Bible Compilation, Transmission and Alteration

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Objective study of the compilation and transmission of the Bible. Many Christians are unaware of the history of the bible and thus assume it is preserved and the word of God. This presentation will …

Objective study of the compilation and transmission of the Bible. Many Christians are unaware of the history of the bible and thus assume it is preserved and the word of God. This presentation will examine how the bible was compiled and the changes that took place from the time of the first letters of Paul till our time.

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  • there are over 5,000 manuscript evidence for the OT alone 20,000 for the new testament. What about the Koran?
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  • After all the seriousness of the election, here's something to put a smile on your face... http://www.slideshare.net/netbizguru/sprinkle-brigade-presentation
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  • very nice. you gave me exactly what i was looking for. if you havent already, i suggest you watch the documentary 'zeitgeist'. it doesnt go into as much detail on the alterations of the bible, but it has an interesting perspective on its...originality.
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  • 1. Bible: Compilation, Transmission & Corruption Dr. Sabeel Ahmed Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 2. A ‘Book of God’ Could be:
    • Revealed by God at one time, but another revelation (book) was revealed after it.
    • Revealed by God, remained pure and no other books came after it.
    • Revealed by God, but changes made to it by humans.
    • Written by humans and label it as ‘word of God
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 3. What Is The Bible?
    • Bible = Collection of Writings or books
    • Sacred book of Christianity =
    • Old Testament + New Testament
    • Sacred book of Judaism = Old Testament
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Old Testament Books = 39 New Testament Books = 27 Bible
  • 4. Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Transmission of the Bible Jesus’ Ministry Bible Written Protestant Bible Books = 66 Catholic Bible Books = 73 Coptic Bible Books = 75 Syraic Bible Books = 61 Greek Orthodox Books = 78 Ethiopic Bible Books = 81 KJV Bible 1611 CE RSV Bible, 1952 Mark 16:9-12 Removed GNB 1966 RSV Bible 1971 CE Mark 16:9-20 Added Back ! NRSV Bible 1989 CE More alterations KJV = King James Version RSV = Revised Standard Version NRSV = New Revised Standard Version GNB = Good News Bible NIV = New International Version NJB = New Jerusalem Bible NLT = New Living Bible NAB 1970 NIV 1973 NJB 1986 NLT 1996 Other Popular Bible Versions
  • 5. Bible Not Written in Jesus’ Lifetime
    • Matthew’s gospel in its present form was written in a Jewish milieu, probably after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D .
    • ____________________________.
    • The new American bible , introduction: the Gospel of Matthew, 1970
    • Mark is first of the Gospels to be written, possibly when Christians were beginning to suffer persecution under Emperor Nero. It would therefore be date about A.D. 65 .
    • _____________________________
    • New Revised Standard Version , introduction to the Gospel of Mark, 1989.
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 6. Bible Not Written in Jesus’ Lifetime
    • The gospel (of Luke ) appears to have been written during the last third of the first century , although the precise date is unknown.
    • ____________________________
    • The new oxford annotated bible with apocrypha , introduction of the gospel according to Luke, 1977.
    • The final editions of the gospel (of John) and arrangement in its present form probably dates between A.D. 90 and 100.
    • ___________________________
    • The New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition , Introduction to the Gospel of John, 1970.
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 7. Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Transmission of the Bible Jesus’ Ministry Bible Written Protestant Bible Books = 66 Catholic Bible Books = 73 Coptic Bible Books = 75 Syraic Bible Books = 61 Greek Orthodox Books = 78 Ethiopic Bible Books = 81 KJV Bible 1611 CE RSV Bible, 1952 Mark 16:9-12 Removed GNB 1966 RSV Bible 1971 CE Mark 16:9-20 Added Back ! NRSV Bible 1989 CE More alterations KJV = King James Version RSV = Revised Standard Version NRSV = New Revised Standard Version GNB = Good News Bible NIV = New International Version NJB = New Jerusalem Bible NLT = New Living Bible NAB 1970 NIV 1973 NJB 1986 NLT 1996 Other Popular Bible Versions
  • 8. Unknown Authors of the Bible
    • Early tradition ascribed this Gospel to Matthew , but scholars nowadays almost all reject this view.
    • ________________
    • J.B.Phillips, The New Testament in Modern Translation , 1960
    • Though the author of Mark is probably unknown, authority is traditionally derived from a supposed connection with the Apostle Peter.
    • ___________________
    • Encyclopedia Britannica , Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 9. Unknown Authors of the Bible
    • It has been shown that it is impossible to regard Luke with any certainty as the writer even of the ‘we’ sections of Acts, not to speak of the whole book of Acts, or of the Third Gospel .
    • ______________________________
    • Encyclopedia Biblica , ii, 1893, 2831
    • The origin of this (John’s) Gospel is veiled in obscurity.“
    • ________________
    • Peakes Commentary on the Bible , C. K. Barrett, "John", Nelson 1967
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 10. Bible: Not written in the Language of Jesus
    • While the New Testament was written in the Greek language, the language which Jesus spoke was probably Aramaic .
    • _________________________
    • [Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary]
    • Before the Christian era, Aramaic had become the language of the Jews in Palestine. Jesus preached in Aramaic .
    • ____________________________
    • Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 11. These Unknown Authors Were Not Eye-witnesses to Jesus’ Preaching
    • The Apostolic authorship of the gospel remains impossible, and that not merely from the consideration that it cannot be the son of Zebedee who has introduced himself as writer in so remarkable a fashion, but also from the consideration that it cannot be an eye-witness of the facts of the life of Jesus
    • _________________________
    • Encyclopedia Biblica , ii, 2550, 2553
    • His (Matthew) dependence upon Mark indicates that he was not an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus."
    • ___________________________
    • Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah , pg. 45
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 12. Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Transmission of the Bible Jesus’ Ministry Bible Written Protestant Bible Books = 66 Catholic Bible Books = 73 Coptic Bible Books = 75 Syraic Bible Books = 61 Greek Orthodox Books = 78 Ethiopic Bible Books = 81 KJV Bible 1611 CE RSV Bible, 1952 Mark 16:9-12 Removed GNB 1966 RSV Bible 1971 CE Mark 16:9-20 Added Back ! NRSV Bible 1989 CE More alterations KJV = King James Version RSV = Revised Standard Version NRSV = New Revised Standard Version GNB = Good News Bible NIV = New International Version NJB = New Jerusalem Bible NLT = New Living Bible NAB 1970 NIV 1973 NJB 1986 NLT 1996 Other Popular Bible Versions
  • 13. What Was Scripture to Early Christians?
    • "For early Jewish Christians the Bible consisted of the Old Testament and some Jewish apocryphal literature . Along with this written authority went  traditions, chiefly oral, of sayings attributed to Jesus. On the other hand, authors who belonged to the 'Hellenistic Wing' of the Church refer more frequently to writings that later came to be included in the New Testament. At the same time, however, they very rarely regarded such documents as 'Scripture'.
    • _________________________________________________________________________
    • [Bruce Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development pp. 72-73.]
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 14. How Changes in the bible took place?
    • No one memorized it
    • No one wrote it down
    • Copying errors
    • Intentional modifications
    • Parts destroyed by wear and tear
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 15. Books Not in Today’s Bible Were Once Considered Inspired
    • The Shepherd of Hermas was used as Scripture by Irenaeus, Tertullian (before his conversion to Montanism), Clement of Alexandria, and Origen .
    • Epistle of Clement (Codex Sinaiticus – 4 th Century)
    • Epistle of Barnabas (Codex Alexandrinus – 5 th Century)
    • _____________________________________________________
    • Bruce Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development ,pg. 187,188
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 16. Who Chose How Many Books Were Inspired?
    • The Muratorian Canon
    • The Canon Of Origen (A.D. c. 185 - 254)
    • The Canon Of Eusebius Of Caesarea (A.D. 265 - 340)
    • A Canon Of Uncertain Date And Provenance Inserted in Codex Claromontanus
    • The Canon Of Cyril Of Jerusalem (c. A.D. 350)
    • The Cheltenham Canon (c. A.D. 360)
    • The Canon Approved By The Synod Of Laodicea (c. A.D. 363)
    • The Canon Of Athanasius (A.D. 367) *******
    • The Canon Approved By The 'Apostolic Canons' (c. A.D. 380)
    • The Canon Of Gregory Of Nazianzus (A.D. 329 - 89)
    • The Canon Of Amphilochius Of Iconium (d. 394)
    • The Canon Approved By The Third Synod Of Carthage (A.D. 397)
    • _________________________________________________________________
    • Bruce Metzger's The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development , pg. 305-315
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 17. Who Chose How Many Books Were Inspired?
    • The year 367 A.D. marks, thus, the first time that the scope of the New Testament canon is declared to be exactly the twenty-seven books accepted today as canonical. But not every one in the Church was ready to follow the opinion of the bishop of Alexandria.
    • ____________________________________
    • Bruce M Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development , 1997, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 212
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 18. Each Sect Possess a Bible With Different Number of Books Protestants
    • ‘ The Protestant canon took shape by rejecting a number of books and parts of books that had for centuries been part of the Old Testament in the Greek Septuagint and in the Latin Vulgate, and had gained wide acceptance within the Roman Catholic church.’ ________________________________
    • Bruce M Metzger & Michael D Coogan (Ed.), Oxford Companion To The Bible , 1993 , pg. 79
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 19. Each Sect Possess a Bible With Different Number of Books Roman Catholics
    • Roman Catholic Bible contains 73 books .
    • Sixty six books of the Protestant Bible Plus:
    • Tobit
    • Judith
    • Esther
    • 1 Maccabees
    • 2 Maccabees
    • Wisdom of Solomon
    • Sirach
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 20. One Bible Or Many Bibles?
    • "People today generally believe that there is only ONE Bible, and ONE version of any given verse of the Bible. As we have begun to see, this is far from true. All Bibles in our possession today (Such as the KJV, the NRSV, the NASV, NIV,...etc.) are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference .
    • _____________________________________
    • Bart Ehram, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture , Bart Ehrman, pp. 27
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 21. Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Transmission of the Bible Jesus’ Ministry Bible Written Protestant Bible Books = 66 Catholic Bible Books = 73 Coptic Bible Books = 75 Syraic Bible Books = 61 Greek Orthodox Books = 78 Ethiopic Bible Books = 81 KJV Bible 1611 CE RSV Bible, 1952 Mark 16:9-12 Removed GNB 1966 RSV Bible 1971 CE Mark 16:9-20 Added Back ! NRSV Bible 1989 CE More alterations KJV = King James Version RSV = Revised Standard Version NRSV = New Revised Standard Version GNB = Good News Bible NIV = New International Version NJB = New Jerusalem Bible NLT = New Living Bible NAB 1970 NIV 1973 NJB 1986 NLT 1996 Other Popular Bible Versions
  • 22. How Is/was the Bible Compiled?
    • As much as there is a variation in the canons of the bible as well as in its 'inspiration', it is reflected in the bible manuscripts too.
    • 5200+ new testament manuscripts in Greek.
    • Criteria is set up to compile the bible using these manuscripts. As much as there is a variation is the canons of the bible as well as in its 'inspiration', it is reflected in the manuscripts too
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 23. Facts on Bible Manuscripts
    • The NT is now known, whole or in part, in nearly five thousand Greek MSS alone. Every one of these handwritten copies differ from every other one.
    • It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS tradition is wholly uniform.
    • It has been estimated that these MSS and quotations differ among themselves between 150,000 and 250,000 times.
    • __________________________________
    • The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 24. Why Manuscript Variations Exists?
    • "Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately . They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons.
    • _________________________________________________________________
    • George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible , Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 25. Variations = Theological Differences?
    • Yes.
    • Examples:
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed King James Version Bible Ancient Manuscripts Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word and the holy ghost and these three are one. Verse not present
  • 26. Bible Manuscripts
    • Oldest New Testament Manuscript
    • Name : Papyrus 52, P 52
    • Contents : Recto, John 18:31-33 . Verso, John 18:37 and 38.
    • Date : About 125 - 150 CE.
    • Size: 21 cm. x 20 cm.
    • Location : John Rylands Library, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 27. Bible Manuscripts
    • Name : Papyrus 66, P 66
    • Date : 2nd Century CE.
    • Size
    • About 14.2 cm. x 16.2 cm. Contents
    • John 1:1-6:11; 6:35-14:26, 29-30; 15:2-26; 16:2-4, 6-7; 16:10-20:20, 22-23; 20:25-21:9, 12, 17.
    • The manuscript does not include the pericope of the adulteress (7:53 - 8:11), making it the earliest witness not to include this spurious passage.
    • _________________________
    • P. W. Comfort & David P. Barrett, The Complete Text Of The Earliest New Testament Manuscripts , 1999,
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 28. Bible Manuscripts
    • Name : Codex Sinaiticus
    • Date : 4th Century CE.
    • Contents : It has both the Old and New Testaments. Contains: The Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas.
    • Matthew 16:2 f. is omitted , Mark ends at 16:8, Luke 22:43 f. was marked as spurious by the first corrector, but these signs were canceled by the third corrector. John 5:4 and the Pericope de adultera are omitted.
    • Location: British Museum, London
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 29. Some Criteria Used to Sort Through These Manuscripts
    • The reading that explains the origin of other variants is prefered
    • The shorter reading is prefereable
    • The more difficult reading is more likely to be the original one.
    • Readings that are not harmonized or assimilated to similar passages are preferred.
    • If all else fails, the textual critic resort to conjectural emendation
    • ____________________________________
    • Philip W. Comfort Ph.D., Essential Guide To Bible Versions, 2000, pg. 41,42
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 30. Bible: Inspired Word of God or Best Judgment by fallible Humans
    • In the introduction of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible by Oxford press we read the following admission of NT corruption:  
    • "Occasionally it is evident that the text has suffered in the transmission and that none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text."  
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 31. If All Else Fail Take A Majority Vote!
    • This [ Novum Testamentum Graece, The Greek New Testament ] text was agreed by a committee . When they disagreed on the best reading to print, they voted . Evidently, they agreed either by a majority or unanimously that their text was the best available.
    • ___________________________________________
    • D C Parker, The Living Text Of The Gospels , 1997, Cambridge University Press, p. 3.
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 32. More Examples of Majority Decisions Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Mark 3:32 John 8:16
  • 33. Can We Ever Recover The Original Bible?
    • Bruce Metzger: Only a fraction of this great mass of material has been fully collated and carefully studied. Until this task is completed, the uncertainty regarding the text of the NT will remain .
    • ‘ Some Scholars think it is impossible to recover the original text of the Greek New Testament because they have not been able to reconstruct the early history of textual transmission’
    • ___________________________________________
    • Philip W. Comfort Ph.D., Essential Guide To Bible Versions, 2000, pg. 92,93
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 34. Versions Within Versions Within Versions!!
    • Example: Protestant Bible
    • Not all Protestant Bibles are Same!
    • King James Version(1611 CE) has
    • 50 more Verses than Revised Standard Version (1952 CE).
    • Revised Standard Version (1971 CE) added 24 more verses to Revised Standard Version (1952 CE).
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 35. Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed Transmission of the Bible Jesus’ Ministry Bible Written Protestant Bible Books = 66 Catholic Bible Books = 73 Coptic Bible Books = 75 Syraic Bible Books = 61 Greek Orthodox Books = 78 Ethiopic Bible Books = 81 KJV Bible 1611 CE RSV Bible, 1952 Mark 16:9-12 Removed GNB 1966 RSV Bible 1971 CE Mark 16:9-20 Added Back ! NRSV Bible 1989 CE More alterations KJV = King James Version RSV = Revised Standard Version NRSV = New Revised Standard Version GNB = Good News Bible NIV = New International Version NJB = New Jerusalem Bible NLT = New Living Bible NAB 1970 NIV 1973 NJB 1986 NLT 1996 Other Popular Bible Versions
  • 36. Conclusion Bible Compilation & Transmission
    • Bible not written in Jesus’ lifetime
    • Anonymous & unknown authors
    • These anonymous authors are not eye-witnesses
    • Not written in the language of Jesus
    • Early Christians didn’t had a bible and the number of its books.
    • Books not in today’s bible were once considered inspired.
    • Many councils and scholars presented differing canons
    • Each sect of Christianity has a different bible
    • Thousands of bible manuscripts with no two alike
    • Deliberate interpolations in bible by copyists.
    • Variations manifest in theological differences
    • Variation are inserted in the bible text through majority vote
    • Versions within versions within versions
    • More versions are made as new discoveries are unearth
    • Next to impossible to recover the ‘original’ bible
    • I rest my case!
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed
  • 37. For More Information on Islam and Muslims
    • Islamic Circle of North America
    • Dr. Sabeel Ahmed
    • [email_address]
    Islamic Circle of North America, Sabeel Ahmed