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This is where we come to delve into the biblical text. Theology is not our foremost thought, but we realize it is something that will be dealt with in nearly every conversation. Feel free to use the original languages to make your point (meaning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). This is an exegetical discussion area, so please limit topics to purely biblical ones.

This is not the section for debates between theists and atheists. While a theistic viewpoint is not required for discussion in this area, discussion does presuppose a respect for the integrity of the Biblical text (or the willingness to accept such a presupposition for discussion purposes) and a respect for the integrity of the faith of others and a lack of an agenda to undermine the faith of others.

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New Testament Manuscripts

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Christian3 View Post
    I read an article from a Muslim. It says:

    "All present day Bibles are compiled from "ancient manuscripts," the oldest dating back to the fourth century C.E. No two ancient manuscripts are identical. All Bibles today are produced by combining manuscripts with no single definitive reference. The Bible translators attempt to "choose" the correct version. In other words, since they do not know which "ancient manuscript" is the correct one, they decide for us which "version" for a given verse to accept."

    Is this true?

    Thank you.
    What is significant about these more ancient manuscripts that such manuscripts create contradictions.

    One simple example, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts read in Matthew 27:49 “The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him and another took a spear and pierced his side, and there came out water and blood” then Matthew 27:50 reads "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."

    Matthew version here contradicts what is in the Gospel of John. In John, Jesus gave up the spirit in John 19:30 then Jesus side was pierced in John 19:34.

    Such contradiction impacts the doctrine of the inspiration.
    Last edited by Same Hakeem; 01-05-2020, 12:13 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Same Hakeem View Post
      What is significant about these more ancient manuscripts that such manuscripts create contradictions.

      One simple example, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts read in Matthew 27:49 “The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him and another took a spear and pierced his side, and there came out water and blood” then Matthew 27:50 reads "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."

      Matthew version here contradicts what is in the Gospel of John. In John, Jesus gave up the spirit in John 19:30 then Jesus side was pierced in John 19:34.

      Such contradiction impacts the doctrine of the inspiration.
      The manuscript evidence at Matthew 27:49 testifies to a longer version and a shorter version. You are talking the longer version (with the words in bold) as though it must be genuine. I'm inclined to take the shorter version (almost always a safer bet when deciding whether or not a disputed text is genuine) :


      οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν.

      And the rest said, "Let him be. Let us see if Elijah comes to save him."
      TX

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      • #33
        The more ancient the manuscripts the more doctrinal are the contradictions.

        For example, in certain of these more ancient manuscripts (e.g. Siniticanus and Vaticanus), John 1:18 reads;

        "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known." ESV

        "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known." NIV

        According to these more ancient manuscripts on John 1:18, Jesus is the ONLY God but he is by The father’s (who is God) side, which contradicts with John 17:3 where Jesus addresses the Father in name as "the ONLY TRUE GOD"

        The New American Standard Bible (NASB) worsens the problem:

        "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."

        If we use this translation, the translation of the NASB we have 2 Gods; the unseen God and the begotten God. It is completely a new doctrine of polytheism.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Same Hakeem View Post
          The more ancient the manuscripts the more doctrinal are the contradictions.

          For example, in certain of these more ancient manuscripts (e.g. Siniticanus and Vaticanus), John 1:18 reads;

          "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known." ESV

          "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known." NIV

          According to these more ancient manuscripts on John 1:18, Jesus is the ONLY God but he is by The father’s (who is God) side, which contradicts with John 17:3 where Jesus addresses the Father in name as "the ONLY TRUE GOD"

          The New American Standard Bible (NASB) worsens the problem:

          "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."

          If we use this translation, the translation of the NASB we have 2 Gods; the unseen God and the begotten God. It is completely a new doctrine of polytheism.
          Although we do not [yet] have manuscript fragments as early as those for the μονογενὴς θεὸς reading as we do for the ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός reading, the testimony of the earliest church Fathers and of it's virtual ubiquitous presence outside of the Alexandrian tradition virtually guarantees that the [ὁ] μονογενὴς υἱός reading is at least as ancient as the μονογενὴς θεὸς reading. Also the internal evidence is decisively against μονογενὴς θεὸς. I suggest you filter through Bart Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption of Scripture on this score.

          One more thing. μονογενὴς does not mean "only" (as in "Only God"). It means "unique," or less accurately "only begotten" (as Trinitarians prefer). So what exactly is a / the "only begotten God"? JWs even insist that this phrasing supports their doctrine as over the Trinitarians so that they claim that there is only One God (the Father), and one begotten god, namely the Son, who was "begotten" or "created" / "generated" by the Father at some point in time.

          Textual criticism is not as simple as just blurting out a hah, I got the relatively more ancient fragment , so my reading and interpretation is proved correct.
          Last edited by Unitarian101; 01-06-2020, 02:38 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Unitarian101 View Post
            Although we do not [yet] have manuscript fragments as early as those for the μονογενὴς θεὸς reading as we do for the ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός reading, the testimony of the earliest church Fathers and of it's virtual ubiquitous presence outside of the Alexandrian tradition virtually guarantees that the [ὁ] μονογενὴς υἱός reading is at least as ancient as the μονογενὴς θεὸς reading. Also the internal evidence is decisively against μονογενὴς θεὸς. I suggest you filter through Bart Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption of Scripture on this score.

            One more thing. μονογενὴς does not mean "only" (as in "Only God"). It means "unique," or less accurately "only begotten" (as Trinitarians prefer). So what exactly is a / the "only begotten God"? JWs even insist that this phrasing supports their doctrine as over the Trinitarians so that they claim that there is only One God (the Father), and one begotten god, namely the Son, who was "begotten" or "created" / "generated" by the Father at some point in time.

            Textual criticism is not as simple as just blurting out a hah, I got the relatively more ancient fragment , so my reading and interpretation is proved correct.
            It is seen easily that the more earlier the copies of the Bible, the more differences and the harder to decide how to get to the original.

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