Fountain of Eternal Truth
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”(Psalm 11:3.) ……but if they remain secure God will see them through
“As an educator, the Holy Scriptures are without a rival. The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the Fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity.” The Bible as an Educator
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
We are often told that inspiration cannot be traced or can only be traced to the Church of Rome but this is incorrect.
The apostles wrote the New Testament in the language of the time- Greek. Lucian was given a foundation by the church of Syria in Antioch where he grew up. The churches in Rome and Alexander were compromising the faith once delivered to the saints and mixed Greek paganism or Greek philosophical thought with Christianity. This was to the foundation for the body of the beast– the leopard like beast of Revelation 13. The doctrines of Greek philosophisers mixed with Christianity is the essence of the church of Rome. The Jesuits follow Aristotle, the Dominicans follow Plato and mix with their teachings with ‘Christian concepts.’ The church honoured men in reiterating their school of thought through doctorates and degrees.
Lucian of Antioch (c. 240–January 7, 312) at a time when philosophy and scripture were being mixed together preserved the Holy Scriptures. Lucian took all the manuscripts from the time of the apostles and complied them together to form what is known today as the New testament. Lucian founded a college at Antioch in the pure teaching handed down directly from Christ and the disciples.
When the great Reformation began, almost the first thing they did was to reach out, seize, and place at the foundation of the Reformed Church the Greek New Testament of Lucian.
-B J Wilkinson
‘Lucian was arrested. Unlike many of the Church’s martyrs, it was not a short process for Lucian. Over a period of nine years he was tortured as the Empire hoped to manipulate him to deny his faith. Every time they asked over nine years, Lucian refused to deny his faith–a faith that had already cost him dearly and would likely cost him even more dearly if he continued to refuse.’
Well-known writers like Jerome, Erasmus, and Luther, and, in the nineteenth century, John William Burgon and Fenton John Anthony Hort, whether friends or opponents, agree that Lucian was the editor who passed on to the world the Received Text. — the New Testament text which was adopted at the birth of all the great churches of the Reformation. Not a single church born of the Reformation, such as Lutheran, Calvinistic, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, or Adventist, adopted any other Bible than that whose New Testament text came down from Lucian… In the Latin Vulgate of the Papacy it adopted a New Testament text with passages radically different from the same in the Received Text. It also made the decrees of the councils and the bulls of the popes equal to the books of the Bible. Truth Triumphant B J Wilkinson p54
Inspiration was handed down to a commandment keeping people. The Waldenses were such and the Protestants headed toward the light of day.
Lucian is also commonly credited with a critical recension of the text of the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament, which was later used by Chrysostom and the later Greek fathers, and which lies at the basis of the textus receptus– ^ Dr. Hort, Introd. and Append. to Westcott and Hort’s Greek Test. (Lond. and N. York, 1881), p. 138, says of Lucian: “Of known names his has a better claim than any other to be associated with the early Syrian revision; and the conjecture derives some little support from a passage of Jerome.
The text which Lucian gave to the world was to all intents pure and correct.47 Even his opponents declare that there are no Greek New Testaments older than Lucian’s, and that with it agree the great mass of Greek manuscripts.48 Truth Triumphant B J Wilkinson p55
“With Antioch of this period is to be associated the foundation of a school of theology by Lucian, of whom little is known of biographical detail, save that he was a presbyter, held aloof from the party in Antioch which opposed and overcame Paul of Samosata, taught there from c. 275 to 303, and died a martyr’s death in 312…. Like Origen, he busied himself with textual and exegetical labors on the Scriptures, but had little liking for the allegorizing methods of the great Alexandrian. A simpler, more grammatical and historical method of treatment both of text and doctrine characterized his teaching.”21
“The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the Greek New Testament sometimes called Textus Receptus, or the Received Text. It is that Greek New Testament from which the writings of the apostles in Greek have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. During the dark ages the Received Text was practically unknown outside the Greek Church. It was restored to Christendom by the labours of that great scholar Erasmus. It is altogether too little known that the real editor of the Received Text was Lucian. None of Lucian’s enemies fails to credit him with this work. Neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the apostles, wrote the Greek New Testament. However, Lucian’s day was an age of apostasy when a flood of depravations was systematically attempting to devastate both the Bible manuscripts and Bible theology. Origen, of the Alexandrian college, made his editions and commentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying. Lucian’s unrivalled success in verifying, safeguarding, and transmitting those divine writings left a heritage for which all generations should be thankful.” Truth Triumphant B J Wilkinson
The Textus Receptus was established on a basis of the Byzantine text-type, also called ‘Majority text’, Traditional Received Text (Textus Receptus), also called the Byzantine Text or the Majority Text because it is based on the vast majority of manuscripts still in existence.
Textus Receptus (Latin: “received text”) is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, and for most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The series originated with the first printed Greek New Testament to be published; a work undertaken in Basel by the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmusin 1516, on the basis of some six manuscripts, containing between them not quite the whole of the New Testament. The lacking text was translated from Vulgate. Although based mainly on late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, Erasmus’s edition differed markedly from the classic form of that text. Wikipedia
Textus Receptus was used by the Waldenses and all the Protestant churches which was restored to Christendom by the labours of that great scholar, Erasmus.
The legacy of Tyndale’s Bible cannot be overstated. His translations laid the foundations for many of the English Bibles which followed his. His work made up a significant portion of the Matthew Bible which was the first authorized version of the English Bible. The Tyndale Bible also played a key role in spreading reformation ideas to England which had been reluctant to embrace the movement. His works also allowed the people of England direct access to the words and ideas of Martin Luther whose works had been banned by the state. Tyndale achieved this by including many of Luther’s commentaries in his works.
In 1536 the crown authorities strangled Tyndale to death and subsequently burned his body……an act constituted as denial of the resurrection of the body. Yet in 1965 a catholic version of the RSV appears.
Tyndale’s translations were condemned by both church and state in England, where it must be said it took longer for the reform movement to take hold. Tyndale was forced to flee England for the continent where he found safe haven in pro-reform areas. The church and state reacted strongly against Tyndale’s work, banning his New Testament of 1526 from England. In addition any copy of his work found in England was to be burned. Many Catholic scholars attacked Tyndale and his translations, the foremost of whom was Saint Thomas More. More and the Catholic Church refuted Tyndale’s translations because they argued that Tyndale had purposefully mistranslated the texts in order to promote anti-clericalism and heretical views.
The King James Bible- Tyndale Bible’s greatest impact on society today is that it heavily influenced and contributed to the creation of the King James Version, which is one of the most popular and widely used Bibles in the world today. Scholars tell us that around 90% of the King James Version is from Tyndale’s works with as much as one third of the text being word for word Tyndale.
The RSV copyright and revision
1962 printings- Minor modifications to the RSV text were authorized in 1959 and completed for the 1962 printings
1971 Second Edition of the New Testament
In 1971, the RSV Bible was rereleased with the Second Edition of the Translation of the New Testament. Whereas in 1962 the translation panel had merely authorized a handful of changes, in 1971 they gave the New Testament text a thorough editing. This Second Edition incorporated Greek manuscripts not previously available to the RSV translation panel, namely, the Bodmer Papyri, published in 1956-61. This means that the work of Westcott and Hort was included in this second edition placing with the many modern versio of the Bible that we see today. The problem being the source of inspiration was questionable.
The Bodmer Papyri are a group of twenty-two papyri discovered in Egypt in 1952. They are named after Martin Bodmer who purchased them. The papyri contain segments from the Old and New Testaments, early Christian literature, Homer and Menander. The oldest, P66 dates to c. 200. The papyri are kept at the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, in Cologny, Switzerland outside Geneva. In 2007 the Vatican Library acquired two of the papyri, P74 andP75, which are kept at the Vatican Library.
Plans announced by the Foundation Bodmer in October 2006 to sell two of the manuscripts for millions of dollars, to capitalize the library, which opened in 2003, drew consternation from scholars around the world, fearing that the unity of the collection would be broken.
Then, in March 2007 it was announced the Vatican had acquired the Bodmer Papyrus XIV-XV (P75), which is believed to contain the world’s oldest known written fragment from the Gospel of Luke, the earliest known Lord’s Prayer, and one of the oldest written fragments from the Gospel of John.
The papyri had been sold for an undisclosed “significant” price to Frank Hanna III, of Atlanta, Georgia. In January 2007, Hanna presented the papyri to the Pope. They are kept in the Vatican Library and will be made available for scholarly review, and in the future, excerpts may be put on display for the general public. They were transported from Switzerland to the Vatican in “An armed motorcade surrounded by people with machine guns.”
The papyri contain segments from the Old and New Testaments
The Ignatius Bible- RSV-Catholic New Testament was published in 1965 and the full RSV-Catholic Bible in 1966.
The Old Testament writings
Pre-Christian Jewish editions of the Septuagint were held in great respect in ancient times; Philo, the Hellenistic Jewishphilosopher, and Josephus, the 1st-century Romano–Jewish historian, ascribed divine inspiration to the Jewish translators. But since Late Antiquity, mainstream rabbinicalJudaism rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts because of what were seen as mistranslations along with its Hellenistic elements, preferring the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts.As a result, early jewish translations of the Torah into Koine Greek by jewish Rabbanim have survived as rare fragments only.
The Masoretic Text, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the only existing representation of the Old Testament in Hebrew. The oldest fragments date from the 9th century AD, but the oldest complete texts come from the 10th and 11th centuries AD. However, the Hebrew text that it contains is clearly not the original Hebrew, nor even the Hebrew that was in use in the 1st century AD. The Hebrew of the 1st century AD was closely akin to the Greek Septuagint that we have today….What we do know is that toward the end of the 1st century AD and into the 2nd century, the Talmudic, Edomite Jews were actively attacking the Greek Septuagint because it was used by the Christians. They felt that they could discredit the Christians merely for the reason that they used Greek, and at the same time, they began twisting the Hebrew Scriptures to try and disprove that Jesus was the true Messiah.
Even without adding to, deleting from, or changing a single letter of the Ancient Hebrew manuscripts of Scripture, pointing gave the Masorete power to dramatically change the meaning of almost any given passage of Scripture, for the prerogative of selecting vowels, is, to a large extent, the prerogative of selecting words! As a crude example, consider how the meaning of an English sentence might be changed by substitution of the word “poor” for the word “pure” – a substitution which may be effected by a simple change of vowels.
Louis Cappel, Hebrew Scholar:
One of the first scholars to investigate the matter was Louis Cappel, a French Huguenot divine and scholar who lived from 1585 to 1658. Consider the following excerpt from the article, “CAPPEL, LOUIS,” found in the 1948 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
“As a Hebrew scholar, he concluded that the vowel points and accents were not an original part of Hebrew, but were inserted by the Masorete Jews of Tiberias, not earlier then the 5th Century AD, and that the primitive Hebrew characters are Aramaic and were substituted for the more ancient at the time of the captivity. . . The various readings in the Old Testament Text and the differences between the ancient versions and the Masoretic Text convinced him that the integrity of the Hebrew text as held by Protestants, was untenable. This amounted to an attack upon the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Bitter, however, as was the opposition, it was not long before his results were accepted by scholars.”
In regards to the Septuagint, the oldest manuscripts date to around AD325-350 (though fragments are much older). It was never purposely changed or edited, but the oldest texts of the Septuagint represent the oldest surviving descendants of an ancient translation made of the Hebrew in the 3rd century BC which was considered divinely inspired by most Judeans at that time. It was universally accepted by the early Christians for the first 400 years of Christianity and was used and quoted from by Jesus and His Apostles, who quoted from it under divine inspiration.