The Origin of the Scriptures

The Origin of the Scriptures: What constitutes the Word of God?

Table of Contents

  1. Why this study was so important
  2. The origin of the majority text (60-1380 AD)
  3. The preservation of the majority text and of the textus receptus (1380-1870)
  4. The Revised Version and its origin (1870-1881)
  5. Are codexes B and Aleph reliable?
  6. Where did the first ever "corrupted" text come from?
  7. Can there be human error in the true Word of God?
  8. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ



1. Why this study was so important

When it comes to exactly what is meant by the term "the Word of God", there can ONLY be three responses: 1) there can only be one true Word of God and all the others are corrupt, 2) anything called a Bible is the Word of God, to include all versions of all time or 3) no opinion on this matter. Romans 10:17 states, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". It was this verse which plunged me into an in-depth study to determine for myself what version, if any or all, is the "Word of God" which, in turn, led me into a study of the different versions of the Bible which are on the market today. According to this verse of Scripture, true and saving faith comes only by hearing THE Word of God, notice that the Scriptures do not say "a Word of God", but rather "THE Word of God", this indicates that there is only one!

Of course the "hearing" spoken of here does not mean hearing with our physical ears as we know it, for if that were the case then anyone hearing the Word of God read would instantly receive this saving faith. This "hearing" is rather the hearing with your spiritual ears of which only God can open and the ONLY vehicle He will ever, and has ever, used is THE Word of God. Upon understanding this, I have come to see the absolute importance of knowing that what I hold in my hands is THE Word of God, for if I do not have the Word of God, I do not have true, saving faith, PERIOD! John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was THE Word, and THE Word was with God, and THE Word was God". It is this one and only Word that saves souls today. I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." To this I must add, "Beloved believe not every version, but try them whether they are of God, because many false versions are gone out into the world". So in this study, I hope to try the versions and see if they be of God!

There are a multitude of versions out on the market today and the motivation behind them really matters not in this study, but rather what is said in them. I will however, take just a brief moment to talk about WHY new versions are written. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why all these versions are necessary? If so, I hope that you will and furthermore, it needs to be pointed out that ALL versions are copyrighted. According to copyright laws, in order to copy something into your own words (i.e. new versions of the Bible) and to then copyright it, you must have the approval of the one from whom you are copying. Most men today do not seek God's approval because they are copying man's work, thusly they must seek permission from other men to create their new versions. No one ever consulted the writers of the King James Bible before they partook in other translations because it is not copyrighted. Now most of the footnotes, maps, indexes, etc., are copyrighted, therefore you will find a copyright on some things in the KJV, but the words themselves are not copyrighted.

Along with approval to re-write something copyrighted, you must also give credit to the work you copy from or at least have their permission. You will NEVER see anything written by a writer or preacher out of the NIV that does not somehow acknowledge that work. In other words, you may see a verse quoted in a magazine article and then in parenthesis you will see (NIV). This is not to give clarity as to the verse, but rather this indicates that the NIV is copyrighted and cannot be quoted from without acknowledgement given to the version, it is the same with all other books, save the King James Bible. Personally, I cannot imagine having to request Zondervan's permission to quote from the Bible, but that is (legally) what you must do if you quote from the NIV. The same is true, as I said, with all other versions except the king James. You may quote freely from it in part or in whole and never fear legal ramifications.

The problem with most professing Christians today is that they cannot identify the adversary, that is, the devil. The Scriptures tell us that he is transformed into an angel of light as are his ministers and that he uses subtilty to deceive, proof being that which occurred in the garden of Eden. Satan is deceiving even today by using things that looks and even sound very good, but upon the consumption of it, damnation occurs. This is true with the Word of God as well, for what better way to deceive multitudes of people searching for truth then to have them searching something that looks and sounds like the truth, but is as far from it as east is from west. I have determined that if Satan is going to deceive us, he will do it through the very Word of God and that is why this study was so important for my eternal soul cannot afford to be duped into relying upon a "false Bible" for salvation. I have used this mind set to challenge what constitutes the Word of God, for our eternal soul hinges upon the fact that I am not being deceived by an angel of light, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

During this study I have tried to remain as open-minded as possible by ensuring that the material I've read and studied was not exclusively against the modem versions. I've studied the arguments on both sides and have deduced that it is an individual decision one must make and of which one must not remain neutral. I am presenting only the facts in these next few pages and they are not, in any way, distorted. Much research went into this and I pray that the things said here will be weighed heavily by you, the reader, and assist you in determining for yourself which, if any, is THE true Word of God.

[Go to Table of Contents]

2. The origin of the majority text (60-1380 AD)

No autographs (the original writings penned by the apostles) are believed to be in existence today. A few torn bits and pieces of papyri (the type of paper used in the first few centuries) have been found over the past few hundreds of years and are presently housed in different museums throughout the world. Some of these are believed to be dated back as far as the year 75 AD, but none of them form a complete Bible. Through the years the originals have been lost and their copies and their copies copies, have been circulated, read, and copied to the point that, other than bits and pieces, no complete Bible is now intact within the first few hundred years of the originals. Take for example, the epistle of Paul to the Colossians. Paul only wrote one copy which is termed the "autograph" or "original" and sent it to Colosse by means of Tychicus. If anyone there wanted to read it privately, or wanted their own copy, they had to physically copy it themselves or pay someone to copy it for them, if they had enough money. The actual letter of Paul's was written on papyri (a cheap form of paper) which was never designed to be handle by very many people, and with so many handling it and making their own copies, it was just a matter of time before it actually and literally disintegrated, (some believe that all the autographs were together and housed in Jerusalem and destroyed in the fire of 70 AD). Either way, the original letters no longer exists, most assuredly neither do any of the 1st or 2nd generation copies ever made of them, for they too were heavily copied and were damaged just by the amount of people handling them. Until we get to the 10th or 11th generation of a manuscript we cannot find a complete letter. Therefore, since we have no more originals only copies, we MUST believe that God has carefully preserved His Word by ensuring no corruption or human error has crept into any of the copies that have been used down through the years in forming the "majority text", a term which I will define shortly.

Between the time of the original letters being written and the life of John Wyclif was about 1300 years, during which time there were over 3000 Greek manuscripts in circulation. I site the person of John Wyclif because he was the first person to translate the entire Greek manuscript into English (although several others like Caedmon and Bede did translate parts of the Word before him, as early as the 7th century, but never the entire text). Of these thousands of manuscripts ALMOST all of them agree with one another, the operative word here being "almost" (remember that). Like anything else, if you have so many different writers you will have some alterations here and there, but for the most part all the doctrinal truths have been preserved with very little change amongst them, this due solely to the Providence of God.

To understand the origin of the Bible we have today, we must understand what is meant by the term "majority text", for it was the majority text which spawned such great Bibles as Tyndale, Geneva, and King James. Suppose you had 10 people sitting before you and asked each of them to handwrite the first five chapters of Matthew, all copying from the same text (the Bible). The chances would be very slim that not one person made at least one error in the translating. How would you know where the error was and who made it? If the nine other people all wrote something one particular way, but the tenth person wrote it another, you would know that the tenth person was in error because the other nine all agreed with each other. Doesn't that make sense? It would not then be inappropriate to state that the tenth persons wording is wrong because it did not match with the majority. The same is true with the majority text, for it is the text in which the majority agree. Suppose further that the one wrong translation was given to someone else to copy, the same error and maybe even others could creep in. This is how the early church fathers preserved their Bible - by discarding all those in disagreement with the majority.

The majority text was the primary (but not sole) basis for the first ever English speaking Bible written by John Wyclif. As of 1975 there were 5255 Greek manuscripts known to be in existence all of which constitute the majority text and for well over 1000 years all those contrary to the majority text were considered tainted, perverted, and corrupted. But what about those that were tainted and did not agree with the others? Most were burned and others were used in the formation of various sects for altering the Bible was widely done in the first few centuries! For example, a scribe who practiced witchcraft would translate the Bible into his own words changing and deleting passages as he saw fit. By the end of the 5th century the corruption of texts died completely down and the majority text ruled sovereign for the next 900 years.

John Wycliff s contribution to the English world was immeasurable for in 1380 he was the first to ever translate the entire Bible into English. He used the majority text, but not solely for he was also influenced by the Latin Vulgate. The Latin Vulgate is the Latin equivalent of the Greek manuscripts of the Scriptures written by Eusebius Hieronymus (aka Jerome) in 382. It was the idea of Damascus, Bishop of Rome, who desired a Bible that conformed to both African and European beliefs, thusly Jerome undertook the task and the result was a combination of both African and European religion which quickly became known as the Latin Vulgate, (Vulgate means "commonly used" or "current"). Within a few years it became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic church, of which it still remains today. I have much to say about Jerome a bit later on, for he and his versions have proven to be untrustworthy. NOTE: In the late 16th and early 17th century the Latin Vulgate was translated into English, the Old Testament was done at Rheims and the New Testament was done at Douay, thusly the result was the "Rheims-Douay" Bible. Over the years the word "Rheims" has been dropped.

[Go to Table of Contents]

3. The preservation of the majority text and of the textus receptus (1380-1870)

Having spoken about the majority text it is text time to show how this evolved into what has come to be known as the "textus receptus" or the "received text". Though the majority text and the received text are not identical, I believe the simplest way to state the difference is that while they are both essentially the same, one is in Greek (majority text) and the other in English.

We owe much to John Wyclif for his putting the majority text into English and time will not permit to expound upon the contributions of faithful men such as Stunica, Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Coverdale, Rogers, and the Elzevir brothers, all of which played a great part in what we now know to be the "received text". But time must permit to speak briefly, and extend a deep debt of gratitude to William Tyndale for the contribution he made, ultimately paying for it with his life. In the early 1500's, William Tyndale saw the need to revise Wyclif's version of the Bible taking out all the Catholic influences which had crept in due to Wyclif's use of the Latin Vulgate, this was done by Tyndall much to the chagrin of the King of England. Arguably, the greatest invention ever made was the printing press and it was William Tyndale who ensured that not only did his Bible get translated into English but that it also got printed in mass quantities.

Although Tyndall was not the first to ever print the Bible he was the first to spread it worldwide by printing over 18,000 copies! The Catholic church called both Tyndale and his version heretical and ordered as many copies as could be obtained burned, and a bounty placed on the head of William Tyndale. One supporter of William Tyndale said of him, "Tyndale was the greatest hero and greatest influence upon the style and diction of the KJV. His printed New Testament was forbidden in England in 1525. His last words spoken before being put to death in 1538 were 'Lord open the king of England's eyes"'. Less than 100 years later God answered this prayer with the formation of the translator's committee approved by King James of England! It is estimated that as much as 80-90% of the King James text came from the Tyndale Bible. Remember that Wyclif's Bible was based upon the majority text as well as the Latin Vulgate, whereas Tyndale's Bible was based solely upon the majority text.

By the early 1600's the received text had widely been agreed upon as the inspired Word of God in the English language. Many other Bibles based upon the received text had been published but none including the Geneva Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishop's Bible, or the Matthew Bible had the force, clarity, or beauty of the Tyndale Bible. Just as the majority text reigned as the Word of God in the Greek language, the received text was now the choice of the English speaking people saving great men such as Calvin, Zwingli, Melancthon, Knox, Zanchius, and Luther - all of which were influenced in one way or another by the Tyndale Bible! It could even be said that Tyndale's Bible helped spark the Reformation period, now certainly only the Word of God could do this!! When translating, Tyndale treated the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God and knew that he was not dealing with any ordinary Book for he took his work very seriously. Tyndale literally scrutinized over every word and it is said that he spent more time in prayer that God's Hand be upon him while translating, then in the actual translating itself

When James I came to the throne of England in 1603, there was a party of reformers called "Puritans" whose sole purpose was to purify the English church by removing all remnants of the Roman Catholic church. The Puritans objected to the use of both the Bishop's Bible and the Great Bible, yet maintained that both the Tyndale Bible and the Geneva Bible were better but needed a revision of antiquated words, phrases, and spelling. This was first suggested to King James in 1604 at Hampton Court by Dr. John Reynolds (a Puritan leader). The King liked the idea and put together a group of scholars organized into 6 groups: 2 at Westminster, 2 at Oxford, and 2 at Cambridge. A committee of 57 men were appointed and seven years later, we had our King James Bible, formulated directly from the textus receptus, using the Tyndale Bible and the Geneva Bible as strict guidelines. (At this time it would be helpful to go back and read "The Translator's Revived" if you have not already, to better familiarize yourselves with the godly men used in this revision).

A few quick words about the definition of "textus receptus". Until 1633 it was referred to as the "English majority text" when the Elzivir brothers published a Bible in which the preface read, "Textum ergo habes nunc ab omnibus receptum, in quo irnmutatem aut conuptum damus", which is to say "the text that you have is now received by all, in which we give nothing changed or perverted". Thusly the term "received text" or "textus receptus", for short. In 1653, Parliament put together a committee to revise the KJV, but the dissolution of Parliament ended this project (I prefer to believe it was Divine Providence)! For over 200 years the KJV stood unchallenged as the Word of God, saving souls and changing lives, spawning great preachers such as George Whitefield, John Bunyan, Thomas Boston, Thomas Manton, Augustus Toplady, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon, and far too many more to mention. Yet during this 200 year period (1670-1870) many other men such as Walton, Mill, Bentley, Lachmann, Bengel, Wettstein, and Griesbach all challenged the authority of the received text claiming it to be corrupt. These men wrote their own revisions of the Bible, sometimes as many as 8 editions, but none ever garnered much attention, but were rather dismissed as perverted. In 1870, a revision committee was established to "perfect the language of the King James Bible and not to alter anything that was not absolutely necessary". Had this have been done as was originally planned, the finished product could have been a great blessing, but what transpired has changed the course of the Word of God forever.

[Go to Table of Contents]

4. The Revised Version and its origin (1870-1881)

1870 was supposed to be the year that began the grandest revision of the Bible ever to be embarked upon. Ninety nine scholarly men, fifty of which were churchmen and 49 belonging to various sects, were authorized by the Convocation of the Southern Providence to form a Revision committee in order that they might revise the King James Bible. The Convocation entrusted the committee into the hands of two well known Greek scholars: Dr. B.F. Westcott and Dr. F. J. A. Hort. Only "absolutely necessary" changes were to be made, primarily changing archaic words to the present vernacular while maintaining the dignity, clarity, doctrine, and especially the inspiration of the KJV. Had this goal succeeded, it could have very well been the best work done in the Scriptures in over 250 years. However, 11 years later (in 1881) less than a dozen men remained on the committee and the country of England received a completely new translation called the Revised Version (RV) with over 36,000 changes from the KJV, and most stunning of all - NOT BASED UPON THE RECEIVED TEXT!!

How this came about cannot be singularly attributed to any one or two people although several key influencials were the direct result of the final product. Why it is so important to understand about the Revised Version (RV) is because every Bible version since 1881 has been based upon it. What this means is that ALL modern versions on the market today are based upon something other than the received text or in other words, the Word of God! To better understand how the finished RV came about we need to travel back a little bit in time.

One hundred and fifty years prior to 1870, a man named Richard Bentley viewed a Greek manuscript (copy of a Bible) in the Vatican Library that he believed to be dated as early as the 4th century which disagreed in numerous areas with what had become widely known as the "majority text". Bentley assumed that the nearly mint condition of this manuscript was due to the preservation of God. Instead it should have been a "warning of the attestment to its badness not its goodness" says David Otis Fuller, "for this indicates that it was out of circulation for well over a thousand years for a reason". Bentley failed to see this, and he believed and wrote that he had seen the "true" manuscript and all others were false. Shortly thereafter Bentley began to publicize (without even stopping to consider that the manuscript he viewed could have been corrupt) that the "older the manuscript, the better" and that the one he had seen was older than any other at the present time, therefore it must the closest to the originals. Other than this single event, Bentley remained in virtual unheard of oblivion, but his writings were the foundation for many others to begin questioning whether or not the majority text was, in deed, correct or corrupt.

By the early 1900's, one Dr. Lachmann began circulating this idea that the older the manuscript was the better, and he was the first to ever publicly declare the textus receptus was corrupt and began publishing his own revised New Testament. Dr. F.J.A. Hort once said of Dr. Lachmann, "He led the way in casting aside the so-called textus receptus and boldly placed the New Testament wholly and entirely on the basis of actual authority". This "actual authority" was one single manuscript which majority disagreed with all the others, it has come to be known as the "Codex (or book) B" - this was the very manuscript which was viewed years earlier in the Vatican library. The fact that both Bentley and Lachmann played a great part in the influencing of Drs. Westcott and Hort's Revised Version is no great mystery but the fact that "the older the manuscript, the better" remains simply unproven and untrue.

Allow me to give you an example of this: suppose that a manuscript was known to be corrupt (by not agreeing with the multitude of others) would not the tendency be to discard it and not have it in circulation? If this occurred, it would not be beyond reason to believe that a manuscript from the 4th or 5th century, such as Codex B, could still be in existence today and be in almost mint condition? Bearing this in mind, the reader is left to judge for himself whether the older the manuscript really is the better.

The foundation had now been laid for challenging the authority of both the majority text and consequently the received text, the structure would soon begin. But it was perhaps the discovery of Constantine von Tischendorf in May of 1844 upon which every present modem version owes its roots. This single event is far too important to just briefly touch upon so I will carefully lay before you exactly what transpired before, on, and since, that time. I will leave it to you, to decide whether or not this was of God...

During Tischendorf's youth, philosopher J.J. Griesbach publicly taught that ALL manuscripts whether corrupt or not were God's Word, he edited a New Testament 8 times and declared that editing the Bible was similar to editing a "common text book" (his exact words). One of Greisbach's most avid listeners was Tischendorf, a well-respected German scholar and a devoted follower of Bentley and Lachmann. Tischendorf became very interested in the authority of the Greek manuscript Codex B (also known as Codex Vaticanus), and devoted much of the remainder of his life to finding "the absolute true Greek text". In 1841 it is alleged that he deciphered a manuscript which no one had ever read for over 600 years because of its faded condition. This manuscript in itself is unimportant for it was nothing more than mere garbled words, but what this did was to give Tischendorf and unquenchable, burning desire to find out more about obscure manuscripts. Shortly thereafter he met with the pope and Cardinal Mezzofanti about the Catholic church sponsoring a trip for him to go to the holy land and search for other manuscripts which may contradict the received text. Although the Catholic church funded most of his trip, in his biography, Tischendorf will not discuss the terms or content of that meeting but simply says, "I here pass over in silence the interesting details of my travels and audiences with the pope and cardinal". Tischendorf was granted the funding but told to report all of his findings to the Catholic church, who became involved due to their disapproval of the received text as well.

By May of 1844, Tischendorf had been 3 years into his quest for older manuscripts with nothing to show for his efforts. His money was running out and undoubtedly he knew that to return empty-handed would mean the end of his funding. It was then that he came upon the monastery of St. Catherine's located at the foot of Mount Sinai. As he entered the monastery, a large waste basket full of papers was stationed right before his eyes and was about to be burned. He requested if he could see the papers before they were destroyed and was allegedly granted permission. As he leafed through the basket of wastepapers he found 129 leaves of what seemed to be the oldest manuscript of the Bible that he had ever seen. From the style of Greek writing, it was obviously from the 3rd or 4th century so highly excited, he asked to see other baskets of paper but was refused and asked to leave, but they allowed him to take back 43 of the 129 leaves. He made two more unsuccessful trips back to the monastery, once in 1850 and again in 1852, but finally in 1859 on his third attempt, he was given an entire 730 leaf "Bible" minus the 43 that he originally kept.

No one to this day is sure of the writer of this manuscript but it is widely assumed that this was 1 of the 50 copies which Constantine had Eusebius write in the 4th century. What interested him most about this manuscript is that it too, like the Codex B, disagreed with the majority text in many areas. What was unique about this manuscript is that it contain almost the entire Bible and its condition was excellent. This manuscript became known as "Codex Aleph" after the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This manuscript was the second of the two primary sources (codex B being the other) used in the creation of the Revised Version of 1881.

In 1867, Tischendorf went in search of obtaining a copy of codex B as well. This was under lock and key by the Vatican Library and could only be viewed with approval of the Catholic church and then only viewed for a limited time while under supervision. Armed with a letter of permission from Cardinal Antonelli, Tischendorf was allowed to view codex B for 2-3 hours a day for 19 days, or a total of 42 hours, in which time he managed to copy most of the 4 gospels and a majority of Paul's epistles. Although by his own admission he later stated that the codex B had many hand-made changes and had obviously been "touched up". The mystery surrounding codex B is equally questionable for the Vatican states that in 1475 this manuscript simply "appeared" in their library, where it has remained since. The authorship of this manuscript is attributed to Jerome as well because of its consistency with Aleph against the majority text, yet it is inconsistent in countless places as well, indicating that it could have been written by the same author, but probably at a different time. By 1869, Tischendorf had managed to either handcopy or photocopy the majority of codex B which, along with codex Aleph, soon caught the attention of Drs. Westcott and Hort, who one year later were asked to head the Revision committee. In 1873 Tischendorf was smitten by apoplexy and died of paralysis a year later, but Drs. Westcott and Hort had already obtained the copies of both B and Aleph and began using them to re-write the Scriptures.

The single most important event in the translation of the 1881 Revised Version was the discovery of codexes Aleph and B. For these two manuscripts comprise approximately 75% of the text of the Revised Version. The most frightening thing is that most of the remaining 25% was comprised of conjecture and the "scholarly wisdom" of Drs. Westcott and Hort. Have you ever wondered why when you read a different version of the Bible it sounds so different from the King James but similar to most others? This is why ... because they came from the same 2 primary sources! The validity of all modern day versions depends upon the validity of codexes B and Aleph. It's that simple. From henceforth I will set forth to prove the corruption of both B and Aleph, but first a word about their two revisers, B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort.

We now come to 1870 and the Revision Committee of which Drs. Westcott and Hort were to head along with Dr. Tischendorf. Drs. Westcott and Hort also asked that Dr. Vance Smith (a known Unitarian) be appointed to the committee. In a public letter to the House of Convocation dated July 11, 1870 he stated that if elected to take part in the committee that he "would not compromise his views". This created an outcry amongst the clergy and a petition of over 1000 names was submitted stating that anyone who denies the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ should not be allowed to take part in the revision process. In what can only be termed a "show down", Drs. Westcott and Hort stated they would submit their resignations should Dr. Smith not be allowed to be remain.

In the end, Westcott and Hort won out and just a few of the many places we see the influence of Dr. Smith in the Revised Version are found in I Timothy 3:16 where the KJV reads "God was manifested in the flesh", he has changed to "He who was manifested in the flesh". The removal of the entire second part of I John 5:7 removed from the RV are the words, "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" citing older manuscripts as the cause for removal, and lastly Eph. 3:9 which reads in the KJV, "...which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ", the R.V. reading "which from all ages hath been hid in God who created all things". This is certainly not the direction that the House of Convocation wanted to see the committee take, and it was at about this same time that most of the original ninety-nine men left the committee in an outrage as Drs. Westcott and Hort took complete control. Westcott and Hort have openly admitted that they believed in Darwinism and that the inspired Word of God ended with the destruction of the autographs thusly, from start to finish, they treated the entire revision process as if they were revising a "common book" and they thought nothing of simply changing words as they saw fit - and these are their words, not mine!!! One example of this given by Dr. F.J.A. Hort is that while translating Mark 4:21 from the codexes B and Aleph, the word "over" kept appearing instead of "under". But since "is a candle brought to be put over a bushel, or over a bed?" made no sense, the word was changed to "under" by them at the time of the revision. My question must be: is this the way that God would treat His Word? Would He allow the future of this world, the future of His Word to be placed into the hands of two corrupt men and two corrupt texts? If He places it above His Name (which He does) would He allow errors to creep into His Word only to be corrected over 1000 years later? In a very short while, I will show you some of the blatant errors in the text of the Revised Version and you can ask yourself - is this what God thinks of His Word? If the Bible is the ONLY salvation for your soul, wouldn't God give us something trustworthy?

On theology, Drs. Westcott and Hort both rejected the atonement and the substitution of Christ for the sinner; both denied that the death of Christ counted for anything as an atoning factor and they emphasized atonement through the Incarnation or sacraments. On history, Dr. Westcott wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1890, "...no one now, I suppose, holds that the three chapters of Genesis gives a literal history - I could never understand how anyone reading this with open eyes could think they did". Dr. Hort once wrote, "...I am inclined to believe to think that no such state as 'Eden' ever existed, and that Adam's fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants". These are the two men solely responsible for the Revised Version of the Bible, would you tend to trust them with your eternal soul?

With the committee well underway in the revision process, Drs. Westcott and Hort had one more trick up their sleeve. Westcott and Hort directed the committee that only the codexes B, Aleph, and the obscure codexes A and D were to be used in the revision process and NOT the majority (or received) text. Furthermore they gave each committee member, under the swear of secrecy, a book written by both Westcott and Hort entitled "The New Testament in the Original Greek" to assist them in their translation. This book of Westcott and Hort remained in complete solidarity until 1881 when it was finally made public just days after the Revised Version was released. For this study, I have obtained and reviewed a copy of this book, both volumes, and it is nothing more than an unconvincing attempt to prove that "the older the manuscript is, the better". In this book, they do not imply that the majority text is flawed, but rather perverted and in dire need of complete modification.

Regardless of the 5355 Greek manuscripts which concurred with both the majority text and ultimately the received text, Drs. Westcott and Hort managed to convince the revision committee that the 2 single manuscripts, B and Aleph, were the true Word of God, all the others having been corrupted down through the past 1800 years by the majority text. Dr. Hort openly displayed the differences between the texts and boldly proclaimed that God had sent them personally to see that the world finally gets the true Word of God. If this is true, then this would call into question the salvation of men such as Spurgeon and Huntington as well as making a mockery of the entire Reformation period. Why Westcott and Hort were so loyal to the validity of codexes B and Aleph will remain unknown, but allow me to end this section with the words of the writer Philip Mauro which sum up these thoughts very well, "The Revision Committee was officially appointed in 1871 for the sole purpose of a revision of the 1611 text. To update antiquated words but to keep well within the limits and inspired Word of God as revealed in the King James Bible. Had they done this, we could have had a real blessing but it was not in God's plan to do so. Ten years later they didn't have a revised version but rather a new version translated from a completely different Greek text"

[Go to Table of Contents]

5. Are codexes B and Aleph reliable?

As stated earlier in bold type, that the validity of these two single manuscripts can either prove or disprove the validity of all modern day versions therefore of my entire study, this is the single most important question to be asked. Prior to 1881 the only two English speaking Bibles in wide circulation were the King James (Protestant) and the Douay (Catholic). I have discussed the origins of B and Aleph and now must discuss the vast differences they have not only with the "majority text", but between themselves as well. Before I begin, please read this quote by the scholarly Dean Burgon for it is most apropos, "I am utterly unable to believe, in short, that God's promise has so entirely failed, that at the end of 1800 years, much of the text of the Gospel had in point of fact to be picked by a German critic out of a wastepaper basket in the convent of St. Catherine; and that the entire text had to be remodeled after the pattern set by a couple of copies which had remained in neglect during 15 centuries, and had probably owed their survival to that neglect, whilst hundreds of others had been thumbed to pieces, and had bequeathed their witness to copies made from them."

When these two manuscripts (B and Aleph) were made open to the public for the first time in 1860, Drs. Westcott and Hort quickly proclaimed that the world had finally found the true text. What failed to concern these men was that both manuscripts had been altered and "worked on" by as many as 10 different scribes over the years. Many of the alterations were used in the Westcott and Hort translation which successfully clouds our minds as to what truly constitutes the Scriptures. Westcott and Hort's theory was stated that if B and Aleph agreed on any point whatsoever, then that was to be the true reading, even if ALL other manuscripts in existence disagreed. I truly believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself would have told them that these two texts are corrupt, they would not have listened. Reverend Hugh Pope is quoted as saying, "No matter how overwhelming the evidence against them from other sources, Westcott and Hort still used B and Aleph as the standard". He also went on to say, "Though Westcott and Hort are of course well aware of the many defects in B and Aleph they hardly seem conscious of the exceedingly corrupt character of these two manuscripts. We have to adopt some standard of comparison and no other is available except the received text which represents the traditional (majority) text which can be traced back to the earliest ages of the Church".

The evidence of this Westcott and Hort theory is that the passages of John 8:1-8, and Mark 16:9-20 do not appear in either B or Aleph therefore the RV places a footnote under both texts stating that these passages should be considered as "some ancient manuscripts do not include this passage", but it would have been much more truthful to say "only codexes B and Aleph have omitted them".

A note here about the last twelve verses of Mark 16. This passage has always been a problem for people as it was in Jerome's day as well. The Scriptures make it perfectly clear that signs absolutely and positively shall follow those who believe and are baptized. It's much easier to glance over this passage believing it may not have ever actually been written, but the truth is that it is a part of the Word of God and MUST be dealt with accordingly. This passage certainly didn't sit well with Jerome or the Catholic church and so questioning its authority is an "easy out" but we must deal with this passage as it appears, and anyone claiming (in this present age) to be a follower of the teachings of Jesus must weigh this passage heavily. Since this is not the topic of my subject I will only leave you with this final thought, and please weight it carefully. This passage does belong in the Bible, and as a follower of Jesus (according to Mark 16) you must be able to: 1) cast out devils, 2) speak with new tongues, 3) take up serpents, 4) safely drink poison, and 5) lay hands on the sick. Can you do ALL these, not some but ALL? Of course not, therefore either you are not what you claim you are, OR this was spoken to the disciples and was for the disciples for that present time, not for you today! Had Jerome understood how to rightly divide the Scriptures, undoubtedly this passage would have remained in codexes B and Aleph.

Here are some other interesting, little known, seldom publicized, facts to consider about the manuscripts B and Aleph when deciding whether or not they should be trusted:

And this is not all, for not only do these two manuscripts disagree with the majority of the others, they also disagree countless times amongst themselves. For example, take the text of the Lord's prayer in Luke 11: 2-4, which (in the KJV) reads, "And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Both B and Aleph omit "which art in heaven", but B omits the words "thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth, but Aleph retains them but Aleph omits "give us" and "our daily bread" but B does not. Both omit "deliver us from evil", yet Aleph only reads "forgive us our sins, as also ourselves". Are you thoroughly confused? So am I, and this is only one small passage. Imagine trying to re-write the entire Bible with all these inconsistencies! If you believe all modern versions are the Word of God then you must ask yourself which is the true Word of God: codex B or codex Aleph, seeing how they disagree with each other so many times.

[Go to Table of Contents]

6. Where did the first ever "corrupted" text come from?

This is a good question which needs to be answered, but it is merely speculation by all those that will attempt to resolve this problem. We have the "fathers of the church" the "apostolic fathers" and the "Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene" writings which give us a very early account of the church history and Scripture is quoted both liberally and freely within them. In their writings there was no conjecture about what a verse may have meant or a paraphrase of Scripture, they simply quoted from the Word of God to prove their points. In the research that I have done it would seem the first person to ever begin changing Scripture was a man named "Marcion" who lived in the 2nd century. He did so by interpolating or paraphrasing the Scriptures thusly changing them to say what he wanted them to, and was soon declared a heretic and went into exile until he died.

From here it would seem that Origen (185-255 A.D.) used the writings of Marcion to edit the Scriptures for it was Origen who first openly questioned the validity of the Lord's prayer found in Luke 2:1-4 as, most probably, a result of the writings of Marcion. In this passage Origen challenges that these words were either never truly spoken by the Lord or it was done so in an abbreviated form. Origen taught that we were to take the Scriptures literally, by propagating the Eucharist and allegedly even castrating himself citing Matthew 19:12 as his reason. He was supposed to be into eschatology and was eventually condemned as a heretic years after his death by the 2nd council of Constantinople in 553 A.D.

It is said that Eusebius (aka Jerome) studied the writings of Origen intensely and was heavily influenced by the work of Origen while he wrote the Latin Vulgate, the official Bible of the Roman Catholic church. Jerome was heavily influenced by Catholicism and in his Vulgate added heavy marginal notes implying the Eucharist was to be taken literal (a subject taught him by the writings of Origen). In protecting who he thought to be the first Catholic pope, Jerome actually called into question the validity of the Scriptures for the rebuke of St. Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. Jerome states that the discourse in Galatians chapter 2 never really occurred between the Apostle Paul and Peter and that Paul's account was a lie! This won the praise of the Catholic church but the anger of St. Augustine who sternly and repeatedly rebuked and condemned Jerome for this until the day he died.

As stated previously, it is widely speculated that the origin of B and Aleph can be traced back to Jerome as the author. Several instances that caused this line of reasoning are as follows: The Latin Vulgate, of which we know Jerome to be the author, lines up much closer to the codexes of B and Aleph than it does to the majority text. In fact, it becomes quite clear once the Latin Vulgate is studied that B and Aleph are more than similar to it, they are almost exact. In fact, every passage missing from the Vulgate is also missing from both B and Aleph but no others. This would strongly imply that the author of one, must have been the author (or at least a copier) of the others. Secondly, when Emperor Constantine asked Jerome to re-create 50 copies of the sacred Scriptures, all 50 were completed but their paths cannot be traced further than only a few years. This might indicate that upon circulation, many people thought the translations to be heretical and discarded them. B and Aleph are widely thought to be two of these fifty manuscripts. One thing is certain and that is that "Jerome's Arian views were great cause for concerns amongst the Christians at that time thusly rendering his judgment suspicious where passages concerning the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are in question" said Dean Burgon. A few examples from Jerome's writings in the Vulgate which were a source of uneasiness are: 1) the changing of John 1:18 from "the only begotten Son" to "the only begotten God", 2) John 1:34, "the Son of God" was now rendered "the chosen one of God", 3) the complete omission of "who is in heaven" found in John 3:13, 4) in Luke 2:33 making Joseph the "father" of Jesus instead of the husband of Mary, and 5) changing Matthew 19:17 from reading "why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God", to now read, "why askest thou me about good? One is good", thusly throwing doubt upon the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son. The utter horror of all this is two-fold, first these are only a very few of the many examples I could give, and secondly, all of these errors made there way into the 1881 Revised Version resulting in these errors being in every new version on the market today!

[Go to Table of Contents]

7. Can there be human error in the true Word of God?

If not any of the things yet written have caused you to doubt if the Revised Version is truly the Word of God, then this should: there are a multitude of human errors in the Revised Version, all of which have infiltrated into the modern versions as well! Is it possible for the Word of God to be wrong? Is it possible that the Bible you are reading today has historical errors in it? The true Word of God cannot have error, for it is truth! What I intend to do here is to expose the downright ridiculous human blunders that all the new modern versions have, if God truly places His Word above His Name would He really allow this to happen? That is the question you must ask yourself over and over and over again- I will give you some of the more obvious ones which by no means exhausts the supply, but I do trust you will read and study this with an open heart and an open mind, and ask the question is this really what God thinks of His Word?

  1. David and Goliath. Although the account of David battling Goliath in I Samuel 17 is accurate, in 2 Samuel 21:19, the R.V. reads that Elhanan killed Goliath not David.
  2. Mark 1:2 reads in the KJV, "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee", whereas in the R.V., the words "the prophets" have been changed to simply "Isaiah". The problem with this is that Mark then proceeds to quote from Malachi 3:1, and then Isaiah 40:1, these being two different passages and two different quotes and to say "Isaiah" instead of "the prophets" or "Isaiah and Malachi" is an error.
  3. In the KJV Matthew 5:22 reads, "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire". Pay close attention to the words "without a cause" for they are missing from all other versions. In Matthew 21:12, we see Jesus going into the temple of God, and casting out all them that sold and bought in the temple, overthrowing the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. According to the R.V., Jesus Christ Himself is here endangered of hell fire for His anger. Doesn't this bother you, that you may be reading this and never piecing together the implication? In the KJV, Isaiah 14:12 reads, "...O Lucifer, son of the morning!...", whereas in the R.V. we read, "O day star, son of the morning!...... To change "Lucifer" to "day star" is not proper but would not be so bad had God not so affectionately termed His Son "daystar" in 2 Peter 1:19 in all versions! This ought to horrify you, whether you've ever read this passage for yourself makes no difference for the implication is the same: the modern version "bibles" claim that Satan and Christ are one in the same!
  4. Once again we see one of our Dear Lord's Names being demonized in the R. V. In Mark 1:24 and Luke 4:34, we read the term "Holy One of God" used exclusively by demons in referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the only two instances in all the Greek manuscripts in which these words appear, denoting a term exclusively used for our Lord by demons only. Yet for a reason unknown to all, the R.V. has chosen to also change the words of Peter in John 6:69 from "the Son of the living God" to "the Holy One of God". The implication of this is that Peter is a demon.
  5. The Old Testament attests to the fact that God gave the nation of Israel judges for 450 years before the prophet Samuel, stated again by Paul in Acts 13:19-20. Yet the Revised Version has changed the words "And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet" into now reading, "he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. All this took about 450 years. "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel". I trust you can see that the R.V. has changed history.

The bottom line to all of this is that you must ask yourself, "Would God allow these errors into His Word"? If you don't know or don't care, so be it, but remember that we are dealing with the Word of God - the ONLY thing that can save your eternal soul. As far back as in the garden of Eden, Satan has used sly, coy, and deceptive measures to entice people into thinking what is wrong is really right. These examples noted above, and this entire study for that matter is of great importance because Satan has always attempted to imitate Christ in one form or another. Dean Burgon once said, "Vanquished by the Word Incarnate, Satan now directs his subtle malice against the Word written". Would you ever put your trust in a "Bible" which was known to be completely corrupted? Of course not, but by trusting in one that calls both Satan and Christ the day star is doing just that, trusting in one that has blatant errors is doing just that, trusting in one that only agrees with 2 manuscripts out of 5355 is doing just that!

[Go to Table of Contents]

8. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ

As if blatant errors are not enough, the Revised Version, and more so ALL the modern versions have an all out attack upon the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. When making a modern translation of the Scriptures, to change an archaic word for purposes of clarity is fine, but reduction of the Title of our Saviour must be considered an all out attack by Satan. Suppose there is a man named Dr. John Smith: does it matter whether you call him "Smith", "John", or "Doctor Smith"? We are all talking about the same person yet the only person it would probably matter to is him. I know of a person who is furious if you don't address her letters as "Dr." such and such, yet she sees no matter of concern when she does it to the Blessed Lord. If the Holy Spirit inspired men to write "Lord Jesus Christ" ought we to write just "Lord" or "Jesus"? What makes matters worse is that the more modern the version, the more changes are being made, and every time the lord's Title of Christ is removed, so too is His Deity.

Let me give you an example using our Blessed Saviour's Name. In the KJV, the term "Lord Jesus Christ" is used 86 times, in the R. V. 64 times, and in the NIV 61 times. Do you notice a pattern? It is argued that "if the writers of the new versions wanted the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ out of the Bible, they would have taken it completely out, not just a few times". To this I say, you know not the adversary for he is the prince of darkness and deception as well as subtilty. There is no better way to take the Lord Jesus Christ out of the Bible then to do it GRADUALLY. Brethren, be afraid of this - be greatly afraid.

Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word are inseparable and any change or attack upon the Word is an attack upon our Dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the 1st chapter of Ephesians alone there are 102 changes from the King James to the Revised Version, many of which downplay the Deity of Christ and the Sovereignty of God. As if this wasn't bad enough, the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901 has 104 changes in it, 2 more than the R.V.!! The 1946 Revised Standard Version (RSV) when compared to the King James has 188 changes in it. Do you see the progression? The newer versions are leading us further and further away from the truth, even further away from the codexes of B and Aleph!!! Is it any wonder so few souls are truly being saved today???

The first chapter of Ephesians has only 23 verses in it, yet the NIV has 240 changes from the KJV! This is not an isolated instance for every chapter that I compared, the numbers grew progressively each time. I chose the first chapter of Ephesians because of its beautiful revelation of our Father's absolute Sovereignty, yet with 240 alterations in only 23 verses, this truth is buried amidst omissions, transpositions, and questions. Here are some examples and let me start by giving you one of the 240 illustrations found in verse 4. The latter part of this verse in the KJV reads, "that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us...", the NIV has altered the words as well as the punctuation (of the 240 instances I did not even include punctuation) to read "to be holy and blameless in his sight. (New sentence) In love he predestined us..." In Matthew 6:9-13, (the Lord's prayer) the alterations number like this: RV - 24, ASV - 25, RSV - 28, NIV - 34.

Also take the example of Romans 9:6-24, unarguably the most definitive passage describing God's Sovereignty. Both the RV and the ASV have exactly 52 changes from the KJV. The RSV has 175 changes and the NIV has 215. It is any wonder why the myth of man's free will has completely gripped this world today? Let me once again stress that these are only three examples and there are untold thousands more, if you doubt what I say I implore you to check my figures for yourself. If all of this is not bad enough, allow me to take you through a few verses that ought to strike fear into your heart when you see the way they have been altered through these past years. Every Arminian loves to take 2 Peter 3:9b out of context and instead of truthfully stating that Peter is here speaking only to the Christians (us-ward) they will try to make this out to be "every one in the world". Written below I have verbatim this passage from the KJV, RV, RSV, and NIV, by the time we get to the NIV the Sovereign, elective authority of God is completely gone:

KJV. "...but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance".
RV. "...but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance".
RSV. "...but is forebearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance".
NIV. "...he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance".

Also take the case of I Timothy 2:4 which falls into the same unfortunate category. The key here being the word "will", which means God's will, but is interpreted as "God wills" - BIG DIFFERENCE.

KJV. "who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth".
RV. "who willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth".
RSV. "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth".
NIV. "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth".

Do you see the deception in this verse alone? The word "will" (as in positive shall occur) changes from "will" to "willeth" to "desires" to "wants". What a blatant case of soft-petalling the truth! If God has not already, I pray that He may remove your blinders to see the fallacy of these versions. I could go on and on, but let it suffice to repeat: we are getting further and further away from the true Word of God, not closer. Faith only cometh by hearing, and hearing by the WORD OF GOD.

In closing, allow me to just state a few small things that also need exposure. First, the age old argument about the KJV being in archaic language. I agree that some words need to be updated into a more modem vernacular, but the removal of "Thee", "Thou", "Thine", etc., ought never to occur. The English language spoken during the time of the writing of the KJV (early 1600's) had already been modernized from the Shakespearean English 100 years prior. The word "thou" having already been substituted for the plural "you". The preface to the 1611 version, written by the writers themselves, in their own language should well prove this point. The words "thou", "thee", thine," etc, is Biblical language translated directly as such out of the original Greek, it is reverent and ought never be tampered with. The majestic sound of the KJV is exclusive as well. Imagine the shock and disappointment of those accustomed to reading the glorious words, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son", who now, for what has been termed "clarity purposes" must read, "God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son". Could pedanticism go farther? Furthermore also call into question the marginal notes made in the Revised Version and all subsequent versions having been added for "clarity" purposes which do little but confuse the readers. Countless times when Westcott and Hort were quoting things found only in B and Aleph, they made statements like "some ancient authorities read..." or "according to the oldest manuscripts..." instead, would it not have sufficed to say "codex B reads..." or "according to codex Aleph..."? Also what can be gained by adding such marginal notes as "some authorities read 616" across from Revelation 13:18, or why did Westcott and Hort themselves change Luke 2:14 from reading "good will toward men" to now read "to men of good will"? Or the changing of the structure of Acts 13:19-20 which completely changed the history of the Bible? (see above). I have not here even begun to scratch the surface of the faults, errors, and downright lies found in the Revised Version of 1881 for should each change or alteration be accounted for it would take a treatise of a thousand pages to document and discuss the 36,000+ changes made. I ask you to judge for yourself as to what, if any, constitutes the Word of God. Your eternal soul depends upon the fact that you have the Word of God in your hands for "faith cometh (ONLY) by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". What do you think God thinks of His Word?


* This study was done thanks in large part to the Samford University Library in Birmingham, Alabama.