A Debate on NT Textual Criticism

By John Aziza

The following is an email debate I undertook with a fellow American Jew (representing Judaism) on the subject of New Testament Textual Criticism. As part of this exchange, we ventured into various elements of doctrine and theology (including the Trinity). But as you will see, I firmly represented my Christian beliefs and the conviction that the entire New Testament can be trusted as the infallible Word of God. I hope that our written exchanges will expand your understanding of Textual Criticism and the "Bible versions debate". It is also my hope that this debate may help broaden your knowledge of why Jews reject Jesus and what arguments are effective in refuting their objections to Christ and the New Testament. This particular Jew happens to be a former convert to Christianity who later apostatized from the Faith. He now runs a ministry based in Israel aimed solely at discrediting the common tenants of Christianity. His book "If, The End of the Messianic Lie" has led many undiscerning Christians to abandon the saving grace of the Christian Faith in exchange for Old Testament principles of Law observance. So I hope our recorded email correspondence can counter the damage inflicted by this man's ministry and help those who have been negatively influenced by his false teachings. 

Note: My own correspondence will be highlighted in blue while his in red.

Name: Uriel ben-Mordechai

Ministry Affiliation: http://www.ntcf.org

Subject: Your Comments posted on our YouTube video "Passover Lamb Debunked"

Message:

 

Shalom John, just reaching out here after you posted a 3,500 word diatribe in response to our video. That must have taken you a few hours to write! Look John, according to your own testimony, you have been a "believer" since 2007. I've been exposed to the tenants of the christian faith since 1973. I don't know where you live, but we live in Jerusalem. Obviously, that means we are fluent in Hebrew, and read the Hebrew Bible which you quote in English. We are also accomplished in Koine Greek, and in fact, have been translating a number of NT letters and accounts based upon the earliest MSS from the 2nd Century CE. All that to say that when you, John, start quoting our Bible in English, try to do so respectfully. We make our arguments on sacred texts, not based on christian world views, but based on our own original writings in our own language. In other words, when Jerusalem speaks, don't treat us like the baptist church pastor down the street. Ask us what our Bible says and we are happy to tell you. Don't tell us what you demand that it should say in English. Do you want to dialog, and learn from the nation that delivered those texts into your hands, or are you going to insist on instructing us about the meaning of what we wrote in Hebrew [and to a lesser extent in Greek]? If the later, it is just going to be a waste of time. But if you consider yourself possessing a teachable spirit, get in touch and we can start a dialog and see where that might lead us... We can even Skype if you want [Tzemach_David]. Or email... whatever suits you best. Shavu'ah Tov [have a good week]. Uriel

Shalom Uriel, 

 

Thanks for reaching out to me. It is a rare blessing to communicate with a fellow Jew. Just to give you a little background about myself, I'm a young man in my early 30's. I was born and raised in Beersheba Israel and my first language is Hebrew. English is my second language. Though I am more fluent at this point in English from spending a good chunk of my recent life in the US., I can still speak Hebrew without an accent when communicating with my family members and relatives. As a young boy, I went to an Israeli public school in Ma'ale Adumim. So reading and writing in Hebrew is natural, though I do so more slowly now then when I was still living in Israel. I also spent a good chunk of my childhood in Jerusalem, particularly in Rabbi Akiva and Keren Hayesod. As a Jew born and raised in Israel, I grew up around Jews, though I was raised Messianic by my parents. My dad converted from Judaism to Christianity just before I was born. We went to a Messianic Kehilat in Jerusalem and our friends were all pretty much from a Jewish background, but converts to the Faith. My brother has served in the IDF, particularly in Egoz and was honored for his service to Israel by Prime Minister Bebee Netanyahu. My dad has also served in the IDF along with my other relatives, etc. All this to say I have very strong roots in the land of Israel and am very familiar with the beliefs and culture of the Jewish people, both the Orthodox and the Reformed elements. I am also especially well versed in Christian apologetics, textual criticism, eschatology, ecclesiastical history, etc. But this does not endow me with anything special because I only rely on God to sustain me against those who would oppose the Gospel of my Lord and Savior, Yahshua Hamashiach (Kadosh Baruchhu). My passion is to defend the Messianic Faith to which I hold to with all of my Jewish heart. It is a Jewish Faith because to the Jews were first entrusted the oracles of God (Rom. 3:2). I love my people tremendously and so this is why I have prayed earnestly to the Lord, while confessing my ignorance and brutish nature, for wisdom in how to bring more of His precious people back into the Remnant fold, to which belonged Moses, Joshua, and Caleb. Just a few, but a brave lot they were (the Remnant of Israel). I'm not exactly sure to what extent you have studied Koine Greek and Aramaic, but I have studied these also probably to a lesser degree than you. Nevertheless, I am happy to engage you on any point of the Jewish Faith, the Old Testament (Tanach), the New Testament, or even Jewish Rabbinic tradition. And I am pleased to engage you in a friendly and respectful dialogue concerning early MSS and the technical issues of Greek grammar and placement as they relate to proper translation of the NT text. Please let me know if this is agreeable with you. I really look forward to getting to know you better and learning together perhaps about these crucial issues of Judaism. 

 

Respectfully,

Yochanan Chaziza (John Aziza)

P.S. Is it ok if I repost the first segment of my rebuttal to your video "Jesus, the Passover Lamb?" (debunked), which I noticed disappeared from the comments section of your video? Much thanks in advance.

Shalom Yochanan,

 

We were glad to hear that you are Jewish. We do wish though that you would come home. I read somewhere on one of your updates on your website that you were considering New Zealand, Alaska, Arkansas… everywhere except home! Stop running to the galut. Yochanan…this is where you belong; you, your wife, and your kids! Ha’Shem didn’t make a mistake by letting you be born a Jew in Be’er Sheva. You already keep Shabbat… what’s the problem?

 

Perhaps the answer is tied up with the extent that you have allowed christian English Bibles to dictate your theology. Surely, you are aware of Yermiyahu 16:19 and your destiny as a Jew, vis-à-vis the gentiles…

 

Gentile nations shall come to you [i.e., to AMH Israel] from every corner of the globe and they will say, “Only a lie did our fathers pass down [to us]! An absurdity! And nothing useful amongst them [i.e., with our fathers] exists!”

 

You said… “My passion is to defend the Messianic Faith… to the Jews were first entrusted the oracles of G-d.”

You do realize that the reference is to Torat Moshe, don’t you? You also must at least suspect by now that most of christianity’s positions entirely negate the Torah. Why would you observe Shabbat, if you were not already convinced of that? Yochanan, life is going to force you to choose between Rome and Yerushali’im. Make the right choice. The current versions of the English NT are not our story. They don’t belong to Jews, because they narrate ideas that are contrary to what our Torah teaches. Our sofrim kept our Torah intact. What did the christians do with their sacred texts? They changed and manipulated them, in tens of thousands of instances across over 5,000 MSS from the end of the 2nd century CE, until the 16th century CE. And you are going to tie your destiny to the likes of such men as these?

 

You wrote, “I only rely on Him to sustain me against those who would oppose the Gospel…”. Oppose which gospel? The 16th century Greek TR? The NA-28? Your English Version of the NT? If you are going to rely upon Ha’Shem to sustain you against those who oppose the narrative that WE JEWS gave to the world, first make sure you have the right set of MSS in your hands. Otherwise Ha’Shem will tell you, “I gave you the earliest MSS, and you chose the other ones that lying gentile fathers handed down to you, instead. How exactly did you rely upon Me to sustain you?”

 

You wrote, “I love my people tremendously and [I desire wisdom on] how to bring more of His people back to Moshe, Yehoshu’ah, and Calev.” Yafeh! So do it, and stop handing your own people a foreign god-man, a foreign religion, and a new torah!

 

I made Aliyah in ’82 from San Francisco, and ended up, davka, in Be’er Sheva, where I first hooked up with the messianic congregation there, run by Larry Goldberg, at the time. I probably know or knew your Ima and Abba, and they knew or have heard of me.

 

After that, I ended up in Haifa, before moving to Ma’aleh Adumim in ’98. You probably went to the same school as my sons [ages 27-33 now]. I was part of Shulam’s congregation for many years, and then joined with Tel-Tzur in MA, because he was the only one rejecting the deity doctrine, which I realize that you currently embrace.

 

The entire messianic movement here divorced me in 2001, over the deity debate, even though I ran an Amuta for 25 years, for which I raised millions of dollars in order to give it all over to hundreds of needly messianic families. None of that mattered. The deity doctrine remains the central doctrine most messianics will rarely question. This is sad, because Jews, unlike christians, question everything. But only christianity hires the thought-police to issue expulsion orders against those who don’t agree with their doctrines.

 

The messianics come with their death sentence, when you oppose their doctrines. They are out for blood. They have no problem stealing from you, once you have been deemed “Koh'fer ba’Ikar.” They are allowed to kill and destroy the man, even to his very soul, if they can. This is what the movement tried to do to me, on more than one occasion, and I even documented the entire affair in a 550 page book that I wrote and published on christmas day in 2011. In 2015, I was even sued by a messianic from Ariel who claimed I defamed her in my book. She lost, but I’ve learned by now not to engage in debate with such as these. So if that is where you are coming from Yochanan… don’t even write me back… just make believe I never contacted you.

 

Now, if you are ready to learn about the real Yeshua [NOT yahshua!!!! STOP that nonsense!] we are happy to enter into discussions with you on these matters, but only if you have an ear to hear. We are not interested in bantering over the standard “blah blah” christian apologetic arguments. Been there, done that for the past 40 years. Di! And besides that, they don’t hold water anyway, because 99% of them are based on readings from an English Bible. So, if that is your game plan, don’t bother. We’ll just go our way, and you go yours.

 

I first embraced the christian faith in 1973, at the tail end of the “jesus movement” of the 60’s. Our mission has since shifted. We are all about rescuing Jews from christianity… and now you have become a valid target. So, no, do NOT repost your rebuttals to our YouTube video, or I’ll take them down. Why?

 

1. You are a Jew… Don’t join yourself to those who want to destroy AHM Israel and our Torah, and introduce Z’nut Eli’lit in it’s place. Not on my channel!

 

2. Send your arguments via email or skype first. If you present a good and valid argument, then I’ll let you post, but only after we discuss it. YouTube doesn’t need to be littered with more garbage that tries to make Jews look stupid and supposes that christians know more about our Mashiach, our Torah and Torah-Judaim, than we do.

 

Regarding early MSS: Yochanan, the earliest MSS we are currently translating, entirely defeat any christian argument they hold sacred. The reason is simple: What christians think Jews wrote in the NT, was never written. And now, we have the physical proof. The only thing these earliest MSS reveal, that remains, is that Yeshua, Sha’ul and other writers of the NT held that the Torah needed to be presented to the non-Jewish world, and that Yeshua himself, as Mashiach-elect, would serve in office as Mashiach, but only in the Olam Ha’Bah… Lo ba’Olam ha’zeh. Get it through your head. Yeshua is NOT the mashiach in this age. He himself said it, in B’sorat Yochanan, according to P-66 which dates as early as 150 CE. This is pretty good news. We still get Yeshua as a man, not as a god… just not in this age. Wait for the resurrection from the dead. Then you will get what you want.

 

We are not making this stuff up. Not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri, like P-46, P-66, P-47, etc., because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims. We are talking about MSS that predate Codex Sinaiticus by nearly 200 years in some cases. But we are translating them, even though we know it will not gain popularity… yet. Unlike Sinaiticus, there is no controversy surrounding the Papryi.

 

But think about our Prophets, and how they predicted that only out from Yerushali’im the Torah goes forth. How many Jews do you know, that live in Yerushali’im, are willing to translate the earliest NT MSS, that tell the real story about Yeshua and the Olam Ha’Bah, written decades before the gentiles got their hands on our story, and willfully changed the texts, to create a new narrative and a new religion?

 

We have documented hundreds of textual changes, additions, subtractions, grammatical edits and the like, that hijacked the identities of our boys… Sha’ul and Yeshua and Kefa, and twisted their messages to conform with a new message based on the 16th century TR, and the Jamesville [KJV] translation.

 

All of your christian arguments will simply disappear, if you rely upon the earliest MSS, instead of on the TR and/or the NA-28 as the basis for your understanding of the NT. And the kicker is that all christianity accepts and embraces the validity of the Papyri. No one will argue that they are not valid. They just won’t translate them, because they understand that it will undermine the foundations of the christian religion.

 

So, you decide where you want to go from here. Do you want to find out what your own people have written, and be a Jew that wants to rescue Jews [like Yeshua, and Sha’ul and Kefa, and Yochanan, etc] from what the gentiles have done to them, or do you want to be a good christian, and “save” Jews, by converting them to a false religion that brings us another god, ditches our Torah, erases and replaces our Land, Jerusalem and our people, in order to advance their cause and religion.

 

Up to you Yochanan. We host a weekly live Webinar, where we give opportunity to those who want to track our translations, verse by verse, as we move forward. Last week, we hosted our 400th Webinar. We are currently in B’sorat Yochanan, Chapter 4, around verse 27. P-66 is our source text.

 

Let us know if you want to join with us, and learn, and we will send you a link to register for the next class. This is a game-changer Yochanan. This is one of those emails, which by its very nature, forces you to turn left or right. Choose carefully, and prayerfully.

 

Kol Tuv,

 

Uriel

Shalom Uriel,

 

Sorry for the much delayed response. I was very busy these last couple of months with the arrival of our new baby boy (Yoseph Moshe Aziza), but I did take the time to properly research the Papyri since you mentioned them in your previous emails. To be honest, I was largely unfamiliar with the papyri up until recently. But now I feel sufficiently familiar with their history and contents. So if you would kindly permit me, I would like to address point by point all of your stated objections to my view of the Messiah and my understanding of our Jewish Tanach and how this relates to textual criticism. 

 

But first, let me state that I am happy to satisfy all of your objections to my Messianic faith and defend my conviction that Jesus (Yeshua) is indeed the Messiah of Israel. And moreover I am confident that every doctrine or theological statement found in the NT is amply supported in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures. Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15 tells us that by the mouth of two or three witnesses a judgement decree is established and the same is echoed in Mathew 18:16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1. Therefore we can apply this principle to the whole of the NT by finding witnesses for or against its testimony in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures. Frankly, it's not difficult to find at least two or three and in some instances scores of OT Scriptures that bear witness to the doctrines and theological statements of the Jewish New Testament. So I'm willing to support the theology of the NT using nothing more than the Hebrew Tanach as my foundation. That way it is clear that my faith in Jesus is thoroughly Jewish and so too the New Testament/Covenant. Also, just to be clear, I am not a KJV "onliest" and neither do I subscribe to all of the nonsense coming out of "Jamesville" masquerading itself as Christianity, as you may have gathered from my website. So I'm delighted to discuss with you the fine points of our Jewish/Messianic belief system. 

 

But I should also preface this email by stating that I do not intend to place any confidence in my well formulated points, as compelling as they may be. I was impressed this past week with Shaul's words in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, where he reminds the Thessalonians that the Gospel they heard did not come to them with many eloquent words or with good argumentation, but rather with supernatural power displayed in signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit. So I completely trust the good LORD to make a distinction between my words and yours, and I'm praying you will see this distinction soon.

 

Just a few weeks ago I received a big answer to prayer. In a conversation with my dad, I asked him what he currently thought of the New Testament and with a brief sigh of resignation, he acknowledged that he now fully accepted it. You see, about six or seven years ago, he went through a lengthy period in which he began to seriously doubt the NT. He saw all kinds of problems and contradictions in the Gospels and especially the Pauline letters. At one point, his behavior became odd enough that I discerned he was not doing well in his Christian Faith and asked him about it. That's when he confessed that he no longer trusted the NT. As you can imagine, I was deeply grieved by his admission. But at least I knew why his behavior had markedly changed and turned worldly. That's when I began to earnestly pray for him and took the time to listen to his objections and complaints about the unreliability of the NT. In fact, this was a big part of why I'm so familiar with Christian Apologetics and Textual Criticism. I was driven to learn these things from a desire to defend my Faith, and of course, restore my dad's Faith by bringing to bear the most compelling defense possible. So I am elated to inform you that after much prayer and years of earnestly reasoning with my dad, he has now finally come full circle. In fact, just a few days ago he informed me that he was experiencing Christ in a personal way and it was transforming Him and putting fresh love into his heart for his family and friends. Praise Yah!! [By the way, maybe you do know my parents, Moshe and Rose Chaziza. My dad did not seem familiar with your name when I mentioned you. So perhaps you came later, after my parents already moved to Gilo.] 

 

But I often wondered why my dad hit such a phase of doubt and skepticism when my own Faith has always remained solid. After some thought, I realized that it was because my foundation was stronger than his. I was relying on a profound and personal encounter with Jesus that left me powerfully transformed, while my dad was relying on philosophical and intellectual reasons to justify his belief in Christ as the Jewish Messiah. And eventually, this merely intellectual foundation crumbled when eroded by doubt. 

 

MY TESTIMONY

Although I had been raised in a Christian home, I abandoned my Faith in God during my teen years in pursuit of worldly pleasure. By late 2006 I was addicted to immorality and all kinds of worldly vises. I was hopeless and needed a miracle. I reached a point when I was completely weary of my sinful lifestyle and I cried out to the Lord for help. In that moment I received the power to abandon my sin. So thankful was I for Christ's deliverance that I decided to fully commit my life to His service without reservation and the rest is history. Since then I cannot even recount the number of times I've experienced supernatural answer to prayer. My life is filled with the joy and peace that comes from walking in continual fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. On several occasions I have encountered Christ in my dreams and seen glimpses of heaven. To me, God is as real as the air I breathe and I have no reason to doubt His presence or His existence. And therefore I believe with all of my heart that when a sincere and genuine plea for help reaches God's ears, He is swift to reveal Himself even to the lowliest individual. There is no reason to believe that those who call upon the name of the Lord with a sincere and honest heart will be lead into rank deception. I have full assurance within me that God has lead me to the only source of ultimate truth and I am happy to give a ready answer to any skeptic who doubts me, whether atheist, Jewish, Muslim, or otherwise.

 

YOUR CLAIMS (paraphrased)

You made several emphatic claims during the course of our communication. They are as follows:

1. All of the existing versions of the NT are corrupted.

2. Most of Christianity’s positions entirely negate the Torah and the Sabbath issue is a prime example.
3. The Jews gave the world the only correct narrative, everyone else is deceived. 

4. Our sofrim kept our Torah intact, but the Christians changed and manipulated the NT in tens of thousands of instances across over 5,000 MSS from the end of the 2nd century CE, until the 16th century CE.
5. The Trinity is a pagan invention of Christianity.
6. Not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri (P-46, P-66, P-47, etc.) because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims.
7. We have documented hundreds of textual changes, additions, subtractions, grammatical edits and the like, that hijacked the identities of our boys… Sha’ul and Yeshua and Kefa, and twisted their messages to conform with a new message based on the 16th century TR, and the Jamesville [KJV] translation.

8. All Jews belong in Israel.

 

MY REBUTTAL

1. "All of the existing versions of the NT are corrupted."

Are all NT versions completely corrupt and unreliable as you claim? I don't believe so. So let's take a look at the raw facts starting with the very basics (and I apologize in advance if this may sound redundant). Excluding the Western MSS and the Papyri, we both know that there are two predominant schools of manuscript evidence available for the NT and these are the Byzantine/Majority and Alexandrian text types. The latter includes the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Now between these four there are over 5,800 Greek MSS, some of them fragmentary and some complete. And of course, these are the manuscripts that underlie all NT versions in circulation today. It is worth mentioning that the NT is by far the most widely circulated and best preserved book of antiquity--bar none (see here). In fact, it is even more well attested than the OT. It is also the ONLY ancient text for which copies exist so close to the dates of the original autographs (see here). Moreover, even if all of the Greek MSS were completely lost we could still reconstruct the entire NT with the quotations preserved in the writings of the early Church Fathers, etc. Now why is all of this so significant? It's significant because the fewer MSS available, the less certain we can be of the accurate reproduction of the original reading. Simply stated, the more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the easier it is to cross-check them to discover what the original document was like (see here). Now while there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extent to us, literally 99.5% of these are utterly irrelevant, such as variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation, grammar, and scribal errors (see here). Such variants do not impact or change the overall meaning of the text. Only about 0.5% (1,500-2,000) of the 400 thousand variants merit careful examination and are the difference between a good translation and a really bad one. But while these 1,500-2,000 variants only account for less than 1% of all known variants, they should be isolated from the rest of the text and examined carefully. Thankfully, it is easy to do so because they exist predominantly in the Alexandrian text stream. 

 

Alexandrian Vs. Byzantine

Between 95%-98% of all NT manuscripts belong to the Byzantine/Majority text family and less than 2% of all NT MSS represent the Alexandrian family, which is very significant in terms of broad testimony. The Vaticanus and Sinaiticus which comprise the Alexandrian text type are about 85% identical with the Byzantine. The 15% variance accounts for about 6,500 differences. Now while the majority of these differences are insignificant, a large portion of them are significant enough to merit concern and do indeed impact theology. In fact, they even call into question the very integrity of the NT text. And this is why so many skeptics like Bart Ehrman exist to challenge the claims of the NT. For instance, allow me to demonstrate just three examples between these two families of manuscripts, where depending on which variants are chosen, errors of fact and theology exist and Jesus is made to look like a liar:

Note: There are hundreds of these, and some are much worse than others (see here for full list). 

 

Mark 1:2

As it is written in the prophets... (Byzantine)

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet... (Alexandrian)

 

The problem here is that the very next line in verse 2 comes directly out of Malachi 3:1, while verse 3 quotes Isaiah 40:3. So if we are to go with the Byzantine reading then we don't have any problems, but if we choose the Alexandrian we wind up with a big discrepancy.

 

1 Timothy 3:16

great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh... (Byzantine)

great is the mystery of godliness: who was manifested in the flesh... (Alexandrian)

 

If we go with the Alexandrian reading we end up with a significant grammatical error and a nonsensical statement. What is so mysterious about a human someone being manifested in the flesh??? Obviously, the Alexandrian reading is ridiculous!

 

John 7:8

"I am not yet going up to this feast..." (Byzantine)

"I am not going up to this feast..." (Alexandrian)

 

In the Byzantine example, Jesus appears perfectly honest. Because later in verse 10, He does indeed go up to the feast. But not so in the Alexandrian, where "yet" is left out, making Jesus appear to lie. So "yet" makes a world of difference. It is important to note that "yet" is actually present in P-66, P-75, and in the Vaticanus, YET for some mysterious reason the critical text editors left it out.

 

So why then do the majority of Bible scholars prefer to rely on the Alexandrian text rather than the Byzantine? And why is it that nearly 95% of all modern NT Bible translations are based almost exclusively on the Alexandrian instead of the Byzantine? I will address this question further down in more detail. 

 

Reasoned Eclecticism & the Alexandrian Text Types

Reasoned eclecticism is the most dominant school of textual criticism. The three main pillars of reasoned eclecticism are as follows: 

 

1. Older and more ancient MSS are better

2. Variants are chosen based on Griesbach's Canons 

3. Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus best reflect the original Greek text

 

Almost all modern scholars are partial to this school of textual criticism and therefore the majority of New Testament translations today are based on the Alexandrian text types. But what you should know is that reasoned eclecticism is fairly new. It only began to dominate in the last 60 years or so. Furthermore, when eclecticism was first introduced into universities across Europe and America, it was vigorously opposed by the majority of Protestant scholars who noticed its flawed assumptions almost immediately. In fact, the main reason why they rejected reasoned eclecticism was because of its strong reliance on the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus which were known to be inferior for the following reasons:

 

1. Both the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are in the extreme minority and represent only 2% of all NT MSS. Unlike modern scholarship which favors older manuscripts, earlier scholarship favored the text stream possessing the most number of similar MSS which closely agreed with each other. After all, scholars of the earlier era championed the Biblical principle located in Deuteronomy 17 and 19, which states that only the testimony of two or more witnesses is legitimate.

2. The Sinaiticus and Vaticanus differ greatly with 98% of all NT manuscripts. John William Burgon found 7,578 deviations from the Majority/Byzantine, with 2,370 of them being serious. In the Gospels of Sinaiticus, he found 8,972 deviations, with 3,392 serious ones. He also checked these manuscripts for particular readings, or readings that are ONLY found in that manuscript. In the Gospels alone, Vaticanus has 197 particular readings, while Sinaiticus has 443. A particular reading signifies one that is most definitely false. Manuscripts repeatedly proven to have incorrect readings lose credibility. Thus, manuscripts boasting significant numbers of particular readings cannot be relied upon.

 

3. According to Herman Charles Hoskier, who collated the Alexandrian text types, the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus disagree with each other 3,036 times in the Gospels ALONE, which means you will find a discordant passage every five verses.

 

4. Sinaiticus's origins are dubious to say the least. It was discovered in a discarded pile of waste paper used for kindling in St. Catherine's Monastery which had a library full of ancient Biblical texts. The monks at St. Catherine's were unimpressed with Sinaiticus and committed it to the burn pile. Furthermore, a flurry of controversy ensued at the time of Sinaiticus's discovery due to Constantine Simonodes claiming to be its author (see here).

 

5. Dean Burgon described the poor workmanship of Vaticanus as follows:

"Codex B [Vaticanus] comes to us without a history: without recommendation of any kind, except that of its antiquity. It bears traces of careless transcription in every page. The mistakes which the original transcriber made are of perpetual recurrence. ...
On many occasions, 10, 20, 30 words are dropped through very carelessly.”

 

Burgon's colleague, Frederick H. Scrivener, goes into further detail:


"Letters and words, even whole sentences, are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately canceled: while that gross blunder technically known as homoeoteleuton…whereby a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same words as the clause preceding, occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament… Tregelles has freely pronounced that “the state of the text, as proceeding from the first scribe, may be regarded as very rough.”

 

The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible concurs, “It should be noted, however, that there is no prominent Biblical MS in which there occurs such gross cases of misspelling, faulty grammar, and omission, as in B [Vaticanus].”

Sinaiticus has also been corrected by “…at least ten revisers between the IVth and XIIth centuries…”  and the Codex Sinaiticus Project readily admits:

"No other early manuscript of the Christian Bible has been so extensively corrected. A glance at the transcription will show just how common these corrections are. They are especially frequent in the Septuagint portion. They range in date from those made by the original scribes in the fourth century to ones made in the twelfth century. They range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences." 

 

6. Vaticanus omits Mark 16:9-20, yet there is a significant blank space here for these verses. Sinaiticus also lacks these verses, but has a blank space for them. These two manuscripts are the only Greek manuscripts that omit these verses.

 

7. The unique readings in the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are the only reason why skeptics are able to undermine the resurrection account and many of the other Gospel accounts. Eliminate the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus and skeptics lose all of their ammunition against Christianity.


Reasoned Eclecticism and Griesbach's Canons

Johann Jakob Griesbach is responsible for developing the principles upon which reasoned eclecticism is founded. Unfortunately, Griesbach was a rationalist who disbelieved many of the Bible's miraculous accounts. His pursuit of textual criticism at the academic level eventually led to his compilation of rules that would govern the selection of NT manuscripts and thereby direct its translation from Greek. These rules came to be known as Griesbach's Canons and are as follows:

 

1. The shorter readings are to be preferred because scribes were much more prone to add than to omit.

2. The more difficult reading is to be preferred eg, "that reading is rightly considered suspect that manifestly gives the dogmas of the orthodox better than the others" because scribes were much more prone to correct errors.

3. The reading that differs from quoted or parallel material is to be prefered because scribes were prone to harmonize discordant passages

4. The reading that best explains the origin of the others (per these canons) is to be preferred

 

Now when closely examining Griesbach's Canons we begin to realize that his entire system for selecting manuscript variants is based strictly upon assumption and conjecture. In fact, throughout Griesbach's career he was never able to supply any type of evidence to support his assumptions concerning scribal habits in relation to the transmission of the NT text. Nevertheless, his critics were able to prove based on historical record and the testimony of the Patristic Fathers, that as a matter of fact, scribal habits went contrary to Griesbach's assumptions. For instance, Dr. Michael J. Kruger wrote a book titled Early Christian Attitudes toward the Reproduction of Texts which details the habits and attitudes of first century scribes in relation to the reproduction of NT MSS. His findings completely destroy Griesbach's assumptions which were never evidence based to begin with and should have never carried any weight in scholarly circles, but on account of dishonest bias won out. The careful analysis of scribal habits by the following scholars conspicuously agree with Kruger's findings. Notice:

 

C.C. Tarelli Omissions, Additions and Conflations in the Chester Beatty Papyrus --JTS 1938.

Earnest Cadman Colwell, Scribal Habits in Early Papyri: A Study in the Corruption of the Text --1965

Peter M. Head, The Habits of New Testament Copyists. Singular Readings in the Early Fragmentary Papyri of John --Vol. 85 2004 
James Ronald Royse, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri  – 2010

 

So isn't it fascinating that for the better part of a century we accepted the claims that scribes freely meddled with the texts without bothering to check whether they actually did so or not. [Further down I will disclose the shocking truth about what motivated this corrupt misapplication of textual criticism.]

 

The Papyri

It is interesting that the Papyri are said to closely resemble the Alexandrian text type according to modern scholars. However, a close look at the Papyri reveals a different story. Dutch scholar Albertus Frederik Johannes Klijn did a comparison of the Papyri against the other prominent text types and here is what he found:


P-66 agrees with Codex Sinaiticus 14x, Codex Vaticanus 29x, and the Byzantine 33x

P-75 agrees with Codex Sinaiticus 9x, Codex Vaticanus 33x, and the Byzantine 29x

 

When David Stutts wrote his thesis on the textual characteristics of the 5 earliest Papyri of Matthew, comparing them against the Alexandrian and the Byzantine, here is what he found:

 

P-1  agrees with all Alexandrian variants in 93% of the text and with the Byzantine 92%

P-45 agrees with all Alexandrian variants in 84.8% of the text and with the Byzantine 89.3%

P-64 agrees with all Alexandrian variants in 85.7% of the text and with the Byzantine 88.9%

P-70 agrees with all Alexandrian variants in 87.5% of the text and with the Byzantine 94.6%

P-77 agrees with all Alexandrian variants in 87.6% of the text and with the Byzantine 91.2%

 

So as we can see by combining the two charts above, in 5 out of 7 cases, the Papyri more closely resemble the Byzantine, NOT the Alexandrian. And as far as the other Papyri, there are over 150 distinctly Byzantine readings, including longer readings and conflate readings which greatly frustrate modern scholars. All this to say, that the earliest NT MSS which predate the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus by a long shot make a better case for the Byzantine than they do for the Alexandrian. So this essentially drives the final nail in the coffin of reasoned eclecticism, since as you will recall, two out of three of its main pillars state the following:

 

1. Older and more ancient MSS are better

3. Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus best reflect the original Greek text

 

Your claim that "not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri (P-46, P-66, P-47, etc.) because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims" is simply untrue. In fact, you can find the full English translation of P-46 online at the Chester Beaty Library (see here). David Hutchinson Edgar prepared the translation back in 1998 and even compared it with NA27. Now the only reason why there is no mainstream scholarly translation for P-66 is because it is indisputably the most error ridden NT manuscript in existence and too highly fragmented. It has 482 singular readings, 400 itacisms, 54 forward leaps, 22 backward leaps, and it has a mistake every 16 words. Also, it is too close to NA27 (Nestle Aland Greek New Testament 27th edition) for it to merit its own translation since it differs only in punctuation. So it already exists in the NASB, NIV, ESV, etc (which is unfortunate). Lastly, there are plenty of non accredited scholars, like yourself, who have translated P-66 fully into English with parallel Greek-English texts and a critical apparatus. The best one I found is here.

 

And the same explanation applies to P-45 and P-75 which show an unprecedented degree of corruption and contain the following mistakes as noted by Ernest C. Colwell (Scribal Habits in Early Papyri. The Bible in Modern Scholarship. J.P.Hyatt. New York: Abingdon Press, 1963. p.370-389): 

 

P-45 
Careless Readings 20
Singular Readings 275 
Nonsense Readings 28 
Leaps Forward 16 
Leaps Backward 2

 

P-75

Careless Readings 57
Singular Readings 257 
Nonsense Readings 64 
Leaps Forward 27 
Leaps Backward 10 

 

Missing or Deleted Verses in the Alexandrian Text Types

Modern scholars will tell you that the Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8), the last 12 verses of Mark 16, and the Pericope Adulteraie in John 7:53-8:11 do not exist in the earliest and best manuscripts and therefore should be omitted from all modern translations. However, is this claim really accurate or is it yet another example of flawed modern scholarship used to sow doubt and mistrust in the New Testament text? Let's look at the hard facts:

 

1. Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8)

Early Bible Versions that contain it: 

Old Syriac (170 AD) 

Old Latin in North Africa and Italy (200 AD) 

Italic 4th and 5th century  

Latin Vulgate 4th and 5th century 

Italic Monacensis 7th century 

Italic Speculum 9th century

 

Early church writers that mention it: 

Cyprian 200-258 AD, “The Lord says, ‘I and the Father are one;’ and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 'And these three are one’.” If Cyprian quotes I John 5:7 from his Bible in 200-258 AD, it must be a valid reading. His Bible was copied from an older manuscript containing this verse. Cyprian lived only 100 years after John wrote the book of I John. Cyprian would have had access to the original manuscript to check. Priscillian 350 AD, a Spanish bishop quotes I John 5:7,8. Idacius Clarus 360 AD, who opposed Priscillian quotes it. And so do all these other Patristic era scholars: Varimadum 380 AD, Cassiodorus 485 AD, Cassian 435 AD, Victor Vita 489 AD, Jerome 450 AD, Fulgentius 533 AD, Ps. Vigilius 484 AD, Ansbert 660 AD.

 

Early writings that contain it: Liber Apologeticus 350 AD. Council of Carthage 415 AD. 

 

Greek grammar rules demand its presence. NIV has mismatched genders in v. 7, 8. 

 

2. The last 12 verses of Mark 16

Early Bible Versions that contain it: 

Old Latin, Peshito Syriac (100-199 AD) 

Coptic Sahidic, Bohairic, Fayyumic, Curetonian Syriac (200-299 AD)

Jerome' s Latin version, Gothic version (300-399 AD)  

Egyptian, Armenian, Philoxenian Syriac (400-499 AD) 

Georgian, Ethiopic (500-699 AD)

 

18 Early Church Writers who quote Mark 16:9-20 as genuine are: 

Papias (100 AD); Tertullian (145-220 AD); the Epistula Apostolorum (150 AD) contains a narrative based apparently on Mark 16:9-14; Justin Martyr (151 AD) quotes v.20; Tatian (150 AD) in his Diatessaron; Irenaeus (180 AD) comments on v.19 in 180 AD; Hippolytus (190-227 AD) quotes v.17,18; Vincentius (256 AD) quotes v.17,18 at the Seventh Council of Carthage in the presence of 87 African bishops; Augustine quotes it on 7 occasions (v.9, v.12,14, v.15,16,19, v.15-18) in 400 AD; the Gospel of Nicodemus (circa 250 AD) contains v.15,16,17,18; the Apostolical Constitutions (circa 300 AD) quote v.16; 54; Eusebius (325 AD) acknowledged v.9-20; Aphraates (337 AD) quotes v.16,17,18;  Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan (374-397 AD) quotes v.15,16,17,18,20; Chrysostom (400 AD) quotes v.19,20 and adds: "This is the end of the Gospel"; Jerome's (331-420 AD) Vulgate retains v.9-20. Nestorius the heretic quotes v.20; Cyril of Alexandria (410 AD) accepts it and comments on it; Victor of Antioch (425 AD) strongly endorses its genuineness, quoting and refuting Eusebius' doubts; verses 9-20 were in Victor's Palestinian copy of Mark. The above 18 authorities belong to every area of the Ancient Church (Burgon, p.423).

 

3. Pericope Adulteraie in John 7:53-8:11

Early Bible Versions that contain it: 

Latin Vulgate 4th century

Codex Bezae 5th century

85% (or 1400) of all Greek NT manuscripts support its inclusion in the original

 

Early church writers that mention it:

Papias of Hierapolis (refers to a story of Jesus and a woman "accused of many sins" circa 125 A.D. Didymus the Blind (refers to the passage being found in "several gospels", lived circa 313-398 A.D. Pacian (370 A.D.) cites the passage. Many other Latin Fathers including Ambrose, John Chrysostom, and Augustine all speak of the passage as being canonical. Augustine claims that some may have excluded it earlier to avoid the idea that Christ had sanctioned adultery (4th and 5th centuries). Jerome says that the passage was found in "many Greek and Latin manuscripts" in Rome and the Latin West (late 4th century. A majority of the Old Latin and Latin Vulgate (perhaps mostly due to Jerome's influence). It is also cited by other early Christian writings including the Didascalia (Teaching) of the Apostles and the Apostolic Constitutions from the 3rd and 4th centuries respectively. 
 

Rome's Efforts to Undermine the New Testament

While few realize it, the Catholic Church is directly responsible for promoting reasoned eclecticism. In fact, the actual funding for modern textual criticism can be easily traced to the Vatican, as we shall soon discover. However, this shouldn't surprise us considering the fact that Catholic Rome has been the foe of Protestantism since the days of the Reformation and has a history of destroying Bibles. But they particularly dislike the New Testament because it disproves all of their religious claims to authority. And of course, when the reformers read the Bible in their own language for the first time they immediately realized this (hence the Reformation).

 

But ever since the Reformation, Rome has been quite busy repairing the damage inflicted by the reformers. Yet they've also grown much more discreet and sophisticated in their methods. For instance, instead of attacking the Bible overtly, Rome's Jesuits have been doing so covertly by secretly infiltrating Protestant seminaries where they are able to forward their agenda more successfully. Even the famous Bible Society has been tainted by their corrupt influence. But in case you doubt this, please consider the evidence for these claims presented planely in Chris Pinto's fascinating new documentary series, available on my Youtube channel (see pt. 1pt. 2, and pt. 3).

 

So here are the facts that pertain to Rome's involvement in modern textual criticism, starting first with their history of Bible burning:

 

Fact 1. To prevent the circulation of the Bible among the common people, the Vatican resorted to burning Bibles throughout the medieval period. Men like John Wycliff, William Tyndale, and Martin Luther, who translated the Scriptures into the common vernacular were subject to intense persecution and martyrdom (see here). 

Fact 2. After the Reformation, the Roman Catholic church launched the Counter-reformation in an attempt to stamp out Protestantism and its spread of the Holy Scriptures (see here).

Fact 3. From 1534 onward, they have had the infamous Jesuit Order or the Society of Jesus at their disposal (see here). Note: The Society of Jesus is the Vatican's militant order sworn to wipe out any opposition to the Catholic Church. 

Fact 4. The Society of Jesus, founded by Ignatius of Loyola, has since managed to infiltrate universities, seminaries, and Bible schools across the Western world in order to launch disinformation campaigns from the highest levels of society. Atheism, communism, socialism, and the numerous schools of secular philosophy can all be traced back to a Jesuit individual pushing these ideals (see here). Pinto's films successfully expose these individuals and their deliberate attempts to undermine Christianity with plenty of historical data. [Note: We must remember that Rome is the final beast described in Daniel 2-7 and Revelation 13, and is presently using Ecumenism to produce the final blow to Protestantism. See my video series on Bible Prophecy here.]

Fact 5. The Vaticanus was conveniently "discovered" and produced for inspection right around the time the Reformers were printing in mass their own Bibles and translating them into the common vernacular. It conveniently supports the Latin Vulgate (the Catholic Bible) in nearly all of its readings (see Pinto's documentary series for proof). 

Fact 6. Constantine Tischendorf's trip to the Sinai region and his archeological efforts were all sponsored by the Pope. In fact, he had a personal visit with pope Gregory XVI and his cardinals in 1843 just prior to this trip and continued to work closely with a Jesuit priest prior to and during his visit to the monastery in the Sinai region. His "discovery" of the Siniaticus parchments were celebrated by the Vatican and he was subsequently awarded accolades of honor by the pope himself for these finds. Note: Constantine writes about his meeting with pope Gregory in his book, When Were Our Gospels Written? An Argument by Constantine Tischendorf (New York: American Tract Society, 1866)

Fact 7. Constantine Simonides, a brilliant palaeographer from Greece, was in fact the true author of the Siniaticus and wrote numerous articles [and even a book] attempting to prove that the Siniaticus was a forgery work of his very own hand. He warned the public not to accept the bogus claims of Tichendorf in respect to the Siniaticus (see Neither Oldest, Nor Best by Dr. David H. Sorenson).

Fact 8. The men responsible for promoting the Alexandrian Text and producing most of our modern Bible versions possessed strong Catholic theological leanings, openly expressed their contempt for the Bible as a book full of myths, and had well documented contact with Jesuits and the pope of Rome. The men to which we refer are Constantine Tichendorf, Brooke Westcott, Fenton Hort, Kurt Aland (of the Nestle-Aland text), and Bruce Metzger. It is highly telling that every one of these men were openly honored by the Pope, embraced Ecumenism, and felt that the Roman Catholic paradigm was far superior to Protestantism (see Pinto's documentaries for proof). Note: Click here to view media images of Kurt Aland's meeting with John Paul II in 1984.

Fact 9. What the Roman Catholic Church could not achieve by openly burning the New Testament Scriptures, they achieved covertly in the modern era by producing and distributing the NIV, a Bible full of pro-Catholic and Ecumenical theological corruptions. Sadly, the NIV is now the most popular Bible in the world and continues to be widely circulated. It would seem as though Rome has triumphed after all, if only for a little season. Yet the Bible predicted this would happen (see here for proof).

[SECTION BREAK]

2. "Most of Christianity’s positions entirely negate the Torah and the Sabbath issue is a prime example."

 

I respectfully disagree with you here. Please read my article on this issue located here or on my website in the articles section (Comparing God's Covenants). Like I mentioned before, we can easily find a host of Scriptures in the OT that validate the theological claims of the NT.

 

3. "The Jews gave the world the only correct narrative, everyone else is deceived." 

 

I love the Jews deeply, but I must tell you that we do not have such a glorious history. Our history is marred by perpetual rebellion against the Most High, idolatry, breaking the mitzvot of the Torah, and slaughtering God's prophets and righteous men, and this trend continues even until the present in modern day Israel. I would think it a bit presumptuous to suppose we have all the answers and are qualified to set the record straight for the rest of mankind. I don't think we have any special claim to fame, in all actuality, and we Jews need to be humble enough to acknowledge it. Let me also remind you that only the Holy Spirit is able to open men's hearts to the truth, but ONLY if they are sincere, humble, and truly in love with God. Here are some Scriptures to demonstrate this:

 

"Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed" (Is. 6:10).

"Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not" (Jer. 5:21).

"Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house" (Ez. 12:2). 

 

4. "Our sofrim kept our Torah intact, but the Christians changed and manipulated the NT in tens of thousands of instances across over 5,000 MSS from the end of the 2nd century CE, until the 16th century CE."

 

Here you are both right and wrong. But let's remember that the Hebrew Scriptures also contain a vast number of scribal errors and minor contradictions. I'm sure you will not deny this. And they are even greater in number than found in the NT. But undoubtedly, these are minor and do not impact theology. However, as demonstrated above, 99% of the problems located in the New Testament are resolved when we reject the corrupt Alexandrian text types and rely instead upon the Byzantine.

 

5. "The Trinity is a pagan invention of Christianity."

 

First, you must know that almost every pagan culture has its own CORRUPTION of the Trinity. For the ancient Egyptians, for instance, it was Isis, Horus, and Set, and for the Hindus, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The Devil is a counterfeiter. He does not create anything original and he enjoys inverting the truths of God's Word. But I can prove the doctrine of the Trinity by taking you to the Old Testament. You can find the Trinity everywhere throughout the Old Testament. Let me show you several complete and tight identifications of the Trinity in the OT by listing the following Scriptures:


"I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord...For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble" (Is. 63:7-13)?

It is clear that Isaiah 63 gives us a complete picture of the Trinity. We know from Scripture that the Angel of the Lord, which is here identified as the "angel of his presence", is referred to as the Lord God elsewhere in the OT (see the verses cited below). But then we see the Holy Spirit mentioned here too. So we have the Lord (v. 7), we have the Angel of the Lord (v. 9), and we have the Holy Spirit (v. 10) all in one chapter--the Trinity. I submit that the Lord is the Father, the Angel of the Lord/ Angel of His presence is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, of course, is the Holy Spirit. Notice also that God was afflicted with His people throughout the OT and partook in their suffering (v. 9). Sounds like what Jesus did in the NT.

 

"And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred" (Gen. 31:11-13).

 

"And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the Lord" (Jud. 2:1-5).

 

Throughout the Old Testament, the Angel of the Lord or Angel of God are identified as being one and the same as the Lord God just as demonstrated in the passages above.

 

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. ... I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:9-14).

 

Here again, we see that the Ancient of days and the "one like the Son of man" are pictured separately. And yet we know that they must be one and the same, since God does not share His glory with anyone else: "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another..." (Is. 42:8).


"Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me" (Is. 48:16).

 

Here again the Lord God and His Spirit are depicted as separate, yet one.


"And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him... And they said, So do, as thou hast said...And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son...And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way" (Gen.18:1-16). 

 

It is interesting that in verse 1 the Lord appears to Abraham in the form of three men. At first they speak to Abraham in the plural and then it is as though they revert back to the singular when speaking with him in verse 10. And then it carries on that way until verse 15 when they take a plural form once again and Abraham accompanies the three of them on their way to Sodom. What a perfect portrayal of the Triune nature of God--3-1-3!


"And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day...And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved... He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial" (Gen. 32:23; 30; Hos. 12:3-5).

 

"And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head...And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads..." (Gen. 48:14-16).

 

Once again, the Angel of the Lord appears to Jacob like a man and wrestles with him, but later He is identified as the Lord God of hosts. Jacob rightly recognizes that he saw God face to face. We call this a Theophany or Christophany.  

It is interesting that many Jews prior to the Christian era were binatarian in their theology, like Philo of Alexandria, who believed in the existence of two extensions of God known as the Spirit of the Lord and the Memra of the Lord (Word of the Lord). Even Allan F. Segal, a Jewish professor at Princeton, wrote a book detailing common elements of the Trinitarian paradigm in the Jewish theology of antiquity (refer to his book, Two Powers in Heaven). Why Jews today have such a hard time with the Trinity is beyond me really.

 

6. "Not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri (P-46, P-66, P-47, etc.) because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims."

 

Your statement here is provably false and needs to be better researched. I dealt with this claim in my above examination of TC (refer to my section on the Papyri). 


7. "We have documented hundreds of textual changes, additions, subtractions, grammatical edits and the like, that hijacked the identities of our boys… Sha’ul and Yeshua and Kefa, and twisted their messages to conform with a new message based on the 16th century TR, and the Jamesville [KJV] translation."

 

Because the Papyri, which you seem to rely upon so much, are error ridden and inferior to anything else in the school of manuscripts, I don't believe your assertions here to be true. I would like to see the evidence you use to make such claims.

 

8. "All Jews belong in Israel."

 

In your last email, you seemed to imply that I, as a Jew, should return to my homeland and occupy it. But I disagree with you for the following reasons. First, the nation of Israel is currently under a perpetual curse on account of their continued rebellion against God (Deut. 28:15-68). The greatest evidence of this is the fact that they are not operating as a theocracy, as their Law demands. Instead, they are governed by a secular government, which imposes its own secular agenda upon the nation. In fact, the very insignia waving over the state of Israel is evidence enough that they are not under God's sovereign control. There is nothing biblical or noble about a six-pointed satanic hexagram. This hexagram was used for centuries in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism (see here). And its first documented use within the Jewish community is said to be with the esoteric/occult Kabbalist Jews (see here). But by far its most prominent usage is with the Vatican owned Freemasons, who happen to control Israel, in case you hadn't noticed their prominent symbols all over our nation's Knesset and all of our national monuments. Here's proof: 

"The interlacing triangles or deltas symbolize the union of the two principles or forces, the active and passive, male and female, pervading the universe ... The two triangles, one white and the other black, interlacing, typify the mingling of apparent opposites in nature, darkness and light, error and truth, ignorance and wisdom, evil and good, throughout human life." – Albert G. Mackey Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

You see, this emblem belongs to the luciferian Rothschild family and it was they who chose it for the modern state of Israel before funding its existence via Edmond James de Rothschild (see here). Yet we know that the Rothschilds are Jewish proselytes to Roman Catholicism and have faithfully served the pope for many years as keepers of the papal treasure--the Vatican bank (see the Jewish Encyclopedia under "the Union Générale"). 

 

I state these facts only to prove that God's Word does not lie or return to Him void. The papacy funding and creating the modern State of Israel through their Rothschild cohorts in order to one day carry out their final solution against the Jewish people and erect the third temple from which the pope will rule, was long prophesied in the pages of Scripture. And the Jewish people accepting all of this was also prophesied. Notice:

"And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces" (Zec. 11:12-16).

 

"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (Jn. 5:43).

 

Zechariah 11 makes it clear that because of Israel's betrayal of the true Messiah, an "anti-messiah" will be raised up to shepherd them instead. So as long as Israel persists in rejecting their Messiah they will be ruled by an evil puppet government subservient to the pope of Rome. And this puppet government that currently exists in the modern state of Israel will soon openly submit itself to the antichrist--pope Francis--even as it is now doing. And I, frankly, do not desire to be part of it. So I urge you not to play pawn to these evil stooges by attacking and undermining the Messianic hope of our beloved forefathers.

 

Conclusion
Dear Uriel, if Jesus didn't come when the prophet Daniel prophesied, 490 years from Cyrus's decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-11), and if God hasn't yet ratified a New Covenant with the house of Israel as promised in Jeremiah 31:31, then there is no hope for the nation of Israel today. But we know He did. He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to deal with the sin of the Jewish people and that of the whole world. And there is insurmountable evidence to prove it [if you wish, I can submit it to you in a separate email]. But it is interesting that you cited Jeremiah 16:19 in your last email, which also parallels Zechariah 8:23, as seen below:


"O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jer. 16:19).

 

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zec. 8:23).

 

You see, I believe these verses have already been fulfilled during the lifetime and ministry of Christ's Jewish Apostles. In fact, the household of Cornelius was the first such example of this. But then we also see it throughout the ministry of Apostle Paul, because wherever he preached, whilst the Jews rejected his message, the Gentiles pleaded with him to come and share the Gospel of salvation with them. And consequently many turned to the Lord and were saved, resulting in the greatest influx of pagan converts to the God of Israel in the history of mankind. But just look at how the Gospel has transformed the pagan lands of Africa and Asia in the last two hundred years. Western nations have become the dominant powers in commerce and technology because of their early exposure to Christianity, and the US is a prime example of this, a nation with the strongest Christian heritage of any. Sadly, it is because these Western nations are turning away from the God of Israel and their Christian roots that they are falling into gross moral decay and economic failure.

 

Finally, I believe in the testimony of the New Testament because it speaks from the highest moral ground known to man. It is impossible for men with the character of the Apostles to bear false witness concerning what they felt, saw, and heard. Besides, what would motivate Jewish men of such high moral caliber to lie, just think about it? And furthermore all those who have taken the message of the New Testament seriously have themselves tasted of its powerful transformative ability. In contrast, the Old Testament dealt superficially with sin and could not cure the root of man's sin sickness and Israel's repeated rebellion and idolatry is testament to this truth. But the New Testament deals with the root cause of sin. It focuses on character perfection through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us (Jn. 14:17). Jesus laid the ax to the root of the tree (Lk. 3:9). So I submit to you that if the Jews today would try to please God from their hearts, and not merely appease Him (the difference between King David and King Saul), they would finally discover Yeshua the Messiah for themselves, as many of them are even now.

 

Well, that is all for this email, till next time....

 

Yours in the Jewish Messiah of Israel,

Yochanan (John) Aziza 

Yochanan,

 

Sit down with your wife, and both of you, read my response to your last message of 24 Jun 2018.

 

Clarify the following — and when you do, limit yourself to less than 100 words or less on any answer given. And when and if you respond, try hard NOT to wait two and a half months to bring your answer. If you are too busy, just write me a short message, saying, “Sorry Uriel, but responsibilities in my life will not allow me the time necessary to correspond with you within a reasonable time frame.” In this case, we can arrange for a time to skype instead.

 

You stated, “I am confident that every doctrine or theological statement found in the NT is amply supported in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures.”

 

Question: Every doctrine or theological statement found in which NT? One of the many English translations of the NT, or one of the Greek NT editions? If Greek, from which MSS? The earliest available MSS, or the later MSS, or all of them? You said you were familiar now with the Papyri, so, from which MSS?

 

Just a simple, short answer please.

 

“Supported in the pages of the Hebrew Tanach.”

 

Question: Which Hebrew Tanach? From one of the English translations of the Hebrew Tanach, or from the LXX, or from the actual Hebrew Tanach itself, copied either from the Leningrad Codex, the Aleppo Codex or the DSS?

 

A simple answer please.

 

Think about how colossally stupid is the statement you lifted from Lee Strobel’s book “Case for Christ Movie Edition: Solving the Biggest Mystery of All Time,” namely, “…the more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the easier it is to cross-check them to discover what the original document was like.”

 

If I have in my hand the original copy of the United States Bill of Rights, and then someone makes hundreds of changes to it while copying it, over the course of say just one year, and then I take the final form of an altered copy that contains all the changes that were made to a printing press, and I print 100,000 copies and distribute them about the world, how in G-d’s name will I be able to later claim that the 100,000 copies of the altered original, when cross-checked with each other, will somehow lead me to what the original looked like?

 

A simple answer please, Yochanan. Can I take 100,000 copies of an altered original document, and compare them with one another, and somehow arrive at how the original document read? Yes, or no. Use your brains Yochanan. Don’t think about defending your gospel. Don’t think about what your Abba is going to say to you after you question the integrity of the Majority texts, or how you are going to save face with him. Just ask yourself in the mirror, “How can I depend on the majority of altered documents, if I do not rely upon earlier documents that were never printed in order to arrive at an original reading?” …and share your answer with me.

 

You said that “there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extent to us, literally 99.5% of these are utterly irrelevant, such as variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation, grammar, and scribal errors.”

 

Question 1: When was the last time you, Yochanan, personally compared variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation [sic], grammar and scribal errors, between 2nd century CE MSS and 16th century CE MSS?

 

A simple answer please. “I did it last week.” “I did it last year.” “I have never done this.” “I do it every day.” “I depend on other people I trust to do it for me.”

 

Question 2: With 400 thousand differences across over 5,000 MSS, and you admittedly were “until recently largely unfamiliar with the papyri, but now feel sufficiently familiar with their history and contents,” how were you able to determine that the “variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation [sic], grammar, and scribal errors”were all irrelevant and do not impact or change the overall meaning of the text?

 

A short concise answer please, like, “I read an article or two on Wiki, and it convinced me that the 400,000 differences do not impact the overall meaning of the texts. Other people I trust, made that determination for me, and I believed them.”

 

You have a contradiction in what you wrote to me. It was undoubtedly an oversight on your part.

 

You stated that, “the majority of 6,500 differences in Sinaiticus [when compared to the Byzantine/Majority text family] are insignificant.” Then, you stated, “…a large portion of them are significant and do indeed impact theology.”

 

Which is it Yochanan? Do the differences impact theology or not? If they do, don’t you think you should pay more attention to the earliest MSS, and stop being a KJV drug dealer? You are a Jew Yochanan! What have you to do with Gentiles who don’t know Hebrew? You already admitted to me earlier that your Hebrew is not as strong as you would like. I guarantee you… your Hebrew is light years ahead of the gentiles, who do not know our language at all.

 

You said, “…allow me to demonstrate just three examples where depending on which variants are chosen, errors of fact and theology exist and Jesus is made to look like a liar.”

 

No. I’m not going to allow you to demonstrate anything. Why? Because you pulled your examples from a 138 page book written by Pastor Keith Piper, called “Serious Omissions in the NIV Bible,” which you apparently trust, hook line and sinker.

Why would you do that? Do you even realize who Pastor Keith Piper is? He runs a website called “King James Video Ministries” and is a 34-year long pastor at Liberty Baptist Church of Cherrybrook NSW, in Australia. He graduated in Theology from Sydney Baptist Bible College.

 

And this is the guy that you, as a Jew from Israel, trust, over me, a fellow Jew, living in Jerusalem for the past 36 years, long before you were even born? Really? Are you serious? Why are we even having the email conversation? What’s the point? You want your gentile baptist pastors and their idolatry? Go! Enjoy! Don’t write me again. But if you are serious about your own identity and you are prepared stop disrespecting me, and listen to your elders, as the Torah commands “Mip’neh Sey’vah Takum”[Va’Yikra 19:32], then I will agree to continue to correspond with you.

 

What is your answer Yochanan? Simple and concise. "Yes, I want explore who I am as a Jew, and I am prepared to listen to you,” or “No. Sorry. I’m a christian, and I will defend my positions to the death, and to save face before my Abba. I’m not going to listen to you.”

 

You stated, “why do the majority of Bible scholars prefer to rely on the Alexandrian text rather than the Byzantine?”

 

They do not. The majority of “scholars” rely primarily on the later MSS penned after the 8th century CE, and to a very limited extent on Sinaiticus. The Papyri are for the most part from the 2nd century CE.

 

And who cares about the scholars? The overwhelming majority of pastors, teachers and church leaders, and thus, average christian “laymen,” rely almost exclusively on English NTs which all rely upon the TR, or the NA-28, which only pays lip service to Sinaiticus, and barely reference the Papryi. The TR can only get one to the 11th century CE, and the NA-28 will only reflect 8th century CE MSS, and rarely anything earlier.

 

You stated, “Why are nearly 95% of all modern NT Bible translations based almost exclusively on the Alexandrian instead of the Byzantine?”

 

They are not. All of them are based, to a very limited extent on Sinaiticus, but for the most part, on all MSS penned after the 8th century CE. The Papyri are for the most part from the 2nd century CE.

 

You wrote an enormous section in your message to explain how “reasoned eclecticism is fairly new,” and therefore cannot be trusted.

 

Eclecticism is the process of compiling a text from multiple sources. Why are you preaching to the choir? I reject reasoned eclecticism. We don’t use multiple sources. We use only the earliest MSS for any given text, which in most cases ends up being sourced from the Papyri.

 

Why are you wasting my time arguing against Sinaiticus? Our translations are based primarily on documents that predate Sinaiticus by at least 160 years.

 

Yochanan! Stop it! What is wrong with you? What Jew would accept a sofer’s work if he changed the original text, by even a single stroke?

 

Your gentile heroes are all about changing the text. Jews don’t do that! If I gave you 1,000 copies of the Torah printed by a printer in 2018, and then in an archeological dig, I turned up a copy of the original Torah that Moshe or Yehoshua penned 3,330 years ago, how many differences do you think you would find? Doesn’t that teach you than in a culture that prides itself in changing text to suit their agendas, that we would be better off relying only upon the earliest MSS we can get our hands on, when it comes to sacred literature?

 

A simple answer Yochanan, please! Yes, or No. Can’t you think like a Jew for just five minutes?

 

Do you want late MSS laden with 400,000 discrepancies, or do you want early MSS, with a vastly fewer number of discrepancies? What does a Jew want? Not “what does an assimilated jew who converted to christianity need?”

 

You stated, “the Papyri more closely resemble the Byzantine, NOT the Alexandrian.” Then you rattled off a bunch of statistics.

 

Who cares where they resemble the Byzantine? All you should need to know is what happens in the places where they DON’T resemble the Byzantine? … then what? What are you going to use to render your text into English? The Byzantine or the Papyri? If your answer is the Byzantine, then I’m wasting my time with you, because you are determined to think like a goy.

 

You correctly quoted my words, saying that “not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri…” But then, you stated that this “is simply untrue.”

 

Your single proof of claim was David Hutchinson Edgar’s translation of the “letters of paul.” Edgar, who lives in Ireland is a researcher, proofreader and freelance editor. He received his education at Trinity College, Dublin, and he holds a PhD in Early Christian History. He is NOT christian scholar for biblical translation. Neither am I.

 

You then contradict yourself, by admitting that “there is no mainstream scholarly translation for P-66.” So, why did you lie about it, in the first place? One side of your mouth says “there are plenty of christian scholars who have translated the Papyri,” and the other side of your mouth says “there is no mainstream scholarly translation for P-66.” 

 

How am I supposed to trust you if you have established yourself as a liar. I believe it is because your thing is “To win the argument at all costs. It doesn’t matter how I disrespect fellow Jews and my elders, and Jerusalem in the process.”

 

You stated that P-66 “is indisputably the most error ridden NT manuscript in existence and too highly fragmented.”

 

Bring your proof of claim. Go find folio leaf #39 of P-66, which carries the text of Yochanan 6:64-71, and explain to me in the English language, for which you are such an expert, in what way that folio leaf is “highly fragmented.” Do the same for the balance of the other 152 folio leaves of P-66, and prove to me your claim that these are “indisputably the most error ridden MSS in existence.”

 

When was the last time you translated into English a single noun or a verb from P-66? Keep your answer short, and concise, like, “Nope… never did it.” Or “Oh yeh, I did that just last week.” Or “I depend on other gentiles that I don’t know, who I suppose are much smarter than me, to make these assessments. And since I can’t bear the idea of being proven wrong and having to explain to my Abba that he was right… that there are problems with the NT in English, my gentile scholars have to be right, and you Uriel, a fellow Jew, have to be wrong.”

 

“Indisputably…?” Really? Are you serious? Are you really suggesting that your words cannot be disputed? Why are you disrespecting me? Why do you think I am so stupid, or worse, audacious, to dispute the findings of your goy heroes? Do you actually think that the entire world of ancient biblical MSS research scholars are of one mind, and that all believe, as you have written that P-66 “is indisputably the most error ridden NT manuscript in existence and too highly fragmented.” 

 

And then you rattled off how many singular readings [whatever that is], itacisms [do you even know what that is?], forward leaps [what the #%@* is that?], and backward leaps [again, what is that?] P-66 allegedly hosted, and that P-66 has “a mistake every 16 words!”

 

Seriously? So you actually sat down and waded through all 16,664 Greek words of P-66, and you personally made the determination that after every 16 words, there was a mistake? Wow! Did you make a list of those “mistakes?” Or should I just go through and assume that every 16th word is incorrect? And is every 16th word a variant spelling, a difference in the order of words, a grammatical error, an omission, an addition, a scribal error? 

 

BTW, do you recall that you earlier wrote that “there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extant… 99.5% of which are utterly irrelevant, such as… punctuation?”

 

Guess what genius? There is no “punctuation” in any Alexandrian text. They hadn’t yet invented punctuation. Why do you assume that we are so stupid and that we won’t notice?

 

You wrote, and I paraphrase, “Why even bother translating P-66? It differs only in punctuation. It is too close to the NA27.” But then you go on to report that “P-66 has 482 this, and 400 that, and 54 of these, and 22 of those, and mistakes every 16 words.”

 

Oh, ok. I get it. All the same mistakes that are in P-66, are also in NA-27, right? Isn’t that what you just said? And if they are all in NA-27, then believe me, most of those are also in the TR. So it looks like it is time to take your precious NT in English and drop it into the trash can, because it is laden with errors, and you just admitted it when you stated “It differs only in punctuation. It is too close to the NA27!” You have my testimony, and now you have your testimony in writing. And just like you said, “Al pee shnei eidim, oh al pee shelosha eidim, yakum d’var.” [D’varim 19:15].

 

You said, “…there are plenty of non-accredited scholars, like yourself, who have translated P-66 fully into English with parallel Greek-English texts and a critical apparatus. The best one I found is here.”

 

But Yochanan. You are mistaken… again! There are NOT plenty of us translating P-66. There are far too few of us. And how many Jews do you know, who live in Jerusalem, from which the Torah of Ha’Shem goes forth, are doing this work? Why wouldn’t you, a Jew, want to be aligned with and supportive of this work, instead of aligning yourself against it, joining the ranks of those who hate Jews? Don’t we have enough enemies?

 

I’m sure that David Robert Palmer’s translation of P-66 from 1998 is ok, but he was born in Papua, New Guinea. He attended New Tribes Bible Institute and was ordained by the Southwest Baptist Church, Jackson, Michigan in 1978. How is he is the “best one” you found? Why wouldn’t you see any value to one of our own boys translating a work written originally by a Jew? Have you ever read any of our translations? Is there any particular reason why you are not attending our classes, while we translate P-66? Did you ever think that our translation from Jerusalem just might be a scratch better than the non-Jewish home-boy/baptist pastor from Papua, New Guinea? Why don’t you write to him, and ask him if he speaks, reads and writes Hebrew, and understands from personal experience the culture of AHM Israel?

 

You mentioned that Ernest C. Colwell believed that “P-45 and P-75 showed an unprecedented degree of corruption,” and you just took him at his word. So who is Colwell, that he should become one of your goy heroes?

 

Do you have any idea of what motivated him to declare any specific text in P-45 or P-75 as a “Careless Reading,” or a “Singular Reading,” or “Nonsense Reading,” or a “Leap Forward,” or a “Leap Backward?”

 

What are those things anyway? Can you explain, really briefly? Did you yourself confirm his findings with your own eyes, or did you just blindly trust him, and now pass on the dead man's findings as unalterable fact?

 

Colwell, who died in ‘74, was an American biblical scholar who was educated at a private research university in Atlanta, Georgia, run by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, but only later became recognized as a biblical scholar when he became chairman the executive committee of the International Greek New Testament Project. So what? He has an opinion. Do you have one? Or are you just a parrot for everything he claims? Remember! I need at least two witnesses who all say, after each one of them have examined the Greek of P-45 and P-75, that the text is corrupt, in order to establish it as fact. Who is the second witness who has actually set eyes on these Papyri? You?

 

Why did you bother lecturing me on the “hard facts” of 1 John 5:7-8? “The Johannine Comma is found in Early Bible Versions such as Old Syriac (170 AD) and Old Latin in North Africa and Italy (200 AD).”

 

No, genius. The Old Syriac is dated paleographically to the 5th century CE, and the Old Latin is dated to the end of the 4th century CE, not the 2nd. How do you expect me to take you seriously, when you don’t even know your dates?

 

And what do I care if the “Comma Johanneum” is found only in late MSS. It isn’t there in the earliest Papyrus docs, which are all dating to the mid-third century CE or earlier. That means only one thing: It was added after-the-fact. What are you going to do… cry “IMA” because your precious doctrine didn’t show up until much later?

 

What would you do if you discovered a Yishaiyahu Scroll dating to the 5th century CE, and it did not contain the prophesy of destruction against those who eat pork. Are you going to run out and order up a BLT or go have a shrimp salad? No! We already have the DSS, which sends us back to at least the 3rd or 4th century BCE, which does contain the prophesy that if you eat pig, Ha’Shem is going to turn you into a crispy critter. So again… the #$%@& with your “Comma Johanneum”. It’s not there. Get over yourself and learn to live with the hard realities of being Jewish.

 

You stated, “there are a vast number of scribal errors located throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. And they are even greater in number than found in the NT.”

 

You are a real piece of work Yochanan. Tit’baiyesh Lecha! Bring your proof of claim. Present your list of “scribal errors” in the Hebrew Tenach that outnumbers those in the GNT. We are not interested in your “minor contradictions.” These would be a matter of interpretation. Just show me the “scribal errors” in the text itself, and be sure to count them, because I already know the number of scribal errors in the GNT, and I have seen and read many of them with my own eyes. Have you?

 

You stated, “99% of the problems located in the New Testament are resolved when we reject the corrupt Alexandrian text types and rely instead upon the Byzantine."

 

Well there you go! You just validated the statement I made in my last message, namely, “Not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri, because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims.”

 

Throw out the earliest MSS, after tagging them as “corrupt,” and all your problems will disappear. Just bury the evidence and kill the witnesses who bring testimony that will prove harmful your agenda. This is what criminals and self-hating Jews like you do. Kol Ha’Kavode! Atah Ga’on! Melech Israel!

You stated, “The Papyri are error ridden and most inferior to anything else in the school of manuscripts”

 

Question: On what basis have YOU determined that the Papyri are error ridden or inferior? When did you personally parse out the texts in order to make that determination?

 

At what point did you personally observe, catalogue, and explain variant spellings, differences in the order of words, grammatical anomalies, a change of verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs or pronouns, added text, missing text, or observe scribal errors?

 

Keep your answer simple and concise, for example, “I did this last week.” “I have never done this.” “I do it every day.” “I depend on other people I trust, to do it for me.” “I really don’t know if the Papyri are error ridden. I just wrote that, to give myself a false sense of superiority and scholarship over you, while making you look like an idiot for relying on what some people believe is inferior.”

 

Since the Paypri are most inferior to anything else in the school of MSS, then perhaps you can tell me what the first Greek word is, in Rom 9:7, as it is written in P-47, on folio-leaf 12-recto, without referring to a 3rd party transcription? Here is a perfect opportunity for you show how smart you are. All you have to do is write down one word for your answer. What is it, genius?

 

You said that “I would like to see the evidence you use to make such claims,” that we have documented hundreds of textual changes, additions, subtractions, and grammatical edits.

 

Oh! He wants evidence! So, you want me to produce for you, what you are unwilling to produce from your own hand? Instead, the only evidences you manage to shovel onto my plate are reams of materials that you have copied and pasted from the internet, from other gentiles, while assuming that all of their axioms and theories are true.

 

I’m not going to address this point, other than to say what you already should know as a Jew: Ha’Shem commands Jews who trust Him, to live in the Land. Who happens to be governing the nation is irrelevant. A mitzvah is a mitzvah. I have been unable to locate anywhere in the Tenach where Ha’Shem says, “If you don’t happen to like your secular government or it’s leaders, you are free to live in any other part of the planet, as you might choose.”

 

In your concluding statement you said that the OT "dealt superficially with sin and could not cure the root of man's sin sickness and Israel's repeated rebellion and idolatry is testament to this truth. But the New Testament deals with the root cause of sin.”

 

Really? Is that what the NT does? How is then that christians, to a greater extent than any other adherents to other faiths, in my experience are the most wicked people on earth. They act daily in rebellion and idolatry, towards Ha’Shem. They are disrespectful, unkind, liars, thieves, Jew-haters and deceivers of themselves, more than any other social group anywhere. Doesn’t sound like the root cause of sin has been dealt with at all. But maybe that’s just me.

 

I don’t expect to hear back from you Yochanan, because most christians are too chicken$%#@ to admit they might be mistaken, or that they might have bought the lie, and in reality, most know nothing about the Bible, or the Jewish people who handed their sacred texts to them for free, because they rarely invest themselves into learning Hebrew and/or Greek, nor will they bother connecting themselves to AHM Israel. But, who knows… the only reason I wrote this response, is because you are a Jew, and the Talmud teaches that to rescue even a single Jew, is as if he rescued the entire world.

 

Mazal tov on the birth of your son.

 

Kol Tuv,

 

Uriel

Shalom Uriel,

 

Thanks for your quick response. I appreciate you getting back to me so soon. First, I should ask you this: can you please list some ways in which the doctrines or theology of the New Testament contradict the Hebrew Scriptures? I would like to go point by point with you on this matter. Because I don't believe that P-66 or the TR can lead us any closer to the answer. The only litmus test against the NT is to hold it up to the Hebrew Tanach. I have begun a special project which involves a series of correspondence letters between me, David .... (a fellow Jew), and another individual from the Hebrew Roots Movement, who happens to be a disciple of yours and has turned me on to your video about the Passover Lamb. I would like you to be a part of this discussion and hope to publish it to my website soon. It will be a complete dissection of the New Testament and how it relates to the Old Testament. Either way, please find my response to your latest email below and I look forward to further dialogue between us:

 

Yochanan,

 

Sit down with your wife, and both of you, read my response to your last message of 24 Jun 2018.

 

Clarify the following — and when you do, limit yourself to less than 100 words or less on any answer given. And when and if you respond, try hard NOT to wait two and a half months to bring your answer. If you are too busy, just write me a short message, saying, “Sorry Uriel, but responsibilities in my life will not allow me the time necessary to correspond with you within a reasonable time frame.” In this case, we can arrange for a time to skype instead. 

 

I apologize for this, but I really struggled about whether or not to respond to your last email, and yet, I felt the Lord prompting me to do so. You see, I am careful not to respond too quickly and above all, to pray before doing so. I want the Lord's anointing and wisdom before responding so that He gets all the glory. I also want to be sure not to respond simply because of a desire to be right or out of retaliation. After all, the first rule of the Christian life is love. And so I want that to be my motivation throughout. 

 

Thanks for the Skype invite. I might take you up on that some time. 

 

1. You stated, “I am confident that every doctrine or theological statement found in the NT is amply supported in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures.”

 

Question: Every doctrine or theological statement found in which NT? One of the many English translations of the NT, or one of the Greek NT editions? If Greek, from which MSS? The earliest available MSS, or the later MSS, or all of them? You said you were familiar now with the Papyri, so, from which MSS?

 

Just a simple, short answer please.

 

As you well know, I prefer the Majority/Byzantine text stream, which means that I will go with any version based on the TR. My personal favorites are ISR's "The Scriptures" version, KJV, or Wilbur Pickering's NT translation (found here). The fact that the TR descends from the Majority/Byzantine body of NT MSS and that Wescott and Hort and the pope (antichrist) hated it so much is evidence enough to me of its superior quality. I believe with all of my heart that the TR best reflects the original autographs, and based on my research, I reject the Papyri as corrupt.

 

“Supported in the pages of the Hebrew Tanach.”

 

Question: Which Hebrew Tanach? From one of the English translations of the Hebrew Tanach, or from the LXX, or from the actual Hebrew Tanach itself, copied either from the Leningrad Codex, the Aleppo Codex or the DSS? 

 

A simple answer please.

 

I go with the English translation of the Masoretic Text (though I have it in Hebrew also), which is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism (see here for proof). To my knowledge, the Masoretic is based upon both the Leningrad Codex and the Aleppo Codex (or at least they are related/extremely similar), but not the DSS. I read somewhere that the Septuagint gives far more evidence for Jesus Christ than the Masoretic and that the DSS also support the traditional rendering of Psalm 22:16, "...they pierced my hands and my feet". 

 

Think about how colossally stupid is the statement you lifted from Lee Strobel’s book “Case for Christ Movie Edition: Solving the Biggest Mystery of All Time,” namely, “…the more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the easier it is to cross-check them to discover what the original document was like.”

 

If I have in my hand the original copy of the United States Bill of Rights, and then someone make hundreds of changes to it while copying it, over the course of say just one year, and then I take the final form of an altered copy that contains all the changes that were made to a printing press, and I print 100,000 copies and distribute them about the world, how in G-d’s name will I be able to later claim that the 100,000 copies of the altered original, when cross-checked with each other, will some how lead me to what the original looked like?

 

A simple answer please, Yochanan. Can I take 100,000 copies of an altered original document, and compare them with one another, and somehow arrive at how the original document read? Yes, or no. Use your brains Yochanan. Don’t think about defending your gospel. Don’t think about what your Abba is going to say to you after you question the integrity of the Majority texts, or how you are going to save face with him. Just ask yourself in the mirror, “How can I depend on the majority of altered documents, if I do not rely upon earlier documents that were never printed in order to arrive at an original reading?” …and share your answer with me.

 

I believe your hypothesis here is flawed for the following reasons:


1. It assumes that only one person copied the text. However, we know from Patristic testimony (Ecclesiastical History) that the original autographs of the NT were sent out and subsequently copied by numerous individuals and Churches in different geographical regions DURING the lifetime of the autographs and DURING the lifetime of their authors. Many different individuals had access to the original writings AND their authors for at least a generation or more. This means that any accidental changes that may have been made could have been easily traced and fixed immediately. 


2. It assumes that hundreds of mistakes were made during the course of transmission.
How can you be sure of this? Were you there? Do you have access to the original autographs or their authors by which to compare all extent NT MSS? Griesbach was guilty of this same error. He assumed too much without any evidence.


3. It assumes that NT copies contained hundreds of mistakes and were then immediately disbursed all over the world. Again, how do you know?

4. The history of transmission for both the OT and NT texts are identical. Computers and the printing press did not exist. Both the OT and NT relied upon human agents to properly copy from the original. Because scribes may have made mistakes, does it mean we cannot trust the integrity of the OT Scriptures either? It seems to me that you rest a lot on mere assumption, which is dangerous.

 

You said that “there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extent to us, literally 99.5% of these are utterly irrelevant, such as variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation, grammar, and scribal errors.”

 

Question 1: When was the last time you, Yochanan, personally compared variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation [sic], grammar and scribal errors, between 2nd century CE MSS and 16th century CE MSS?

 

The above mentioned statistics are common knowledge in the scholarly world. I already cited my sources in my previous email. 

 

A simple answer please. “I did it last week.” “I did it last year.” “I have never done this.” “I do it every day.” “I depend on other people I trust, to do it for me.”

 

I did not devote my life to studying New Testament Greek, nor am I an expert in paleography. I am merely able to examine the testimony of credentialed individuals with a verifiable background in paleography and NT Greek. And as I do so, I am looking for a consistent pattern of evidence, and/or the testimony of numerous scholars over the course of many centuries to point me in the right direction. If they present corroborating evidence without the hint of an agenda, I am most likely to deem their findings credible.

 

Moreover, the greatest litmus test we can use to gauge the reliability of the New Testament is to compare it with its direct antecedent, the Old Testament. And I believe that my NT text does not contradict the OT text in the least bit, not theologically or doctrinally. I am happy to delve into that discussion with you sometime.

 

And finally, all of us to a varying degree are relying upon the testimony of the scholars and archeologists who made the discovery of the NT MSS. We don't have direct access to these ancient texts or to the dating methods that were employed to pinpoint their date of origin. We also have no way of knowing if any of them were actually forged or if they are truly reflective of the original. So we must pick and choose the testimony of the experts on these findings carefully. 

 

Question 2: With 400 thousand differences across over 5,000 MSS, and you admittedly were “until recently largely unfamiliar with the papyri, but now feel sufficiently familiar with their history and contents,” how were you able to determine that the “variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation [sic], grammar, and scribal errors”were all irrelevant and do not impact or change the overall meaning of the text?

 

A short concise answer please, like, “I read an article or two on Wiki, and it convinced me that the 400,000 differences do not impact the overall meaning of the texts. Other people I trust, made that determination for me, and I believed them.”

 

See my above answer which is equally applicable to your question here.

 

You have a contradiction in what you wrote to me. It was undoubtedly an oversight on your part. You stated that, “the majority of 6,500 differences in Sinaiticus [when compared to the Byzantine/Majority text family] are insignificant.” Then, you stated, “…a large portion of them are significant and do indeed impact theology.”

 

I don't think I made any mistake here at all. As I mentioned before, roughly 2,000 variants out of 6,500 are significant enough to merit concern and do indeed impact theology--they exist in the Alexandrian text stream. The majority of the 6,500 variants is greater than 2,000, but yet 2,000 is still a "large" or significant portion, which is all I meant to say.

 

Which is it Yochanan? Do the differences impact theology or not? If they do, don’t you think you should pay more attention to the earliest MSS, and stop being a KJV drug dealer? You are a Jew Yochanan! What have you to do with Gentiles who don’t know Hebrew? You already admitted to me earlier that your Hebrew is not as strong as you would like. I guarantee you… your Hebrew is light years ahead of the gentiles, who do not know our language at all.

 

Why are you so persuaded that older is better? Haven't you heard of Marcion's Gospel from the mid 2nd century? This man lived during the lifetime of the Apostles yet was faking their writings and transmitting spurious letters as if they were written by the hand of the Apostles. My point is, what if one of the earliest NT MSS (such as P-66) was simply one of Marcion's many forgeries? Or what if it was simply corrupt for other reasons? Should we still trust it simply because it dates earlier than the others? That's where cross analysis is imperative, and the Byzantine text stream has that covered rather nicely.

 

And allow me to repackage the same argument another way. What if tomorrow headlines are made on account of some newly discovered parchments of the Hebrew Scriptures, and what if they were dated to right around the first century CE, but they threw on its face every well established Jewish belief of orthodoxy, would you immediately buy it? Would you automatically assume that your Hebrew Scriptures are altogether corrupt because they don't match up with these latest findings from an earlier date? I hope not. In the same way, don't build your entire argument on the premise that older is always better.

 

You said, “…allow me to demonstrate just three examples where depending on which variants are chosen, errors of fact and theology exist and Jesus is made to look like a liar.”

 

No. I’m not going to allow you to demonstrate anything. Why? Because you pulled your examples from a 138 page book written by Pastor Keith Piper, called “Serious Omissions in the NIV Bible,” which you apparently trust, hook line and sinker. I do because I've fact checked his research and that's all that matters.

Why would you do that? Do you even realize who Pastor Keith Piper is? He runs a website called “King James Video Ministries” and is a 34-year long pastor at Liberty Baptist Church of Cherrybrook NSW, in Australia. He graduated in Theology from Sydney Baptist Bible College. And this is the guy that you, as a Jew from Israel, trust, over me, a fellow Jew, living in Jerusalem for the past 36 years, long before you were even born? Really? Are you serious? Why are we even having the email conversation? What’s the point? You want your gentile baptist pastors and their idolatry? Go! Enjoy! Don’t write me again. But if you are serious about your own identity and you are prepared stop disrespecting me, and listen to your elders, as the Torah commands “Mip’neh Sey’vah Takum”[Va’Yikra 19:32], then I will agree to continue to correspond with you.

 

I've fact checked his research and it's impeccable; that's all that matters. Because a man might be a Jew, Muslim, or atheist, does not qualify or disqualify his research. We must examine the facts and nothing else.

 

You stated, “why do the majority of Bible scholars prefer to rely on the Alexandrian text rather than the Byzantine?”

 

They do not. The majority of “scholars” rely primarily on the later MSS penned after the 8th century CE, and to a very limited extent on Sinaiticus. The Papyri are for the most part from the 2nd century CE.

 

And who cares about the scholars? The overwhelming majority of pastors, teachers and church leaders, and thus, average christian “laymen,” rely almost exclusively on English NTs which all rely upon the TR, or the NA-28, which only pays lip service to Sinaiticus, and barely reference the Papryi. The TR can only get one to the 11th century CE, and the NA-28 will only reflect 8th century CE MSS, and rarely anything earlier.


Please double check your info here and refer back to the evidence I cited in my previous response. Nearly ALL modern NT versions rely upon the critical text or the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament, which relies exclusively upon the Alexandrian text types (such as Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) and uses a critical apparatus which takes into account the readings located in the papyri (see here for proof). The TR is extremely unpopular with most modern scholars. Only a few credentialed scholars such as Maurice A. Robinson, Wilbur Pickering, Arthur Farstad, Zane C. Hodges, and a few others are keen on the Majority method or TR.

 

You stated, “Why are nearly 95% of all modern NT Bible translations based almost exclusively on the Alexandrian instead of the Byzantine?”

 

They are not. All of them are based, to a very limited extent on Sinaiticus, but for the most part, on all MSS penned after the 8th century CE. The Papyri are for the most part from the 2nd century CE.

 

Please see my answer above. I believe you are completely incorrect here based on the evidence above and in my last email.

You wrote an enormous section in your message to explain how “reasoned eclecticism is fairly new,” and therefore cannot be trusted.

 

Eclecticism is the process of compiling a text from multiple sources. Why are you preaching to the choir? I reject reasoned eclecticism. We don’t use multiple sources. We use only the earliest MSS for any given text, which in most cases ends up being sourced from the Papyri.

 

Why are you wasting my time arguing against Sinaiticus? Our translations are based primarily on documents that predate Sinaiticus by at least 160 years.

 

The beginning of this entire thread between us had to do with your video attempting to debunk Christ as our symbolic Passover lamb. In that video, your entire premise rested upon the order of wording located in the Sinaiticus. That's why I included all of the pertinent points relating to the Sinaiticus and its history.

 

Yochanan! Stop it! What is wrong with you? What Jew would accept a sofer’s work if he changed the original text, by even a single stroke?

 

Your gentile heroes are all about changing the text. Jews don’t do that! If I gave you 1,000 copies of the Torah printed by a printer in 2018, and then in an archeological dig, I turned up a copy of the original Torah that Moshe or Yehoshua penned 3,330 years ago, how many differences do you think you would find? Doesn’t that teach you than in a culture that prides itself in changing text to suit their agendas, that we would be better of relying only upon the earliest MSS we can get our hands on, when it comes to sacred literature?

 

A simple answer Yochanan, please! Yes, or No. I don’t care how adept you are at pasting and recyling arguments from Wiki, and all your other non-Jewish sources. Can’t you think like a Jew for just five minutes?

 

Do you want late MSS laden with 400,000 discrepancies, or do you want early MSS, with a vastly fewer number of discrepancies? What does a Jew want? Not “what does an assimilated jew who converted to christianity need?”

 

Regarding the transmission of the Hebrew Scriptures, just consider the many variants that exist within the different manuscripts comprising the Masoretic text stream. For instance, some contain the reading of Psalm 22:16 as, "they pierced my hands and my feet", and others, "like a lion at my hands and my feet". And then there are the thousands of differences that exist between the DSS, Masoretic, and Septuagint. Another example is the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (the Hebrew name of God) which is permanently lost because our Hebrew scholars took it upon themselves to conceal it via a set of Hebrew vowel markers which obscure the original pronunciation due to a process known as the qere perpetuum. Had they the right to add these vowel markers to the Sacred Text of Scripture in such a way as to obscure the pronunciation of God's holy name? No, they did not.

 

You stated, “the Papyri more closely resemble the Byzantine, NOT the Alexandrian.” Then you rattled off a bunch of statistics.

 

Who cares where they resemble the Byzantine? All you should need to know is what happens in the places where they DON’T resemble the Byzantine? … then what? What are you going to use to render your text into English? The Byzantine or the Papyri? If your answer is the Byzantine, then I’m wasting my time with you, because you are determined to think like a goy.

 

I think I'm using my very best judgement to determine which text stream is better. I'm sorry if you disagree with me.

 

You correctly quoted my words, saying that “not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri…” But then, you stated that this “is simply untrue.”

 

Your single proof of claim was David Hutchinson Edgar’s translation of the “letters of paul.” Edgar, who lives in Ireland is a researcher, proofreader and freelance editor. He received his education at Trinity College, Dublin, and he holds a PhD in Early Christian History. He is NOT christian scholar for biblical translation. Neither am I. And neither am I :-) But if the Chester Beaty Library, which houses the most important collection of papyri, chose David Hutchinson Edgar to translate P-46, then I believe they would have considered him qualified.

 

You then contradict yourself, by admitting that “there is no mainstream scholarly translation for P-66.” So, why did you lie about it, in the first place? One side of your mouth says “there are plenty of christian scholars who have translated the Papyri,” and the other side of your mouth says “there is no mainstream scholarly translation for P-66.” 

 

I don't think I'm guilty of lying. To date, over 130 New Testament papyri are known, and P-66 is only one of them. Frederic Kenyon edited the publication of the papyri while Eberhard Nestle and Kurt Aland incorporated them into their Novum Testamentum Graece, which is known as the critical text and underlies every modern version of the NT (see here and here for proof). The papyri have been incorporated into the Novum Testamentum Graece since the NA25 (25th edition of the Nestle Aland). Their latest edition, the NA28, is up to date with the latest papyri finds (see here and here for proof). Since the Novum Testamentum Graece reflects the Papyri readings, not many scholars feel motivated to independently translate all of the papyri. It would be redundant and unnecessary.

 

How am I supposed to trust you if you have established yourself as a liar, who cuts and pastes from Wiki and other christian sources at will, in order to discredit me and what I wrote to you? I believe it is because your thing is “To win the argument at all costs. It doesn’t matter how I disrespect fellow Jews and my elders, and Jerusalem in the process.”

 

You stated that P-66 “is indisputably the most error ridden NT manuscript in existence and too highly fragmented.”

 

Bring your proof of claim. Go find folio leaf #39 of P-66, which carries the text of Yochanan 6:64-71, and explain to me in the English language, for which you are such an expert, in what way that folio leaf is “highly fragmented.” Do the same for the balance of the other 152 folio leaves of P-66, and prove to me your claim that these are “indisputably the most error ridden MSS in existence.”

 

I am happy to submit several proofs of claim for you, but first, here is the actual quote concerning P-66 by Ernest C. Colwell: 

 

"On these last and most important matters, our three scribes are widely divided. P75 and P45 seriously intend to produce a good copy, but it is hard to believe that this was the intention of P66. The nearly 200 nonsense readings and 400 itacistic spellings in P66 are evidence of something less than disciplined attention to the basic task. To this evidence of carelessness must be added those singular readings whose origin baffles speculation, readings that can be given no more exact label than carelessness leading to assorted variant readings. A hurried count shows P45 with 20, P75 with 57, and P66 with 216 purely careless readings. As we have seen, P66 has, in addition, more than twice as many 'leaps' from the same to the same as either of the others."

 

Wilbur Pickering ThM, PhD agrees, "... P66 is a very poor copy and yet it is one of the earliest! P75 is placed close to P66 in date. Though not as bad as P66, it is scarcely a good copy." (Identity of the New Testament Text IV p. 131).

 

H. C. Hoskier also agrees with Colwell concerning the poor transcription of the papyri (A Study of the Chester-Beatty Codex of the Pauline Epistles, The Journal of Theological Studies 1937)

 

When was the last time you translated into English a single noun or a verb from P-66? Keep your answer short, and concise, like, “Nope… never did it.” Or “Oh yeh, I did that just last week.” Or “I depend on other gentiles that I don’t know, who I suppose are much smarter than me, to make these assessments. And since I can’t bear the idea of being proven wrong and having to explain to my Abba that he was right… that there are problems with the NT in English, my gentile scholars have to be right, and you Uriel, a fellow Jew, have to be wrong.”

 

I will freely admit that I am not a qualified scholar. And neither are you by your own admission. But I am definitely qualified to judge the evidence and testimony presented by credible men, and this I have done to the best of my ability.

 

“Indisputably…?” Really? Are you serious? Are you really suggesting that your words cannot be disputed? Or are you suggesting that some other idiot out there from whose article you copied and pasted, was the one who said “ indisputably.” Why are you disrespecting me? Why do you think I am so stupid, or worse, audacious, to dispute the findings of your goy heroes? Do you actually think that the entire world of ancient biblical MSS research scholars are of one mind, and that all believe, as you have written that P-66 “is indisputably the most error ridden NT manuscript in existence and too highly fragmented.” Or is it possible that is was just the goy you decided to quote, copy and paste, and put into you message to me, highlighted in yellow, as if it represented a global christian truth or opinion?

 

Have you compared P-66 to every other NT manuscript? What makes you so confident that P-66 best reflects the original autographs? Just the fact that it is older? Is P-66 somehow more Jewish than the rest? How so? Please consider this question.

 

And then, copying and pasting again, you rattled off how many singular readings [whatever that is], itacisms [do you even know what that is?], forward leaps [what the %&*$ is that?], and backward leaps [again, what is that?] P-66 allegedly hosted, and that P-66 has “a mistake every 16 words!” 

 

"Singular readings" refers to readings that are only found in one particular manuscript. Itacism is the process by which a number of vowels and diphthongs in Ancient Greek converged in pronunciation so they all now sound like the Greek letter eta. Concerning "forward leaps" and "backward leaps", Colwell defines these terms as follows: "The leap from the same to the same is a familiar phenomenon to all students of manuscripts. It is really the case of the misplaced scribe. The scribe loses his place, looks around and finds the same word, or at least the same syllable or letter, and starts from there. If he looks ahead to find his place, the result is a gap in the text. . . . In other words, the loss of position usually resulted in a loss of text, an omission."

 

Seriously? So you actually sat down and waded through all 16,664 Greek words of P-66, and you personally made the determination that after every 16 words, there was a mistake? Wow! Did you make a list of those “mistakes?” Or should I just go through and assume that every 16th word is incorrect? And is every 16th word a variant spelling, a difference in the order of words, a grammatical error, an omission, an addition, a scribal error? I mean, you are the man Yochanan, aren’t you? You have personally done the research on P-66, haven’t you?

 

No, I haven't, but Ernest C. Colwell evidently has. And he is a highly respected and well accomplished scholar in his field. He collated the NT Papyri and I trust his findings. He is honest enough to defend the Byzantine priority camp, unlike the great majority of modern scholars today who dishonestly attempt to champion the Alexandrian text types and reasoned eclecticism (older is better nonsense).

 

Or perhaps the “mistake every 16 words” was just an average reckoning? Some goy you trust just eyeballed all 156 folio pages of P-66, decided that were “x” mistakes and then divided that number into the total word count to come up with his amazing conclusion. And then you quoted him, thinking that it would make you look smart. The truth is Yochanan, it makes you look like an amateur before those who know better.

 

How so? Have you collated P-66 to locate singular readings, itacisims, forward leaps and backward leaps? Have you honestly used a critical eye on the text? It appears not, since you were unfamiliar with these terms.

 

BTW, do you recall that you earlier wrote that “there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extant… 99.5% of which are utterly irrelevant, such as… punctuation?”

Guess what genius? There is no “punctuation” in any Alexandrian text. They hadn’t yet invented punctuation. Why do you assume that we are so stupid and that we won’t notice?

 

You are absolutely correct about the Alexandrian text not containing any punctuation. But where in my above statements do I claim that the Alexandrian text contains punctuation??? The full quote I provided earlier is here: "Now while there are approximately 400 thousand differences or variants spread out between the Greek manuscripts extent to us, literally 99.5% of these are utterly irrelevant, such as variant spellings, differences in the order of words, punctuation, grammar, and scribal errors (see here)." Notice that this quote was pulled directly out of the online encyclopedia. While you are right about the Alexandrian text not containing any punctuation, later NT manuscripts did indeed contain punctuation, and this quote is obviously referring to those manuscripts, not the very earliest ones.

 

You wrote, and I paraphrase, “Why even bother translating P-66? It differs only in punctuation. It is too close to the NA27.” NA27 ads punctuation to the text where P-66 doesn't contain it. That is the only difference really. But then you fingers hit “copy” and “paste” and in your message to me, you go on to report that “P-66 has 482 this, and 400 that, and 54 of these, and 22 of those, with , and mistakes every 16 words.”

 

Oh, ok. I get it. All the same mistakes that are in P-66, are also in NA-27, right? Isn’t that what you just said? Yes, you did. And if they are all in NA-27, then believe me, most of those are also in the TR. So it looks like it is time to take your precious NT in English and drop it into the trash can, because it is laden with errors, and you just admitted it when you stated “It differs only in punctuation. It is too close to the NA27!” 

 

I wonder what you know about the TR? The TR originated four full centuries prior to the discovery of the Papyri in the early 1900's. The TR belongs to the Byzantine family of manuscripts and contains zero Alexandrian readings or any that would reflect the Papyri. There is NO relationship between them at all. I'm really surprised you were unaware of this. 

 

You have my testimony, and now you have your testimony in writing. And just like you said, “Al pee shnei eidim, oh al pee shelosha eidim, yakum d’var.” [D’varim 19:15].

 

You said, “…there are plenty of non-accredited scholars, like yourself, who have translated P-66 fully into English with parallel Greek-English texts and a critical apparatus. The best one I found is here.”

 

Thank you. That is the kindest thing you said to me in your 9,300 word diatribe of 24 Jun 2018. But Yochanan. You are mistaken… again! There are NOT plenty of us translating P-66. There are far too few of us. And how many Jews do you know, who live in Jerusalem, from which the Torah of Ha’Shem goes forth, are doing this work? Why wouldn’t you, a Jew, want to be aligned with and supportive of this work, instead of aligning yourself against it, joining the ranks of those who hate Jews? Don’t we have enough enemies? 

 

Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) of Nazareth wants you to join His ranks. Don't you think He has enough enemies? Sadly, most of His own people curse His name. I will not join the ranks of unfaithful and rebellious Israel. I refuse to, as much as I love my people.

 

I’m sure that David Robert Palmer’s translation of P-66 from 1998 is ok, but he was born in Papua, New Guinea. He attended New Tribes Bible Institute and was ordained by the Southwest Baptist Church, Jackson, Michigan in 1978. How is he is the “best one” you found? Why wouldn’t you see any value to one of our own boys translating a work written originally by a Jew? 

 

Friend, I am a Jew too. What makes your scholarly efforts any better than mine? Why are you so insistent that somehow you have divine immunity from error and corruption just because you happen to be a Jew? Hasn't our very own history proven such thinking absurd? 

 

Have you ever read any of our translations? Is there any particular reason why you are not attending our classes, while we translate P-66? 

 

I know too much about the history and contents of P66 to want to participate in your classes. You may as well ask me to study Marcion's Gospel. I won't do it. 

 

Did you ever think that our translation from Jerusalem just might be a scratch better, than the non-Jewish home-boy/baptist pastor from Papua, New Guinea? Why don’t you write to him, and ask him if he speaks, reads and writes Hebrew, and understands from personal experience the culture of AHM Israel? 

 

Again, why do you insist that Jews have divine immunity to error and corruption?

 

You mentioned that Ernest C. Colwell believed that “P-45 and P-75 showed an unprecedented degree of corruption,” and you just took him at his word. So who is Colwell, that he should become one of your goy heroes?

 

Ernest C. Colwell is a highly respected and well accomplished scholar in his field. He collated the NT Papyri and I trust his findings. He is honest enough to defend the Byzantine priority camp, unlike the great majority of modern scholars today who dishonestly attempt to champion the Alexandrian text types and reasoned eclecticism (older is better nonsense).

 

Do you have any idea of what motivated him to declare any specific text in P-45 or P-75 as a “Careless Reading,” or a “Singular Reading,” or “Nonsense Reading,” or a “Leap Forward,” or a “Leap Backward?”

 

What are those things anyway? Can you explain, really briefly? See my explanations above. Did you yourself confirm his findings with your own eyes, or did you just blindly trust him, and now pass on the dead man's findings as unalterable fact?

 

Colwell, who died in ‘74, was an American biblical scholar who was educated at a private research university in Atlanta, Georgia, run by the Methodist Episcopal Church. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, but only later became recognized as a biblical scholar when he became chairman the executive committee of the International Greek New Testament Project. So what? He has an opinion. Do you have one? Or are you just a parrot for everything he claims? Remember! I need at least two witnesses who all say, after each one of them have examined the Greek of P-45 and P-75, that the text is corrupt, in order to establish it as fact. Who is the second witness who has actually set eyes on these Papyri? You? 

 

I gave you a second and third witness above. There are others too like Kurt Aland and Gunther Zuntz who weren't too impressed with many of the Papyri and openly expressed their misgivings. 

 

Why did you bother lecturing me on the “hard facts” of 1 John 5:7-8? You sit there in front of your computer, cutting and pasting garbage as if it was fact, like, “The Johannine Comma is found in Early Bible Versions such as Old Syriac (170 AD) and Old Latin in North Africa and Italy (200 AD).”

 

No, genius. The Old Syriac is dated paleographically to the 5th century CE, and the Old Latin is dated to the end of the 4th century CE, not the 2nd. How do you expect me to take you seriously, when you don’t even know your dates? 

 

Again, I don't believe I'm wrong here either. Here's why: The Diatessaron, prepared by Tatian in Rome, is the oldest manuscript within the Old Syriac family and it is dated to about AD 170. It survives in a commentary produced by Ephrem the Syrian (see here for proof). 

 

And what do I care if the “Comma Johanneum” is found only in late MSS. It isn’t there in the earliest Papyrus docs, which are all dating to the mid-third century CE or earlier. That means only one thing: It was added after-the-fact. What are you going to do… cry “IMA” because your precious doctrine didn’t show up until much later? 

 

You will never be able to prove that earlier is better or best reflective of the originals. It is simply impossible. You are merely using a theory, as flawed as evolution, to prove your point. There is absolutely zero evidence that older is better and I have proven this time and again. Besides, the Comma Johanneum survives in the writings of the Patristic fathers, which are far older than the Papyri. I have proven this in my previous email also.

 

What would you do if you discovered a Yishaiyahu Scroll dating to the 5th century CE, and it did not contain the prophesy of destruction against those who eat pork. Are you going to run out and order up a BLT or go have a shrimp salad? No! We already have the DSS, which sends us back to at least the 3rd or 4th century BCE, which does contain the prophesy that if you eat pig, Ha’Shem is going to turn you into a crispy critter. So again… the @#$% with your “Comma Johanneum” It’s not there. Get over yourself and learn to live with the hard realities of being Jewish. 

 

Yes, it's harder when you are a Messianic Jew and misunderstood by your own people.

 

Man, you are dangerous with a computer and access to the internet. What you appear to be doing is bringing false witness against your neighbor. Have you never read in our Torah, “Lo ta’aneh ve’reh’ah’cha eid shah’kehr?” What are you doing? Why are you lying? So that you drag other Jews into your web of idolatry?

 

You stated, “There are a vast number of scribal errors located throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. And they are even greater in number than found in the NT.”

 

You are a real piece of work Yochanan. Tit’baiyesh Lecha! Bring your proof of claim. Present your list of “scribal errors” in the Hebrew Tenach, that outnumbers those in the GNT. We are not interested in your “minor contradictions.” These would be a matter of interpretation. Just show me the “scribal errors” in the text itself, and be sure to count them, because I already know the number of scribal errors in the GNT, and I have seen and read many of them with my own eyes. Have you?

 

I answered this point already previously. Please refer to my answer above.

You stated, “99% of the problems located in the New Testament are resolved when we reject the corrupt Alexandrian text types and rely instead upon the Byzantine."

 

Well there you go! You just validated the statement I made in my last message, namely, “Not one christian scholar is brave enough to translate the Papyri, because they know it will bury christianity’s theological claims.”

 

Throw out the earliest MSS, after tagging them as “corrupt,” and all your problems will disappear. Just bury the evidence and kill the witnesses who bring testimony that will prove harmful your agenda. This is what criminals and self-hating Jews like you do. Kol Ha’Kavode! Atah Ga’on! Melech Israel! 

 

I am not self-hating. I love my Jewish identity and my Jewish people and pray for them daily for their eyes to be opened to recognize Yeshua their Messiah. You once believed on Him, back in the seventies, right? What happened?

 

You stated, “The Papyri are error ridden and most inferior to anything else in the school of manuscripts”

 

Question: One what basis have YOU determined that the Papyri are error ridden or inferior? When did you personally parse out the texts in order to make that determination?

 

At what point did you personally observe, catalogue, and explain variant spellings, differences in the order of words, grammatical anomalies, a change of verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs or pronouns, added text, missing text, or observe scribal errors?

 

Keep your answer simple and concise, for example, “I did this last week.” “I have never done this.” “I do it every day.” “I depend on other people I trust, to do it for me.” “I really don’t know if the Papyri are error ridden. I just wrote that, to give myself a false sense of superiority and scholarship over you, while making you look like an idiot for relying on what some people believe is inferior.”

 

I already answered this with substantial testimony from credible scholars. If you fail to recognize their testimony as credible, I am unable to change that.

 

You said that “I would like to see the evidence you use to make such claims,” that we have documented hundreds of textual changes, additions, subtractions, and grammatical edits.

 

Oh! He wants evidence! So, you want me to produce for you, what you are unwilling to produce from your own hand? Instead, the only evidences you manage to shovel onto my plate are reams of materials that you have copied and pasted from the internet, from other gentiles, while assuming that all of their axioms and theories are true.

So far I have provided substantial evidence to back up all of my claims. But if you choose not to provide evidence for your own claims that's fine. I will accept that.

On the folio leaf of P-66, two 2nd person ACTIVE verbs that appear in the TR and NA-28, are written in their 3rd person PASSIVE forms in P-66, which dramatically changes the translation. In addition, two nouns were word-swopped in all later MSS, to force the text to read in a way that supports the drinking of the blood of Jesus, something which our Torah forbids. But in P-66, the word order allows for no possibility for this kind of reading.

 

When Jesus said, "verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (Jn. 6:53), He simply meant that unless we partake of His life and nature (and His sufferings in particular), we would be unable to receive eternal life from the Father. The epistles of Paul and the rest of the NT explain this principle very well. Jesus was not promoting cannibalism. He was just speaking symbolically, as usual. That's why the self-righteous Pharisees stumbled so often when hearing His words. God intentionally blinded them to the simple meaning of Christ's words.

 

Are you happy now? There is your evidence. Go ahead and try now to tell me with a straight face that “The Papyri are error ridden and most inferior to anything else in the school of manuscripts.” The funny thing is that back on April 10 when I wrote to you last time, I specifically offered to send you an invitation to our class so that you could participate in it. But you weren’t interested. Instead, you took two and half months to research and write all the crap you wrote, trying to convince me that you actually have knowledge about the Papyri, when it turns out that you personally have ZERO personal experience with them, which means you know nothing about them in reality, and instead depend on the goy and the internet to arrive at your conclusions.

 

Ha’Shem commands Jews who trust Him, to live in the Land. Who happens to be governing the nation is irrelevant. A mitzvah is a mitzvah. I have been unable to locate anywhere in the Tenach where Ha’Shem says, “If you don’t happen to like your secular government or it’s leaders, you are free to live in any other part of the planet, as you might choose.”

 

I never saw a single command in the Old Testament instructing Jews to live in their land before the return of the Messiah, who Himself will gather them back to the land. This is clear throughout the OT and especially clear in Isaiah 11:1-16. We as Believers refer to this as the rapture of the Church.

 

In your concluding statement you said that the OT "dealt superficially with sin and could not cure the root of man's sin sickness and Israel's repeated rebellion and idolatry is testament to this truth. But the New Testament deals with the root cause of sin.”

 

Really? Is that what the NT does? How is then that christians, to a greater extent than any other adherents to other faiths, in my experience are the most wicked people on earth. They act daily in rebellion and idolatry, towards Ha’Shem. They are disrespectful, unkind, liars, thieves, Jew-haters and deceivers of themselves, more than any other social group anywhere. Doesn’t sound like the root cause of sin has been dealt with at all. But maybe that’s just me. 

 

I'm really sorry if you have been exposed to the false adherents of the Christian Faith. I don't believe we can paint such a wide brush stroke over all Christians everywhere, but there are certainly some lousy ones, I agree. 

 

I don’t expect to hear back from you Yochanan, because most christians are too chicken%$#@ to admit they might be mistaken, or that they might have bought the lie, and in reality, most know nothing about the Bible, or the Jewish people who handed their sacred texts to them for free, because rarely invest themselves into learning Hebrew and/or Greek, nor will they bother connecting themselves to AHM Israel. But, who knows… the only reason I wrote this response, is because you are a Jew, and the Talmud teaches that to rescue even a single Jew, is as if he rescued the entire world.

 

Mazal tov on the birth of your son. Thanks!

 

Kol Tuv,

 

Uriel

 

All the very best to you too in the Spirit of Christ's love!

Yochanan,

I read through the “red letter” edition of your response to my earlier message.

I had actually written about 25 counter-responses to many of your comments, and then as I made my way towards the end, I realized that sparring with you was just an exercise in futility.

You have your world-views and foreign values and you like to argue. I don’t have time. Your mindset does not allow you to learn, at least from anything Jewish or connected to your own history or culture. You are all about defending the christian faith, which has only produced anti-Semitism and murderers who persecuted Jews in unspeakable ways.

All of your answers were unimpressive and non sequitur. I read them all, but it was as if my questions had been spoken into a hollow chamber, which demonstrated to me that you have no respect for your elders or teachers, and certainly not for any Jewish voice from Yerushali’im. The feelings you left me with were akin to those of Jews during the inquisition who were forced to spar with christians during the disputations. Very sad.

Kol tuv,


Uriel