Spiritual Deception in the Highest 20.2

What about Sinaiticus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re returning to this one today. The second great codex to discuss is Sinaiticus. As always, the source material can be found here.

“The Sinaiticus is a manuscript that was found in 1844 in a trash pile in St. Catherine’s Monastery near Mt. Sinai, by a man named Mr. Tichendorf” [S5P61].

“Mr. Tischendorf.” No mention from Johnson that Tischendorf was a great scholar in his day. From this writing, you’d think someone just wandering through found it. Tischendorf was on a search for manuscripts.

“The date of its writing is placed at around 340 A.D. …” [S4P20].

“The Sinaiticus is extremely unreliable, proven by examining the manuscript itself. John Burgon spent years examining every available manuscript of the New Testament” [S5P61]. He writes about Sinaiticus:

“On many occasions 10, 20, 30, 40 words are dropped through very carelessness. Letters, words or even whole sentences are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately cancelled; while … a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same words as the clause proceeding, [this] occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament” [S5P61].

Even if this is granted, it does not prove it is unreliable. This happens with many copies we have of various parts of the New Testament. This was in an age when copyists could be done by non-professionals as well and there were no erasers to erase mistakes.

“On nearly every page of the manuscript there are corrections and revisions done by TEN different people” [S5P61].

Dr. Scrivener agrees with John Burgon. Dr. Scrivener says (of Codex Sinaiticus):

“… it is clear that this document was corrected by ten different scribes at different periods”. He tells of “the occurrence of so many different styles of handwriting, apparently due to penmen removed from each other by centuries, which deform by their corrections every page of this venerable looking document” [S2P307-308].

Yet somehow the rest of the scholarly world still considers it valuable. Of course, Johnson never gives us their side of the case. Johnson is the less informed counterpart to Bart Ehrman sadly.

And Dr. M. Reynolds tells us:

“Tischendorf, the discoverer of the Sinaiticus manuscript noted at least 12,000 changes which had been made … by OTHERS than the original copyist” [S17P3].

It would be good to know where Tischendorf said on this himself, but under no circumstances will Johnson cite primary sources.

G.A. Riplinger cites some ‘advanced’ analysis of Sinaiticus:

“[With] more recent detailed scrutiny of the manuscript … by the use of [the] ultra-violet lamp, Milne and Skeat discovered that the original reading in the manuscript was erased … [in places]” [S3P552].

In Sinaiticus: “There are about 9,000 changes from … the Majority … Text, amounting to one difference in every verse. It omits some 4,000 words from the Gospels, adds 1,000, repositions 2,000 and alters another 1,000. It has approximately 1,500 readings that DO NOT APPEAR IN ANY OTHER MANUSCRIPT …” [S3P552-553].

I still have no reason to take Riplinger seriously in anything she says and it is a shame that Johnson does.

“Philip Mauro was a brilliant lawyer who was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in April 1892. He wrote a book called ‘Which Version’ in the early 1900’s” [S5P61]. He writes concerning Sinaiticus …

“From these facts, therefore, we deduce: … the impurity of the Codex Sinaiticus, in every part of it, was fully recognized by those who were best acquainted with it, and … it was finally cast aside as WORTHLESS for any practical purpose” [S5P61].

Except it wasn’t. It was used by scholars then. It is used by them now. All of this still assumes that there is a perfect manuscript also. Thus, any differences from the KJV manuscripts show the other manuscripts are in error.

We’ll continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)



Spiritual Deception in the Highest 20.1

What about the manuscripts the KJV didn’t use? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re going to skip a brief introduction here as there’s not much to say. This time we start looking at the other manuscripts that weren’t used by the KJV translators. The link to the source material can be found here.

Vaticanus: ” … was written on fine vellum (tanned animal skins) and remains in excellent condition. It was found in the Vatican Library in 1481 A.D.” [S5P60]

In spite of being in excellent condition:

“This Codex omits portions of Scripture vital to Christian doctrine. Vaticanus omits Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 46:28, Psalms 106 – 138, Matthew 16:2,3; Romans 16:24; the Pauline Pastorial Epistles; Revelation; and everything in Hebrews after 9:14” [S1P72]. “These parts were probably left out on purpose” [S5P60].

I couldn’t find anything about this, but I will grant it for the sake of argument. What I want to know though is about the last part at least. How is it known these were left out on purpose? Johnson doesn’t say.

“Moreover having been found in the Vatican library, the suspicion was all the more compounded. We must recall that the Renaissance was lifting the great curtain hiding medieval superstition and forged documents, allowing the light to shine in …” [S6P135].

Ah yes. Anything Catholic must be bad. Strange the Reformers never seemed to question the manuscripts that way that I know of at least.

“According to authorities the date of its writing is placed within the years 325 A.D. to 350 A.D.” [S4P20].

This could be true, but what authorities? Johnson doesn’t tell us. Did he do any research on his own?

“Vaticanus, though intact physically, is found to be of very poor literary quality. Dr. Martin declares, ‘B’ exhibits numerous places where the scribe has written the same word or phrase twice in succession” [S1P72].

Which wouldn’t be a problem anyway. We could recognize that easily. This is a common scribal issue.

“Besides all that – in the gospels alone it leaves out 237 words, 452 clauses and 748 whole sentences, which hundreds of later copies agree together as having the SAME words in the SAME places, the SAME clauses in the SAME places and the SAME sentences in the SAME places” [S5P60].

I have looked over this a few times and I am still not sure what he’s arguing.

“It seems suspicious indeed that a MSS possessed by the Roman Catholic Church omits the portion of the book of Hebrews which exposes the ‘mass’ as totally useless. (Please read Hebrews 10:10-12). The ‘mass’ in conjunction with the false doctrine of purgatory go hand in hand to form a perpetual money making machine for Rome. Without one or the other the Roman Catholic Church would go broke!” [S1P72].

Yet somehow when the Catholics produced their own translation they left in that portion of Hebrews. Odd.

G.A Riplinger adds the following about Vaticanus (i.e. ‘B’):

“The use of recent technology such as the vidicon camera, which creates a digital form of faint writing, recording it on magnetic tape and reproducing it by an electro-optical process, reveals that B has been altered by at least two hands, one being as late as the twelfth century … A few passages … remain to show the original appearance of the first hand. The corrector omitted [things] he believed to be incorrect” [S3P551].

Which is also a common scribal practice anyway…..

“B agrees with the Textus Receptus only about 50% of the time. It differs from the Majority Greek in nearly 8,000 places, amounting to about one change per verse. It omits several thousand key words from the Gospels, nearly 1,000 complete sentences, and 500 clauses. It adds approximately 500 words, substitutes or modifies nearly 2,000 and transposes word order in about 2,000 places. It has nearly 600 readings THAT DO NOT OCCUR IN ANY OTHER MANUSCRIPT …” [S3P551].

Considering Riplinger isn’t a scholar, I give her zero credibility here based on what I know of her, but all Johnson cares about is “Does this person agree with my conclusion?”

And: “Linguistic scholars have observed that B is reminiscent of classical and Platonic Greek, NOT the Koine [common] Greek of the New Testament …” [S3P551].

Which linguistic scholars? Name them.

“Protestant theologians question its lack of use by anyone for 1300 years-then its sudden ‘discovery’ in the Vatican in 1481” [S3P552].

Which ones?

“Its [i.e. Vaticanus’] immediate use to suppress the Reformation and its subsequent release in 1582 as the Jesuit-Rheims Bible are logical, considering the manuscripts omission of anti-Catholic sections and books (ie Hebrews 9:14 and Revelation etc.)” [S3P552].

Also, Vaticanus: “… agrees essentially with Origen’s Hexapla, omitting the deity of Christ frequently …” [S3P552].

Origen would be quite surprised to know he omitted the deity of Christ.

In summary, history records that:

“… Vaticanus was available to the King James translators but they didn’t use it because they knew it was unreliable” [S5P60].

Unfortunately, Johnson will not tell us where they said this. I tried to find it and had no luck.

We’ll continue next time.

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