Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Majority Text - Can it be trusted?

This earlier post reviewed the 4 main documents on which the Minority Text is based, and upon which most modern versions of the Bible rely. These 4 documents are corrupt, with many alterations, erasures, etc. and they don’t even agree with each other.

First of all, we must remember where the twisting of Scripture originated.

Hath God said…?”(Genesis 3:1) These are the first spoken words ever recorded by our enemy. And Satan has been trying to cast doubt on the credibility of God’s Word ever since.

So what about the Majority Text, upon which the King James Version and several other Bibles have been based? Can we trust that text?

The Early Christians knew which Scriptures were genuine. However, in the first 100 years after the originals were written, two false religions appeared:

Gnosticism – A combination of Christianity, Mysticism, and Pagan philosophy that denied that Jesus was both God and man, denied the virgin birth, resurrection, and ascension. (many liberal churches today are just repackaged Gnosticism). Gnostics believed they were “enlightened” to the truth.

Arianism – Denied the deity of Jesus Christ (Jehovah’s Witnesses come to mind)

These groups began producing false books that they said belonged in the Bible – and even falsely claimed that the books were written by Apostles themselves. They also changed the wording of true Scripture, altered, and removed passages according to their Gnostic/Arian beliefs. It was because of these groups that councils were held to once and for all declare which books of the Bible were truly God’s Word and which ones were false and to be discarded. By 300-400 AD it had been established by true Christians which books did indeed belong in the Bible we have today. It must be noted that at this time, the books were not chosen – they were simply confirmed in order to combat the Gnostic and Arian writings.

The Greek manuscripts which the Christian churches accepted as the true documents have been called the Majority Text, the Traditional Text, the Common Text, the Byzantine Text, the Syrian Text, the Ecclesiastical Text, and the Received Text. This text was used as the basis of translating the Bible into other languages, with one exception: the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome was based on the Alexandrian manuscripts of Origin, who is mentioned in the post on the Minority Text. Origin was a Gnostic and the Father of Arianism.

How many manuscripts is the Majority Text based on? Over 5000. Compare that to the mainly 3 or 4 documents on which the Minority Text is based.

Do the documents supporting the Majority Text agree with each other, or are they corrupted too?

Liberals (and interestingly, Muslims) like to say that we can’t be sure we have an accurate Bible today because it has been changed thousands of times over the years.

They are either uninformed or they are liars.

When liberal theologians count the differences in Scripture they deceitfully multiply the actual number of differences by the number of manuscripts that have the variant. For example, if one word varies and there are 3000 manuscripts with that variance, they claim it as 3000 variances instead of one.

Of the actual differences, only 1/8th of them are even worth the scrutiny. For instance, if thousands of the manuscripts all are in agreement, and then 3 manuscripts from one particular geographical region are all in agreement on one variance, then obviously this is either a purposeful alteration or a copying error. In fact, 1/60th of the 1/8th are such unremarkable differences that there is no reason for skepticism. For instance, there may be one word spelled differently, or a difference such as one text saying “Jesus said” and another saying “So Jesus said”. Hardly grounds for liberals’ claims that we can’t trust the authenticity of our Bible.

On the more serious variances, which make up about 1/1000th of the text, not one of the major fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith rest solely on any disputed passage. Though there are passages that are disputed, there are always many other non-disputed passages that support the core doctrines.

Bibles that were based on the Majority text include the The Tyndale version, Matthews Version ( a friend of Tyndale), The Great Bible Version, the Geneva Version, and the King James Version.

The King James Version was based on the Standard Greek Text , the Majority Text, which was the basis for nearly every Bible Translation from the 400s AD until the early 1900s. Assuming that the early Christians were correct that this Majority Text was the true text of Scripture, that means that the King James reflected the entire 1500 years of Christiandom leading up to 1611.

If your primary Bible is not a King James Bible, chances are it is based on the corrupted Minority Text. And if the text it is based on is corrupt, it stands to reason that the version itself is corrupted.

Is that important? You have to make that call. But I suggest you do it prayerfully. God promised He would preserve His Word. So did He?

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6 Comments:

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Neil said...

"many liberal churches today are just repackaged Gnosticism"

"They are either uninformed or they are liars."

Amen!

Thanks for the background on these posts.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Heath Loftis said...

Ms. Green could you explain to me either in a post or an email about the Wycliffe version, tyndale version, Great Bible version, and Geneva version. The reason being is because my knowledge of these versions are limited. Also if these use the majority text why do we not use them today like we do the KJV?

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Heath, that’s a great question.

I’m not sure I can unequivocably answer it correctly, but I suspect that preference has the most to do with the fact that the KJV is the preferred Majority Text Bible.

Tyndale translated the New Testament primarily, but what he did complete is available as a download here

I have to correct myself on one thing. Going back over my notes, the Wycliffe translation was actually NOT based on the Majority Text. I should not have listed his translation as such. My apologies . Wycliffe’s contribution was that he was the first person to translate the entire Bible into the English language. I will correct my post above to avoid confusing anyone.


I couldn’t find a Geneva Bible or Great Bible online or for sale.

I read recently that the Gideon’s Bible was also based on the Majority Text, but I can’t confirm that because I haven’t researched it. I know the WEB also makes that claim – but again, I don’t know enough about it.

I know some popular versions that are based on the Minority Text. Here are just a few:

NIV
RSV
ASV
The Amplified Bible
Good News for Modern Man
The Jerusalem Bible
The New American Bible
The Living Bible
The NASB
The Message

So it looks like the KJV is the Bible of choice if you want to stick to the Majority/Received Text

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous jfaniyi@yahoo.com said...

The Geneva Bible is available by downloading the free bible software e-sword at www.e-sword.com

Cheers

James E

BTW
Your website is pretty sound except for your rants against calvinism. You have a lot of scripture you must explain away to deny God's soverienty in salvation.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Thanks for the link, James. As for God's sovereignty, I am totally in agreement that God is sovereign. However, God in His sovereignty clearly gave man free will to choose to accept or reject Him. To follow the line of reasoning that Calvinism proclaims is to make God the author of sin, which is an affront to God's holiness. Man chose sin freely. Man chooses to reject or accept God's offer of salvation freely. God has sovereignly allowed us free will. We go to hell because we choose to reject the Savior, not because God foreordained it.

 
At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this whole study on calvinism is new to me and my wife, should I be concerned about this, seein our new pastor is a calvinist through and through, how can i refute this teaching?

 

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