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Old 13-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default The Septuagint v. the Masoretic Text (Bible)

A number of years ago, I undertook a brief survey of New Testament quotations of the Old Testament and compared those quotations with their source passages in the Old Testament itself, and I was shocked to find substantial discrepancies between the two. Here is just one example of many I could list:

Quote:
Acts 15.17 (New Testament, King James Version)
...That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Acts 15.17 tells us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called. Acts 15.17 is actually a quote from Amos 9.12, but when we compare the quote above with its alleged source in Amos 9.12 of the KJV Old Testament, we find a sharp disagreement:

Quote:
Amos 9.12 (Old Testament, King James Version)
...That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
Rather than telling us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called, as the New Testament quotes it, Amos 9.12 in the KJV would have us believe that the Jews will "POSSESS the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen..." Remember, Acts 15.17 is supposed to be a quote of Amos 9.12, but when we compare them, we see that they disagree sharply in content. How are we to explain this descrepancy?

The cause for the confusion rests in the fact that the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text instead of the Greek Septuagint. When we compare the quote of Amos 9.12 found in Acts 15.17 of the KJV with an English translation of Amos 9.12 from the Septuagint, we find a virtually perfect match:

Quote:
Amos 9.12(Old Testament, Brenton’s English Translation of the Greek Septuagint)
...that the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who does all these things.
While doing some digging on the subject, I learned that the New Testament, as a general rule, agrees with the Septuagint more frequently than with the Masoretic Text. But the Old Testament that I was using (the King James Version) was translated using the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. I also learned that the Septuagint is more closely aligned with the biblical manuscripts found in the Dead Sea scrolls as well, and the Dead Sea scrolls date back to the 2nd century BC, well before the New Testament was written.

As Wikipedia puts it, "Some of the attest to Hebrew texts other than those on which the was based; in many cases, these newly found texts accord with the LXX version [emphasis mine]." So not only does the Masoretic Text conflict with the Septuagint and New Testament, but it even conflicts with the Dead Sea scrolls, which predate the oldest manuscripts of the Masoretic Text by almost 1000 years.

It should not be surprising to learn that the Dead Sea scrolls indicate the existence of Hebrew texts of the Old Testament other than the Masoretic Text, firstly because the Dead Sea scrolls predate the Masoretic Text by 1000 years, and secondly because the Masoretic Text was redacted by the Masoretes (who of course rejected Jesus as the Messiah).

Wikipedia’s article on the Masoretic Text has this to say: "The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the between the seventh and tenth centuries ...it has numerous differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to (extant 4th century) manuscripts of the , a Greek translation (made in the 3rd to 2nd centuries ) of the Hebrew Scriptures that was in popular use in Egypt and Palestine and that is often quoted in the Christian New Testament."

My own brief survey, in which I compared Old Testament passages with New Testament quotations, was done using the King James Version of the Bible. As I said, I found significant disagreements between the two, and this is because the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Text, but the authors of the New Testament must have quoted from an Old Testament source that much more closely resembled the Septuagint.

Here is a short list of disagreements between New Testament quotes from the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament. My source for this is The Septuagint in the New Testament:


Quote:
Matthew relies on the Septuagint for the assertion that the Messiah's mother was to be a virgin (Matthew 1.23). Jesus himself follows the traditional Septuagint wording in condemning the Pharisees' traditions (Matthew 15.8-9 /Isaiah 29.13)... The Septuagint foretold that the Messiah's death would be unjust (Acts 8.32-33) and that the Gentiles would seek the Lord (Acts 15.16-17 /Amos 9.11-12). The Hebrew has the nations being "possessed" along with Edom. Paul knows that a remnant of Israel will be saved because he was reading the Old Testament in Greek (Romans 9.27-28 / Isaiah 10.22-23). Perhaps if his topic were the return to the Holy Land and not salvation, he would have found the Hebrew reading more suitable... Paul's thought that Jesus would rule the Gentiles also depends on a Septuagint reading (Romans 15.12 / Isaiah 11.10). The author of the book of Hebrews - to prove the deity of Christ - proclaims that Jesus is worshipped by all the angels of God (Hebrews 1.6 / Deut. 32.43). But the Hebrew Old Testament does not contain that verse. Also on the basis of the Greek Old Testament, that author asserts that the incarnation was prophecied (Hebrews 10.5-7 / Psalm 40.6-8) - that Jesus would have a body, which he would offer for our sanctification (Hebrews 10.10). The Masoretic text at this point stresses auditory capability. Finally, where the Masoretic text described a nonviolent suffering servant, the Septuagint prophesied a sinless Messiah (1 Peter 2.22 / Isaiah 53.9)...

Overall, the agreement in sense between the New Testament and the Septuagint is 93%. This compares favorably with the rate of agreement between the New Testament quotations and the Hebrew Old Testament, 68%.


There’s more to follow, but the basic point is that the Septuagint is more faithful to the original Old Testament than the Masoretic Text.
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Old 13-08-2008, 03:45 AM   #2
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The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament



The Masoretic Text, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the only existing representation of the Old Testament in Hebrew. The oldest fragments date from the 9th century AD, but the oldest complete texts come from the 10th and 11th centuries AD. However, the Hebrew text that it contains is clearly not the original Hebrew, nor even the Hebrew that was in use in the 1st century AD. The Hebrew of the 1st century AD was closely akin to the Greek Septuagint that we have today; this is clear because, although the Hebrew was little used, when it was used in ancient writing it was clearly in agreement with the Greek Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text. For example, although Philo and Josephus both used the Greek Septuagint, it is believed by most scholars that they frequently had access to a Hebrew Bible and even consulted it on a few occasions. It is through evidence like this that we see that the then current Hebrew disagreed with the Hebrew Masoretic Text of today. In the 1st century, the Christians and all other Greek speaking Israelites, including 1,000,000 of them who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, used the Greek Septuagint. Jesus and His Apostles wrote in Greek and quoted the Greek Septuagint. Of this there can be no doubt. This is a fact that can be confirmed in any encyclopedia or scholarly book on the subject. As we have already pointed out, we know this because the quotations of the Greek New Testament are [very closely] aligned with the Greek Septuagint, but in sharp opposition to the Hebrew Masoretic Text. There is, however, no reason to believe that they were in disagreement with the Hebrew that was current in the 1st century AD.

What we do know is that toward the end of the 1st century AD and into the 2nd century, the Talmudic, Edomite Jews were actively attacking the Greek Septuagint because it was used by the Christians. They felt that they could discredit the Christians merely for the reason that they used Greek, and at the same time, they began twisting the Hebrew Scriptures to try and disprove that Jesus was the true Messiah. This controversy roared on until at least the 4th and 5th centuries AD. We have already noted how the early Catholics attacked the Vulgate translation of Jerome because it was the first to be based upon Hebrew, and they continued for a very long time to use the Old Latin because it was based upon the Greek Septuagint. One of the most famous examples of how the Jews attacked the Greek Septuagint regarded the word virgin. The particular verse in question is Isaiah 7:14, which reads in the Greek Septuagint:

"Therefore, the Master Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will conceive in the womb, and will bring forth a Son, and you will call His Name Emmanuel."

In the Greek, the word for virgin is parthenos, and it literally means a virgin. In the Masoretic Text, however, the word is almah which means a young girl. The usual Hebrew word for virgin, and the word in every case translated virgin in the Revised Version, is bethuwlah. This verse is quoted from Isaiah in the Christian Scriptures in Matthew 1:23. The Jews attacked the Septuagint from the beginning because they claimed that it had been corrupted by the Christians and that the Christians changed the word in the Septuagint to read virgin instead of young woman so that it would support the reading in Matthew. Of course, the Edomite Jews did not believe that Jesus was the true Messiah; this was why they were attacking the Septuagint. The Jews are the ones who changed the Hebrew, replacing the word virgin with young woman. The early motive of the Edomite Jews was to destroy Christianity, not just the Septuagint. But the Christians did not give in, so the Jews changed their strategy. They instead decided to corrupt the Old Testament and gain control of the Christians by giving them a corrupted Old Testament. By the 3rd century they began collecting every Hebrew manuscript they could, and this was easy to do because the Christians used the Greek Septuagint and cared little for the Hebrew. They then began revising the Hebrew documents to support their Jewish contentions. By the time of Jerome, they began taking the soft approach and gave Jerome their new Hebrew for him to use in his translation. But, as we said before, the Christians at first rejected the Vulgate. So the Jews continued working on their text...

At the end of this time, all other Hebrew manuscripts except for the Masoretic Text disappeared. The fact is that they were destroyed by the same people who had gathered them up - the Talmudic, Masoretic Jews. Then the Jews began presenting themselves as the diligent preservers of the Hebrew Bible and began deceiving Christians. They no longer blatantly attacked the Septuagint but rather touted themselves as being faithful servants of God. To this end, when the Masoretic Text was finished, they counted every letter and word and contrived mechanisms to insure that the manuscripts would be faithfully transmitted, but they did not bother to account for the editing and corruption that they themselves had been doing for the previous 600-700 years. The early English translations of the Bible were based upon the Latin Vulgate, but the Jews intended to deceive the Christians into translating their Bibles from the Hebrew Masoretic Text. So their new strategy was to win over the stupid Christians, but the old motives were always there. At this time, they had to do an about-face on the issue of virgin. They had learned that the Christians would not accept the Hebrew as long as such blatant blasphemies were contained in it. This deception on the part of the mongrel, Talmudic Jews can be seen in an early Spanish translation of the Masoretic Text. Geddes MacGregor, in his book, The Bible in the Making (pg. 279) writes:
Translations of the Hebrew Bible into various languages, began to appear about that time. In 1422 Rabbi Moses Arragel translated the Scriptures from the Hebrew into Spanish, for the Christian Church and with the assistance of Franciscan scholars, and it is upon that version that the Ferrara Bible, printed in 1553, was based. This famous Spanish Bible was intended to serve the needs of both Jews and Christians. Certain deviations were made in the copies intended for Christian readers. For example, where the copies intended for Jews read 'young woman,' the copies set aside for Christian use put 'virgin.'


Through this means of deception, the Jews pulled off the grand deception when they convinced the translators of the KJV to use the Masoretic Text instead of the Latin or Greek. Today, the so-called "Christian" world believes in the lie of the Hebrew Bible, even though all Christians for the first four centuries of Christianity universally used the Greek Septuagint or a translation of it, including the Master Jesus the Anointed and His Ambassadors.

When this so-called controversy is examined from a purely textual point-of-view, then we find that the undisputed facts are the following, and I say 'undisputed' because these facts are admitted even by the most staunch supporters of the Masoretic Text.

In regards to the Masoretic Text, the manuscripts date from around AD1000. The manuscripts are admittedly altered from their original form, for vowel symbols have been added and the text has been revised in light of Talmudic tradition. The Masoretic Text is based upon the Hebrew which was rejected by the early Christians, who were the true Israel of God.

In regards to the Septuagint, the oldest manuscripts date to around AD325-350 (though fragments are much older). It was never purposely changed or edited, but the oldest texts of the Septuagint represent the oldest surviving descendants of an ancient translation made of the Hebrew in the 3rd century BC which was considered divinely inspired by most Judeans at that time. It was universally accepted by the early Christians for the first 400 years of Christianity and was used and quoted from by Jesus and His Apostles, who quoted from it under divine inspiration.

Again, the above facts are admitted even by the supporters of the Masoretic Text. What logic, then, is used to justify the use and preferment of the Masoretic Text? Those who use it believe that the Talmudic, Edomite Jews who murdered Jesus Christ are the chosen people of God and therefore the chosen preservers of God's Word. However, we are told the following by Jesus in John 8 regarding these same Edomite Jews who wrote the Talmud and created the Masoretic Text:

"You neither know Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you would have known My Father also. ...Where I go, you are not able to come ... You are from below; I am from above. You are from this world, I am not from this world. ... If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham. ... You do the works of your father. ... If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that one sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to hear My Word.. You are of your father the Diabolical One, and the lusts of your father you wish to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it" (AST).

Notice that Jesus said that these Edomite Talmudists were not capable of hearing His Word, they were not capable of doing anything but the works of their father, who was a liar from the beginning. Now this means that in no way were these Talmudic Jews, who later called themselves Masoretes, capable of being divinely inspired "preservers" of God's Word. Because of the Words of Jesus, we must assume this to be a blatant lie.

But even beyond these points, from a purely objective, scientific point-of-view, when we apply the science of Textual Criticism to this controversy, we must again decide in favor of the Greek Septuagint. We remember that the fundamental rule of Textual Criticism is usually that the older the text, the better, and the complete Septuagint version of the Old Testament outdates the complete Masoretic Text version by 650-700 years.

The second rule that we must implement is that not all manuscripts are of the same value. Again, this value issue is clear for these two witnesses: the Septuagint is representative of a 3rd century BC Hebrew text; the Masoretic is representative of a 7th-9th century AD revision of the Hebrew.

Thus, there can be no doubt as to which text is to be preferred. The Septuagint is superior in every way to the Judaized Masoretic Text (V. S. Herrell, The History of the Bible, p. 51-57).



Adam Clark's Commentary

Adam Clarke, an 18th Century Anglican Scholar, makes it clear that the work of the Masoretes is, in reality, a commentary which has been integrated into the body of Scripture. However, Clarke points out that the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text (Masoretic Hebrew) is quite different from the Hebrew of the Patriarchs, (Ancient Hebrew) in which Old Covenant Scripture was originally written.

In the General Preface of his commentary on the Scripture, published in 1810, Clarke writes:

"The Masorets were the most extensive Jewish commentators which that nation could ever boast. The system of punctuation, probably invented by them, is a continual gloss on the Law and the Prophets; their vowel points, and prosaic and metrical accents, &c., give every word to which they are affixed a peculiar kind of meaning, which in their simple state, multitudes of them can by no means bear. The vowel points alone add whole conjugations to the language. This system is one of the most artificial, particular, and extensive comments ever written on the Word of God; for there is not one word in the Bible that is not the subject of a particular gloss through its influence. This school is supposed to have commenced about 450 years before our Lord, and to have extended down to AD1030. Some think it did not commence before the 5th century A.D."

Even without adding to, deleting from, or changing a single letter of the Ancient Hebrew manuscripts of Scripture, pointing gave the Masorete power to dramatically change the meaning of almost any given passage of Scripture, for the prerogative of selecting vowels, is, to a large extent, the prerogative of selecting words! As a crude example, consider how the meaning of an English sentence might be changed by substitution of the word "poor" for the word "pure" – a substitution which may be effected by a simple change of vowels.

Clarke appears to be one of the few commentators who have seen fully the significance of the Masoretic Text – namely, that it is a new "version" of the Scripture, written in a new language. Obviously, Hebrew Scholars have been aware of this fact. They should have called attention to the difference between Ancient Hebrew and the language of the Masoretes, and should have differentiated the two, by use of names such as Ancient Hebrew and Masoretic Hebrew. However, the majority of Hebrew scholars are "Jewish", and thus cannot be expected to be objective and candid regarding such a matter.



Louis Cappel, Hebrew Scholar:

One of the first scholars to investigate the matter was Louis Cappel, a French Huguenot divine and scholar who lived from 1585 to 1658. Consider the following excerpt from the article, "CAPPEL, LOUIS," found in the 1948 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

"As a Hebrew scholar, he concluded that the vowel points and accents were not an original part of Hebrew, but were inserted by the Masorete Jews of Tiberias, not earlier then the 5th Century AD, and that the primitive Hebrew characters are Aramaic and were substituted for the more ancient at the time of the captivity. . . The various readings in the Old Testament Text and the differences between the ancient versions and the Masoretic Text convinced him that the integrity of the Hebrew text as held by Protestants, was untenable. This amounted to an attack upon the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Bitter, however, as was the opposition, it was not long before his results were accepted by scholars."
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Old 22-08-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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Was the NT Written in Greek or Hebrew/Aramaic?

http://members.libreopinion.com/phin..._the_bible.htm

The New Testament was written originally in Greek; of this there can be no question. Some men have tried to claim that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic and then later translated into Greek, but all...evidence points to the contrary: Paul wrote letters to believers in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse and Thessalonika, and only a fool would think that any of these people spoke Aramaic or Hebrew. He wrote to men with Greek names, such as Timothy (Timotheus) and Titus. Alexander the Great had conquered the known world three hundred years earlier and had introduced the Greek language throughout the world. Jesus and His students traveled throughout Greek-speaking areas, and the New Testament records that Jesus was able to speak Aramaic and did so when it was necessary, but Greek was still His primary language. Galilee was a Greek-speaking region in the 1st century (Matthew 4:15), and men like Mark and Luke show this in their Greek names.

The has been used by some men as a tool to claim that the New Testament was written in Aramaic. For example, some have claimed that the Peshitta dates to 200 AD, but this is known today to be entirely false. However, because men have passed it off as the oldest translation of the New Testament, even older than the oldest Greek texts, it has become quite popular recently to use the Peshitta as if it [were equal to or even better than] the Greek New Testament. One English translation is that of James Murdock, D.D., from 1851. He writes in Appendix II of that work:
"Among the Aramaean Christians the tradition is universal, and uniform everywhere, that this version was made at the time when Christianity was first preached ... and, of course, that it was made by some one or more of the primitive Apostles and Evangelists, or by persons who were their companions and associates. Some name Mark the Evangelist; others, Thaddeus the reputed Apostle of Mesopotamia ... the English, and also the Germans before the year 1800, very generally believed, and argued, that it must have been made either near the close of the first century, or early in the second century."
Murdock then goes on to try to make the case that it was translated by one of the Apostles and even hints that Jesus and the Apostles spoke Syriac, or a close dialect, and that it might be from their original writings. Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic dialect, and of course, Aramaic is related to Hebrew, so in truth this is nothing more than a way of arguing that the New Testament was written in Aramaic. This type of totally unfounded nonsense is still being repeated today, and for this reason many people believe that the Peshitta is somehow better than the Greek New Testament. But the Aramaic spoken in the 1st century was not Syriac, and the contention that the New Testament was written in any language but Greek is easily repudiated. Murdock is lying when he implies that the bulk of scholars, even at that time, believed in an early date for the Peshitta.

However, Murdock's contentions were taken one step further by George M. Lamsa, translator of The New Testament, According to the Eastern Text. According to the title page of what is now commonly called "The Lamsa Bible," it was translated from "original Aramaic sources." The lengthy introduction explains Lamsa's contentions, which are that the New Testament was written in Aramaic, and that the Peshitta is the faithful descendant of the original Aramaic text. He makes no distinction between the Old Syriac and the Peshitta manuscripts. Through Lamsa's Bible, a great number of deceived people today believe that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic and that later, as Lamsa says, it was translated into Greek.

There are many fallacies with Lamsa's statements, and any honest scholar is aware that these contentions are blatant lies. First of all, the language of the Peshitta is Syriac, not Aramaic. It is true, as stated before, that Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, but so is Arabic. They are not the same. The of the Peshitta did not become popular until about the 3rd century AD, and it must be distinguished from the Aramaic being spoken in the 1st century. Scholars call the Aramaic of the 1st century "Early Aramaic," and the Aramaic from which Syriac is derived is called "Late Aramaic." By the differences in the languages alone, and the evolution of the Syriac dialect, it can be shown that the Peshitta was not written before the 3rd century. Furthermore, by comparing the Peshitta texts with the Old Syriac manuscripts, it can be established that the Peshitta was not produced until the 5th century. Even if Rabbula did not produce the final form of the Peshitta, it is certain that he began the intermediate editing of the Old Syriac texts that led to the Peshitta.

Lamsa several times comments on how well-preserved the Peshitta manuscripts are, and that of the more than 300 texts, there is very little deviation. This is true. However, there is great deviation between the Peshitta and the Old Syriac which predates it. This is why Rabbula sought to make a vulgar or common edition of those texts in the first place, just as Jerome did with the Old Latin. So while the Peshitta shows little variation, that does not mean that it is a faithful reproduction of anything older than the 5th century, but Lamsa tries to argue that it is a faithful reproduction of the very oldest texts. This is an easily disproved lie.

One of Lamsa's biggest points is that Jesus and His Disciples spoke Aramaic, and therefore wrote in Aramaic. There are two major fallacies involved in this statement: one is that the Syriac of the Peshitta is not the Aramaic of the 1st century, and two, it is an undeniable fact of history that the predominant language of the time in the geographical areas of the New Testament was Greek. Jesus and a great number of the Disciples were from Galilee, and Lamsa contends that the Galileans spoke Aramaic. Again, history disproves this…We have mentioned before that Paul, a Greek-speaking Roman citizen, wrote the bulk of his letters to Greek cities and to Greek-speaking people. Furthermore, Jesus and His Apostles quoted the Greek Septuagint - of this there can be no question. In order to quote the Greek Septuagint, one must speak Greek.

The evidence is so overwhelming that the New Testament was written in Greek that I can say once again that not one shred of evidence exists that points to the New Testament being written in Aramaic, Syriac, Latin, or any other language besides Greek. The oldest Syriac manuscripts in existence date to the 3rd century; the oldest Greek manuscripts in existence date to 125 AD (although some have contended that this text dates to 90 AD). Additionally, it can be proven that the Greek texts are the source of all the Syriac manuscripts, whether Diatesseron, Old Syriac, or Peshitta.
As an example of this, let us look at the Greek New Testament where Jesus is quoted speaking Aramaic, and compare these passages to Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta. Mark 5:41 reads in the AST:
"And taking hold of the child's hand, He said to her, 'Talithe koum,' which is, being translated, 'Little girl, I say to you, rise up!'"
Now if these are the original words of Mark, then it is clear that he was writing in Greek because he found it necessary to translate the Aramaic into Greek so his reader could understand. Also, if the Peshitta were a translation made from the Greek, then it should show that these are the original words of Mark. Lamsa's translation of this passage reads:
"And he took the little girl by her hand, and said to her, Talitha, koomi, which means, Little girl, rise up."
Now if the Scriptures were written in Syriac or Aramaic originally, then a translation of the words talitha koomi would be unnecessary because the reader would naturally understand them. So if Lamsa's translation is correct, then it is impossible for the Syriac to be the original language of the New Testament. Even if the Syriac did not say that and Lamsa's translation is wrong, it still would not matter, because throughout the Syriac there is similar internal evidence that shows that it was a translation of the Greek, while the Greek shows no signs that it was a translation of the Syriac.

Knowing all of this, we need to look at why it has become a popular Jewish contention to claim that the New Testament was written in Aramaic. The...major reason is that claiming the New Testament was written in Aramaic helps the case for the Jewish Masoretic Text. Anyone can look at the Greek New Testament and see that the quotes from the Old Testament are from the Greek Septuagint. The Jews who support the Jewish Masoretic Text often resort to saying that the Greek New Testament is a corruption of the original Aramaic New Testament just as the Septuagint is a corruption of the Hebrew Old Testament. Of course, the reality is just the opposite, and the quotations as contained in the Syriac agree more with the Septuagint than the...Masoretic Text. For example, in Romans 3:11-18, the Apostle Paul quotes Psalms 14:1-3 from the Septuagint. Only Romans 3:11-12 are found in Psalms 14:1-3 as it reads in the Masoretic Text, but Romans 3:13-18 are found exactly, word for word, in the Septuagint and not in the Masoretic Text. This means that the Apostle Paul absolutely had to be quoting the Greek Septuagint, because these five verses only exist in the Greek Septuagint. Now the question is, are these five verses in the Peshitta? And the answer is yes. This means that the author of Romans spoke Greek because he quoted the Greek Septuagint, the only source for the quotation in existence, and then the Syriac was translated from a Greek copy of the book of Romans, because it also contains the quotation. Furthermore, this means that the Peshitta, or what Lamsa calls 'the Aramaic Bible' is a witness against the Hebrew Masoretic Text, and it is therefore ridiculous to assert that the New Testament was written in Aramaic...

Thus, we can say with certainty, in the light of over 5000 Greek witnesses to the New Testament, and based upon historical evidence, that it is an absolute impossibility that the New Testament was written in any language other than Greek.
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Last edited by kasalt; 22-08-2008 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 23-08-2008, 08:50 PM   #4
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Here are more examples of where the New Testament agrees with the Greek Septuagint but contradicts the Hebrew Masoretic Text. What I have done below is list the New Testament quote from the "Authorised Version" (aka ), followed by its source-text in the Old Testament, first from the Septuagint and then from the KJV Old Testament. Agreements between the New Testament and the Septuagint are in blue text; red text is used to highlight the divergence of the KJV Old Testament:


Hebrews 10:5 cf. Psalm 40:6

Hebrews 10:5 (KJV New Testament)
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me...

Psalm 40:6 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me...

Psalm 40:6 (quoted from KJV Old Testament)
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened...

Comment: Psalm 40:6 is regarded by Christians as a prophecy of the of Christ, and Hebrews 10:5 quotes it as such, but the Masoretic Text omits the key phrase entirely, replacing “but a body hast thou prepared for me” with “mine ears hast thou opened.” Note that the KJV New Testament and the Greek Septuagint agree with each other against the reading of the KJV Old Testament, which was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text.


Hebrews 1:6 cf. Deuteronomy 32:43

Hebrews 1:6 ( KJV New Testament)
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Deuteronomy 32:43 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him...

Deuteronomy 32:43 (KJV Old Testament)
Phrase omitted.

Comment: The Masoretic Text completely omits the phrase “and let all the angels of God worship him” from Deuteronomy 32.43.


Matthew 12:21 cf. Isaiah 42:4

Isaiah 42:4 is regarded by Christians as a prophecy of Gentile acceptance of, and faith in, the name of the Messiah, and Matthew 12:21 quotes it as such, but the Masoretic Text omits the key phrase entirely, replacing the phrase “and in his name shall the Gentiles trust with “and the isles shall wait for his law.” Note that the KJV New Testament and the Septuagint agree with each other against the reading of the KJV Old Testament, which was translated from the Masoretic Text:

Matthew 12:21 (KJV New Testament)
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Isaiah 42:4 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
He shall shine out, and shall not be discouraged, until he have set judgment on the earth: and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Isaiah 42:4 (KJV Old Testament)
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.


These contradictions prove two things:

1) It proves that the ancient texts have been altered to suit the agenda of the alterers,
2) It puts the lie to the claim that the King James Version is a perfect, "divinely-inspired translation". Obviously, if the New and Old Testaments of the King James Version contradict each other then the King James Version cannot be an inerrant document.
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Old 24-08-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
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The History of the Bible

by Pastor V.S. Herrell



http://members.libreopinion.com/phin..._the_bible.htm


The New Testament

We need to start our exploration of the New Testament by examining and understanding how the New Testament texts have come to be transmitted down to us. Before the invention of the printing press and modern-type paper, all ancient books were written by hand (thus the word “manuscript”), and were periodically recopied for preservation and circulation.

The original manuscripts are not extant today, for reasons we will see later, but a great body of witnesses does exist that points to the original words of the original manuscripts, and through the science of Textual Criticism we shall see how today we can come closer than ever before to knowing with certainty the original words of the New Testament.

With this in mind, let us look at the many different ways the New Testament has been transmitted down to us over the last 1900 years.

Uncials

Today, the uncial manuscripts are the most important of the Greek witnesses to the original text of the New Testament. They date from the 4th to the 9th centuries AD, and they are written entirely in large capital letters on vellum manuscripts or parchment. Because vellum was always at a premium, a number of conventions were taken to save space when preparing a manuscript on it. There are no spaces between the words, no punctuation, and often-used words, such as Jesus, Christ, and God, are abbreviated. The abbreviation technique was further applied to many common or obvious words where the last letter or syllable could be dropped off, just as we today abbreviate many words or shorten titles. Such shortenings were usually marked by a line drawn above the letter. Many of the texts have critical annotations in the margin and show the writing of more than one scribe and oftentimes of later correctors.

Vaticanus. The Vatican Manuscript, represented by the letter B, is the oldest of the great uncial codices and dates to the early 4th century AD. Until its recent release by the Catholic Church, it was kept hidden in the Vatican Library for at least 600 years. The manuscript was known by scholars to exist in 1475 when it was listed in a catalogue of manuscripts in the Vatican Library, and the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) portion of the manuscript was published in 1587 under the papacy of Pope Sixtus V. However, its New Testament contents were kept a guarded secret. This portion was not seen by scholars until 1815 when Napoleon captured Rome and brought the manuscript back to Paris, where it was studied for a short time. If not for this, it is certain that its contents would still be locked up secure in the Vatican Library today. The Catholic Church considers the manuscript dangerous because it shows so clearly how corrupt their Vulgate is and has become; for this reason it literally took a war before it was seen by scholars.

Dr. Samuel Tregelles, one of the important figures in Textual Criticism in the 19th century, was two-years-old when the Vatican Manuscript was brought to Paris. Later in his life, he would make another step toward finally allowing the text to be freed from Catholic lock and key. With knowledge of the New Testament portion of the manuscript now a matter of public record, Tregelles traveled to Rome to view the manuscript. However, when he arrived, as he later said, they searched his pockets before he could look at the manuscript, allowed him no writing instruments or paper, and two priests were assigned to watch him and distract him when he spent too much time on any particular passage. They also took the book away from him when he stayed on one page too long. Still, Tregelles managed to tell the scholarly world enough of what was in the manuscript that Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) would be forced to make copies of the Vatican Manuscript available to the leading libraries of the world. This pressure was aided by Konstantin von Tischendorf. Before Tregelles ever viewed the text, Tischendorf had waited several months and was finally allowed to see it for six hours. Later, after Tregelles' visit, Tischendorf returned and was allowed to view the text under similar circumstances as was Tregelles. However, Tischendorf managed to copy 20 pages of the text. When the priests found out, the text was immediately taken from him. He published those leaves in 1867, and then in 1868 the Vatican published the entire New Testament. It was not until 1881 that the Septuagint was released. Photographs were released in 1889-90.

Today, the contents of the manuscript are well known. It contains 759 vellum sheets out of an original 820 or so, probably antelope skins, about 10 5/8 inches square, with text in three columns. It contains the entire Bible, both New Testament and Septuagint, except for Genesis 1-46, Psalms 105-137, and the New Testament after Hebrews 9:14.

Sinaiticus. The Sinaitic Manuscript, represented by the symbol(Aleph), is the second oldest of the uncial codices (early 4th century), and it too has only recently, comparatively speaking, become available. The manuscript was found in May, 1844, by the great German scholar Konstantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874) in the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. In a fire-bin at the monastery, he noticed 129 sheets of a very old looking manuscript, the oldest he had ever seen. To his surprise, they were of the Greek Septuagint, and he suspected that he had found the oldest copy in existence. Tischendorf then found out that the monks had two other bins full of the text, but the monks, realizing the value, allowed him to have no more of the text. So Tischendorf returned to Germany only with the sheets that he had first found. The English government learned of Tischendorf's discovery and sent a man to try and find the rest and buy it, but he was not able to do so. Tischendorf contacted a friend in Egypt who had influence with the king to see if he could obtain the rest, but his friend soon wrote back:
"The monks of the convent have since your departure learned the value of the parchments, and now they will not part with them at any price."
Tischendorf himself returned to the monastery but was able to secure only one more sheet of the text. He did, however, learn that the entire Septuagint (his chief interest at the time) was contained in the manuscript. Again, in 1859, he returned to the monastery with a commission from the Tsar of Russia, but he could not find the rest of the manuscript. One of the monks, however, invited him into his cell where he showed him his copy of the Septuagint. To Tischendorf's surprise, it was the rest of the manuscript that he had seen back in 1844, and not only did it contain the rest of the Septuagint (with Apocrypha), but also the complete New Testament. Tischendorf tried not to show his excitement this time in front of the monk, but asked if he could look over it in his room. Tischendorf later wrote:
"And there by myself, I gave way to my transports of joy. I knew that I held in my hands one of the most precious Biblical treasures in existence, a document whose age and importance exceeded that of any I had ever seen after twenty years' study of the subject."
Still, it was not for another eight years, in 1867, that Tischendorf persuaded the Tsar to do what was necessary to obtain the manuscript for the Tsar's library and public access. Although Tischendorf had published a copy five years earlier, it was based upon hand-made copies of the actual manuscript. The Tsar paid the monks nine thousand rubles and gave them an Archbishopric in exchange for the codex. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Communist Jews gained control of the manuscript, but the English government purchased it from the Jews in 1933 for £100,000.
This Sinaitic manuscript is also written on vellum, with four columns per page and with two columns per page in the poetic books of the Septuagint. It was originally about 720 leaves, roughly 15 x 13 1/2 inches, but a great deal of the Septuagint portion has been lost. Only about 145 leaves of the Septuagint still exist, and these contain parts or all of Genesis, Numbers, I Chronicles, Esdras, Esther, Tobit, Judith, I and IV Maccabees, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Job. Fortunately, the entire New Testament is contained in the manuscript, and also the Epistle of Barnabas and part of the Shepherd of Hermas. In total, there are 393 leaves still existing.

Alexandrinus. The third oldest of the great uncial codices is signified by the letter A, and dates from the early 5th century. This manuscript, with two columns per page, has a nearly complete Septuagint, missing only ten leaves. The New Testament, however, is missing a total of about 37 leaves, with the bulk of those (25) missing from Matthew. 773 leaves still exist (630 of the Septuagint, 143 of the New Testament), measuring 12 5/8 x 10 3/8 inches.

This Alexandrine manuscript was owned in 1625 by Cyril Lucar, then Patriarch of Constantinople. A Calvinist and supporter of the Church of England, he sent the text to England as a gift to King James. It first came into the hands of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had played a role in the translation of King James' Bible. Obviously alarmed at what he saw, he stalled the presentation of the manuscript. In fact, King James died before he ever got it, and it was finally presented two years later to King Charles I.

This particular text was written in the 5th century, and had found its way into the hands of the Athonite monks of Egypt by the 10th century. It is unclear how Lucar, who was later killed by the order of the Sultan, acquired the text. Tradition holds that the text was written for Thecla, an Egyptian noble lady in 325 AD. This date, of course, is too early, but other evidence does point to an Alexandria, Egypt, origin.

Codex Alexandrinus is particularly important to the study of New Testament Greek because it contains the best extant text of the Revelation, and for the Septuagint because it contains the oldest complete text of several Old Testament books as well.

Ephraemi. Codex Ephraem is the fourth oldest of the uncials, dating from the 5th century, and is signified by the letter C. When the King James translators made their Bible in 1611, they certainly knew of the existence of Codex Ephraem, for it had been brought to Paris by Catherine de Medici (1519-1589). However, as far as they knew, it was just a 12th century copy of the theological writings of St. Ephraem, a Syrian church father from about 350 AD.
It was not until 1834 that Tischendorf applied a chemical treatment to the text and discovered that it was a palimpsest, that is, someone, wanting to make a copy of Ephraem's works, had rubbed out the 5th century copy of the Septuagint and New Testament and then wrote his works on top of it to save from having to buy vellum. Unfortunately, many of the leaves were ruined or thrown away, and today only 64 leaves of the Septuagint and 145 of the New Testament exist. It measures 12 1/4 x 9 inches, being written in a single column. No books of the New Testament are complete and II Thessalonians and II John are entirely missing.

Tischendorf also played a key role in the final availability of this manuscript, for it was he who, in 1843, published a copy of the New Testament and two years later the Septuagint.

Bezae. This manuscript, dating from the 5th century, is the fifth of the great uncials, but it is also the least trustworthy of the five. It is typical of the Western texts, and shows its Catholic influence in the fact that it is a diaglot of Latin and Greek, that is, it parallels the Greek and Latin facing each other on the pages. It is interesting to note that frequently the Latin and Greek are in total disagreement.

It is missing a great deal of the New Testament, and has none of the Septuagint, but the passages it does contain are heavily interpolated with Catholic insertions, some of which have survived into the Textus Receptus, but none of which can be considered original. The Calvinist Theodore Beza discovered the manuscript in Lyons in St. Irenaeus in 1562, although Robert Stephanus had apparently seen the text and used it somewhat in the preparation of a Greek New Testament in 1550. Beza, however, claimed it, and in 1581 gave it to Cambridge University. There it was accessible to the King James translators. It is important to note that the Calvinists readily made available this corrupt text to the King James translators, but they sat on the more valuable and more accurate Codex Alexandrinus.

Codex Bezae is of little textual value, but it is useful for typifying the Western or Catholic expansions into the Greek texts.
Others. There are nearly 300 other uncial manuscripts. Of these, none are complete New Testaments, but some of them are very old (perhaps even older than the ones discussed above), and for the portions that do exist they are very good witnesses. Others are just later copies of the five manuscripts mentioned above or some like them, and contain a multitude of errors all their own.


Minuscules

There are literally thousands of minuscule type manuscripts of the New Testament in existence, and they are of secondary importance to the uncial type manuscripts. Minuscule texts are written in running hand or cursive, with or without spaces between the words. All date after the 9th century, when minuscule-type texts began to replace the uncial manuscripts. Even though these texts are more recent than the uncials, they are still important in that they may point to a very ancient uncial text from which they were taken.

Major Families. The minuscule manuscripts can, for the most part, be placed into families or groups. This is because the minuscules can be compared to one another and many show the same set of common errors or idiosyncrasies, showing that they have a common origin or a common source manuscript from which they were copied. The different families can then be given relative value. This makes comparing the many thousands of minuscule texts much easier, as there are nearly 2800. The different texts within a family can also be used sometimes to reconstruct an uncial text that no longer exists, but which was the basis for the minuscule copies.


Papyri

The papyrus manuscripts are certainly some of the most important tools in ascertaining the original text of the New Testament. In fact, the New Testament was originally penned down on papyrus scrolls. We have been aware for quite some time how papyrus was made by the Greeks and Romans, but until the 19th century we had no papyrus manuscripts. Papyrus becomes brittle when dry and rots when damp, and therefore very few texts have survived. Thus, this most important tool has only recently become available to us.

Papyrus was made by taking the Egyptian papyrus plant and cutting the stems into sections and removing the pith; this pith was cut into thin strips, which were laid beside each other, and then another layer laid down at right angles on top of the first; finally, the layers were beaten together to form a sheet, which could be pasted together to form a scroll. These scrolls, which were rolled out horizontally rather than vertically, were usually about 10 inches in height and no longer than 35 feet (although one scroll known to exist is 133 feet in length). The typical scroll might hold something the length of one of the Gospels. The text is written in columns 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide, about 5/8 of an inch apart from one another, and the text was usually only on one side, the side on which the fibers were placed horizontally. Sometimes both sides would be utilized, but only if the work was particularly long or papyrus was at a premium. This practice is even alluded to in the Bible in Ezekiel 2:10 and Revelation 5:1. However, the papyrus manuscripts that have come down to us are in codex form, with only four being actual scrolls. Whether this was how the books were originally written or not is a subject of debate.

Papyrus was used universally until vellum displaced it in the 4th century, and because papyrus is not durable, no complete or nearly complete copies of the Bible, Old or New Testament, predate that time. However, our oldest witnesses to the text of the New Testament are papyri. In fact, p52 dates from c. 125 AD. It is a fragment of a codex of the book of John (18:31-33, 37-38), and though not all that important regarding the reading of the text, it is very important in showing the early circulation of John's Gospel at that time. Other early important papyrus manuscripts include: p45, from the 3rd century, containing portions of all the gospels on 30 leaves; p46, from c. 200, containing on 86 leaves most of the letters of Paul and the Book of Hebrews; p75 from between 175-225 AD, containing on 102 pages most of Luke and John; and p72, from the 3rd to 4th centuries, containing parts of I and II Peter and Jude.

As can be seen from this small portion of the list of nearly 100 papyrus manuscripts, a great portion of the New Testament text dating back well into the 3rd century [perhaps even 2nd century] can be obtained.


Versions

The versions are secondary witnesses to the original text of the New Testament. A version is any translation of the Greek New Testament into another language. We, of course, are only interested in ancient versions because they were translated from very early copies of the Greek manuscripts. Although the versions are not always very useful when it comes to precise grammar or spelling, since, of course, they have been translated into another language, they are very useful in regards to interpolations of words, phrases or verses. For example, if we know that the Pericope of the Woman Taken in Adultery is absent from syrs, a 4th century Syriac translation of the Gospels, then we know that it was absent from the Greek manuscript from which this Syrian version was translated, and this Greek manuscript would be very old, certainly predating the 4th century, and it might have even been 200 years old when the translation was made. Whether it was this ancient or not is of little concern, because we can at least establish that a Greek manuscript commonly being circulated prior to the 4th century did not contain the Pericope. So in this respect, the ancient versions are invaluable. However, it should always be remembered that versions are still only translations, and as such they have all the problems associated with them that we find associated with any translation. By the time we translate one of these versions into English, we only compound its errors, whether it be word choice and the misunderstanding of definitions and usage and idiosyncrasies of the languages, or whether it is the theological prejudice of the translator.

Old Latin. Contrary to what might be assumed, the Greek texts were used for the first two centuries of this era in Rome. In fact, nearly everyone in Rome was bilingual, speaking both Greek and Latin. For this reason, it is unclear where the first Latin translations of the Scriptures were made, some believing Rome, some Pompeii, some Antioch, and some Egypt. It is also unclear when the first Latin translations were made, but if not in the latter part of the 1st century, they were certainly made in the 2nd century. At any rate, the oldest of the Old Latin texts we have today (other than papyrus fragments) dates to the 4th century. There are roughly 65 Old Latin texts that are of concern to the student of the New Testament texts, and they are signified by the letters 'it' with a superscript indicating the particular text.

Vulgate. By 382 AD, there were already a great number of Old Latin manuscripts in existence, and among them were a great number of contradictory readings. Thus, Pope Damascus asked Jerome to create a uniform text, or a common, vulgar text. Many people do not understand that the Vulgate was not an entirely new translation, but was rather a revision of the texts that already existed. What this meant to Jerome was that he was not allowed to deviate too far from the texts that already existed, even if the Greek witnesses had clearly shown him that a particular reading was not original. It is known that he completed his revision of the Gospels in 384, but some doubt whether he finished the rest of the New Testament, for in his later writings he uses a Latin text unlike the oldest Vulgate that we know of, indicating that the rest of the New Testament was done later, perhaps by another person, and then merged with Jerome's Vulgate of the Gospels and the Old Testament. Jerome's Old Testament, after consultation and education from Jewish rabbis, was based upon the Hebrew, although he originally had intended just to revise the Old Latin.[1] The Vulgate was not (at first) widely accepted by the Catholics. In fact, Augustine praised Jerome's New Testament work but continued to use and preferred the Old Latin Old Testament which was based on the Septuagint. F.G. Kenyon comments:
With the Old Testament, for which, as described above, he eventually deserted the Greek of the Septuagint and made a fresh translation from the Hebrew, we have nothing here to do. When Jerome's work was completed about 404, it encountered hostile criticism, occasioned not so much by the revision of the Old Latin in the New Testament, as by the wholesale changes caused by the abandonment of the Old Latin (and the LXX from which it was translated) in the Old Testament. ... Consequently its adoption was gradual, and in the process it suffered much contamination.

Thus, the Old Latin represents a far better translation than does the Vulgate, both in substance and in style. The oldest of the Vulgate manuscripts are from the 4th and 5th centuries.

Old Syriac. There are six Syriac manuscripts which are of importance and the manuscripts themselves date from between the 4th century and the 7th century. When the original Syriac translations of the New Testament were made is unknown, but it was perhaps as early as 200 AD. This family is designated by 'syr'.
Peshitta. The Peshitta, or Vulgate Syriac, is a revision of the Old Syriac manuscripts done in much the same way as Jerome's revision of the Old Latin, hence the name. It is believed to have been done by Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa, between 411-35, and some of the nearly 320 manuscripts that still exist do indeed date back to the 5th century, although it is unclear whether they are originals.

Philoxenian and Harklean. These two versions are also both in Syriac. Polycarp produced the Philoxenian Version for Bishop Philoxenus in 508. In 616, Thomas, Bishop of Harkel, either revised or re-edited the Philoxenian manuscript in light of additional Greek witnesses, and also made marginal notes.

Palestinian Syriac. The existing texts so-called by this name are no older than the 11th or 12th century, and are nothing but lectionary fragments. It is believed, however, that the manuscript was made in the 5th or 6th century, and that it shows some of the most ancient Syriac readings, since it is based on more ancient Syriac translations.

Coptic. Coptic was the language of Egypt, and was originally written in hieroglyphs, but by the 1st century it was written with upper case Greek letters (and six additional letters for the Coptic language's peculiar sounds). There are two main Coptic versions, the Sahidic and the Bohairic. The manuscripts of the Sahidic, designated by the symbol copsa, date to the 4th century AD. Those of the Bohairic (copbo) date to the 9th century AD. These are the most important of the Egyptian texts, although some fragments of the New Testament translated into the Achmimic and Fayyumic dialects do exist. In fact, nearly the entire Gospel of John exists in the Achmimic dialect, dating to the 4th century, and there exists also a nearly complete copy of John in the Fayyumic dialect from the early 4th century.

Armenian. Armenia was Christianized by the Syrians in the 3rd century AD, but it is a subject of debate whether the Armenian version is translated from Syriac, Greek, or both. The manuscripts that exist today are not as ancient as some of the other versions, but they too point to an early text type, suggesting that they were translated from an early Greek source or from an early Syriac source. For example, the oldest of the Armenian manuscripts omit the ending of Mark and the Pericope of the Woman Taken in Adultery.

Georgian. The best of the extant Georgian manuscripts date from the 10th century, but most of the New Testament had originally been translated as early as the middle of the 5th century (the Revelation was not translated until 978). Like the Armenian, it is unclear if the parent text was Syriac or Greek. Also, like the Armenian, the ending of Mark is omitted in the best manuscripts, but other curious Syriac interpolations are contained in it.

Ethiopic. The earliest Ethiopic text is from the 6th century and carries little weight in the study of the New Testament. The manuscripts themselves are no older than the 10th century.
Arabic. The Arabic texts are of little value. It is unclear when the first translations were made into Arabic, and it also unclear what the source language was; that is, whether it was translated from the Syriac, Greek, etc. All of the texts seem to have undergone a revision in the 13th century that further complicated the matter.

Gothic. The Gothic version was made in the 4th century for the Goths in Moesia by Bishop Ulfilas. Originally, the Gothic Version contained the Old Testament from the Septuagint and New Testament from the Greek, but most of the text has been lost. The oldest substantial amount is from the 5th century. This is the earliest representative of any literature in the Teutonic language.

Nubian. In the beginning of this century, a great number of papyrus fragments were found containing a few dozen verses in the Nubian dialect. Some of these fragments might be as old as the 4th century AD.

Sogdian. The manuscripts of the Sogdian are very similar in form and in discovery as the Nubian.

Others. Besides these, there are fragments and portions of the New Testament in many other languages, dating anywhere from the 4th century to the 12th and 13th centuries. The most notable are the Old Persian, Slavonic, and the Anglo-Saxon, but like the Nubian and Sogdian they are of little textual importance. They are important, however, in determining how interpolations and textual families have spread throughout the world.


Other Witnesses

The other witnesses that we have not yet discussed are neither versions nor copies, but are commentaries or documents wherein Scripture was used. The problem with this type of witness is that it is dependent on the honesty of the person who was quoting it. Often, men would slightly twist or modify their quotations to better support their theological positions. Many times, however, the men just quoted from memory or sometimes paraphrased. Still, however, where enough of a quotation exists to be tested against the known text, these witnesses are useful.

Church Fathers. What are called the "Church Fathers" or "Patristic witnesses" are usually commentaries or early sermons on the New Testament (and in many cases the Septuagint) by early writers. These witnesses exist chiefly in Greek and Latin, but also in other languages such as Syriac, and from them nearly the entire New Testament can be reconstructed.

Their value is debatable. On the one hand, the same textual issues arise with the texts of the Church Fathers as with any other manuscript. How do we know that we have the original text of the Church Father? How do we know that his text was not later corrupted? If he wrote in Latin or Syriac, how do we know how faithful his translation of the Greek New Testament was? Did the Church Father lie about a passage or misquote a passage of the New Testament to support his particular heresy? Also, did the writer intend to quote a verse verbatim or only paraphrase the passage? Still, however, if the student of the witnesses understands the circumspect nature of these texts, a great deal of information can be ascertained from them.

For example, many Church Fathers give alternate readings of a passage that they were aware of at the time of their writing. Also, depending upon who quoted a particular interpolation and when he quoted it, we can pinpoint whether an interpolation was of a Western or Byzantine nature, and when it had crept into the texts.

For example, at the time of the Arian controversy, there were many ancient Church Fathers who wrote regarding the controversy and took sides on the issue. However, none of these early Church Fathers, on either side of the issue, say anything about I John 5:7, the famous trinity verse. If this interpolation had then existed in any manuscripts, it is almost certain that one side or the other of the controversy would have made use of the verse. But neither does. This allows us to state as a certainty that no version of the early Scriptures contained this verse at the time of Arius.

Lectionaries. Lectionaries were prepared texts of passages from the Bible that were meant to be read each Sunday. They are put in a specific order and collated to form a year's readings (or some other specific period of time). They are in effect another type of manuscript of the New Testament except that the passages are in a different order and are usually annotated, showing the beginning and ending of each passage.

Diatessaron. The Diatessaron does not really fall into any of the classifications already discussed. It was made somewhere around 150 AD by Tatian the Assyrian, and it was originally made in Syriac. He took the four Gospels and wove them together into a continuous stream so that the Diatessaron contained all the various tidbits that are in each separate Gospel, omitting the readings that were held in common. So it might be called the first "Parallel Gospel," for after reading the Diatessaron, one had read all the information in all four Gospels. Today, the Diatessaron exists in Greek and Syriac fragments.
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Old 27-08-2008, 05:01 AM   #6
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Dead Sea Scrolls


The Dead Sea Scrolls, or Qumran Documents, preserve a body of literature belonging to the Essenian cult, as well as portions of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic. The documents date to before and during the 1st century AD, some as ancient as the 2nd century BC. However, the manuscripts themselves are of little value for several reasons. First of all, the Israeli government has kept the documents from the general public, so an exhaustive study of their textual content is unavailable. The reason that the Jews have kept a hold on the documents is clear from what documents and statistics have been released. They even fought the Six Day War to gain control of the documents. The Qumran Scrolls of the Old Testament agree with the Septuagint version of the Old Testament to a far greater degree than they agree with the Masoretic Text. Thus, from a statistical point of view, the Dead Sea Scrolls are dangerous to the Jews. At the same time, however, for the most part, the Dead Sea Scrolls do not agree with either the Masoretic Text or the Septuagint, but preserve another type of reading altogether. Thus, the second reason why the Dead Sea Scrolls are of little value is because the Essenes could best be described as crazy. They were a Jewish sect who lived apart from women in a strict, ascetic environment, and, judging from the perverted nature of their other literature, we cannot trust their Old Testament documents simply because they would have been inclined to corrupt the documents to their own benefit. Much the same can be said for the Samaritan Pentateuch, which is essentially a Hebrew copy of the first five books of the Bible written in Samaritan lettering and used by the Samaritans. Much analysis has been done on this work and it contains many places where passages were rewritten to support the positions of the Samaritans. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, it does not entirely support the Masoretic Text or the Septuagint, but on the average, it supports the Septuagint. Bratton comments:
"But, in spite of orthographic variants, dogmatic changes, interpolations, grammatical corrections of the Hebrew, and accidental scribal errors, the Samaritan Pentateuch in many respects represents a more reliable text than the Masoretic Old Testament, particularly when it agrees with the Septuagint in varying from the Hebrew [Masoretic Text]."
Again, much the same could also be said for the Dead Sea Scrolls, but in any case, the only reliable copy of the Old Testament in any language existing today is the Greek Septuagint.

It should be noted that some of the Hebrew documents from the 2nd century BC preserved in Qumran may predate any Essene tampering. In other words, many of the Dead Sea Scrolls are from a later date after the Essenes were already thriving and producing their own literature, but some of the documents are from the 2nd century BC. These documents are of the greatest value because they contain little or no Essene tampering. Again, however, these manuscripts have not been properly analyzed because the Jews have not let the public see all of them. However, some scant information has been released regarding these most ancient texts. Lampe comments:
From Qumran caves one, four, five and six come biblical texts in Hebrew which, according to reports, are related to the parent text of the Septuagint historical books. Particular interest attaches to Samuel fragments from cave four, because the text-form shows more obvious affinities with the Septuagint than do the others. Of course, it has long been agreed that the parent text of the Septuagint Samuel contained recensional divergences from the Massoretic Text.
What this means is that the oldest existing Hebrew manuscripts agree with the Septuagint, not the Masoretic Text. The importance of Lampe's comment on Samuel is that Jews and Judeos have long argued that the differences in the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text are due to faulty translation on the part of the Septuagint translators, not due to the translators actually having a different Hebrew text than that represented by the Masoretic Text. However, these Hebrew copies of Samuel from the 2nd century BC show clearly that the Hebrew then current was accurately translated in the Greek Septuagint. This means that the Hebrew was later corrupted and changed, and thus the Masoretic Text represents a corrupted and altered version, but the Septuagint represents the ancient original Hebrew. It is information of this sort of which the Jews are so afraid. It is because of this information that the Jews will not release all of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Indeed, Lampe reluctantly comments that the Jewish interpretation of the differences between the Septuagint and Masoretic Text is wrong:
"The present discovery obviously supports the second alternative [that the Hebrew text originally agreed with the Septuagint], and it may be assumed that since the rendering of Samuel is demonstrably a fairly literal translation of the Hebrew parent text the presence of interpretation elsewhere, at least in the historical books, should be admitted only where no other explanation is possible."
We notice how Lampe still tries to defend the Jewish contention. Again, the Jewish contention is that the Septuagint translation is different from the Masoretic Text because of Hellenistic interpretation. But the best evidence on this matter indicates that the Septuagint is, as Lampe himself admits, a literal translation of the original Hebrew. This demands the conclusion that the Masoretic Text is not identical with the original Hebrew, but is a Talmudic, atheistic, Jew perversion. The Judeo, Jew-lackeys like Lampe continue to believe in the divine preservation of the Old Testament Scriptures in the Talmudic, Masoretic Text.

The best work comparing these ancient Hebrew manuscripts with the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text has been done by Eugene Ulrich in his book, The Qumran Text of Samuel and Josephus. From this book we learn that about 10% of I and II Samuel are preserved in the Qumran manuscripts in Hebrew. Ulrich compared these fragments with the Greek Septuagint, the Hebrew Masoretic Text, and the quotations of Samuel by Josephus. Ulrich found readings in these texts which support several arguments. For example, he identified passages where the Qumran version differed from both the Septuagint and the Masoretic readings, while the Septuagint and the Masoretic agreed with one another. He also found instances where all three manuscripts differed from one another, preserving three different readings. What this information indicates is that the Qumran text has problems of its own, where a number of errors either accidental or intentional have crept in. However, these errors seem to be in the minority. The number of readings fitting one of the above descriptions is very small, and most can be explained. The most convincing findings in Ulrich's study concern the number of times the Qumran text corresponds with the Greek Septuagint and not the Masoretic Text as compared with the number of times the Qumran text agrees with the Masoretic Text and not the Greek Septuagint.

For the amount of I and II Samuel that Ulrich was able to compare, which accounted for less that 10% of I and II Samuel, he found 183 readings where the Qumran text corresponds with the Greek Septuagint and not the Masoretic Text. Conversely, he found 18 readings where the Qumran text agreed with the Masoretic Text and not the Greek Septuagint. Of these 18 readings, several of them can easily be explained as common textual errors in the Qumran text and the Masoretic Text. In other words, it can be seen where the same error occurred in the Qumran and the Masoretic Texts, but that the Septuagint preserves the original reading. Thus, there are probably only 9 or 10 actual discrepancies. The same cannot be said for the 183 readings where the Septuagint agrees with the Qumran text but not the Masoretic Text.

If we extrapolate these numbers for the entire books of I and II Samuel, remembering that only about 10% could be analyzed, then we would find over 1800 times where the Qumran and Septuagint texts agree with one another but not with the Masoretic. Similarly, there would be less than 100 instances where the opposite is true, and most of these errors can definitely be shown to belong to the Qumran and Masoretic Texts. Thus, in other words, we find that the oldest Hebrew in existence convincingly shows that the Greek Septuagint is much more accurate than the Hebrew Masoretic Text and that the Masoretic Text, if it could be fully compared with a full-length version of the ancient Hebrew, would contain tens of thousands of mistakes which the Septuagint would not contain.

Furthermore, Ulrich was able to analyze II Samuel 6 in detail. What he found was nearly 100% agreement (if minute differences in spelling are ignored) between the Qumran text and the texts of Josephus and the Greek Septuagint, and, at the same time, striking differences between these texts and the Masoretic Text. Again, this is confirmation that the Greek Septuagint corresponds with the original Hebrew Old Testament and that the Hebrew Masoretic Text contains thousands of errors, most of which are the result of Jewish tampering. The early Christians understood this, and like the Israelites who first translated the Greek Septuagint in the 3rd century BC, they believed that the Greek Septuagint was the product of divine inspiration.


Jerome


The first time we see any debate over the inspiration of the Septuagint is at the time of Augustine and Jerome. Augustine held the traditional view that the Septuagint was a product of divine inspiration, but Jerome was the first to contend that it was not. Curiously, he began having these opinions after his training by the Jewish rabbis. When we discussed the Vulgate, we pointed out that Jerome and his work was condemned by his contemporaries. Jerome slowly began to appear more and more Jewish in his positions as he got older and his Jewish friends began to have more influence. He spent 34 years living in Palestine with his Jewish friends. Jerome originally intended to use the Greek Septuagint in his preparation of the Vulgate, and even began his work using the Septuagint. He compared it to the Hebrew texts he had and the other Greek translations, such as Aquila's. By 384 AD, even though Jerome had already started his association with the rabbis, he still knew enough truth to write in Letter 32 to Marcella,
"You ask what business can be so urgent as to stop me from a chat on paper. Let me tell you, then, that for some time past I have been comparing Aquila's version of the Old Testament with the scrolls of the Hebrew, to see if from hatred to Christ the synagogue has changed the text; and - to speak frankly to a friend - I have found several variations which confirm our faith."
When Jerome wrote this, he was still revising the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint to form the Vulgate, and even he realized how the Jews were trying to corrupt the Scriptures. At some point, however, his opinions drastically changed, or else he had been lying to the Christians all along as a Jew subverter. Some have theorized that his sudden about-face concerning his Septuagint position was due to an affair he was having with a possible Jewess, but whatever the reason, he later took an entirely Jewish position regarding his work on translating the Hebrew into Latin, starting in 391. Lampe writes:
"There are frequent references to the versions of the later Greek translators, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, and in many places he sets forth the views of learned Jews. Indeed, he says more than once that part of his purpose was to give to Latin ears the erudition of 'the masters of the synagogue.'"
When Jerome began behaving more and more Jewish, one of his former friends, Rufinus, wrote public attacks of Jerome's Jewish leanings. Rufinus writes in his Apology of Jerome,
"... in which, in recounting the various teachers whom he hired, as he says, from the Jewish synagogue ... It is of Barabbas whom, unlike me, he took as his teacher from the Synagogue, and of Porphyry by whose introduction he and not I had his introduction into Logic. Pardon me for this that I have preferred to be thought of as an unskilled and unlearned man rather than to be called the disciple of Barabbas. For, when Christ and Barabbas were offered for our choice, I in my simplicity, made choice of Christ. You, it appears, are willing to join your shouts with those who say, 'Not this man but Barabbas.' And I should like to know why Porphyry, that friend of yours who wrote his blasphemous books against our religion, taught you? What good did you get from either of those masters of whom you boast so much, the one drawing his inspiration from the idols which represent demons, the other, as you tell us, from the Synagogue of Satan. ... From that other friend of yours, Barabbas, whom you chose out of the synagogue rather than Christ, you learned to hope for a resurrection not in power but in frailty, to love the letter which kills and hate the spirit which gives life, and other more secret things, if occasion so requires, shall afterwards in due time be brought to light."
In this condemnation of Jerome, Rufinus purposely changes the name of Jerome's Jewish teacher Baranina to Barabbas so that he might connect Jerome with the Jews who shouted for Jesus to be crucified instead of Barabbas. The intent of Rufinus is clear: he is stating that Jerome has given himself over to do the bidding of the Jews. He also notes some of the theological consequences of this: Jerome began teaching a physical resurrection and asceticism. Rufinus, an ardent supporter of the Greek Septuagint, says that he chose Christ, not the Jew Barabbas or Baranina from the Synagogue of Satan. Jerome, in response to this work of Rufinus, freely admits the truth of Rufinus's claims. Jerome writes in his own Apology,
"There is nothing to blame in my getting the help of a Jew in translating from the Hebrew."
Elsewhere, Jerome defends specific instances of blatant Jewish influence in the Vulgate, saying that he did not understand how Jewish interpretations here and there would undermine the faith of Christians. This sounds like something one of his Jew rabbis whispered in his ear. Today, even the Catholics have admitted textual problems in Jerome's Vulgate, but they still maintain its supremacy. The preface to the Catholic New American Bible states:
"THE VULGATE SUPERSEDES ALL OTHER VERSIONS. As St. Jerome's work on the Old Testament was a work of private enterprise, it met great opposition. He was accused of changing the text of the Bible, which was familiar to the people in the Itala or Old Latin. However, as time went on, the great merits of his work were recognized. By the 9th Century, Jerome's version was universally accepted. In view of its general adoption, it gradually assumed the name of 'Vulgate,' the 'disseminated' or people's Bible. ... However, it does not mean that it is to be preferred over the Septuagint or over original manuscripts, or that it was entirely free from error."
So the Catholics today seek to maintain both positions. On the one hand, they consult the Vulgate as the basis of their doctrinal positions, such as the trinity verse. On the other hand, they have made translations, such as the New American Bible, that are based on texts other than the Vulgate. The New American Bible, based upon the Greek New Testament manuscripts, does not contain the trinity verse, yet the Catholics continue to teach the trinity based upon the Vulgate. However, the important thing to note here in our discussion of the Old Testament is that even though the Catholics admit that the Vulgate is not to be preferred over the Greek Septuagint, still they translate the Old Testament portion of the New American Bible from the Hebrew Masoretic Text, because that was the text that Jerome used.

Thus, the Jews gained control of Jerome and the Catholic Church and used him to the fullest extent possible in corrupting the white Christian world. We noted in discussing the Vulgate that it was many years until the Catholic Church began using the Vulgate, for it and Jerome both were harshly criticized and rebuked during Jerome's lifetime. But the Jews had managed to plant the seed that would eventually blossom into the acceptance of the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the virtual abolition of the Greek Septuagint, the true Christian Scriptures of Christ and His Apostles.

Augustine wrote in The City of God concerning the inspiration of the Septuagint:
"For while there were other interpreters who translated these sacred oracles out of the Hebrew tongue into Greek, ..., yet the Church has received this Septuagint translation just as if it were the only one; and it has been used by the Greek Christian people, most of whom are not aware that there is any other. From this translation has also been made a translation in the Latin tongue, which the Latin churches use. ... But although the Jews acknowledge this very learned labor of his to be fruitful [Jerome translating the Old Testament from the Hebrew], while they contend that the Septuagint translators have erred in many places, still the churches of Christ judge that no one should be preferred to the authority of so many men [the original Septuagint translators], chosen for this very great work by Eleazar, who was then high priest; for even if there had not appeared in them one Spirit, without doubt divine, and the seventy[-two] learned men had, after the manner of men, compared together the words of their translation, that what pleased them all might stand, no single translator ought to be preferred to them; but since so great a sign of divinity has appeared in them, certainly, if any other translator of the Scriptures from the Hebrew into any other tongue is faithful, in that case he agrees with these seventy[-two] translators, and if he is found not to agree with them, then we ought to believe that the prophetic gift is with them [the Septuagint translators]."
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Old 16-11-2008, 07:10 AM   #7
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Default Dr. Michael S. Heiser endorses the LXX

The following is a quote from Dr. Michael S. Heiser, who is a scholar in Semitic Languages, Koine Greek, and biblical studies, regarding the Greek Septuagint as compared with the Hebrew Masoretic Text:

Quote:
The early church predominantly used the LXX (Septuagint - a Greek translation of a different text type), not the MT (Masoretic Text), which was reworked and textually conformed to create a text that disagreed with the LXX used by Christians.

The Jewish Masoretes (scribes) "standardized" ...so as to assist the rabbinical scholars in debating against the LXX, the Bible of the Christians.
Source: http://www.michaelsheiser.com/biblecodepage1.htm

I would also like to refer the reader to the following very insightful article written by Dr. Heiser, entitled:

"Why Use the Septuagint?"
http://blog.logos.com/archives/2007/...eptuagint.html
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
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Very interesting
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Old 20-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #9
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Yes it is...

Changing just one letter changes the meaning... As pointed out here...
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Old 20-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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Very interesting
Indeed. Don't have time to read it all now but will go through it later.
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Old 20-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #11
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How many times has the word of God been edited... Changing multiple letters...

Changing the readers vision...


Hmmmm.... It is a Sad thing...
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Old 20-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #12
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A few thoughts here

1. The Masorites are not Israelites, they are the descendants of Edomite converts who usurped power in Judea under the Herodian dynasty and were allied with Rome. Knowing this and how they deny Christ, I do not trust the Masoretic text. It is also the Masorites who are responsible for the tetragrammaton/name of the Most HIgh YHWH. This name is a fake and is also used by Kabbalists and Freemasons, witches as well.

2. The Greek Septuiagint had additional books we now know as The Apocrypha which the Masorites claim to be a fake. The Apocrypha has lots of information that mainstream churches deny. The Apocrypha shows that The Holy Spirit is a feminine spirit, further exposes Edom, shows what happened to the Northern Tribes of Israel in Assyrian captivity, includes further insight on end of days prophecy, proves Alexander the Great is an Edomite.

Having said that I believe the truth is in between both the Septuiagint and Masoretic text. I believe the Masoretic text when it comes to virgin birth. I believe virgin is supposed to mean "young girl" If Joseph did not have sex with Mary, why would his lineage be traced back to David to show Christ' legitimacy to the throne. Israelite lineage is passed through the male line not the female like the Edomite Jews would have you believe.
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Old 20-03-2011, 03:45 PM   #13
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True...

And in the Middle who might that be...

In the middle of all things is one's heart...

To love one another reveals one's heart...

This shows who one is and what one is about...

In the middle of that door way is who...

The Man of Love...
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Old 13-07-2011, 05:15 PM   #14
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Default Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic

I have read with interest the "informed" comment of your members, sadly their indoctrination by the interests of the Jesuits clearly demonstrates itself.
Firstly, people need to understand that christianity is a pagan religion, as a result of the effort of Emperor Constanine.
the information contained within this website amply demonstrates how the christians were an amalgam of the greek and roman pagan religions, the original word of G-d was written in Hebrew, called the old covenant, and an extensive expose of the efforts of the scribes and the errors that were introduced are outlined in detail, "The Massorah is an encyclopedic work siting all various readings of the Tanach from different manuscripts through out the world. In the first four volumes, the original text of the masorah (in Hebrew) is arranged alphabetically with many additional notes drawn from manuscripts. The fifth volume contains supplements, and some masoretic tractates. The sixth volume renders into English all Hebrew entries of the first volume up to the letter "yod," with explanatory notes. Christian David Ginsburg himself was a Jewish apostate who originally learned in the Yeshivas of Poland but later converted to Christianity (thus adopting the name Christian) and moved to England. Inspite of his personal status his works are still cited and used by many present day talmidei chachamim and serve as an invaluable work towards preserving the massorah of the correct text of Tanach." Seforim Online offers the original 4 vols. in the 6 vols. edition; Google and Microsoft and others have some or all the volumes. Here is all the set with additional works related to it. May it live on. mjm,2009. Read Here http://www.archive.org/details/Intro...eHebrewBible01
is a professional expose of the old testament.
Moving onto the 2nd covenant, this was not originally written in Greek as christians claim, it was written in Aramaic, the version is available here, and the hard copy is available from http://www.aent.org/ the apostles were called Netzarim, and I am involved in the reconstruction of the Netzarims truth, available here http://www.netzarims.com with a first attempt of the Netzarims bible, here http://bible.netzarims.com the bible is currently under a detailed scholar review.
I hope this information is helpful, we are in the end days and for serious believers the above links will both educate and enlighten them
I pray for you all in Y'shuas mighty name. (the living Torah)
Pastor David Lewis http://pastordavidlewis.com
I urge you to understand that there are many who make claims without knowledge and without education, mostly they want your money, none of the site I have listed with the exception of The Aramaic New Testament wants money, its free!
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Old 13-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
we are in the end days
Oh great, another Doom Sayer
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Old 13-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #16
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Oh great, another Doom Sayer

I would argue.. that humanity is only now truly ''awakening'' (I hate using that term...)

Lots of people are becoming aware of how a select elite.. fucks the planet over for the rest of us.

The only true ''God'' on this planet is £££££££££££ and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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Old 13-07-2011, 05:37 PM   #17
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I would argue.. that humanity is only now truly ''awakening'' (I hate using that term...)
I don't think that has anything to do with a "christian type armageddon/rapture/jesus/antichrist.
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:54 PM   #18
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I don't think that has anything to do with a "christian type armageddon/rapture/jesus/antichrist.
What I meant is that the world isn't ending. (Human world)

But essentially just beginning.

That's just my opinion of course.
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Old 14-07-2011, 11:55 AM   #19
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The greek translation and greek source of NT could be tied to,
"For with stammeringc lips and another tongue will he speak to this people."
Yet Jesus did speak in Aramaic/Hebrew and said salvation is of the Jews. So it's all messed up.
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Old 21-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #20
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great thread so have you read the dead sea scrolls
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