The Kingdom of Heaven

Introduction

In my last blog (See: Is the Law Dead for Christians) I wrote about how the old testament law has not been done away with by Jesus or the Apostle Paul. Moreover I showed how Jesus even expected his followers to practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees. To practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees one must spiritualize the law of Moses and fulfill it within their very being. For example instead of sacrificing an animal in a temple what we’re really suppose to do is sacrifice our inner animal in the temple which are our bodies. This is why the Apostle Paul continually said things like,

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. -Galatians 5:24

“…I beat my body and make it my slave…” – 1st Cor 9:27

This leads us to the topic of the kingdom of heaven. On this issue Christians are no different than the Pharisees because they fail to heed the very words of Jesus on the nature of the kingdom.

The Nature of the Kingdom

The kingdom is inside you

If you ask modern Christians when the kingdom of heaven is going to come they will tell you that first the anti-Christ needs appear on the world scene to deceive the whole world create a one world government and lead the armies of the world to attack Jerusalem. When Jerusalem is surrounded by all the armies of the world then Jesus is going to appear with his angels, destroy the anti-Christ and set up the kingdom in Jerusalem which will last for a thousand years. This is the view most Christians will spew when asked when the kingdom of heaven will come, now contrast this with what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke when he was asked when the kingdom of heaven would appear.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:20-21

Christians believe Jesus is going to set up a physical kingdom in Jerusalem, Jesus in his own words basically said, the coming of the kingdom isn’t going to be a physical here or there that can be seen with the naked eye because the kingdom of heaven is within you.

Thus the modern Christian and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time are similar, the Pharisees looked to practiced the law of Moses physically instead of spiritually while Christians look for a physical manifestation of the kingdom when the coming of the kingdom is a spiritual event which happens within the physical body of the follower of Christ. Luke 11:52 makes a lot more sense when you realize the kingdom is inside of you. Jesus said,

Woe to you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye have not entered in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. – Luke 11:52

Therefore we can rightly conclude that once the disciple of Christ has sacrificed their inner animal, hormones, and lust within the altar of their body-temple then and only then can the believer enter the kingdom within.

‘Within’ or ‘Among?’

The favorite rendering of Luke 17:21 by Christian translators is “the kingdom of heaven is among you.’ They reason that Jesus could not have possibly been saying that the kingdom of heaven was in the hearts of the Pharisees, but is this true? The word translated as ‘within’ in Luke 17:21 is the Greek word Entos. This word is only used twice in the New Testament, the only other time it was used was in the Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-three. Jesus says,

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. – Matthew 23:27

Here we see entos again being translated as inside. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not focusing on first cleansing themselves on the inside instead of the outside. Furthermore on the issue on whether the correct translation is within or among the Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament says,

 This ‘within you’ is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of |entos|. The examples cited of the use of |entos| in Xenophon and Plato where |entos| means “among” do not bear that out when investigated. Field (_Ot. Norv_.) “contends that there is no clear instance of |entos| in the sense of among” (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display “Here” or “There.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament on Luke 17:21)

Since there are no Greek writers who used entos to mean among we can rightly conclude that within is the correct translation.

Lost saying of Jesus on the Kingdom of Heaven

In the Gospel of Thomas saying 22 a rather strange concept is put forth by Jesus, it says,

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, ‘These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.’ They said to him, ‘Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?’ Jesus said to them, ‘When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.’” – Gospel of Thomas, saying 22

This same saying is found in the writings of the disciple of the Apostle Peter, St. Clement, in his 2nd Epistle of Clement. Also this saying is found in the recently discovered Oxyrhynchus papyri.

While this saying no doubt has many correct interpretations one interpretation is that both men and women are made up of male and female polarities and it is these polarities that must be transcended so that, “the male not be male nor the female female.” The fulfillment of such a merging of our positive polarity with our negative one is seen in the symbol of the ying and yang. Therefore when the opposite polarities within us are brought into unity then we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Summary

We have seen that the nature of the kingdom is a spiritual one not a physical one. The kingdom will not be a localized here or there where it can be seen with the human eye because as Jesus said, “the kingdom is within you.”

I have also demonstrated that the correct translation of Luke 17:21 is within not among. Entos is never used to mean among in any Greek writing and in the new Testament it is only used twice and in both occasions it clearly means inside. Christians arbitrarily choose to translate entos as among because the kingdom being inside the Pharisees goes against Christian dogma.

In the Gospel of Thomas and other biblical documents and artifacts it was shown that a lost saying of Jesus clearly shows that to enter the kingdom you must overcome duality within yourself. The fact that the kingdom of heaven is spiritual in nature and not a physical kingdom which will be set up in Jerusalem goes against Christian doctrines but it was Jesus himself who said the kingdom is inside us and not in a specific location. Therefore Christians who continue to cling to the left behind theology call Jesus Christ a liar, not with their mouths but with their beliefs.

Advertisements

Has the Bible been Changed? Part Two: The Ten Words

Abstract: At the first council of Nicaea it was declared that Jesus Christ, God the Son was co-eternal with the Father. What this meant was there never was a time when Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, but not only is Jesus God’s eternal Son he is equal to God which in fact makes Jesus God since they are of the same substance according the the Nicene creed. This has been the dogma of the church for the past 1700 years, but what if I told you there are ten words that could change Christianity forever, ten words that are so deadly that it strikes at the very heart of the post-Nicene church and would bring this religion of two billion plus members crashing down upon it’s very foundation. Would you believe me? Well contrary to popular thought the earliest biblical witness show this to be the case, using the earliest biblical manuscripts in conjunction with several quotations of the pre-Nicene Church Fathers, it can be demonstrated that the very same scriptures that we use today read differently prior to the adoption of Christianity as the state puppet religion of the Roman government.

The Ten Words

The baptism of Jesus

The Holy Spirit anointing the mind of Jesus

Preserved in our oldest biblical manuscripts and the writings of the pre-nicene church fathers there are ten words that are no longer in the gospels they have been removed from the scriptures, but thanks to textual criticism the truth has been uncovered. Not only are these ten words preserved in our oldest manuscripts and pre-nicene church fathers but paradoxically they are perserved in another part of the New Testament, the book of Hebrews which proves the forgery.  In one of the oldest existing biblical manuscripts known as Codex Bezae the words spoken to Jesus at his baptism by God isn’t the words we find in our biblical text today, it contains ten words that can change the Christian religion forever. To understand how this is so we must begin with the baptism of Jesus for it is here that we shall discover why these ten words are so dangerous.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

What if i told you that the underlined words in this retelling of the baptism of Jesus wasn’t the original wording but it was something else. Would you want to know what the original wording was? Would you even care? If you’re a Christian you should care because the true words that were spoken by God himself have been censored by the church of Rome. The words spoken to Jesus by God at his baptism was NOT, “This is my Son whom i love; and with him I am well pleased” the true words spoken to Jesus were, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

Evidence from Early Church Fathers

Christian philosopher, apologist and martyr Justin Martyr who lived from A.D. 100-165 wrote concerning Jesus in his work known as ‘Dialogue with Trypho a Jew’, Justin said:

“He was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men, making ploughs and yokes; by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life; but then the Holy Ghost, and for man’s sake, as I formerly stated, lighted on Him in the form of a dove, and there came at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: `Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee’” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho a Jew)

Justin then goes on to explain to Trypho:

“For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, `Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee,’ is recorded in the memoirs of the apostles to have come to Him and tempted Him, even so far as to say to Him, ‘Worship me;’ and Christ answered him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan: thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve’”. (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho a Jew)

The great theologian and mentor to Origen, Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-215) in his writing known as The Instructor’ wrote concering the baptism of Jesus:

“For at the moment of the Lord’s baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, ‘Thou art My beloved Son, to-day have I begotten Thee’” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor)

In his commentary on the gospel of John, Origen (A.D. 185-254) writes that:

None of these testimonies, however, sets forth distinctly the Savior’s exalted birth; but when the words are addressed to Him, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee‘, this is spoken to Him by God”. (Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John)

The church father Methodius (A.D. 260-312) was a Bishop, author and a Martyr. In his work titled Banquet of the Ten Virgins’ he wrote that:

“Now, in perfect agreement and correspondence with what has been said, seems to be this which was spoken by the Father from above to Christ when He came to be baptized in the water of the Jordan, ‘Thou art my son: this day have I begotten thee’”. (Methodius, Banquet of the Ten Virgins)

Lactantius (A.D. 240-320) was a Christian author and adviser to the Emperor Constantine and a tutor to his son. In his The Divine Insitutes Lactantius writes:

“Then a voice from heaven was heard: ‘Thou art my Son, today have I begotten Thee,‘Which voice is found to have been foretold by David. And the Spirit of God descended upon Him, formed after the appearance of a white dove. From that time He began to perform the greatest miracles, not by magical tricks, which display nothing true and substantial, but by heavenly strength and power, which were foretold even long ago by the prophets who announced Him; which works are so many, that a single book is not sufficient to comprise them all” (Lactantius, The Divine Institutes)

Unless these early leaders of the Church were reading from completely different gospels the words,“Thou art my son, today have I begotten thee” have been removed from our gospel’s and replaced with, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Evidence from the Epistle to the Hebrews

There is biblical evidence from outside the gospel’s where it is confirmed that the words spoken to Jesus by God was, “Thou art my son, today have I begotten thee.” This evidence can be found in the epistle to the Hebrews chapter one verse five, i am going to quote verses one through five so you can see the whole thing in it’s context, it says:

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.” (Hebrews 1:1-5)

To understand why these words clash so violently with modern Christian dogma I will quote from the Adam Clarke commentary. Commenting on the phrase “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” found in Hebrews chapter one verse five the Adam Clarke commentary says:

“This most important use of this saying has passed unnoticed by almost every Christian writer which I have seen; and yet it lies here at the foundation of all the apostle’s proofs. If Jesus was not thus the Son of God, the whole Christian system is vain and baseless: but his resurrection demonstrates him to have been the Son of God; therefore everything built on this foundation is more durable than the foundations of heaven, and as inexpugnable as the throne of the eternal King.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Hebrews 1:5)

The Adam Clarke commentary exposes it’s Christian bias when it claims:

“The words, This day have I begotten thee, must refer either to his incarnation, when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; or to his resurrection from the dead.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Hebrews 1:5)

This is a forced way of interpreting this passage, when God told Jesus, ‘this day have I begotten you’ he was referring to that moment in time which means at his baptism in the river Jordan Jesus became the Christ/Son of God for the first time. This contradicts the doctrine of the trinity which says Jesus was eternally God but as we saw in part one, the trinity concept was added to the bible centuries after the bible was finished. What this means is that Jesus was a man who became the Son of God, this of course goes against Christian dogma that Jesus is divine.

Is Jesus God?

If Jesus was God then surely Jesus’ chief disciple would have taught Jesus was God right? According to Acts chapter 2 Peter told his fellow Israelites that:

Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22)

Here Peter confirms that Jesus was a man accredited by God, and a man whom God did miracles, wonders and signs through. If Jesus was God then how could God work miracles through himself? This shouldn’t be surprising because this is the same Jesus who said many times throughout his ministry:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…” (John 5:19)

“…I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” (John 8:28)

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works”(John 14:10)

Here Jesus himself tells his detractors that it is the father who dwells in him that does the works.

“Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” (John 20:17)

If Jesus was God or co-equal with God from all eternity how could he ever call mere mortals his brothers? Moreover, how could he return to God if he was God? These biblical verses along with the proof that the trinity concept was added to the bible at a later date should cast doubt on the modern Christian belief that Jesus was God.

Ancient Unorthodox Views of Jesus

Not all early Christians believed in the trinity or that Jesus was divine. The early church theologian Hippolytus of Rome (A.D. 170-236) in his principle work ‘Refutations of all Heresies’ he describes the beliefs of a first century sect of Jewish-Christians called the Ebionites. He says they believed that Jesus;

“was justified by fulfilling the Law. He was the Christ of God, since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law, he would have been the Christ.” Hence “when Ebionites thus fulfill the law, they are able to become Christs, for they assert that our Lord Himself was a man in like sense with all humanity.”(Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of All Heresies 7.22)

Church Father Epiphanius of Salamis (A.D. 320-403) also writes about the Ebonites, he says;

For since they wish Jesus to be in reality a man, as I have said before, Christ came in him having descended in the form of a dove and was joined to him (as already we have found among other heresies also), and became the Christ from God above, but Jesus was born from the seed of man and woman. (Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion 30.14.4-5)

These hostile witnesses attest to the fact that there were believers in Jesus who believed he was simply a man who became the Christ, not someone who was always the Christ/Son of God as Christians claim today.

Historian Edward Gibbon’s most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. This is a grade A quality work because Edward Gibbon used primary sources to gather his information. In this work Edward Gibbon describes the beliefs of early Christians, he writes that in Jesus they believed there was a;

“…supernatural union of a man and God… In their eyes, Jesus of Nazareth was a mere mortal, the legitimate son of Joseph and Mary: but he was the best and wisest of the human race, selected as the worthy instrument to restore upon earth the worship of the true and supreme Deity. When he was baptized in the Jordan, the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry” (Gibbon; The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.366).

Here we see even more evidence that early Christians believed it was at the baptism of Jesus where he became the Christ/Son of God.

The second century writer Irenaeus (A.D. 110-202) describes the beliefs of a Gnostic Chrsitian named Cerinthus, (A.D. 100) he believed the same thing as the Jewish-Christians, the Ebonites, Irenaeus writes that Cerinthus;

“represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the ordinary course of human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous, prudent, and wise than other men. Moreover, after his baptism, Christ descended upon him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles” (Irenaeus, Bk 1, Ch 26, doctrines of Cerinthus)

All of these early christian beliefs of Jesus have one more thing in common, the denial of Jesus being born of a virgin. Most Christians overlook this one fact, the gospel of Mark was the first gospel written, but guess what? Mark’s gospel has no virgin birth story in it, the gospel of Mark starts out with the baptism of Jesus. In Marks gospel Jesus isn’t special because he was born of a virgin but because when he was baptized the holy spirit came upon him and made him the Christ, the Son of God. Then God spoke from heaven saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” This is why the words spoken to Jesus by God had to be changed from, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” to “This is my Son whom i love; and with him I am well pleased.” This had to be edited out of the bible because it confirmed the beliefs of early Jewish and Gentile Christians who were considered heretics by later Christians because they didn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus.

More damning evidence comes from the fact that the original gospel of Matthew had no virgin birth story in it. The gospel of Matthew was first written in the Hebrew language before it was written in Greek which is where our translations of the Bible come from. This Hebrew version of the gospel of Matthew is lost. Edward Gibbon writes:

“But this Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew is most unaccountably lost; and we may accuse the diligence or fidelity of the primitive churches, who have preferred the unauthorized version of some nameless Greek”.

Gibbon rightfully calls our copy of Matthew the “unauthorized version of some nameless Greek”, because the only true Gospel attributed to Matthew is the original Hebrew version which was never given to the Gentile Church, and we no longer possess today.

Of this Hebrew original of Matthew, St. Jerome wrote to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus:

“A difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, did not wish to be openly written. For if it had not been Secret, he would have added to the evangel that which he gave forth was his; but he made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious, who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed, and its text they related some one way and some another”.

It is this copy of Matthew that the Ebionites used and like i mentioned before this version of Matthew is lost we just have the Greek version which is in our Bibles today. But it is interesting to note that the enemy of the Ebionites Epiphanius noted that:

“The two first chapters of St. Matthew did not exist in the Ebionite copies (Epiphan. Haeres. xxx. 13″

As any Christian should know the first two chapters of the gospel of Matthew deal with the immaculate conception and virgin birth of Jesus Christ. If this is true then this is more evidence that the doctrine of the virgin birth was added sometime after the gospel of Matthew was originally composed. There is sufficient reason to question whether in its original form, Luke contained the narrative of the Virgin birth. That the original version of Luke did not contain the first two chapters of the birth narrative is further demonstrated in the allegation of the church father Tertullian that the heretics used copies of Luke that did not contain these chapters.

Conclusion

I have shown you that the earliest biblical manuscripts, early church fathers and The Apostle Paul himself record that the words spoken to Jesus by God was “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” which proves Jesus was a man who became the Christ at his baptism, this view fits perfectly with what the Ebonites believed about Jesus.

I have also shown you biblical verses which state Jesus was not God and that God was working miracles through Jesus. Peter said in the book of Acts chapter 2 that Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God, Jesus himself said he did nothing it was the father who dwelled in him that did the miracles.

The question is who are you going to believe Jesus and his first century followers (The Ebonites) or the puppet church of Rome who three centuries after Jesus they declared him to be God, then went on a mass crusade and killed off the Ebonites and other “heretics” and then proceed to tamper with the scriptures to hide the truth. Elaine Pagels was correct when she stated:

“It is the winners who write history — their way.” (Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, pg. 142)

Has the Bible been Changed? Part One

Intro to Textual Criticism: Reconstructing Aunt Sally’s Letter

This simple illustration comes from an article on the Christian website Stand to Reason. The illustration is meant to instruct those who are not familiar with textual criticism as to the objective of this disciple. The illustration goes like this:

Pretend your Aunt Sally has a dream in which she learns the recipe for an elixir that would continuously maintain her youth. When she wakes up, she scribbles the directions on a scrap of paper, then runs into the kitchen to make up her first glass. In a few days her appearance is transformed. Sally is a picture of radiant youth because of her daily dose of what comes to be known as “Aunt Sally’s Secret Sauce.”

Sally is so excited she sends hand-written instructions to her three bridge partners (Aunt Sally is still in the technological dark ages–no photocopier) giving detailed instructions on how to make the sauce. They, in turn, make copies which each sends to ten of her own friends.

All is going well until one day Aunt Sally’s pet schnauzer eats the original copy of the recipe. Sally is beside herself. In a panic she contacts her three friend

They finally round up all the surviving hand-written copies, twenty-six in all. When they spread them out on the kitchen table, they immediately notice some differences. Twenty-three of the copies are exactly the same. One has a misspelled word, though, one has two phrases inverted (“mix then chop” instead of “chop then mix”) and one includes an ingredient that none of the others has on its list.s who have mysteriously suffered similar mishaps. Their copies are gone, too, so the alarm goes out to their friends in attempt to recover the original wording.

Here is the critical question: Do you think Aunt Sally can accurately reconstruct her original recipe?

This is what textual criticism is all about, finding out what the original words of the document in question are. In this case the Bible is the document in question.

Ancient Testimony

Saying the Bible has been changed isn’t a new claim, this was said back when Christianity was still an infant on the world stage. This section will provide testimony from christian and non-christian sources which accuse their religious opponents of changing, adding, and deleting certain text in holy scripture. We’ll start things off with the pagan philosopher and arch nemesis of the early christian church, Celsus. Celsus is best known for his anti-christian work titled, The True Word, This writing from around A.D. 177 is the earliest known attack on Christianity. Celsus wrote that:

“Certain Christians, like men who are overcome by the fumes of wine and care not in the least what they say, alter the original text of the Gospels so that they admit of various and almost indefinite readings. And this, I suppose, they have done out of worldly policy, so that when we press an argument home, they might have the more scope for their pitiful evasions” (Celsus, The True Word)

The great teacher and early christian scholar Origen who was and still is considered the greatest Christian teacher outside of Jesus Christ and his apostles, it was this man who was comminsioned by the church to responded to Celsus attacks on the Church. Origen responded to Celsus by saying:

Besides, it is not at all fair to bring this charge against the Christian religion as a crime unworthy of its pretended purity; only those persons who were concerned in the fraud should, in equity, be held answerable for it” (Origen, Contra Celsus)

Notice Origen does not deny that people are changing the scriptures he just says you cannot blame this on the religion itself but the people who commit the fraud.

The church father St. Jerome who is best known for translating the Bible into Latin, this translation is known as the Vulgate. St. Jerome commented on the fact that when scribes came across something while copying scripture that they did not like they assumed it was a mistake by the previous copyist and would correct this mistake by adding their preconceived beliefs to the text.

They write down not what they find but what they think is the meaning; and while they attempt to rectify the errors of others, they merely expose their own” (Jerome, Epist. lxxi.5)

The ancient church historian Eusebius who was the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine quoted Pope Dionysius of Alexandria on how his letters had been corrupted by the hands of fellow christians.

“When my fellow Christians invited me to write letters to them I did so. These the devil’s apostles have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others. For them the woe is reserved. Small wonder then if some have dared to tamper even with the word of the Lord Himself, when they have conspired to mutilate my own humble efforts” (Hist. Eccl., Bk. 4. 23)

Eusebius had his own problems with people corrupting the bible in his own day. Eusebius wrote:

Therefore they have laid their hands boldly upon the Divine Scriptures, alleging that they have corrected them. That I am not speaking falsely of them in this matter, whoever wishes may learn. For if any one will collect their respective copies, and compare them one with another, he will find that they differ greatly. (Eusebius, Church History)

Probably the most influential church father of them all, St. Augustine, who is best known for his work, City of God, spoke on the corruption of the scriptures as well, he said:

“For those who are anxious to know the Scriptures ought in the first place to use their skill in the correction of the texts, so that the uncorrected ones should give way to the corrected” (De Doctrina Christ., II. 14)

The church father Tertullian, who is considered the founder of Western Theology blamed heretics for the corruption of the scriptures. He makes reference to the fact that Marcion removed whole sections of scripture because he did not agree with what was written.

“Now, inasmuch as all interpolation must believed to be a later process… One man perverts the scriptures with his hand, another their meaning by his exposition… Marcion expressly and openly used the knife, not the pen, since he made such an excision of the scriptures as suits his own subject matter” (De Praescript. 38)

Scholarly Tesimony

Without the ancient testimony of early Christians this next section would just come off as academia picking on Christians and the Bible but that is far from the truth. There are problems with the Bible and Christians need to come to grips with that.

Biblical scholar and critic Dr. F.H. Scrivener writes that:

In the second century we have seen too many instances of attempts to tamper with the text of Scripture, some merely injudicious, others positively dishonest”. (Introduction to the criticism of the New Testament)

Dr. Scrivener then goes on to say:

“it is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within 100 years after it was composed: and that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church used inferior manuscripts” (Introduction to the criticism of the New Testament)

In the introduction to the New American Bible it is stated that modern critical analyze of the gospel of John:

“..makes it difficult to accept that the fourth gospel as it now stands was written by one man. Chapter 21 seems to have been added after the gospel was completed; it exhibits a Greek style somewhat different from the rest of the work… Within the gospel itself there are signs of some disorder; e.g., there are two endings to Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper” (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p.xxxvii)

The New American Bible also brought up an interesting fact that most Christians today do not realize.

It should be remembered that for the ancients authorship was a much broader concept than it is today. In their time a man could be called the ‘author’ of a work even though he did not write it. (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p.xxxvii)

It is more than probable that a disciple of Jesus named John had nothing to do with the gospel of John we read today in our bibles and was in fact written by someone centuries later who had never met John or Jesus. Even if John was the author how do we know which parts are from him or the persons who edited his work down through the centuries? These are important questions to ask.

One of the most common biblical manuscripts used to make our modern English translations is known today as the Nestle Text. Yet it was German Biblical scholar and textual critic Prof. Eberhard Nestle himself who warned us that:

Learned men, so called Correctores were, following the church meeting at Nicea 325 AD, selected by the church authorities to scrutinize the sacred texts and rewrite them in order to correct their meaning in accordance with the views which the church had just sanctioned.” (Einfhrung in die Textkritik des griechischen Testaments)

Methodist biblical scholar, theologian and textual critic Dr. Vincent Taylor was desribed as:

‘one of the outstanding New Testament scholars of his day and theologian of great renown and influence’ with an ‘immense’ literary output.” (O. E. Evans, ‘Theologians of our Times’ in The Expository Times March 1964 vol. 75 no. 6 164-168)

Dr. Taylor wrote concerning certain scribes introducing their favorite theological beliefs into the Bible and taking away doctrines that they deemed were unacceptable, he said:

“The manuscripts of the New Testament preserve traces of two kinds of dogmatic alterations: those which involve the elimination or alteration of what was regarded as doctrinally unacceptable or inconvenient, and those which introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice” (The Text of the New Testament)

Maybe the most well known biblical scholar and new testament textual critic living today is Prof. Bart Ehrman, Bart Ehrman has written three New York Times best sellers, (Misquoting Jesus, God’s Problem, Jesus Interrupted). Misquoting Jesus dealt with the subject of textual criticism. In one of his many books dealing with early christianity, ‘The Orthodox corruption of Scripture,’ Prof. Ehrman wrote concerning early christian debates on the nature of Christ, he said that:

“…theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy” (The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture)

What Prof. Erhman is saying is that some things in the bible were altered by certain scribes to make it fit with their pre-conceived notions of Christ. Now that their view was in the bible it made their job easier to debunk their opponents who might have held to a different view of who Christ was.

The Trinity

So far we have seen ancient and scholarly testimony that the Bible has been tampered with by men who would add or remove things they didn’t like in the scriptures so that the Bible would reflect their pre-conceived beliefs. Remember Dr. Taylor telling us that scribes; “would introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice.” No where does this apply more than to the doctrine of the trinity. At 1st John 5:7 the King James Version of the Bible tells us that:

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 KJV)

Yet this part of scripture which seems to support the doctrine of the trinity is found no where in the earliest copies of 1st John. The Adam Clarke commentary says regarding 1st John 5:7 that:

“..it is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every manuscript of this letter written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve. It is missing in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Aethiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, etc., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS. have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin”. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

Another favorite verse of Christians who support the trinity comes from the gospel of Matthew.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20 KJV)

 Theologian F.C. Conybeare speaks of the preceding verse and says:

“In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate these doubts of the authenticity of the text Mathew 28:19 by adducing patristic evidence against it, so weighty that in future the most conservative of divines will shrink from resting on it any dogmatic fabric at all, while the more enlightened will discard it as completely as they have its fellow-test of the three witnesses” (F.C. Conybeare, Hibbert Journal)

F.C. Conybeare then goes on to quote biblical scholar Dr. C.R. Gregory, and writes:

The Greek manuscripts of the text of the New Testament were often altered by the scribes, whoput into them the readings which were familiar to them, and which they held to be the right readings. (Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1907, p. 424)”

Even The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

“The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263)

Trinitarians claim that God is made up of three persons (father, son, holy ghost) who are all equally God but mysteriously they are all still one not three separate Gods. The son of course is Jesus Christ who Christians claim was God in human form. One of the verses used to support this claim is 1st Timothy 3:16, it says:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1st Timothy 3:16)

This seems like an open and shut case that Jesus was God in human form. Christian scholar and textual critic Bruce Metzger says regarding this verse the pharse:

 God in the flesh; does not occur in an Greek manuscripts earlier than the 9th century….all ancient versions presuppose ‘hos’ or ‘ho’ – [he who] or [he]. The reading theos(god) arose…deliberately… to produce a verse that more clearly supports the Trinitarian position.” – (The Bible in Translation; Bruce Metzger)

Ladies and gentlemen what you have just witnessed is the creation of a God with the pen. This is a Christian who is admitting this fraud. The truth is all verses in the Bible which seems to support a trinity were always added to the bible at a later time and was never apart of the original document. I’ll end this part on the trinity with a quote describing what I am trying to say perfectly.

 It’s interesting to see that many of the scriptural “evidences” said to be in favor of the doctrine of the Trinity, are grounded in mistranslation, errors in textual transmission, and sometimes even outright forgery. These can often be exposed by even a cursory glance at an English/Greek interlinear Bible or a Greek concordance… “After all, if the Bible already clearly taught that God existed as ‘three co-equal and co-eternal persons,’ it should hardly seem necessary to tamper with the text. (The Trinity- A Doctrine Overdue for Extinction; Part 2″ Imperfections in the King James Version”by Ted Whitten)

Codex Bezae

Things weren’t only added to the bible some passages were edited out of the Bible. Codex Bezae is one of the oldest copies of the bible, it dates back to the fifth century. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that Codex Bazae:

“…has a text that is very different from other witnesses. Codex Bezae has many distinctive longer and shorter readings and seems almost to be a separate edition. Its ‘Acts, for example, is one-tenth longer than usual’” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

How can it be that there exist a bible that is said to be almost a separate edition? Which edition is correct our version today or Codex Bezae? These are very serious questions a sincere seeker of truth should ask.

Regarding this serious problem, Dr. Vincent Taylor wrote that Codex Bezae:

“…is characterized by a series of remarkable omissions in Luke, especially in chapters XXII and XXIV, and by many striking additions and variations in the Acts” (The Text of the New Testament, Dr. Vincent Taylor)

One of those significant textual omissions in Codex Bezae is found at Luke 6:5. In this version of the Bible it says:

The same day, [Jesus] saw a certain man working on the sabbath and said to him: Man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed. But, if you do not know, you are accursed, and a trespasser of the law. (Codex Bezae “D” Luke 6.5)

Of course this saying of Jesus is alien to most Christians because it is no longer found in our copies of the Gospel of Luke, fortunately with the discovery of Codex Bezae we know this saying was originally in the bible, moreover a somewhat similar saying was found in the newly discovered Gospel of Thomas.

“If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father’s) domain. If you do not observe the sabbath day as a sabbath day, you will not see the Father.” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 27)

Coincidence? I think not. The missing verse from Codex Bezae had to removed from our bible because it showed that Jesus expected people to keep the laws of God which included observance of the Sabbath. By the way the true Sabbath is on Saturday not Sunday. Scribes who believed we didn’t have to keep any commandments of God found this saying unacceptable and refused to copy it and so it simply got edited out of the bible.

Conclusion

While I could have added more examples of biblical tampering I believe these examples should get any truth seeking Christian to question whether the Bible we have today is 100% the same as it was when it was first written. I think I have unquestionably demonstrated that the bible is not a perfect document and has in fact been changed in it’s history. The question Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the bible need to ask is why didn’t God protect the bible from being corrupted? Most Christians don’t want to confront such a question because it will most likely shatter their perfect little paradigm and get them to question their faith and to some Christians questioning your faith is a sin.

In part two of this series I will prove the biggest biblical forgery of all-time, that words spoken by God in the gospels were edited and changed by scribes to something God did not say. These words spoken by God himself are no longer found in the bible but they are found in the earliest copies of the bible and the wrintings of the early church fathers, and if it is true that God said these words there is a 0% chance Christianity is the correct religion which is why these words had to be censored. Stay tuned for part two of “Has the bible been Changed.”