Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE BIBLE WAS ALTERED

The New Testament never claims to record any eyewitness evidence for what it claims about Jesus and John does but only in relation to the blood and water coming from Jesus' corpse. Luke did say he used eyewitnesses but we don't know when he used their work and what if he made mistakes? Using eyewitnesses is no good unless you put in their direct testimony. Then the account only becomes hearsay. It is clear that the possibility of the alteration of the truth in the original texts of the gospels is a more important issue than whether or not the gospels were tampered with after the authors wrote. And an author can be divinely inspired and write down a gospel and then alter it himself and then publish the altered one.

Nobody ever read an original gospel manuscript. Nobody ever claimed to. Thus alteration is possible.

For Christians, God is the author of the Bible though man is its author too. One is as responsible for the Bible as the other. Ultimately, because God makes man and his powers, God is the real author. Catholics read from the Bible at Mass and the reader declares at the end of the reading, This is the Word of the Lord. The response is Thanks be to God. If the Bible is not the word of God then it follows that Christianity is just a man-made faith. There is nothing binding about what man says. Why should we listen to what other people think instead of thinking for ourselves? We would be demeaning ourselves to think that we should let others think for us. It would follow that if the Bible is not the word of God that Christianity is oppressing people though they might not know it.

Roman Catholics have their interpretation of the Bible. Protestants have theirs which differs dramatically from the Catholic Churchs. Eastern Orthodox and Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians are further proof that nobody agrees on how to interpret the Bible. Christians love to take texts out of context to manipulate people.

Christians manipulating people to accept their interpretation is very common. Interpretations are just somebody's opinion. Some Christians realised that this was a problem. To make their case more convincing, they simply changed the Bible text to back up their beliefs.

Christians admit that there are textual variants between ancient manuscripts of the New Testament but they say they don't matter. They say that they don't affect any doctrine. But even if that is true (its not!) that is not the point. It means we don't know which version of the text is the correct one. We don't know which version is the word of God. If that can happen, then clearly we cannot know if any of the variants are the word of God. God failing to keep the wording of his Bible perfectly would be a sign that maybe we are wrong to think it is his word! If variants happen then how do we know that there are no variants in the New Testament that we don't know about? What about variants that could have become part of the accepted standard text?

The variants do affect doctrine.

Some manuscripts say that Jesus became angry when he was healing a skin disease and others say he was compassionate (page 75, Conspiracies and the Cross). They say the variant does not affect any doctrine about Jesus. I would disagree. If Jesus became angry when healing it would be a sign that he was mad and sinful for unnecessary anger is a sin.

The Gospel of John does not actually say Jesus was God though many Christians imagine that it does. Yet variants of John 3:16 which in referring to Jesus have "only begotten son", "one and only Son" and "one and only God" (page 76, Conspiracies and the Cross) do affect doctrine. Begotten is taken to imply the Trinitarian idea that God projects the Son who is himself. One and only son implies the idea that Jesus was the only son of God in some way - perhaps a different way. One and only God would be the only time Jesus is called God. When a Bible can't call Jesus God except in a dodgy verse then there is something seriously wrong.

The variants show that the Church was changing the New Testament to make it fit its ideas and even to support them.

Top theologian Origen wrote in the third century that "The differences between the manuscripts have become great either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others; they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or in the process of checking they make additions or deletions as they please."

The Christians rationalise this by saying that the text of the New Testament was so important to Origen that to him even two or three alterations were great and an unmitigated disaster! The Church was editing the New Testament to make it suit itself. And the Christians cannot give a quote from Origen to support their interpretation of him. "Making additions or deletions as they please", does not sound like Origen was thinking of copyists who were making one or two changes.

DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Christians like to brag about how the Dead Sea Scrolls supported the purity and the authenticity of the texts of the Old Testament as we now have it.

When pressed they will admit that there are differences but then they quickly follow that with the statement that none of these differences affect any doctrine.

The Unauthorized Version (page 196) tells us that the Books of Samuel in Hebrew differ from our Samuel books. We know this from the way the author of the books of the Chronicles went about his business and from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

When mistakes have happened how can they be so confident that no doctrine has been affected? It only takes one word to be left out or inserted for an alteration of doctrine to happen.

ORIGEN

Very early Church Father, Origen told unbelievers that Christians respected their scripture texts and did not change them. But when speaking to fellow Christians he said they did: “They make additions or deletions as they please.”

Conclusion

The founders and heads of modern Christianity are prone to dishonesty. They don’t treat their own Bible as the word of God. They were and are no better than Mormon leaders who change and lie about their scriptures the Book of Mormon. In one sense it does not matter if the Bible was altered or not. God inspiring a man to write and not making sure the original or at least it first copies are still around is an insane idea and really an insult to God. God would not turn his revelation into mere hearsay. A lot of hearsay does not look like hearsay so it is conclusive: Christianity disrespects the word of God for it is hearsay about the word that it loves. Worse it is hearsay about hearsay ad infinitum! People who care about what they want to believe not what they want to know pollute everything including history. In court, we get people to swear to tell the truth but what we mean is not that they can tell the truth but tell the facts as they see them which is why we must examine what they say. We really ask for the best honesty they can produce.

FURTHER READING

A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
A Test of Time, David Rohl, Century, London, 1995
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, Undated
An Act of God, Graham Philips, Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1998
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press Bucks, 1988
Attack on the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1965
Belief and Make-Believe, GA Wells, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1991
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
But the Bible Does Not Say So, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London, 1966
Catholicism and Christianity, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Conspiracies and the Cross, Timothy Paul Jones, FrontLine, Florida, 2008
Creation and Evolution, Dr Alan Hayward, Triangle, London, 1994
Does the Bible Contradict Itself? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Essentials, David L Edwards and John Stott, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1990
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
Free Inquiry, Fall 1998, Vol 18, No 4, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst, New York
God and the Human Condition, F J Sheed, Sheed & Ward, London, 1967
God Cannot Lie, David Alsobrook, Diasozo Trust, Kent, 1989
God, Science and Evolution, Prof E H Andrews, Evangelical Press, Herts, 1985
God’s Word, Final Infallible and Forever, Floyd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
Hard Sayings, Derek Kidner, InterVarsity Press, London, 1972
How and Why Catholic and Protestant Bibles Differ, Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ and Donald Senior, CP, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1983
How to Interpret the Bible, Fergus Cleary SJ, Ligouri Publications, Missouri, 1981
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
Inspiration in the Bible, Fr Karl Rahner, Herder and Herder, New York, 1966
Jehovah of the Watch-tower, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
Jesus and Early Christianity in the Gospels, Daniel J Grolin, George Ronald, Oxford, 2002
Let’s Weigh the Evidence, Which Bible is the Real Word of God? Barry Burton, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1983
Know What You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1973
Know Why You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1971
New Age Bible Versions, GA Riplinger, Bible & Literature Foundation, Tennessee, 1993
New Evangelicalism An Enemy of Fundamentalism, Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1984
None of These Diseases, SI McMillen MD, Lakeland, London 1966
Our Perfect Book the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1958
Proof the Bible is True, Rev JMA Willans BD, Dip.Theol. Vermont Press, Larne, 1982
Radio Replies Vol 3, Radio Replies Press, Minnesota, 1942
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Remarks on the New King James Version and Revised Authorised Version, DK Madden, 35 Regent Street, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, 7005, 1991
Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, Charles Pellegrino, The Softback Preview, New York, 1995
The Bible, The Biography, Karen Armstrong, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
Science and the Bible, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
Science Held Hostage What’s Wrong With Creation Science and Evolutionism, Howard J Van Till/Davis A.Young/Clarence Menninga, IVP, Downer’s Grove, Illinois, 1988
Science Speaks, Peter W Stoner and Robert C Newman, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976
Set My Exiles Free, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
Testament, The Bible and History, John Romer, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1988
The Authority of the Bible, Ambassador College, Pasadena, California, 1980
The Bible Fact or Fantasy, John Drane, Lion, Oxford, 1989
The Bible is the Word of God, Jimmy Thomas, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky
The Bible or Evolution? William Jennings Bryan, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Bible, Questions People Ask, A Redemptorist Pastoral Publication, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1980
The Bible Unearthed, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, Touchstone Books, New York, 2002
The Canon of Scripture, FF Bruce, Chapter House, Glasgow, 1988
The Church of Rome and the Word of God, Rev Eric C Last, Protestant Truth Society, London, Undated
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
The Enigma of Evil, John Wenham, Eagle, Guilford, Surrey, 1994
The History of Christianity, Lion, Herts, 1982
The King James Version Defended, Edward F Hills, The Christian Research Press, Iowa, 1973
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Edited by Raymond E Brown, Joseph A Fitzmyer, Roland E Murphy, Geoffrey Chapman, New York 1990
The Theology of Inspiration, John Scullion SJ, Mercier, Cork, 1970
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1943
What is the Bible? Henri Daniel-Rops, Angelus Books, Guild Press, New York, 1958
Which Version Now? Bob Sheehan, Carey Publications, 5 Fairford Close, Haywards Heath, Sussex RH16 3EF
Who is a Fundamentalist? Dr Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1982
Why Does God..? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls , Bucks, 1970
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible

WEB

Final Response by Steven Carr to Dr Wilkinson
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/wilkin6.htm

Why the Roman Catholic Arguments for the Canon are Spurious?
www.christiantruth.com/canon.html

In Response to William Webster’s: The Canon, Why the Roman Catholic Arguments for the Canon are Spurious
www.geocities.com/Athens/3517/Webster.html

Science in the Bible? Dr M Magee
www.askwhy.co.uk/truth/440BibleScience.html

Why It’s a Load of Old Cobblers, Adrian Barnett
www.abarnett.demon.co.uk/atheism/noahs_ark.html
Exposes the utter absurdity of the Noah’s Ark story in the Bible

Steven Carr, Critique of Josh McDowells Non_Messianic Prophecies This Site cannot be overly recommended. It is superb.
www.infidels.org/library/modern/steven_carr/non-messianic.html

New Testament Contradictions, Paul Carlson
www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html

Rabbits do not chew their cud, Alleged Bible Contradictions
http://unhindered.com/apolo/contradictions/index.html

The Bible as History Flunks New Archaeological Tests
www.10.nytimes.com/library/arts/072900david-bible.html