence Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Bezae, Regius and Dublinensis. 

This is what is written on page166, A Commentary on the Manuscript and Text of the New Testament:

"This verse, not present in the earliest MSS and several other witnesses, was taken from Mark 12:40 or Luke 20:47 and insert in Later MSS either before or after 23:13."
In the King James version, there are many verses inserted but cannot be found in the ancient manuscripts. If you have the New Revised Standard Version or New American Bible (Revised Edition) bibles, kindly check the following verses:
  • Matthew 17:21
  • Matthew 18:11
  • Matthew 23:14
  • Mark 7:16
  • Mark 11:26
  • Mark 15:28
  • Luke 17:36
  • John 5:4
  • Acts 8:37
  • Acts 15:34
  • Acts 24:6–8
  • Acts 28:29
  • Romans 16:24


This is what Bruce Metzger said in his Book, Breaking the Code: Understanding the Book of Revelation on page 106:

"When books were copied by hand, scribes would occasionally add comments of their own or leave out words they thought were unsuitable. John therefore includes at the end of his book a solemn warning (similar to that found in Deut. 4:2; 12:32) declaring that nothing should be added or deleted, for the very good reason that it is a revelation from God (22:18-19).” 
 

THE TEXTS THAT YOU CAN READ IN THE KING JAMES VERSION WITH OBVIOUS PROBLEMS

Here are a few problems we see in the King James Version Bible:

1. Acts 9:6 of King James Version mentions “And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” But you cannot read this in Codex Sinaiticus and other Protestant versions like New International Version and English Standard Version.

2. Mark 9:29 of King James Version mentions: “And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” In Codex Sinaiticus, you cannot read και nésteia or “and fasting.” You cannot also read this in other Protestant Bibles (New International Version or English Standard Version).

3. 1 John 3:1 of King James Version, the word kai esmen was removed.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not"(1 John 3:1, King James Version)
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him"(1 John 3:1, New Revised Standard Version)
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him"(1 John 3:1, New International Version) 


(Codex Sinaiticus, 4th Century Manuscript)

4. 1 Timothy 3:16 of King James Version mentions “God was manifest in the flesh…” but this is not written in other Protestant versions. Even Protestant scholar Philip W. Comfort who wrote New Testament Text and Commentary agrees that ός (“he who”) was written by scribes in ancient manuscripts. Over the years, this was were changed by scribes into ΘC (nomina sacra for the word “God”).




“…The original scribes of א (Sinaiticus) * A (Alexandrinus )* C (Ephraemi Rescriptus )* wrote ὅς, which was then changed by later scribes in all three manuscripts to Θεὸς(“God”)…..Scholars have conjectured that some scribe mistook the word OC (= ὅς) for ΘC (the nomen sacrum for Θεὸς).”(New Testament Text and Translation Commentary , Philip Comfort, p. 663)




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