The Septuagint and Modern Bible Versions, Part 7
Author unknown; edited by Dr. James W. Bruggeman. All underlining is emphasis by JWB. Also, all comments in [brackets] is by JWB, except author’s source references are also in brackets.
Note made February 16, 2011: I am revising this article slightly in that I have discovered that the host for my blogs does not retain the Hebrew and Greek fonts–or at least I have not yet figured out how to do it. The correct Hebrew and Greek fonts were in the article below when I first posted it, but I have just realized they have disappeared. Hence, for the manuscript designated by the scholars by the Hebrew letter “aleph,” I will simply use the word “aleph.” Ditto with the manuscript designated by the Greek letter “delta.”
The works of Origen and his successors and imitators were picked up in the late 1800’s by Westcott and Hort as though they were the Holy Grail. They set out to dupe a nation and then the world. When they were commissioned in 1871 to do a revision of the authorized text, they instead secretly junked that idea and came out with a replacement in 1881 called the Revised Version, based upon Origen-type texts. We will have more to discuss later regarding these men, but here are a few snippets that call into question their attitudes, their very core, as to whether they were Christian, or hidden agents for Rome, or elsewhere in the spiritual realm.
From Mr. Hort’s autobiography: [Actually not an autobiography per se, but from the Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, published posthumously by his son.]
Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue .
… the book that has most intrigued me is Darwin … My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable.
I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and Jesus-worship have very much in common …
I am inclined to think that such a state as Eden (I mean the popular notion.) never existed.
The popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit.
[Let’s Weigh The Evidence, page 67]
From Mr. Westcott’s autobiography [Actually not an autobiography per se, but from the Life and Letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, published posthumously by his son] we have:
I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry bears witness.
No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, gives a literal history.
The Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical… We dare not forsake the sacraments or God will forsake us,…
And quoting from a letter from Westcott to Mr. John Ellerton, July 6, 1848, quoted from The Authority of the Bible, by Professor C. H. Dodd, Director of Translation of the New English Bible…
The old dogmatic view of the Bible therefore, is not only open to attack from the standpoint of science and historical criticism, but if taken seriously it becomes a danger to religion and public morals. [as quoted in Let’s Weigh The Evidence, page 67-68]
Interesting, wouldn’t you say, that the Bible is a danger! Would you trust a translation from these men who missed praying to Mary and curried to Roman Catholic views and secular, worldly values? They even believed that the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ for His people to be immoral and counterfeit. This is sick!
The Revised Greek Text New Testament from which the overwhelming majority of modern English translations are taken is different from the KJV Textus Receptus (the MT), in 5,337 places. Modern translations downgrade or deny in places the deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the blood atonement of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and the reliability of the Word of God. [Let’s Weigh The Evidence, page 71]
When you read in books and articles about these weighty matters, a term you need to know and understand is what these higher critics called, a “neutral text.” It was one of their best and finest ploys upon innocent minds. The curious term, neutral text, is what Westcott and Hort assigned to Vaticanus and one other document, not because they had an intrinsic middle view between various translations, but because Vaticanus showed a consistency of writing, spelling and copy accuracy. In short, it was an example of a relatively intact and scholarly transcript. To this they applied the label of it being a “neutral text,” which has misled many others as to what the term might mean.
Vaticanus tends toward brevity, has larger blocks of text and a minimum of either corrections or side notes throughout. [The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, page 124] The other “neutral text” is [per Westcott and Hort] Codex Siniaticus. [Remember, that’s the one found in the trash, ready for the fire.]
A rule of thumb in resolving textual translation differences is to note how often the translations from long ago support the Hebrew. They support the Hebrew even when the translations may afford a better reading in some particular area. But when the Septuagint or another translation differs, it can never replace the Hebrew because the Hebrew is always the standard form of the text. The translation will always be secondary. Only rarely, and with great and deliberate care, can a translation be properly described as an authority in its own right. [How We Got the Bible, page 149]
Not since the Jesuits and the dark hosts of Rome lost the long and brutally bloody battle to force the Textus Receptus (Majority Text) off the world stage has there been such a mighty battle, a battle which has now entered the mental realm of what we believe or think is true. For those with little knowledge of such matters, it was only in the latter part of the twentieth century that the Roman Catholic church [supposedly] called off the war against Protestants.
But they never let go of the fight, as witnessed today in the continuing troubles with the IRA in Northern Ireland and the Liberation Theology movements that Rome covertly supports in South America and other third world nations. [Indeed, in North America also; most notably in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago where President Obama heard the “social” gospel of Liberation Theology preached for 20 years.]
We even fail to see that the broad onslaught of legal and illegal immigrants into this country floods America and other Israelite nations with pagans, and large numbers of Roman Catholics who obey their church in special matters! Now let’s look at the family of Alexandrian text Bibles in more detail.
In the mid 1800’s the Western world was surprised by the discovery of two well-preserved fourth-century Greek manuscripts. They were Codex Siniaticus (designated “Aleph”) and Codex Vaticanus (among scholars designated as “B”). They received immediate acclaim for allegedly being several centuries older than the documents that the KJV translators worked from. [Final Authority, by William P. Grady, Ph.D, D.D., Th.M., Grady Publications, Inc., page 10, © 1993] In one sense this was right, they were hidden, undiscovered and unused all these centuries, and were not a part of the Christian faith through almost two thousand years.
A third codex of this family from the fifth century was Alexandrinus, but the arch type for all these was Origen’s Septuagint. When you add to these four codices Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, you have one mean fist that has been sucker-punching Christian codices into a state of confusion with the emergence of vast numbers of “new and improved” Bibles every year, for many years now. Today it seems that there is a new edition or revision every six months, and God is not the author of confusion! (1 Corinthians 14:33)
All modern Bible translations, including and not limited to the Ferrar Fenton, RSV, NRSV, NAS, KJV, NASB (at least five editions printed now, that I know of), NIV (multiple editions as well), and so forth, come from this family of manuscripts, and with other minor finds, they number only about four dozen in all. This is commonly called the Alexandrian or African stream of documents/manuscripts.
The way and method of attack on the Word of God has been as it always was from the beginning, “Yea, hath God said … ?” [The Holy Bible, Genesis 3:1, King James Version-1611] So too the Alexandrian editions contain serious omissions in the Word of God by questioning as the serpent did to Eve, while adding divergent readings as well as non-canonical materials.
As stated earlier, the dispute is primarily over the accuracy of what is purported to be the Word of God, as opposed to it being a debate over style. It is a matter of substance and content, what is missing, and even what has been added, that we need to be concerned about. This affects truth and hence, could alter or substantially change Biblical doctrine. We need to know God in His image, not God in our image or our foolish imagination.
After nearly a century of English revision based on corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts (Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), a mild resurgence of turning once more to the KJV Textus Receptus occurred in 1979. The editors of the liberal Nestle-Aland Greek text reversed an eighty- year preference for Westcott and Hort with a token insertion of 467 Textus Receptus reading corrections in their 27th Edition. [Final Authority, page vii]
This occurred after well over 2,000 more-recently-discovered ancient papyrus and parchment manuscripts—all following the Textus Receptus—had been found and submitted for consideration in their new edition. With the introduction of the 27th Edition, there was also the removal of many references to other majority text manuscripts,(i.e., same stream as Textus Receptus) all as if to hide that they belonged to this document stream, lest there might perhaps be a renewed, fresh interest in it. [Gipp’s Understandable History of the Bible, by Samuel C. Gipp, DayStar Publishing, page 45-47, © 1989]
The history of manuscripts shows that most texts proliferated in Asia Minor and Greece. None of the Apostles went to Egypt, none sent or wrote their manuscripts there. Incredibly though, we have this statement regarding late extant Greek manuscripts (MSS); that the fundamental text is generally identical with the dominant Antiochan (Byzantine) Majority Texts of the second half of the fourth century. [Final Authority, page 32]
Antioch was an important center of Christian vitality following the crucifixion and it is where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). When you see the Alexandrian texts being described as ” the oldest and best,” know that it is a lie, because these two families of text are at least the same age, and only one was the majority text of Christendom, as noted by even the illustrious Dr. Hort .
Having lost the race to be dominant, the proponents of the Alexandrian texts now took the low road and without a single bit of evidence that such an event took place, Dr. Hort. theorized that an empire-wide, century-long church council took place between 250-350 A.D. in Antioch, where the unknowing coordinator named Lucien, supposedly put forward a secret plan to promote his newly-translated text, and to then suppress for centuries, the Alexandrian texts. This plan was apparently no less ambitious or duplicitous than the letter of Aristeas, and was brazenly mislabeled by Dr. Hort as the Lucien Recension. [Final Authority, page 32-33]
For many years this theory about a grand and secret church council conspiracy, without a single shred of evidence, and their oldest and best Alexandrian texts, has ran amok like wolves inside the sheepfold of modern Christendom. What Westcott and Hort counted on was that there were no earlier manuscripts than the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and they didn’t expect that any would ever be found. God had other plans though because today they have been caught cold. Yet the battle goes on because our people are blinded and ignorant of the truth. Let’s look at some of these facts.
The first Syrian text for those dwelling north-east of Palestine that destroys the Lucien Recension theory is the Peshitta, from 145 A.D., which far predates Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, which remember, are called the “oldest and best” authorities. Nicolaitan scholars had assigned it a dyslexic date of 415 A.D. The word nicolaitan means, “To conquer the people” from its root words nikao, to conquer, and laos, which means the people, or laity.
The Nicolaitans’ deeds are hated by God, as noted in the Holy Bible, (e.g., Revelation 2:6.) This term, Nicolaitan, is fitting for them because they like to lord it over the people that they are the interpreters of the Bible and the people had better be listening to their interpretation and not be reading the Bible themselves, because is just too confusing for them.
The word Peshitta means straight, or to rule. It has a strong agreement with the KJV text types. There are three other main texts that are in this region and contemporary to Westcott and Hort’s Alexandrian texts. They are the Old Syriac of 400 A.D., the Palestine Syriac of 450 A.D. and the Philoxenian of 508 A.D., also known as the Harclean Syriac. [Final Authority, page 34] They too have a strong agreement with the KJV in most areas.
Many people who have read history remember how the Germanic tribes of Vandals and Goths came into the Roman Empire and first served it but then later consumed it. The first translation of the Bible into a European tongue was the Gothic version. It was made about 330 A.D. by a missionary named Ulfilas. Once again, it agrees with the Textus Receptus.
The point here is that two decades before Sinaiticus or Vaticanus were copied, this missionary had access to the Textus Receptus. The ending of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13, for instance, has long been a bone of contention with the so-called “oldest and best” translations as they are called, because “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen,” is found in Ulfilas’ Gothic, and both of these self-proclaimed “oldest and best,” leave it out.
If you have these modern translations, check your version and see what it says, for some leave it out entirely and others call it into question. There are only eight surviving manuscripts of the Gothic, but they have it and the Alexandrian texts do not. [Final Authority, page 34]
It is a question of whose power, whose kingdom and whose glorious reign are we acknowledging, or perhaps as the Alexandrians and certainly the anti-Christ’s imply, are we perhaps saying that the issue of who rules is still in doubt or that our allegiance lies elsewhere and not with God the Father in Jesus Christ? (Joshua 24:15).
The queen of ancient texts is the Armenian Bible, of which there are 1,244 surviving manuscripts. They were made about 400 A.D. and closely match the readings of the KJV. The first Old Latin translations were made no later than 157 A.D., and we know that some churches using that text were organized decades earlier.
Known also as the Itala Bible, it was in existence a full century before Dr. Hort’s alleged secret and grand conspiracy council of the entire Christian church ever met, again disproving this monumental fraud played upon all of Christendom that accepted these Alexandrian texts for their modern Bible readings.
Besides the witnesses of sacred texts historically proving their lineage, there are the writings of the early church fathers, called patristic writings. They too show and prove what the prevailing text of the day was. The writings of Tertullian, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen and Clement of Alexandria provide us 30,147 scripture citations alone. All five of these men died 20-150 years before Dr. Hort’s Lucien Recension grand council allegedly took place, so how could all these writings be forged? The great majority of these writings agree with the Textus Receptus, as documented by Dean Burgon. [Final Authority, page 36] (End of part 7. To be continued.)