Septuagint

 

[see also the differences between the KJV and the Greek Septuagint in just one book, Genesis].

 

horizontal rule

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Septuagint

The translation of the Septuagint undertaken in Alexandria at the behest of the Egyptian King, Ptolemy, who wished to expand the celebrated library of Alexandria to include the wisdom of all the ancient religions of the world. Because Greek was the language of Alexandria, the Scriptures therefore had to be translated into that language.

The Letter of Aristeas, the oldest known source we have for the origin of the Septuagint, details how Ptolemy contacted the chief priest, Eleazar, in Jerusalem and asked him to send translators. Six were chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, giving us the commonly accepted number of seventy-two. (Other accounts have the number at seventy or seventy-five.) Only the Torah (the first five books) was translated initially, but eventually other translations (and even compositions) were added to the collection. By the time of our Lord, the Septuagint was the Bible in use by most Hellenistic Jews.

Thus, when the Apostles quote the Jewish Scripture in their own writings, the overwhelmingly dominant source for their wording comes directly from the Septuagint (LXX). Given that the spread of the Gospel was most successful among the Gentiles and Hellenistic Jews, it made sense that the LXX would be the Bible for the early Church. Following in the footsteps of those first generations of Christians, the Orthodox Church continues to regard the LXX as its only canonical text of the Old Testament. There are a number of differences between the canon of the LXX and that of Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Christians, based on differences in translation tradition or doctrine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Septuagint (LXX)

April 2004

 

The story and the study of the Septuagint and other related documents is a fascinating story, but one fraught with difficulties unless explored with an understanding of what is being reviewed and revealed. For this small essay, many articles, books and reviews on this topic were read over many hours, and in presenting this small paper to you, it is my hope that you will gain insight and understanding, from which wisdom is derived. I have endeavored to quote and cite works as accurately as possible, to bring the flavor of all the works closer to you, the reader, for facts are stubborn things, while endeavoring to leave out nothing that is essential to an accurate understanding of the issues. Any errors herein are mine, and to those who have gone before me in exploring these matters, I salute them for their diligent efforts and endeavors to bring us all closer to the true Word of God.

 

The Septuagint is one of the discoveries of antiquity that has left many people perplexed as to whether or not it holds or should hold a high position of authority in our lives, or whether it is one of those murky traditions from the past that has supplanted itself over our minds, to our present and often lasting detriment. In this small article, I shall lay out what I know of the Septuagint and the KJV, and ask you to judge the facts, for it is facts that determine the truth and not tradition, no matter how endearing and enduring they may appear to be. Indented sections are literal copying from the works cited. When you, the reader, have finished reading this paper, I pray that your understanding of this matter will be edified to the glory of God. As an old fox once said, it isn’t always what we don’t know that hurts us, but what we think is true, that really isn’t so.

 

Many of our modern Bibles affirm or acknowledge debts to previous records and translations that they consulted, with many ascribing thanks to the Septuagint. So what exactly is this Septuagint that so many modern translations refer to? The name Septuagint refers to the number of 70 (actually 72) Hebrew scholars who purportedly translated the Hebrew texts into Greek about 250 BC,[1] during the time of a Levitical High Priest named Eleazar. It is claimed that these especially sought out, learned and pious Hebrew’s left Judea with a special commission to go to Egypt for this special purpose. The Roman numeral abbreviation for the Septuagint is LXX, their number for 70. Here is how this curious number came about.

 

According to a document called the Letter of Aristeas, six Hebrews from each of the twelve tribes (6 x 12 = 72) were commissioned to translate the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language. Greek was the primary language used by the Jewish population living in Egypt at that time, thereby one of the reasons being their assumed incapability of understanding Hebrew for their worship services. Another major reason for this alleged event was the desire of the ruling monarch, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (308-246 BC) to get a copy of the scriptures, at the behest of his librarian, Demetrius of Phalerum (though other reputable sources state that his appointed librarian was Callimachus). This portion of the account comes from Eusebius (260-339 AD), an early Church historian. (The Ptolemy’s were the Greco-Macedonian rulers of Egypt, from 323-30 BC. The last of the Ptolemy line was Cleopatra VII, formerly the mistress of Julius Caesar, and the later wife of Mark Antony.)

 

Many modern Bible scholars proclaim that Jesus and the Apostles used this Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation instead of the Hebrew texts in their normal conversations. When historians such as Josephus, Philo or Eusebius tell us their accounts, all of them refer to, and revolve around a document called the Letter of Aristeas. In fact, all other historical evidence either quotes or refers to this letter for what they attribute as being truthful in whole or in part, to their telling of the LXX story.[2] Let me illustrate why this issue is important and why it is so perplexing in its stubbornness of thought and belief.

 

 One of the hobgoblins in our modern times that Christians were ill prepared to deal with when it first appeared was the Theory of Evolution. Today it is taught in schools as if it was fact and the word ‘theory’ is hardly or never mentioned by those who teach its alleged merits. A well prepared Christian Israelite could easily deal with such an issue if it were them defending the scriptures in court today, but an aging pulpit pounding preacher named William Jennings Bryan became easy meat for a crafty lawyer who was well prepared in advance to meet this issue in an early twentieth century secular court. Despite the outcome, the evolutionist’s missing link is still missing after all these additional years, much like the many New World cities and civilizations proclaimed as history by many of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) founders and prophets.

 

The FBI maintains a web site for FOIA discovery of records on famous persons, releasable after their death. On the site http://foia.fbi.gov/darrow/darrow1.pdf we see where an interesting analysis of Clarence Darrow is discussed within the FBI, part of which follows for J. Edgar Hoover’s consideration:

 

“There appeared in the May issue of “Esquire” an article entitled “Attorney for the Defense” by Clarence Darrow. This article appears to be a frank discussion of the interworkings of the minds of criminal lawyers as exemplified by Clarence Darrow. It is thought that possible portions of this article might be helpful to the Director in making future addresses, at which time he might wish to point out how unscrupulous criminal lawyers stimulate disrespect for law and influence crime conditions.”

 

What will follow now are areas where unscrupulous efforts, or uncritical and wishful thinking, following traditions like the Pharisees and Sadducees or the Roman Catholic Church, has led to a serious disrespect and even a disregard for the facts, much as when Clarence Darrow made a public mockery of the Holy Bible in the Scopes monkey trial almost a century ago. These are but a minor fraction of materials readily available to any researcher who but looks for them and sees what they freely admit.

 

In this first instance, of a book I otherwise highly recommend for reading, is the assertion that the Septuagint is exactly what it appears to be, as related by tradition.

 

…since Christ and his apostles had taught the people in their own tongue, why should men not do so now? Even St. Jerome’s Vulgate had been a vernacular translation in origin, prepared for the Latin-speaking communities of the Western Church. In that capacity, it had superseded the older Latin version (done by persons unknown), and the Greek Septuagint, the third-century BC translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that had served the Greek-speaking Jewish communities of the Mediterranean world.[3]

 

Yet another book presents a broad view of the events of the past, which we shall soon be looking at more narrowly. Here is how it relates the ancient roots of what some of the early Christians used as scripture.

 

It should be observed that the Old Testament thus admitted as authoritative in the Church was somewhat bulkier and more comprehensive than the twenty-two or twenty-four, books of the Hebrew Bible of Palestinian Judaism. (These conventional totals were arrived at by reckoning 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings as two books, the twelve minor prophets as one book, Ezra-Nehemiah and 1-2 Chronicles as one book each, and in the case of the former, by attaching Ruth and Lamentations to Judges and Jeremiah respectively.) It always included, though with varying degrees of recognition, the so-called Apocrypha, or deutero-canonical books. The reason for this is that the Old Testament which passed in the first instance into the hands of Christians was not the original Hebrew version, but the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. …While respecting the unique position of the Pentateuch, they treated the later books of the Old Testament with considerable freedom, making additions to some and drastically rewriting others; and they did not hesitate to add entirely new books to the permitted list.[4]

 

Contrast this account now with the time in Judea of the Maccabaean revolt, when after nearly 500 years of foreign subjugation, freedom was regained from Syrian domination and under the emerging Hasmonaean dynasty, it almost regained the size of King David’s kingdom.

 

It was during this time of long-fought-for freedom that certain books appeared from time to time whose purpose was to encourage and maintain patriotism and faith. Written for the most part in Greek, these devout, inspirational scrolls were circulated among the leaders, the subject matter made common knowledge, and came to be cherished as sacred. Revered, these various books were included in the Old Testament compiled in Alexandria, and known as the Septuagint. But the Palestinian Jews refused to put them in their Canon of the Scripture.

 

However, when St. Jerome (c. AD 340-420) prepared his famous Vulgate edition of the Latin Bible he included these books with one exception, “The Prayer of Manasses.” The Roman Catholic Church has always recognized these books as authoritative. It is believed by some that St. Jerome also accepted the designation “apocrypha”, or “hidden”, for them, a term which implied esoteric truths for the initiated.[5]

 

Since there is a wide variance of information concerning the Septuagint, particularly from the side that promotes it rather than questions it, and our sample is yet small, we shall continue to examine the information available, so that when the other side which questions the Septuagint is presented, you may be more familiar with their arguments, and understanding of their reasons and rationale in refuting it.

 

By far the most significant ancient version is the Septuagint, abbreviated LXX. … It is also called the Alexandrian version, from the place of its completion; or the Greek version, from the language into which it was translated.

 

The Septuagint is the first translation of any portion of the Scriptures ever made, and is the rendering of the entire Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. The version was made necessary by the fact that the Jews living in Egypt and elsewhere through the Near East in the centuries immediately before the Christian era were no longer able to read and understand Hebrew. …

 

The origin of the Septuagint is shrouded in uncertainty. The oldest tradition, originating with a letter of Aristeas, an Alexandrian Jew serving under the Ptolemies during the third century BC, is not highly regarded by scholars at this present time. According to this account, 72 Palestinian Jews, selected from each tribe by the high priest, completed the translation in 72 days, working on the island of Pharos near Alexandria in Egypt. Further embellishments add that each translator worked in his own cubicle, independently of the others, and when the results were compared, each translation was found to be in perfect agreement with all the others.

 

The facts underlying the tradition would appear to be that the translation was made in Alexandria in the second or third centuries before Christ by a number of different translators, some of whom (if we may judge by their command of Hebrew) were probably Palestinian Jews. The translators were of varying ability, and seem to differ in their underlying purpose in making the translation. Hence, the different portions vary in value. The Torah, which includes the first five books of the Old Testament, is conceded to be the most excellent, and was probably the work of scholars from Palestine.

 

The importance of the Septuagint can scarcely be overstated. It became the generally used Scriptures of the Jews in Christ’s day, and was freely quoted by our Lord and His apostles. …The oldest and most prized Bible manuscripts in existence, the Vatican Codex, the Codex Alexandrinus, the Codex Sinaiticus, and the Ephraem Rescript, all contain the Septuagint version as the Old Testament portion.[6]

 

One of the strongest proponents for the Septuagint is also one of the better modern day Bible scholars, Bruce M. Metzger. We shall now present some observations by him that will add to our understanding of these scriptures.

 

The story he presents is again recounted from the letter of Aristeas, where Ptolemy II Philadelphus, as a ruler with a literary mind, desired to have a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, since they were reported to be full of wisdom and without blemish, thereby making a unique volume for him to examine and add to his already renowned library. The king therefore sent ambassadors to the high priest Eleazar along with riches in abundance, explaining what he desired. In return, Eleazar selected 72 translators, six of every tribe and sent them to Ptolemy, along with a marvelous copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, written entirely in gold leaf Hebrew letters for the translators to work from.[7]

 

The apologetic interest of Aristeas is revealed in a lengthy vindication of the purpose and function of the Jewish law, as well as in a still longer section that describes a banquet and the table talk between Philadelphus and each of the seventy-two translators, designed to exemplify the wisdom, moral insight, intellectual ability, and philosophical acumen of the Jewish people. The writer, however, is aware that he has overdone the encomium on Jewish wisdom, for he adds: “I suppose it will seem incredible to those who read my narrative in the future”.[8]

 

Mr. Metzger notes that the letter of Aristeas has many problems, and ascribes it to a possible date of about 150-110 BC. The letter was known to Josephus, who paraphrased parts of the letter in his Antiquities of the Jews, (re: 12.12-118). The Alexandrian mystic philosopher Philo (20 BC – 50 AD) also has an account, (re: Moses 2.25-44), where he relates certain features, but there are differences as well. Early Christian fathers also wrote of this letter and event, with even more embellished scenarios recorded.[9]

 

But this is not the only area where differences are noted. The Septuagint clearly softens the Hebrew Bible and depersonalizes God, and it often makes more use of the paraphrase. Per Mr. Metzger, these changes indicate a disinclination to ascribe the human form or human passions to the Divine Being.[10] The various books in the Septuagint differ between them as to literal and free translation. The Septuagint also differs from the Hebrew text in the number of books and the order in which they appear. The Greek form of the book of Esther contains six extra sections for a total of 107 more verses. The book of Daniel has three extra sections, while the book of Job is one sixth shorter. The book of Jeremiah has extensive transposition of verse and chapter and is one eighth shorter than the Hebrew text. The translation of the book of Daniel in the Septuagint was so woefully deficient that the early Christian Church completely rejected it. Only when Theodotian in the second century AD made a new translation, was it later accepted in the fourth century. Then there were the additions of the apocryphal books that were completely alien to the Hebrew text, being found only in the Septuagint. Even more troubling, words in Hebrew that had no Greek equivalent were sometimes poorly expressed or awkwardly rendered.[11] Scholars have also noted many transpositions in Jeremiah and in the book of Proverbs. In the book of 1 Samuel, the Septuagint either had a different original or sections were cut from the Hebrew text to relieve it of awkward political difficulties for the Judeans in Alexandria.[12]

 

In short, there were some good things to be had in this new translation, especially by trying to bring the Mosaic books to those who could no longer read its pages. Some of the early Church fathers claimed that the Septuagint presented the word of God more accurately than the Hebrew text, but in truth, very few Christians beyond the first century had a working knowledge of the Hebrew language and couldn’t know the difference. The earliest copies were widely recopied and soon textual differences sprang up, some made purely by error, others by the poor or faulty judgment of the scribe making the new text copies. By the third century the Septuagint had allegedly become so utterly unreliable that Origen attempted to purify it.[13] So now we have before us almost five centuries since the time recounted in the letter of Aristeas, to Origen’s day, and he didn’t have or know of a single copy that he could say was the right one mentioned in the letter.

 

So began one of the truly most daunting tasks of ancient history, because this was no small feat being attempted. What resulted from this was called the Hexapala. The Hexapala is a six-column rendering of a Hebrew text and several others. Let’s look at this in somewhat more detail. Column one is the Hebrew text, it is divided into one to two words per cell, descending into ever-deeper columns as the text copying and translation goes on. Column two is basically what the Septuagint could well have looked like; it is the transliteration of the Hebrew into Greek characters. Column three is a work by Aquila, a Jewish proselyte about 140 AD who had made a severely literalistic Greek rendering of the Hebrew text. Column four is a translated work by Symmachus, probably from the latter second century, which explains the content of a Hebrew manuscript in a highly readable style. The fifth column is Origen’s rendering of the Septuagint, with special character symbols providing detailed information regarding differences between the Hebrew source he was working from and the various Greek texts. Column six is a work by Theodotion that is like the Septuagint, and is seen as a free version rather than an independent rendering. Copies of continuous fragments of leaves of the Hexapala have been found, but much was tragically lost through the ages. Many of these ancient works besides the Hexapala, and another work called the Tetrapala containing just the Greek verses of the Hexapala, were preserved in the library at Caesarea in Palestine, but disappeared when the Saracens took the city in 638 AD. History gives us fragments of these and the accounts of the various writers and researchers who viewed them.[14]

 

In the fourth century, Eusebius and Pamphilus published Origen’s fifth column, believing that he had succeeded in restoring the Septuagint to its original purity.[15] Other works in the fourth century by different writers such as Lucien (250-312 AD) and the later martyred Egyptian Bishop Hesychius (309 AD), attempted to remake the Septuagint, but these were viewed as stylistic changes rather than being new, clear renderings apart from the old confusions of various other texts that still abounded. The Jews meanwhile had completely abandoned the Septuagint to the Christians and condemned it in no uncertain terms as one of the worst blights ever to fall upon them.

 

Problems and errors crept into the manuscripts long before Origen made an attempt to root them out. Errors made by one copyist would often be copied by the next, right through the centuries and many were indeed that ancient. Comparison of the Hebrew text with older versions shows that during the period prior to the alleged first making of the Septuagint, or before the middle of the third century BC, was the time of the worst textual corruption. The scribes then awoke to this danger and the necessity of taking much better care of copying by devising methods to improve their accuracy with a very high degree of confidence. Such developments led to the usage of dots and short dashes above and below letters to represent vowels (now called vowel points). In the late twelfth century, Maimonides, an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher declared the Ben Asher text as the Textus Receptus, or received text preserved through the ages.[16] Upon his death, two factions fought over his writings, and this was brought to a Christian court for a decision. After examining his writings, the court recommended that his works be burned, nevertheless, the Jews would not part with them and they remain today.

 

One of the new scribal methods in making accurate copies was the counting of verses and even the letters in various books, then of making note of the middle verse, the middle word, and the middle letter of each book. These notations are still found at the end of each book in many Hebrew Bibles. After copying a work, if a scribe could not make his count tally with these notations, it was evident that some error had been made which must then be corrected, or the copy was rejected and discarded.[17] One of the richest sources of such ancient documents as have come to light in modern times has literally been in ancient garbage dumps in arid lands. One indication of the need for such exactness and accuracy is recounted in this Jeremiah 8:8 New English Bible verse, where he says: How can you say, “We are wise, we have the law of the LORD’, when scribes with their lying pens, have falsified it? - The prophet Jeremiah lived in the eleventh century, BC. Using a modern version here illustrates that not everything in modern versions is bad or wrong, i.e., we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, and it does read and sound better than the KJV does, to modern eyes and ears.

 

In the time of the Ptolemies, Alexandria, Egypt was a cultural, commercial and religious center in its own right. It is widely reported that at least one third of the city was Jewish[18], and they had been heavily influenced by generations of Greek culture and civilization, as was much of the Mediterranean basin, and while losing their Hebrew tongue and customs, they were still worshipping as best they could in the manner of those in Jerusalem. Scholars, some of whom spend their lives studying the Septuagint and its related issues, are in great accord that the translation efforts that resulted in a manuscript that we call the Septuagint, came from different areas, and was done by different hands over approximately a 150 year period, most likely to meet needs in areas where the original language and cultural links to Jerusalem had been lost. It is not even clear to these scholars that it was finished in the first century BC, though some think it was.

 

On the sense of how the Septuagint was portrayed for the Greek reading Hebrew population, it was rendered to put Hebrew thought patterns into Greek molds. Some scholars claim that the Septuagint more properly ought to be classified as a Biblical interpretation, not as a translation in its true sense.[19]

 

Occasionally the translators substituted literal for figurative expressions. They inserted or omitted words and clauses, and added or changed clauses as they saw fit. …In some cases this means little more than the use of different vowels; frequently, too, the relation of the two texts can be explained on the grounds of a confusion between two or more Hebrew consonants. But other differences are wider, raising at times a difficult problem as to the true relation of the Hebrew and Greek readings. …The proper evaluation of their evidence and then the use of them in a search for the original text of the Old Testament are matters of great skill and delicacy. Indeed, the study of the Septuagint has become a highly specialized enterprise, with certain scholars giving practically their whole lifetime to it.[20]

 

Origen was born at Alexandria in 186 AD, and was surnamed Adamantios because of his untiring energy. In his day, he found not only differing copies of the Septuagint, but still other copies, more or less literal and faithful translations, by men such as Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion. He complained that every manuscript purporting to be the Septuagint contained a different text from each other, and hence desired to find the true text, and of producing the best possible manuscript based upon the evidence available to him. The Hexapala, which he conceived, took 28 years of his life and is in its own right, a formidable and stupendous work. The purpose of Origen’s Hexapala was not to restore the original text of the Septuagint, but to remake it as correctly as possible in comparison to the various texts he had, and to adequately convey the sense in translation, of a Hebrew text that he had.[21]

 

The fifth column of the Hexapala was Origen’s revision of the Septuagint. Where manuscripts of the Septuagint showed differences, he chose the reading that he thought gave the best translation when compared to the Hebrew text he had. If there were words in Hebrew that showed an inadequate representation in the Septuagint, he usually inserted a word from one of the other three major translations within the Hexapala, preferring Theodotion’s work a majority of the time. For words and  passages appearing in the Septuagint that had no comparison in the Hebrew, i.e., they didn’t exist in the Hebrew text at all, the words and passages were merely code marked in the Hexapala, but strangely, were not removed.[22] This regrettably established for us yet another unknown and unwelcome level of taint or level of contamination in the Septuagint as to spurious and false readings, as if these were in the original texts but clearly weren’t.

 

The Hexapala was completed by 240 AD in Caesarea, Palestine, where Origen spent the last twenty years of his life. When completed, the Hexapala would have formed over six thousand leaves, or twelve thousand pages of carefully copied and critically annotated Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and there it remained in the library at Caesarea for any to come see and examine. The high regard for the work and scholarship involved led to the belief in some Churches that Origen had successfully restored the Septuagint. These Churches accepted his fifth column as authoritative and copied it as the valid Greek Septuagint Old Testament. The last person to view and copy this fifth column was Paul, Bishop of Tella in Mesopotamia, who copied it into Syriac early in the seventh century, even carefully reproducing Origen’s critical signs. Fourteen years later, the Saracens captured Caesarea, and the library with the Hexapala largely disappeared from the annals of history, except for fragments of copies that have surfaced from time to time. Origen’s fifth column seems to be the only completely intact portion we have remaining.[23]

 

For the Pentateuch, the Septuagint translators clearly used a text much like the majority text today. From there on though, a great divergence is apparent with dissimilar manuscripts being used for the other books, because the Septuagint often departs from the majority text and varies in quality and quantity of material represented. About 200 AD, Jewish scholars began compiling Aramaic paraphrases of the Old Testament, called Targums.[24] Their influence today is minor, but points to their being present during this time and these may have influenced portions of Origen’s Septuagint. Another difficulty with Greek is that though the tonal system is well suited to poetry, it is more similar in structure to German and Russian than English.[25] Works such as Homer and other poetic Greek texts are difficult to render closely in English, hence poetic pieces in the Septuagint may also be quite misleading if used as a strict translation, which would almost certainly be at variance with the Hebrew texts. However we do have the Greek text of the New Testament to thank for its subtlety and accuracy of conveying the thoughts of the Apostles more closely, so this is not a condemnation of Greek, but an acknowledgment that it poses special difficulties in Old Testament poetic pieces since it is usually rendered poorly or inadequately when translated directly into English.

 

 While Origen did not accomplish his task to establish a single authoritative text of the Old Testament in Greek, his work did help to reduce some of the chaos that existed formerly. Main textual types were still to be found in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, but many of the minor variants were no longer causing such a great confusion. Some years after Origen died, Eusebius and Pamphilus began to publish Origen’s fifth column as the correct text of the Septuagint, with the critical marks and other Greek texts in the margins. However it became apparent that removed from the Hebrew text, the marks caused confusion and hence scribes once more were attempting to rectify the confusion and made a mess of things again, until finally the marks were dropped entirely. This is the work by Eusebius that the Emperor Constantine ordered fifty copies of for his Churches. Unfortunately, variant readings of the Septuagint either disappeared or were confused at this time for other works, and scholars have been having a difficult time understanding what is what from this period ever since.

 

At the same time another Christian in Asia Minor by the name of Lucien was busy doing a similar task. He too made a revision of the Septuagint, having the great advantage of possessing a different Hebrew text from the Hebrew text known to Origen. Lucien introduced variant readings, embedded expressions, and corrected the translation.[26] These variants were often previously unknown in the Christian world and quite often they provided superior readings, especially from the books of Samuel through Kings, which were very poor in the Septuagint. The Lucien Recension, as this text is known, remains today a highly valuable resource for textual critics. Pamphilus was killed in 309 AD while Lucien was eventually martyred under the persecutions of Maximus in 311 AD.

 

Since this paper is after all about the Septuagint, it is expected that many of you will have a copy of it in your Bible library. The copy I have is the Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton translation, with Apocrypha, in Greek and English. What many people overlook are the Preface comments, which I shall quote in part here, because many are under the misperception that what they have is the original Septuagint of the period 250 BC, and that isn’t so. Let’s see what the preface says about this rendering of the Septuagint.

 

…It has been preserved in a large number of manuscript copies of the original, and the Greek text in Brenton’s edition is based on Vaticanus, an early fourth century manuscript, with some reliance on other texts, particularly Alexandrinus, a fifth century manuscript.[27]

 

Do you believe that this is the original Septuagint, knowing as we ought to by now, that the Septuagint as we really have it is largely the interpretative readings of Origen and his helpers, done almost five centuries after it was purportedly first made? Since the statement and thoughts by those of just 150 years ago is subject to possibly being misinterpreted, let’s examine something written much closer to our time to see if what we think is so, is still hurting us in our understanding of the facts. 

 

It is the oldest Greek translation of the Old Testament, its witness being significantly older than that of the Masoretic Text. …The exact date of translation is not known, but evidence indicates that the Septuagint Pentateuch was completed in the third century BC. The rest of the Old Testament was probably translated over a long period of time, as it clearly represents the work of many different scholars.

 

The value of the Septuagint to textual criticism varies widely from book to book. It might be said that the Septuagint is not a single version but a collection of versions made by various authors, who differed widely in their methods and their knowledge of Hebrew. The translations of the individual books are in no way uniform. Many books are translated almost literally, while others like Job and Daniel are quite dynamic. So the value of each book to textual criticism must be assessed on a book-by-book basis. The books translated literally are clearly more helpful in making comparisons with the Masoretic Text than the more dynamic ones.[28]

 

I have saved a good resource for the latter part of this first section on the Septuagint, and some comments the author makes may prove helpful. The author notes that traditions take time to develop, and as we know, traditions die hard. The many fanciful tales told about how the Septuagint was written by 72 Hebrew scholars who all wrote one copy of the Old Testament in 72 days and they all matched perfectly, proving divine providence upon their labors, was taken to heart by many in the early Church. This author also notes that the bond between the Septuagint and people of early Christian Church’s is similar to the broad support and bond seen today by people who hold to the King James Version (KJV), against modern interpretations and translations.[29] I recommend his book for a more balanced look from the other side of the KJV only controversy in that he makes valid observations and raises serious questions for reflection and further consideration.

 

What eventually displaced the Septuagint from use in many early Churches was the Latin translation Vulgate Bible made by Jerome, translating directly afresh from Hebrew and Greek texts. The differences in style and content almost caused riots when it was read in Churches during the fifth century, also ushering in the Dark Ages, yet once accepted it endured in the Roman Catholic Church for a thousand years. Church protests when the Septuagint was replaced fifteen hundred years ago were basically over unfamiliarity with the style and language that corrected some errors, while the KJV controversy primarily revolves around the accuracy of the modern translations, and then their style.

 

Before we close this portion, there are a couple of smaller works worth mentioning, by Herrell Brothers Publishing House. They have two small books, one written by Pastor V.S. Herrell and the other by David C. Tate which goes into Bible history, and their views and opinions, while sometimes radically different, deserves some attention in regards to the history of the Bible and the rightful place for the Septuagint.

 

While many modern scholars are in the belief that the Septuagint is the first translation of the Hebrew Text into another language, there is evidence, according to Mr. Tate that there was an Aramaic version of The Law in use in ancient Palestine. There is also a firm assertion that perhaps even earlier than 400 BC, a Greek translation, including the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua, existed. This is attributed to the vague belief among Alexandrian Israelites that Plato and other Greek philosophers owed some of their knowledge and wisdom to The Law for a part of their teachings. In light of this unattributed evidence, Mr. Tate believes that we ought to hold the Septuagint far more importantly than the Masoretic Text, which he maintains, has come down to us through much more questionable circumstances.[30]

 

…the Scriptures fell into the hands of Khazar Jews and the knowledge of Hebrew was continually being lost. After the Jews completed their adulterated text, all older texts, including the ones that they had used for their adulteration, mysteriously disappeared. And so, all translations since have been based upon this clearly unreliable text. …One general rule of translation states that the older a manuscript, the more likely it is to contain fewer mistakes, This demonstrates the reliability of the Greek Septuagint having been translated directly from Hebrew originals, and which we have in copies some 550 years older than the “Hebrew” Masoretic Text, which we must question as unreliable with its scribal errors, deliberate glossing and editing.[31]  (Emphasis in original, above and below.)

 

The author then discusses the Dead Sea scrolls and some of the Qumran cave discoveries, mentioning that they need to be properly examined, and that any questions regarding what they say depends upon their being looked at by honest scholars. Strangely, he even says that the Latin speaking peoples of Europe and North Africa had to use the Septuagint, having no other copies of scripture in their own language until Jerome’s. We shall discuss this fallacy further in the second portion.

 

While Mr. Tate mostly takes shots at anything that isn’t as pure as his view of the LXX, he also had some barbed comments regarding the Brenton Septuagint. He calls the translation wimpy, nothing short of criminal, creative in translation, making up definitions of its own, and skipping over some Greek words as if they didn’t exist.[32]

 

Perhaps the greatest attractions of this book are some oft-neglected insights into some differences in translation between the texts. As Mr. Tate notes, there is a diversity in translation and interpretation, doctrine and opinion. One must search the scriptures, for in the mouth of two or three witnesses, a matter is established. He maintains that Jewish Massoretes were behind the translations done by Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion.  All these were done, per Mr. Tate, to discredit the Septuagint, which he maintains is better and more reliable than the Hebrew text that it came from.[33] Strangely, he then admits that the letter of Aristeas could have problems, but since there is nothing refuting it (that he knows of or will acknowledge), his conclusion is that the letter must have genuine merit.[34] In addition, he maintains that the oldest manuscripts in existence are all of the Septuagint LXX stream, and that the Majority Text types cannot be found earlier than 916 AD.[35] In Part two, we shall see that he wasn’t looking very hard.

 

We are now almost at the end for presenting views favorable to the Septuagint; this last work being a book done by Pastor V.S. Herrell of Herrell Brothers Publishing. This book reads very much like the one done by Mr. Tate, but here is a vigorous defense of the Septuagint from attack, principally based upon the claim that any Greek text fragment of antiquity must have come from the Septuagint. Pastor Herrell knows that the oldest complete copies of the Septuagint date from the fourth century AD, and believes that it is nothing but a bunch of “Jew-lackeys” who attack the credibility of the letter of Aristeas.[36] The main point he makes is that the Masoretic Text is corrupt; and that it has been tampered with and changed. He also maintains that the materials removed by Protestants as being uninspired and Apocryphal should be put back into the Holy Bible, just like the Septuagint had included them.[37] He cites the four Maccabean books as stories that Christian Israelites especially need, since it tells how the Edomite Jewish takeover of the Temple occurred, thereby gaining almost complete political control over Judea.[38]

 

We have concluded the first portion in relative favor of the Septuagint. Now we shall examine viewpoints against the supremacy claim for the Septuagint, and also, for the preservation and usage of the King James Version (KJV), as many who promote the Septuagint are coincidentally also attacking the King James Version. The Holy Bible notes that a man cannot serve two masters, for he will serve one and hate the other. As the Holy Bible is the living Word of God, we need to honor Him and his Word.

 

- Part 2 -

 

One of the disagreement points that people have regarding the various text streams is concerning the discoveries, either whole or in fragments, of the Dead Sea or Qumran Cave Scrolls. Some of the fragment evidence recovered of the books of Joshua and Samuel favors the LXX over the KJV, but the crown jewel, the intact scroll of the book of Isaiah shows it to follow the majority text, i.e., the Masoretic Text (MT), proving that the MT was in existence in pre-Christian times, and this is what the KJV follows.[39] They are at least a thousand years earlier than the oldest Hebrew manuscripts handed down by the Masoretes that are extant today.  It has left scholars wondering if this colony, being so divorced from Jerusalem, and which was the hub of a breakaway religious sect, might have actually been closer to Alexandria in religious thought and outlook. This remains speculative because both types of textual evidence are found here, as well as some commentary works and other variant readings of the scriptures. Additional scroll finds were found in the nearby caves at Murabbaat and Mird, with the scrolls secreted at Murabbaat being overwhelmingly in the majority text (KJV) tradition.[40] >From this it is possible to speculate that someone or a group of people were carefully following the MT at Qumran and knew that these were different in some special manner from many of the other documents, hence their being segregated apart from the other unsorted materials.

 

The claim of a great number of errors in the MT Old Testament is often offered as an argument (though many times made without proof), damning its trustworthiness and authority. There are indeed errors, the Massoretes searched for and found a total is 1,353 errors in the readings, most being of minor importance, and all are noted in the margins of the Massoretic Bible. Many simply represent differences in spelling, but these problem areas were all commented upon in the margin and not placed into the text. One of the simpler but troubling problems is that in early Hebrew spelling, the letters d and r were much different, but in later times they grew much more alike in appearance, and scribal haste, poor light, cold cramped and shivering weak hands, worn brushes, ink running and so forth affected letter quality. None of these discovered problems are corrected inside the fence of the MT, thus proving how tightly the scribes were now controlling things, since they copied errors deliberately and noted their correction by comments made in the margin outside the columns. While the names of twenty-four foreign kings are rendered in the MT with an astounding accuracy in terms of historical accounting, equally remarkable is the fact that the scribes safeguarding the text faithfully copied all the textual errors for century after century, with corrective margin notes, showing a degree of fealty that is perhaps unrivaled in any other ancient to modern copying and reproductive effort.[41]

 

The two main groups or pools of documents used in Bible translation agree with each other about 90 percent of the time. They are those of the Majority Text, and those of the Alexandrian tradition. The Alexandrian texts include Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, and of course the Septuagint from Origen that was the base for these Alexandrian derived manuscripts. These manuscripts are the one that Dr’s Westcott and Hort relied upon so heavily for their new translation, and many times, they do not even agree with each other. For instance, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus disagree with each other over 3,000 times in the gospels alone. The manuscript that we call Vaticanus was written on fine vellum, being found in the Vatican library in 1481 AD, but withheld from the world for centuries more. Despite its generally good condition, it omits Genesis 1:1–46:28, Psalms 106-138, Matt 16:2-3, the Pauline Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews 9:14-13:35, and all of Revelation. Some of these were probably left out on purpose. In the four gospels it leaves out 237 words, 452 clauses and 748 whole sentences, while there are hundreds of other existing ancient manuscripts in agreement that they do indeed exist in the text. Vaticanus also contains the Apocrypha. There are 5,309 manuscripts that contain part or all of the New Testament, the Alexandrian stream is a minority of this vast stream. Since the vast stream follows the Textus Receptus, modern translators had to use the TR for their translation, but when it disagrees with Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, they chose to follow these corrupt manuscripts.[42] 

 

Sinaiticus is a manuscript that was literally found in a trash pile, about to be burned as waste suitable for kindling at a monastery, by the noted higher textual critic, Dr. Constantin Tischendorf. It has nearly all the New Testament and adds to that the Epistle of Barnabus and the Shepherd of Hermes. The Shepherd of Hermes advocates taking the mark of the beast instead of avoiding it, as the book of Revelations advises. Both the Vaticanus and Siniaticus also leave out the last twelve verses of Mark concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is not a single other uncial or cursive manuscript that leaves it out, a damning indictment of 618 manuscripts against these two, but these two Alexandrian texts are held by modern higher Bible text critics to be the “oldest and best manuscripts”.[43] Now you understand the dirty secret behind those weasel words used in modern translations, and it is widely used and abused in many other verses and chapters in many newer Bibles where the sacred text is either altered or completely missing.

 

Jerome, who translated the scriptures afresh from Hebrew and Greek in his Latin Vulgate, judiciously declined to view the Apocryphal books as canonical, yet they were eventually added with notes, whether by him or others, explaining to the readers that they were edifying manuscripts. He had also taken the additions to some of the other canonical books and marked them likewise. Through the ages, these books would now pose problems for many Church councils and theologians. The reformation, especially in Martin Luther, rejected them from the Holy Writ based upon their unscriptural teachings, such as salvation by works, prayers for the dead, and purgatory. The Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545-1563 declared them to be canonical, and since then a great gulf has existed between Protestant and Catholic Bibles. In sum, these books in Greek were never in the recognized Hebrew manuscripts. Since the Council of Trent, a few other books have also crept into the Roman Catholic Bibles, though never formalized as canonical by them for their own use. The Greek Orthodox Church at the 1672 Synod in Jerusalem accepted some of these Apocryphal books, while conversely the Russian Orthodox Church agreed with the vast majority of Protestantism and rejected them in their entirety as being non-canonical.[44] It is also interesting to note that neither Jesus nor the Apostles ever mentioned, corrected or quoted the Apocryphal books, though they often cited from the Hebrew canon of the Old Testament. If the Apocryphal books were canonical, this is a most curious omission.

 

Earlier we had presented that the Hebrew texts were becoming a mess to figure out from scribal tampering three centuries or more before Jesus Christ was born, and that the scribes in the temple then began word counting to ensure that the texts remained constant, without change. They also identified and noted over 1,300 errors in the margins, but copied the errors anyway to avoid making mistakes in copying what they had. In ancient times there were families of scholars who kept the manuscripts in Babylon, Palestine and Tiberius. They originally copied the consonants only, for instance the word “water”, would be copied in the Hebrew style as “wtr”. Because the word water (using our language as an example), written in Hebrew style could also mean waiter, they then began applying vowel points to establish the word as water, and not waiter.[45] This became standardized by the Qaraite scribal community in Babylon about 600-700 AD.

 

The Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text, published in 1524-1525 by David Bomberg became the standard Hebrew text for the next four hundred years. This is the text that underlies the KJV. Rudolph Kittel used this text in the first two editions of Biblia Hebraica that were dated 1906 and 1912 respectively. In 1937, Kittel changed his Hebrew edition and used the Alexandrian derived Ben Asher Masoretic Text, which Maimonides said was the Textus Receptus, instead of the Ben Chayyim Textus Receptus Masoretic Text. The Ben Asher textual foundation is found in the Leningrad Manuscript (B19a or L, as it is catalogued). This manuscript, unfortunately the original was lost during WW II, was dated 1008 AD. In addition to the changes in the text, there are suggested by Kittel yet another 20,000 to 30,000 changes in the footnotes.[46] The colophon in the Leningrad manuscript says that it was written in 1009 and was then “subsequently corrected” according to the “most exact texts of Ben Asher”.[47] (Date confusions noted here.)

 

This Ben Asher Leningrad manuscript is almost certainly of Khazar handling, because the Khazars started marrying into the scholarly scribal families and priest lines when their whole non-Semitic Turko-Mongolian Japhetic tribe converted to Judaism centuries earlier. They now constitute at a minimum, 90 percent of all the modern Jews living today. Families of these Jews, whose names are Cohen, Chase and those with similar variants, are being sought for sons to come study and become rabbi’s when a new temple for resuming animal sacrifices is built in Jerusalem one day. What a terrible insult it is for so called Christians to be helping the Jews in Israeli accomplish this, thereby denying by their deeds and prayer support, the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ.

 

Another revision occurred in 1967/77 of Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica called the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, again based on the Ben Asher Leningrad text. From this as its foundation, modern Bible translations have enough room to tailor the message that they wish to give. Of 103 sampled departures from the text listed in one survey, the American Standard Version, News American Standard Version and the New International Version depart from the Old Testament to the Septuagint 35 percent of the time. They go with conjecture, or wild ass guessing 32 percent of the time, because it sounded better to the editors and writers. They used the Syriac version 10 percent of the time, and for the remaining 23 percent or so, they used an assortment of other Hebrew manuscripts such as the Dead Sea scrolls, the Latin Vulgate, Aquila, the Samaritan Pentateuch, quotations from Jerome, Josephus, scribal traditions and other variant readings of the Septuagint like Symmachus and Theodotion.[48] Origen was but an early template of Biblical scholars for what was to come in the future. The KJV is faithful to the vast sea of ancient majority texts; can the same be said for any of the modern versions? I don’t think so.

 

Among the early Masoretic Texts there are just minor variations; similarly those that follow the tenth century are in the same vein. Most of the time, any differences can be ascribed to scribal error. What is simply amazing is that the texts from Tiberius, a major center of early textual preservation and copying on the western bank of the Sea of Galilee, is largely consistent up to the first modern printed texts, showing that in most instances, that the majority of the texts came to us through two thousand years of history with little variation. It is however, possible to distinguish scribal practices between Sephardic texts and Ashkenazi texts, with the Sephardic scribes preserving the minutiae of orthography in greater fealty than the Ashkenazic texts have shown. “The accurate transmission of the standard Tiberian Masoretic consonantal text is found also in the unvocalized scrolls that have been preserved from the Middle Ages.”[49] Writings of the earliest rabbi’s concerned with the accurate transmission of the texts indicate that those found in Palestine were generally the most accurate. Modern translations generally don’t use this stream, but use Maimonides approved Alexandrian text.

 

Who were the Masoretes? The word Massorah has a root word, masar, which in Hebrew means to deliver something into the hands of another. They were entrusted with the transmission of the Old Testament unto succeeding generations. To understand their beginning, we need first to show how they originated. Before the Masoretes there were the Sopherim, a word which means to count or number, in its root word. The Sopherim were established and worked under Ezra and Nehemiah to set the text in order following the return of a small portion of Judea from Babylonian captivity.  You can read a bit about them in Nehemiah 8:8 and Ezra 7:6, 11. These men of the Great Synagogue worked diligently upon the Sacred Text from 410-300 BC, or for 110 years to restore them after the Babylonian captivity, and to accurately note any problem areas. Their work now completed after over a century of settling the text, they then entrusted it to the Masoretes for preservation and keeping. The work that they performed had locked all the words and letters in their place or behind a fence if you will, not for a distorted or perverse interest, but to safeguard the Scared Text and prevent the loss or misplacement of a single letter or word. It records the number of letters, words and verses, as well as various facts and phenomena of the Sacred Text so that any future scribe could check that his work was accurate by comparing against the detailed text notes.

 

The text notes about the scriptures were outside the fence, and did not intrude into the Sacred Text, which was preserved within the fence. These notes were written in lines above the text, below the text, in the side margins, and between the columns as needed to make reference for any special considerations. The Companion Bible by Bullinger is the only Bible that brings forth many of these text notes so that serious Bible students may profit from them, as well as the additional notes and 198 appendices provided by the renowned Bible scholar and translator, Dr. Bullinger.[50]

 

Scholars are now in general agreement that a Greek Pentateuch of good quality was possibly in existence at the time the letter of Aristeas was written. The remaining books that formed the Septuagint came from different periods and many different hands, and with its additions to some books, omissions in other places and the addition of newer non-canonical books, it must have posed a struggle for Origen to collate. The Qumran community with all its variant texts was destroyed by this time, many Christians embraced the Septuagint as their first Bible, and the proto-Masoretic text, held by the Pharisees as authoritative text, survived the sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD.[51] Fragments of scrolls that were found at Masada and in the Judaean desert contained this text.

 

There is no evidence that any version of the Septuagint ever had a fixed or closed canon of books. No two early Greek manuscripts agree as to which books are to be included in the Septuagint, and not all of those included in the Septuagint are accepted by the Roman Catholic Church either. While these Apocryphal books became incorporated into various Greek and Latin Bibles, the number that Origen said were canonical was 27, the very same books we have today. One apocryphal book, 2nd Esdras, isn’t found in any manuscript of the Septuagint.[52] When Jerome made his translation of the Hebrew and Greek into Latin at Origen’s library in Caesarea, he was forced to defend his work. He is reported to have said to his detractors who held to the Septuagint, “If they dislike water drawn from the clear spring, let them drink of the muddy streamlet.”[53]

 

We need to discuss Origen’s background a bit so that you can more easily evaluate his works. Origen did not believe that the Bible was the infallible Word of God.[54] The New International Bible Encyclopedia says that one of Origen’s most notable ideas was the Logos Doctrine. In the fourth century this became the foundation for the Arian heresy. The name Logos that he applied was the divine principle of creation and rational world order that he followed, after Philo’s philosophical Platonic teachings. He applied this to Christ’s person and work, subordinating the Son to the Father, he treated Jesus Christ like the Jehovah Witnesses do today, that He was created by God, and was a god, but not God. He corrupted John 1:1 to say “the word was a god”. Origen did not believe that Jesus lived physically on earth either, and there were many other contradictions in his writings, as he would say one thing and then deny it elsewhere.[55]

 

The school begun by the Jewish philosopher and mystic Philo in Alexandria attracted students from all over the Roman Empire; it was later headed between 190 to 215 AD by Clement and his precocious pupil Origen. These men were regarded as sophisticated thinkers who were deeply read in the Greek philosophies. They were susceptible to pagan emperors whose children and high born subjects were sent there for an education, and from Christian Bishops who likewise scorned their “originality”. Clement and Origen were ultimately forced to flee Alexandria, with Origen being excommunicated from the priesthood in 231 AD.[56] This was the ancient method of being tarred and feathered, then being run out of town on a rail. It was here in Alexandria that Origen castrated himself, as Eusebius maintains, rather than be tempted by the charms of Alexandrian women.[57] If he was the grandest Christian scholar of his time, as many Nicolaitanes say, he ought to have been more concerned with this passage:

 

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. Deut 23:1 (KJV)

 

The eminent historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbons, noted that “It seems unfortunate, in this instance only, he should have adopted the literal sense.”[58] This said in regards to his overzealous application of Math 19:12.

 

While our focus has been on the larger movers and shakers of history, there are some smaller and equally as vital documents for us to evaluate and take into the picture. The first Christians did not all speak Greek, as many in Italy, France, Spain, England and North Africa spoke Latin and they had translations made of the Holy Writ in their areas, which we call today the Old Latin manuscripts. They were also known as Vulgate Bibles, for the word vulgar in Latin means the common tongue. Earlier we mentioned the fact that certain Bible passages and even a whole book were missing from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Bible, and the Roman Catholic Church was suspected in having them removed. With the Alexandrian tradition, newer counterfeit Jerome Vulgate Bibles[59] appearing, the old ones were either being lost to usage over time, accident, or being turned into the Churches where many disappeared. But not all disappeared, and while the new Vulgate was restricted to the Priests and used in the Church only, some of the Old Latin Vulgates remained in circulation and were copied, translated and recopied all through the centuries. This began about 120 AD, when the Old Latin manuscripts that have survived, first began. In the majority of cases, they coincidentally follow the Masoretic Text and all preceded the Septuagint by Origen.

 

There soon wasn’t room for two Vulgate Latin Bibles when Jerome’s translation was released, and those found holding the Old Latin Bible were many times relentlessly and ruthlessly pursued and then slaughtered by the Roman Catholic Church. Whole populations such as the Godly and gentle Waldensians in 1655 were brutally attacked, being decimated along with the Albigensin’s in horrible slaughters within their peaceful valleys in a vain attempt by the Pope to stop the true Word of God from getting into any other people’s hands. The Waldenses Church in the Vaudois valley of Northern Italy was dated from 120 AD and their Bible from at least 157 AD. It was a translation of the true text into the low Latin of the second century, being translated into Italian in the sixteenth century by Diodati. Historians have documented the people’s use of this Old Latin Bible through the centuries, with the people enduring severe persecution from the fourth through the thirteenth century by the Church of Rome. Many fled to other nations taking this precious text with them. There are about 50 Old Latin copies surviving.

 

Olivetan, a pastor of the Waldensian people, translated the Old Latin Bible into French. This French translation came into the hands of Calvin, who was related to Olivetan, becoming the basis for the Geneva Bible. Luther used the German Tepl Bible, which represented a German translation of the Waldensian Bible, to make Luther’s Bible.[60] These became more of the support and foundation that the King James Bible was soundly built upon.

 

Modern Bible translations often acknowledge being indebted to the Septuagint version; some even claim that it contains true readings not found in the Hebrew text. Scholars then make the claim that Jesus Christ and the Apostles used the Septuagint, instead of the preserved Hebrew text, which was available in the Temple. How can that be when two centuries separates Jesus Christ from Origin? Apart from a couple of Biblical fragments in Greek that predates Jesus Christ, there is absolutely nothing to prove that the Septuagint existed or was available for use by anyone during His life on earth, let alone for any time in centuries before His life.

 

The letter of Aristeas is a problem for the Septuagint and despite the warnings of Pastor Herrell, we shall seek the truth, so let’s deal with that issue and follow our Bible translation trail more closely. In the letter, Aristeas allegedly gives the names of many of the translation scholars. That’s nice of him, because we know now that many of them are from the Maccabean period, about 75 years too late for the claimed date of the letter. Others peculiarly have Greek names, not the names of Hebrew scholars. The identity of the letter writer is even suspect, because the head librarian he names under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, actually served under a previous ruler, Ptolemy I Soter.  In the beginning of this article I gave the name of the real librarian during the time period in question, it was Callimachus. Demetrius was never the librarian under Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The letter further embellishes itself by recounting how when the scholars allegedly arrived, they were greeted by news of a great naval victory by the Egyptians over Antigonas (Aristeas 7:14), but the only recorded victory occurred after Demetrius death.[61] The letter is but a cleverly contrived fraud to sell a bill of goods. It has been doing so for quite a long time. The story about a pre-Christian Septuagint is a hoax. The letter of Aristeas may be as old as the proverbial hills now, but what it tells are lies, and lies don’t get better with age, it is as sour wine, and just as bad for us if consumed.

 

Jesus Christ said that neither one jot nor the tittle of the law would pass, until all was fulfilled (Matt 5:18), therefore He had to be using Hebrew, because while the jot was a Hebrew letter, the tittle was the small mark used to distinguish between Hebrew letters, they wouldn’t appear in a Greek language Septuagint for Him to quote from. The Companion Bible has an interesting article regarding and refuting the alleged corruption of the Hebrew Text, and it affirms that Jesus must have had these smallest marks and tags in the Hebrew text from which He was quoting.[62] There is another witness in the Bible, and it is Luke 24:44, where Jesus speaks of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms as being witness of Him. This is the division of books found only in a Hebrew Bible; it is not found in the Septuagint, which has a different order (canonical books intermixed with Apocryphal non-canonical books, and different renderings of many of the books).[63]

 

Here is some more data backing up that the letter of Aristeas is a fraud. There are no Biblical Greek manuscripts that have been found with a date of 250 BC as claimed by this letter, or anywhere near it. There are no records in Hebrew historical accounts to affirm this account either. The Hexapala was written about 200 AD and it took 28 years to complete from its inception, and the Hexapala only began a full century after the last of the New Testament books was written, making it rather easy to appear that the Apostles said exactly what the Septuagint reports that they said. Now here is a curious conundrum that the Septuagint promoters overlook, and it is if the Septuagint is what it is reported to be, and faithfully executed by Origen, how did the Apocryphal books get intermixed with the “original” Septuagint Greek Old Testament, centuries before they were written? Could it be that Origen has instead run afoul of the warning in Rev 22:18, if he deliberately deleted some and added other books to make rags into “whole” cloth?

 

 The oldest Greek manuscript of the Old Testament is the Ryland Papyrus, #458, written about 150 BC; it contains Deuteronomy chapters 23-28, and nothing else. From this, is it plausible that Philo, Eusebius and Origen took the existence of this fragment and made the letter of Aristeas take on a life that wasn’t merited? Some scholars believe that the letter of Aristeas was actually written by Philo, which would place its existence in the post-Christ era, not before Jesus Christ. If there was an Aristeas, how did he manage to find and bring back six qualified scholars from each of the twelve tribes? That must have been an amazing feat since Josephus records that Israel was beyond the Caucus Mountains and a numerous people. Then again, if this feat had of been accomplished, why would the Priests permit their Holy Book to be transmitted into another tongue to supplant the Hebrew Text, and why would any Hebrew scholar even dare to touch the Biblical record but the priests of the tribe of Levi, to whom the sacred records were entrusted by God?[64]   

 

 The works of Origen and his successors as well as imitators were picked up by Mr. Westcott and Mr. Hort like they were the Holy Grail in the late 1800’s, and they set out to dupe a nation and then the world. When they were commissioned in 1871 to do a revision of the authorized text, they instead secretly junked that idea and came out with a new replacement called the Revised Version in 1881, based upon these Origen type texts. We will have more to discuss later regarding these men, but here are a few snippets that call into question their attitudes, their very core, as to whether they were Christian or hidden agents for Rome, and elsewhere in the spiritual realm.

 

From Mr. Hort’s autobiography:

 

Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue.

 

…the book that has most intrigued me is Darwin…My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable.

 

I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and Jesus-worship have very much in common…

 

I am inclined to think that such a state as Eden (I mean the popular notion.) never existed.

 

The popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit.[65]

 

From Mr. Westcott’s autobiography we have:

 

I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry bears witness.

 

No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, gives a literal history.

 

The Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical… We dare not forsake the sacraments or God will forsake us,

 

And from a letter to Mr. John Ellerton, July 6, 1848, quoted from The Authority of the Bible, by Professor C.H. Dodd, Director of Translation of the New English Bible…

 

The old dogmatic view of the Bible therefore, is not only open to attack from the standpoint of science and historical criticism, but if taken seriously it becomes a danger to religion and public morals. (Page 14)[66]  

 

Interesting, wouldn’t you say, that the Bible is a danger to whom? Would you trust a translation from these men who missed praying to Mary and curried to Roman views and secular, worldly values? They even believed that the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ for His people to be immoral and counterfeit. This is sick!

 

The Revised Greek Text New Testament from which modern translations are taken, is different from the KJV Textus Receptus (the MT), in 5,337 places. Modern translations downgrade or deny in places the Deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the blood atonement of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and the reliability of the Word of God.[67] When you read in books and articles about these weighty matters, a term you need to know and understand is what these higher critics called, a ‘neutral text’. It was one of their best and finest ploys upon innocent minds.

 

The curious term, neutral text is what Westcott and Hort assigned to Vaticanus and one other document, not because they had an intrinsic middle view or point between various translations, but because Vaticanus showed a consistency of writing, spelling and copy accuracy, in short it was an example of a relatively intact and scholarly transcript. To this they applied the label of it being a neutral text, which has misled many others as to what the term might mean. Vaticanus tends toward brevity, has larger blocks of text and a minimum of either corrections or side notes throughout.[68] The other leg of this two legged device is Codex Siniaticus. A rule of thumb in resolving textual translation differences is to note how often the translations from long ago support the Hebrew. They support the Hebrew even when the translations may afford a better reading in some particular area. But when the Septuagint or another translation differs it can never replace the Hebrew as the Hebrew is always the standard form of the text, the translation will always be secondary. Only rarely and with great and deliberate care, can a translation be properly described as an authority in its own right.[69]

 

Not since the Jesuits and the dark hosts of Rome lost the long and brutally bloody battle to force the Textus Receptus (Majority Text) off the world stage has there been such a mighty battle, which has now entered the mental realm of what we believe or think is true. For those with little knowledge of such matters, it was only in the latter part of the twentieth century that the Roman Catholic Church called off the war against Protestants, but they never let go of the fight, as witnessed today in the continuing troubles with the IRA in Northern Ireland and the Liberation Theology movements that Rome covertly supports in South America and other third world nations. We even fail to see that the broad onslaught of legal and illegal immigrants into this country floods America and other Israelite nations with pagans, and large numbers of Roman Catholics who obey their Church in special matters! Now let’s look at the family of Alexandrian text Bibles some more.

 

In the mid 1800’s the Western world was surprised by the discovery of two well-preserved fourth-century Greek manuscripts. They were Codex Siniaticus (Aleph -�) and Codex Vaticanus (B). They received immediate acclaim for allegedly being several centuries older than the documents that the KJV translators worked from.[70] In one sense this was right, they were hidden, undiscovered and unused all these centuries, and were not a part of the Christian faith through almost two thousand years. A third Codex of this family from the fifth century was Alexandrinus, but the arch-type for all these was Origen’s Septuagint. When you add to these four Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, you have one mean fist that has been sucker punching Christians into a state of confusion with the emergence of vast numbers of new and improved Bibles every year, for many years now. Today it seems that there is a new edition or revision every six months, and God is not the author of confusion! (1 Cor 14:33) All modern Bible translations, including and not limited to the Ferrar Fenton, RSV, NRSV, NAS, NKJV, NASB (at least five editions printed now that I know of), NIV (multiple editions as well), and so forth come from this family of manuscripts, and with other minor finds, they number only about four dozen in all. This is commonly called the Alexandrian or African stream of documents.

 

The way and method of attack on the Word of God has been as it always was from the beginning, “Yea, hath God said…?”[71] So too the Alexandrian editions contain serious omissions in the Word of God by questioning as the serpent did to Eve, while adding divergent readings as well as non-canonical materials. As stated earlier, the dispute is primarily over the accuracy of what is purported to be the Word of God, then it is over style. It is a matter of substance and content, what is missing and even what has been added that we need to be concerned about. This affects truth and hence, could alter or substantially change Biblical doctrine. We need to know God in His image, not God in our image or foolish imagination.

 

After nearly a century of English revision based on corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts (codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), a mild resurgence of turning once more to the KJV Textus Receptus occurred in 1979. The editors of the liberal Nestles-Aland Greek text reversed an eighty year preference for Westcott and Hort with a token insertion of 467 Textus Receptus reading corrections in their 27th Edition.[72] This after well over 2,000 more recently discovered ancient papyrus and parchment manuscripts, following the Textus Receptus, had been found and submitted for consideration in their new edition. With the introduction of the 27th Edition, there was also the removal of many references to other majority text manuscripts; as if to hide that they belonged to this document stream, lest there might perhaps be a renewed, fresh interest in it.[73]

 

The history of manuscripts shows that most texts proliferated in Asia Minor and Greece. None of the Apostles went to Egypt, none sent or wrote their manuscripts there. Incredibly though, we have this statement regarding late extant Greek manuscripts (MSS); that the fundamental text is generally identical with the dominant Antiochan (Byzantine) majority texts of the second half of the fourth century.[74] Antioch was an important center of Christian vitality following the Crucifixion and it is where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). When you see the Alexandrian texts being described as oldest and best, know that it is a lie, because these two families of text are at least the same age, and only one was the majority text of Christendom, as noted by even the illustrious Dr. Hort.

 

Having lost the race to be dominant, the proponents of the Alexandrian texts now took the low road and without a single bit of evidence that such an event took place, Dr. Hort theorized that an empire wide, century long Church council took place between 250-350 AD in Antioch, where the unknowing coordinator named Lucien, supposedly put forward a secret plan to promote his newly translated text, and to then suppress for centuries, the Alexandrian texts. This plan was apparently no less ambitious or duplicitous than the letter of Aristeas, and was brazenly mislabeled by Dr. Hort as the Lucien Recension.[75] For many years this theory about a grand and secret Church council conspiracy, without a single shred of evidence, and their oldest and best Alexandrian texts, has ran amok like wolves inside the sheep fold of modern Christendom. What Westcott and Hort banked on was that there were no earlier manuscripts than the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and they didn’t expect any would ever be found. God had other plans though because today they have been caught cold, but yet the battle goes on because our people are blinded and ignorant of the truth. Let’s look at some of these facts.

 

The first Syrian text for those dwelling north-east of Palestine that destroys the Lucien Recension theory is the Peshitta, from 145 AD, which far predates Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, called the “oldest and best” authorities. Nicolaitane scholars had assigned it a dyslexic date of 415 AD. The word nicolaitane means, “To conquer the people” from its root words nikao, to conquer, and laos, which means the people, or laity. The Nicolaitanes deeds are hated by God, as noted in many places in the Holy Bible, such as Revelation 2:6. This term Nicolaitane is fitting for them because they like to lord it over the people that they are the interpreters of the Bible and the people had better be listening to their interpretation and not be reading the Bible, which is just too confusing for them. The word Peshitta means straight, or to rule, it has a strong agreement with the KJV text types. There are three other main texts that are in this region and contemporary to Westcott and Hort's Alexandrian texts, they are the Old Syriac of 400 AD, the Palestine Syriac of 450 AD and the Philoxenian of 508 AD, also known as the Harclean Syriac.[76]  They too have a strong agreement with the KJV in most areas.

 

Many people who have read history remember how the Germanic tribes of Vandals and Goths came into the Roman Empire and first served it but later consumed it. The first translation of the Bible into a European tongue was the Gothic version; it was made about 330 AD by a missionary named Ulfilas. Once again it agrees with the Textus Receptus. The point here is that two decades before Sinaiticus or Vaticanus were copied, this missionary had access to the Textus Receptus. The ending of the Lord’s prayer in Matt 6:13, for instance, has long been a bone of contention with these oldest and best translations as they are called, because “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen”, is found in Ulfilas’s Gothic, and both of these self-proclaimed older and best, leave it out. If you have these modern translations, check your version and see what it says, for some leave it out entirely and others call it into question. There are only eight surviving manuscripts of the Gothic, but they have it and the Alexandrian texts do not.[77] It is a question of whose power, whose kingdom and whose glorious reign are we acknowledging, or perhaps as the Alexandrians and certainly the anti-Christ’s imply, are we perhaps saying that the issue of who rules is still in doubt or that our allegiance lies elsewhere and not with God the Father in Jesus Christ? (Joshua 24:15)

 

The Queen of ancient texts is the Armenian Bible, of which there are 1,244 surviving manuscripts. They were made about 400 AD and closely match the readings of the KJV. The first Old Latin translations were made no later than 157 AD, and we know that some Churches using that text were organized decades earlier. Known also as the Itala Bible, it was in existence a full century before Dr. Hort’s alleged secret and grand conspiracy council of the entire Christian Church ever met, again disproving this monumental fraud played upon all of Christendom that accepted these Alexandrian texts for their modern Holy Bible readings.

 

Besides the witnesses of Sacred Texts historically proving their lineage, there are the writings of the early Church fathers, called patristic writings. They too show and prove what the prevailing text of the day was. The writings of Tertullian, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen and Clement of Alexandria provide us 30,147 scripture citations alone. All five of these men died 20-150 years before Dr. Hort’s Lucien Recension grand council allegedly took place, so how could all these writings be forged? The great majority of these writings agree with the Textus Receptus, as documented by Dean Burgon.[78] Then again, while we have the testimony of the ages as to who wrote many of the majority text manuscripts and documents, in the Alexandrian stream, the origin and history of Codex’s Alexandrian (A,) Vaticanus (B), Sinaiticus or Aleph (? ), and Parisian (C) is largely unknown and remain as conjecture even today. Several early witnesses can be identified by date, such as apostolic age Church fathers Clement of Rome (30-100 AD), Ignatius (35-107 AD) and Polycarp (69-155 AD), whose writings testify of the majority text, while there are absolutely no comparable Alexandrian Church fathers of that period.[79]

 

A third nail in the coffin of this notion of a grand conspiracy to deny the Alexandrian texts its true place in the sun is the fact that there are over 5,000 extant manuscripts, of which 2,143 are lectionaries. These were popular tools used in Churches for reading whether daily, on the Sabbath or for special occasions. These contained selected portions of scriptures, and they witness to the texts used in different areas. They too disprove Dr. Hort’s pretentious attempt to imply that the Alexandrian stream had been wrongly rejected and suppressed.

 

The Ante-Nicene Church father Tertullian (150-220 AD) perhaps said it best when he said:

 

I hold sure title-deeds from the original owners themselves, to whom the estate belonged. I am the heir of the apostles. Just as they carefully prepared their will and testament… even so do I hold it.[80]

 

While Tertulian certainly had the scriptures and held onto them as dearer than life itself, even some KJV Bibles may be fraught with problems as Nicolaitanes such as the vaunted C.I. Scofield by way of margin notes, calls into question the KJV by using that old refrain, the oldest and best don’t have this passage, remark time after time. Yea, hath God said…, is still the favorite tool of these Bible fools. For those with the Old Scofield Bible, you can see it used in Mark 16:9-20, and in John 7:53ff about the woman taken in adultery and brought before Jesus Christ, for yourself.  Over a century ago the renowned Biblical scholar Dean Burgon wrote a 350 page book affirming the rightful scriptural place for the longer ending in Mark 16, and cited manuscripts and Church fathers who affirmed it. As early as 177 AD, Irenaeus had written a lengthy paper against this and other heresies, while sadly, close to two millennia later, the Hort and Westcott Alexandrian promoters were still denying its historical accuracy and truth.[81]

 

Now it could be said that even so, this does not detract from the theory that maybe there is a second stream of documents that did not contain this passage of Mark 16:9-20. Let’s look at what the evidence shows. We have 759 pages of Codex Vaticanus (B); they are on fine vellum, each page 10 inches by 10.5 inches in size. On each page there are three columns of 42 lines each. When each book was finished, the ending column would be left blank from where it stopped to the bottom of the column, and the new book would begin at the top of the page of the next column. In this and only this instance, the writer of B stopped at Mark 16:8 on line 31 and the rest of the column is left blank, but so is the adjoining column of another 42 lines! This is the only such occurrence in the entire manuscript, a witness by its very absence that it had to be known to the scribe who left it out for some unknown reason.[82] Dean Burgon rightly surmised that the older copy which B was copied from had to contain these verses, but the scribe was ordered or chose to leave it out, and did so, yet left the enormous blank spaces for all eternity as a silent witness to this crime.

 

The purist and apologist for the Alexandrian strain might say that this proves nothing, since Sinaiticus ? still omits these verses and it is an acknowledged older manuscript deserving of respect. So, let’s look at this venerable document a bit more closely in the same passages. The first of two major oddities is that there is the presence of six leaves unlike any of the other 364 � leaves that comprise this manuscript. These leaves cover Mark 16:2 to Luke 1:56, and the handwriting is exactly like the handwriting for B. It does not match the rest of the manuscript leaves before or after it. To cover the tracks that the same material is missing in ?, as in B, the scribe extends the letters and the words, leaving larger gaps between letters so as to occupy the space that a more complete document would occupy, by simply and carefully stretching out what is being said. Dr. Tischendorf also noted this and agreed that this makes one witness of the absence of these verses, not two.[83] We therefore have proof that there aren’t two witnesses, but one, and both manuscripts of the “oldest and best”, show evidence of fraud.

 

There are really seven tests as to truth in manuscript evidence, they are as follows[84]:

1)      Antiquity or primitiveness

2)      Consent or number of witnesses

3)      Variety of evidence or catholicity (a term meaning broad or extensive)

4)      Respectability of witnesses or weight

5)      Continuity or the witness of unbroken tradition

6)      Evidence of the entire passage or context

7)      Internal consideration or reasonableness

 

There are also four basic types of text corruption; they are omissions or leaving anything from words to verses and even books out, additions or interpolations to the text, changes or substitutions of words whether from misguided choice or scribal carelessness, and transpositions or reversing word orders. Omissions constitute the largest number of textual problems, while additions are the fewest.[85] Unfortunately, corruption is the rule and not the exception, which is why relying upon too few texts, can be problematical, especially in the 100 extant papyrus manuscript fragments. In comparing two of the more famous papyrus manuscripts, the Chester Beatty and Bodmer papyri, in seventy verses that both have in common, they disagree with each other in 73 places, apart from just simple scribal mistakes! Most papyri manuscripts are to be found in hot arid climate locations, as temperate wetter climates more swiftly attack and destroy its fibers.

 

The five Old uncials (?ABCD) mangle the Lord’s Prayer as given in Luke in no less than 45 words, they manage between them to form six different combinations in their leaving the Traditional Text, and they don’t agree in any reading, but two do agree in omitting an article. In 32 out of the 45 words, they stand alone as unique in how they read. In the book of Mark 2:1-12 they have 60 variations in reading, so they cannot be the depository of tradition, whether Western or Eastern, because they are so wholly inconsistent.[86]

 

More indicting is the statement of one who championed these ancient texts, the good Dr. Hort, who has this to relate, which is ever interesting:

 

The confusion introduced by these several cross currents is so great that of the seven principal manuscripts, ABCDL�?, no two have the same text in all four gospels.[87] Being that this is the case, why would anyone want to rely upon these texts as the basis for their principal or only modernized version of the Holy Bible? In adding further insult to injury, a leading Gnostic heretic named Marcion in the Alexandrian community at the same time that Tertullian lived, was stoutly denounced by him. Tertullian said that Marcion took a knife to excise the scriptures, rather than a pen as suited his own subject matter. A sharp exchange is recorded by Eusebius when Marcion and Polycarp met, with Marcion saying to Polycarp, “acknowledge us”, with Polycarp replying acidly, “I acknowledge the firstborn of Satan.”[88] Other Church fathers, such as Polycarp’s pupil Irenaeus and a second century Church father named Gaius, among others, also recorded and denounced the mutilations of whole swathes of scripture in the Alexandrian Church, and said that they practiced a lawless and impious doctrine. Gaius denounced many in the Alexandrian Church for fearlessly laying their hands on the scriptures and boldly perverting them.[89]

 

I could go on for a long time with many such instances recorded and documented in detail, but constraints on time, for this is a paper and not a book, lead us now to examine a bigger picture. Alexandria was the busiest city in the Western world. Of its 800,000 inhabitants, over forty percent were Jewish and the Grand Synagogue was so large that flag bearers were posted on its vast walls so that worshippers could worship and recite in unison, or else sheer babble and bedlam would result. The book of Hebrews presents Egypt as a type of this world, Joseph’s bones were not permitted to remain there (Ex 13:19), God called His nation and Son from there (Math 2:15), and leaders were not even to multiply horses to themselves as in Egypt (Deut 17:16). The book of Acts records no missionary activity to Egypt, and while Genesis 1:1 begins recording life being created by God, it ends with “a coffin in Egypt” (Gen 50:26b). Egypt is a land of many coffins and a great number of them are stone coffins which we call pyramids and sarcophaguses; it is reflective of the world, which is death. The first Alexandrians mentioned in the Bible helped stone Stephen to death (Acts 6:9); while the sole representative of the Alexandrian ministry is Apollos, who arrived in ignorance (Acts 18:25) and departed in arrogance (1 Cor 6:12). The only other direct reference to Alexandria is to the two ships that helped take Paul to his martyrdom, and one of these sank![90] Will Durant in the marvelous study of civilization that he wrote with his wife Ariel, records that the Alexandrians worshipped money, and anything could be had there except snow. The world famous Alexandrian library had over 700,000 books, a claim to fame that was not to be equaled or eclipsed for another thousand years. The author H.G. Wells says of the intelligentsia of Alexandria, that wisdom passed away and left pedantry, with the use of books being substituted by the worship of books. He says further:

 

Alexandria was familiar with a new type of human being; shy, eccentric, unpractical, incapable of essentials, strangely fierce upon trivialities of literary detail, as bitterly jealous of the colleague within as of the unlearned without – the Scholarly Man. He was as intolerant as a priest, though he had no altar; as obscurantist as a magician, though he had no cave. … He was a sort of by-product of the intellectual process of mankind. For many precious generations the new-lit fires of the human intelligence were to be seriously banked down by this by-product.[91]

 

By 415 AD Alexandria had become largely Roman Catholic. In that year, the illustrious Arch-Bishop Cyril[92] allegedly put out a contract on Hypatia, a female philosopher. A mob of monks, led by one of his staff members caught Hypatia in her carriage, dragging her out of it and into a Church, where she was stripped naked and flayed alive with clam shells. Her corpse was then torn to pieces and barbaricly burned in a fury of ruthlessly cruel power. About this same time, Codex Alexandrinus (A) was written. When the Muslims took the city in 641 AD, they took the scrolls and parchments from the great library to fuel the furnaces of Alexandria’s four thousand baths. It took six months to burn them all so that the shelves could be occupied by just one book, the Moslem Koran. The majestic 500 foot tall marble lighthouse, whose light could be seen thirty miles at sea, and was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, collapsed during an earthquake in 1324 AD.[93] Today much of the old city lies underwater, being slowly explored by scuba diving archaeologists while the sea erodes the ruins and people take what is left. According to Westcott and Hort, God had selected this city and its scholars to preserve the New Testament text. Codex A contains the four books of Maccabees, Baruch, letter of Jeremiah, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Esdras, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach, 1 and 2 Clement, the 151st Psalm and the Psalms of Solomon, but its virtue, per the sage Dr. Scrivener, is that it is less corrupt than Codex B.[94]

 

How corrupt are the most ancient Alexandrian authorities? A man named Herman Hoskier wrote a 924-page book detailing where they disagree in the four Gospels alone, they totaled 3, 036 differences. Sinaiticus (�) has 1,460 readings not found in any other manuscript affecting 2,640 words, as compared to Vaticanus (B) readings affecting 858 words not found elsewhere. Dean Burgon notes 2,877 words have been excised, and by Codex � alone, 3,455 words are utterly gone in these same four Gospels.[95] While Codex � has evidence of at least ten correctors making a muddled mess of it through the centuries, so that it is easily described and has earned the title of the most corrupt manuscript extant; Codex B too, has errors on every page.

 

While Tischendorf affirms that parts of B and � were written by the same hand, and when comparing it to the KJV as the recognized standard, in the four Gospels alone, Burgon says that Codex B omits at least 2,877 words, adds 536, substitutes 935, transposes 2,098 and modifies 1,132 for a total of 7,578 changes. The corresponding numbers for � are as follows: 3,455 omissions, 839 additions, 1,114 substitutions, 2,299 transpositions, and 1,265 modifications for a total of 8,972 changes. … It is easier to find two consecutive verses where B and � differ from one another in the Gospels, than where they entirely agree with each other.[96] If these two “oldest and best” are the foundation and standard that your Bible is made from, it is built upon shifting sands!

 

The methodology as determined from Hort and Westcott’s work is to follow Codex Vaticanus (B) whenever that manuscript has any support, even if from only one other manuscript, against all over evidence. Here’s an example of an attack against the deity of Jesus Christ, with Dean Burgon again noting what ought to have been obvious. The expression “God was manifest in the flesh” found in the Textus Receptus (KJV) stream, is contrasted to the corrupted, with the small “h”, “he who was manifest in the flesh”, of 1 Timothy 3:16. There are 254 documents in the great libraries from antiquity with this passage recorded, of which 252 have preserved the expression “God was manifest in the flesh”.[97] Hort and Westcott went with the two Alexandrian documents. What does your modern Bible say? The emphasis on “he” or “the one” in modern translations is in accord with the move to make a one world religion.[98]

 

Following the death of Origen, his own library of 6,000 works plus other manuscripts became the new library at Caesarea, where Origen had lived since being run out of Alexandria. Origen’s successor was Pamphilus, and his successor was the early Church historian, Eusebius. The Emperor Constantine (the first Pontifex Maximus) commissioned 50 copies of the Bible from Eusebius after the many years of Christian oppression by pagan Roman emperors. Eusebius had just the copy handy for him to make another fifty from. Both Constantine and Eusebius leaned towards Arianism (the heretical belief that Jesus Christ was not God in the flesh but a separate created being), and Alexandria was a proverbial hotbed of it. Then again, it was to this same library of Pamphilus where Origen’s Hexapala was stored, that Jerome went to make his copy of the Vulgate. Is it any wonder that the manuscripts from this region are so heretically hostile and devilishly different from the mainstream foundation of the Textus Receptus that the rest of Western Christianity was founded and built upon? The argument that the KJV translators were somehow handicapped because they didn’t  have B or � to consider when making their translation is bogus, because they were intimately familiar with Jerome’s Vulgate and they knew it to be woefully deficient. If that doesn’t make an impression with you, read Foxe’s Book of Martyr’s and read how the Roman Catholic Alexandrian version lovers slaughtered and persecuted Christians to death for reading the whole Word of God in their Textus Receptus Holy Bibles. Both can’t be right. It is now not just the tragedy of low pricing, thus making the Bible less prized than it ought to be, but that it babbles in modern tongues, deliberately confusing, adulterating, diluting, contaminating, and obscuring the sure Word of God, while pleasing or tickling the ear.

 

One argument raised against the KJV is that it has been said that there are or were tens of thousands of errors in it. Let’s examine the evidence. The 1611 KJV was in German or Gothic type, in 1612 it moved to Roman type. The errors are generally in two classes, the first is regarding printing style, or lithography and the second is spelling. In 1611 the art of printing a majestic work like the Holy Bible was a lot of work, much of it drudgery in putting reverse image, lead type faces in columns and rows. By 1613 the simple errors from misplaced print blocks had been remedied, but in 1611, there were problems. The Gothic “v” of the 1611 KJV looks like a Roman “u”; and the Gothic “u” looks like the Roman “v”. The Gothic “j” resembles the Roman “i” and the Gothic lower case “s” looks like the Roman “f”. This accounted for many of the problems in the initial printings. (Seeing how the Poles, as neighbors of Germany, spell and pronounce things, I can’t really blame their neighbors, the Germans for being somewhat confused in writing either)

 

English today is the language of the world, but at one time, it wasn’t even the language of the Realm. It evolved from influences of native stock, such as Saxon, Celt, Pictish, and foreign tongues, including many words from Old Hebrew. At the time of the 1611 KJV and Shakespeare, English was becoming a national language, and was rapidly becoming standardized in spelling; this was the other great barrier over these many claimed problems in the KJV. Today the KJV is standardized, with some archaic words remaining, but these aren’t a great deterrent to earnest readers. The chair of the American Bible Society in 1852, Dr. James W. McLane, said ... With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by the progress of orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bibles remains unchanged, and without variations from the original copy as left by the translators.[99] The arguments regarding tens of thousands of errors in the KJV are a diversionary smoke screen and most people who say it do so from ignorance, which is easily and readily corrected by education in these simple facts.

 

Where did the practice come from regarding higher criticism, or the putting down of mainstream Christian texts by false claims and arguments, to favor the Alexandrian versions? If you put your finger on Dr. Tischendorf or the professors of higher criticism that originated in Germany, then you are partly right. It all seems to have begun though with the Jesuits. As the undercover and secret shock troops of the Roman Catholic faith, they operate as a fifth column inside almost every nation where Roman Catholic and Papal Infallibility supremacy isn’t followed. As a true fifth column, they don’t wear clerical garb where the public can see them, they often appear as professors, educators, teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, book publishers, writers and so forth, amply funded from the coffers of the Vatican.

 

The modus operandi of the Society of Jesus follows six avenues of attack; they are education, indoctrination, infiltration, sedition, sedation and persecution.[100] The Papacy lost half of Europe when the Gutenberg printing press was invented, for people could now read the Holy Bible for themselves and find the proof they needed to demonstrate that they were being wrongly taught and grossly abused by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1534 AD, Ignatius de Loyola founded the Jesuit order. Nothing, including wars, revolution and assassination is forbidden them in what they seek to do, and that is to return the world once more to the darkness of Papal domination. To be a Jesuit means the sacrificing of the will and the laying aside of one’s own judgment, to another. Black is white and white is black; if the Church says that it is so.

 

In 1545 the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent began a counter-reformation against Protestantism. This council also affirmed Church dogma that the Apocrypha was inspired, that Catholic Church traditions were equal in authority to the Holy Scriptures, that purgatory was sanctioned, and they renounced salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ. The first stroke of the Jesuits in the counter-reformation was to begin colleges and universities in various cities and lands, under the patronage of Houses such as friendly and in the know, Roman Catholic royal or powerful families who were determined to wage war against their own subjects and neighbors. Once an aspiring scholar entered these colleges and universities, apostasy was conceived in the classroom and from there sprang indoctrination in the disguise of a higher education. Once graduated, infiltration began into society at large, in government, in commerce and in the military where these young men with their new and burning convictions soon came to be leaders. With ever increasing numbers of graduating cadre under them, they soon began to set upon paths that the nations they lived in were largely ignorant of.[101] The tragic road to personal and national ruin was paved with the good intentions of hopeful parents who ignorantly sent their sons to these Jesuit led schools.

 

If you thought that the Jesuits would only subvert Protestant lands, then here is an eye opener. On April 6, 1762 France gave the Jesuits the order to leave, like they had done to the Jews previously. The French edict described the Jesuits this way:

 

Perverse, a destroyer of all religious and honest principles, insulting to Christian morals, pernicious to civil society, hostile to the rights of the nation, the royal power, and even the security of the sovereigns and obedience of the subjects; suitable to stir up the greatest disturbances in the States, conceive and maintain the worst kind of corruption in men’s hearts.[102]

 

In 1816, John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, saying this about the Jesuits:

 

I am not happy about the rebirth of the Jesuits. Swarms of them will present themselves under more disguises ever taken by even a chief of the Bohemians, as printers, writers, publishers, school teachers, etc. If ever an association of people deserved eternal damnation, on this earth and in hell, it is this Society of Loyola.[103] (“Bohemian” used to be the code word for a Gypsy, it wasn’t meant kindly or well.)

 

With Catholic agents reporting that an authorized Bible was close to completion in 1611, the Roman Catholic Church beat them to the punch in 1610 by the printing of the Douay-Rheims Bible, which was a common tongue translation of the Vulgate. The Jesuits would now appeal to superior manuscripts, or age of existing documents in the vain hope of taking the proverbial wind out of the sails of the soon to be released KJV Bible. This Roman Catholic Bible of 1610 was not printed to help the Catholics, as they are still forbidden today from attaching any understanding to scripture unless given them by Priests, but it was printed simply to confuse and hurt Christians. Dr. Gipp is quoted as saying this regarding the Jesuit’s plan:

 

The task of the Jesuits was to entice Protestant scholarship back to the fold of Rome. They knew they could not wean the leaders of Protestantism off of the Bible and back into Rome as long as these stubborn “heretics” clung to the pure text of the Reformers. Their Bible would have to be replaced with one which contained the pro-Roman Catholic readings of Jerome’s Vulgate and the Jesuit English translation of 1582. In order to get Protestants to see the “value” of the Roman Catholic text it would be necessary to “educate” the Protestant scholars to believe that their Reformation Text was unreliable and that their Authorized Version was “not scholarly.” Thus programmed, the egotistical scholars would spontaneously attack their own Bible and believe that they were helping God.[104]

 

This new plan of scrutinizing the scriptures became known as the school or science of textual criticism. It did not begin with German rationalists, but with Jesuit “Fathers”. The first recorded use of this tactic was of a Catholic priest by the name of Richard Simon (1638-1712), whose ideas and writings regarding this came from the Jewish philosopher, Baruch Spinoza. He is regarded as the father of Old Testament textual criticism. From this came other attacks against the Bible as recorded and even as to who wrote the Bible, whether as stated, such as by Noah for some books or by far different hands. In the eighteenth century, the center for these attacks moved to some of the universities of Germany, especially to Munich, which was known as the German Rome. Covert Jesuit activity in England bore fruit when Cambridge professor and Anglican priest John H. Newman (1801-1890) went to Rome and became an open Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Within a year, over 150 ministers and lay people jumped ship and joined him.[105] But the damage had been done, the core had been mined within and was collapsing under its own dead weight, so that the Church of England now entices only about two percent of its people to services any given Sunday, per a recent news story, while just eleven years ago, it was a loftier three percent.[106] The borers at that time within the nations’ universities, Church and government were known by the broad name as the Tractarian Society. Oxford University was no less poisoned by the Oxford Movement, whose aim was to Romanize the Church of England, but I shall not bore you with their troubles during this time, for it is sadly, much the same and has been covered in detail by better writers. (see footnotes for the bibliography)

 

Without going into deep detail, Westcott and Hort were at heart most likely secret Papists who abhorred democracy; they favored socialism or communism and were almost effeminate with that trait most pronounced in Hort. These conclusions come from biographies, letters and conversations that these men had with others, and it left me cold to think that they were even close to a Holy Bible as so called textual authorities. In 1853 Westcott and Hort agreed privately to make a new translation of the Greek New Testament, and this was foisted upon the formal Revision Committee formed from 1871-1881 as if it were new and of the committee. Much of this detail can be seen in the later chapters of Final Authority, by Dr. Wm. Grady.

 

Far from following the charter given the revision committee to make only necessary changes where plain and clear errors had been made in the translation of the KJV, these two flounced the charter and upstaged the nation and the world with their fits and frilly attitudes, and basically threw out the charter by which they had been convened. The other committee members, having been sworn to secrecy as to its existence, were issued a fait accompli, a completed Greek text revision, ala Westcott and Hort, and for ten years they wheedled and bent the other member’s ears and arms until they got their way. It also helped that the committee had been packed with theologically weak-minded people like a representative from the Unitarians who would go along with anything. Their secret ally on the committee was Bishop Lightfoot, and as the Chairman[107], he was the perfect fifth column ally to help steer things the way that these three plotters wanted. Bishop Lightfoot succeeded Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford who resigned after the very first session, bemoaning to an associate, “What can be done in this most miserable business?”[108] He had seen the proverbial handwriting on the wall when he entered, and it wasn’t a Godly hand that wrote it.

 

With the exception of Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot, the only other member on the committee with a significant background in New Testament manuscripts was Dr. Frederick Scrivener. He formed around him a minority group opposed to these radical changes. As a scholar, Dr. Scrivener was often left aghast at the methodology of Hort in deciding upon which manuscript to use. Arthur Hort described his father’s method as this:

 

The obvious method of deciding between variant readings, is for the critic to ask which the author is most likely to have written, and so settle the question by the light of his own inner consciousness.[109]

 

And there you have it, the method to success in being a scribal knave is to brassily and brazenly do what you think is right, or to apply self will in all circumstances. I can just imagine the slightly turned head and the delicate sniff should any dissent be discovered at those secret meetings so long ago. As the living Word came under attack and abuse by Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate, so too Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot abused the written Word, with hugely tragic and similar results. With the release of the Revised New Testament in 1881, Dr. Scrivener began to write about its faults, and totaled 920 pages of written text detailing its errors, which he published. Dean Burgon, after spending the summer studying the new text, also weighed in with 506 pages of criticisms that fall. Dr. Scrivener noted that the Textus Receptus had changed in 5,337 places. In our times, Dr. D.A. Waite, after a careful study of the Nestle-Aland 26th edition text, found it had grown to 5,604 alterations, of which 1,952 were omissions, 467 were additions, and there were another 3,185 changes, so that 15 words per page had been altered, abolished or added on average. To make matters worse in the release of the Revised Version, where changes were to be made, they were to be noted in the margins for the reader. Not a single change was so noted as the charter called for, for as the revisers said, this was inconvenient for them to do so.[110]

 

The release of the new text caused a huge public uproar, from which the theologians refused to back down from. It was said that the change in the standard Greek New Testament was very newsworthy upon its publication. Scholars at that time called it, “strongly radical and revolutionary,” “deviating the furthest possible from the Received Text,” “a violent recoil from the Traditional Greek Text,” “the most vicious Recension of the original Greek in existence,” “a seriously mutilated and otherwise grossly depraved NEW GREEK TEXT.” Dr. John Burgon (Dean of Chichester) and the preeminent Greek textual scholar of his day, said in part: “For the Greek Text which they have invented proves to be hopelessly depraved throughout… it is a manufactured article throughout… was full of errors from beginning to end: has been constructed throughout…,” and saying this to Hort and Westcott and their cronies who brought this new version forward, Dean Burgon said that “by your own confession – you and your colleagues knew yourselves to be incompetent… who – finding themselves in an evil hour occupied themselves… with falsifying the inspired Greek Text…”[111]

 

Having constrained the revisers to making as few and only necessary changes in the charter, the grand total of changes made by the committee was in 36,191 places from the Authorized KJV.[112] Dean Burgon spent the remaining years of his life warning against this new menace to the people of The Book. Speaking of Codices B and � he said, “Those two documents are caused to cast their shadows a long way ahead and to darken all our futures.”[113] As a rotten apple in a barrel will rot the whole barrel, and as a little leaven will leaven the whole lump, so too finding money in the garbage or a gutter does not make it a bank. Put aside that new version if you use it as your main Bible, and get a KJV. You could settle for less, but why would you when it concerns the whole living Word of God? I know Pastor’s who use modern versions at the pulpit, they are also good at explaining that they can find what they need, but it is less than the KJV has to offer. Unless Pastor’s can support and warrant the injuries done to the deity, character, atoning work, parables and teachings of Jesus Christ in the modern versions, why do they still preach to God’s people from these versions? The question for you is: which Bible will you now choose? You have the choice of selecting the Bible standard that the Martyr’s died for and which raised the Word of God through all of Christendom for nearly two thousand years, or you can rely on any of the versions that came from Alexandria in Egypt, Africa, with all their dark designs of confusion and wicked Papal persecutions attached. The plot is to bring you back to Rome. Are you going, or are you already there and don’t know it yet?

 

Here are some of the many excellent verses that pertain to this topic…

 

 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV)

 

8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. John 17:8 (KJV)

 

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. John 12:48-50 (KJV)

 

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:25-26 (KJV)

 

6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV)

 

8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)

 

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1:25 (KJV)

 

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matt 24:35 (KJV)

 

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: 2 Cor 2:17a (KJV)

 

19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. 20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. Luke 20:19-20 (KJV)

 

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rev 22:18-19 (KJV)

 

It is your choice now, it always has been, but now you may know some facts that were hidden and so your choice is made new again. I use modern versions to comparatively bring light to difficult passages, but it does not supplant or replace my KJV in any significant manner. All the best tools for understanding the Word of God, such as Strong’s Concordance, Vines Expository Dictionary, the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies, B-D-B Hebrew and English Lexicon, and so forth, are all geared to the KJV. You cannot understand the proper meaning of words and names unless it is by one of these keyed tools to the KJV.

 

A last argument that some may present is that if their Bible is 90 percent in agreement with the KJV, then what is the matter with that, why should they change? If you had a glass of clean water to which ten percent impure water had been added, such as sewage or poison, would you like to drink that for refreshment? Or consider this, that even as the greater part of rat poison is nutritional; would you make a meal from it?[114] That’s the point, the modern versions take away and add from the minority of Alexandrian documents extant today, they will not use the text stream that our ancestors used and which bare them much goodly fruit. It is possible to come to know Jesus Christ and to be saved with modern versions, but the new texts are less than they ought to be; it is a different creation entirely when it detracts from the Deity and Word of our King of kings and Most High Priest, Jesus Christ, our kinsman redeemer and Savior.

 

One day the KJV may receive the updating that the revision committee of 1871-1881 utterly failed to produce, and that could make it a better book for lovers of the Word yet to come. Until then, I say hold fast to the truth, all of it. It is the heritage that God and our ancestors bequeathed us. I encourage and implore you to seek it out, invest the time in this KJV Holy Bible to understand it and see how much richer the KJV truly is, and may your faith be built upon the foundation of the whole Word of God. Vaya Con Dios, Andy

 

===============================================================

Copyright materials cited here are printed under the Fair Use provisions of the Act, for commentary and discussion. This article is distributed without cost or fee. Should you, the receiver of this article wish to print any copyrighted materials herein for profit or fee, please check with the copyright publishers and authors for permission to do so. This constitutes legal information and should not be construed as legal advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


horizontal rule

[1] Figures of Speech Used in the Holy Bible – Explained and Illustrated, E.W. Bullinger, D.D., under his List of Abbreviations, for LXX (Septuagint) Dr. Bullinger notes that it was made about 325 BC. Published in 1898 by Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, reprinted by Baker Books, 23rd printing, 2003

[2] Answers To Your Bible Version Questions, by David W. Daniels, B.A., M. Div., page 47, Chick Publications � 2003

[3] Wide as the Waters – The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired, by Benson Bobrick, pages 50-51, Simon & Schuster � 2001

[4] Early Christian Doctrines, by J.N.D. Kelly, page 53, Prince Press (Hendrickson Publishers), Revised Edition � 1978, reprinted 2003

[5] The Greatest Book Ever Written, by Fulton Oursler, page 451, Doubleday & Company, Inc., � 1951

[6] Exploring the Old Testament, by W.T. Purkiser, Ph.D., editor, C.E. Demaray Ph.D., D.S. Metz Ph.D., and M.A. Stuneck Ph.D., Pages 26-28, � Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1955

[7] The Bible in Translation – Ancient and English Versions, by Bruce M. Metzger, Ph.D., page 14, Baker Academic � 2001

[8] Ibid, page 14-15

[9] Ibid, page 15-16

[10] Ibid, page 16

[11] Ibid, page 17-18

[12] Ibid, page 52-53

[13] Ibid, page 18-19

[14] Ibid, page 19

[15] Ibid, page 20

[16] The Bible Almanac, Edited by James I. Packer, A.M., D.Phil., Merrill C. Tenney, A.M., Ph.D., and William White, Jr., Th.M., Ph.D., page 70, Guideposts edition by Thomas Nelson Publishers � 1980

[17] The Ancestry of Our English Bible, by Ira M. Price, Ph.D., � 1906; 2nd Ed. Revised by William A. Irwin & Allen P. Wikgren, Professors, page 23, � 1949, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, NY

[18] The Ancestry of Our English Bible, page 51

[19] Ibid, page 54

[20] Ibid, page 54

[21] Ibid, page 74

[22] Ibid, page 76

[23] Ibid, page 77-78

[24] The Bible Almanac, page 71

[25] The Bible Almanac, page 346

[26] The Ancestry of Our English Bible, page 79

[27] The Septuagint With Apocrypha: Greek And English, originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London 1851, reprinted by Hendrickson Publishers, 1986, eighth printing 1999

[28] The Origin of the Bible, Edited by Philip Wesley Comfort, from the section Texts and Manuscripts of the Old Testament by Mark R. Norton, page 168, � 1992, Tyndale Publishing, reprinted 2004

[29] The King James Only Controversy – Can You Trust the Modern Translations?, by James R. White, B.A., M.A., page 11, � 1995, Bethany House Publishers

[30] The Septuagint vs The Masoretic Text, 2nd Edition, by David C. Tate, pages 6-9, � 1996, Herrell Brothers Publishing House

[31] Ibid, page 28

[32] Ibid, page 50

[33] Ibid, page 70

[34] Ibid, page 71

[35] Ibid, page 73

[36] The History of the Bible, by Pastor V.S. Herrell, page 57, Herrell Brothers Publishing Company, � 1997

[37] Ibid, page 77-78

[38] Ibid, page 79

[39] How We Got the Bible, by Neil R. Lightfoot, Page 136, Baker Books, 3rd Edition, � 2003

[40] The Old Testament: Its Claims and Its Critics, by Oswald T. Allis, pages 169-170, The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, � 1972

[41] Ibid, page 166-168

[42] Let’s Weigh The Evidence, by Barry D. Burton, page 57-58, Chick Publications, � 1983

[43] Ibid, page 61-62

[44] The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, Edited by John Rogerson, page 28-29, Oxford University Press, � 2001

[45] Defending the King James Bible, by Pastor D.A. Waite, Th.D., Ph.D., page 26, The Bible For Today Press, � 1992, 2002, eighth printing

[46] Ibid, page 27-28

[47] The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, page 64

[48] Ibid, page 29-31

[49] Ibid, page 66

[50] The Companion Bible (KJV), Appendix 30, by Dr. E.W. Bullinger, D.D., (originally printed approx. 1898), Kregel Publishing, 1990 (all rights reserved)

[51] The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, page 74

[52] How We Got the Bible, page 169

[53] Ibid, page 72

[54] Let’s Weight the Evidence, page 64

[55] Ibid, page 64-65

[56] The Faith – A History of Christianity, by Brian Moynahan, Page 56, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., � 2002 – (See also Final Authority, page 90)

[57] Ibid, page 66

[58] The Story of Civilization, by Will and Ariel Durant, Vol. 3, page 613, Simon & Schuster � 1944 (Excellent book, wonderful series, highly recommended.)

[59] Answers To Your Bible Version Questions, by David W. Daniels, page 12, Chick Publications, page 12, � 2003

[60] Which Bible Is God’s Word?, by Gail Riplinger with N.W. Hutchings, Hearthstone Publishing, page 53, � 1994

[61] Answers To Your Bible Questions, page 48-49

[62] The Companion Bible, Appendix 93

[63] Ibid, page 49-50

[64] The Answer Book – A Helpbook for Christians, by Dr. Samuel C. Gipp, DayStar Publishing, page 45-47, � 1989

[65] Let’s Weigh The Evidence, page 67

[66] Ibid, page 67-68

[67] Ibid, page 71

[68] The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible, page 124

[69] How We Got the Bible, page 149

[70] Final Authority, by William P. Grady, Ph.D, D.D., Th.M., Grady Publications, Inc., page 10, � 1993 (Highly recommended, book has over a thousand citations.)

[71] The Holy Bible, Genesis 3:1, King James Version - 1611

[72] Final Authority, page vii

[73] Gipp’s Understandable History of the Bible, by Samuel C. Gipp, Th.D., DayStar Publishing, page 120, � 1987, 2000, 2nd Edition (another highly recommended book)

[74] Final Authority, page 32

[75] Ibid, page 32-33

[76] Ibid, page 34

[77] Ibid, page 34

[78] Ibid, page 36

[79] Ibid, page 37

[80] Ibid, page 40

[81] Ibid, page 45-46

[82] Ibid, page 49

[83] Ibid, page 50

[84] Ibid, page 60

[85] Ibid, page 61

[86] Ibid, page 63

[87] Ibid, page 64

[88] Ibid, page 66

[89] Ibid, page 66-67

[90] Ibid, page 76-77

[91] Ibid, page 77

[92] Cyril also rallied and led the Christian community in defending themselves from attacks by Jewish mobs, finally throwing them out of the city. Encyclopedia Encarta, Scholars Edition, � 2004

[93] Final Authority, page 80

[94] Ibid, page 84

[95] Ibid, page 98-99

[96] Ibid, page 106

[97] Ibid, page 107-108

[98] TV interview with Dr. Gail Riplinger, discussing this ecumenical approach in modern Bible versions.

[99]  Final Authority, page 171

[100] Ibid, page 196

[101] Ibid, page 197

[102] Ibid, page 198

[103] Ibid, page 199

[104] Gipp’s Understandable History of the Bible, Page 155 (2nd Edition)

[105] Final Authority, page 210

[106] Ibid, page 273

[107] Ibid, page 254

[108] Ibid, page 259

[109] Ibid, page 255

[110] Ibid, page 260-261

[111] New Age Bible Versions, by Gail Riplinger, AV Publications, page 432-433, � 1993

[112] Final Authority, page 262

[113] Ibid, page 272

[114] If The Foundations Be Destroyed, by the Rev. Charles Salliby, Word and Prayer Ministries, page 88, � 1994

 

horizontal rule

 

http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Septuagint.html

 

Septuagint

The Septuagint was the first translation made of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. It was begun over two hundred years before the birth of Jesus. It was translated from a Hebrew Old Testament text-type that is older than the Masoretic text, from which most Old Testaments are translated today. This is sad, for the apostles had access to both the Septuagint and to the proto-Masoretic text that was in existence in their time. And they chose to quote from the Septuagint—not the proto-Masoretic text.

You have probably noticed that many of the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the New Testament don't read the same in the New as they do in the Old. However, if you were using the Septuagint Old Testament, they would read the same.

For example, notice this passage from the Psalms that is quoted in the Book of Hebrews: "Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering thou hast not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for me'" (Heb. 10:5,6). In that passage, Paul is quoting from Psalm 40:6. If you look up Psalm 40:6 in your Bible, you will find that it reads: "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired; mine ears Thou hast opened." That's not how writer of Hebrews quoted that verse, is it?

Our Old Testaments don't say anything in Psalms about "a body Thou hast prepared for me." Is that not part of Scripture? If it isn't, why did the writer of Hebrews quote it as Scripture? If it is part of Scripture, what justification do we have for using a text that is different from what the apostles were using?

That is not an isolated example. Such variances between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text are fairly numerous. In fact, one of the cardinal teachings of Christianity turns on one of these variances. We have all read Matthew's quotation from Isaiah 7:14: "Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel'" (Matt. 1:22,23). What I did not realize until recently was that the Hebrew Masoretic text does not say, "the virgin shall be with child." It says, "the young woman shall be with child." No wonder the apostles and their disciples chose the Septuagint over the Masoretic text.

Unless you use the Revised Standard Version, if you look up Isaiah 7:14 in your Old Testament, you will probably find that it reads "virgin" instead of "young woman." That's because translators have fudged on their use of the Masoretic text in order to conform to the cardinal Christian doctrine of the virgin birth. But how honest is that? Can we ignore the Septuagint and treat it as "a translation full of errors," but then when one of those "errors" supports a major Christian doctrine, go over and borrow from it? Are we really seeking truth when we do that?

Is the Septuagint Full of Errors?

During the Middle Ages, and for many centuries thereafter, western Christians mistakenly thought that the Septuagint was merely a careless translation of the Hebrew text. Many Christians today still think that. However, during the 1800s, scholars began to postulate that perhaps the reason for the variance between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text was that the translators of the Septuagint were working from an earlier Hebrew text that varied from the later Masoretic text.

In 1947, when scholars were still speculating about these things, an Arab shepherd accidentally discovered some ancient Jewish scrolls near the settlement of Qumran in Palestine. Those scrolls, along with numerous other scrolls later found in the same vicinity, have come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Qumran Library. The Old Testament texts found among these scrolls were centuries older than any previously known Old Testament manuscripts. Among the first scrolls examined were two manuscripts of the Book of Isaiah. The initial published reports proclaimed that those manuscripts were virtually identical to the Masoretic text of today. Evangelical Christians were quick to propagate these initial reports.

However, later, a more sober reflection on the Isaiah scrolls, coupled with the discovery of Dead Sea manuscripts for other Old Testament books, revealed that the initial reports were premature. Rather than vindicating the Masoretic text as being the original Hebrew text, the thousands of Qumran text specimens reveal that there was a definite diversity of text types of the Old Testament in use during the centuries before Christ. The Masoretic text reflects only one of those text types. Unfortunately, evangelicals have not been very quick to retract those original premature reports.

More importantly, those manuscripts confirmed that there were early Hebrew manuscripts that largely agree textually with the Septuagint. So the Septuagint was not a sloppy translation of the Masoretic text. Rather, it is apparently a reasonably faithful translation of another text type—a text that may well be older than the prototype of the Masoretic text. Again, let me emphasize that the differences between these text types do not affect any significant spiritual truths. They mainly affect the wording of various Old Testament passages.

The Value of the Septuagint

More and more Bible scholars today are recognizing the immense value of the Septuagint and its unique relationship to the New Testament. For example, Bible scholar George Howard points out:

If the writers of the NT [New Testament] were influenced by secular Greek, they were influenced more by LXX [Septuagint]. Separated from LXX the NT would have been almost unintelligible to the contemporary reader, according to B. Atkinson. ... At any rate, in the past decades there has developed an appreciation for the influence which LXX vocabulary had on NT thought and the contributions in this area of Septuagintal research are still coming. Consequently, the debate over which source is more important for NT lexicography, Greek or Hebrew, will probably be resolved in terms of LXX.

Dr. Sven Soderlund of Regent College writes:

The LXX was the Bible for most writers of the NT. Not only did they take from it most of their express citations of Scripture, but their writings—in particular the Gospels, and among them especially Luke—contain numerous reminiscences of its language. The theological terms of the NT, such as "law," "righteousness," "mercy," "truth," "propitiation," were taken over directly from the LXX and must be understood in the light of their use in that version.

Other Old Testament scholars have expressed similar sentiments.