Is Our Bible Corrupted?

I was asBible on fireked this question. So I wrote an answer. This is not a video, a pdf document, 6 pages (a little bit of a 7th)

Is our Bible Corrupted

 

If you don’t want to download, it is here too.

Is our Bible Corrupted

Can we trust the bible

 

I have read much and viewed much and am confident this is a book to be trusted, BUT defending it is a different thing. I am not articulate, I am not a scholar. So I looked for other peoples writings to use instead of my own. I found much, but each addresses only 1 aspect of the issue.

 

These are the questions as I see them:

 

  1. Are the books of the bible we have today true to the originals?

This can be true, but the bible still be corrupted if books have been added or removed

 

  1. Have non-inspired books been added?

 

  1. Have inspired books been taken out?

 

  1. Is the bible the Word of God? or is it the work of men.

 

The books and videos (mainly videos) I have used in the past will address one of these point, seldom 2 and even more seldom all four.

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So let’s look at #4 first Is the bible the Word of God? or is it the work of men.

 

I am starting with the Bible itself. Does the Bible claim that

  1. God speaks to us through the written word and
  2. That His Written Word would or could be preserved?

 

This is NOT circular reasoning at least not yet.

If the Bible doe not claim these things, then we cannot claim it either.

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There are 2 streams for our English Bible

 

  1. The majority text, Textus receptus

Textus Receptus (Latin: “received text”) is the name given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, the Spanish Reina-Valera translation and most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The series originated with the first printed Greek New Testament, published in 1516 – a work undertaken in Basel by the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus. Although based mainly on late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, Erasmus’ edition differed markedly from the classic form of that text, and included some missing parts back translated from the Latin Vulgate.

 

  1. Codex VaticanusandCodex Sinaiticus.

 

These 2 streams are significantly different. I believe the first is true and the 2nd is the counterfeit.

 

Currently, in English the only bible available using the Textus receptus is the King James. (There were others, older versions, Tyndale, Geneva, but not easily read, not easily available)

All of the modern translations use the 2nd stream. That is why all the verses I quote will be KJV.

I do believe the other English translations are corrupt. But that is another topic. If I were to go into why I think the KJV is the miraculously persevered text, I would never get to the other issues.

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Psalm 12: 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and forever.

 

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

 

Psalm 119:140
Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.

 

Mark 13: 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Matthew 5:18
For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

 

Isaiah 40:8  The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

 

Okay, I think that is enough to confirm that the Bible does say it is the Word of God and that it will be preserved. Does that mean it cannot be corrupted?

 

NO it does not

 

Deuteronomy 4:2
“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 12:32
“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Proverbs 30:6
Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Revelation 22:7
“Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of prophecy in this book.”

Revelation 22:9
But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

If people were not able to tamper with the Word of God, there would not be any need for the warnings.

 

So 2 points here.

  1. People would try to take away writings.
  2. People would try to change the meanings by adding to it.

 

The Bible would be tampered with. The Bible would be preserved.

A contradiction?

No

We, as a country, have a currency. There is also counterfeit currency. Real and Fake, Wheat and Tares side by side. The existence of the fake testifies that the real exists. No one counterfeits a $17 dollar bill.

 

 

Ok, God has promised, in His Word,  to preserve His Word and He has warned us it would be tampered with. So logic tells us there will be a real and a fake.  Or possibly it is all fake.

 

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I hope there is enough there to assure you that the Bible says that the Written Word of God would be preserved. Now the rest of the question.

 

Is it the Word of God

That cannot be proven. The Bible is so consistent in its message. It has been so carefully preserved I cannot believe it is not divine.

But that is not proof, that is opinion.

There is only one way to prove it. Is it true? Is the history accurate?

Well no. Archeology has to some degree proven the bible, but the time frames are all off. And some evidences are not being looked at, some are being destroyed and some are being mis-interpreted. We cannot show conclusively that the history is true. Many doubt the historicity of the Bible.

There are the prophecies. Many have come to pass, many are coming to pass as we watch.

So the ones that were future when written, but are past now, surely that is proof. Not unless you believe it. Those so called prophecies could have been written after the fact.  They weren’t but I can’t prove it.

The fact that it has been preserved for millennia, isn’t that proof it is from God? What other writings have been preserved so well? The answer is none, to me that is evidence that our God is behind the Bible, but it is not proof.

This cannot be proven until the future prophecies come to pass.
Then it is too late for the unbeliever.

 

 

I started with my fourth point, now I am going to the first

  1. Are the books of the bible we have today true to the originals?

This can be true, but the bible still be corrupted if books have been added or removed

 

Now the question is: “was it preserved.?”

 

  1. If there is a God, a true God, He is capable of preserving His writings. If there is not a God, a true God this discussion is pointless.

In my opinion, He could, would, does preserve His Word in two ways.

  1. Miraculous intervention. Can’t show any examples of that. Just logic, if God is real He can and if necessary would do this Himself.
  2. Through men being very, very careful. Parchment doesn’t last, vellum doesn’t last, even stone can be smashed to pieces so how were the words preserved?

 

When people needed a copy of a book of the bible, either for a new church or because the old copy was old, how did they make sure the copy was true?

 

This is something we know.

 

Hebrew and Greek both use their alphabet as numbers. Our numbers are separate.

So when you copied a page, get out your trusty abacus (or mid-east equivalent) and add up the numbers for the passage. Then add up the numbers for the copy. The totals should be the same. If it was not (I am sure they checked twice) then the copy was burned and they started over.

 

How accurate was this. This is where the dead sea scrolls helped. The passages contained in the scrolls match what we have very well.

 

We may not know if the old testament is truly the word of God, but we do know it was transmitted accurately.

 

The new testament was preserved 2 ways. It was in Greek, so the number of the passage was also counted. But we also have lecture notes.
When learned men wrote a sermon, they often wrote down the passage they would be quoting from, or studying. So even though we have little or nothing left of the 1st century Bible manuscripts or New Testament gospels and letters, we do have people quoting them.

Now why would these notes be preserved, but not the text they were quoting from?

Usage. People could not afford their own Bibles (scrolls) – too expensive.

 

And contrary to popular belief, people could read. The first century was not mainly illiterate (i could go on, and on explaining why this is the prevailing thought, even among “experts” but it is a tangent that we need not explore at the moment)

 

The Bible was shared. Many people reading and handling and passing around the same piece of parchment. The lecture notes on the other hand were used by only a few. The person who wrote a particularly good sermon, would share his notes with other pastors, but not everyone would be handling it. So when a large (2-3) number of people quote a particular passage using the same words, the chances are pretty good those were the words used in their bibles. This is also why I do not trust the other 2 codices. The parts people claim do not belong in the Bible, because they are not in the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus ARE in lecture notes from BEFORE these 2 texts.

 

So yes, the Word has been preserved and and least one is true to the original.

In My Opinion:

  1. If there is a God
  2. If That God communicated with us, in writing
  3. If that God promised to preserve that writing.

THEN

  1. There cannot be any lost gospels.

 

We either have it all or we have nothing!

 

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Now on to point # 2

 

  1. Have non-inspired books been added?

 

Our cannon was confirmed in the 3rd century (excerpt below from wikipedia)

In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of exactly the same books that would formally become the New Testament canon, and he used the word “canonized” (kanonizomena) in regard to them. The first council that accepted the present Catholic canon (the Canon of Trent) may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (393); the acts of this council, however, are lost. A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419. These councils took place under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed.

 

The Protestants and Catholics do not differ much on what is or is not accepted. But they do differ.

 

The apocrypha is an addition you will find in the Catholic Bibles.

So was it added, or did the KJV translators take it out?

The 1611 version of the KJV actually had it in there, but noted as did the Geneva (I think, going from memory here so not completely sure about the Geneva) that these were educational, informative, commentary but not God inspired scripture. But because it was in the Bible, most readers treated them as scripture so to avoid confusion they were removed. The reformers NEVER accepted those books as scripture.

As to the rest of the scriptures, all denominations agree and have agreed for hundreds of years as to what should be there. So yes there have been additions (apocrypha)  to some Bible versions. I do not believe there have been additions to the KJV.

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  1. Have inspired books been taken out?

 

Were the Gospel of Thomas and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene  removed?

The accepted gospels were written in the 1st century, they were firsthand accounts.  The gospel of Thomas was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library.

In 1945‼

If God is preserving His Word, a big piece of it would not remain hidden for thousands of years.

This is not scripture.

I admit, I have not read the Gospel of Thomas, I have been told it is inconsistent with the 4 gospels.  If it is or is not consistent, it certainly was not preserved. True Scripture, from a true God would be available to those who are looking.

 

I have not found details on other “lost” books to address specifically.

But in General Terms

  1. If there is a God
  2. If That God communicated with us, in writing
  3. If that God promised to preserve that writing.

THEN

  1. There cannot be any lost gospels.

 

We either have it all or we have nothing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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