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Thread: Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

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    Default Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

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    HAS THE BIBLE BEEN FAITHFULLY PRESERVED?
    By Allan Cronshaw

    Modern day Christian doctrine rests upon the premise that God preserved the Bible in an absolute infallible and pure state, in order that all men should know the (historical) truth and believe in the Son of God. Their doctrinal position is that if God permitted the Bible to have been altered, then the present day church could not be genuine. Based upon this dogmatic presumption that the Christian Church must be maintained in order for man to be saved, they reason that God would not allow the written word of the scriptures to be corrupted. Thus, modern Christians cling to this doctrine -- ignoring overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- evidence that demonstrates conclusively that our Bible has been severely altered and edited -- because they fail to grasp the very foundational principles of the New Covenant itself -- principles that are not historical, but spiritual. It is not until we understand that the Bible is a road-map that leads us to the Gate of the Kingdom, and the Word that is written in our hearts -- rather than a final revelation from God to man -- that we are able to even begin to come to terms with the Spiritual Gospel of Christ that can never be corrupted.
    Luther_at_Erfurt.jpgThe very assertion of Christian Church Authority that either the Church or the scriptures must be preserved in order for man to obtain salvation not only demonstrates a total inability to perceive the essence of the Gospel message -- but perhaps more importantly, has already been historically disproven and demonstrated to be in error. Once the Church was adopted by Rome in the fourth century, it became unlawful for the scriptures to be given into the hands of the common believer -- thus, throughout most of Christian history the written text of the scriptures was not available to the people. Furthermore, the Church itself became so Pagan and corrupt, that it was often referred to throughout history as the "synagogue of Satan" (Rev 2:9;3:9). In a letter to Pope Leo X on September 6th, 1520, Martin Luther wrote of the Christianity of his day that the church, "…once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness" (Quoted in: The Great Thoughts; compiled by George Seldes).

    When it is realized that Martin Luther was merely confirming the very biblical prediction made by none other than the Apostle Paul, when he wrote that in the near future the Prince of Darkness would be worshiped as God in the church which would call itself of Christ, the theological position of the modern church is totally undermined. Of this future ruler of the church, the Apostle writes that he "…opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Th 2:4 NKJ).

    If this prediction of the Apostle is true, and from a first-century perspective it would soon come to pass when the very Prince of Darkness would sit in the "…temple of God, showing himself that he is God", and be worshiped by a disillusioned people who would falsely believe they were calling upon the name of the Lord, then all people who consider themselves to be sincere believers today had better rethink their position with respect to the purity with which the scriptures has been preserved. Moreover, in view of the fact that the Apostle warns that the church would be guided by false apostles -- some of whom were the very scribes who copied the biblical manuscripts we use to make our translations today -- then for the sincere believer to blindly accept the position of the modern church that the scriptures were preserved in a pure state, is merely asking to be deceived and misled. In our search today for Truth and Light, it is imperative that we recognize the warning in the Apostle’s own Epistles where we can clearly see that Paul predicts that counterfeit apostles and ministers would arise, and would control the church of this world which the masses of people will mistakenly believe is the genuine church of God. Of these false apostles and their leader, the Apostle warned the faithful flock: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor 11:13-15 NKJ).

    KJV.jpgThe problem is that, regardless of how much evidence is shown to the majority of modern Christians -- evidence which demonstrates conclusively that the New Testament scriptures were severely altered by the Church of Rome -- they will refuse to acknowledge the facts. Why? Because the majority of modern Christians are a disenfranchised people -- severed from the presence of the indwelling Spirit which is given to the truly faithful disciples in order to teach them -- and they are afraid to deviate from their present-day doctrine and church dogma. In the Living Spiritual Church of the New Covenant that was ordained by the Son of God, all revelation is made directly from God to the faithful congregation. But because the modern believer has been alienated from the very essence of the fundamentals of New Covenant teachings, they fear the spiritual journey associated with the beginning of the walk in The Way. The Son of God calls out to them -- but because they are anchored to this world by the doctrines and traditions of men, they are afraid to actually pick up their own crosses and follow in the Master’s footsteps in The Way..

    When directly confronted with the overwhelming evidence and facts with respect to the wholesale corruption of the scriptures, the fundamentalist defensively responds with the rather absurd assertion that "God wrote the King James Version of the Bible". Thus, no amount of rationale will convince them that because we are the prodigal sons of our Heavenly Father, and the Kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21), that all those who truly live a consecrated life will be shown the undefiled Word of God that can be accessed by journeying along the narrow path that opens the "strait gate" that leads to the indwelling Temple (1 Cor 3:16). The great truth which the modern Christian fails to comprehend is that, even in its corrupted form, the Bible as it has been passed down to us is sufficient to manifest the Living Word of God in the life of the individual believer. One only has to open the New Testament to almost any page to find the message: If the believer consecrates their lives -- becomes teachable by releasing their minds from an adherence to the doctrines of men -- forgive and judge no one -- live a simple life that is unencumbered -- do no harm to any of God’s creatures -- and seek in solitude the companionship of the Lord in the inner Temple -- that the Holy Spirit will Anoint and Teach you all the Mysteries of God as the believer begins the journey home to the Kingdom. If the believer begins to live the consecrated Christian life -- free of the thinking and entanglements of this world -- then the indwelling Word will reveal all things to those who are sincere in their search for the Truth.

    If it is true that the fourth century Roman Church severely altered the written word of the scriptures, then it is absolutely necessary for the modern believer to search out the facts. Faith in the Word means that if we are a truly faithful people, that the Son of God will open our minds and enlighten us to the Truth. When we therefore ignore the facts, and blindly cling to the error of the corrupt church of Rome, then we inhibit the Lord from teaching us the truth.

    If Satan is the god of darkness, then it is Satan who seduces Christians into believing that our scriptures were protected from being altered. Contrary to our many assertions of denial, the historical evidence shows conclusively that this is not the case -- and the Bible no longer represents the original form of the text. Yet, it is only because the modern church no longer possesses the spiritual essence and vision of the original Church that was established in the first century, that the corruption of our scriptures creates a hindrance to the believer in our present time.

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    Constantine_Nicea_325-AD.jpgOne of the most common biblical manuscripts used to make our modern English translations is known today as the Nestle Text. Yet it was Prof. Eberhard Nestle himself who warned us in his Einfhrung in die Textkritik des griechischen Testaments: "Learned men, so called Correctores were, following the church meeting at Nicea 325 AD, selected by the church authorities to scrutinize the sacred texts and rewrite them in order to correct their meaning in accordance with the views which the church had just sanctioned." When the Church of Constantine endeavored to make the teachings of the New Covenant in sync with fourth century Roman Pagan thought and culture, to ignore the facts with respect to the manner in which the corrupters of the Word recreated the message of the scriptures in order to make it compatible to church doctrine, is to make oneself disingenuous to the very Son of God to whom we proclaim to be faithful to.

    The truth and the facts to the matter is very clearly expressed in the words of Prof. Bart D. Ehrman in his book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, where he warns us that: "...theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy" -- which orthodoxy was to bring the text of the Bible into conformity with the doctrines and tenets of the Church of the Roman Emperor Constantine. To close our hearts and minds to the facts, and ignore the truth, is from a New Covenant perspective synonymous with relinquishing any claim whatsoever with respect to being a follower of Jesus.

    With regard to the condition of the Bible we presently use: The surviving Greek texts of the book of Acts are so radically different from each other, that it has been suggested that perhaps there were multiple versions written. In his book The Text of the New Testament, Dr. Vincent Taylor writes that "The manuscripts of the New Testament preserve traces of two kinds of dogmatic alterations: those which involve the elimination or alteration of what was regarded as doctrinally unacceptable or inconvenient, and those which introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice".

    bible_versions.jpgTo put Dr. Taylor's words in perspective: What Dr. Taylor is stating is that, whatever doctrine Jesus taught which the Church of the Roman Empire did not agree with, there is overwhelming evidence that the church corrupters removed what was objectionable from their perspective. In like manner, whatever doctrines the Church regarded as being true, regardless of whether that belief was supported in the scriptures, the Church inserted this belief into the Bible in an attempt to make it authentic. What Dr. Taylor is warning us is there is good reason to conclude that our scriptures have been rewritten by the Church of Constantine. Now the question that is being posed here is whether you believe the theological tenets of Rome, or the disciples of Christ -- because the two are not the same.

    In the year 1707, John Mill shattered all faith in the infallibility of the Bible by demonstrating 30,000 various readings which were produced from 80 manuscripts. The findings of, first Mill, and then Wetstein (1751), proved once and for all that the variations in the biblical texts, many of which were quite serious, had existed from the earliest of times.
    In the Preface to the Revised Standard Version of the bible this notable statement is made regarding the need for a revision of the English translation: "Yet the King James Version has grave defects... was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying. It was essentially the Greek text of the New Testament as edited by Beza, 1589, who closely followed that published by Erasmus, 1516-1535, which was based upon a few medieval manuscripts. The earliest and best of the eight manuscripts which Erasmus consulted was from the tenth century, and he made the least use of it because it differed most from the commonly received text; Beza had access to two manuscripts of great value dating from the fifth and sixth centuries, but he made very little use of them because they differed from the text published by Erasmus".

    codex_bezae1.GIFOne of the oldest copies of the Bible which dates back to the fifth century is the Codex Bezae, of which the Britannica writes: "Codex Bezae… has a text that is very different from other witnesses. Codex Bezae has many distinctive longer and shorter readings and seems almost to be a separate edition. Its 'Acts, for example, is one-tenth longer than usual’". How can we have a Bible that is said to be "almost… a separate edition"? If this is true, it is important for us to know which edition is the correct one? And in answering this question, we must also determine the criteria we should employ in our effort to choose which of these separate editions we should use in our Bible translations? The traditional answer to this question is very simple -- i.e., we choose the biblical texts that support our doctrines of belief, and reject the texts that do not -- but is this the means by which we are able to be certain that we have chosen the correct edition?

    Regarding this serious problem presented by Codex Bezae, Dr. Vincent Taylor writes that: "It is characterized by a series of remarkable omissions in Luke, especially in chapters XXII and XXIV, and by many striking additions and variations in the Acts" (The Text of the New Testament, Dr. Vincent Taylor). How would these "remarkable omissions" and "striking additions and variations" effect our doctrines of belief? We don't know, because we only translate what supports church doctrine and agrees with what we want to believe. From a biblical perspective, this is not only spiritually dishonest, but could well be detrimental to our spiritual well-being!

    Christians who desire truth over error will want to know when the problem of scriptural alteration began? Something which no sincere believer today should take lightly is the charge against Christians by Celsus, the second century Epicurean philosopher, who alleged that: "Certain Christians, like men who are overcome by the fumes of wine and care not in the least what they say, alter the original text of the Gospels so that they admit of various and almost indefinite readings. And this, I suppose, they have done out of worldly policy, so that when we press an argument home, they might have the more scope for their pitiful evasions". To which allegation the third century Church Father Origen replied: "Besides, it is not at all fair to bring this charge against the Christian religion as a crime unworthy of its pretended purity; only those persons who were concerned in the fraud should, in equity, be held answerable for it" (Origen, Contra Celsus).

    What we see is that the words of Origen -- which were composed in the third century when he was commissioned by the church to answer the allegations of Celsus that were written in the second century -- is an acknowledgement that there: "are some who corrupt the Gospel histories, and who introduce heresies opposed to the meaning of the doctrine of Jesus". In this statement we can thus readily see that Origen not only admits to the alteration of the scriptures -- alterations made for purely doctrinal reasons -- is a fact, and that many of these heresies that have been introduced into the text of the Bible are intended to oppose the genuine "doctrine of Jesus". Further, Origen’s reply also verifies that this wholesale corruption of the scriptures took place as early as the second century when Celsus originally made this allegation against the Church. And what was it that Celsus alleged? That the Christian scriptures "admit of various and almost indefinite readings" because "the original text of the Gospels" has been altered to coincide and substantiate the doctrines of the Gentile converts in an attempt to prove their tenets of belief.

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    Default Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

    How can we claim today that our Bibles accurately portray what the Lord spoke, when in the second century it was alleged that our scriptures "admit of various and almost indefinite readings"? Thus we must ask: On what basis do we choose which reading we will put in our Bibles, and which we will ignore? Again, the answer is simple: We choose the readings that say what we want to hear. The problem is that there is strong evidence to support the position that many of the most important original passages of scripture have been so cleansed from all the surviving Greek Manuscripts, that they no longer exist in the texts we use to make our modern-day translations.

    The fact that the very people who copied the scriptures often altered the original words and meaning in accordance with their own beliefs is confirmed by St. Jerome when he wrote: "They write down not what they find but what they think is the meaning; and while they attempt to rectify the errors of others, they merely expose their own" (Jerome, Epist. lxxi.5). Thus, each copy was edited to clarify the beliefs of the copyist. Each scribe who copied the manuscripts and found something he did not agree with, viewed the offending verse of scripture as an error of the previous copyist.

    Under the title Versions of the Scriptures, The New Unger's Bible Dictionary states that: "Jerome had not been long in Rome (A.D. 383) when Damasus asked him to make a revision of the current Latin version of the New Testament with the help of the Greek original. 'There were,' he says, 'almost as many forms of text as copies.' The gospels had naturally suffered most. Jerome therefore applied himself to these first. But his aim was to revise the Old Latin and not to make a new version. Yet, although he had this limited objective, the various forms of corruption that had been introduced were, as he describes them, so numerous that the difference of the old and revised (Hieronymian) text is clear and striking throughout. Some of the changes Jerome introduced were made purely on linguistic grounds, but it is impossible to ascertain on what principle he proceeded in this respect. Others involved questions of interpretation. But the greater number consisted in the removal of the interpolations by which especially the synoptic gospels were disfigured".

    It is true that many interpolations were inserted into the scriptures by men who attempted to prove the validity of their beliefs. The problem was that many genuine passages of text were removed because they did not conform to the beliefs of the Roman Church -- and what was considered an interpolation, were in many instances the most important passages of the original scriptures from the position of a Spiritual Church vs an Institutionalized one.

    What we fail to realize today is that during this period, every single document was edited and revised to confirm the doctrine of the Roman Church. The noted Church Historian Eusebius quotes the Church Father Dionysius (Hist. Eccl., Bk. 4. 23), who reports that his own epistles had been tampered with: "When my fellow Christians invited me to write letters to them I did so. These the devil's apostles have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others. For them the woe is reserved. Small wonder then if some have dared to tamper even with the word of the Lord Himself, when they have conspired to mutilate my own humble efforts".

    Eusebius writes of a number of sects of Christians of his day: "Therefore they have laid their hands boldly upon the Divine Scriptures, alleging that they have corrected them. That I am not speaking falsely of them in this matter, whoever wishes may learn. For if any one will collect their respective copies, and compare them one with another, he will find that they differ greatly. Those of Asclepiades, for example, do not agree with those of Theodotus. And many of these can be obtained, because their disciples have assiduously written the corrections, as they call them, that is the corruptions, of each of them. Again, those of Hermophilus do not agree with these, and those of Apollonides are not consistent with themselves. For you can compare those prepared by them at an earlier date with those which they corrupted later, and you will find them widely different. But how daring this offense is, it is not likely that they themselves are ignorant. For either they do not believe that the Divine Scriptures were spoken by the Holy Spirit, and thus are unbelievers, or else they think themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and in that case what else are they than demoniacs? For they cannot deny the commission of the crime, since the copies have been written by their own hands. For they did not receive such Scriptures from their instructors, nor can they produce any copies from which they were transcribed".

    Writing about the text of the Bible in his day, St. Augustine wrote: "For those who are anxious to know the Scriptures ought in the first place to use their skill in the correction of the texts, so that the uncorrected ones should give way to the corrected" (De Doctrina Christ., II. 14). With regard to the sect of the Manicheans who refused to accept the doctrine of original sin, Augustine wrote: "Which argument must be regarded as against the Manicheans, who do not receive the holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, in which original sin is narrated; and whatever thence is read in the apostolic epistles, they contend was introduced with a detestable impudence by the corrupters of the Scriptures". Thus, every group and every sect accused the others of corrupting the scriptures with interpolations to prove their own particular brand and flavor of beliefs.

    Irenaeus said of those he called heretics that they "certainly recognize the Scriptures; but they pervert the interpretations" (Adv. Haer. III.12). These perversions often rested on a corrupt biblical text. Tertullian attributes the intentional contaminations of the text to the heretics when he wrote "Now, inasmuch as all interpolation must believed to be a later process… One man perverts the scriptures with his hand, another their meaning by his exposition… Marcion expressly and openly used the knife, not the pen, since he made such an excision of the scriptures as suits his own subject matter" (De Praescript. 38). What Tertullian makes reference to is the fact that Marcion removed whole sections of scripture because he did not agree with what was written.

    Fraudulent scriptures and epistles were so rampant in the early church, that no two copies were the same. This fact is especially seen in the Introduction to Ignatius in the Anti-Nicean Library where it reads: "There are, in all, fifteen Epistles which bear the name of Ignatius. These are the following: One to the Virgin Mary, two to the Apostle John, one to Mary of Cassobelae, one to the Tarsians, one to the Antiochians, one to Hero, a deacon of Antioch, one to the Philippians; one to the Ephesians, one to the Magnesians, one to the Trallians, one to the Romans, one to the Philadelphians, one to the Smyrnaeans, and one to Polycarp. The first three exist only in Latin: all the rest are extant also in Greek. It is now the universal opinion of critics, that the first eight of these professedly Ignatian letters are spurious. They bear in themselves indubitable proofs of being the production of a later age than that in which Ignatius lived. Neither Eusebius nor Jerome makes the least reference to them; and they are now by common consent set aside as forgeries, which were at various dates, and to serve special purposes, put forth under the name of the celebrated Bishop of Antioch".

    With regard to those epistles which are acknowledged as the genuine writings of Ignatius, even among this group there are numerous intentional additions and interpolations that were introduced into the text to make them support the doctrine of the later Church of the Roman Empire. With regard to the variations in the readings, the Introduction to Ignatius in the Anti-Nicean Library states: "But after the question has been thus simplified, it still remains sufficiently complex. Of the seven Epistles which are acknowledge by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., iii. 36), we possess two Greek recensions, a shorter and a longer. It is plain that one or other of these exhibits a corrupt text, and scholars have for the most part agreed to accept the shorter form as representing the genuine letters of Ignatius. This was the opinion generally acquiesced in, from the time when critical editions of these Epistles began to be issued, down to our own day. Criticism, indeed, fluctuated a good deal as to which Epistles should be accepted and which rejected. Archp. Usher (1644), Isaac Vossius (1646), J. B. Cotelerius (1672), Dr. T. Smith (1709), and others, edited the writings ascribed to Ignatius in forms differing very considerably as to the order in which they were arranged, and the degree of authority assigned them, until at length, from about the beginning of the eighteenth century, the seven Greek Epistles, of which a translation is here given, came to be generally accepted in their shorter form as the genuine writings of Ignatius".

    Under the heading of Apostolic Fathers - Ignatius, the 1968 edition of the Britannica states: "In the 4th century (or perhaps later) his letters suffered interpolation, and six more were added by someone who found Ignatian theology hard to reconcile with the conclusions of the council of Nicaea (or of Chalcedon)".

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    Default Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

    The Council of Nicaea was convened by the Emperor Constantine, and was called for the express purpose of requiring all Christians throughout the empire to adhere to the doctrine of the Trinity -- which doctrine was founded upon the writings of Plato -- and is the doctrine that Jesus, the Father and Holy Spirit are all one and the same being. We know today that interpolations were added to most of the early Christian writings to find support for this doctrine that had always been part of the Pagan world, but absent from Jewish and early Christian teachings.

    As just one example of an interpolation to support the doctrine of the Trinity, Ignatius writes in the shorter version: "For if I be truly found [a Christian], I may also be called one, and be then deemed faithful, when I shall no longer appear to the world. Nothing visible is eternal. 'For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal’". To this text which is taken from the shorter version, the longer version of Ignatius adds: "For our God, Jesus Christ, now that He is with the Father, is all the more revealed [in His glory]". The Church of the Roman Empire then used these interpolations in an attempt to bring their favorite doctrines which were of a Pagan origin into the new synthesized religion inaugurated by the Emperor Constantine.

    Why were these epistles corrupted? Ignatius was a first century Christian. If the Roman Church could demonstrate that Ignatius believed that Jesus was God, then the many Christian’s who held dissenting opinions could more readily be silenced.

    In the endeavor to recreate New Covenant teachings as a secular institution -- an anti-Gnostic redemptive religion with its focus on the control of the masses -- many essential elements of the spiritual essence of the scriptures had to be modified and changed. There is nothing in the original Gospels that would affirm the opinion that Jesus had any great respect for secular authorities. In view of the fact that we now can demonstrate the link between the Gnostic Essenes and Jesus through the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we can easily support the claim that Jesus viewed the governments of this world as being empowered by Satan. Therefore, in order to make Christianity compatible with the secular environment of Rome, certain additions to the scriptures were intended to bring the more radical anti-secular elements of the religion under control by the use of biblical edicts to obey the government. These numerous interpolations are found throughout the epistles, and can often be easily detected, as is the case in 1 Peter 2: 12-20:

    (12) Having your behavior honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (15) For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; (16) As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it if, when ye are buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God" Verses 13-14 and 17-18, which instruct the reader to submit themselves to the ordinances of man and honor the kings and governors was put there to exert political and social control over the people by the secular authorities of the Roman Empire. This type of interpolation is easily seen in the Epistles of Ignatius.

    Short Version:

    Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for ye are worthy. Ye have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you. Ye have loved me when absent as well as when present. May God recompense you, for whose sake, while ye endure all things, ye shall attain unto Him.

    Interpolated Long Version:

    Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. For "in Hades there is no one who can confess his sins." For "behold the man, and his work is before him." And [the Scripture saith], "My son, honor thou God and the king." And say I, Honor thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest, who bears the image of God - inasmuch as he is a ruler, and of Christ, in his capacity of a priest. After Him, we must also honor the king. For there is no one superior to God, or even like to Him, among all the beings that exist. Nor is there any one in the Church greater than the bishop, who ministers as a priest to God for the salvation of the whole world. Nor, again, is there any one among rulers to be compared with the king, who secures peace and good order to those over whom he rules. He who honors the bishop shall be honored by God, even as he that dishonors him shall be punished by God. For if he that rises up against kings is justly held worthy of punishment, inasmuch as he dissolves public order, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who presumes to do anything without the bishop, thus both destroying the [Church's] unity, and throwing its order into confusion? For the priesthood is the very highest point of all good things among men, against which whosoever is mad enough to strive, dishonors not man, but God, and Christ Jesus, the First-born, and the only High Priest, by nature, of the Father. Let all things therefore be done by you with good order in Christ. Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father. As ye, brethren, have refreshed me, so will Jesus Christ refresh you. Ye have loved me when absent, as well as when present. God will recompense you, for whose sake ye have shown such kindness towards His prisoner. For even if I am not worthy of it, yet your zeal [to help me] is an admirable thing. For "he who honors a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward." It is manifest also, that he who honors a prisoner of Jesus Christ shall receive the reward of the martyrs.

    In addition to the concept of submission to the king, emperor, or more appropriately, any government official, we also see the addition of the doctrine of hell in the words: "In Hades there is no one who can confess his sins". This doctrine was of the utmost importance to the Roman Institutionalized Church because the doctrine of hell was a necessary foundational concept which was then used to control the masses and bringing them into subjection to the secular authorities.

    Through the power of both the sword and the pen, the new religion of the Roman Empire took total control of the people. In every instance, the emperor was the highest, and often the sole authority on acceptable doctrine and all church matters. With the force of his armies, Constantine crushed all Ecclestical resistance, set his opinions up as the only valid doctrinal positions of the Church -- and in the process, put the spiritual essence of the Church to death in the creation of an institutionalized church. In those instances where the Bible was at variance with the religious tenets ordained by the Roman Church, the scriptures were altered to support and affirm church doctrine.

    Moving on to other early church writers, under the heading of Apostolic Fathers - Polycarp, the Britannica writes: "These apparent contradictions have led many scholars to suppose that they are two letters rather than one. It is also possible, though uncertain, that like Ignatius' letters, that of Polycarp has undergone later revision. The Monophysites, who were quite careful in citing authorities, provided quotations from Polycarp that do not exactly correspond with the existing text (much of which is available in a late Latin translation)". Quoting from the Introduction to Polycarp in the Anti-Nicean Library: "That this Epistle has been interpolated can hardly be doubted, when we compare it with the unvarnished specimen, in Eusebius... A great part of it has been engrossed by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (iv. 15); and it is instructive to observe, that some of the most startling miraculous phenomena recorded in the text as it now stands, have no place in the narrative as given by that early historian of the Church".

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    Under Clementine Literature, the Britannica states that "It became the starting point of the most momentous and gigantic of medieval forgeries, the Isidorian Decretals', where it stands at the head of the pontifical letters, extended to more than twice its original length. This extension perhaps occurred during the 5th century".

    In his book, Introduction to the New Testament, B.W. Bacon wrote: "The Christian can only mitigate the disrespect he feels for plagiarists and impostors by the reflection that the conscience of the second century had practically no recognition for those literary crimes, rampant as they then were in the Church" (p. 168). Yet it is the product of these "literary crimes" that believers put their faith in when they read their Bibles today!

    In his Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, by Dr. F. H. Scrivener, he writes that: "In the second century we have seen too many instances of attempts to tamper with the text of Scripture, some merely injudicious, others positively dishonest". Scrivener states that "it is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within 100 years after it was composed: and that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church" used inferior manuscripts.

    Of what is called the Great Unicals, Scrivener writes of Codex Sinaititus (4th Century): "From the number of errors, one cannot affirm that it is very carefully written. The whole manuscript is disfigured by corrections, a few by the original scribe, very many by an ancient and elegant hand of the 6th Century whose emendations are of great importance, some again by a hand a little later, for the greatest number by a scholar of the 7th Century who often cancels the changes by the 6th Century amender, others by as many as eight (8) different later writers" (Scrivener, Page 93, Vol. I). Regarding the Codex Vaticanus (4th Century) he writes: "One marked feature is the great number of omissions which induced Dr. Dobbin to speak of it as an abbreviated text of the New Testament. He calculates that whole words or clauses are left out no less than 2556 times" (Scrivener, Page 120, Volume I).

    In his book The Revision Revised, Dean Burgon asks "Ought it not sensibly to detract from our opinion of the value of their evidence, (Codex B and Codex Aleph) to discover that it is easier to find two consecutive verses in which the two manuscripts differ, the one from the other, than two consecutive verses in which they entirely agree? …On every such occasion only one of them can possibly be speaking the truth. Shall I be thought unreasonable if I confess that these perpetual inconsistencies, between Codd B and Aleph -- grave inconsistencies and occasionally even gross ones -- altogether destroy my confidence in either?"

    Or, in the words of Scrivener: "The point on which we insist is briefly this: that the evidence of ancient authorities is anything but unanimous, that they are perpetually at variance with each other, even if we limit the term ancient within the narrowest bounds. Shalt it include, among the manuscripts of the Gospels, none but the five oldest copies of Codd, Aleph A B C D? The reader has but to open the first recent critical work he shalt meet with, to see them scarcely ever in unison, perpetually divided two against three, or perhaps four against one."

    With regard to the textual problems of the King James Version, Dr. Tischendorf writes: "…this text (the Received Text) differs in many places from the oldest authorities of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, and, therefore, must be replaced by a text which is really drawn from the oldest sources discoverable. THE DIFFICULTY OF FINDING SUCH A TEXT LIES IN THIS THAT THERE IS A GREAT DIVERSITY AMONG THESE TEXTS" (Codex Sinaiticus; by Dr. C. Tischendorf, p. 85).
    Dean John W. Burgon, one of the most respected of scholars, is cited by Dr. David O. Fuller in his book WHICH BIBLE?, when he wrote in reference to Codexes B, Aleph, D, and L: "I insist and am prepared to prove that the text of these two Codexes (B and Aleph) is very nearly the foulest in existence" (Pp. 126-127); and "That they exhibit fabricated texts is demonstratable… B and Aleph are covered all over with blots -- Aleph even more than B.... We suspect that these two manuscripts are indebted for their preservation, SOLELY TO THEIR ASCERTAINED EVIL CHARACTER" (Pg. 93, 128). Burgon then goes on further and states: "No amount of honest copying -- persevered in for any number of centuries -- could possibility have resulted in two such documents" (Pg. 93). Burgon also said: "By far the most depraved text is that exhibited by CODEX D" (Pg. 93).

    How can a copy of the scriptures be said to be preserved "solely to their ascertained evil character"? What if biblical scholars Wescott and Hort are correct in their conclusion that the "original texts are forever lost" -- and all the remaining texts have been preserved solely because of their evil character, while the texts that more faithfully preserved the purity of the Gospel have all been destroyed because they did not agree with the doctrines of the Roman Church? Moreover, what is in the text that would cause a biblical scholar to call the copy "depraved"? Are they depraved, or are these passages just contrary to accepted church doctrine? These are important questions that faithful believers should be asking. Do these Codexes really contain "fabricated texts", or are they said to be fabricated and depraved simply because they fail to support modern Christian beliefs and dogma?
    In its Introduction to the Books of the New Testament, THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE (p. xxxiv) states that there were probably several different Greek translations of the early collection attributed to Matthew. With regard to the Gospel according to John, even more bolder statements are made by the authors: "It should be remembered that for the ancients authorship was a much broader concept than it is today. In their time a man could be called the ‘author’ of a work if he was the authority behind it, even though he did not write it. Modern critical analysis makes it difficult to accept that the fourth gospel as it now stands was written by one man. Chapter 21 seems to have been added after the gospel was completed; it exhibits a Greek style somewhat different from the rest of the work… Within the gospel itself there are signs of some disorder; e.g., there are two endings to Jesus' discourse at the Last Supper" (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p.xxxvii). The footnote goes on to state a widely accepted theory that the Gospel of John was probably written by a disciple of John, and then edited later by others. How much of the gospel is actually from John is impossible to know. The text then goes on to state that the "inconsistencies were probably produced by subsequent editing in which homogeneous materials were added to a shorter original" (THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p. xxxvii).

    By using the term "homogeneous materials", the introduction is stating that, like the Epistles of Ignatius, certain passages were inserted by later copyists in an attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. In view of the fact that it is well documented in early church history that the very disciples and Jewish followers of Jesus did not believe in the Trinity -- and in view of the many witnesses regarding the alteration of the scriptures to suit the doctrines of the Roman Church, it is easily understood that these "homogeneous materials" were added at a time well after the original gospel was composed.

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    In order to demonstrate just one example of this attempt to insert material to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, we read in the Authorized or King James Bible: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 Jn 5:7 KJV). In modern translations that are made from much older biblical manuscripts, this verse reads in the manner of the New American Standard: "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth".
    Regarding the validity of 1 John 5:7, the Adam Clarke Commentary states that: "But it is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every manuscript of this letter written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve. It is missing in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Aethiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, etc., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS. have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin".

    Regarding this and other such verses, the New Unger's Bible Dictionary says: "The New Testament teaching upon this subject is not given in the way of formal statement… Reliance, it is held by many competent critics, is not to be placed upon the passages in Acts 20:28 and 1 Tim. 3:16; and 1 John 5:7 is commonly regarded as spurious". In the case of 1 Timothy 3:16, the King James reads: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory". There is no doubt that this passage proves that Jesus was God in the words "God was manifest in the flesh". But, in more accurate translations, such as the New International Version, this verse reads: "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory". What you have just witnessed is the creation of a god with the power of the pen.

    Another such doctrinal corruption is found at Matthew 28:19, where it reads: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt 28:19-20 KJV). Of this verse The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics writes: "It is the central piece of evidence for the traditional view. If it were undisputed, this would, of course, be decisive, but its trustworthiness is impugned on the grounds of textual criticism, literary criticism and historical criticism".

    In the Hibbert Journal (1902), F.C. Conybeare is quoted regarding the spurious verse: "In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate these doubts of the authenticity of the text Mathew 28:19 by adducing patristic evidence against it, so weighty that in future the most conservative of divines will shrink from resting on it any dogmatic fabric at all, while the more enlightened will discard it as completely as they have its fellow-test of the three witnesses".

    Conybeare then goes on and quotes the biblical scholar Dr. C.R. Gregory, and writes: "In the case just examined (Matthew 28:19), it is to be noticed that not a single manuscript or ancient version has preserved to us the true reading. But that is not surprising, for as Dr. C.R. Gregory, one of the greatest of our textual critics, reminds us, 'The Greek MSS of the Text of the New Testament were often altered by the scribes, who put into them the readings which were familiar to them, and which they held to be the right readings' (Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1907, p. 424)".

    Conybeare then writes: "These facts speak for themselves. Our Greek texts, not only of the Gospels, but of the Epistles as well, have been revised and interpolated by orthodox copyists. We can trace their perversions of the text in a few cases, with the aid of patristic citations and ancient versions. But there must remain many passages which have been so corrected, but where we cannot today expose the fraud". With regard to the assertion of those many scholars who claim that the New Testament has not been interpolated to support what is known as orthodox doctrines, Conybeare goes on to write: "This is just the opposite of the truth, and such distinguished scholars as Alfred Loisy, K. Wellhausen, Eberhard Nestle, Adolf Harnack, to mention only four names, do not scruple to recognize the fact".

    The fact that he speaks of is that the text of the New Testament has been severely altered and revised by the so-called orthodox church of the past. Of the interpolation of Matthew 28:19 where the Church of Constantine attempted to prove the doctrine of the Trinity by inserting it into the text, The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics writes: "The facts are, in summary, that Eusebius quotes Matthew 28:19 twenty one times, either omitting everything between 'nations' 'and teaching', or in the form 'make disciples of all nations in my name,' the later form being the more frequent". Quoting Eusebius directly, his text reads: "Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you".

    In the publication, The Fraternal Visitor, this assessment was made concerning the falsification of the scriptures: "Codex B (Vaticanus) would be the best of all existing MSS, …if it were completely preserved, less damaged, (less) corrected, more easily legible, and not altered by a later hand in more than two thousand places. Eusebius, therefore, is not without grounds for accusing the adherents of Athanasius and the newly-risen doctrine of the trinity of falsifying the Bible even more than once" (Fraternal Visitor 1924, p. 148; translated from Christadelphian Monatshefte).

    Sir William Whiston in his Second letter to the Bishop of London, 1719, p. 15, further confirms that it was the so-called orthodox church which was directly responsible for all the interpolations and corruptions: "We certainly know of a greater number of interpolations and corruptions brought into the Scriptures by the Athanasians, and relating to the Doctrine of the Trinity, than in any other case whatsoever. While we have not, that I know of, any such interpolation or corruption made in any one of them by either the Eusebians or Arians".

    When the text of the Bible reads in the book of Acts regarding the relationship of David to Jesus: "Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30 KJV) -- the words "according to the flesh" are not found in all the manuscripts. The defenders of the Trinity will state that someone must have added these words, but if this is so, then why did Paul write: "regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 1:3-4 NIV). This would then tell us that Jesus was born of the linage of David, and because of his holiness was declared the Son of God by his resurrection. Further, Mary herself calls Jesus the son of Joseph at Luke 2:48. When it is remembered that the Messianic Jewish Christians who knew Jesus personally, including those who wrote our scriptures, did not believe that Jesus was God, perhaps the Lord is saying to us: The time has come where we should do as the Bible says and "Prove all things" (1 Thes 5:21 KJV) before we blindly believe the doctrines of Constantine.

    Every Christian today who desires to know the Mysteries of God should be alarmed by the fact that neither Jesus nor his disciples taught the concepts of the Trinity. From a doctrinal standpoint with regard to the manner we must live in order to approach the alter of the Lord, one's adherence to this doctrine is an obstruction that inhibits the modern church from embracing the spiritual essence of what Jesus actually taught. When one reads the scriptures through the doctrinal filter of the Trinity, the majority of the Bible is negated and rendered useless. Nowhere in the New Testament does the text even hint that Jesus is to be worshiped in any other manner than as a pattern for each of us to imitate.

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    In our quest to understand how the Bible was altered, we know that in numerous documented instances the commentaries of early Christians that were often made in the margins were in many instances incorporated into the body of the text by later copyist. Under the heading of Andrew of Caesarea, the Encyclopedia Britannica writes: "Critical scholarship has suggested that Andrew's glosses frequently became part of the book of Revelation's text, resulting in some of its enigmatic passages". Are you therefore reading the words of the disciple John, or are you reading the words of Andrew of Caesarea?

    Under the title of Bible in the Church, the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics writes: "In the first two centuries nearly all the various readings of the New Testament came into existence, the majority of them by deliberate alteration of the text, many for the sake of style, and several in the interests of dogma… Often readings were rejected as falsifications of heretics, but often the heretics were right in their counter-complaint… Every province, every order, every monastery, has a tradition of its own…"

    If every province, every order, and every monastery in the first two centuries had their own version of the scriptures which supported their favorite doctrines of belief, then we must seriously ask the question as to what has been passed down to us today? Show me the modern Christian who promotes the idea that their beliefs are from God because they are supported by the scriptures, and I will show you believers who have failed to follow the advice of the Apostle and "Test all things".

    The problem is that believing Christians today have no means to deal with the issue of the corrupted biblical texts, so they have adopted the doctrine that God wrote the Authorized, or King James Version of the Bible. It does not matter that the Authorized Version is founded upon the most corrupted manuscripts in existence. It does not matter to this group of believers that the Authorized Version is at many important points in opposition to the original teachings of Jesus. What matters is that the Authorized Version which was composed in the year 1611, says what they want to hear, and therefore they reason that God must have written it. Thus, what this ultimately means, is that the faithful flock expects God to be in subjection to man, and conform to the doctrines contained in the believer’s version of the Bible. What they in fact proclaim, is that since the church wrote it, then God must accept it!

    One of our greatest obstacles today is the fact that a very large amount of scripture alteration was performed by the Roman Church in their quest to rid the texts of what was labeled Gnostic interpolations. When it is remembered that the Greek word gnosis is used to describe the knowledge received via a spiritual revelation directly from God -- that the teachings of the New Covenant are very Gnostic indeed -- and the Gentile Churches that were ordained by the Apostle Paul were all Gnostic in nature -- the folly of these assertions begins to manifest. If Jesus taught Gnostic concepts, and the Churches started by Paul were also Gnostic, and the later Pagan Church removed all the Gnostic interpolations, then we must recognize the fact that it was the most important verses of the Bible which where were edited out by the later Roman Church in their endeavor to suppress Gnostic thought. Why would they remove these passages? The answer is simple once it is realized that as the church was transitioned into a secular institution where all revelation and interpretation was made by the political hierarchy, the idea that man would be taught directly by the indwelling Word was very quickly done away with.

    The historical Christian Gnostics were people who believed that each person has a direct inner connection to God. They held that Christ's Church was a spiritual, rather than a worldly institution, and that each person individually could learn directly from God. Because these Christians refused to support the later Roman Church, they were condemned as heretics and wiped out by the force of Constantine's sword.

    The problem with regard to our present day scriptures, as reported in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics above, is that "Often readings were rejected as falsifications of heretics, but often the heretics were right". There is nothing in the message of Jesus that supports an institutionalized church. In the teachings of Jesus, the Christ retains authority, and all disciples have it within their power to learn at the feet of the Master -- which concept represents Gnosticism in its purist sense of the word. With regard to the True Spiritual Temple, the Apostle writes: "We have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man" (Heb 8:1-2 NAS).

    The Church of Jesus was a spiritual Church -- one where each of its disciples who were "in the world and not of it" could enter, and would learn the Truth directly from God. This teaching represents pure Gnostic thought! It is because the Bible requires that each follower of the Christ should be taught only by God, that Jesus commanded his followers not to be called teacher: "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren" (Matt 23:8 NKJ). The followers of Christ should not be called Rabbi, which means teacher, because in the genuine spiritual teachings of The Way that Jesus taught, all will learn from the One Teacher. What is represented in these words is in fact a core concept in the foundation of all Gnostic theology.

    The Teacher of Truth dwells in the Genuine Church -- and it is via this Spiritual Church where all things are revealed to the disciple where the promise of the New Covenant is fulfilled: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12 KJV). There is no thought in the teachings of Jesus that one must physically die to either enter the kingdom, or worship in God's Spiritual Tabernacle.

    In time, though, as the Gospel became infused with Paganism, and the True followers of Jesus were put to death, believers could no longer enter God's Tabernacle because the Spiritual Path known as The Way became obscured with Pagan dogma and conceptions of life, man and God. When the later Roman Church either removed, or supported biblical manuscripts that had the "falsifications of heretics" removed, when in fact these falsifications were often the most important verses of scripture, what remained was biblical manuscripts devoid of its original spiritual essence and keys.

    When it is realized today that the scriptures were conceived in the Gnostic bedrock of the mystical Jews known as the Essenes, then we must also realize that when the Roman Church expunged gnosticism from the texts, they in effect cut out the heart of the message, and what we have left today is a corpse devoid of spirit. In this respect, what I am about to reveal to you there is no documented proof of in our own time: In the fourth century, when the alteration of the scriptures for doctrinal purification was at its height, and the scriptures of the Roman Church were advanced with the power of the sword, the true Christians took to hiding and concealing their scriptures in the endeavor to preserve them, and halt their destruction.

    As these collections of ancient scriptures are recovered through archaeological discoveries, they continue to demonstrate the existence of an entirely different Christianity that is totally foreign to the Church that enlists under the name of Christ today. In fact, even with the documentation long possessed by the church today, it is easy to literally pull the proverbial rug right out from under the very foundation of modern Christian thought. In a surviving excerpts of what has been historically known as the Gospel According to the Hebrews, which was reported to be the "original version of Matthew" that was composed in the Hebrew language, of which our present day gospel is a Greek translation of, it was written: "If ye be in my bosom and do not the will of my Father which is in heaven, out of my bosom will I cast you away". In the late nineteenth century a library of scriptures was uncovered which is today known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri -- wherein this verse is found reading: "Though ye be gathered together with me in my bosom, if ye do not my commandants, I will cast you forth".

    This same verse of scripture is quoted in what is historically known as the 2nd Epistle of Clement, where it is written: "Let us, then, not only call Him Lord, for that will not save us. For He saith, 'Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall be saved, but he that worketh righteousness' …For this reason… the Lord hath said, 'Even though ye were gathered together to me in my very bosom, yet if ye were not to keep my commandments, I would cast you off, and say unto you, Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity’".

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    It must be understood today that natural man who is possessed by sensual gratification and carnal thought, has no use for a spiritual religion that leads them along the path of transformation. Such men do not desire change -- but rather, a license to live in the manner they are accustomed to. Because they are like a drug addict, possessed by the thinking and material things of this world, their perception of religion is that of an insurance policy -- a means of obtaining immunity from the result of their actions. From their perception, the idea that if they do not hold fast to a series of commandments that restricted their very carnal manner of living, was simply unacceptable. Therefore, the solution to the problem was seen in the removal of the above very important concept taught by Jesus from the series of scriptures that was eventually passed down to the modern church.

    From these verses it is easily seen that the present day doctrine of perpetual redemption, as well as the popular idea that once you profess that the Lord is you personal savoir you are forever saved, is invalid from an early Christian perspective. It is easily demonstrated that the teachings of Jesus were not intended for the sinner to continue to wallow in the mire of sin -- but rather, for those who truly repented through change -- and the process of "opening and unloosing the mind" in order to enter the Heavenly Kingdom. Clement, who was himself a disciple of the Apostle Peter, states that "…calling Him Lord… will not save us"!

    The problem is seen in the fact that this message is totally contrary to what is being preached in the majority of our Evangelical churches today. It is quite common for the preacher to say to the congregation that all that is needed is to accept Jesus Christ as one's personal Lord and Savior, and you will be assured of your salvation. It is further commonly taught today that even those believers who fall away from the Gospel, and return to lives of sin, are said to remain saved, because they repeated the magic prayer. In defense of this position it will be said that man, whose natural nature is sinful because of the fall of Adam, is not saved by what he does, but solely by his faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, this earliest of Gospel tradition is at odds with the very concepts which Jesus actually taught. These verses which strongly convey the message that the believer is cast out of the bosom of Christ, were at one time in our scriptures, but were removed because they did not support the doctrine of perpetual redemption that was embraced by Constantine’s church.

    It can be easily demonstrated that the first followers of Jesus continued to observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week in accordance with the scriptures. Constantine, who was a sun worshiper, changed the day of worship from the biblical Sabbath to the Pagan Sunday, or day of the Sun. It should alarm modern Christians that in one of the ancient codexes is found a statement of Jesus that has also recently been confirmed in the newly discovered Gospel of Thomas in what is now known as the Nag Hammidi Library. In this codex the Gospel of Luke contains the verses: "On the same day, He (Jesus) beholding a man laboring on the Sabbath, said to him: Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; if however thou dost not know, cursed art thou and a transgressor of the law".

    Doctrinally, this was removed by the Gentile church for two reasons -- i.e., because of its affirmation of the Sabbath as the day of the Lord; and also because it demonstrated Jesus' ratification of the Law of Moses with perhaps a very Gnostic twist with regard to the acquisition of knowledge. What Jesus is saying is that, if one possesses the Divine Knowledge to understand the true spiritual meaning of the Sabbath, and labors on the Sabbath, he is blessed -- but, if one does not possess the Divine Knowledge of the Sabbath, and labors on the Sabbath, they are cursed and have made themselves a transgressor of the law. In view of the fact that Christians today have no understanding at all with regard to the true spiritual meaning of the Sabbath, from the perspective of what Jesus taught, they would be deemed to be transgressors of the Law -- a Law that they fail to even realize they are under. In light of our current knowledge derived from the Dead Sea Scrolls, with the possible exception of the Seventh Day Adventists, there is good reason to assert that Jesus would call the modern believer a "transgressor of the law".

    All Biblical Evidence Reveals that Jesus became the Son of God at his baptism -- in the manner that the original disciples and followers of Jesus believed. I have already demonstrated through the witness of biblical experts that many verses of scripture were added to our Bibles in an attempt to confirm the doctrine of the Trinity. Knowing this fact should be of the greatest concern to modern Christians who would want to know what teachings of Jesus were removed because it was against the doctrine of the Trinity -- a doctrine that is native to the philosophy and religion of Plato and the Greek poets. At Hebrews 1:5 we find the statement: "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son".

    Contrary to the Apostle's statement, nowhere in our present day scriptures is this said to Jesus. There is an account in Acts that speaks of the disciples of Jesus being adopted by God in the same manner as Jesus himself was: "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Acts 13:33 KJV).

    With regard to the passage at Hebrews 1:5, The Adam Clark Commentary writes: "This most important use of this saying has passed unnoticed by almost every Christian writer which I have seen; and yet it lies here at the foundation of all the apostle's proofs. If Jesus was not thus the Son of God, the whole Christian system is vain and baseless: but his resurrection demonstrates him to have been the Son of God; therefore everything built on this foundation is more durable than the foundations of heaven, and as inexpugnable as the throne of the eternal King".

    No one throughout Christian history has ever questioned the resurrection and the Sonship of Jesus -- though what has been questioned is when Jesus became the Christ -- or Anointed One of God -- as well as what it means to be the Anointed of God. With regard to when these words were spoken, Christian history also tells us that these words were in fact said to Jesus: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee". The problem is that, with the exception of a footnote at the baptism of Jesus in the Revised Standard Version, these words are no longer contained in our Bibles today. What the footnote states is that many of the more ancient manuscripts read: "Today I have begotten thee", instead of "In thee I am well pleased" at Luke 3:22.

    What, then, is the ramifications to Christians today? If this passage was again restored to its original form, we could rewrite the Adam Clark Commentary this way: If Jesus became the Son of God at his baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove and Anointed him (made him the Christ), "the whole Christian system is vain and baseless". Why? The answer is simple: If Jesus was born a man -- a man whose soul had attained the highest level of perfection prior to his again entering into his life as Jesus -- and he became the Messiah or Anointed by fulfilling God's Law, as the disciples and Jewish Messianic Christians who were taught directly from him proclaimed, then Christians must totally alter their position on an uncountable number of important points -- wherein, each of us would then look to Jesus as the pattern that we must follow.

    Because the concept of the Trinity is totally undermined by Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews, Martin Luther rejected the authorship, and condemned the epistle. Luther was offended by such statements as: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house" (Heb 3:1-3 KJV)

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    Default Re: Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

    Luther rightfully questioned how God could be called a High Priest -- how Jesus could be appointed to the position of High Priest -- and how Jesus could be compared to Moses? How could it be said of God that "this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses"? What is absolutely clear in these thoughts expressed by Paul in this epistle is that he did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity -- or that Jesus was God. There can be no other explanation!

    How important is this? The Adam Clark Commentary put the problem in its proper perspective in the words that if this position of Paul is true, then "the whole Christian system is vain and baseless". Why? Because the whole focus of our present-day ideas of religion is founded upon the concept of believing in Jesus because he is God -- whereas, Paul's assertion that Jesus was a man of such holiness that he became the Son of God totally undermines the very foundation of modern Christian doctrine. Moreover, this is confirmed when we ask the question as to how it could ever be said of God that: "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee"(Heb 5:5). What this means is that our whole modern-day concept of the New Covenant is defective when it is recognized that according to the Apostle, there existed a time in the life of Jesus where his status was changed, and God found Jesus worthy enough to adopt him as His Son.

    If the Epistle to the Hebrews was truly written by the Apostle Paul, as is commonly believed, then our whole perception of what Jesus taught must be radically altered. And even if we do as Luther, and reject this epistle because it does not conform to what we choose to believe, there are a whole host of other witnesses that fundamentally convey the same exact message. If Jesus was God he would never have said: "to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me" (Matt 25:40 NAS) -- God would never refer to other men as his brothers. After the crucifixion Jesus said: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (John 20:17 NIV).

    That Jesus himself directly taught us that he was our brother -- albeit, the first of the Prodigal Sons to return to the Kingdom and be crowned the First Son of God -- is very clearly represented by Paul in the words: "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise" (Heb 2:11-12 NAS). The Revised Standard Version interprets this passage to say that Jesus and the rest of mankind "…have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren".

    The problem is that because of our present-day doctrines of belief that became infused upon our religion by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, this whole concept expressed by the Apostle Paul makes absolutely no sense to us today. Moreover, it is not until we begin to understand that our soul not only pre-existed the physical body in which we presently dwell -- and is in fact the offspring of our Heavenly Father -- and we begin to recognize that we are the prodigal sons that Jesus spoke of -- can we begin to even comprehend what the Apostle is conveying to us when he wrote that we are all of one common Origin, and Jesus is our brother.

    The problem was that men like Martin Luther, who was himself a priest of the Roman Church, could not come to terms with the original beliefs of the Christian Church as expressed in these many passages of the Bible. What Luther was unable to deal with was the fact that when we begin to embrace even this one doctrine alone, our whole perspective of New Testament theology must be radically revised and altered. Mere faith and belief in a Holy Man who fulfilled the Law and became the Anointed Son of God, means nothing -- and confirms the words of Clement, the disciple of the Apostle Peter, when he wrote that "…calling Him Lord… will not save us"!

    If the soul of Jesus is of a like substance to our own -- and he is in fact the first of the prodigal sons to return to the Father -- and because he so fulfilled the Law of God that he virtually blazed the trail of what came to be called The Way -- thereby becoming the Divine Pattern for all mankind to follow -- then casual belief in the modernized Jesus of today will not benefit us whatsoever. In fact, isn't this the exact understanding being set before those who would be called Christians where it is commanded and warned: "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27 NAS).

    If we begin the process of returning to Christian first principles, Jesus becomes the standard of excellence -- or, in the words of the Apostle: "that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26:23 NAS). As it continually states in the scriptures: Jesus was and is the "firstborn among many brethren" (Rom 8:29 KJV). This is impossible under the doctrine of the Trinity, because it cannot be said that Jesus is our brother. Thus these biblical questions raise the issue: When was he born? The answer is that he was born when he was begotten.

    This biblical fact, in and of itself, has created great problems for Christians who have incorporated the doctrine of the Trinity -- a doctrine of Pagan origin which was originally espoused by Plato -- into the teachings of Jesus and the scriptures. This very serious doctrinal problem is raised in the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary where it is written: "[Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.] Augustine, with some moderns, apply this to Christ's external generations from the Father. `The expression (says Alexander) 'I have begotten thee' means, I am thy Father: 'Today' refers to the date of the decree itself: but this, as a divine act, was eternal, and so must be the Sonship it affirms. This, however, is a forced way of interpreting the words, and not at all consistent with the context, which clearly connects the Sonship with the resurrection of Christ. Does the apostle, then; mean to say that Christ became God's Son -- for the first time and in the only sense in which He was the Son of God -- by His resurrection from the dead? That cannot be; for, besides that it would contradict the whole strain of the New Testament regarding Christ's relation to the Father" (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary). The problem is that it means exactly what is says -- Jesus became the Son of God -- initially, by the Anointing (Christ) of the Holy Spirit at his baptism; and permanently, with his resurrection.

    Going still one step further, the Adam Clarke Commentary writes: "…it is demonstrated that the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is absolutely irreconcilable to reason, and contradictory to itself. ETERNITY is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to time: SON supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation: therefore the rational conjunction of these two terms, Son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas" (Adam Clarke Commentary).

    What is being said is true -- i.e., you cannot believe in the Trinity and talk about the relationship of the Father and the Son -- they simply do not work. In order for someone to be a son, they must have both a father and a mother. In order to be a father, one must have a female counterpart, and both would have had to have existed prior to the birth of the son. Thus, unless you wish to read the scriptures with the mind of the Pagans who in the manner of Luther simply stated that the Mysteries of God are beyond human reason and comprehension, you will embrace the words of Jesus when he said: "Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’" (John 20:17 NIV).

    Throughout the New Testament scriptures it can be observed that Jesus looked upon the wisdom and doctrines of the Nations as being inferior to that of the Hebrews. What we call the Mysteries of God that both Luther and the Roman Church placed beyond the reasoning and comprehension of man, Jesus said could be envisioned with an Anointed (Christ) Mind. The problem is that in order to perceive and embrace the Mysteries of God, one had to become a disciple of the Light, and approach the alter of God in a certain manner -- i.e., the manner that Jesus, the Master of The Way, inaugurated. What this means is that the more we embrace the doctrines and thinking of Rome, and the culture of this world, the more we alienate ourselves from the only means to overcome this world and enter into the Kingdom. It is therefore also true, that the more we embrace the mindset, thinking, and original teachings of the New Covenant in a state of purity, the easier it is to open the door to the Kingdom.

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    Default Re: Has the bible been faithfully preserved?

    The disciples and first followers of Jesus saw him as the Divine Pattern that all men must emulate. Their view of him was that he was the firstborn -- or the first resurrected to the Kingdom -- the first of the prodigal sons to return home from among us, his brothers. This is especially seen in the words of the Lord where he said: "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Matt 12:50 KJV).

    It is plain in the scriptures that Jesus is "a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting" (1 Tim 1:16 KJV). A pattern is not something that you casually believe in -- but rather, something that you mold your life after. Moreover, if Jesus is the pattern, then Jesus is the very standard by which all men are to be judged. Why? Because if Jesus was able to perfect himself, and be resurrected into the Kingdom, then all our excuses for leading carnal and immoral lives are without merit -- i.e., because this same standard would then be expected of us -- the Lord's brothers.

    The Apostle tells us: "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children" (Eph 5:1 NAS). If we were created as inferior beings who were nothing more than the natural offspring of Adam, as Christians believe today, then the Apostle would never have told a race of inferior beings to imitate God. The basis of Paul's words is seen in the fact that man is created in the image and likeness of God, and is God's own offspring. If we were inferior beings, neither would God command us: "ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy" (Lev 11:45 KJV), if we did not possess this innate ability. What is written here is no different than what St. Gregory said when he wrote that we must walk the "path of an exact imitation of Him Who leads the way to salvation" -- which path in the words of St. Nazianzen, reveals to us our true nature and makes "us like God".

    When the prodigal son returns home, and matures to his full potential and stature, is he inferior to his father? What is important is for us to realize that we do not know our true potential, and neither do we understand the process that gives us the ability to "imitate God", and makes us "like God". The undeniable Christian Truth that no one who claims to be a believer should deny, is that we don't know the answer to these questions. How can we? As Christians, we have faith that Jesus meant what he said when he promised that he would teach us -- and reveal to us all the Mysteries of God -- if we become his faithful disciple.

    Perhaps one of the most important elements of New Covenant thought is the recognition that admitting we do not know is actually a necessary form of repentance -- in that, it opens the door for God to teach us. Clinging to the doctrines of men sets us apart from God, and recreates us in the vision of the secular Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees of whom Jesus condemned. From a New Covenant perspective, it is our present mindset that only serves to sever and alienate us from God, separate us from our inheritance, and obstruct our entrance into the Kingdom.

    The most powerful witness against the doctrine of the Trinity -- as we presently understand it -- is the very scriptures themselves. If Jesus was God, then the scriptures would be written from an entirely different perspective. The second century Church Father Tertullian makes a brief examination of what the mindset of the Bible would be if the Trinity were in fact a valid doctrine: "I bid you also observe, that on my side I advance the passage where the Father said to the Son, 'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee.' If you want me to believe Him to be both the Father and the Son, show me some other passage where it is declared, 'The Lord said unto Himself, I am my own Son, to-day have I begotten myself;' or again, 'Before the morning did I beget myself;' and likewise, 'I the Lord possessed Myself in the beginning of my ways for my own works; before all the hills, too, did I beget myself;' and whatever other passages are to the same effect. Why, moreover, could God the Lord of all things, have hesitated to speak thus of Himself, if the fact had been so?"

    The question that Tertullian raises is both valid and of the utmost importance -- i.e., if Jesus was God, then he would have said to his disciples: I am God. Pray to me. Worship me.

    The mindset of the Gospels is that each of us must follow in the Lord's footsteps and become the Christ, which in the English language means the Anointed of God. Westcott, Hort, and numerous other biblical scholars have all stated that if believers are to begin to find the true meaning of the scriptures, they must rid themselves of Constantine's doctrine of the Trinity. It is a spiritual hindrance, and has no genuine biblical foundation. This same conclusion has been recognized by the scholars who have studied the Dead Sea Scrolls. Fundamentally, the scriptures are from the mindset of becoming, and being born spiritually, rather than passively believing. If Jesus became the Christ -- or Anointed of God at his baptism -- and he was at that time adopted by the Father as His First Son, then there is nothing inhibiting us from also becoming Christs, or the Anointed of the Lord. In fact, it would become our true destiny -- which destiny is confirmed to us in the parable of the prodigal son.

    Modern-day Christians should ask: What proof do I have that these words speaking of adoption were the genuine words spoken to Jesus at his baptism: "Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee". This is a good question that every believer in search of Truth should ask? I can think of no other words more appropriate than to say: The impact from a Christian perspective is horrific! When it is realized that if just this one passage of scripture is true, then the whole complexion of present-day Christian thought must be seriously re-evaluated, the genuine flock of believers would want to know the answer to this question. Desiring to be people of the Light, rather than bound by the traditions and thinking of carnal men, they know that it is Truth that brings the disciple into The Way, and not the doctrines of men.

    Ask yourself the question as to what will you accept as proof? There are my people who consider themselves Christian today of whom it can be said that no amount of proof will alter the way they believe. Thus, only death will begin the process of releasing these people from the shackles of manmade doctrines that hold them bound to the thinking of this world.

    Demonstrating that the words: "Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee" is the genuine passage of scripture reflecting the words which were said to Jesus at his baptism is an easy task, especially in view of the fact that this verse is well documented throughout the first four centuries. In the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, a man who was a direct disciple of the Apostle Peter, and was declared a Saint, it reads: "But concerning His Son the Lord spoke thus: 'Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee’". In the First Apology of Justin, a work written in the first century, it reads: "Yet have I been set by Him a King on Zion His holy hill, declaring the decree of the Lord. The Lord said to Me, 'Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee’". In the writing by the same author known as the DIALOGUE OF JUSTIN WITH TRYPHO, A JEW, Justin writes about Jesus: "He was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men, making ploughs and yokes; by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life; but then the Holy Ghost, and for man's sake, as I formerly stated, lighted on Him in the form of a dove, and there came at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: `Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee’" Justin then goes on to explain to Trypho the Jew: "For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, `Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee,' is recorded in the memoirs of the apostles to have come to Him and tempted Him, even so far as to say to Him, 'Worship me;' and Christ answered him, 'Get thee behind me, Satan: thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve’". What is clear from these words is that the text of our Bibles has been altered, and no longer records what was written by the Apostles.

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