Greek Biblical MSS vs Bible Translations


Greek Biblical MSS vs Bible Translations

In 1860 a German biblical scholar wrote about an earlier biblical textual discovery some two and half decades previously. His name was Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin von Tischendorf (1815-74). His discovery of ancient velum parchments found in the 6th-century Saint Catherine’s Monastery situated in the Sinai desert, some 76km NNW of Sham El-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. In 1862 Tischendorf publish (and again in 1869 reprint) his finding which turned the biblical world upside down and gave the impetus to sceptics to ask questions on the authenticity of the Bible. Sceptics had now the ammunition, to fire at will at their detractors.  Who in the past had such men imprisoned on the charge of blasphemy! Men such as the clergyman turned freethinker, Rev. Robert Taylor A.B. (1784-1844) who they labelled “The Radical.” Imprisoned for blasphemy in 1828? For his sceptical views; however, today, he is seen as being vindicated through his writings?

The publication of the Sinai Bible aka Codex Sinaiticus dated 330-60 also caused a storm in religious circles with many calling the new rediscover a fraud and blasphemous work of the devil. One would have thought that the rediscovery of one of the oldest (along, with Codex Vaticanus and many others) complete biblical manuscript (M.S.) that Christians would have rejoiced at the find. It also revitalised biblical higher criticism in the mid 19th century, with its origin going back to the 17th and 18th-century.  

The question, when does a book or verse of the Bible lose its authenticity and become an out and out fraud.   Which is perpetrated by the hand of a forger instead of the script of an inspired godly scribe? Believe it or not, Christians unwittingly chose the works of forgers as many verses throughout the Bible have had anomalies added such as inserts, interpolations to every book in the Bible. Textual additions or erasion that the original author did not make, or intend.  

Of the 5,600 + Greek manuscripts (MSS) that are known to exist, no two MSS are the same! This post is not about the 300,000/400,000 errors that are within the Greek biblical manuscripts. This post is solely about the extracurricular activities that past deceitful Church hierarchy who sanctioned their minion scribes to add or subtract from the N.T. For the sole purpose of enhancing the scripture to fall in line with their doctrines.

What was so shocking about the new biblical M.S., well, it confirmed earlier biblical scholars in the field of Bible criticism that all the oldest manuscripts omitted many things that were in the Bible translations of the 1800s.  

The Older MSS vs NT anomalies, for instance: 

Mark 16 ended with verse 8. The twelve verses Mark 16:9-20 are later additions.

John 8:3-11 vs John 7:53-8:11 aka the story of the Adulteress. 

1 John 5:7-8 The so-called Trinity verses, additions not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century.

John 1:18 (Codex Vaticanus) The original reads: my only Begotten God, not my only Begotten Son.  On this, the late scholar Metzger wrote: The anarthrous use of θεός [God] appears to be more primitive. There is no reason why the article should have been deleted, and when υἱός [Son] supplanted θεός [God], it would certainly have been added. [The following discussion of the text-critical problem in John 1:18 is reproduced from Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971), p. 198.] the emphases and all sq [ ] are mine.

Sinaiticus: The Lord’s Prayer


Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread

And forgive us our sins, 

as we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

And bring us not into temptation.


Luke 24:51. Sinaiticus omits “carried up into heaven.” Leaving no ascension in the Gospels.

Mark 1:1. Omits “the Son of God.”

Luke 9:55-56. Not present.

Mark 1:41 “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” KJV

Sinaiticus version “Jesus, angry, stretched out his hand and touched him…”  etc., etc., etc.


One hundred or more earliest and later biblical MSS have Mark 16 finishing on verse 8.

The late biblical scholar Metzgar on other short versions of Mark 16:1-8 wrote: Four endings of the Gospel, according to Mark are current in the manuscripts. The last twelve verses of the commonly received text of Mark are absent from the two oldest Greek manuscripts (א and B), from the Old Latin codex Bobiensis (it k), the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, about one hundred Armenian manuscripts, and the two oldest Georgian manuscripts (written A.D. 897 and A.D. 913). Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of the existence of these verses; furthermore, Eusebius and Jerome attest that the passage was absent from almost all Greek copies of Mark known to them. The original form of the Eusebian sections (drawn up by Ammonius) makes no provision for numbering sections of the text after 16:8. Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it, and in other witnesses, the passage is marked with asterisks or obeli, the conventional signs used by copyists to indicate a spurious addition to a document.[Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 122-126.] the emphases are mine.

There are a thousand and one different anomalies between the oldest biblical manuscripts and the translated Bible of today; however, I have only shown a few as the post would become a volume or even a tome! 


What we find from Christians is that their modern translations are better than probably what the original author wrote and that the alterations perhaps due to later theological beliefs, so what! 

Well, they are always attesting that their Bible is the work of their God, and he inspired men to write it.  However, if we take the Englisce translation of the Bible, which there are 450 or more different versions all with numerous word order or word placement. Equal to 22.5 different Bible translations for each century for the last 2,000 year for the Englisce version only! The Christian God does not seem to have had an academic education, as he seems to be always exalting man to translate the Bible for eternity, or until such time that man sees the fruitlessness of it all?

What do you say, are modern Christians being duped by their earlier transgressor brethren on what the bible really says? 






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