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What is the Bible?

     The Christian must decide which version of the "Bible" is really God's Word. For if we are going to be reading, studying and memorizing the Scripture, which we should be doing, we must be sure that we are dealing with God's Word, and not merely man's imitations and interpretations. With so many "Bible" versions readily available, Christians can easily find themselves with a "Bible" that man has meddled with. A corrupted "Bible" is a way for all sorts of apostasy to enter the Church.
     The Scripture declares that God's words will never pass away, so we must find out what is God's preserved Word.
The words of the Lord are pure words... O Lord, thou shall preserve them from this generation forever. (Psalms 12:6, 7)

[Jesus said,] heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Mark 13:31)

...the word of the Lord endureth forever. (1 Peter 1:25)
     We all know that the Bible was not originally written in English, but the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament was written in Greek. While there is little argument with the Hebrew Old Testament, it is not so with the Greek New Testament. Thousands of ancient Greek manuscripts exist (manuscript means it was hand written), and almost all of them have very few differences. We often call these similar Greek manuscripts the "majority" texts.
     The Scripture used and trusted by Christians nearly everywhere in the world until the nineteenth century composed of the Masoretic (M) Hebrew Old Testament and the Textus Receptus (TR) Greek New Testament, which are often together called the traditional text (TT), or just the M + TR.
     What made the great change in "Bibles" that we see today? People had uncovered several new manuscripts, and so they decided they needed a new Bible. So, in the late 1800's, two textual critics, Messers B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, created a new Greek text upon which to base new "Bibles". This text was created by picking and choosing from various different manuscripts, largely including the ones we will mention a little farther on. They used a process called textual criticism to decide which manuscripts to use for the various passages and verses, and to decide which ones should be included or discarded. The main guidelines used in this deciding process are as follows: (Simplified)
  1. The harder to understand text is the better text.
  2. The shorter text is the better text.
  3. The older text is the better text.
     At first glance they may seem to make sense to you, but not when explored deeply. We will deal with each of these concepts.

The harder to understand text is the better text?

     Textual critics think that contradictions are better, which clearly goes against the scripture, for the Bible says:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

...the scripture cannot be broken; (John 10:35)
There are no contradictions in the true Bible, for God wrote it, and He knows everything, so contradictions in His Word cannot exist.

The shorter text is the better text?

     Parts and fragments of various manuscripts were lost over the hundreds of years since the originals were written. To decide that the shorter text is better is senseless. This is why if you open an NIV to the Gospel according to Mark, it is often either missing verses 9-20 of the last chapter (16), or there is a note saying that these verses probably shouldn't be included. This is just one example of the concept that says shorter is better. If one follows this reasoning through, why should there even be any words in the Bible? What could be shorter than nothing? If one follows this idea through, it should come as no surprise that many verses in the newer versions are completely missing.

The older text is the better text?

     At first glance, older may seem better, but when examined further, we realize that it is quite on the contrary. A surviving ancient manuscript, or codex, as it can also be called, essentially means that it was not used, which makes one wonder why it was not used. Could it perhaps have been poorly copied?
     The original inspired manuscript would have been copied, as many of the churches would have wanted a copy of the scriptures. (One must remember that these were the days before the printing press, when books had to be written out and copied by hand.) Then in turn, those manuscripts would have been copied as they wore out. The well-copied manuscripts would have normally been used until they were worn out. Thus, only the ancient manuscripts that were miscopied, and thus not used, have survived until modern times.
     Let us examine where two of the best-known "non-majority" codexes were found. These include the Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered in the trash in a monastery in Egypt's Sinai, along with the Codex Vaticanus, which was uncovered in the Roman Catholic Church's library. Scholars think that both of these manuscripts were probably copied in Egypt, at a liberal school in Alexandria, a place where apostasy spread quickly in the early church.
     These two texts are older than the any of the "majority" texts, but, when compared, have well over 15,000 differences! One would think that manuscripts so obviously corrupt and miscopied would never be used, but this was not the case.

Where are we now?

     These were the concepts that Westcott & Hort used to choose what to include and exclude in their Greek text, which is often referred to as the "Westcott & Hort Greek" text.
     These men actually intentionally altered and corrupted their Greek text, which was a very different and distorted text. This should be no surprise if you know about these men, for they did not believe in Creation, did not believe that Christ was the Son of God, and, among other wickedness, did not believe in the full verbal inspiration of Scripture!
     This alone should be enough to convince anyone that nothing good could come from persons in such a state. And now, dismayingly, this obviously corrupt text is the Greek upon which the following popular "Bibles" are based upon:

  • New International Version
  • New King James Version
  • American Standard Version
  • New American Standard Version
  • Revised Version
  • Revised Standard Version
  • New English Bible
  • Good News Bible
  • Jerusalem Bible
  • Amplified Bible
     These few listed, along with nearly all of the other versions on store shelves, are based upon the corrupt Westcott & Hort Greek text, which means one could easily end up with a corrupt version of the Bible. Some of the Bibles based upon the non-corrupt traditional text include:
Do the differences matter?

     The differences matter greatly. For instance, if you pick up a newer version such as the NIV, you will find changes such as the fact that verses found in the Textus Receptus Greek and the KJV are missing in the NIV, and important Bible truths are made to seem less important, such as: the virgin birth, Christ being the Son of God, and His saving blood. There are many, many changes in the revised and corrupted "Bible" versions. Satan has done all in his power to corrupt the Scripture, because he hates the Bible!

What should I use?

     Many people dislike the King James Version Bible because the English found in it can often be hard to understand. While I realize that the English language has changed, and there are some archaic words, some of this was necessary, because some of the English used at the time of the translation in 1611 A.D. was not commonly used, but words such as thee, thou, and thy were needed to accurately translate the Greek.
     Now while it may be true that the King James Version is hard to understand at first, it can be largely understood when one is accustomed to reading from it. I almost entirely use the King James Version Bible, because it is God's preserved Word in English. For one who wants the Bible, which I trust includes you, the critics version of the "Bible" should not be "good enough."
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)

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