posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 07:00 AM
It is often claimed by apologists that the bible is completely unchanged from the "originals".
the evidence of the early manuscripts (MSS) is just the opposite -
many parts of the NT have been changed or added.
Here is a brief list of some of those changes and additions :
The Resurrection Appearances
Most of the earliest witnesses have G.Mark ending at 16:8 - with the empty tomb scene, but no resurrection appearances etc.
Intriguingly, an empty tomb scene was not unknown in other 1st century dramatic writings - e.g. Chariton's novel Chareas and Callirhoe included an
empty tomb scene - as did some other documents AFAIR.
G.Mark ends at 16:8 in the very important early MSS Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and also in others such as : Latin Codex Bobiensis, the Sinaitic Syriac
manuscript, and the two oldest Georgian translations and many Armenian manuscripts.
In later versions however, there are several DIFFERENT endings to G.Mark after 16:8 -
* the longer ending (16:9-20 in many Bibles)
* the shorter ending (also found in some study bibles)
* another minor variant of a few verses
(Many modern Bibles now indicate this with brackets or a marginal note.)
Origen and Clement of Alexandria and Victor of Antioch quote and discuss G.Mark WITHOUT mentioning the appendix.
Eusebius mentions that most MSS do not have the appendix.
Jerome also notes the passage can not be found in most Greek MSS.
This, this evidence is fairly clear that the post-resurrection stories were NOT original, but added later.
This helps to explain why the stories in G.Luke and G.Matthew and G.John are so wildly different - they did not have G.Mark to follow, so each made-up
a different story.
Jesus Christ [Son of God]
Early MSS do not have "son of God".
Son of Man/God
Early MSS have :
"Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, Do you believe in the Son of man?"
Later versions have :
"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
JC is the Son of God
"And Phillip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
This passage is missing from all the early MSS.
As written in [Isaiah]
The early MSS have :
"As it is written in Isaiah the prophet..."
But most later versions have :
"As it is written in the prophets..."
Probably because the quote is NOT really from Isaiah (its composited from Isaiah, Malachai, and Exodus) - the eariest MSS were wrong, so later
versions fixed this error by using just "prophets".
The words of God at the Baptism
Early MSS and quotes have the same as the Psalm :
"...and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou are my son, this day have I begotten thee"
But later versions have changed it to :
"...and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased"
1 John 5:7
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. "
This passage is not found in any Greek MSS, and was therefore not included in the original Textus Receptus of Erasmus. But it then appeared in a Greek
MSS and was then included in the KJV.
The Lord's Prayer
Early and important MSS (Aleph, B, D, Z, 205, 547) as well as some fathers (Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian) have :
"And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil"
Other MSS have :
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen"
And a few MSS have another version :
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the father, the son, and
the holy spirit for ever. Amen"
A few MSS exclude the words "the power" or "the glory" or "the kingdom".
The Lord's Prayer is one of the more variant parts of the NT.
Redemption by blood
All early MSS have the shorter :
"in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"
But later copies have added "through his blood" :
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins"
This is an important proof-text for the doctrine of redemption by Chist's blood - but its a later addition.
This shows quite clearly that the NT was often changed during its history.