|NIV -vs- AV
Chapter 2 - The Greek New Testament Text
In the late 1st and then 2nd century A.D., there were many copies of the Originals of the Greek N.T. Books. There was not a printing press at this time in history, so exact copies were by hand; compared to the Original and then distributed to the various churches. These copies of the Originals became known as the Antioch Manuscripts, then centuries later they were put together and became known as the Textus Receptus.
Since many of the people converting to Christianity at this time in history were living in surrounding countries with different native languages (Acts 2:5-11), the Originals were translated into their native languages as well. These are now referred to as the Ancient Versions. The Originals, also known as The Autographs, lasted at least into the 3rd Century A.D.
Tertullian (160 – 225? A.D.) makes reference to the Apostles’ Autographs - Originals - as being extant in his day. In his work entitled ‘On Persecution Against Heretics’, back in the year 208 A.D. it states, "... the very thrones of the Apostles are still pre-eminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read, uttering the voice and representing the face of each of them severally".
Then a 2nd set of manuscripts came along. These manuscripts were corrupt, having many changes and omissions to them. These are known as the Alexandrian Manuscripts. They came out in the 3rd Century A.D. and were made by a man named Origen Adamantius.
Origen (185-254 A.D.) was the President of a group of teachers at the School of Philo located in Alexandria, Egypt. He believed that all worldly wisdom and intelligence came from ‘God’. His preference was for Greek philosophy including Gnosticism, Platonism and Mysticism. He believed these philosophies were all of God. So when he was presented with a set of manuscripts from Antioch: he re-wrote them, also in Greek. Origen went about blending the Antioch Text with the previously stated pagan philosophies - in the mistaken belief that he was correcting them - to come up with what later became known as the Alexandrian Text.
One of Origen’s beliefs that he incorporated into his text, was the Logos Doctrine. In Greek philosophy, Logos was the name of rational world order and the divine principle of creation. In Origen’s mind, Jesus was the personification of the Logos (created by God) to bring reason to the world. He believed Jesus to not be God, but a created being.
[ This ideology created the foundation for 4th Century Arian Doctrine, which is the same foundation Charles Russell developed into the Jehovah’s Witnesses ]
Following are some of Origen’s other beliefs as pertaining to the Scriptures. He denied a there was a literal Hell, and that the Holy Spirit like Jesus Christ, was created and did not eternally exist as God. He did not believe most of the Genesis account. He taught that the stars have souls and are rational beings, that Satan and in fact all beings would eventually be saved, including the stars. As well, he also taught such errors as purgatory and transubstantiation. Origen once wrote, "The scriptures are of little use to those who understand them as they were written". 2
But when he castrated himself, he was terminated from the School of Philo in Alexandria. Castration was the ancient sacrifice expected of the priests of Gaea, the Great Mother in Greece (today it is spelled: Gaia). So he then migrated to Caesarea, Israel and began his own catechetical, theological School.
Back to Alexandria, Egypt for a moment. Biblical typology consistently presents Egypt as a type of the world or worldliness - paganism. Also the first mention of Alexandrians to appear in Scripture is to instigate the stoning of Stephen (Acts 6:9). But, according to what is taught in most Bible colleges today, their scholars claim it was in this same city of Alexandria that Egyptian scholars preserved the Greek Text of the New Testament. And you thought mummies were all they preserved in Egypt.
Now onto the 4th Century and Constantine
Constantine (280? - 337 A.D.) When he became Emperor of Rome, he endeavored to form a union between Christianity and Paganism. This was his attempt at uniting religions and ending persecutions. So since Origen had 'successfully' blended Christianity with pagan philosophy in text: Constantine commissioned Eusebius - his buddy in this scheme, who was a great admirer of Origen - to prepare 50 bibles based upon Origen’s Alexandrian Manuscript. These were for use in the churches of the Roman Empire. Thus began the digging of the foundation for the Roman Catholic Church.
For background: Origen’s favorite student was Pamphilus. He became President of Origen’s School in Caesarea when Origen died. Then Eusebius became President when Pamphilus died. Eusebius prophesied that, "Constantine and Christ would reign together throughout eternity". 3
Then a century or so later, humanity plunged into the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. Some call this time period, 'The Millennial Reign of Satan'. An excellent book to read about this time period would be, 'Fox’s Book of Martyrs’ by John Fox.
Finally the Dark Ages were coming to a close in the 15th Century, because the Reformation had begun. This wonder came about as God’s word began to be translated and taken to the people, 'underground' so to speak. For up to this time the Bible had been a forbidden book, punishable by death in many countries of Europe. Then came the printing press and revival began to spread. So, after the Authorized Version (KJV) came off the presses at the beginning of the 17th century, revival went worldwide. Then for the next 400 years, men of God with the power of the Holy Spirit within them, led untold thousands upon thousands to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So what’s a Devil to do!?!… he came up with a plan. In the 1850’s Westcott and Hort began preparing their Revised Greek Text based on the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts. Then a man named Charlie Darwin published his book, ‘The Origin Of Species’. Hence the world was being offered new 'science' with a new set of 'scriptures'. Both were intended to cause confusion, and to get people to doubt God.
Somehow centuries before: God knew this Evolution thing was coming to pass!
There also came new theology with the likes of Ellen White establishing the 7th Day Adventists, Mary Baker Eddy organizing the Christian Science movement, and Charles Russell framing the Jehovah’s Witnesses from ancient Arian stock. Then Brigham Young revived a fledging one - Mormonism.
But let us hone in on the N.T. Greek Text and two men named Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort. Up until this time in history there were basically 2 - sets of Greek manuscripts. The Antioch line of manuscripts, which were used to put together the Textus Receptus, and the Alexandrian line of manuscripts, being the corrupted ones.
God-fearing leaders of the churches had consistently rejected the Alexandrian line. For almost 1,800 years the Antioch line was the accepted Greek Text down through the corridor of history. As of 1967: of the 5,255 extant Greek manuscripts known to exist, 5,210 agree with the Textus Receptus; that’s 99%. The other -45- or 1% are of corrupted variations. Then there are the Ancient versions, which were translations from the Greek Originals into other languages (Acts 2:5-11) during the first -3- centuries. The Ancient versions almost unanimously agree with the Textus Receptus.
Let us consider two existing manuscripts, replicated apparently from Origen’s Alexandrian Text. They are known as Vaticanus and Sinaiticus:
Now when modern scholars refer as they do, in footnotes and/or other places, including other books and magazines to: "the most ancient manuscripts", "the most reliable manuscripts", "the most reliable early manuscripts", "the earliest and most reliable manuscripts", and here’s my favorite, "many early manuscripts", they are most of the time referring to these -2- manuscripts - Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
For example: at Mark 16:9 in modern versions you will find them stating ["Many", "Best" or "Most" reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20]. Well the truth of the matter is that of the 620 existing manuscripts containing Mark chapter 16, there are 618, which contain these verses. Only -2- do not contain them, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Also, these -2- manuscripts differ from each other in 3,036 places, just in the 4-gospels alone; how‘s that for "reliable". It shows that the modern scholars, revisers and editors are knowingly lying.
So this takes us to 1853 when Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort decided there needed to be a re-construction of the Greek Text. Their stated reason for this re-construction was: "we are constrained by overwhelming evidence to recognize the existence of textural error in all extant (manuscript) documents" 4 Here the 'good doctors' flatter themselves by claiming that God could not keep His word, to preserve His Words. But... that by their own professional opinions, they can put it all back together for him. Great guys, that Westcott and Hort!
At any rate, here we have Westcott and Hort rejecting the Textus Receptus, which had been the accepted Greek Text to that time in history - for the Alexandrian corruptions. They completed their project in 1871. So after all their word changes, omissions and additions: their text was altered from the Textus Receptus in approximately 5,337 instances. 6 From Origen to Constantine on through to Westcott and Hort, like a product going down an assembly line, a new set of Greek scriptures had been developed!
Let us take a brief look at Drs. Westcott and Hort. Both men wrote books and many letters (no telephone or e-mail). Each had a son named Arthur who wrote a 900+ page biography about them, utilizing the books, letters and assorted papers they wrote. Both biographies plainly show by several references that each made sure that Plato, Origen and Aristotle were the central points of their reading schedule. Arthur Westcott states:
"My father's promised contributions, however, were completed, the most important being his articles on the Alexandrian Divines, including Clement, Demetrius, Dionysius, and, greatest of all, Origen. For many years the works of Origen were close to his hand, and he continually turned to them at every opportunity”. 5
Dr. Fenton Hort, a dabbler in the occult, founded the Ghostly Guild Society for the classification of ghosts and psychic phenomena. This was during the same time he was conjuring up his Revised Greek Text. Dr. Hort also wrote that the doctrine of Evangelicals was, "... perverted, rather than untrue". 4
Deception seemed to be a motive for the re-constructed Greek Text.
Dr. Hort wrote in November 1853, a letter to a Rev. Gerald Blunt, stating:
Then in a letter to a colleague, Dr. Hort cautioned:
"The errors and prejudices, which we agree in wishing to remove, can surely be more wholesomely and also more effectually reached by individual efforts of an indirect kind than by combined open assault. At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted on by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time, if the process is allowed to go on quietly; but I cannot help fearing that a premature crisis would frighten back many". 4
Reasoning in a letter to Dr. Westcott in 1861, Dr. Hort writes:
"Also - but this may be cowardice - I have a sort of craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms". 4
In further correspondence to Dr. Westcott, Dr. Hort wrote:
Both men were firm believers in the basics of Plato’s Republic and praised the writings of Darwin.
Then this dynamic duo - after completing their Revised Greek Text in 1871 - headed up the ‘translation’ committee that produced the Revised English Version in 1881. This then came to the United States of America in 1901 as the American Standard Version, you know it as the ASV. Recently the ASV has been revamped and is now known as the New American Standard Version or NASV or NASB for short.
Moving on to the present day. Eberhard Nestle (1851-1913) decided that the Westcott and Hort Revised Greek Text needed a revision. So from 1898 came the Nestle’s Greek Text, 1st edition. Then his son, Ervin Nestle and Kurt Aland decided further revisions needed to be done. So by 1979 you have the Nestle/Aland Greek Text, 26th edition. That is 26 editions in 81 years, which averages a new edition every 3.1 years. By this 26th edition they had made 5,604 alterations from the Textus Receptus. 7
Therefore it is obvious that these men who continually change the Greek text, do not really believe on the true God of the Bible. Especially when it is realized that what they are doing is moving it toward acceptability with New Age philosophies and cult religions.
Their point seems to be: if you don’t like or want to believe what has God stated in the Authorized Version (KJV) or the Textus Receptus, just come up with your own English version. Then go back and change the Greek - or in the O.T. the Hebrew - so you can 'prove' yours is the more accurate translation.
That was a brief look at the history of the N.T. Greek Text; now let us take a quick look at the Hebrew O.T. text.
-- by Ed Elkins