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Correcting Geisler's scribal errors (2015)
Mirroring the text here, the verses will show up on a search of this forum.
Correcting Geisler's scribal errors
Years ago I read an apologetic book. WHEN CRITICS ASK: A POPULAR HANDBOOK ON BIBLE DIFFICULTIES. It was written by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe; it is a good reference. There are hundreds of texts that are harmonized to uphold an inerrantist evangelical theology. The belief that the Bible in it's original manuscripts was inspired without error. However, as I took graduate courses there was something I was made aware of that totally contradicted the heart of evangelical theology. The idea that even the bible in it's original language and even it's earliest manuscripts was corrupted accidentally by the scribes. This was called "scribal" or "copyist" error. These errors were typically used when an evangelical could not reconcile a passage. The idea is that because we can't understand a passage then apparently it must be an error as opposed to our lack of understanding. This didn't match with the scriptures that I read.
psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are
silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Now while I respect Geisler's effort in the book for reconciling confusing passages. I find the use of "copyist error" as illegitimate answer which has provided ammunition for Bible deniers. So I took the time to go through the book in all it's 615pages. In hopes to find all the "copyist errors" and reconcile them. I am not absolutely sure that I may have missed one, but to my knowledge I have covered them all and a few others. Also I refer specifically to Norm Geisler; by this no disrespect is meant to the co-author Thomas Howe, as I might be dealing with his arguments. Quotes from them will be recognized as WCA.
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Here Geisler disagrees with the Masoretic text's vowels for the word shiloh. Claiming that the 2 common interpretations "shiloh" being a prophecy of Christ and shiloh the town are inadequate.
When Reading the "Jewish Study Bible" put out by the Jewish publication society it is interesting to note
that even though they do not use this rendering in their 2004 english translation
there notes admit. "V.10 has traditionally been viewed as a messianic prophecy in both the Jewish and Christian traditions.." in fact the 1996 Jewish Publication Society "the torah" translation renders the word "Shiloh". Shiloh is not a word limited to this prophecy either.
Joshua 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them."
This town was temporary capitol for Israel where the tabernacle was. It is interesting to note that the town is a place of congregation for all Israel. Which is what was to happen when Shiloh came.
Genesis 49:9 Judah is
a lion’s whelp:
from the prey, my son, thou art gone up:
he stooped down, he couched as a lion,
and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come;
and unto him shall
the gathering of the people be
11 Binding his foal unto the vine,
and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine;
he washed his garments in wine,
and his clothes
in the blood of grapes:
12 his eyes shall be
red with wine,
and his teeth white with milk.
When we look at the context this is very messianic, we see the messianic Judah lion typology. The scepter of authority, the vine, the donkey, the clothes washed in the blood of grapes. This is all quite clearly Messianic. Shiloh was a word in Use among the Jews. They recognized the messianic nature of the prophecy and so ultimately the need to assume this as a "scribal error" is ludicrous.
1 Samuel 13
13 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
Geisler states that this has been attack due to conflicting reports among translation as to the number
. I need to first state the fact that this is unnecessary to accuse the scribe of error
. Because the translators are the ones with controversy over the numbers. The Masoretic text did not provide such details. Now one could argue that this could be a difficult reading. But a difficult reading is not necessarily a contradiction or error.
Here is commentary from John Gill harmonizing the text.
Saul reigned one year
"Or the son of a year in his reigning" F19; various are the senses given of these words: some interpret them, Saul had a son of a year old when he began to reign, Ishbosheth, and who was forty years of age when his father died, ( 2 Samuel 2:10 ) , others, who understand the words of Saul himself, think there is an "ellipsis" or defect of the number, and that it may be supplied, that Saul was the son of thirty or forty years, or whatsoever age he may be supposed to be at when he began his reign; others take the words in a figurative sense, that he was like a child of a year old, for purity and innocence; so the Targum,
or he was but a year old, reckoning from the time he was turned into another man, and had another heart, which was immediately after he was anointed king at Ramah by Samuel; or he was but a year old with respect to his kingdom: the inauguration of a king is "natalis imperil", the birthday of his kingdom, and therefore the words are well enough rendered by us, "Saul reigned one year"; which is to be reckoned either from his unction at Ramah, or rather from his election at Mizpeh, to the
"as the son of a year, in whom there are no faults, so was Saul when he reigned;''
renewal of the kingdom at Gilgal: and when he had reigned two years over Israel;
which the Jewish chronologers F20 make to be the whole of his reign, which is not probable, considering the many things done in his reign, the many battles he fought with all his enemies on every side of him, and his long persecution of David; and there were no less than three high priests in his reign; Josephus says F17 he reigned eighteen years in the lifetime of Samuel, and twenty two years after his death, in all forty; which agrees
with ( Acts 13:21 ) . Some interpret it he reigned two years well, and the rest in a tyrannical way; or that at the end of two years, when David was anointed, the kingdom was not reckoned to him, but to David; and to this purpose Dr. Lightfoot writes, that he had been king one year from his first anointing by Samuel at Ramah, to his second anointing by him at Gibeah (Gilgal I suppose he means); and he reigned after this two years more, before the Lord cast him off, and anointed David; and the time he ruled after that was not a rule, but a tyranny and persecution F18; but the sense Ben Gersom gives is best of all, that one year had passed from the time of his being anointed, to the time of the renewal of the kingdom at Gilgal; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, then he did what follows, chose 3000 men In the first year of his reign was done all that is recorded in the preceding chapter; and when he had reigned two years, not two years more, but two years in all, then he did what is related in this chapter.
1 Samuel 13:5
And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven."
"According to this passage 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen. However, an army of 30,000 chariots has never been recorded in all of ancient history even among the most powerful empires." WCA
This seems an exaggerated claim by liberals in the sense that we know God sent an angel to slay 180,000 Assyrians. In such a case 1/6 would be afforded chariots which doesn't seem an impossible luxury.
The philistines had a normal army of 6,000 horsemen but for this event they had enlisted regular people as soldiers "as the sand of the sea" which could man the remaining 24,000 chariots. Obviously the high number chariots were borrowed from neighboring countries (Tyre?) for this particular event. This massive army fits naturally in the story as Saul's 3.000 man army completely retreats after the recent victory and hides/escapes for a full week.
2 samuel 8 4
And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.
Did David capture 700 horseman or 7,000 as 1chronicles 18:4 says?
First point that needs to be made is that if David captured 7,00 horseman. Then seven hundred would still be accounted for.
Chronicles is written at a much later time. So the 7,000 horsemen statistic could have been an estimate over a time period verses the original estimate of the instant. After all, more became quickly involved.
2 sam. 8:5
And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts
. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went."
And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem."
How can we justify David's cruelty to his enemies?
Actually this is not saying that David "sawed His enemies to death". The expression is simply being misinterpreted. If it were written so it would probably like as written in the book of Hebrews 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder
, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;"
The context leads us to see this expression referring to POW slavery.
12:30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance
". David was after the economic spoils of his enemies. He had no motivation for genocide.
And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam."
This is the classic key text for liberals pursuing errors. 1st and 2nd Samuel is a rougher read text than much of the Bible. It is unknown why, perhaps there was an interruption and the author stopped because the revelation/inspiration ceased. Of course the history is then repeated through the chronicles and many clarifications are brought through that text. Why was it inspired in such a rough state? Because at the time the literature was in an oral tradition culture. The people were not focused on reading the story, instead they were focused upon hearing the story. So upon reading this the speaker under illumination of the oral tradition would have a clear teaching of this record. but now that we have the whole of scripture we can better understand the record and have freedom with the scripture to harmonize it as the Authorized Version has appropriately done.
2 Samuel 23:11
And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.
The argument here is that in 1 chronicles 11:13 says that the same grounds was full of barley as opposed to lentils.(aka lentiles) These are easily harmonized when we remember that chronicles was written centuries later. The contemporary audience may remember the current crop(barley) and would be confused over the past crop(lentils).
1 kings 4:26
And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
The problem is that 2 chronicles 9:25 has ten times less stalls.
2 Chron. 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
This may seem like a strong case. However, we have to consider the variables.
2 Chronicles 9: 23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. 24 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
With such a vast international audience it seems indeed quite reasonable that Solomon would use horses for distribution both collecting sacrifices, food/victuals, and delivering messages through out the kingdoms. The 4,000 horses would be especially bred for the time of war. But obviously 12,000 horsemen could use more the 4,000 horses. Thus the super wealthy Solomon had more in supply.
2 kings 8:26
Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
2 chronicles 22:2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
In Chronicles we see a perspective that deals with the judean royal family and has less focus upon the family of northern Israel. Yet often many of the family histories of the recently separated groups intertwined to give similar yet still separate stories as is the case here.
- Young Jehoshaphat and young Athaliah of Israel engage in an illicit affair for political reasons during the reign of Asa.
- Jehoshaphat and Athaliah give birth to Ahaziah, perhaps out of wedlock.
- Jehoshaphat and his true wife, a woman of Judah, give birth to Jehoram.
- Jehoshaphat becomes king of Judah after Asa's death.
- By virtue of his relationship to Athaliah, Jehoshaphat king of Judah is given some jurisdiction over Israel and is considered also "king of Israel".
- Ahaziah, being Jehoshaphat's son, shares Jehoshaphat's limited jurisdiction over Israel and becomes co-regent of Israel with Ahab at age 22.
- Despite being co-regent of Israel by virtue of his father Jehoshaphat's authority, Ahaziah cannot succeed the throne of Israel at Ahab's death because Ahab has his own sons.
- Before Jehoshaphat died, he appointed his younger son Jehoram a pure prince of Judah to become king of Judah, bypassing Ahaziah's right to the throne.
- Jehoshaphat dies.
- Jehoram becomes king of Judah after Jehoshaphat's death.
- Jehoram takes Athaliah as his wife.
- Ahaziah legally becomes the son of Jehoram, despite being older than Jehoram.
- Ahaziah becomes king of Judah at age 42 after Jehoram's death."
“Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.” (2 Kings 8:26, KJV) “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. ...
I recommend for reader's wanting to go deeper to observe this previous link.
2 kings 18:13
Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.
"2 kings 18:13 claims that "in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacharib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.' Since archaeological evidence has established Sennachrib's invasion at 701B.C., this would mean that Hezekiah became co-regent with his father Ahaz in 719B.C and sole ruler of Judah in 715B.C. However, According to 2 kings 18:1, Hezekiah became co-regent in 729B.C. and he became sole ruler of Judah when his father died in 725 BC This is a descrepency of ten years. Which account is correct?"WCA
The Key flaw here is "archaeological evidence". Archaeology is a soft science if there ever was one. Assryian chronology is not objective and this is not an error because the Bible is not contradicting itself. It is contradicting a pagan record. Here, Larry Pierce critiques the chronologist Edwin Thiele
" Third Biblical example
Thiele holds to a synchronization for the year 701 BC to make it the 14th year of the reign of Hezekiah when Sennacherib invaded Judah. Thiele is forced to discard three synchronizations to do this. According to the Bible:
Thiele claims these are late amendments to the Biblical text, and is honest enough to admit he cannot make these verses fit his chronology. In forcing this synchronization, Thiele has the reign of Hezekiah and his son, Manasseh, co-reigning for at least 11 years. There is no Biblical evidence to support this, aside from this forced synchronization.
a. Hezekiah started to reign in the 3rd year of Hoshea (2 Kings 18:1, 2).
b. In the 6th year of Hezekiah and the 9th year of Hoshea, Israel was captured (2 Kings 18:10).
c. In the 12th year of Ahaz, Hoshea began to reign over Israel (2 Kings 17:1).
Thiele also runs into problems with the secular chronology of Babylon. The Bible says that Hezekiah was visited by representatives from Merodach-Baladan, the king of Babylon (2 Kings 20:12). According to our understanding of Ptolemy’s canon, this king ruled in Babylon from 721—710 BC and then died. If Thiele did not try to force this connection with Sennacherib for the year 701 BC, he would not have had this problem.
According to Assyrian chronology, this Sennacherib went on and reigned for a number of years after his invasion of Judah. The Bible states he returned to his own land and was killed by his sons (2 Kings 19:36, 37). No great time is implied between the unsuccessful invasion and his untimely death. According to Tobit in the Apocrypha, Sennacherib returned and conducted some ethnic cleansing to rid the land of Jews. About 55 days after his return, he was murdered by his two sons (APC Tobit 1:15—22). Verse 15 states that Sennacherib’s ‘estate was troubled’. This may refer to the loss of the 185,000 men in the campaign against Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:35), and would account for Sennacherib’s fury against any Jews he found.
McFall tries to salvage the synchronisms that Thiele discards by saying Hezekiah reigned as viceroy with his father for the first 16 years of his reign. Then he commenced his sole reign after the death of his father in 715 BC. Thereby, the synchronizations Thiele could not make fit, McFall does. (This solution is not new and was proposed 40 years ago in the New Bible Dictionary. Thiele never accepted it.) This creates some real exegetical problems, for in the 6th year of Hezekiah, Israel fell and in the 14th year Hezekiah was invaded by Sennacherib. By all rules of logic, you would assume about 8 years elapsed between these events. Wrong, according to this ‘New Math’! Over 22 years elapsed if you use Thiele’s dates of 723 BC for the fall of Israel and 701 BC for the invasion by Sennacherib! McFall tries to wiggle out of this by claiming the first date (6th year) was from the time Hezekiah was made viceroy with his father and the second date (14th year) was dated from the time Hezekiah became sole king. How would anyone know this if they were reading just the Bible?
Earlier Bible dictionaries, like the 1909 ISBE, did not require this synchronization and nor do we. The Biblical record does not list all the invasions and battles that Israel and Judah fought. Nations generally avoid documenting their disastrous defeats, so it should come as no surprise that the earlier ill-fated invasion is passed by in silence in the Assyrian records. As previously stated, the name for a particular person may not resemble the name given to him in another country. Ancient history abounds with examples of this.
Nations generally avoid documenting their disastrous defeats.
2 kings 24:8
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
"The record in 2 Kings24:8 states that Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. However, in 2chronincles we find the claim that Jehoiachin was age 8 when he became King. Which is correct?" WCA
In his book Problem Texts
, Dr. Peter Ruckman addresses this.. "Jehoiachin is obviously eight years old when jehoiakim is deported (2 chron. 36:5) It is obvious that when he himself is deported (2Chron. 36:10) his mother is taken into captivity with him. (2KIngs 24:12).
...."You see Jehoiachin's mother was the queen from the time he was eight until he was eighteen" "Joint reigns are quite common in the Kings and Chronicles." pg. 240 Problem Texts
2 Chronicles 16:1
In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
" Asa began his reign in about 911B.C. The thirty-sixth year of his reign would have been about 876 or 875B.C. However, Baasha began to reign in 909 and reigned until 886B.C. When Elah his son became king (1 king 16:8) How could 2 Chronicles 16:1 say Baasha built Ramah in the thirty-sixth year of Asa, 11yearsafterBaasha's death?"
"...surey the Lord could have written "after the kingdom that Asa took had been there thirty-six years," instead of "in the six and thirtieth year of the reign" (2 Chron. 16:1)...." "Now observe that the thirty six years of 2 Chronicles recorded by the chronicler for Judah has dated Asa's "reign" from the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam. It is exactly 36 years from Asa's "split" (1 Kings 12,13) to Baasha's attack on Asa. In the previous chapter (2chronicles 15:19) "the five and thirtieth year of Asa" was used exactly the same way: that is, "The Reign" is a reference to the KINGDOM that ASA reigned over, not a reference to the number of years that he (Asa) had "in office."
O Lord, thou hast deceived me,
and I was deceived:
thou art stronger than I,
and hast prevailed:
I am in derision daily,"
every one mocketh me." This is seen as a contradiction because the Lord does not lie nor deceive. So some have re translated "decieved" petah to "induced" or "persuaded". However this passage is not a revelation about the Lord it is Jeremiah's emotional outburst in the midst of despair.
jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him,
nor speak any more in his name.
But his word
was in mine heart
as a burning fire shut up in my bones,
and I was weary with forbearing,
and I could not stay
Jeremiah's depression becomes more obvious.. " 14 Cursed be
the day wherein I was born:
let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
15 Cursed be
the man who brought tidings to my father,
saying, A man child is born unto thee;
making him very glad." We are reminded of the despair of Job in the midst of tribulations. Jeremiah is not making a theological pronouncement. He is pouring his heart out to God and being honest about his feelings in the midst of His chaos. God did not deceive Jeremiah, Jeremiah was simply feeling abandoned and deceived at the moment. Many of us in our darkest moments of faith have lashed out at God as well. But He is an anchor to our souls.
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,"
"In the NKJV the passage reads in the beginning of the reign of jehoiakim. However, vs. 3 and 12 identify Zedekiah as king of Judah and 28:1 indicates that the prophecy of chapter 27 was given during the time of the reign of zedekiah, not jehoiakim. Should it be Zedekiah or Jehoiakim here?"
As long as you remember that prophecies often tell the future this passage is rather easy to harmonize Jeremiah received a prophecy about Zedekiah during the reign of the previous king jehoiakim. Isaiah prophesied the name Cyrus a whole century in the future, this is a relatively easy feat for one under inspiration. It is simply placed here because of the subject matter.
Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
In this passage Geisler is not confronting a copyist error. But in fact an argument against his own position.
"Technically, we should not claim that only the original manuscripts are inspired, but the original text. For example a perfect copy (e.g. a photocopy) of an original manuscript itself, is as inspired as the original manuscript itself." WCA
While this is a good answer, it leads to a devastating conclusion. Many people may Chide the evangelical for believing that the original text is without error. But the idea that this perfect text was not perfectly copied is just as a great a faith statement.
"God in his wisdom has not deemed fit to preserve the original manuscripts of scripture."WCA
The theology reveals this faith statement. Yet the authors hides the question being begged. Did He preserve the text? As shown by these copyist error passages, their is plenty of faith against the scripture.
Looking back, Norman Geisler was trained at Loyola University in Chicago. This was a Jesuit school. It is obvious that Geisler was trained from a catholic pro-Septuagint point of view. This would lead to the idea of fallible manuscripts and the disbelief of an earthly inerrant Bible.
As we look at the New Testament "copyist" or Scribal error doesn't really come up much. Perhaps because we have such a wide variety of manuscripts. But I tried to look for issues that someone who places faith in the Textus Receptus might be abandoned by Geisler's Scholarship and need further harmonization.
Matthew 8:28-34/Mark 5:1-20 luke 8:26-3
Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? 30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him
that he would depart out of their coasts."
26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee"
mark 5:And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
" The First 3 gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) each give an account of Jesus being healed by demoniacs Matthew states that the place where the healing took place was the country of the gaderenes. However Mark and Luke say it was in the country of the Gerascenes."WCA
Finally we see an example of copyist error. Only it was made by the Nestle Aland text! For some reason Nestle/alund switches the rendering of the Textus Receptus.
But the passage is easily reconciled. Matthew's account is aout a separate incident healing two demoniacs. While Mark and Luke are describing the man possessed by legion.
Why the switch? It could not be accidental when we are dealing with 3 texts. My hypothesis would be that the alexandrine gospel of mark was published by Alexandrian scribes 1st to reconcile mark with the byzantine Matthew and then Luke. When they realized that these were 2 different accounts they made alexandrine Matthew and switched it to put a band aide over the issue.
Mark 16:9-20 ,12
Now in general, I have defended this text is several other places, so I won't dwell on it greatly. here is a defense given by the old Oxford scholar Dean John Burgeon.
"With the exception of the two uncial manuscripts which have just been named, there is not one codex in existence, uncial or cursive, (and we are acquainted with, at least, eighteen other uncials, and about six hundred cursive copies of this Gospel), which leave out the last twelve verses of ST. Mark.
The inference which an unscientific observer could draw from this fact is no doubt, in this instance, the correct one. He demands to be shown the Alexandrine (A), and the Parisian codex (C) neither of them probably removed by much more than a fifty years from the data of the codex Sinaiticus, and both unquestionably derived from different originals; and he ascertains that no countenance is lent by either of those venerable monuments to the proposed omission of this part of the sacred text. He discovers the codex Bezae (D) the only remaining very ancient manuscript authority not withstanding that it is observed on most occaisions to exhibit an extraordinary sympathy with Vatican (B)- here sides with A and C against B and X. He inquires after all the other uncials and all the other cursive manuscripts in existence, (some of them dating from the tenth century,) and request to have it explained to him why it is to be supposed why that all these many witnesses, belonging to so many different patriarchates, provinces, ages of the church, have entered into the grand conspiracy to bear false witness on a point of this magnitude of importance? But he obtains no intelligible answer to this question." Jay P. Green, ed., Unholy hands on the Bible, volume. 1, An understanding to textual criticism, Including the complete works of John W. Burgeon, dean of Chichester(layfeyette IND.: Sovereign GRace Trust Fund, 1990), c40-c41
Mark16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country."
"According to Mark, Jesus appeared in "another form." From this, it is argued that after the resurrection that Jesus assumed different bodies on different occaisions, but did not have he same continuous physical body He had before the Resurrection, as is indicated by many other verses."WCA
Dr. Geisler does go on offer valid explanations. "another form" probably means he was disguised like when Mary Magdalene did not recognize him. After all Christ had to be physical since he ate with the disciples on the occasion.
53 And every man went unto his own house.
8 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his
finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not
. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it
, being convicted by their own
conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even
unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
The passage was pointed out because of it's rejection by the Alexandrian school as well as it's confusion in placement in many manuscripts.
The goal of the article is not simply a defense a manuscripts. But reconciling copyist error. no major error is brought forth by Geisler other than the fact that many place this passage in the wrong part of the gospel.
This tale is believed by many outside of the TR/KJVO community, and for good reason. The only groups that could add this passage to the text were monks. The monks platonic spirituality demanded that sex was the original sin and the justification included works. The Alexandrian scholars had motivation to exclude the passage, but the monks had no motivation to add the passage. Certainly the medieval preachers may have wanted to skip the passage over such controversy.
More importantly this passage contains an intimate knowledge of 1st century history. To know the contradictions between pagan Roman Law and OT law alongside san hedron authority and tradition.
The fact that Jesus was wise enough to challenge the authority /innocence of the witnesses. The fact that Roman law excluded the death penalty on adultery as well as would have treated the pharisees actions as murder. Knowing the intentions of the pharisees to put Jesus up for treason. it is much easier to assume that this was historical as opposed to a brilliant fabrication.
Here is a website stating manuscript evidence for the inclusion of the text.
" Fuller (4) p 1234, (33) p 155, cites Burgon as stating that of 73 copies of John's Gospel in the British Museum, 61 contain John 7:53-8:11 as found in this passage. Burgon (33) p 155, indicates that this proportioning would be typical for any collection of manuscript copies of John. He also cites, (33) p 149, a further 60 copies, from three distinct lines of ancestry, which agree with this passage. He alludes to 35 of the BM copies which contain a marginal note stating that verses 1-11 are not to be read on Whitsunday. Thus he explains how the Lectionary practice of the early church would have accounted for the omission of the verses from some of the seventy cursives from which they are absent. He also states, (33) p 148, that the subject matter itself would have been sufficient for deletion of the words from many copies, including the oldest uncials, Aleph and B. The verses are also absent from A (5th century), L (8th century), T (5th century) and Delta (9th century) but Codex A has two leaves missing, which in Burgon's considered view would have contained the verses, while L and Delta exhibit blank spaces which are witnesses FOR, not against, the validity of the verses. See remarks on B in relation to Mark 16:9-20. This leaves only T in agreement with Aleph and B, both notoriously untrustworthy. Burgon, ibid p 156, states that the verses are to be found in the large majority of later copies (i.e. over 900 manuscripts, as the NKJV so obligingly notes.)
Hills (3) p 159, (38) p 131, states that Papyri 66 and 75 and W omit the verses, in addition to the sources cited by Burgon. D however (6th century), contains them. Burgon (33) p 145-6, 1534, also cites in favour of the passage as found in this passage: Codex D and the Old Latin codices b, c, e ff, g, h, j-see notes under John 5:3b-4 for dates. Note that the Old Latin TEXT dates from the 2nd Century, (17) p77 Jerome (385 AD), who included it in the Vulgate after surveying older Greek copies, stating it was found "in many copies both Greek and Latin", before 415 AD, (17) p 134 The Ethiopic (5th century), Palestinian Syriac (5th Century), Georgian (5/6th century), some copies of the Armenian (4/5th century), Slavonic, Arabic and Persian versions Ambrose (374 AD), Augustine (396), Chrysologus (433), Faustus (400), Gelasius (492), Pacian (370), Rufinus (400), Sedulius (434), Victorius (457), Vigilius (484) and others The Lectionary practice of the Eastern Church, from earliest times (i.e. the 2nd century.)
Burgon, ibid p 147, states that the dislocation of John 7:53-8:11 (see notes under RSV and GN) is attributable to four cursives, 13, 69, 124, 346, all evidently from one ancient and corrupt copy. Ruckman (2) p 134, cites in favour of the passage, the Didache (3rd century document of Apostolic Teachings), Apostolic Constitutions (4th century) and Eusebius (324 AD) citing Papias (150 AD) as recognizing the passage. The Montanists (2nd century) were also aware of the passage. Ruckman (31) p 333, also cites besides D, uncials M, S and Gamma from the 5th, 8th and 9th centuries in favour of this passage. Concerning authorship of the passage (see note under JB), Hills (38) p 130, states that "arguments from style are notoriously weak." Berry's Greek text supports this passage
Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him
, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls."
Genesis 46:26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were
threescore and six; 27 and the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were
two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were
threescore and ten."
Acts says 75 souls while Genesis shows us 70 souls counted.
"Now observe that the number thirty-three can be arrived at by counting all the sons and daughters Jacob had before he met Esau, though only Dinah as a daughter is given by name: Grandchildren are also included.
The number sixty-six can be arrived at by taking the whole crew later, minus the four wives. The number seventy is given by adding joseph and three wives to the number. (Rachel is not included here for she died giving birth to Benjamin.) The number seventy-five is offered as "all his kindred". This the standard number for all Jacob's seed which would include Er and Onan above the seventy, and Ephraem, Manasseh and Jacob himself above the seventy: seventy plus five equals seventy five." Problem Texts pg24
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts
psalm 68: 18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts
for men; yea, for
the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them
Here, Geisler states the complaint that Paul is not quoting the psalmist word for word, switching "gave gifts" to "received gifts". Yet Paul is not promising that the quote is word for word. It could be that Paul is pointing out irony. the giving gifts among men is in reality "might dwell among them.". Paul was revealing an inspirational message. Not simply teaching from the OT, many New Testament Authors are concerned with what was going on at that time and in those circumstance. The OT was adequate dealing with it's time and circumstances.
And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was
the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;"
Exodus 30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of
shittim wood shalt thou make it. 2 A cubit shall be
the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be
the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be
of the same. 3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it;
and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 5 And thou shalt make the staves of
shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is
by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is
over the testimony, where I will meet with thee."
As can be shown, in Exodus the golden censor/incense is outside the Holiest of Holies yet in Hebrews it is inside. This is a very controversial text that many have been puzzled over. That being said I believe it can be harmonized if we understand that the golden Censor was placed inside of the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement.
Hebrews 9: 6 Now when these things
were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God
. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once
every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for
the errors of the people: "
The incense was typically used to sanctify the priest and prepare them for the presence of God. Obviously the high priest would need these provisions at this time of the year when he was to enter an even more sacred place.
1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Geisler actually simply argues against the inclusion of the Johannine comma.
I deal with these issues on my YouTube Channel.
In terms of copyist error, I believe the alexandrian 1 John 5 seems likely to contain copyist error.
NASB 1 john 5:6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not [g
]with the water only, but [h
]with the water and [i
]with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 [j
]the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are [k
]in agreement. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son."
It says there are three that testify. "Spirit" is a person; a person can testify. But water and blood, while being evidence, are not persons. Now the grammar of nestle/alund is contradictory in terms of Grammer when applying feminine masculine pronouns. When we see the comparison in vs. 9 it does not make as much sense. let's see the passage in the authorized version.
AKJV 1 John 5: 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even
Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son."
So here you have 3 persons of the trinity. The Word is an orthodox usage considering the fact that there are three witnesses to the man Jesus. The Father,Word, and Spirit have a heavenly record. The Spirit, water and blood have an earthly witness. This makes a perfect transition to 5:9's parallel. In the NASB nestle/Aland text the complete trinitarian argument is entirely erased as the 3 are in agreement. But spirit has a complete different nature than blood and water. The critical text lay desolate in confusion.
It is my hypothesis that Early Alexandrian scholars removed the text to prove Subordination theology over and against the possibility of a modalistic message. This teaching had perverted many later byzantine scholars as well.
May God bless the reader!
Note: Peter Ruckman's Book "Problem Text" was later title "The "errors" in the King James Bible"