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How Many Times Has The Bible Been Rewritten

The Oldest Texts Of Mark Do Not Contain Verses Which Appear In The King James Version Of The Bible

How the Bible has changed over the past 2,000 years

In the King James Versions Gospel of Mark, the resurrected Jesus appears to several people, including his closest followers, known as the disciples. In the oldest extant texts of Marks gospel, the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples is not present. The chapters of Mark following the Crucifixion were added sometime in the second or third century, what became in the King James Version Mark 16:9-20. These verses of Mark stand as proof of the Bibles being changed over the years, even some editions of the King James Version note that the verses are of questionable provenance. Some ancient sources which do include the additional verses contain notes questioning their authenticity.

Another ancient manuscript in Greek, known as Codex W, contains the longer version of Mark, with additional verses in the text which were evidently removed in later versions of the gospel. The version contained in Codex W has never been found in any other versions of Mark. Thus one book of the Bible, The Gospel of Mark, exists in at least three versions in the ancient Greek manuscripts, two of which are revisions which took place long before it was ever translated into English. The Gospel of Mark is the oldest of the canonical gospels, and was influential in the writing of those of both Luke and Matthew. Some scholars postulate that the additions to Mark which led to the longer version were made during the second century to make its ending more in line with Luke and Matthew.

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The Bible Today: Miraculous Of Not

Today the Bible is controversial for several reasons. For example, it is filled with miracles.

In the Old Testament, God parts the Red Sea, allowing His people to escape a hoard of angry Egyptians. In the book of Joshua, the sun is said to have stood still, while Jonah records a prophet swallowed by a large fish. In the New Testament the blind receive sight, Jesus walks on water and is resurrected after being executed on a cross.

In a largely naturalistic age, meaning belief only in the material world, miracles are often doubted. The supernatural anything beyond the natural world is dismissed or relegated to a second-class status. This often results in doubt about the Bible. Can we trust it to be true? Are we really expected to believe the supernatural events it records? This is a bias that defines miracles out of existence rather than reasoning that if God exists, then miracles are possible.

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The Addition Of Words Were Part Of Each Translation Of The Bible

The translators who produced the first edition of the King James Version in 1611 were given specific instructions regarding aspects of the work. The substitution of words was allowed for the purpose of improving readability. Supplied words, that is, words which were not translations from the original texts but which were added for the purpose of sentence structure were to be presented in a different type face. The procedure was not applied consistently by the companies which worked independently translating different portions of the Bible, and was barely used at all in the New Testament books. Subsequent editions and revisions corrected that discrepancy in some areas.

It was the translators of the King James Bible who removed Yahweh, which appeared as YHWH , and replaced it with The LORD, rendered in small capital letters. Where YHWH appeared with the Hebrew Adonai the translators presented it as Lord God, again in small capitals. IEHOHAH appeared in four of the Old Testament books, Exodus, Psalms, and twice in Isaiah. The Hebrew books of 1 and 2 Esdras were renamed as Ezra and Nehemiah respectively, a practice adopted from the Geneva Bible rather than the source documents, and 3 and 4 Esdras, which were in the Apocrypha, were renamed 1 and 2 Esdras.

New American Standard Bible

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The New American Standard Bible is a literal translation from the original texts, well suited to study because of its accurate rendering of the source texts. It follows the style of the King James Version but uses modern English for words that have fallen out of use or changed their meanings. It uses capital letters for pronouns relating to divinity, eg ‘there He sat down with His disciples’.

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The Oxford Edition Of The King James Version Of 1769 Is The Basis Of Most Printings Today

Blayneys Oxford edition, like that of the original translators in 1611, included the Apocrypha, though many of the cross references to the Apocrypha, included in the original translation, were removed, signifying further that the books were not considered scriptural. More than 24,000 changes, many of them standardizing spelling or adjustments to punctuation, exist between Blayneys 1769 Oxford edition and the 1611 edition produced by 47 scholars and clergymen. There still existed spelling and grammatical differences between the Cambridge and Oxford editions, but for the most part the Authorized Version had evolved to the same book which remains in print in the 21st century.

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Knowlege And The Bible

Sometimes Christians quote the Bible to prove the Bible. Most skeptics are rightly cautious of this approach.

Quoting the Bible to prove the Bible is viewed as being circular reasoning or illogical. After all, quoting the Bible to prove the Bible assumes the Bible is true, which is really the point of contention or discussion.

But if the Bible can be shown to be a reliable document, accurately recorded and transmitted through history, from God to us, then we can build a strong case that the Bible is indeed true.

Where Is The Original Bible

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Bible #1. The oldest surviving full text of the New Testament is the beautifully written Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered at the St Catherine monastery at the base of Mt Sinai in Egypt in the 1840s and 1850s. Dating from circa 325-360 CE, it is not known where it was scribed perhaps Rome or Egypt.

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The Translators Did Not Use Original Source Documents But Rather Handwritten Copies Of Them

The translators who produced the original edition of the King James Version had access to some, but by no means all, original source documents to be used as the basis of their new translation. Instead they relied on all previously completed English translations, including some which they had been specifically instructed to ignore, and on printed copies of the Bible in the original languages then available, as well as translations and commentaries written in Spanish, Italian, German, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syrian, and Chaldee. The polyglot of languages led to numerous stories in the Bible undergoing alteration from the originals.

The main source text was the Bishops Bible, which was itself by admission of the Archbishop of Canterbury who commissioned it, Matthew Parker, an inadequately scholarly translation. The translators also relied on the Geneva Bible, which had been heavily influenced by Calvinism. The translators of the King James Version introduced a number of verses which were not contained in either of the previous English translations, nor in the reproductions of the source documents on which they relied, as evidenced by later discoveries of ancient manuscripts. Later translations which omit these verses because they appear to have been written by the King James Version translators, rather than by the ancient writers of the original manuscripts, led to dissension among Bible scholars and defenders of the King James Bible.

How Bible Stories Evolved Over The Centuries

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A reproduction of a 3rd century papyrus of text from the book of John. Bill Warren/Center for New Testament Textual Studieshide caption

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A reproduction of a 3rd century papyrus of text from the book of John.

Many Christians believe that the words of the New Testament are set in stone. But scholars at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary are chronicling just how much those words have evolved over time.

For 11 years, they’ve combed through the earliest Greek manuscripts of each book in the New Testament and found more than 17,000 pages of variations. Their ultimate goal: the world’s first comprehensive, searchable online database showing how the New Testament has changed.

The database is already up. The first explanations go live this fall with two books of the New Testament Philippians and First Peter.

Now, scholars have known about many of these variations for years, but some of the changes might surprise many Christians.

How Mark’s and John’s Stories Changed

Take the story of Christ’s resurrection. As the gospel of Mark tells it, on the third day after the crucifixion, Jesus rose from the tomb and appeared to various people, including his disciples.

But Bill Warren, the professor leading the project, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that in the original manuscripts for Mark, the story of Jesus visiting the disciples is nowhere to be found.

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Change In The Name Of Clarification

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Many Of The Verses Present In The King James Version Are Interpolations That Do Not Directly Correspond To The Ancient Texts

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In the King James Version of the Bible, in the Gospel of Matthew, verse 18:11 reads, For the Son of man is come to that which was lost. The verse does not appear in the most ancient copies of Matthew, and when it does appear the oldest extant sample is after the 5th century. Most scholars believe Matthew to have been written in the 1st century. That it was added later is self-evident. The oldest complete versions of Matthew date to the 4th century, and do not include the verse. The verse, or one very similar, does appear in Lukes gospel, and was added to Matthew at a later date . Subsequent Bible translations often do not include the verse in Matthew, a point of contention among those who consider the King James Version infallible, but also clear evidence that the Bible has been changed over time.

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Who Decided Which Books To Include In The Bible

In his best-selling novel, “The Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown wrote that the Bible was assembled during the famous Council of Nicea in 325 C.E., when Emperor Constantine and church authorities purportedly banned problematic books that didn’t conform to their secret agenda.

Except that’s not how it really went. “The Da Vinci Code” was fiction, but Brown wasn’t the first to credit the Council of Nicea with deciding which books to include in the Bible. Voltaire, writing in the 18th century, repeated a centuries-old myth that the Bible was canonized in Nicea by placing all of the known books on a table, saying a prayer and seeing which illegitimate texts fell to the floor.

In truth, there was no single church authority or council that convened to rubber stamp the biblical canon , not at Nicea or anywhere else in antiquity, explains Jason Combs, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University specializing in ancient Christianity.

“Dan Brown did us all a disservice,” says Combs. “We don’t have evidence that any group of Christians got together and said, ‘Let’s hash this out once and for all.'”

What evidence scholars do have in the form of theological treatises, letters and church histories that have survived for millennia points to a much longer process of canonization. From the first through the fourth centuries and beyond, different church leaders and theologians made arguments about which books belonged in the canon, often casting their opponents as heretics.

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How Many Times Has The Bible Been Rewritten

Technically The Bible hasn’t been “rewritten.” It has only beencopied from original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and thentranslated to various languages from those originals.

Christian denominations hold to different sets of what they callthe cannon

You will have to look at the chart to see which books are holyfor which denomination

The bible has been rewritten to keep up with modern daylanguage, or it has been revised in order to be more soft forinstance for children, for black women, different ethnic groups,etc. There are literally thousands of denominations and newreligions being created all the time based off of the oldtestament, the New Testament, and the old and the new testament,for instance the mormons

Does This Mean That Mistakes In Copying Were Never Made

Why Are There so Many Versions of the Bible?

Thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts have been found. Some of these contain a number of differences, indicating that mistakes were made in copying. Most of these differences are minor and do not change the meaning of the text. However, a few significant differences have been discovered, some of which appear to be deliberate attempts made long ago to alter the Bibles message. Consider two examples:

  • At 1 John 5:7, some older Bible translations contain the following words: in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. However, reliable manuscripts confirm that these words were not in the original text. They were added later. * Thus, reliable modern Bible translations have excluded them.

  • Gods personal name appears thousands of times in ancient manuscripts of the Bible. Yet, numerous Bible translations have replaced it with titles such as Lord or God.

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    The Oxford Edition Of The King James Version Of The Bible Became The Standard In The English Protestant World

    Over the next one hundred years, and for many up to and including the present day, the Oxford edition of 1769 is the definitive Protestant Bible, though it too changed over time. Gradually, editions were printed without including the Apocrypha, and references and notes concerning the Apocryphal books vanished with them. Still other Bibles appeared, and inconsistencies and contradictions which occurred within and between editions led to scholarly debate. In 1833 Oxford produced an exact, line by line reprint of the 1611 version, though in modern typeface, and the differences between it and subsequent editions were readily apparent. In 1873 the Cambridge Paragraph Bible presented another version which identified the sources in the 1611 edition, presented in modern language and spelling.

    Both Blayney in 1769, and the editor of the Cambridge Paragraph Bible, Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, took the liberty of altering the texts where they felt the original translators may have been in error, though they used differing documents from some of those used in 1611. Scrivener used an ancient Greek document known as the Textus Receptus, which he compared with another ancient document, the Codex Sinaiticus , to arrive at conclusions regarding the accuracy of the original translation. Though the King James Version is almost completely unchanged since 1769, developments in the world of archeology and language since have produced many questions regarding its accuracy.

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    Does Our View Of The Bible Matter

    Liberal theologians sometimes point out that our view of the Bible doesnt really matter. So long as we gain strength and insights from it, they say, that is enough. Following this line of reasoning, they remove many miracles of the Bible or simply treat them as myths. This is a mistake, particularly when it comes to the Resurrection of Christ. Our view of the Bible matters immensely, especially if what it claims is indeed true. If it is, as we have argued, then our eternal destiny hinges on how we will respond to Christ and His calling. Will we reject Him or accept Him?

    There is much more that could be said on the matter of truth and the Bible. Learn more by checking out some of our other articles on the Christian Worldview.

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