The scribes of the old testament are similar to the people translating our Bibles today. These scribes teach at today’s seminaries and at our churches. Instead of turning the people to God through their work, they kill the true faith inside believers.
A revolution now under way will gradually change every future English translation of the New Testament you’ll be reading. Translations are based upon some 5,800 hand-written manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek that survived from ancient times, whether fragments or complete books. Scholars analyze their numerous variations to get as close as possible to the original 1st Century wordings, a specialty known as “textual criticism.”
Books by Bart Ehrman at the University of North Carolina tell how such differences turned him from conservative to skeptic regarding Christians’ scriptural tradition. Yet other experts see the opposite, that this unusually large textual trove enhances the New Testament’s credibility and authority, though perplexities persist.
Already, the institute’s latest Greek edition (number 28) employed CBGM to examine 3,046 variations in 123 key manuscripts of the “Catholic epistles” (James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude). The result was 35 changes that are beginning to filter into updated English Bibles now on sale. Work on Mark, John, Acts, and Revelation is in process and the institute plans a full CBGM New Testament by 2030.
Tommy Wasserman, a textual critic in Norway, applied CBGM-like theories to a famous problem verse in TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism. The first verse in Mark’s Gospel in the Revised Standard Version is typical: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” But then a footnote says “other ancient authorities omit ‘the Son of God.’ ” Ehrman cites this as a major example of “corruption” by orthodox churchmen who deliberately rewrote the original version, in this case by adding “Son of God.” CBGM will be central in settling such disputes.
Belief in Jesus as the “Son of God” isn’t at issue here, because the rest of this Gospel teaches that. The question is whether the original version of Mark proclaimed this concept at the very start or let it develop throughout the book. Although the phrase is omitted in two key early manuscripts, Wasserman concludes that the longer wording is most likely the original and some copyist’s mistaken omission was picked up in other texts.
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