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I'm sorry, noting a consensus is a reasonable thing to do. It doesn't mean the consensus is automatically correct, but one must wonder why a majority of researchers on a particular topic agree. Consensus doesn't mean that research ought to stop, but if you find yourself in the minority opinion, it might help to examine that situation. If you are not an expert, as I am not, and you are not, It pays to really attend to the consensus.

It may be wrong, but the majority of workers in the field, the people who look at the evidence, understand the history and languages, tend to agree, and do so across ideological divides. That is a good reason to not scoff at a broad academic consensus. What is more, looking back, we realize that the alleged facts cited for the last two hundred years by the skeptics intent on relativizing pretty much every statement of the Bible were in many cases nothing more than mere hypotheses.

The application of the historical method to the Bible as a historical text was a path that had to be taken. If we believe that Christ is real history, and not myth, then the testimony concerning him has to be historically accessible as well. In this sense, the historical method has also given us many gifts.

It has brought us back closer to the text and its originality, it has shown us more precisely how it grew, and much more besides. The historical-critical method will always remain one dimension of interpretation. Vatican II made this clear. On the one hand, it presents the essential elements of the historical method as a necessary part of access to the Bible.

At the same time, though, it adds that the Bible has to be read in the same Spirit in which it was written. It has to be read in its wholeness, in its unity. And that can be done only when we approach it as a book of the People of God progressively advancing toward Christ. What is needed is not simply a break with the historical method, but a self-critique of the historical method; a self-critique of historical reason that takes cognizance of its limits and recognizes the compatibility of a type of knowledge that derives from faith; in short, we need a synthesis between an exegesis that operates with historical reason and an exegesis that is guided by faith.

We have to bring the two things into a proper relationship to each other. That is also a requirement of the basic relationship between faith and reason. Total nonsense - they are the accepted dates used by the overwhelming majority of scholars, including Catholics. Just skimming, I can find no passage in your link that indicates he was working from any specific gospel. Then we have Papias - Papias, wrote that "Matthew wrote down the sayings in Hebrew and each translated it as he was able", Eusebius, H.

After their passing, Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, transmitted to us in writing the things preached by Peter. Lastly, John Eusebius, H. Saint Pantaneus had traveled to India later and found that St Bartholomew had gone there before and left a copy of Matthews gospel in Hebrew characters. The Ethiopians claim the oldest Aramaic Bible. Tradition further records that the apostle Matthew preached the Gospel to Ethiopians.

The two church historians, Socrats and Rufinus support this tradition. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence. Bishop Eusebius, Church History, 3. Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language.

The second was that of Mark, who composed it under Peter's guidance. The third, the Gospel which was praised by Paul, was that of Luke, written for gentile converts. Last of all, there is that of John. According to the ECF Matthew preached orally and then committed it to writing while Claudius was emperor. He died in 54AD. The dating of Matthew is between 41 and 50AD. There is an Aramaic translation project going on that has fragments. This gospel which was personally handed to The Church of the East by The Apostles themselves, in the ancient City of Edessa, in the 1st century.

The Orthodox church claims Matthew was written in Aramaic Hebrew and completed before he traveled to Ethiopia. You are reciting faith claims. That is fine, but they don't appear to be supported by evidence. As Tim has noted, most Catholic scholars don't disagree with the consensus dates I've offered for the gospels. There is appears to be no sound, evidence that corroborates any of what you are saying.

You have church traditions that say X about the gospels. Traditions are not the same as actual, sound, historical evidence. The link you provided earlier admits there is really not much evidence other than local tradition that it was Thomas who was there. And it makes absolutely no mention that he brought the Gospel of Matthew to India with him. Besides the affirmations of people living long after Ireneus for instance was not born until what evidence do you have that Matthew was the first Gospel?

Bartholomew took Matthews Gospel to India. St Thomas took the oral gospel there first. If I remember correctly, there is also a church built on the site. First off, because the ECF's across the board put it this way. Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. You are easily discounting the early belief and evidence as being unreliable, but stand behind literary criticism? Kali year 52 AD the foreigner Thomas Sanyasi came to our village gramam preached there and therby causing Kurikilamkatt , pp.

I haven't. I will leave it to others to tease out whether or not Thomas went to India and started a church Tim seems skeptical.. All I am saying, is that none of the evidence you have presented, indicates that he took with him the gospel of Matthew. The majority of the historians of this period who do vastly more than literary criticism by the way have looked at the evidence, even the information you think is so persuasive and still found that the dates for the canonical gospels are not what you think they are.

We can give it more time. Early Gospels have always been the tradition and in the writings of the Church, so I feel comfortable the modernist scholars will see it eventually. Joe, If more evidence comes in sure, we can always adjust our positions. At present though, it doesn't appear that gMatthew was penned until much later, between Even the old online Catholic Encyclopedia is very skeptical about the historical reliability of stories about the Thomas. After the initial paragraph of the entry for St. Thomas the Apostle, which is based entirely on the Gospels, the entry continues:.

This exhausts all our certain knowledge regarding the Apostle but his name is the starting point of a considerable apocryphal literature, and there are also certain historical data which suggest that some of this apocryphal material may contains germs of truth. On the other hand, though the tradition that St. Thomas preached in "India" was widely spread in both East and West and is to be found in such writers as Ephraem Syrus, Ambrose, Paulinus, Jerome, and, later Gregory of Tours and others, still it is difficult to discover any adequate support for the long-accepted belief that St.

Thomas pushed his missionary journeys as far south as Mylapore, not far from Madras, and there suffered martyrdom. In Catholicism, Tradition with a capital T is very important, but what you are citing here is tradition with a lowercase t which is not, per se, a part of Catholic faith. Mylapore is way down in India. So is Madras and on the East Side. Kerala is on the west side.

In 52 A. Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. There he built a small church with an altar, which he consecrated. The Palayur church still stands at the same site and is the oldest church in India. In the 17th century Reverend Fenichi enclosed the original church with a new outer building, as the wooden walls of the old church were destroyed with time. But the original altar consecrated by St. Thomas still remains at this site.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thomas Chennai India is only one of three churches built over the bones of an apostle. His relics are there. Piece of a hand Bone of St. Thomas which touched the wound of Jesus, it was brought from Edessa and preserved in the Milapore St. Thomas Museum. The Catholic faith asserts nothing about Thomas the Apostle other than what is in the Gospels.

No tradition small t having to do with the alleged travels of Thomas is a part of the Catholic faith. I don't understand why some Catholics seem to think if themselves as superior in faith to others because they believe, for example, that John the Apostle wrote the Fourth Gospel. These things are not a matter of dogma or doctrine. That in no way indicates it is a tenet of the Catholic faith that St. Thomas is actually buried there. Fascinating as that is which pope? Pope JPII in and It is an honour and special grace for me to come to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Thomas the Apostle here in Madras.

As so many pilgrims before me have done, I too come to venerate the Tomb of the Apostle to India. This holy place speaks of the history of the Church in this beloved land. It calls to mind, not only Saint Thomas and his martyrdom, but all the others after him who have dedicated their lives to the preaching of the Gospel, all those who have borne witness to Christ both in word and in deed. I pray that our faith will be strong like theirs, and that our love for Christ may inspire us to love and serve our neighbour.

Thomas evangelized in India. He also narrated to the Pope and the Cardinals the miracles that were wrought at the tomb of St. Thomas at Mylapore. Thomas in Malabar and about the unbroken Catholic faith of the St. Thomas Christians. From China he wrote to Rome in that he saw the church of St. Thomas in Kerala and that the St. Thomas Christians were persecuted. Odorie of Pordenone in saw in Kerala numerous Christian families and their churches decorated with holy statues.

The history of this site means it is obviously very important and establishes the long held position. The length of a position is not necessarily indicative of its correctness. No, no. Neither would Thomas being in India be evidence for you that he had with him the Gospel of Matthew. In any event the details of Thomas traditions have evolved over the centuries it seems.

Most of the traditions has its roots in the non-canonocial Acts of Thomas, a gnostic tradition. To historians, the details of his death must be unknown. The idea of his martyrdom doesn't seem to arise until the 16th century. Marco Polo thought Thomas died accidentally and still other think he died of natural causes.

And still we have no account mentioning that he had with him a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. My claim was Bartholomew left the written copy of Matthew, not Thomas. Thomas preached the Gospel. Yes, and for centuries the people of Britain believed that Joseph of Arimathea went to Glastonbury and planted a magic tree. That doesn't mean it happened. We have a plethora of these later traditions, many of them completely contradictory and almost all of them fanciful. And modern analysis shows that if that happened then the modern "Gosple of Matthew" is not that work - it was written in Greek and shows no sign of having been translated from Hebrew or Aramaic.

Hello, I'm sure that you have heard of John A. Robinson's book "Re-dating the New Testament"? He points out that it is quite odd that none of the gospels mention the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Something so momentous not mentioned, strongly suggests that the books were written before the event. I know, I know. It was a minority position back in when it was published. But it is gaining ground again. So consensi are not cast in stone. The discovery of a fragment of St Mark's Gospel in cave 7 of Qumran has brought possible dating at What are your thoughts Tim? Thanks for the article.. Sorry, but not true.

Saints Matthew and John were members of the Twelve Apostles, ergo, eyewitnesses. There are NO contradictions in any of the four Gospels, and they are historically accurate. We do not have four people all saying, "I was there and I saw what happened. An unknown number of people claim to have stood on four different corners and they claim to have witnessed an accident.

One person who remains anonymous writes down what he saw of the accident. We have no reason to suspect this second person knew anything about the accident first hand. He just calls himself "Mark". Then, a second person using a false name "Matthew" copies bits of the first two documents and adds some other details which he supposedly saw. He claims to be a historian, but he has an ax to grind, and he employs lot of questionable tactics such as quoting pseudonymous and anonymous sources without really doing any fact-checking.

Finally, one last "witness" steps forth. He also uses a false name "John" and writes a lot of new material about the accident. All the accounts of the accident claim that angels appeared, food appeared from nowhere, and dead people jumped back up alive again. After many thousands of people have bought into this accident with angels and resurrections and gasoline from the automobiles changing into wine--and after several decades pass--serious historians begin to inquire about what actually happened. Matthew and John were both witnesses.

Luke was a physician and wrote down what Mary told Him. He was also a companion of Paul. He also interviewed the Apostle's. He was a Gentile. Mark was a disciple of Peter and recorded the talks Peter gave. The point of the 4 people on the corner was to show that each person will provide details and perspective that another may have not. What gives the Gospel's credibility is this very fact.

I found this to be a very fascinating essay as much as I hate the charge that the Gospel writers made things up to fit their conception of Christ. Thanks, Tim O'Neill! I don't look at it as a charge so much as a possibility. We are not yet at the point where we say scripture is inspired. That comes later with the establishment of the authority of the church.

At this point we have to consider the case where the gospel writers were just making it up. I know Tim is an atheist but I have to say again his arguments sound very much like the ones Christians make. Like pointing out that women were the first witness of the resurrection. If they were going to make stuff up then why make up problematic data? Often Christians argue that way and atheists sneer at it. It is good to see that kind of reasoning being validated by an atheist even though he does not take it as far. Great piece. It is important to note that the strongest argument here relies on the portions of the Gospels being fabricated.

If you accept that the nativity story is true, that God needed to be baptized by a human and that god being sacrificed as a substitutional atonement make perfectly good sense, you lose the strongest argument that Jesus ever existed. Good point. I don't post often, but I read these posts often, and you always seem to have a good intellect about this stuff. The alternative is that the Gospels are not fabricated, but the historical-critical method results in contradictions due to the lack of historical information that we have to form conclusions.

We are dealing with only a fraction of what survived I believe. But I don't think the core argument needs to assume fabricated portions of the Gospels to work though I'm no NT scholar. The core of this type of argument, I think, is that the Gospel writers included details that would not seem to make sense if they were making them up much later to make the Gospel as plausible and attractive as possible to their contemporary audiences. It is borne out by their writings themselves. They were both born after Jesus died.

They are writing on the basis of heresay. I deal with that claim in my article. Though if by "hearsay" you mean their accounts aren't first hand, then that is pretty weak. Almost all of our ancient sources aren't first hand and some are written centuries later - Arrian wrote years after Alexander's death yet he is our main source for his campaigns. To dismiss an ancient account on these grounds is absurd. Both clearly refer to a historical person who was the founder of the Christian sect and set him in a specific and quite recent historical context.

Whether they constitute strong evidence of that person's existence depends on what or who their sources were. From a theological perspective, I don't see it as problematic to say that the first Christians were confused and embarrassed by the revealed nature of God. For all our subsequent years of theology, we are still sometimes confused and embarrassed by the revealed nature of God. Back then, they were embarrassed by the crucifixion.

These days some Christians are embarrassed by deep time and space and our seemingly inconsequential station in the universe. Just because these things were, or are, embarrassing doesn't mean that they are not revelations of God. The Baptism is actually done by the Holy Spirit as recorded. I addition, Jesus was setting an example.

John always preached "one greater than he would be coming". Matthew records it this way:. Then he suffered him. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, "This is my beloved Son. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". At his baptism "the heavens were opened" - the heavens that Adam's sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation. The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son and "walk in newness of life" I agree, although I would say the Gospels speak for themselves.

These verses from the Gospel of John do not say John the Baptist baptized Jesus, nor is there an account anywhere else in the Gospel of John that depicts John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. John was not into repeating events that everyone already knew. He was bringing out the deeper meaning. What is your evince for this? What is your evidence that the audience "John" the Evangelist wrote for already knew what was in the other Gospels?

And how do you account for the serious discrepancies between the synoptics and John's Gospel regarding the timing of the Cleansing of the Temple and the Last Supper? That would explain why his readers already knew about them. It would not explain why he had to tell them again. I think the text of John is slightly ambiguous, though may not be in Greek.

But it could be saying that John Baptized Jesus, or it could be that John is simply meeting the person, for him has been baptizing, the person who baptizes everyone with the Holy Spirit. It could also be describing, quite poorly, the act of John baptizing Jesus. The Apostles too were confused and uncertain about Jesus. Peter denied Him, they ran and hid behind locked doors in fear. Addendum: I have several friends who were seminarians who have said they wished they had the SAB when they were in Seminary. That wasn't a refutation. That was an, "I don't agree with what they are doing over there at SAB.

No citations either for its major charges. The author does nothing to refute the exposure of glaring inconsistencies. Also, there is this bizarre claim about social customs and norms explaining behavior of early Christians and of course Old Testament customs. Social customs oughtn't be used to explain away atrocities by people who are alleged to be speaking to or directly for the author of the Universe.

This is a terrible counter point and one that exposes rich problems of theology. We are told, and repeatedly that the God of Abraham is a 3 O god, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent.

Doctrine of Revelation Part 8: The Difficulties of Biblical Inerrancy

And yet the behavior of characters through out the bible, who are in contact with this character behave in the most awful ways. To tell me that that God had to work within the social context of the times indicates that he could neither be all powerful, or all knowing. If he is those things, then he is unlikely in the extreme to be omnibenevolent.

Hardly refuted by the link you provided. Furthermore, The SAB project is simply about thinking critically about the bible and now the project has extended to the Quran and The book of Mormon. It is fine to think critically. Maybe you have already done so, but I suggest a solid Study Bible and commentary. Resting your entire argument on the SAB excludes way too much.. That would be a useful point if Max rested his entire argument on the SAB.

Of course, he doesn't. I have read the bible, and thought critically about it prior to discovering the SAB. I use it now mostly as a reference. The additional tools are the commentaries which set the context, give useful explanations and the constant understanding by the Church. You can investigate these historical writings yourself. Go through them and contrast them with the modernist version.

I don't see why we have to assume the author of Mark saw Jesus as being a normal man in need of redemption before his baptism. Theologians have though of plenty of good reasons why Jesus wanted to be baptized by John the Baptist, so I don't think we need to think what O'Neill says about Matthew's comment. John the Evangelist could have omitted mentioning the baptism of Jesus for a host of reason unrelated to Jesus' preexistence. We believe that John's baptism was symbolic, signifying the person was repentant of his sins and wanted to be forgiven.

We believe that the baptism Jesus instituted really does forgive sins and gives the baptized supernatural grace, a share in God's own life. When did "symbolic" baptism become real Christian baptism. If I remember what I have read correctly, there is no evidence in the Gospels that Jesus personally baptized anyone, and yet he told his disciples to baptize people. Were the people baptized by the disciples of Jesus during the earthly ministry of Jesus "symbolically" baptized or truly baptized? The baptism was real. It was just not sacramental. See Acts Yes, but followers of Jesus were baptized during his earthly ministry by the disciples.

Was it necessary for them to be "sacramentally" baptized after Pentecost? Did the Apostles themselves get baptized after Pentecost? If there was no sacramental baptism before Pentecost, then they could not have been sacramentally baptized. Theologians have though of plenty of good reasons. John the Evangelist could have omitted mentioning the baptism of Jesus for a host of reason. There is something about this line of argument that bothers me, particularly when it involves scripture.

I am not quite sure how to express this, but for scriptural arguments, the more explanations you can come up with for a given inclusion or omission, the less persuasive any one of them is, and the less significant the question begins to appear. If you believe scripture is the inspired word of God, then there should be clear reasons for what is in it and what is not in it.

So in a sense, saying there could be any number of reasons why John doesn't mention the baptism of Jesus is just waving the issue away, not answering it. The really big question for me is why there is no description of Jesus instituting the Eucharist in the Gospel of John. An answer to why John did not mention Jesus' baptism or the institution of the Eucharist in his Gospel is that other writers had already done that.

John was shedding other kinds of light on the meaning of Christ's life. It does not strike me as a satisfactory answer. John's gospel is significantly different from the synoptics, yet it is still a gospel. Perhaps the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist was not all that important. But the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper provides the basis for Christian liturgy and the Mass. It seems to me it is such a foundational event that it is difficult to imagine John the Evangelist saying to himself, " Well, other people have told that story.

I don't need to repeat it. Also, is there any indication that John wrote his Gospel with the assumption that his readers would be familiar with one or more of the synoptics? Given that there is no evidence the writer of gJohn himself made any use of the synoptics and may not have ever read them or even known they existed, this is unlikely. This is what gets me about a lot of this scholarship.

Since when is absence of evidence reason to believe something happened? It seems to me that if there is no evidence of something, then it could go either way. We don't know. To infer that he was unaware seems too great a leap to make. But Tim O'Neill did not draw a definite conclusion.

But even if there is no evidence that he wasn't aware of the synoptics, there is no evidence that he was.

No evidence is no evidence. If it is illegitimate to conclude that John was either aware nor unaware of the synoptics, an alleged awareness of the synoptics on John's part cannot be used to explain why he left things out of his Gospel that were included in the synoptics. To my knowledge, you did not object to the argument that certain key events are missing from John's Gospel because he knew they had already been written about. Why not? As I said above, if there is no evidence either way, then you should object just as strongly when someone assumes John was familiar with the synoptics as when someone assumes he wasn't.

But then again, it should be noted that we draw inferences from absence of evidence all the time. Watch a crime show on television some time. Do they not draw conclusions from what doesn't happen? There is no sign of a struggle at the murder scene. The dog didn't bark. There was no sign of forced entry.

The victim had no defensive wounds. There had been a series of robberies in the neighborhood, but in this case no valuables were taken from the scene. We draw conclusions all the time about what it appears people didn't do or didn't seem to know. It is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and there is no reason scholars shouldn't do it.

They just must do it wisely. We know what it looks like when the writer of one gospel, say gMatt or gLuke, uses another gospel like gMark as one of their sources. We find none of these between the synoptics and gJohn. This doesn't necessarily mean the writer of gJohn was unaware of the other gospels, but it means there is zero evidence that he was. So you can't just assume that he was because you feel like doing so.

You need evidence. And there's none. It isn't, but it's no reason to believe the contrary, either. Fine, but apologists rarely admit to not knowing. They will typically affirm X, and when a skeptic says, "There is no evidence for X," they will respond, "In that case, we're entitled to believe X, because absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

In their minds, this seems to be an especially cogent argument when they can imagine a reason -- any reason at all -- for there being no evidence. Since John did not mention X, YZ must have been the case. Therefore, John knew about X and so X is true. Is that why he did mention the crucifixion and resurrection?

Because no writer before him had done so? I thought my argument was obvious, but OK. My argument is as follows. John did mention some events that previous writers had mentioned. Therefore, his failure to mention other events cannot be presumed attributable to an aversion on his part to repeating what other writers had mentioned.

Question for Tim O'Neill: Is it a fair summary of your position to say that you see nothing fundamentally surprising about the development of the early Christian cult, when set in context next to other millennial cults with broken dreams other than the obvious fact that the Christian cult has been more successful than most? In other words, the nature of the reinterpretations of their tradition, the zeal of the cult members, rapidity of growth, etc, everything is perfectly consistent with what has happened in similar situations?

That is different than how I have thought about it previously, but I am open to that possibility. I want to hear the counter-arguments first though. What do you see as the best counter-arguments to your position assuming I have characterized it correctly , if indeed you see any good counter-arguments at all? The following is intended to show that whatever help a modern version may claim to give; the price paid in missing words, lack of reverence, doctrinal weakening, lessened readability, and!

The modern Bibles have several basic characteristics. What is said about one can usually be said about another. As the New International Version is the current bestseller we will use it as a representative of the others in comparisons with the King James Version. Jack Moorman London, England I. Key Passages Missing The first list is a partial sampling of the kind of words and phrases that are missing from the Modern Bibles. These omissions often diminish the basic doctrines. But they are, nevertheless, considerable.

This will become increasingly evident when we look at the second list that gives the Names of Deity that have been omitted. From the Gospel of Matthew the two translations placed together, this will enable you can come to a conclusion as to whether the NIV has the same sense of authority, reverence, and readability as the KJV. The first passage in each example is from the KJV: Matthew And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son.

But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. Matthew But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. But I tell you; Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Matthew O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. Matthew Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Missing in NIV. Matthew And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness and marries another woman commits adultery. Matthew So the last shall be first and the first last: for many be called but few chosen.

So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Ye don't know what you are asking, Jesus said to them. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? Matthew Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

Matthew And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Hereafter, only the missing phrases are shown: Mark Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. Luke the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earthbut deliver us from evil. John He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. Acts he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, Commanding his accusers to come unto thee.

Romans I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks. I Corinthians For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Galatians who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth. Ephesians For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Philippians Let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Colossians In whom we have redemption through his blood. II Thessalonians In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God. I Timothy immortal, invisible, the only wise God. II Timothy I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. Philemon Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him. Hebrews when he had by himself purged our sins. I Peter Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh. II Peter to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. I John The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

Jude 25 To the only wise God our Saviour. Revelation I Know thy works, and where thou dwellest. Also in verses 3, 5 and 7. None of the underlined words are in the text of the New International Version edition. Occasional reference is made to these omissions in the NIV footnotes.

Many other words are omitted. And many others, which though included, are given a footnote expressing doubt. In fact as we will see the above list is only a very small part of the overall problem. Names of Deity are missing and they are missing frequently! This in fact takes us back to an old heresy that began very in the history of the church.

Where these Names are in combination, they have been counted separately. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Matthew And behold, they cried out saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? What do you want with us, Son of God? Matthew Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house. Then he left the crowd and went into the house. Matthew Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Have you understood all these things?

Jesus asked. Yes, they replied. Matthew And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

Matthew Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. Matthew And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief, He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Matthew And Jesus called a little child unto him. Matthew For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. Missing in the NIV. Matthew And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. Matthew For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Matthew God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.

Matthew But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ. Matthew And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another. Matthew Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. The list continues by showing only the missing names: Mark And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. Luke And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit. John Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband.

Acts according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise. Romans For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord. I Corinthians I thank God that I baptized none of you. Galatians the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ.

Ephesians God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. Philippians I can do all things through Christ. I Timothy and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope. Philemon 6 every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. I Peter Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit. I John the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. Revelation I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.

Defenders of the modern versions have sought to minimize the fact of these missing Names of Deity. He says in his tract The King James Only? One common objection is that in a relatively few cases the names Christ and Lord are omitted when referring to Jesus. Whatever arguments one might attempt to raise, the above evidence demonstrates that these Names are missing more than in a relatively few cases! In fact, what has been shown above is only part of the story and introduces us now to the primary error in the Modern Version controversy. The Name Jesus is frequently disassociated from the titles Lord and Christ.

A noticeable difference is clearly apparent! In the above list the name Jesus is frequently removed from statements of Deity and works of Deity. Mark The immediate account of a miracle. What Lies Behind This Separation? This separation of Jesus from Christ occurs far too often to look for a cause other than deliberate editing in certain N. That there was a strong movement in the early centuries that could result in such a systematic editing; there can be no doubt!

Sense of Sacred Scripture

The chief means by which this was done, and which finds expression down to our own day, is technically known as Adoptionism or Spirit Christology. The heresy follows this line of reasoning: Jesus of Nazareth, an ordinary man of unusual virtue, was adopted by God into divine Sonship by the advent of the Christ-Spirit at His baptism. Therefore, Jesus became Christ at His baptism rather than the fact that He was always the Christ from eternity. And, though united for a time, Jesus and Christ were separate personages.

Many names and groups are associated with this wicked teaching, foremost of whom were the Gnostics. The liberal J. Kelly writes, There was a great variety of Gnostic systems, but a common pattern ran through them all.

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From the pleroma, or spiritual world of aeons, the divine Christ 17 descended and united Himself for a time according to Ptolemy, between the baptism and the passion to the historical personage. These were tendencies on the fringe, yet Gnosticism at any rate came within an ace of swamping the central tradition. Ponder carefully Kelly's statement about how near this came to swamping the central tradition! In the summaries, we will be looking more closely at Egypt; but notice for now that Kelly's mention of Ptolemy and Gnosticism takes us to that city that gave powerful force and rise to the Gnostic error - Alexandria.

It is for this reason that the Bible closes with the following warnings: 1 John. The terrible heresy has found expression in a number of ways down through the centuries, and it has been given a new lease on life through the Modern Versions. This then is the old heresy revived! Further Significant Passages Missing Very few Christians are aware as to how much is actually missing in the modern Bibles and what the consequence actually is. With this next list the extent of the problem can now begin to be realized.

Yet even after showing the following, there is a great deal more yet to come. The underlined portions are omitted in the New International Version and most other Twentieth Century versions both in English and other languages. Matthew whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger. Mark And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed. Luke And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying.

I trow not. John Hereafter ye shall see heaven open. Acts And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John. Romans they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. I Corinthians glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

II Corinthians old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Galatians Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. Ephesians that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? Colossians intruding into those things which he hath not seen. I Thessalonians Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets. I Timothy for that is good and acceptable before God. Titus Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father.

Hebrews thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. James Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not.

Revival of the Gnostic Heresy

I Peter whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers. II Peter But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Revelation for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Hell Missing The doctrine of eternal hell is a fearful Bible truth. The word itself has from the beginning of the English language had a fixed and established meaning.

The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God Psalm is plain. In fact, for many including preachers and Bible translators it appears to be too plain. Many today do not mind using the word in their daily conversation, but do not like seeing it in the Bible. Modern translations seem to have tried to make the Bible more acceptable by taking some of the terror out of the fact that a man or woman who dies outside of faith in Jesus Christ will go to an eternal and conscious hell. Translators have done this in two ways.

First, the word is often left in its untranslated Hebrew or Greek form Sheol, Hades , and thus its impact upon an English reader is diminished. The New American Standard Bible reverts to this practice. Secondly, some simply translate Sheol as death or grave. The Jehovah's Witness Bible does this, and if you can believe it! In the previous lists, the point at issue has been the underlying Greek text of the New Testament. The modern versions are based on a different text than the KJV.

This as we will explain in the following chapters is the reason for the many omissions. Here, though, the issue is generally not the underlying text, but rather the philosophy of the translators. In the case of the NIV translators, their philosophical choice has been to completely take hell out of the Old Testament! For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death below.

The cords of the grave coiled around me. Job It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? They are higher than the heavens-what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave-what can you know? Job Hell is naked before him. Death naked before God. Psalm The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God. The wicked return to the grave, all nations that forget God. Psalm For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. Psalm The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. Psalm Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell. Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave. Psalm thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Psalm The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me.

Psalm If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Proverbs Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

Proverbs Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. Her house is a highway to the grave, dealing down to the chambers of death. Proverbs her guests are in the depths of hell. Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord. Proverbs The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

The Heretical Imperative

The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave. Proverbs and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs Hell and destruction are never full. Death and Destruction are never satisfied. Isaiah Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure.

Therefore the grave enlarges its appetite and opens its mouth without limit. Isaiah Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth. The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you-all those who were leaders in the world.

Isaiah Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Isaiah Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement. You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand.

Isaiah and didst debase thyself even unto hell. Ezekiel I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit. I brought it down to the grave with those who go down to the pit. Ezekiel They also went down into hell. Ezekiel The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell. From within the grave the mighty leaders will say. Ezekiel which are gone down to hell. Though they dig down to the depths of the grave, from there my hand take them. Jonah out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. From the depths of the grave I called for help.

Habakkuk who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death. In the New Testament the word hell is found twenty-two times in the Authorised Version, compared with thirteen in the New International Version. But the biggest shock comes when we see how this popular translation completely removes hell from the Old Testament. Yes, the Modern Bibles have gotten rid of the Thee's and Thous and a lot else! How Many Missing Words? A most striking fact about the Modern Bibles is that in the New Testament they are clearly shorter than the Authorised Version.

The following, by comparing the Greek texts which underlie the AV and Modern Versions, gives an idea of how much shorter. Its text is identical to another popular edition published by The United Bible Society. A widely published edition of the Received Text was that prepared by Robert Stephanus in The KJV does not follow Stephanus in every instance, nor is the NIV completely identical with the Nestle Aland, but these two editions provide a good basis for comparison.

In an actual chapter-by-chapter count made by Mrs. Catherine Carmichael in our Bible Institute in Johannesburg back in the following figures were derived. Stephanus Received Text listed first compared with Nestle-Aland Matthew 18, 18, fewer words Mark 11, 11, Luke 19, 19, John 15, 15, Acts 18, 18, Romans 7, 7, I Corinthians 6, 6, II Corinthians 4, 4, Galatians 2, Ephesians 2, 2, Philippians 1, 1, Colossians 1, 1, I Thess. After taking these two well- known passages into account the final count is: Final Total , , -2, fewer words In the New Testament the modern version text is shorter than that of the King James Version by about the number of words contained in I and II Peter!

How Many Different Kinds of Variations? Omissions are only part of the story! Today the commonly used edition of the Received Text is that which was edited at the end of the 19 th Century by H. In our book Differences available from The Bible for Today a line upon line comparison is made between this edition and the Nestle-Aland Text. A total of 8, variation units are listed. A variation unit may involve - the spelling of a word - substitution by different words - interchange of the same words in a sentence - frequently, the removal of words - at times, the addition of words Therefore, a variation unit may comprise anything from one word, to a clause, to a verse, to as in the case of Mark 16 a number of verses.

If it be argued that some of the differences are insignificant, and may for example only be a variation in the spelling of a word, we answer that it will affect the sound and frequently the inflection and structure of the Greek sentence. If this is how God breathed out His Words, then it is significant! Further, as we will show, a denial of the Scriptures teaching concerning its own verbal preservation will weaken belief in verbal inspiration.

The variation will often affect the English translation. Where the variation is not translatable, a search of the list will show that the underlying text is frequently weakened or lessened in some way. This is much like having green grass, but with the root structure beneath compromised.

Hort sought to dampen down the extent of the changes by claiming that the amount of what can in any sense be called substantial variation is but a small fraction of the whole residuary variation, and can hardly form more than a thousandth part of the entire text. Since Horts day, many have latched on to this and made the further claim that these differences could be contained on one page. Note a recent example: To put this thousandth part of the entire text into perspective, I am looking at the last page of my Greek New Testament.

It is numbered Horts estimate means that if all of the substantial variation between the families was grouped together in one place it would combine to occupy less than one page of my entire Testament. We wonder if those making and repeating this kind of statement really mean to be taken seriously. It is indeed the opposite! Where does responsibility lie for the many other variations between the two kinds of Greek text? This is the question that must now be asked! Have words been deleted, either intentionally or accidentally from the text underlying the modern versions, or have they been somehow added to the text of the King James Version?

The roots of the current controversy over the text of the New Testament began with the rise of modernistic theology during the 18 th and 19 th Centuries. Proponents of the new rationalism gained control within the universities of Europe. This was accompanied by an increasing attack upon the Authorised Version and the Received Text. The moves for revision became such that by the second half of the19 th Century a formal decision was made to construct a revised Greek New Testament based primarily on two very old and disused! Manuscripts The pillars of the revised text would be the two famous mid fourth century manuscripts: Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph.

These well-preserved codices contain most of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament in Greek and the Apocrypha. Vaticanus has for centuries been in the Vatican library, while Sinaiticus, was discovered in in a monastery at the foot of the traditional Mt. It can now be seen at the British Library Museum. They are the simple reason why the text of the modern versions is shorter. They are corrupted by Adoptionism. They, with partial support from other manuscripts, constitute the basis of the Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies Greek text.

Manuscripts Aleph and B are continually referred to in the footnotes of modern versions as the oldest and best manuscripts. They are old but certainly not the best! Their great age and good condition can only point to disuse by the early church. How else could they be in such remarkably good condition? We have no copies made from them in subsequent centuries. The comparatively few manuscripts that also exhibit the shorter text and support some of their readings will often disagree with them in other readings.

And, as is well known, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus disagree between themselves over times in the four Gospels alone. Their source is Alexandria, Egypt, and their kind of text did not spread and become an accepted text outside of that area. These two primary representatives of the Alexandrian Text remained in their places of disuse for the better part of the Christian era only to be retrieved in the 19 th Century to form the basis of the modern Bibles. Several Home Truths About Aleph and B Given the hatred of the Roman Catholic Church toward the Received Text and toward the great Reformation Bibles based on that text, it would seem surprising that Rome did not in those years use their old manuscript that lay so long in their library as a weapon against what they called the Paper Pope of the Protestants.

In fact they were very reluctant to let it be examined. During the decades leading up to revision, scholars only with the greatest difficulty were able to gain a complete transcript of its text. Their prized possession was a two edged sword, not only against the Received Text, but also against their own Latin Vulgate, whose text was halfway between the two. Codex B was far too radical of a text even for Rome. It was not until that Rome gave its official sanction to the Nestle-Aland Text based upon their Vaticanus.

Another surprising point at least for defenders of the modern versions - is that Sinaiticus unlike Vaticanus contains many corrections and alterations in its margin. Research has shown that a large number of these were carried out shortly after the manuscripts completion. And, the great majority of these revert back to the readings of the Traditional Text. The search has been fruitless, See T.

In fact Skeat goes on to say that Aleph remained a pile of loose leaves for some considerable time, perhaps as much as two centuries! Early believers wisely ignored these two manuscripts. For this and other matters concerning early manuscripts see the authors Early Manuscripts, Church Fathers, and the Authorized Version, available from the Bible for Today. Westcott and Hort: Tailoring the Theory to Aleph and B In the second half of the 19 th Century consensus was reached among those clamouring for change, that the revised Greek text should be based on Aleph and B with preference generally given to B when they disagree.

To forward this, at about the time when Darwin was trying to show how there could be life without a Creator, two Cambridge professors, B. Westcott and F. Hort built up an elaborate theory explaining why a shorter and changed text based on Aleph and B should be accepted in place of the Received Text. Their theory received almost immediate acceptance in both conservative and liberal circles. It became dominate and has dominated the field ever since. Few stood against it. Though the King James Version was to retain its general popularity until the second half of the 20 th Century, virtually every conservative Bible College was to use the Aleph-B Text in their Greek departments.

Except for Burgon, who was largely ignored, very few took the time to notice that a Trojan Horse had come into their midst, and that the differences this text now introduced where substantial. It was only when the KJV itself began to be replaced in churches that a sustained reaction began to take place. But, what is so remarkable is that the major tenets of the Westcott and Hort theory have been disproven or diminished by scholars and yet still appealed to by them! It is much the same as with the key theories of Darwin. In the kind of end time day in which we live, it is perversely true, that for many, despite the evidence, they seem no more likely to return to the KJV type of text than an evolutionist whose theories have also been disproven coming back to the Genesis account of creation.

Westcott and Hort and their fellow travellers today have a very big task on their hands. The overwhelming majority of known manuscripts fall into this category. In contrast to the Aleph-B Text they are strongly cohesive. How can this be explained? And, what process could account for this vast number of manuscripts being uniformly longer.

Here then is Westcott and Horts attempt at an explanation. No special considerations are to be made concerning its claims of inspiration and preservation. God has committed Himself to His Book in its inspiration, preservation, and transmission. Textual scholars and translators who have not taken this into account have made a fatal error that reveals itself only too readily in the product.

As we will see, God declares that His words will be preserved. TWO: Conflation or the combining of different text-types usually the Western and Alexandrian is the reason for the greater length of the Traditional Text. Rather than choose one or the other, both were used. What we call type is called shadow, allegory, parable , by St. Paul cf. Romans ; 1 Corinthians ; Hebrews ; Galatians ; Hebrews ; once he refers to it as antitype Hebrews , though St.

Peter applies this term to the truth signified 1 Peter Various other designations for the typical sense have been used by the Fathers of the Church ; but the following questions are of more vital importance. Nature of the typical sense The typical sense is the Scriptural truth which the Holy Ghost intends to convey really, actually, but not immediately. Inasmuch as its meaning is really conveyed, the typical sense differs from accommodation; inasmuch as its meaning is actually expressed, it differs from the consequent sense; inasmuch as its meaning is not immediately signified, it differs from the literal sense.

While we arrive at the latter immediately by way of the literary expression, we come to know the typical sense only by way of the literal. The text is the sign conveying the literal sense, but the literal sense is the sign expressing the typical. The literal sense is the type which by a special design of God is directed to signify its antitype. Three conditions are necessary to constitute a type: It must have its own true and historical existence independently of the antitype; e.

It must not be referred to the antitype by its very nature. This prohibits the similitude from serving as a type, on account of its antecedent likeness to its object. God himself must have established the reference of the type to its antitype; this excludes objects which are naturally related to others. It should be added, however, that at times the type may be expressed by the Scriptural representation of a subject rather than by the strict literal sense of Scripture. Genesis , e. Thus far we have spoken about the typical sense in its strict sense.

In a wider sense, all persons , events, or objects of the Old Testament are sometimes considered as types, provided they resemble persons , events, or objects in the New Testament , whether the Holy Ghost has intended such a relationship or not. The Egyptian Joseph is in this way frequently represented as a type of St. Joseph, the foster-father of Christ.

Division of the typical sense The division of the typical sense is based on the character of the type and the antitype. The antitype is either a truth to be believed, or a boon to be hoped for, or again a virtue to be practised. The objects of faith in the Old Testament centred mainly around the future Messias and his Church. The allegorical sense may, therefore, be said to refer to the future or to be prophetic. The allegory here is not to be sought in the literary expression, but in the persons or things expressed.

This division of the typical sense was expressed by the Scholastics in two lines: Littera gesta docet; quid credas, allegoria; Moralis quid agas; quo tendas, anagogia. Jerusalem, e. If the division of the typical sense be based on the type rather than the antitype, we may distinguish personal, real, and legal types. They are personal if a person is chosen by the Holy Ghost as the sign of the truth to be conveyed. The real types are certain historical events or objects mentioned in the Old Testament , such as the paschal lamb , the manna , the water flowing from the rock, the brazen serpent, Sion , and Jerusalem.

Legal types are chosen from among the institutions of the Mosaic liturgy, e. Existence of the typical sense Scripture and tradition agree in their testimony for the occurrence of the typical sense in certain passages of the Old Testament. Among the Scriptural texts which establish the typical sense, we may appeal to Colossians ; Hebrews ; ; Romans ; Galatians ; Matthew cf. Hosea ; Hebrews cf. The testimony of tradition concerning this subject may be gathered from Barnabas Ep.

Clement of Rome 1 Corinthians 12 , St. Justin , Dial. Jerome Ep. That the Jews agree with the Christian writers on this point, may be inferred from Josephus Antiq. Striking instances of the liturgical proof may be seen in the Preface of the Mass for Easter , in the Blessing of the Paschal Candle , and in the Divine Office recited on the feast of Corpus Christi. All Catholic interpreters readily grant that in some passages of the Old Testament we have a typical sense besides the literal; but this does not appear to be granted with regard to the New Testament , at least not subsequently to the death of Jesus Christ.

Distinguishing between the New Testament as it signifies a collection of books, and the New Testament as it denotes the Christian economy, they grant that there are types in the New-Testament books, but only as far as they refer to the pre-Christian economy. For the New Testament has brought us the reality in place of the figure , light in place of darkness, truth in place of shadow cf.

Patrizi , "De interpretatione Scripturarum Sacrarum", p. On the other hand, it is urged that the New Testament is the figure of glory, as the Old Testament was the figure of the New St. Thomas, Summa, I, Q. Again, in Scripture the literal sense applies to what precedes, the typical to what follows. Now, even in the New Testament Christ and His Body precedes the Church and its members; hence, what is said literally of Christ or His Body, may be interpreted allegorically of the Church , the mystical body of Christ , tropologically of the virtuous acts of the Church's members, anagogically of their future glory St.

Thomas, Quodl. Similar views are expressed by St. Ambrose in Ps. Chrysostom in Matt. Augustine in Joh. Gregory the Great Hom. John Damascene De fide orth. Does everything in the Old Testament have a typical sense? If such passages as Luke , 1 Corinthians , be taken out of their context, they suggest the ubiquity of the typical sense in the Old Testament ; the context limits these texts to their proper range.

If some of the Fathers, e. Jerome Ad Dard. Jerome in Joann. The opposite opinion does not appeal to reason ; what could be the typical sense, e. How can the typical sense be known? In the typical sense God does not merely select an existing person or object as the sign of a future person or object, but he directs the course of nature in such a way that the very existence of the type, however independent it may be in itself, refers to the antitype.

Man, too, can, in one or another particular case, perform an action in order to typify what he will do in the future. But as the future is not under his complete control, such a way of acting would be ludicrous rather than instructive. The typical sense is, therefore, properly speaking, confined to God's own book. Hence the criteria which serve for the interpretation of profane literature will not be sufficient to detect the typical sense.

The latter is a supernatural fact depending entirely on the free will of God ; nothing but revelation can make it known to us, so that Scripture or tradition must be regarded as the source of any solid argument in favour of the existence of the typical sense in any particular passage. Where the typical sense really exists, it expresses the mind of God as truly as the literal sense; but we must be careful against excess in this regard. Augustine is guilty of this fault in his spiritual interpretation of the thirty-eight years in John , and of the one hundred and fifty-three fishes in John It would be useless labour to search for the spiritual meaning of every detail connected with the paschal lamb , e.

The exegete ought to be especially careful in the admission of typical prophecies, and of anything that would resemble the method of the Jewish Cabbalists. But if we speak of the typical sense which has been revealed as such, or which has been proved as such from either Scripture or tradition, it conveys the meaning intended by God not less veraciously than the literal sense. Hence it furnishes solid and reliable premises for theological conclusions. The inspired writers themselves do not hesitate to argue from the typical sense, as may be seen in Matthew cf.

Hosea , and Hebrews cf. Texts whose typical sense is only probable yield only probable theological conclusions; such is the argument for the Immaculate Conception based on Esther If St. Thomas Summa, I, Q. Hermeneutics The interpretation of a writing has for its object to find the ideas which the author intended to express.

We do not consider here the so-called authentic interpretation or the writer's own statement as to the thought he intended to convey. In interpreting the Bible scientifically, its twofold character must always be kept in view: it is a Divine book, in as far as it has God for its author; it is a human book, in as far as it is written by men for men. In its human character, the Bible is subject to the same rules of interpretation as profane books; but in its Divine character, it is given into the custody of the Church to be kept and explained, so that it needs special rules of hermeneutics.

Under the former aspect, it is subject to the laws of the grammatico-historical interpretation; under the latter, it is bound by the precepts of what we may call the Catholic explanation. Historico-grammatical interpretation The grammatico-historical interpretation implies three elements: first, a knowledge of the various significations of the literary expression to be interpreted; secondly, the determination of the precise sense in which the literary expression is employed in any given passage; thirdly, the historical description of the idea thus determined.

What has been said in the preceding paragraphs sufficiently shows the difference between the signification and the sense of a word or a sentence. The importance of describing an idea historically may be exemplified by the successive shades of meaning attaching to the concept of Messias , or of Kingdom of God. Significations of the literary expression The signification of the literary expression of the Bible is best learned by a thorough knowledge of the so-called sacred languages in which the original text of Scripture was written, and by a familiar acquaintance with the Scriptural way of speaking.

Sacred languages St. Men of the Latin tongue need two others for a thorough knowledge of the Divine Scriptures, viz, the Hebrew and the Greek, so that recourse may be had to the older copies, if the infinite variety of the Latin translators occasions any doubt. The pontiff considers this exception in the Encyclical quoted: "Although the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek is substantially rendered by the Vulgate , nevertheless wherever there may be ambiguity or want of clearness, the 'examination of older tongues,' to quote St.

Augustine , will be useful and advantageous. A translation is never a perfect reproduction of the original; no language can fully express the thoughts conveyed in another tongue, no translator is capable of seizing the exact shades of all the truths contained in any work, and in case of Biblical versions, we have often good reason for doubt as to the genuineness of their readings. Scriptural language The Scriptural language presents several difficulties peculiar to itself.

First, the Bible is not written by one author, but presents in almost every book the style of a different writer. Secondly, the Bible was not written at a single period; the Old Testament covers the time between Moses and the last Old-Testament writer, i.

Thirdly, the Biblical Greek is not the classical language of the Greek authors with whom we are acquainted; up to about fifteen years ago, Biblical scholars used to speak about New-Testament Greek, they compiled New-Testament lexicons, and wrote New-Testament grammars. The discovery of the Egyptian papyri and other literary remains has broken down this wall of separation between the language of the New Testament and that of the time in which it was written; with regard to this point, our present time may be considered as a period of transition, leading up to the composition of lexicons and grammars that will rightly express the relation of the Biblical Greek to the Greek employed in profane writings.

Fourthly, the Bible deals with the greatest variety of topics, requiring a corresponding variety of vocabulary; moreover, its expressions are often figurative, and therefore subject to more frequent changes of meaning than the language of profane writers. How are we to become acquainted with the Scriptural language in spite of the foregoing difficulties? A third help is found, according to the same great Doctor, in the diligent reading of the works of the Fathers, since many of them formed their style by a constant reading of Holy Scripture loc.

Nor must we omit to study the writings of Philo and Josephus , the contemporaries of the Apostles and the historians of their nation. They are helpful illustrations of the cultured language of the Apostolic time. The study of the etymology of the sacred languages is another means of becoming acquainted with the languages themselves. For a proper understanding of the etymology of Hebrew words, the knowledge of the cognate languages is requisite; but here it must be kept in mind that many derivatives have a meaning quite different from the signification of their respective radicals, so that an argument based on etymology alone is open to suspicion.

Sense of the literary expression After the foregoing rules have aided the interpreter to know the various significations of the words of the sacred text , he must next endeavour to investigate in what precise sense the inspired writer employed his expressions. He will be assisted in this study by attending to the subject-matter of the book or chapter, to its occasion and purpose, to the grammatical and logical context, and to the parallel passages. Whatever meaning of the literary expressions is not in keeping with the subject-matter of the book, cannot be the sense in which the writer employed it.

The same criterion directs us in the choice of any particular shade of meaning and in the limitation of its extent. The subject-matter of the Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians, e. Paul used the expressions law and works of the law ; the sense of the expressions spirit of God , wisdom and understanding, which occur in Exodus , must be determined in the same way. The occasion and purpose of a book or of a passage will often determine whether certain expressions must be taken in their proper or figurative sense, whether in a limited or an unlimited extent.

Attention to this point will aid us in explaining aright such passages as John sqq. Thus we shall understand the first of these passages of the real flesh and blood of Christ , not of their figure; we shall see the true import of Christ's command contained in the second passage, "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles , and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not"; again we shall appreciate the full weight of the theological argument in favour of the eternal generation of the Son as stated in the third passage, contained in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

The context is the third aid in determining the precise sense in which each single word is used by the writer. We need not insist on the necessity of explaining an expression in accordance with its grammatical environment. The commentator must make sure of the grammatical connection of an expression, so as not to do violence to the rules of inflection or of syntax. The so-called poetical parallelism may be considered as constituting part of grammar taken in a wider sense. But the logical context, too, requires attention; a commentator must not explain any expression in such a sense as to make the author contradict himself, being careful to assign to each word a meaning that will best agree with the thought of the sentence of the chapter, and even of the book.

Still, it must not be overlooked that the context is sometimes psychological rather than logical ; in lyric poetry, in the words of the Prophets, or in animated dialogues, thoughts and sentiments are at times brought into juxtaposition, the logical connection of which is not apparent. Finally, there is a so-called optical context which is found in the visions of the Prophets. The inspired seer may perceive grouped together in the same vision events which are widely separated from each other in time and space.

The so-called real or verbal parallelisms will aid the commentator in determining the precise sense in which the inspired writer employed his words. In case of verbal parallelism, or in the recurrence of the same literary expressions in different parts of the inspired books, it is better to explain the language of Paul by that of Paul, the expressions of John by those of John, than to explain Paul by Matthew, and John by Luke.

Again, it is more natural to explain an expression occurring in the Fourth Gospel by another found in the same book than by a parallel passage taken from the Apocalypse. Finally, it should be kept in mind that parallelism of thought, or real parallelism, is a more reliable aid in finding the exact sense of a passage than a mere material recurrence of a sentence or a phrase. Historical setting The inspired writers connected with their words the ideas which they themselves possessed, and which they knew to be intelligible to their contemporaries.

When they spoke of a house, they expressed a habitation to which their contemporaries were accustomed, not a contrivance in use among the barbarians. In order to arrive at the precise sense of a passage, we must therefore bear in mind its historical setting, we must consult the testimony of history. The true sense of the Bible cannot be found in an idea or a thought historically untrue.

Otherwise it will be impossible for him to understand the allusions, the metaphors, the language, and the style of the sacred writers. What has been said about the historico-grammatical interpretation of Scripture is synopsized, as it were, in the Encyclical already quoted: "The more our adversaries contend to the contrary, so much the more solicitously should we adhere to the received and approved canons of interpretation. Hence, while weighing the meanings of words, the connection of ideas , the parallelism of passages, and the like, we should by all means make use of such illustrations as can be drawn from opposite erudition of an external sort.

The inferences which flow from this principle are partly negative, partly positive. Negative directions The following directions are called negative not because they do not imply a positive attitude of mind or because they do not lead to positive results, but because they appear to emphasize at first sight the avoidance of certain methods of proceeding which would be legitimate in the exegesis of profane books. They are based on what the Church teaches concerning the sacred character of the Bible. Avoid irreverence Since the Bible is God's own book, its study must be begun and prosecuted with a spirit of reverence and prayer.

The Fathers insist on this need in many passages. Athanasius calls the Scriptures the fountain that quenches our thirst for justice and supplies us with the doctrine of piety Ep. Jerome In Mich. We might add the words of other patristic writers, if the alleged references were not clear and explicit enough to remove all doubt on the subject.

No error in Scripture Since God is the principal Author of Sacred Scripture , it can contain no error , no self-contradiction, nothing contrary to scientific or historical truth. The Encyclical "Providentissimus Deus" is most explicit in its statement of this prerogative of the Bible : "All the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error , but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily, as it is impossible that God Himself, the Supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.

Jerome In Nah. Augustine Reply to Faustus II. The great African Doctor suggests a simple and radical remedy against apparent errors in the Bible : "Either my codex is wrong, or the translator has blundered, or I do not understand. Luke , 67 ; ; 2 Maccabees , or again words regarded as having Divine authority either by Scripture cf. Biblical words that do not fall under any of these classes carry merely the authority of the speaker, the weight of which must be studied from other sources. Here is the place to take notice of a decision issued by the Biblical Commission , 13 Feb.

But this can be done only when there is certain and independent proof that the inspired writer really quotes the words of another without intending to make them his own. Recent writers call such passages "tacit" or "implicit" citations. The inerrancy of Scripture does not allow us to admit contradictions in its statements. This is understood of the genuine or primitive text of the Bible.

Owing to textual corruptions, we must be prepared to meet contradictions in details of minor importance; in weightier matters such discrepancies have been avoided even in our present text. Discrepancies which may appear to obtain in matters of faith or morals should put the commentator on his guard that the same Biblical expressions are not everywhere taken in the same sense, that various passages may differ from each other as the complete statement of a doctrine differs from its incomplete expression, as a clear presentation differs from its obscure delineation.

Thus "works" has one meaning in James, ii, 24, another in Rom. In apparent Biblical discrepancies found in historical passages, the commentator must distinguish between statements made by the inspired writer and those merely quoted by him cf. Lastly, apparent discrepancies which occur in prophetical passages necessitate an investigation, whether the respective texts emanate from the Prophets as Prophets cf. Thus the Prophet Nathan in his private capacity encourages David to build the Temple 2 Samuel , but as Prophet he foretells that Solomon will build the house of God ibid.

The inerrancy of Scripture excludes also any contradiction between the Bible and the certain tenets of science. It cannot be supposed that the inspired writers should agree with all the various hypotheses which scientists assume today and reject tomorrow; but the commentator will be required to harmonize the teaching of the Bible with the scientific results which rest on solid proof. This rule is clearly laid down by the Encyclical in the words of St. Augustine : "Whatever they can really demonstrate to be true of physical nature, we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our Scriptures, and whatever they assert in their treatises which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is to Catholic faith , we must either prove as well as we can to be entirely false , or at all events we must, without the smallest hesitation, believe it to be so" De Gen.

But the commentator must also be careful "not to make rash assertions, or to assert what is not known as known" St. The Encyclical appeals here again to the words of the great African Doctor St. Finally, the commentator must be prepared to deal with the seeming discrepancies between Biblical and profane history. The considerations to be kept in mind here are similar to those laid down in the preceding paragraph. First, not all statements found in profane sources can be regarded a priori as Gospel truth ; some of them refer to subjects with which the writers were imperfectly acquainted, others proceed from party-feeling and national vanity, others again are based on imperfectly or only partially translated ancient documents.

Secondly, the Bible does not ex professo teach profane history or chronology. These topics are treated only incidentally, in as far as they are connected with sacred subjects. Hence it would be wrong to regard Scripture as containing a complete course of history and chronology , or to consider the text of its historical portions above suspicion of corruption. Thirdly, we must keep in mind the words of St. Jerome in Jer. Jerome the inspired writers report the public opinion prevalent at the time of the events related, not the public opinion prevalent when the narrative was written.

This distinction is of greater practical importance than it, at first, seems to be. For Father Delattre only grants that the inspired historian may write according to sensible appearances, while his opponents contend that he may follow also the so-called historic appearances. Finally, the first two decisions of the Biblical Commission must be mentioned in this connection.

Some Catholic writers had attempted to remove certain historical difficulties from the sacred text either by considering the respective passages as tacit or implied quotations from other authors, for which the inspired writers did not in any way vouch; or by denying that the sacred writers vouch, in any way, for the historical accuracy of the facts they narrate, since they use these apparent facts merely as pegs on which to hang some moral teaching. The Biblical Commission rejected these two methods by decrees issued respectively 13 Feb. Positive directions St.

IV, De edit. Hence flow the following principles. Defined texts The Catholic commentator is bound to adhere to the interpretation of texts which the Church has defined either expressly or implicitly. The number of these texts is small, so that the commentator can easily avoid any transgression of this principle. The Council of Trent teaches that Rom. V, cc. VII, De bapt. XIII, cap. Many more Scripture texts are indirectly defined by the definition of certain doctrines and the condemnation of certain errors.

This unanimity is not destroyed by the silence of some of the foremost Fathers, and is sufficiently guaranteed by the consentient voice of the principal patristic writers living at any critical period, or by the agreement of commentators living at various times; but the unanimity is destroyed if some of the Fathers openly deny the correctness of the interpretation given by the others, or if they explain the passage in such a way as to render impossible the explanation given by others.

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But the Encyclical warns us to treat the opinion of the Fathers with reverence, even if there is no unanimity: "The opinion of the Fathers", says the holy pontiff, "is also of very great weight when they treat of these matters in their capacity of doctors , unofficially; not only because they excel in their knowledge of revealed doctrine and in their acquaintance with many things which are useful in understanding the Apostolic books, but because they are men of eminent sanctity and of ardent zeal for the truth , on whom God has bestowed a more ample measure of his light.

First, the commentator cannot admit in Scripture a statement contrary to the teaching of the Church ; on the other hand, the agreement of an explanation with the doctrine of the Church does not prove its correctness, since more than one explanation may agree with the ecclesiastical teaching. Secondly, the Catholic interpreter must explain the obscure and partial teaching of the Scriptures by the clear and complete teaching of the Church ; the passages, e. And here we must keep in mind what the Encyclical adds concerning doctrine which comes down to us in a less authoritative channel: "The authority of other Catholic interpreters is not so great; but the study of Scripture has always continued to advance in the Church , and, therefore, these commentaries also have their own honourable place, and are serviceable in many ways for the refutation of assailants and the explanation of difficulties.

It is for this reason that Scripture students express their results in writing so as to share their light with as many as possible. Sixtus Senensis [Bibliotheca sancta Venice, , I, pp. But some of these methods are no longer in use; others may be reduced to fewer and more general heads. According to the end which the writer has in view, they may be divided into theoretical and practical or historico-dogmatic and moral treatises; considering the persons for whom they were written, they are either popular or learned expositions; but if their literary form be made the basis of division, which is the common and more rational principle of division, there are five kinds of Biblical exegesis: the version, the paraphrase, the gloss and scholion, the dissertation, and the commentary.

The version The version is the translation of the Bible from one language into another, especially from its original into the vernacular language. A version made directly from the original text is called immediate, while it is mediate if it be based directly on another version.