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The Bible: A Short History

Revised Standard Version of the Bible is an authorized revision of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which was a revision of the King James Version, published in 1611. The first English version of the Scriptures made by direct translation from the original Hebrew and Greek, and the first to be printed, was the work of William Tyndale. He met bitter opposition. He was accused of willfully perverting the meaning of the Scriptures, and his New Testaments were ordered to be burned as “untrue translations.” He was finally betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and in October 1536, was publicly executed and burned at the stake. [Details : http://bible-pedia.blogspot.com/]

[This is “PREFACE” to THE BIBLE , REVISED STANDARD VERSION, Published By WM. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd, For The British & Foreign Bible Society, Printed inGreat Britain, RS53P-100M-1972(14) – ISBN 0564 001015]

Yet Tyndale’s work became the foundation of subsequent English versions, notably those of Coverdale, 1535; Thomas Matthew (probably a pseudonym for John Rogers), 1537; the Great Bible, 1539; the Geneva Bible, 1560; and the Bishops’ Bible, 1568. In 1582 a translation of the New Testament, made from the Latin Vulgate by Roman Catholic scholars, was published atRheims. The translators who made the King James Version took into account all of these preceding versions; and comparison shows that it owes something to each of them. It kept felicitous phrases and apt expressions, from whatever source, which had stood the test of public usage. It owed most, especially in the New Testament, to Tyndale. The King James Version had to compete with the Geneva Bible in popular use; but in the end it prevailed, and for more than two and a half centuries no other authorized translation of the Bible into English was made. The King James Version became the “Authorized Version” of the English-speaking peoples.

The King James Version has with good reason been termed “the noblestmonumentofEnglishprose.” Its revisers in 1881 expressed admiration for “its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression . . . the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm.” It entered, as no other book has, into the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the English-speaking peoples. We owe to it an incalculable debt.

Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manu­scripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation. The task was undertaken, by authority of the Church of England, in 1870. The English Revised Version of the Bible was published in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant em­bodying the preferences of the American scholars associated in the works was published in 1901.

Because of unhappy experience with unauthorized publications in the two decades between 1881 and 1901, which tampered with the text of the English Revised Version in the supposed interest of the American public, the American Standard Version was copyrighted, to protect the text from unauthorized changes. In 1928 this copyright was acquired by the International Council of Religious Education, and thus passed into the ownership of the churches of theUnited States andCanada which were associated in this Council through their boards of education and publication.

The Council appointed a committee of scholars to have charge of the text of the American Standard Version and to undertake inquiry as to whether further revision was necessary. For more than two years the Committee worked upon the problem of whether or not revision should be undertaken; and if so, what should be its nature and extent. In the end the decision was reached that there is need for a thorough revision of the version of 1901, which will stay as close to the Tyndale-King James tradition as it can in the light of our present knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek texts and their meaning on the one hand, and our present understanding of English on the other.

In 1937 the revision was authorized by vote of the Council, which directed that the resulting version should “embody the best results of modern scholarship as to the meaning of the Scriptures, and express this meaning in English diction which is designed for use in public and private worship and preserve those qualities which have given to the King James Version a supreme place in English literature.”

Thirty-two scholars have served as members of the Committee charged with making the revision, and they have secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations. The Committee has worked in two sections, one dealing with the Old Testament and one with the New Testament. Each section has submitted its work to the scrutiny of the members of the other section; and the charter of the Committee requires that all changes be agreed upon by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Committee. The Revised Standard Version of the New Testament was published in 1946. The publication of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments was authorized by vote of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. in 1951.

The problem of establishing the correct Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Old Testament is very different from the corresponding problem in the New Testa­ment. For the New Testament we have a large number of Greek manuscripts, preserving many variant forms of the text. Some of them were made only two or three centuries later than the original composition of the books. For the Old Testament only late manuscripts survive, all (with the exception of the Dead Sea texts of Isaiah and Habakkuk and some fragments of other books) based on a standardized form of the text established many centuries after the books were written.

The present revision is based on the consonantal Hebrew and Aramaic text as fixed early in the Christian era and revised by Jewish scholars (the “Masoretes”) of the sixth to ninth centuries. The vowel signs, which were added by the Masoretes, are accepted also in the main, but where a more probable and convincing reading can be obtained by assuming different vowels, this has been done. No notes are given in such cases, because the vowel points are less ancient and reliable than the consonants.

Departures from the consonantal text of the best manuscripts have been made only where it seems clear that errors in copying had been made before the text was standardized. Most of the corrections adopted are based on the ancient ver­sions (translations into Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, and Latin), which were made before the time of the Masoretic revision and therefore reflect earlier forms of the text. In every such instance a footnote specifies the version or versions from which the correction has been derived, and also gives a translation of the Masoretic Text.

Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text. Such corrections are indicated in the footnotes by the abbrevia­tion Cn, and a translation of the Masoretic Text is added.

The discovery of the meaning of the text, once the best readings have been established, is aided by many new resources for understanding the original languages. Much progress has been made in the historical and comparative study of these languages. A vast quantity of writings in related Semitic languages, some of them only recently discovered, has greatly enlarged our knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar of Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Sometimes the present translation will be found to render a Hebrew word in a sense quite different from that of the traditional interpretation. It has not been felt necessary in such cases to attach a footnote, because no change in the text is involved and it may be assumed that the new rendering was not adopted without convincing evidence. The analysis of religious texts from the ancient Near East has made clearer the significance of ideas and practices recorded in the Old Testament. Many difficulties and obscurities, of course, remain. Where the choice between two meanings is particularly difficult or doubtful, we have given an alternative rendering in a footnote. If in the judgment of the Committee the meaning of a passage is quite uncertain or obscure, either because of corruption in the text or because of the inadequacy of our present knowledge of the language, that fact is indicated by a note. It should not be assumed, however, that the Committee was entirely sure or unanimous concerning every rendering not so indicated. To record all minority views was obviously out of the question.

A major departure from the practice of the American Standard Version is the rendering of the Divine Name, the “Tetragrammaton.” The American Standard Version used the term “Jehovah“; the King James Version had employed this in four places, but everywhere else, except in three cases where it was employed as part of a proper name, used the English word lord (or in certain cases god) printed in capitals. The present revision returns to the procedure of the King James Version, which follows the precedent of the ancient Greek and Latin translators and the long established practice in the reading of the Hebrew scrip­tures in the synagogue. While it is almost if not quite certain that the Name was originally pronounced “Yahweh,” this pronunciation was not indicated when the Masoretes added vowel signs to the consonantal Hebrew text. To the four conso­nants YHWH of the Name, which bad come to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, they attached vowel signs indicating that in its place should be read the Hebrew word Adonai meaning “Lord” (or Elohim meaning “God”). The ancient Greek translators substituted the word Kyrios (Lord) for the Name. The Vulgate likewise used the Latin word Dominus. The form “Jehovah” is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. The sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin. For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version: (1) the word “Jehovah” does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom He had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.

The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying. It was essentially the Greek text of the New Testament as edited by Beza, 1589, who closely followed that published by Erasmus, 1516-1535, which was based upon a few medieval manuscripts. The earliest and best of the eight manuscripts which Erasmus consulted was from the tenth century, and he made the least use of it because it differed most from the commonly received text; Beza had access to two manuscripts of great value, dating from the fifth and sixth centuries, but he made very little use of them because they differed from the text published by Erasmus.

We now possess many more ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text. The evidence for the text of the books of the New Testament is better than for any other ancient book, both in the number of extant manuscripts and in the nearness of the date of some of these manuscripts to the date when the book was originally written.

The revisers in the 1870’s had most of the evidence that we now have for the Greek text, though the most ancient of all extant manuscripts of the Greek New Testament were not discovered until 1931. But they lacked the resources which discoveries within the past eighty years have afforded for understanding the vocabulary, grammar and idioms of the Greek New Testament. An amazing body of Greek papyri has been unearthed in Egypt since the 1870’s—private letters, official reports, wills, business accounts, petitions, and other such trivial, everyday recordings of the activities of human beings. In 1895 appeared the first of Adolf Deissmann’s studies of these ordinary materials. He proved that many words which had hitherto been assumed to belong to what was called “Biblical Greek” were current in the spoken vernacular of the first century A.D. The New Testament was written in the Koine, the common Greek which was spoken and understood practically everywhere throughout the Roman Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. This development in the study of New Testament Greek has come since the work on the English Revised Version and the American Standard Version was done, and at many points sheds new light upon the meaning of the Greek text.

A major reason for revision of the King James Version, which is valid for both the Old Testament and the New Testament, is the change since 1611 in English usage. Many forms of expression have become archaic, while still generally intelligible—;the use of thou, thee, thy, thine and the verb endings -est and -edst, the verb endings -etb and -th, it came to pass that whosoever, whatsoever, inso­much that, because that, for that, unto; howbeit, peradventure, holden, afore­time, must needs, would fain, behooved., to you-ward, etc. Other words are obsolete and no longer understood by the common reader. The greatest problem, however, is presented by the English words which are still in constant use but now convey a different meaning from that which they had in 1611 and in the King James Version. These words were once accurate translations of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures; but now, having changed in meaning, they have become misleading. They no longer say what the King James translators meant them to say. Thus, the King James Version uses the word “let” in the sense of “hinder,” “prevent” to mean “precede”allow” in ‘the sense of “approve,” “communicate” for “share,” “conversation” for “conduct,” “comprehend” for “overcome,” “ghost” for “spirit,” “wealth” for “well-being,” “allege” for “prove,” “demand” for “ask,” “take no thought” for “be not anxious,” etc.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, was published on September 30, 1952, and has met with wide acceptance. This preface does not undertake to set forth in detail the lines along which the revision proceeded. That is done in pamphlets entitled An Introduc­tion to the Revised Standard Version of the Old Testament and An Introduction to the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament, written by members of the Committee and designed to help the general public to understand the main principles which have guided this comprehensive revision of the King James and American Standard versions.

These principles were reaffirmed by the Committee in 1959, in connection with a study of criticisms and suggestions from various readers. As a result, a few changes were authorized for subsequent editions, most of them corrections of punctuation, capitalization, or footnotes. Some of them are changes of words or phrases made in the interest of consistency, clarity or accuracy of translation.

The Second Edition of the translation of the New Testament (1971) profits from textual and linguistic studies published since the Revised Standard Version New Testament was first issued in 1946. Many proposals for modification were submitted to the Committee by individuals and by two denominational com­mittees. All of these were given careful attention by the Committee.

Two passages, the longer ending of Mark (16.9-20) and the account of the woman caught in adultery (John 7.5-3-8.11), are restored to the text, separated from it by a blank space and accompanied by informative notes describing the various arrangements of the text in the ancient authorities. With new manuscript support two passages, Luke 22.19b-20 and 24.51b, are restored to the text, and one passage, Luke 22.43-44 is placed in the note, as is a phrase in Luke 12.39. Notes are added which indicate significant variations, additions, or omissions in the ancient authorities (Mt 9.34; Mk 3.16; 7.4; Lk 24.32, 51, etc.).

Among the new notes are those giving the equivalence of ancient coinage with the contemporary day’s or year’s wages of a labourer Mt 18.24,28; 20.2, etc.). Some of the revisions clarify the meaning through rephrasing or reordering the text (see Mk 5.42; Lk 22.29-30; Jn 10.33; I Cor 3.9; 2 Cor 5.19; Heb 13.13). Even when the changes appear to be largely matters of English style, they have the purpose of presenting to the reader more adequately the meaning of the text (see Mt 10.8; 12.1; 15.29; 17.20; Lk 7.36; 11.17; 12.40; Jn 16.9; Rom 10.16; 1 Cor 12.24;2 Cor 2.3; 3.5, 6; etc.).

The Revised Standard Version Bible seeks to preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the years. It is intended for use in public and private worship, not merely for reading and instruction. We have resisted the temptation to use phrases that are merely current usage, and have sought to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition. We are glad to say, with the King James translators: “Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one … but to make a good one better.”

The Bible is more than a historical document to be preserved. And it is more than a classic of English literature to be cherished and admired. It is a record of God’s dealing with men, of God’s revelation of Himself and His will. It records the life and work of Him in whom the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among men. The Bible carries its full message, not to those who regard it simply as a heritage of the past or praise its literary style, but to those who read it that they may discern and understand God’s Word to men. That Word must not be disguised in phrases that are no longer clear, or hidden under words that have changed or lost their meaning. It must stand forth in language that is direct and plain and meaningful to people today. It is our hope and our earnest prayer that this Revised Standard Version of the Bible may be used by God to speak to men in these momentous times, and to help them to understand and believe and obey His Word.

[Source: “PREFACE” to THE BIBLE , REVISED STANDARD VERSION, Published By WM. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd, For The British & Foreign Bible Society, Printed inGreat Britain, RS53P-100M-1972(14) – ISBN 0564 001015]

Analysis:

Is the Bible God’s Word: [Video 01:30] A great debate between Sheikh Ahmed Deedat and Jimmy Swaggart. The debate took place in U.S.A at the University of Louisiana, It’s Worth seeing Don’t miss it.

Is the Bible God’s Word: Q & A [01:44]

The New Testament books appear to have been completed within the 1st century. However, the original manuscripts of the New Testament books do not survive today. The autographs were lost or destroyed a long time ago. What survives are copies of the original. Generally speaking, these copies were made centuries after the originals from other copies rather than from the autograph. The earliest manuscript of a New Testament text is a business card sized fragment from the Gospel of JohnRylands Library Papyrus P52, which dates to the first half of the 2nd century. The first complete copies of single New Testament books appear around 200, and the earliest complete copy of the New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus dates to the 4th century after Christ. With Christinisation of Roman Empire, process of canonization of Bible started.

Conference of Nicea: In 325 C.E in the Conference of Nicea (Iznik-Turkey),  four Gospels were selected out of a minimum of three hundred available and the rest, including the Gospel of Barnabas (most authentic), were ordered utterly destroyed. All Gospels written in Hebrew were also ordered to be destroyed.

Councils of Laodicea & Carthage: In 364 C.E, another council in Laodicea confirmed decisions of Nicea and added six books as believable.  In 397 C.E another conference was held at Carthage, with 126 learned participants. They confirmed the decisions of the two previous Councils and also added six more Books.

Conferences at Trullo, Florence and Trent: Three more conferences were held after this in Trullo, Florence and Trent (1545-63 C.E). They confirmed the decision of the Council of Carthage and included nearly all the previously doubtful books in the list of acknowledged books. The status of these books remained unchanged until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

Protestants Repudiation: During 16th Century, the Protestants repudiated the decisions of the councils and declared that there are only 66 truly “inspired” books of God, and not 73 as claimed by the Catholics. If it is blasphemy to take even a title from the Bible, who is blaspheming? Those who added these seven books from the very beginning, or those who expunged them.

Jesus Christ did not dictate the revelations, nor were they written in his time, there is no chain of narration leading to Jesus Christ. The language of Jesus Christ and his disciples was not Greek. Most of disciples of Jesus Christ were illiterate or little educated to compose highly complex books in Greek. The recent discovery of ‘most ancient’ manuscripts around 200 C.E, do not contain some passages interpreted to support Church doctrines in ‘ancient’ scripts 400 C.E or later. Obviously with the passage of time the scripts get corrupted.

The real authors of the books of New Testament are unknown; they have been attributed to disciples of Jesus Christ for the purpose of credibility. The writers of these books do not claim authorship, hence we read Gospel ‘according to’ Mathew, Mark, Luke and John as against ‘by’ etc. Most biblical scholars accept that the Gospel According to St Mark was the first written of the four canonical Gospels. Mark’s Gospel was written in Greek, and there is ample textual evidence that Matthew’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel were based on Mark’s Gospel.St John’s Gospel appears to have been based on Luke’s Gospel, but the author clearly also knew Mark’s Gospel and copied some material from it.

The necessity of applying textual criticism to the books of the New Testament arises from two circumstances: none of the original documents is extant, and the existing copies differ from one another. When comparing one manuscript to another, with the exception of the smallest fragments, no two copies agree completely throughout. Note, however, that a single difference prevents agreement. There has been an estimate of between 400,000 variations among all these manuscripts (from the 2nd to 15th century) which is more than there are words in the New Testament. The textual critic seeks to ascertain from the divergent copies which form of the text should be regarded as most nearly conforming to the original. The New Testament has been preserved in three major manuscript traditions: the 4th-century-CE Alexandrian text-type; the Western text-type, also very early but prone to paraphrase and other corruptions; and the Byzantine text-type, which includes over 80% of all manuscripts, the majority comparatively very late in the tradition.

Every year, several New Testament manuscripts handwritten in the original Greek format are discovered. The Bodmer Papyri are a group of twenty-two papyri discovered in Egypt in 1952. They are named after Martin Bodmer who purchased them. The papyri contain segments from the Old and New Testaments, early Christian literature, Homer and Menander. The oldest, Papyrus 66, dates to c. 200. [‘most ancient’] The papyri are kept at the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, in ColognySwitzerland outside Geneva. In 2007 the Vatican Library acquired two of the papyri, Papurus 74 and Papyrus 75, which are kept at the Vatican Library, believed to contain the world’s oldest known written fragment from the Gospel of Luke, the earliest known Lord’s Prayer, and one of the oldest written fragments from the Gospel of John. …. ……  Among the Bodmer Papyri, as well as gospel texts: Papyrus 66 (P66), is a text of the Gospel of John, dating around 200 C.E, in the manuscript tradition called the Alexandrian text-type. Aside from the papyrus fragment in the Rylands Library Papyrus P52, it is the oldest testimony for John; it does not contain the passage concerning the moving of the waters (John 5:3b-4) and the pericope of the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), which could assumed to be a later addition? The latest substantial find was in 2008, when 47 new manuscripts were discovered in Albania; at least 17 of them unknown to Western scholars.

According to Textual scholar Bart Ehrman : “It is true, of course, that the New Testament is abundantly attested in the manuscripts produced through the ages, but most of these manuscripts are many centuries removed from the originals, and none of them perfectly accurate. They all contain mistakes – altogether many thousands of mistakes. It is not an easy task to reconstruct the original words of the New Testament….”

Isaiah 7:14

The RSV New Testament was well received, but reactions to the Old Testament were varied and not without controversy. It was claimed that the RSV translators had translated the Old Testament from an odd viewpoint. Some specifically referred to a Jewish viewpoint, pointing to agreements with the 1917 Jewish Publication Society of America Version Tanakh and the presence on the editorial board of a Jewish scholar, Harry Orlinsky, and claimed that other views, including those of the New Testament, were not considered. The focus of the controversy was the translation of the Hebrew word  עַלְמָה (ʿalmāh) in Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” rather than the traditional Christian translation of “virgin”, agreeing with the Greek word παρθένος (parthenos) found in theSeptuagint‘s translation of this passage as well as the New Testament at Matthew 1:23.

Mark 16:9-20

Discovery of ‘most ancient texts’ of Bible revealed that some important verses mentioned in translations of ‘ancient texts’ like RSV based upon KJV were not found in ‘most ancient texts’ , hence they were removed in the 1971 first edition of RSV Bible. This was not an ordinary rephrasing or reordering the text but a very serious matter. Some of the basic doctrines of Church evolved over the period were rendered useless devoid of scriptural authority and support. Many Fundamentalists and evangelicals resisted this because it was hitting the very foundations of Christianity. It was decided by them to boycott the RSV, which could result in to huge financial loss to the publishers. So they decided to restore the relevant passages with some remarks in 2nd Edition of 1971 RSV Bible to make it acceptable to the Church. One has to go in to details of each change to fully comprehend the implications.  Let’s analyze these passages and remarks:

 Mark 16:9-20 is not found in ‘most ancient texts’, this passage narrates the reappearance of Jesus Christ after alleged crucifixion and directing disciples to preach to humanity, one of the basis of Christina Doctrine “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover:(Mark 16:15-18). This ambiguous, un authentic passage not found in most ancient scripts conflicts and contradicts the clear teachings  of Jesus Christ: Matthew 10:5-6 &15:24, reproduced below:

“ These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”[Matthew 10:5-6]

“But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Matthew 15:24]

John 8:3-11

This passage regarding a women accused of adultery brought to Jesus Christ, who is set free  by Jesus Christ against law of Moses, on condition that only innocents to stone her.

This passage is not found in ‘most ancient scripts’, it also conflict with law of Mosses and statement of Jesus at Matthew 5:17-19:-

“Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”[Matthew 5:17-19]

Removing this passage was correct but just to support the church doctrine  to abrogate  law of Moses, this passage have restored with a foot note.

The strikethrough lines [in Luke 22:19b-20]  are not found in most ancient scripts, this is a later addition, to support Christian Church sacraments and doctrines’:-

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.”[Luke 22:19b-20]

Luke 24:51  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. This passage was  not found in most ancient script, so was deleted  deleted but now have been restored in 1971, 2nd Edition to support the doctrines of Church.

Luke 22:43-44  And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.

With new manuscript support two passages, Luke 22.19b-20 and 24.51b, are restored to the text: and one passage, Luke 22.43-44 is placed in the note, as is a phrase in Luke 12.39. Notes are added which indicate significant variations, additions, or omissions in the ancient authorities (Mt 9.34; Mk 3.16; 7.4; Lk 24.32, 51, etc.).

Trinity: 1Epistle of John 5: 7 & 8

Trinity the basic doctrine of Christianity, has been the subject of intense debate since 2000 years. The basis of theology of any faith rests upon the authority of the holy scripture, however in the case of Trinity, it is not the case. The only one verse in the whole of Bible which, the supporters interpreted to supports this Christian dogma, and that is: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.”(The first Epistle of John; 5:7,8). (in some volumes this  changed as : “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree”). In the foot not of this verse in ‘New International Version Bible’ it is written; ‘not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteen century. Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s in a footnote to this verse opine: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted.”The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged.  Dr.Brad D Aherman, in his scholarly discourse at Stanford University in 2007, also mentions about the the reference form the Old Testament in support of Trinity and how it got in to the scripture!

Excepts remind us what Jesus Christ and prophets said in Bible:
.”Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Moses, Deuteronomy;6:4; Jesus,Mark;12:29).
“Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee,”(2 Samuel;7:22 )
“And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”(Mathew;19:17).
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right” [Jesus Christ;Luke;12:57]

John 9:38 

The comparison of different translations of verse 9:38 of Gospel according to John is self explanatory:

  1. “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him” (King John’s Version)
  2. “He said, “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped him”(Revised Standard Version)
  3. “And he said, I believe, Lord: and he did him homage”(Darby Translation: by John Nelson Darby)
  4. “I believe, Sir,” he said. And he threw himself at his feet.”(By Richard Francis Weymouth)
  5. “and he said, “I believe, sir,’ and bowed before him.” (Young’s Bible 1863: By Robert Young).

Revelation 1:8

Jesus claimed divinity, the argument goes, when he said: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (King James Version; Revelation;1:8). Alpha (The 1st), Omega (the last) are the attributes of God. However in the Revised Standard Version, biblical scholars corrected the translation and wrote: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (RSV;Revelation;1:8). A correction was also made in the New American Bible produced by Catholics. The translation of that verse has been amended to put it in its correct context as follows: “The Lord God says: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ” Hence after this correction, it becomes evident that this was a statement of God wrongly attributed to Jesus.

John 3:16

According to the Bible of King James Version of 1611 : “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only ‘begotten’ Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John;3:16). The word ‘begotten’ used here (John;3:16) has been expunged in the Bible- Revised Standard Version, being wrongly added because word ‘begotten’ does not exist in the original Greek script.

Violence inn Bible: 

The Bible and violence:

From its earliest days, Christianity has been challenged to reconcile the scriptures known as the “Old Testament” with the scriptures known as the “New Testament“. Ra’anan S. Boustan asserts that “(v)iolence can be found throughout the pages of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament.” Philip Jenkins describes the Bible as overflowing with “texts of terror”. In response to these charges of violence in their scriptures, many Christian theologians and apologists respond that the “God of the Old Testament” is a violent God whereas the “God of the New Testament” is a peaceful and loving God. This approach is challenged by those who point out that there are also passages in the New Testament that tolerate, condone and even encourage the use of violence. For example, Terence Freitheim describes the Old Testament as a “book filled with …the violence of God”. He asserts that while the New Testament does not have the same reputation, it too is “filled with violent words and deeds, and Jesus and the God of the New Testament are complicit in this violence.

John Hemer asserts that the two primary approaches that Christian teaching uses to deal with “the problem of violence in the Old Testament” are:

  1. Concentrate more on the many passages where God is depicted as loving – much of Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, Deuteronomy.
  2. Explain how the idea of God as a violent punishing war monger is all part of the historical and cultural conditioning of the author and that we can ignore it in good faith, especially in the light of the New Testament.

In opposition to these two approaches, Hemer argues that to ignore or explain away the violence found in the Old Testament is a mistake. He asserts that “Violence is not peripheral to the Bible it is central, in many ways it is the issue, because of course it is the human problem.” He concludes by saying that “The Bible is in fact the story of the slow, painstaking and sometimes faltering escape from the idea of a God who is violent to a God who is love and has absolutely nothing to do with violence.”

Gibson and Matthews assert that many studies of violence in the Bible focus on violence in the Old Testament while ignoring or giving little attention to the New Testament. They find even more troubling “those studies that lift up the New Testament as somehow containing the antidote for Old Testament violence.” This apparent contradiction in the sacred scriptures between a “God of vengeance” and a “God of love” are the basis of a tension between the irenic and eristic tendencies of Christianity that has continued to the present day. Read  more >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_violence 

Sexuality in Bible:

Some passages are as follows:-

  • Ham’s actions in Genesis 9:20-25, are debated upon because of the vagueness of the script, but some[who?] interpret it as Ham doing something sexual with his father, Noah, while Noah was passed out drunk in his tent.[citation needed]
  • Lot has sex with his daughters after they get him drunk for the purpose of becoming pregnant in Genesis 19:30-36.
  • The sin of Onan (Genesis 38:8-10), which is often misinterpreted as masturbation[citation needed], was coitus interruptus or withdrawal. He was also violating the duty of Yibbum. Onan was struck down and killed by God because he “spilt his seed upon the ground” while he had a duty to impregnate his brother’s wife (to whom he was brother-in-law).
  • Genesis 38:13-24 tells the story of Tamar trading sex with Judah for ownership of a goat.
  • Exodus 20:14, as the seventh commandment, prohibits the act of adultery. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
  • Leviticus 18 lists several prohibitions concerning sex according to biblical rule.[1]
  • Deuteronomy 23:17-18 states the prohibition of prostitution. 17″(A)None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, (B)nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. 18″You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a [a](C)dog into the house of the LORD your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God. (New American Standard Bible)
  • Second Samuel 11:3-5 describes David with Bathsheba and his act of adultery with her. “3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ 4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child'”
  • Proverbs 5 shows how sexual sin causes scars and pain.

Bible Vulgarities & Obscenities:

The list is meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations–after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations–but it is the reader’s obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which s/he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not a vulgarity or obscenity is to some extent a matter of opinion. You are entitled to disagree with the author that these are, in fact, vulgarities or obscenities. One such passage from KJV Ezekiel 23:1-49  may suffice.

More on Bible:

Jesus Christ, Christianity and Bible

The Bible

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