Is the Law Dead for Christians?

Introduction

Christians claim that with the death of Jesus they are no longer under the law of the Old Testament, because the law is dead to those who put their faith in Jesus, his death and resurrection. But if you actually read the gospels which supposedly are a historical narrative of the life of Jesus, you’ll quickly see that Jesus did not once condemn the law in fact he expected his followers to follow the law. Not only did Jesus expect his followers to do the law he expected them to perform it at as higher level than the Pharisee’s.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20)

The Pharisee’s were highly religious men and were held in high esteem in the time of Jesus as men who faithfully kept the law of God. Jesus told his followers that they had to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s or they would by no means enter the kingdom of God. This statement alone should scare the Christian who believes that Jesus put the law to death with his sacrificial death on the cross.

A question Christians need to ask themselves is this, if Jesus wanted us to not only keep the law but perform it at a higher level than the Pharisee’s then why are their no accounts of Jesus or his followers in the gospels where they go to the Jewish temple to sacrifice animals and why was this similar to the Essene’s who also did not go to Jerusalem to perform sacrifices or worship God at the temple in Jerusalem. (See: Jesus was an Essene and Nazareth did not exist).

Another question Christians need to answer is this, if Jesus in the Gospels made it clear that we must observe the law of Moses then why in the Epistles of Paul does he seem to be against keeping the law of Moses? Is Paul therefore contradicting Jesus?

Jesus told the religious leaders in this day,

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

Question, how could it be said that the Jewish experts in the Law who Jesus condemned, possessed the Key of Knowledge? What does it mean that they failed to enter? And what was it they were supposed to enter?

Paul and the Law

That Jesus expected us to fulfill the law is seen in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says,

“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called greate in the Kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:18-20)

In his Epistle to the Galatians Paul says,

“…if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)

Is Paul contradicting Jesus? I don’t think he is, there are other places where Paul affirms that the law is good, holy, spiritual and righteous.

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin…And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good…For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.” (Romans 7:12,14,16,22)

Theologian C.E.B. Cronfield pointed out in his commentary on the book of Romans that Paul seems to be negative of the law because in the Greek language there is no word for “legalism” or “legalist” so Paul’s negative attitude towards the law most likely has to do with the misuse of the Law and not the law itself.

That this assessment is indeed correct is found in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews where he writes,

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.  If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. (Hebrews 8:1-5)

Notice in verse 5 Paul says that the priest here on Earth serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. On this verse the Barnes’ Notes Commentary writes,

“The reference is to the tabernacle, which was a mere example or copy of heaven. The word here rendered example upodeigma means a copy, likeness, or imitation. The tabernacle was made after a pattern which was shown to Moses; it was made so as to have some faint resemblance to the reality in heaven, and in that “copy,” or “example,” they were appointed to officiate. Their service, therefore, had some resemblance to that in heaven.” (Barnes’ Notes Commentary

On the word shadow in verse 5 the Barnes’ Notes Commentary says,

“That is, in the tabernacle where they served there was a mere shadow of that which was real and substantial. Compared with what is in heaven, it was what the shadow is compared with the substance. A shadow—as of a man, a house, a tree—will indicate the form, the outline, the size of the object; but it has no substance or reality. So it was with the rites of the Jewish religion. They were designed merely as a shadow of the substantial realities of the true religion, or to present the dim outlines of what is true and real in heaven.” (Barnes’ Notes Commentary)

On the phrase ‘of heavenly things’ found in verse 5 the Barnes’ Notes Commentary says,

Of the heavenly sanctuary; of what is real and substantial in heaven. That is, there exists in heaven a reality of which the service in the Jewish sanctuary was but the outline. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the service which the Lord Jesus performs there as the great High Priest of his people. (Barnes’ Notes Commentary)

So Paul did not have a negative view of the law he just realized the law, the Jewish temple and all the rituals that come along with the earthly Jewish religion were just symbols that are an imitation of the true spiritual temple.

Your Body is the Temple

You’ll never be able to fulfill Jesus’ demand to be more righteous than the Pharisee’s if you don’t come to grips with the fact that all the rituals that took place at the Jewish temple in Jerusalem are nothing but an imitation of the true spiritual temple that is not of this world. Jesus and his disciples knew this, so did the Essene’s and the Apostle Paul which is why none of these holy men went to Jerusalem to take part in the ritualistic religion of the carnal Jews. This is why Paul can say the works of the law are death, it’s not that the law is bad it’s just the outward expression of the law lead to spiritual death. Let me put it another way, it is because the law as practiced by the Pharisee’s is nothing but an imitation of the spiritual, this is why the law cannot save you, not because the law in and of itself is bad. You must make the law spiritual and personal to your very being, not practice it outwardly and literally like the Pharisee’s in Jesus’ time did.

In the Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul puts forth an important concept, Paul says,

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1st Cor 6:19)

Question, if the temple in Jerusalem was a shadow temple and it is our bodies which are the true temples of God then does this not make the outward expression of the Jewish religion obsolete? Now you can hopefully perceive why Jesus condemned the Pharisee’s.

How to do the Law

Ironically the true practice of the law is found on a Jewish website. Under the heading: “What is the holy temple?” the website askmoses had this to say about the holy temple.

“With the destruction, G-d destroyed the physical Temple and made it a spiritual place. He took that window and placed it within us. Instead of traveling to Jerusalem, G-d wanted us to find Him in our inner Jerusalem. Now, our bodies are our Temples, our souls are our windows, our minds are our Kohanim and our animal instincts are our sacrifices. We cannot offer physical sacrifices three times a day, but we can pray three times a day. We cannot attend Temple services three times a day, but we can tap into our souls three times a day. We cannot atone for our shortcomings by sacrificing animals, but we can sacrifice our inner animals—our hormones, our lusts, our desires, our beastly compulsions. We cannot find G-d in Jerusalem; we must find Him in us.” (Askmoses.com, What is the Holy Temple?)

How is what is said here any different from what Paul said in his letter to the Colossians?

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

In the book of Romans Paul says,

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:12-13)

Christians believe that because they have asked Jesus into their hearts that they have overcome spiritual death but that is not what Paul says here. He makes it clear that if you do not put to death your sinful urges you will die but if you put to death your sinful urges you will live.

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)

Paul never taught that once you come to Jesus you can live any way you want and still enter the kingdom of heaven. Coming to Jesus is the first step towards becoming spiritual, you still must fulfill the law. In the words of Jesus,

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)

Therefore we can rightly conclude from the Bible itself that it is our bodies that is the temple not the temple which once stood in Jerusalem which was merely a shadow and imitation of the true temple. Our sinful carnal nature is actually the animal we must slain within the temple of our bodies, not in a temple in Jerusalem.

“For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself” (Heb 9:24)

Sacrificing animals in a temple made with human hands can never save you because in practicing the law this way your sinful nature never gets crucified. Sacrificing your animal instincts within your temple-body is how the law should be fulfilled, it should not be fulfilled literally as the Pharisee’s did.

This also answers another question I asked earlier pertaining to Luke 11:52.

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

I asked, “how could it be said that the Jewish experts in the Law who Jesus condemned, possessed the Key of Knowledge?  What does it mean that they failed to enter?  What was it they were supposed to enter?

The key to knowledge that Jesus condemned the Pharisee’s of throwing away, is the knowledge that the law must not be practiced literally. What they were suppose to enter was their very own bodies which is the real temple and fulfill the law there but they failed to do so and thus never entered the kingdom of heaven.

Summary

We have learned that there is nothing wrong with the law it’s the outward physical expression of the law that is frowned upon by Jesus and the Apostle Paul. The reason it is frowned upon is because the temple in Jerusalem is nothing but an imitation of the real genuine temple which is the body.

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1st Cor 6:19)

Jesus commanded his followers to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s if they ever wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven. The problem with the Pharisee’s is that they practiced the law literally instead of spiritually, they sacrificed physical offerings, physical animals, in a physical temple in order to atone for their spiritual shortcomings. But as the askmoses website says,

“we cannot offer physical sacrifices three times a day, but we can pray three times a day. We cannot attend Temple services three times a day, but we can tap into our souls three times a day. We cannot atone for our shortcomings by sacrificing animals, but we can sacrifice our inner animals—our hormones, our lusts, our desires, our beastly compulsions. We cannot find G-d in Jerusalem; we must find Him in us.” (Askmoses.com, What is the Holy Temple?)

This is no different than what the New Testament says when it tells us,

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Col 3:5)

And it is our carnal sinful nature that we must sacrifice in the temple of our bodies, this is why the physical ritualistic expression of the law as practiced by the Pharisee’s lead to sin and spiritual death. It is fulfilling the law spiritually how one exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s, crucify their sinful nature and enter the kingdom of heaven. This is why the Essene’s, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul did not take part in temple activities, they knew that the law of Moses had to be fulfilled within their very own bodies.

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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.”