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Christian Scholars refuting the status of the NT as an inspired scripture

By
Johnny Bravo

Introduction:

Assalam Alaikum (GOD's peace be upon you)

The following article has been divided into 19 sections, each section containing many quotations by  the Christian Scholars all refuting the status of the NT as an inspired scripture. The quotations have  been gathered from authoritative sources scattered all over the net, exposing the NT as an unreliable unauthentic scripture that has been subjected to interpolations deletions for a long time.   Where necessary I will provide some commentary. I believe it was necessary to bring together all this (well most of it) valuable information scattered all over the web in one place arranged under appropriate headings. Some of the quotes have been repeated as they fall into more than one category.

Christians I am sure will think of this article as "polemical anti-Christian" piece of material. But know this, it is the Christians who have been playing polemics against Islam for centuries. One comes across numerous Christian web sites where absolute nonsensical anti-Quran/Islam articles are written where missionaries usually end up making illogical emotional arguments together with quoting their other missionary brethren such as Gilchrist, Tisdill etc. But know this, I have only collected the quotes of the reputed scholars of Christianity who have studied the manuscripts themselves. You will not find any Imam being quoted here against the Bible, but scholars of Christianity themselves.

Inshallah (If GOD is willing) I hope this article will help many Muslims to fight the missionary onslaught and their deliberate misinformation pertaining to their own scripture, the NT, to dupe the unknowledgeable Muslims into falsehood, Christianity.


1. Holy Ghost forgets to fix the NT cannon. (no such thing as one Bible.)

2. The early Church Fathers. (they didn't consider NT as inspired scripture.)

3. Holy Ghost speaks bad Greek? (The literary "miracle" of the NT?)

4. Oral transmission of the NT. (missionaries love to talk nonsense when it comes to the unchallengable oral mutawattir transmission of the Quran. What about the NT? Well the joke is on the missionaries.)

5. How do we know what Jesus (peace be upon him) said? (It is impossible to know for certain whether the sentences attributed to Jesus (peace be upon him) in the NT were actually uttered by him. This is because missionaries have no isnads to trace Jesus's (peace be upon him) words back to him!)

6. NT manuscripts. (Bet you've come across the missionary boasting when it comes to the NT manuscripts? What are the facts? This manuscript myth of the missionaries is exposed in this section.)

7. Uniformity of NT manuscripts. (Not one sentence in the NT is uniform in its MSS tradition says the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible and not a mullah! Read this section for further exposition of the NT MSS myth)

8. Number of Variant readings in the NT. (This ones good, missionaries love to attack the Quran and utter more laughable nonsense concerning the variant readings of the Quran [Qiraat wrongly translated as variant by orientalists and ill informed missionaries]. This nonsense has been well exposed at www.islamic-awareness.org   Interested readers are advised to read their articles for detailed information. But what about the NT? Again the joke is on the missionaries! This section is highly recommended.)

9. NT 99.8% accurate? (This is one of the most famous myth one comes across while having dialogues with missionaries, that the NT is 99.8% accurate in its MSS tradition. The actual figure is 66.3% for the NT with the Gospels having 55.3% !! Keep reading for more info.)

10. NT corruption admitted! (huge collection of  damning confessions by NT scholars!)

11. Original copies of NT? (long disappeared)

12. The Gospels written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John? (In your dreams pal!) Plus more damaging quotes against the Gospels authenticity.

13. Anonymous Gospel authors plagiarized from each other?

14. Gospels were not even considered scripture by early Christians!

15. The earliest Christian writings. (not the Gospels, but Paul's writings which latter corrupted the Gospels as well)

16. Deliberate tampering of the NT? (Yes you bet! Collection of some examples of tampering.)

17. Textus Receptus/Received Text

18. Christian reaction to textual criticism of their scripture?

19. "So what, the variations do not effect the doctrine!" (When Christians have no where to hide, this is their last ditch excuse. They admit that tampering did happen, however they maintain that it does not effect the Christian doctrine and thus it does not matter. Amazing logic, anyway scholars are quoted here responding to exactly this nonsensical point.)


1. Holy Ghost forgot to fix the NT cannon:-

There is no such thing as one Bible. Christians should admit this undeniable fact rather than remain in their utter denial mode as it does not help them in anyway whatsoever. The number of books in the Bible depends upon the Church one is following. The

Protestant Church (66 books)

Roman Catholic Church (73 books)

Anglican Church: ["The Anglican church falls between the Catholic church and many Protestant denominations by accepting only the Jewish canon and the New Testament as authoritative, but also by accepting segments of the apocryphal writings in the lectionary and liturgy. At one time all copies of the Authorized or King James Version of 1611 included the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments." (Bruce M Metzger & Michael D Coogan (Ed.), Oxford Companion To The Bible, 1993, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, pp. 79]

Greek Orthodox Church: ["The Bible of the Greek Orthodox church comprises all of the books accepted by the Roman Catholic church, plus I Esdras, the Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, and Maccabees. The Slavonic canon adds 2 Esdras, but designates I and 2 Esdras as 2 and 3 Esdras.

Other Eastern churches have 4 Maccabees as well (ibid)]

Coptic Church: ["Athanasius issued his Thirty-Ninth Festal Epistle not only in the Greek but also in Coptic, in a slightly different form - though the list of the twenty seven books of the New Testament is the same in both languages. How far, however the list remained authoritative for the Copts is problematical.

The Coptic (Bohairic) translation of the collection known as the Eighty-Five Apostolic Canons concludes with a different sequence of the books of the New Testament and is enlarged by the addition of two others: the four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen Epistles of Paul (not mentioned individually); two Epistles of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude; the Apocalypse of John; the two Epistles of Clement." ( Bruce M Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development, 1997, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 225.)]

Ethiopic Church: ["The Ethiopic church has the largest Bible of all, and distinguishes different canons, the "narrower" and the "broader," according to the extent of the New Testament...The New Testament in what is referred to as the "broader" canon is made up of thirty-five books, joining to the usual twenty-seven books eight additional texts, namely four sections of church order from a compilation called Sinodos, two sections from the Ethiopic Book of the Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and Ethiopic Didascalia. When the "narrower" New Testament canon is followed, it is made up of only the familiar twenty-seven books, but then the Old Testament books are divided differently so that they make up 54 books instead of 46. In both the narrower and broader canon, the total number of books comes to 81." ( Metzger, Oxford Companion To The Bible, pp. 79.)]

Syriac Church : ["This represents for the New Testament an accommodation of the canon of the Syrians with that of the Greeks. Third Corinthians was rejected, and, in addition to the fourteen Pauline Epistles (including Hebrews, following Philemon), three longer Catholic Epistles (James, 1 Peter, and 1 John) were included. The four shorter Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude) and the Apocalypse are absent from the Peshitta Syriac version, and thus the Syriac canon of the New Testament contained but twenty-two writings.

For a large part of the Syrian Church this constituted the closing of the canon, for after the Council of Ephesus (AD 431) the East Syrians separated themselves as Nestorians from the Great Church."(Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development, pp. 219)]

[Peshitta is still followed by the Christians in the southern state of Kerala in India.]

[above quotes from Metzger taken from www.islamic-awareness.org]

All have DIFFERENT NUMBER OF BOOKS IN THEIR BIBLE. The question is why did the holy ghost miserably fail in making sure that Christians at least had one canon of the Bible?

The Christians usually call one another "HERETICS" in order to evade answering this multi million dollar question. Well that's not good enough because there wasn't one single fixed canon of the Bible to begin with. Thus we read Under Canon of the New Testament the Catholic Encyclopedia: 

"The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council."

 

The Old Testament also has similar problems:-

"At its inception Christianity inherited from Judaism a rich trove of scripture, including the Law of Moses, the prophetic books, and a great variety of other writings that were authoritative for various groups of Jews, but it did not inherit a canon, for Judaism had not in the 1st century made a list or collection setting limits to its scripture. Christianity, in turn, produced a large body of its own literature (letters, gospels, narratives of apostolic acts, apocalypses, church orders, etc.), much of which became authoritative for various Christian groups, and so came to be regarded as scripture alongside Jewish scripture. But Christianity did not for a long time attempt to create a canon. Not until the end of the 2d century did Christians begin to take an interest in defining the scope of authoritative Jewish writings (Melito, in Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 4.26.13-14) and thus begin to think in terms of an "Old Testament" canon, an issue that continued to be debated into the 5th century. And not until the 4th century did Christians begin to draw up lists of authoritative Christian writings and thus attempt to form a "New Testament" canon, the extent of which was not fully agreed even in the 5th century. Hence during most of its first four centuries, the church had scripture, but no set canon."
[David Noel Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1997, New York: Doubleday, (Under Canon, New Testament).]

Thus the OT canon was debated well into the 5th century amongst Jewish Rabis.

How then do we know which books of the Bible are inspired? The early Christians accepted scriptures such as the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas (both included in the Codex Sinacaticus) as God's inspired word. But latter on these scriptures were deemed apocrypha meaning of doubtful authority (the word actually means "hidden from the people"). 

Why? The Holy Ghost decided to come down and inspire the latter Christians that these scriptures were actually apocrypha and that for all this time they were following a fabricated piece of scripture? I don't think so. 

The canon of the NT depended upon the whims and fancies of early Christians who accepted one book at one time for various reasons and then latter mysteriously decided to label it as apocrypha for other reasons. 

"The NT writings did not become canonical because they were believed to be uniquely inspired; rather, they were judged to be inspired because they had previously commended themselves to the church for other, more particular and practical reasons." [Harry Y. Gamble, The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), p. 72.]

Several books thought to be written by apostles were rejected, while others who were anonymous or disputed made it into the canon:

"Widespread and important as this criterion was, it must still be said that no NT writing secured canonical stand on the basis of apostolicity alone."  [Harry Y. Gamble, The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), p.68]

 

2.The early Church Fathers. (they didn't consider NT as inspired scripture!):

Bruce Metzger is without doubt a great scholar and an authority when it comes to the NT. Christian missionary Sam Shamoun while responding to one of Shabir Ally's article paid the following tribute to Bruce Metzger:

“a world renowned authority on the manuscripts and transmission of the Greek New Testament (NT) text.”

The above missionary admission is enough to show the importance Bruce Metzger holds and his authority when it comes to the NT.

After studying the writings of all the Apostolic Fathers viz., Clement of Rome, Ignatius, the Didache, fragments of Papias, Barnabas, Hermas of Rome, and the so-called 2 Clement, Bruce Metzger concludes:

"For early Jewish Christians the Bible consisted of the Old Testament and some Jewish apocryphal literature. Along with this written authority went  traditions, chiefly oral, of sayings attributed to Jesus. On the other hand, authors who belonged to the 'Hellenistic Wing' of the Church refer more frequently to writings that later came to be included in the New Testament. At the same time, however, they very rarely regarded such documents as 'Scripture'.

Furthermore, there was as yet no conception of the duty of exact quotation from books that were not yet in the full sense canonical. Consequently, it is sometimes exceedingly difficult to ascertain which New Testament books were known to early Christian writers; our evidence does not become clear until the end of second century."  [Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development pp. 72-73.]

For more details read: "Church Tradition & The Textual Integrity Of The Bible" at http://www.islamic-awareness.org

Consider the following admission as well:

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text, NT).]

There we have it. The NT books were not looked upon as scripture by the early Christians.

 

3. Holy Ghost speaks bad Greek? (The literary "miracle" of the NT?):-

If the Holy Ghost is indeed God, then one should expect him to at least speak proper Greek. However that is not the case at all, thus we read the orientalist admission comparing the feeble style of the Bible with that magnificence of the Quran:-

"In contrast to the stylistic perfection of the Kur'an with the stylistic imperfections of the older Scriptures the Muslim theologian found himself unknowingly and on purely postulative grounds in agreement with long line of Christian thinkers whose outlook on the Biblical text is best summed up in Nietzsche's brash dictum that the Holy Ghost wrote bad Greek."  [B Lewis, V L Menage, Ch. Pellat & J Schacht (Editors), Encyclopedia Of Islam (New Edition): 1971, Volume III, E J Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), pp. 1020 (Under I'djaz).]

We also read:

"In Christianity, besides, the apology for the "low" style of the Bible is merely a part of educational problem - what to do with secular erudition within Christianity; whereas in Islam, the central position of the Kur'an, as the focal point and justification of grammatical and literary studies, was theoretically at least, never contested within the believing community."  [B Lewis, V L Menage, Ch. Pellat & J Schacht (Editors), Encyclopedia Of Islam (New Edition): 1971, Volume III, E J Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), pp. 1020 (Under I'djaz).]

So the Holy Ghost speaks bad Greek! Is there anything worth boasting about the Bible? I don't think so.

 

4. Oral transmission of the NT:-

Whenever there is a debate between Christian and Muslims, the Christians always try their best to dismiss the unchallengable oral mutawattir transmission of the Quran. They do this because they no very well they have no legs to stand upon and no solid arguments to offer if they are to accept the oral transmission of the Quran. What does mutawattir mean? Abdurraheem Green explains it:

"By mutawattir is meant that narration which is reported by such a large number of individuals in each generation and at every stage of transmission that it is impossible that they could have all gathered together upon reporting a lie/mistake." [Part 3 (A) - From Darkness To Bright Light  he Uncontested Evidence - The Qur'an www.muslim-answers.org]

Mr. Joseph Smith of the Hyde Park Christian fellowship gives the following objections against oral transmission:

"The problem with oral transmission, however, is that by its very nature, it can be open to corruption as it has no written formula or documentation with which it can be corroborated and tested. Thus it can be manipulated depending on the agenda of the orator."

Thus Muslims should actually thank this missionary because he has successfully managed to dig his own grave. Christians should now toss aside their Bible considering the following admissions:

"Most of the material in our Gospels existed for a considerable time in an oral stage before it was given the written form with which we are familiar."  [New Bible Dictionary - Second Edition, p.436. Inter-Varsity Press: 1982]

"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors"  [Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633]

"The Old Testament includes many 'memories' older than script, and many stories stamped by the storytellers' oral style. In fact, behind every type of LITERATURE represented there, lies a longer or shorter time of oral tradition."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol.4, p.683. Abingdon Press: 1962]

"The common memory of the circle and the 'chain of traditionalists' were for long considered to be securer than the script. (It must be remembered that here we have to do with generations whose memory was not spoiled by magazines and dictionaries)"   [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol.4, p.684. Abingdon Press: 1962]

"The soil of this plant was oral tradition. The retentiveness of the Oriental memory enables the disciples of Jesus, like the disciples of the Jewish rabbis, to preserve not inaccurately the main sayings and deeds of their Master in the original Aramaic. The sacred book of the new religion was the Old Testament. No need was as yet felt for committing the tradition to writing, partly on account of the superiority attached in the Greek as well as in the Jewish world to the spoken word over the written as a means of training and informing the mind . . . "  [Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p.604. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd: 1919]

"Even long after the more occasional use of script the oral transmission of 'spiritual' knowledge was considered normal. In the East learning by heart is unto this day the normal way of transmitting even the longest written texts, as the Koran and its commentaries. With the Jews both the Mishna and Talmud were orally transmitted for centuries; in the synagogue it was long forbidden to say the Torah from a written scroll; also the Aramaic and Greek translations were originally given orally, but in a traditional fixed form."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, vol.4, p.684. Abingdon Press: 1962]

The moral of the story is that before Christians decide to lecture Muslims regarding the downfalls of oral transmission, they should first toss aside their Bible because their own scripture was transmitted orally for a long time, but unfortunately for the Christians, the oral transmission of their scripture no where meets the level of the Quran and the strict criteria demanded by Muslim scholars.

 

5. How do we know what Jesus (peace be upon him) said?

What is isnad? Isnad is the chain of narration. The Christians have the matn (text) of their scripture but no isnad (chain of narration). Hence it is impossible to trace back the alleged words attributed to Jesus (peace be upon him) all the way back to his mouth. How can it be known that the Christian material is not mixed with falsehood when there is an absence of isnads and no verification checks in place at all. Hence the believers in the NT are all following utter conjecture and anonymous words whose source we cannot know and neither can we trace back the words or verify them. 

Comparing Muslim and Christian scholarship, Bernard Lewis writes:-

"From an early date Muslim scholars recognized the danger of false testimony and hence false doctrine, and developed an elaborate science for criticizing tradition. "Traditional science", as it was called, differed in many respects from modern historical source criticism, and modern scholarship has always disagreed with evaluations of traditional scientists about the authenticity and accuracy of ancient narratives. But their careful scrutiny of the chains of transmission and their meticulous collection and preservation of variants in the transmitted narratives give to medieval Arabic historiography a professionalism and sophistication without precedent in antiquity and without parallel in the contemporary medieval West.  By comparison, the historiography of Latin Christendom seems poor and meager, and even the more advanced and complex historiography of Greek Christendom still falls short of the historical literature of Islam in volume, variety and analytical depth."  [ Bernard Lewis, Islam in History, 1993, Open Court Publishing, pp.104-105.]

(for a detailed discussion on this topic the interested reader is advised to read the detailed articles at http://www.islamic-awareness.org from where the above quotation has been taken from.)

 

6. NT manuscripts:-

"We have thousands upon thousands of NT manuscripts."  That's the usual missionary boasting. When they make this claim, they try to dupe others less knowledgeable and unaware of the issue as if they (the Christians) really possess 5000 complete NT manuscripts.  But that of course is not the case. What about the problems associated with the manuscripts of the Bible? Well that's a topic no missionary can afford to talk about because if they do dare to do so, then the concept of inspiration of their NT will be gone with the wind. Lets do some exposition:-

Let me first quote Abdurrahman Robert Squires:-

"It is interesting to see that a non-Christian scholar says that: "of all the synoptic manuscripts which can be dated to the fourth century or earlier, only two (P45and P75, both of the third century) contain more than a chapter." This can be verified by spending a little time at the Table of Greek Manuscripts page  [http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/mss/table_gkmss.html].

It's true -ALL of the other pre-fourth century manuscripts contain only a few verses!!!"

Christians give the impression as if they possess 5000 complete Biblical manuscripts, however that is simply not the case. What they possess is small bits and pieces here and there with a couple of verses on them.  As Br Robert Squires mentions, all of the pre-fourth century manuscripts contain only a few verses, they are the size of credit cards! This is what Christians are so proud of.

Now lets quote some Biblical scholars:-

The quotations below are from The Jesus Legend, by G.A. Wells. Open Court, 1996, pages 70-71. Emphasis added.)

"There is considerable manuscript variation in what Jesus says on divorce, and whether Luke has a doctrine of the atonement depends on which manuscripts of his account of the Last Supper are to be taken as giving the original reading...The International Greek NT's apparatus of Luke provides what the Birmingham theologian D. Parker reckons to be "upwards of 30,000 variants for that Gospel, so that we have, for example, 81 in the Lord's Prayer." He adds: 

"We do not possess the Greek New Testament.  What we have is a mass of manuscripts, of which only about three hundred date from before A.D. 800.  A mere thirty-four of these are older than A.D. 400, of which only four were at any time complete. All these differ, and all at one time or another had authority as the known text."  [ D. Parker, 'Scripture is Tradition', Theology, 94 [1991], p. 12. Cf. P.M. Head's article 'Christology and Textual Transmission: Reverential Alterations in the Synoptic Gospels' (Novum Testamentum, 35 [1993], p. 111),]

He went on to note "Gospel manuscripts from the second century are very scarce, with only two fragments of John's Gospel definitely written before A.D. 200 (i.e. P52 and P90)."

He adds:

"of all the synoptic manuscripts which can be dated to the fourth century or earlier, only two (P45 and P75, both of the third century) contain more than a chapter."

Many, says Elliot, have "fondly argued that, of the myriad textual variants in our fund of extant mss., few affect key doctrinal matters". He adds that if they read Ehrman, they will find that "the text was regularly adjusted in such areas as the birth of Jesus, the agony in the garden, the institution of the Eucharist, Jesus's death, his cry of dereliction, resurrection and ascension. . . . And these adjustments were made not by those who were labeled as heretics, but by the 'proto-orthodox', the use Ehrman's term". Again, "Ehrman vividly shows how scribes have preserved or created within the mss. they were copying reflections of early Christological debates that helped to shape mainstream Christianity"  (Novum Testamentum, 36 [1994], pp. 405-06). (From The Jesus Legend, by G. A. Wells. Open Court, 1996, page 230. Emphasis added.)   

[Above quotes taken from muslim-answers.org The Myth of New Testament Manuscript Evidence by Abu Iman 'Abd ar-Rahman Robert Squires ]

The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible states:-

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text NT)]

Bart Ehram states:

"In any event, none of [the original manuscripts of the books of the Bible] now survive. What do survive are copies made over the course of centuries, or more accurately, copies of the copies of the copies, some 5,366 of them in the Greek language alone, that date from the second century down to the sixteenth.  Strikingly, with the exception of the smallest fragments, no two of these copies are exactly alike in their particulars. No one knows how many differences, or variant readings, occur among the surviving witnesses, but they must number in the hundreds of thousands."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27]

Bart Ehram also says:

"...the early Christians evidently saw no need to preserve their original texts for antiquarian or other reasons. Had they been more fully cognizant of what happens to documents that are copied by hand, however, especially by hands that are not professionally trained for the job, they may have exercised greater caution in preserving the originals. As it is, for whatever historical reasons, the originals no longer survive. What do survive are copies of the originals, or, to be more precise, copies made from the copies of the copies of the originals, thousands of these subsequent copies, dating from the 2nd to the 16th centuries, some of them tiny fragments the size of a credit card, uncovered in garbage heaps buried in the sands of Egypt, others of them enormous and elegant tomes preserved in the great libraries and monasteries of Europe."   ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

 

7. Uniformity of NT manuscripts:-

Is there uniformity in NT MSS tradition? This is a topic which most missionaries love to brush aside.  But why? Lets find out:-

"It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS tradition is wholly uniform." [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).]

OUCH! Now lets read the complete quote:-

"THE PROBLEM. The NT is now known, whole or in part, in nearly five thousand Greek MSS alone. Every one of these handwritten copies differ from every other one. In addition to these Greek MSS, the NT has been preserved in more than ten thousand MSS of the early versions and in thousands of quotations of the Church Fathers. These MSS of the versions and quotations of the Church Fathers differ from one another just as widely as do the Greek MSS. Only a fraction of this great mass of material has been fully collated and carefully studied. Until this task is completed, the uncertainty regarding the text of the NT will remain.

It has been estimated that these MSS and quotations differ among themselves between 150,000 and 250,000 times. The actual figure is, perhaps, much higher. A study of 150 Greek MSS of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings. It is true, of course, that the addition of the readings from another 150 MSS of Luke would not add another 30,000 readings to the list. But each MS studied does add substantially to the list of variants. It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS tradition is wholly uniform.

Many thousands of these different readings are variants in orthography or grammar or style and however effect upon the meaning of the text. But there are many thousands which have a definite effect upon the meaning of the text. It is true that not one of these variant readings affects the substance of Christian dogma. It is equally true that many of them do have theological significance and were introduced into the text intentionally. It may not, e.g., affect the substance of Christian dogma to accept the reading "Jacob the father of Joseph, and Joseph (to whom the virgin Mary was betrothed) the father of Jesus who is called 'Christ'" (Matt. 1:16), as does the Sinaitic Syriac; but it gives rise to a theological problem.

It has been said that the great majority of the variant readings in the text of the NT arose before the books of the NT were canonized and that after those books were canonized, they were very carefully copied because they were scripture. This, however, is far from being the case.

It is true, of course, that many variants arose in the very earliest period. There is no reason to suppose, e.g., that the first person who ever made a copy of the autograph of thc Gospel of Luke did not change his copy to conform to the particular tradition with which he was familiar. But he was under no compulsion to do so. Once the Gospel of Luke had become scripture, however, the picture was changed completely. Then the copyist was under compulsion to change his copy, to correct it. Because it was scripture, it had to be right."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).]

In the language of the idiot, THE NT IS A CORRUPTED UN-RELIABLE UN-AUTHENTIC PIECE OF SCRIPTURE.  Really, it couldn't be put clearer than that.

Consider more damaging confessions:-

"Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately. They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons (even though they may not affect the substance of Christian dogma). It is because the books of the NT are religious books, sacred books, canonical books, that they were changed to conform to what the copyist believed to be the true reading. His interest was not in the "original reading but in the "true reading." This is precisely the attitude toward the NT which prevailed from the earliest times to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the invention of printing. The thousands of Greek MSS, MSS of the versions, and quotations of the Church Fathers provide the source for our knowledge of the earliest or original text of the NT and of the history of the transmission of that text before the invention of printing."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).] 

"Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference"  [Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3]

"[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written"  [Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117] 

"Occasionally it is evident that the text has suffered in the transmission and that none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text"  [Introduction of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible by Oxford press]

Bart Ehram, admits:-

"The New Testament manuscripts were not produced impersonally by machines capable of flawless reproduction. They were copied by hand, by living, breathing human beings who were deeply rooted in the conditions and controversies of their day. Did the scribes' polemical contexts influence the way they transcribed their sacred Scriptures? The burden of the present study is that they did, 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."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 3-4]

Bart Ehram also mentions:

"What is particularly striking is that among the 5300+ Greek copies of the NT, with the exception of the smallest fragments, there are no two that are exactly alike in all their particulars."  ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

The celebrated NT scholar, Bruce Metzger, admits:-

"The necessity of applying textual criticism to the books of the New Testament arises from two circumstances: (a) none of the original documents is extant, and (b) the existing copies differ from one another. The textual critic seeks to ascertain from the divergent copies which form of the text should be regarded as most nearly conforming to the original."  [Bruce M. Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", 1964]

To quote Bart Ehram again:

"In many instances of textual variation, possibly most, we are safe in saying that when the vast majority of manuscripts have one reading and only a couple have another, the majority are probably right. But this is not always the case. Sometimes a couple or a few manuscripts appear to be right even when all the others disagree. In part this is because the vast majority of our manuscripts were produced hundreds and hundreds of years after the originals, and they themselves were copied not from the originals but from other much later copies. Once a change made its way into the manuscript tradition, it could be perpetuated until it became more commonly transmitted than the original wording."   ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

also:

"Within the pages of the New Testament there are textual variations that have not yet been satisfactorily resolved and that have profound effects, not just on a word here or there, but on the entire meaning of entire books and their portrayals of Jesus, e.g., the angry Jesus of Mark, the imperturbable Jesus of Luke, and the forsaken Jesus of Hebrews. These textual problems cannot simply be swept under the table and ignored. Commentators, interpreters, preachers, and general readers of the Bible must recognize their existence and realize the stakes involved in solving them." ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]  

There is therefore no uniformity at all in the NT when it comes to its MSS tradition. Like the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible states: 

"It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS tradition is wholly uniform." The NT is completely dependant upon manuscripts.   Meaning the text of the NT changes time and time again as more ancient manuscripts are discovered which obviously are at odds with the other more recent manuscripts. This means the NT has been in a state of flux and evolution and will continue to remain in the state of flux and evolution as more and more manuscripts are discovered. The text of the NT is therefore dependant upon the manuscripts, verses in the NT will be expunged as the study of the manuscripts continues throwing more light on the corruption of the NT. It, the NT, is still an evolving text.

In other words, any scripture that is primarily dependant upon manuscripts alone is the most easiest one to get corrupted.

 

8. Number of Variant readings in the NT:-

Ok folks, this section is very entertaining. Let the exposition begin:-

"Within this context, what NT textual materials have come down to us? As early as 1707, John Mill claimed that the (relatively few) NT mss examined by him contained about 30,000 variant readings (Vincent 1903: 6); 200 years later B. B. Warfield (1907: 13) indicated that some 180,000 or 200,000 various readings had been 'counted' in the then existing NT mss, and in more recent times M. M. Parvis reported that examination of only 150 Greek mss of Luke revealed about 30,000 readings there alone, and he suggested that the actual quantity of variant readings among all NT manuscripts was likely to be much higher than the 150,000 to 250,000 that had been estimated in modern times (Parvis IDB 4: 594-95). Perhaps 300,000 differing readings is a fair figure for the 20th century (K. W. Clark 1962: 669). The textual critic must devise methods by which to sort through these myriad readings and to analyze the many mss that contain them."  [David Noel Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary On CD-ROM, 1997, New York: Doubleday (CD-ROM Edition by Logos Research Systems), (Under Textual Criticism, NT).]

Thus the NT as we know it today is in a mess of Biblical proportions!   Missionaries have an easy way out though of this Biblical mess, they claim that most of the variations are unimportant scribal errors. Well, Muslims need to throw another quote when facing this bogus argument from the missionaries:-

"Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately. They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons (even though they may not affect the substance of Christian dogma). It is because the books of the NT are religious books, sacred books, canonical books, that they were changed to conform to what the copyist believed to be the true reading. His interest was not in the "original reading but in the "true reading." This is precisely the attitude toward the NT which prevailed from the earliest times to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the invention of printing. The thousands of Greek MSS, MSS of the versions, and quotations of the Church Fathers provide the source for our knowledge of the earliest or original text of the NT and of the history of the transmission of that text before the invention of printing."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).] 

The NT text therefore needs to be re-constructed from imperfect copies:-

"Since - like virtually all ancient literature - no autographs are extant for the NT, its most likely original text must be reconstructed from these imperfect, often widely divergent, later copies. [David Noel Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary On CD-ROM, (Under Textual Criticism, NT).]

Bart Ehram mentions:

"No one knows for sure how many differences there are among our surviving witnesses, simply because no one has yet been able to count them all. The best estimates put the number at around 300,000, but perhaps it's better to put this figure in comparative terms. There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the NT."  [Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

Under Septugiant, the encylopedia Britannica states:-

"In the 3rd century AD Origen attempted to clear up copyists' errors that had crept into the text of the Septuagint, which by then varied widely from copy to copy. Other scholars also consulted the Hebrew text in order to make the Septuagint text more accurate. But it was the Septuagint, not the original Hebrew, that was the main basis for the Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and part of the Arabic translations of the Old Testament. It has never ceased to be the standard version of the Old Testament in the Greek church, and from it Jerome began his translation of the Vulgate Old Testament. 

 

9. NT 99.8% accurate?:-

To view the complete table shattering the myth of 99.8% NT restoration, you need to go to:

http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/Bible/Text/Bibaccuracy.html

Let me quote Dr. Saifullah:

"Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland in their book The Text Of The New Testament presents a table which compares the total number of variant free verses in Nestle-Aland edition with the other critical editions such as that of Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort, von Soden, Vogels, Merk, and Bover. This comparison does not take into account the orthographically differences in the variant free verses. The accuracy of the Bible according to them is close to 63% [62.9%]. By the way, these people are also the authors of Novum Testamentum Graece Cum Apparatu Critico Curavit and The Greek New Testament. As far as the rest 37% is concerned no one knows what happened to that. And not to forget this 63% represents the committee text."  [Taken from soc.religion.islam newsgroup]

Dr. Saifullah adds in his article:

"This is good enough to refute any absurd claim that the accuracy of the Bible has reached 99.8% when the critical editions as compared above themselves differ considerably and the variant free verses in the New Testament merely reach 63%!"  [www.islamic-awareness.org article: Textual Reliability Of The New Testament]

What about the Gospels percentage agreement? We read on in the above quoted article:

"The percentage agreement of the verses when all the four Gospels are considered is 54.5%. This is very close to the probability that a tail (or head) appears when a coin is tossed once (i.e., the probability that a tail or head appears when a coin is tossed is 50%!). The conclusion that can be drawn from this result is that the text of the Gospels is not rigidly fixed. In other words, it would be worthwhile saying that the tradition of the deeds and sayings of Jesus(P) is not rigidly fixed."

Book Total Number Of Variant Free  Percentage Verses  Verses-Total 

Matthew     1071      642
59.9

Mark          678         306
45.1

Luke           1151        658
57.2

John             869          450
51.8

Total           3769         2056
54.5

The article, "Textual Reliability Of The New Testament" by Dr. MSM Saifullah and Abdurrahman Robert Squires is highly recommended for further reading.  http://www.islamic-awareness.org

 

10. NT corruption admitted! (Damning confessions by NT scholars!):-

Ok folks, this section is the sweet heart of this article. These are not any mullah's or Imam's saying that the NT has been corrupted, rather these are the admissions of the scholars of Christianity themselves, many of whom have themselves studied the mass of differing and conflicting manuscripts of the NT, that the NT was tampered and has been corrupted. 

 

An addition from me, Osama Abdallah:

The different "Canons" of the Bible!

Different and conflicting variations of "gospels" and "books" that are disagreed upon by the Churches today.

 

"Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and interpolations (inserted verses) are asserted even in these."    [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643] 

After listing many examples of contradictory statements in the Bible, Dr. Frederic Kenyon says:  

"Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference"  [Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3]

The Text of the NT developed freely for quite some time depending upon the whims and fancies of Christians. Kurt and Barbara Aland say: 

"Until the beginning of the fourth century the text of the New Testament developed freely. It was the "living text" in the Greek literary tradition, unlike the text of the Hebrew Old Testament, which was subject to strict controls because (in the oriental tradition) the consonantal text was holy. And the New Testament text continued to be a "living text" as long as it remained a manuscript tradition, even when the Byzantine church molded it to the procrustean bed of the standard and officially prescribed text. Even for later scribes, for example, the parallel passages of the Gospels were so familiar that they would adapt the text of one Gospel to that of another. They also felt themselves free to make corrections in the text, improving it by their own standard of correctness, whether grammatically, stylistically, or more substantively. This was all the more true of the early period, when the text had not been attained canonical status, especially in the earliest period when Christians considered themselves to be filled with the Spirit. As a consequence the text of the early period was many-faceted, and each manuscript had its own peculiar character."  [Aland & Aland, The Text Of The New Testament, pp. 69.]

In the latter part of the second century, Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth says:   "As the brethren desired me to write epistles(letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with tares (changes), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not to be compared with these."   

"It is impossible to deny that the Benedictine Monks of St. Maur, as far as Latin and Greek language went, were very learned and talented, as well as numerous body of men. In Cleland's 'Life of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury', is the following passage: 'Lanfranc, a Benedictine Monk, Archbishop of Canterbury, having found the Scriptures much corrupted by copyists, applied himself to correct them, as also the writings of the fathers, agreeably to the orthodox faith, secundum fidem orthodoxam."  [History of Christianity in the light of Modern knowledge, Higgins p.318] 

Sir Higgins goes on to say: 

"The same Protestant divine has this remarkable passage: 'Impartiality exacts from me the confession, that the orthodox have in some places altered the Gospels." 

James Bentley admits:-

"[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written"  [Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117] 

In the introduction of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible by Oxford press we read the following admission of NT corruption:  

"Occasionally it is evident that the text has suffered in the transmission and that none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text."  

"Of all the manuscripts now extant, above fourscore in number, some of which are more than 1200 years old, the orthodox copies of the Vatican, of the Complutensian editors, of Robert Stephens are becoming invisible; and the two manuscripts of Dublin and Berlin are unworthy to form an exception...In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bibles were corrected by LanFrank, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Nicholas, a cardinal and librarian of the Roman church, secundum Ortodoxam fidem. Notwithstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts, the oldest and fairest; two qualities seldom united, except in manuscripts....The three witnesses have been established in our Greek Testaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honest bigotry of the Complutensian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens in the placing of a crotchet and the deliberate falsehood, or strange misapprehension, of Theodore Beza."  ["Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," IV, Gibbon, p. 418.]

Jerome complained of the copyists who:

"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."  [Bruce M Metzger, The Text Of The New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption & Restoration pp. 195 (See footnotes).]

Involuntary and Intentional corruption admitted:-

"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors."  [Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633] 

Howard Clark Kee observes:-

"Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) relying on the testimony of Papias refers to the gospel of Mark as the "memoir" of Peter. . . . [I]t must be acknowledged that the gospels [as we have them today] do not match the description that Justin Martyr offered for them in the middle of the second century A.D. The gospel of Mark is not a "memoir" of Peter, either in the sense that it recounts in a special way the associations of Peter with Jesus or in the sense that Mark reports first-hand recollections about Jesus. The material on which Mark drew passed through a long process of retelling and modification and interpretation, and it reflects less special interest in Peter than does Matthew's gospel."  [Howard Clark Kee, Jesus in History, (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1970) p. 120. ] 

Intentional and accidental changes of the NT admitted:-

"[B]efore an ancient writing can speak for itself, can tell of its author's outlook on life, and the situation that confronted him, we must have that writing in the form in which it was originally written. . . . during the centuries that elapsed between the time of composition and the appearance of our earliest manuscripts the writings had been frequently copied. As a result numerous changes had been made, both intentional and accidental. But not alone minute changes such as alteration in spelling or word order, but more drastic alterations occur. . . . Hence the question of integrity is of great importance. By this is meant simply: Is the book as we possess it exactly the same as it was when it left the author's hand?"  [Morton Scott Enslin, Christian Beginnings, (New York/London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), p. 208. ] 

"With the exception of the Pauline letters the New Testament writings were relatively slow in appearing and a high proportion of them are anonymous."    ["The Cambridge History of the Bible", Vol. I, "The New Testament: The New Testament in the Making", 1970 p. 233]

The celebrated NT scholar, Bruce Metzger, admits:-

"The necessity of applying textual criticism to the books of the New Testament arises from two circumstances: (a) none of the original documents is extant, and (b) the existing copies differ from one another. The textual critic seeks to ascertain from the divergent copies which form of the text should be regarded as most nearly conforming to the original."  [Bruce M. Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", 1964]

"Thus a study of the history of the text of the New Testament in the earliest and formative period shows a number of different factors at work. In the first place, the New Testament documents have been open to the normal hazards of manuscript transmission. This is evident in some lines of descent....It is still a matter of debate whether any places have been so affected in all lines of transmission: a plausible case for corruption might be made in John 3: 25, I Cor. 6: 5, Col. 2: 18, and Jas. 1: 17, to mention only some striking instances... Another debated factor is the influence of doctrine upon the text. It is understandable that many scholars, conscious of the sensibilities of fellow-churchmen, and often sharing those sensibilities themselves (whether from a consciously conservative standpoint or not), should have denied that any variant had arisen from alteration in the interest of some doctrinal issue. However, we have seen that there are instances where we run in the face of the evidence if we deny the presence of this factor in the development of the text. Many variants which can be traced to the second century bear the mark of the development of doctrine... Many variants of a different kind have sprung from the closely related factor of interpretation... Lastly, we perceive that change has come about as a result of the history of the Greek language, both conscious changes from locutions deemed barbaric to others considered cultured, and unconscious changes such as arose through the disappearance of the dative case or the attenuation of the perfect."  [C. F. Evans, The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. I, "The New Testament: The New Testament in the Making", 1970, p. 375 - 376]

Toland observes:

"We know already to what degree imposture and credulity went hand in hand in the primitive times of the Christian Church, the last being as ready to receive as the first was to forge books, this evil grew afterwards not only greater when the Monks were the sole transcribers and the sole keepers of all books good or bad, but in process of time it became almost absolutely impossible to distinguish history from fable, or truth from error as to the beginning and original monuments of Christianity. How immediate successors of the Apostles could so grossly confound the genuine teaching of their masters with such as were falsely attributed to them? Or since they were in the dark about these matters so early how came such as followed them by a better light? And observing that such Apocryphal books were often put upon the same footing with the canonical books by the Fathers, and the first cited as Divine Scriptures no less than the last, or sometimes, when such as we reckon divine were disallowed by them. I propose these two other questions: Why all the books cited genuine by Clement of Alexander. Origen. Tertullian and the rest of such writers should not be accounted equally authentic? And what stress should he laid on the testimony of those Fathers who not only contradict one another but are also often inconsistent with themselves in their relations of the very same facts?"  [The Nazarenes, John Toland, pp. 73 (From: Jesus Prophet of Islam).] 

Bart Ehram, admits:-

"The New Testament manuscripts were not produced impersonally by machines capable of flawless reproduction. They were copied by hand, by living, breathing human beings who were deeply rooted in the conditions and controversies of their day. Did the scribes' polemical contexts influence the way they transcribed their sacred Scriptures? The burden of the present study is that they did, 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."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 3-4]

Bart Ehram also admits:

The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27  "People today generally believe that there is only ONE Bible, and ONE version of any given verse of the Bible. As we have begun to see, this is far from true. All Bibles in our possession today (Such as the KJV, the NRSV, the NASV, NIV,...etc.) are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference. There are countless cases where a paragraph shows up in one "ancient manuscript" but is totally missing from many others. For instance, Mark 16:8-20 (twelve whole verses) is completely missing from the most ancient manuscripts available today but show up in more recent "ancient manuscripts." There are also many documented cases where even geographical locations are completely different from one ancient manuscript to the next. For instance, in the "Samaritan Pentateuch manuscript," Deuteronomy 27:4 speaks of "mount Gerizim,"while in the "Hebrew manuscript" the exact same verse speaks of "mount Ebal." From Deuteronomy 27:12-13 we can see that these are two distinctly different locations. Similarly, Luke 4:44 in some "ancient manuscripts" mentions "Synagogues of Judea," others mention "Synagogues of Galilee." This is only a sampling, a comprehensive listing would require a book of its own."  

Bart Ehram continues:

"Nonetheless, there are some kinds of textual changes for which it is difficult to account apart from the deliberate activity of a transcriber. When a scribe appended an additional twelve verses to the end of the Gospel of Mark, this can scarcely be attributed to mere oversight"  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27-28] 

NT is being reconstructed using imperfect copies:

"Since - like virtually all ancient literature - no autographs are extant for the NT, its most likely original text must be reconstructed from these imperfect, often widely divergent, later copies.  [David Noel Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary On CD-ROM, (Under Textual Criticism, NT).] 

Another confession of NT corruption and adulteration:-

"Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately. They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons (even though they may not affect the substance of Christian dogma). It is because the books of the NT are religious books, sacred books, canonical books, that they were changed to conform to what the copyist believed to be the true reading. His interest was not in the "original reading but in the "true reading." 

This is precisely the attitude toward the NT which prevailed from the earliest times to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the invention of printing. The thousands of Greek MSS, MSS of the versions, and quotations of the Church Fathers provide the source for our knowledge of the earliest or original text of the NT and of the history of the transmission of that text before the invention of printing." [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).] 

Another damaging confession of NT corruption:-

"THE PROBLEM. The NT is now known, whole or in part, in nearly five thousand Greek MSS alone. Every one of these handwritten copies differ from every other one. In addition to these Greek MSS, the NT has been preserved in more than ten thousand MSS of the early versions and in thousands of quotations of the Church Fathers. These MSS of the versions and quotations of the Church Fathers differ from one another just as widely as do the Greek MSS. Only a fraction of this great mass of material has been fully collated and carefully studied. Until this task is completed, the uncertainty regarding the text of the NT will remain.

It has been estimated that these MSS and quotations differ among themselves between 150,000 and 250,000 times. The actual figure is, perhaps, much higher. A study of 150 Greek MSS of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings. It is true, of course, that the addition of the readings from another 150 MSS of Luke would not add another 30,000 readings to the list. But each MS studied does add substantially to the list of variants. It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the NT in which the MS tradition is wholly uniform.

Many thousands of these different readings are variants in orthography or grammar or style and however effect upon the meaning of the text. But there are many thousands which have a definite effect upon the meaning of the text. It is true that not one of these variant readings affects the substance of Christian dogma. It is equally true that many of them do have theological significance and were introduced into the text intentionally. It may not, e.g., affect the substance of Christian dogma to accept the reading "Jacob the father of Joseph, and Joseph (to whom the virgin Mary was betrothed) the father of Jesus who is called 'Christ'" (Matt. 1:16), as does the Sinaitic Syriac; but it gives rise to a theological problem.

It has been said that the great majority of the variant readings in the text of the NT arose before the books of the NT were canonized and that after those books were canonized, they were very carefully copied because they were scripture. This, however, is far from being the case.  It is true, of course, that many variants arose in the very earliest period. There is no reason to suppose, e.g., that the first person who ever made a copy of the autograph of thc Gospel of Luke did not change his copy to conform to the particular tradition with which he was familiar. But he was under no compulsion to do so. Once the Gospel of Luke had become scripture, however, the picture was changed completely. Then the copyist was under compulsion to change his copy, to correct it. Because it was scripture, it had to be right."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).]

Another confession:

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text, NT).]

Dr. W. Graham Scroggie of the Moody Bible Institute is one of the most prestigious Christian Evangelical Mission in the world. It states: 

"Yes the Bible is human, though some out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, have denied this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men, and bear in their style the characteristics of men."  ["Is the Bible the word of God?" pg. 17]  

Following quotes are taken from the lecture Delivered by Bart Ehram at Duke Divinity School in 1997:- [complete lecture available online from www.islamic-awareness.org]

"In many instances, we don't know what the authors of the NT actually wrote. It often proves difficult enough to establish what the words of the NT mean; the fact that in some instances we don't know what the words actually were does more than a little to exacerbate the problem. I say that many interpreters would like to ignore this reality; but perhaps that isn't strong enough. In point of fact, many interpreters, possibly most, do ignore it, pretending that the textual basis of the Christian scriptures is secure, when unhappily, it is not.  ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

"...the early Christians evidently saw no need to preserve their original texts for antiquarian or other reasons. Had they been more fully cognizant of what happens to documents that are copied by hand, however, especially by hands that are not professionally trained for the job, they may have exercised greater caution in preserving the originals. As it is, for whatever historical reasons, the originals no longer survive. What do survive are copies of the originals, or, to be more precise, copies made from the copies of the copies of the originals, thousands of these subsequent copies, dating from the 2nd to the 16th centuries, some of them tiny fragments the size of a credit card, uncovered in garbage heaps buried in the sands of Egypt, others of them enormous and elegant tomes preserved in the great libraries and monasteries of Europe."   ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

"In many instances of textual variation, possibly most, we are safe in saying that when the vast majority of manuscripts have one reading and only a couple have another, the majority are probably right. But this is not always the case. Sometimes a couple or a few manuscripts appear to be right even when all the others disagree. In part this is because the vast majority of our manuscripts were produced hundreds and hundreds of years after the originals, and they themselves were copied not from the originals but from other much later copies. Once a change made its way into the manuscript tradition, it could be perpetuated until it became more commonly transmitted than the original wording."   ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

"Within the pages of the New Testament there are textual variations that have not yet been satisfactorily resolved and that have profound effects, not just on a word here or there, but on the entire meaning of entire books and their portrayals of Jesus, e.g., the angry Jesus of Mark, the imperturbable Jesus of Luke, and the forsaken Jesus of Hebrews. These textual problems cannot simply be swept under the table and ignored. Commentators, interpreters, preachers, and general readers of the Bible must recognize their existence and realize the stakes involved in solving them." ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram] 

One comes across Christian missionaries frequently using the material and allegations made against the Holy Quran by wannabe Muslim cultists, such as the "Submitters." Even though the Christians know very well these are not Muslims, nevertheless missionaries still quote from them to deceive their readers and give the false impression as if a Muslim is making allegations against the Quran etc. So to repay the missionaries, I have also decided to quote the Jehovah's witnesses, whom our friends at . dub "non Christians." If its good enough for the missionaries to quote non Muslim cultists and their fellow fundamentalist missionaries, then its good enough for me to repay them in their own manner. at least I am not hiding the identity of the fellows whom I'm quoting and am letting the readers know who they are:

"In copying the inspired originals by hand the element of human frailty entered in, and so none of the thousands of copies extant today in the original language are perfect duplicates. The result is that no two copies are exactly alike."  [New World Translation pg. 5 foreword -- The forward of 27 pages was latter eliminated after the admission of NT corruption was made ny the Jehovah witnesses.]

They further went on admitting the corruption of the NT in the same now expunged foreword: 

"The  evidence is, therefore, that the original text of the Christian Greek scripture has been tampered with, the same as the text of the LXX."  [ibid]

Lets quote again Bruce Metzger, a scholar even admired by the missionaries because he is the foremost authority on the transmission of the tampered NT Metzger’s words from p. 201 where he says: 

“The number of deliberate alterations made in the interests of doctrine is difficult to assess.” [Bruce M. Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", 1964]

Metzger goes on to conclude on page 246, the last page of the edition (1964).   "By way of conclusion, let it be emphasized again that no single manuscript and no one group of manuscripts exists which the textual critic may follow mechanically. All known witnesses of the New Testament are to a greater or less extent mixed texts, and even the earliest manuscripts are not free from egregious errors. Although in very many cases the textual critic is able to ascertain without residual doubt which reading must have stood in the original, there are not a few other cases where he can come only to a tentative decision based on an equivocal balancing of probabilities.  Occasionally none of the variant readings will commend itself as original, and he will be compelled either to choose the reading which he judges to be the least unsatisfactory or to indulge in conjectural emendation. In textual criticism, as in other areas of historical research, one must seek not only to learn what can be known, but also to become aware of what, because of conflicting witnesses, cannot be known."

Those are Metzger’s concluding words to the entire study of how the text of the New Testament was corrupted over the history of its transmission and how efforts are still ongoing to restore it.  (above two quotes from Metzger taken from Shabbir Ally's article where he refutes the false and devious allegations made against him by Mr. Sam Shamoun, the evangelical Christian missionary.)

 

 

The different "Canons" of the Bible!

Different and conflicting variations of "gospels" and "books" that are disagreed upon by the Churches today.

 

 

Kenneth Cragg, Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem says on page 277 of his book, "The call of the Minerat":

"Not so the New Testament...There is condensation and editing; there is choice reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the Church behind the authors. They represent experience and history." 

Morton Scott Enslin admits intentional changes made in the NT:

"[B]efore an ancient writing can speak for itself, can tell of its author's outlook on life, and the situation that confronted him, we must have that writing in the form in which it was originally written. . . . during the centuries that elapsed between the time of composition and the appearance of our earliest manuscripts the writings had been frequently copied. As a result numerous changes had been made, both intentional and accidental. But not alone minute changes such as alteration in spelling or word order, but more drastic alterations occur. . . . Hence the question of integrity is of great importance. By this is meant simply: Is the book as we possess it exactly the same as it was when it left the author's hand?"  [Morton Scott Enslin, Christian Beginnings, (New York/London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), p. 208] 

The above are all clear cut admission by those who study the NT, that it is not authentic and is in fact edited, tampered at intentionally by those who wrote it down due to their own preconceived notions. It, the NT, therefore cannot be God's inerrant word.

 

11. Original copies of the NT:

The original copies of the NT have long disappeared, hence the NT is being restored (obviously because it is corrupt!) from imperfect mass of conflicting manuscripts:

"Since - like virtually all ancient literature - no autographs are extant for the NT, its most likely original text must be reconstructed from these imperfect, often widely divergent, later copies."  [David Noel Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary On CD-ROM, (Under Textual Criticism, NT).] 

Another admission:

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 1, pp. 599 (Under Text, NT).]

 

 

The different "Canons" of the Bible!

Different and conflicting variations of "gospels" and "books" that are disagreed upon by the Churches today.

 

The celebrated NT scholar, Bruce Metzger, admits:-

"The necessity of applying textual criticism to the books of the New Testament arises from two circumstances: (a) none of the original documents is extant, and (b) the existing copies differ from one another. The textual critic seeks to ascertain from the divergent copies which form of the text should be regarded as most nearly conforming to the original."  [Bruce M. Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", 1964]

Bart Ehram states Christians saw no reason to preserve their originals:-

"...the early Christians evidently saw no need to preserve their original texts for antiquarian or other reasons. Had they been more fully cognizant of what happens to documents that are copied by hand, however, especially by hands that are not professionally trained for the job, they may have exercised greater caution in preserving the originals. As it is, for whatever historical reasons, the originals no longer survive. What do survive are copies of the originals, or, to be more precise, copies made from the copies of the copies of the originals, thousands of these subsequent copies, dating from the 2nd to the 16th centuries, some of them tiny fragments the size of a credit card, uncovered in garbage heaps buried in the sands of Egypt, others of them enormous and elegant tomes preserved in the great libraries and monasteries of Europe."   ["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram]

Bart Ehram also states:

"In any event, none of [the original manuscripts of the books of the Bible] now survive. What do survive are copies made over the course of centuries, or more accurately, copies of the copies of the copies, some 5,366 of them in the Greek language alone, that date from the second century down to the sixteenth.  Strikingly, with the exception of the smallest fragments, no two of these copies are exactly alike in their particulars. No one knows how many differences, or variant readings, occur among the surviving witnesses, but they must number in the hundreds of thousands." [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27]

 

12. The Gospels written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John?

These Gospels are all anonymous books meaning we don't know who wrote them because they have no names on them. Christians in other words depend and put their faith upon books which could have been written by any Tom(s), Dick(s) and Harry(s). 

***Mathew***

Regarding the Gospel of Matthew, the Encyclopedia Britannica says:

"Although there is a Matthew named among the various lists of Jesus' disciples, more telling is the fact that the name of Levi, the tax collector who in Mark became a follower of Jesus, in Matthew is changed to Matthew. It would appear from this that Matthew was claiming apostolic authority for his Gospel through this device but that the writer of Matthew is probably anonymous."  [Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation, The Gospel According to Matthew.]

J. B. Phillips, a prebendary of the Chichester Cathedral, the Anglican Church of England:

"Early tradition ascribed this Gospel to the apostle Matthew, but scholars nowadays almost all reject this view. The author whom we can still conveniently call Mathew has plainly drawn on the mysterious 'Q', which may have been a collection of oral traditions." [The True Message of Jesus Christ, pg. 23] 

The New American Bible in its introduction to Matthew's gospel, whilst presenting the prominent position held by the majority of the scholars states: 

"The ancient tradition that the author was the disciple and apostle of Jesus named Matthew (see 10:3) is untenable because the gospel is based, in large parts, on the Gospel according to Mark (almost all the verses of that gospel have been utilized in this) and it is hardly likely that a companion of Jesus would have followed so extensively an account that came from one who admittedly never had such an association rather than rely on his own memories. The attribution of the gospel to the disciple Matthew may have been due to his having been responsible for some of the traditions found in it, but that is far from certain." 

In his book "Who's Who in the Bible?" Peter Calvocressi writes: 

" In early times the authorship of the Gospel was ascribed to the apostle Matthew, but since this view has been demolished we are left with an evangelist who, distinct from the apostle, must nevertheless continue to be called Matthew since we have no other name for him."

Raymond Brown in his commentary on the infancy Narratives in Matthew writes: 

"There would be nearly unanimous agreement in scientific circles today that the evangelist is Unknown, although we continue the custom of referring to him as "Matthew". His dependence upon Mark indicates that he was not an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus." [The Birth of the Messiah, pg. 45]

He concludes by writing in the footnote:

"Roman Catholics were among the last to give up defending officially the view that the Gospel was written by Matthew, one of the twelve."  [Ibid. pg. 45]

The conclusions of Biblical scholarship are recorded by the Encyclopedia Biblica: 

Matthew: "The employment of various sources, the characteristic difference of the quotations from the LXX (Septuagint) and the original (Hebrew), the indefiniteness of the determinations of time and place, the incredibleness of the contents, the introduction of later conditions, as also the artificial arrangement, and so forth, have long since led to the conclusion that for the authorship of the first Gospel the apostle Matthew must be given up."  [EB. ii, 1891.]

***Mark***

The Encyclopedia Britannica says about the Gospel of Mark:

"Though the author of Mark is probably unknown, authority is traditionally derived from a supposed connection with the Apostle Peter, who had transmitted the traditions before his martyr death under Nero's persecution (c. 64-65). Papias, a 2nd century bishop in Asia Minor, is quoted as saying that Mark had been Peter's amanuensis (secretary) who wrote as he remembered (after Peter's death), though not in the right order... (harmony of the Gospels)."  [Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation, THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS, The Gospel According to Mark: Background and overview.]

The conclusions of Biblical scholarship are recorded by the Encyclopedia Biblica:  

Mark: "According to Papias, the second gospel was written by Mark. ... In what Papias says the important point is not so much the statement that Mark wrote the gospel as the further statement that Peter supplied the contents orally. ... The supposition that the gospel is essentially a repetition of oral communications by Peter, will at once fall to the ground. ... Should Mark have written in Aramaic then he cannot be held to have been the author of canonical Mark, which is certainly not a translation, nor yet, in view of the LXX quotations which have passed over into all three gospels, can he be held to have been the author of the original Mark."  [EB. ii, 1891.]

History of this anonymous book, Fredriksen [1988] states:

"[Early Christians] grouped together, preserving some of Jesus' teachings and some stories about him, which became part of the substance of their preaching as they continued his mission to prepare Israel for the coming of the Kingdom of God. At the same time or very shortly thereafter, these oral teachings began to circulate in Greek as well as in Jesus' native Aramaic. Eventually, some of Jesus' sayings, now in Greek, were collected and written down in a document, now lost, which scholars designate Q (from the German Quelle, "source"). Meanwhile, other oral traditions--miracle stories, parables, legends, and so on--grew, circulated, and were collected in different forms by various Christian communities. In the period around the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) an anonymous Gentile Christian wrote some of these down. This person was not an author--he did not compose de novo. Nor was he a historian--he did not deal directly and critically with his evidence. The writer was an evangelist, a sort of creative editor. He organized these stories into a sequence and shaped his inherited material into something resembling a historical narrative. The result was the Gospel of Mark."   [Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus, (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1988) p. 3-4]

Anonymous "Mark" used material which went through a process of evolution:-

"Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) relying on the testimony of Papias refers to the gospel of Mark as the "memoir" of Peter. . . . [I]t must be acknowledged that the gospels [as we have them today] do not match the description that Justin Martyr offered for them in the middle of the second century A.D. The gospel of Mark  is not a "memoir" of Peter, either in the sense that it recounts in a special way the associations of Peter with Jesus or in the sense that Mark reports first-hand recollections about Jesus. The material on which Mark drew passed through a long process of retelling and modification and interpretation, and it reflects less special interest in Peter than does Matthew's gospel."  [Howard Clark Kee, Jesus in History, (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1970) p. 120.] 

The early Christian scholar Eusebius of Caesarea (325 C.E) referring to the views of Papias (130 C.E) on the origin of Mark wrote: 

"This also the Elder used to say. Mark indeed, having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote accurately, howbeit not in order, all that he recalled of what was either said or done by the Lord. For he (Mark) heard nothing of the Lord, nor was he a follower of his, but at a later date of Peter, who used to adapt his instructions to the (needs of his hearers), but not with a view to putting together the teachings of the Lord in orderly fashion."  [Eusebius, Church History III, 39, 15]

Furthermore Irenaeus (180 C.E) states that:

"Peter and Paul proclaimed the Gospel in Rome. After their death, Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter, transmitted his preaching to us in written form"   [Against Heresies III.i.1]

Keeping the above evidence in mind we can conclude that, Mark was not a prominent leader in the church, that he was neither a disciple of Jesus nor an apostle and that secondly since Peter died in the year 64/65 A.D, the Gospel of Mark cannot have been written before this date.    (1) Titles of the Gospels   The first four historical books of the New Testament are supplied with titles (Euaggelion kata Matthaion, Euaggelion kata Markon, etc.), which, however ancient, do not go back to the respective authors of those sacred writings.  [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06655b.htm]

"Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) relying on the testimony of Papias refers to the gospel of Mark as the "memoir" of Peter. . . . [I]t must be acknowledged that the gospels [as we have them today] do not match the description that Justin Martyr offered for them in the middle of the second century A.D. The gospel of Mark is not a "memoir" of Peter, either in the sense that it recounts in a special way the associations of Peter with Jesus or in the sense that Mark reports first-hand recollections about Jesus. The material on which Mark drew passed through a long process of retelling and modification and interpretation, and it reflects less special interest in Peter than does Matthew's gospel."  [Howard Clark Kee, Jesus in History, (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1970) p. 120. ] 

"Mark's Jesus is a man in a hurry, dashing throughout Galilee in rapid, almost random motion, from synagogue to invalid, from shore to grain field to sea, casting out demons and amazing those who witness him. The spare prose and staccato cures create a mood of nervous anticipation."  [Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988).]

This anonymous book (Gospel according to St Mark--whoever that is) also suffers from massive geographical problems. Mark 7:31 says that Jesus and his disciples journeyed "out from the borders of Tyre ... through Sidon, to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the borders of Decapolis." This is geographically nonsensical. "How many have been the headaches of commentators, trying to make sense out of that!"   [H. Anderson,The Gospel of Mark, NCB (London, 1976).

Also cited by Wells, The Historical Evidence for Jesus, p. 230. The journey described is like "travelling from Cornwall to London by way of Manchester" (A.E.J. Rawlinson, Westminster Commentary); as cited in D.E. Nineham, The Gospel of Saint Mark (Penguin New Testament Commentaries, 1963), p. 203. An American example might be to go from Los Angeles to San Diego by way of Santa Barbara; or, New York to Philadelphia by way of Baltimore.] 

***Luke***

Regarding the Gospel of Luke, Encyclopedia Britannica says:

"The author has been identified with Luke, "the beloved physician," Paul's companion on his journeys, presumably a Gentile (Col. 4:14 and 11; cf. II Tim. 4:11, Philem. 24). There is no Papias fragment concerning Luke, and only late 2nd century traditions claim (somewhat ambiguously) that Paul was the guarantor of Luke's Gospel traditions. The Muratorian Canon refers to Luke, the physician, Paul's companion; Irenaeus depicts Luke as a follower of Paul's gospel. Eusebius has Luke as an Antiochene physician who was with Paul in order to give the Gospel apostolic authority. References are often made to Luke's medical language, but there is no evidence of such language beyond that to which any educated Greek might have been exposed. Of more import is the fact that in the writings of Luke specifically Pauline ideas are significantly missing; while Paul speaks of the death of Christ, Luke speaks rather of the suffering, and there are other differing and discrepant ideas on Law and eschatology. In short, the author of this gospel remains unknown."  [Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation, The Gospel According to Luke.]

The New American Bible whilst commenting on the author of anonymous Luke's gospel declares that: 

"Early Christian tradition, from the late second century on, identifies the author of this gospel and the Acts of the Apostles as Luke, a Syrian from Antioch The prologue of the Gospel make it clear that Luke is not part of the first generation of Christian disciples." 

The conclusions of Biblical scholarship are recorded by the Encyclopedia Biblica:

Luke: "This tradition [that Luke was the author of the third gospel and of Acts] cannot be traced farther back than towards the end of the second century (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and the Muratorian fragment). ... It has been shown that it is impossible to regard Luke with any certainty as the writer even of the ‘we’ sections of Acts, not to speak of the whole book of Acts, or of the Third Gospel. ... If Luke cannot have been the author of Acts, neither can he have been the author of the Third Gospel."  [EB. ii, 1893, 2831.]

In the introduction to his translation of the "Gospel according to St. Luke," J.B. Phillips has this to say regarding anonymous Luke's sources:

"On his own admission Luke has carefully compared and edited existing material, but it would seem that he had access to a good deal of additional material, and we can reasonably guess at some of the sources from which he drew.  Furthermore the New Encyclopedia Britannica gives references to the writings of Irenaeus and Eusebius where Luke is depicted as a follower of Paul's gospel. In the Muratorian Canon Luke is identified as a companion of Paul, but even this identification is widely questioned because of the author's inaccuracies about Paul's career. (The Birth of the Messiah, Raymond Brown, pg. 236)

***John***

Regarding the Gospel of John, Encyclopedia Britannica writes:

"From internal evidence the Gospel was written by a beloved disciple whose name is unknown. Because both external and internal evidence are doubtful, a working hypothesis is that John and the Johannine letters were written and edited somewhere in the East (perhaps Ephesus) as the product of a "school," or Johannine circle, at the end of the 1st century."   [Biblical Literature and Its Critical Interpretation, THE FOURTH GOSPEL: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN, Uniqueness of John.] 

"The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church", regarding the Gospel of John: 

"The Apostolic origin of the book, however, is contested by a large body of modern scholars whose position vary from a complete rejection of both its authenticity and its historicity to the admission of Apostolic inspiration and a certain historical value. The unity of the book has been disputed esp. by German scholars, e.g. J. Wellhausen, R. Bultmann. Where its unity is admitted, its attribution to John the Presbyter is favored."  [The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, John The Apostle, 1974, pg. 743]

"Peakes Commentary on the Bible", the introduction of the Gospel of John starts with the following words:  

"The origin of this Gospel is veiled in obscurity."  [Peakes Commentary on the Bible, C. K. Barrett, "John", Nelson 1967]

"New Testament Commentary" writes about the authorship of John's Gospel:  

"The picture which emerges (according to these critics) is that of a profound logical treatise, composed late in the first or more probably early in the second century, by some unknown author who had a thesis to propound, and did so under the (now established) literary form of a "gospel". It was not, evidently, a fisherman from Galilee who had the learning and the culture to leave such a monument behind him. Possibly the author may have been that "John the elder" who is referred to by Papias (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 3.39.4 and 14) as a valuable source of early tradition."  [Knox, New Testament Commentary, Introduction, 1955, pg. xiii]

Knox, further states, regarding the Gospel of John:  

"In 21.24, and possibly in 19.35, another hand, not that of the author has made its contribution (cf. Rom. 16.22). This raises the question whether we ought to think of John as sitting and writing the gospel with his own hand. It is improbable that one who was regarded as "a simple man, without learning" by his own fellow countrymen (Acts 4.13) would have lived to write Greek as idiomatic as that of the Fourth gospel."  [Knox, New Testament Commentary, Introduction, 1955, pg. xv].

[The above quotes taken from "Is The Bible Corrupted?" by: The Learner.]

The conclusions of Biblical scholarship are recorded by the Encyclopedia Biblica:

John: "No mention of the Fourth Gospel which we can recognize as such carries us further than to 140 A.D. As late as 152, Justin, who nevertheless lays so great value upon the ‘Memorabilia of the Apostles, regards John--if indeed he knows it at all--with distrust, and appropriates from it a very few sayings. ... If on independent grounds some period shortly before 140 A.D. can be set down as the approximate date of the production of the gospel ... The Apostolic authorship of the gospel remains impossible, and that not merely from the consideration that it cannot be the son of Zebedee who has introduced himself as writer in so remarkable a fashion, but also from the consideration that it cannot be an eye-witness of the facts of the life of Jesus who has presented, as against the synoptists, an account so much less credible, nor an original apostle who has shown himself so readily accessible to Alexandrine and Gnostic ideas, nor a contemporary of Jesus who survived so late into the second century and yet was capable of composing so profound a work."  [EB. ii, 2550, 2553.]

Professor R.W.Rogerson an Anglican clergyman and a Canon Emeritus of Sheffield Cathedral, in his recent work An Introduction to the Bible writes:

"The conviction has grown that the Gospel was not written by a single author, but is an outcome of a long process of growth in which the distinction between author and redactor/editor was not clear. This conclusion militates against the traditional view that the author was the apostle John, the son of Zebedee, and the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23)."  [An Introduction to the Bible, pg. 122]

The New Jerome Biblical Commentary whilst discussing this issue notes that:

"The author of John 21 clearly does not identify the Beloved Disciple, who is the source of the Johannine tradition, with John the son of Zebedee. John 21:2 refers to "the (sons) of Zebedee", whereas 21:7, 20 refer to the Beloved Disciple."  

Graham Stanton a Professor of New Testament Studies also points out that: 

"If the Beloved Disciple belonged to the circle of disciples of Jesus from the beginning, why does the first reference to the beloved disciple come only at 13:23?" [The Gospels and Jesus, pg. 124]

Maurice Casey in his most recent book Is John's Gospel True? discusses the views that are generally championed by the Evangelical Christians and proves "beyond all reasonable doubt" that these views are demonstrably false. He finally concludes that:

"The Gospel was written by several people when anonymous and pseudepigraphical compositions were normal."  [Is John's Gospel true? Pg.176]

Finally, it is also important to note that some early Christians were very suspicious of John's Gospel due to the fact that it is very different from the Synoptic gospels and its popularity with Gnostic and heretical groups. (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, pg. 946) 

More Gospel exposition in this section. More admissions by Scholars that the Gospels went through a process of evolution and were intentionally changed: 

The first historical mention of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, was made by the Christian Father, St. Irenaeus, about the year 190 A.D. The only earlier mention of any of the Gospels was made by Theopholis of Antioch, who mentioned the Gospel of John in 180 A.D. 

Walter R. Cassels, the learned author of "Supernatural Religion," one of the greatest works ever written on the origins of Christianity, says: 

"After having exhausted the literature and the testimony bearing on the point, we have not found a single distinct trace of any of those Gospels during the first century and a half after the death of Christ."  

Kloppenborg (1990) notes: 

"We know that even the canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were not entirely stable until relatively late in the history of their transmission, so that one must frequently distinguish between earlier and later materials contained within them." [p. 88] 

The Jesus sayings--from oral tradition to the final canonized form that we have today--constantly evolved in a dynamic process which reflected the zeal and enthusiasm of the early Christians who preserved them. Robertson remarks on the reasons why it is difficult to separate the various Jesus traditions from each other: 

"Within a hundred years from the date commonly assigned to the Crucifixion, there are Gentile traces of a Jesuits or Christist movement deriving from Jewry, and possessing a gospel or memoir as well as some of the Pauline and other epistles, both spurious and genuine; but the gospel then current seems to have contained some matter not preserved in the canonical four, and have lacked much that those contain."  [John M. Robertson, Short History of Christianity, quoted in Herbert Cutner, Jesus: God, Man or Myth? (New York: Truth Seeker, 1950) p. 230.]

These gospels could and did change over time.  Sometimes the changes were subtle, other times sweeping and even of a different genre as Kee states: 

"Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) relying on the testimony of Papias refers to the gospel of Mark as the "memoir" of Peter. . . . [I]t must be acknowledged that the gospels [as we have them today] do not match the description that Justin Martyr offered for them in the middle of the second century A.D. The gospel of Mark is not a "memoir" of Peter, either in the sense that it recounts in a special way the associations of Peter with Jesus or in the sense that Mark reports first-hand recollections about Jesus. The material on which Mark drew passed through a long process of retelling and modification and interpretation, and it reflects less special interest in Peter than does Matthew's gospel."  [Howard Clark Kee, Jesus in History, (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1970) p. 120.] 

The conservative scholars Westcott and Hort have listed over 250 suspected or rejected readings in the canonical gospels and Acts. Enslin still speaks authoritatively to this point:   "[B]efore an ancient writing can speak for itself, can tell of its author's outlook on life, and the situation that confronted him, we must have that writing in the form in which it was originally written. . . . during the centuries that elapsed between the time of composition and the appearance of our earliest manuscripts the writings had been frequently copied. As a result numerous changes had been made, both intentional and accidental. But not alone minute changes such as alteration in spelling or word order, but more drastic alterations occur. . . . Hence the question of integrity is of great importance. By this is meant simply: Is the book as we possess it exactly the same as it was when it left the author's hand?"  [Morton Scott Enslin, Christian Beginnings, (New York/London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), p. 208] 

Rev. Professor David Jenkins, the fourth highest-ranking Bishop in the Church of England and the Bishop of Durham had the following admission to make:

"[some of the events in the early mission of Jesus] were not strictly true but were added to the story of Jesus by the early Christians to express their faith in him as a Messiah."  [London Daily Mail, page 12, 15/July/1984] 

"The Five Gospels," is a 550 page book containing translations of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It was the result of a six year study by 24 Christian scholars from a number of Western universities. They decided to produce a translation of the Gospels which would be uncolored by the translator's personal faith. Their conclusion (page 5) was:

"Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him."

They go on to reveal that:

"biblical scholars and theologians alike have learned to distinguish the Jesus of history from the Christ of faith. It has been a painful lesson for both the church and scholarship. The distinction between the two figures is the difference between a historical person who lived in a particular time and place...and a figure who has been assigned a mythical role, in which he descends from heaven to rescue humankind and, of course, eventually returns there."

Also:

"Hard sayings are frequently softened in the process of transmission to adapt them to the conditions of daily living...Variations in difficult saying often betray the struggle of the early Christian community to interpret or adapt sayings to its own situations... Matthew's  version of the aphorism "The last will be first and the first last"(Matt 20:16) is softened in Mark 10:31 to "MANY of the first will be last, and of the last MANY will be first"."

"All the evidence indicates that the words of Jesus were authoritative in the Church from the first, and this makes it the more remarkable that such scanty attention is paid to the words or works of Jesus in the earliest Christian writings, Paul's letters, the later Epistles, Hebrews, Revelation, and even Acts have little to report about them... Papias (ca. AD 130), the first person to actually name a written gospel, illustrates the point. Even though he defends Mark's gospel (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.15-16), and had himself appended a collection of Jesus tradition to his 'Interpretation of the Oracles of the Lord' (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.2-3), his own clear preference was for the oral tradition concerning Jesus, and the glimpses that Eusebius provides of Papias' Jesus tradition give no hint of his dependence on Mark. Neither do the more frequent citations of Jesus in the APOSTOLIC FATHERS, largely 'synoptic' in character show much dependence on our written gospels."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume, p. 137]

Grolier's encyclopedia says under the heading "Jesus Christ":

"The Gospels According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible, are the principal sources for the life of Jesus. These works are primarily testimonies to the faith of the early Christian community, however, and have to be used critically as evidence for the historical Jesus. The methods include source, form, and redaction criticism...These methods provide criteria to sift through the redaction and tradition and reconstruct the message and the mission of the historical Jesus...Application of the critical methods described above reveals that the gospel tradition apparently started originally with Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21- 22; John 1:29-34). The stories concerning the birth of Jesus were probably later additions. These stories--the annunciation to Mary and Joseph, their journey to Bethlehem for the Roman census, and Jesus' birth there (Luke 2:1-7);   the visits of the shepherds (Luke 2:8- 20) and the three magi from the East (Matt. 2:1-12); and the flight of the family to Egypt to escape the massacre of young boys that had been ordered by King Herod (Matt. 2:13-23)- -may be characterized conveniently, if loosely, as 'Christological midrash,' expressions of Christological faith cast into narrative form. If there are any factual elements in them, these will be found among the items on which Matthew and Luke agree: the names of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus; the dating of Jesus' birth toward the end of the reign of Herod the Great (d. 4 BC); and, less certainly, the Bethlehem location of the birth." 

 

13. Anonymous Gospel authors plagiarized from each other?

If the anonymous authors of the Gospels were being guided and inspired by the Holy Ghost, then why on earth did they freely plagiarize each others material?

"Early tradition ascribed this Gospel to the apostle Matthew, but scholars nowadays almost all reject this view.  The author whom we can still conveniently call Mathew has plainly drawn on the mysterious 'Q', which may have been a collection of oral traditions. He has used Mark's Gospel freely, though he has rearranged the order of events and has in several instances used different words for what is plainly the same story. The style is lucid, calm and 'tidy.' Mathew writes a certain judiciousness as though he himself had carefully digested his material and is convinced not only of its truth but of the divine pattern that lies behind the historic facts. 

If Mathew wrote, as is now generally supposed, somewhere between 85 and 90, this Gospels value as a Christian document is enormous. It is, so to speak, a second generation view of Jesus Christ the Son of Man. It is being written at that distance in time from the great Event where sober reflection and sturdy conviction can perhaps give a better balanced portrait of God's unique revelation of Himself than could be given by those who were so close to the Light that they were partly dazzled by it."  [The True Message of Jesus Christ, pg. 23]

So, the anonymous author of Mathew plagiarized from anonymous Marks Gospel freely. It says: "He has used Mark's Gospel freely..."  Meaning that he freely plagiarized from anonymous Mark's Gospel. Yet the Christians call this wholesale plagiarism the word of God! 

Mathew is supposed to be an eye witness and an ear witness to the ministry of Jesus (peace be upon him). However instead of writing his own first hand impression of "his Lord and Savior", he instead steals and plagiarizes from the writings of the youth Mark, who was a 10 year old lad when Jesus (peace be upon him) upbraided his nation! Why would and eye witness and an ear witness copy from someone who himself was writing from hearsay??  [The complete quote together with some of the commentary taken from Sheikh Ahmed Deedat's book "Is the Bible God's word?"] 

The New American Bible in its introduction to anonymous Mathew's Gospel admits that the anonymous author of Mathew plagiarized from anonymous Gospel according to Mark:-   

"The ancient tradition that the author was the disciple and apostle of Jesus named Matthew (see 10:3) is untenable because the gospel is based, in  large parts, on the Gospel according to Mark (almost all the verses of that gospel have been utilized in this) and it is hardly likely that a companion of Jesus would have followed so extensively an account that came from one who admittedly never had such an association rather than rely on his own memories. The attribution of the gospel to the disciple Matthew may have been due to his having been responsible for some of the traditions found in it, but that is far from certain." 

"The Five Gospels," is a 550 page book containing translations of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It was the result of a six year study by 24 Christian scholars from a number of Western universities. They decided to produce a translation of the Gospels which would be uncolored by the translator's personal faith. Their conclusion (page 5) was: 

"Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him."  They also went on to say: 

"The concept of plagiarism was unknown in the ancient world. Authors freely copied from predecessors without acknowledgment. Sages became the repository of free-floating proverbs and witticisms.  For the first Christians, Jesus was a legendary sage: it was proper to attribute the world's wisdom to him. The proverb in Mark 2:17, for example, is attested in secular sources (Plutarch and Diogenes for example)...in the parallel to the Markan passage, Matthew adds a sentence taken from the prophet Hosea (Matt 9:13)."  ["The Five Gospels." Translations of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]

In the introduction to his translation of the "Gospel according to St. Luke," J.B. Phillips has this to say: 

"On his own admission Luke has carefully compared and edited existing material, but it would seem that he had access to a good deal of additional material, and we can reasonably guess at some of the sources from which he drew.  ["The Gospels in modern English" Fontana Publications]

So anonymous Luke carefully compared and edited existing material and plagiarized from some additional material as well. Was the Holy Ghost guiding this anonymous author? I don't think so. in fact Luke himself does not claim to be guided by the Holy Ghost. Read Luke's own introduction to his Gospel where he simply claims to "...to write unto thee in order most excellent Theophilus..." . The anonymous author or authors of this Gospel decided to compose this book because: "IT SEEMED GOOD TO ME ALSO..." that's all, no Holy Ghost to be seen for miles around.  

Not only that, but there is ample evidence to show that the anonymous author of the Gospel according to St. Luke freely plagiarized from the work of the historian Josephus:  

"More than any other Gospel writer, Luke includes references to the non-Christian world of affairs. Almost every incident of this kind that he mentions turns up somewhere in Josephus' narratives."  [Mason, p. 205]

After citing another example, Mason goes on to say on page 212:

"This is clearly part of [Josephus'] literary artistry. How did Luke, then, come to associate the Egyptian, incorrectly, with the sicarii? If he did so independently of Josephus, the coincidence is remarkable. It is even more remarkable because sicarii is a Latin term for assassins. Josephus seems to have been the first to borrow this word and make it a technical term for the Jewish rebels in his Greek narrative." 

 

14. Gospels were not even considered scripture by early Christians:

Many quotes in this section have already been quoted in the section entitled "Church Fathers."  Nevertheless, I again quote them as they fall in more than one category:  "For early Jewish Christians the Bible consisted of the Old Testament and some Jewish apocryphal literature. Along with this written authority went traditions, chiefly oral, of sayings attributed to Jesus. On the other hand, authors who belonged to the 'Hellenistic Wing' of the Church refer more frequently to writings that later came to be included in the New Testament. At the same time, however, they very rarely regarded such documents as 'Scripture'.  Furthermore, there was as yet no conception of the duty of exact quotation  from books that were not yet in the full sense canonical. Consequently, it is sometimes exceedingly difficult to ascertain which New Testament books were known to early Christian writers; our evidence does not become clear until the end of second century."  [Bruce M Metzger, The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Significance & Development, 1997, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 72-73.]

So, the 4 gospels together with other NT writings were not considered as scripture by the early Christians.  For them it was the OT and some Jewish apocryphal writings.    We also read:

"The original copies of the NT books have, of course, long since disappeared. This fact should not cause surprise. In the first place, they were written on papyrus, a very fragile and perishable material. In the second place, and probably of even more importance, the original copies of the NT books were not looked upon as scripture by those of the early Christian communities."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 599 (Under Text, NT).]

There we go! It cannot be said much clearer than that. The NT books, which includes the Gospels, were not looked upon as scripture by the early Christian communities!   "With the exception of Papias, who speaks of a narrative by Mark, and a collection of sayings of Jesus, no Christian writer of the first half of the second century (i.e., up to 150 C.E.) quotes the Gospels or their reputed authors."   [Orpheus a General History of Religions, Solomon Reinach, p. 218]

Another destructive admission:

"In the writings of the Apostolic Fathers one does not, indeed, meet with unquestionable evidence in favor of only four canonical gospels. ... The canonical Gospels were regarded as of Apostolic authority, two of them being ascribed to the Apostles St. Matthew and St. John, respectively, and two to St. Mark and St. Luke, the respective companions of St. Peter and St. Paul. Many other gospels indeed claimed Apostolic authority, but to none of them was this claim universally allowed in the early Church. The only apocryphal work which was at all generally received, and relied upon, in addition to our four canonical Gospels, is the ‘Gospel according to the Hebrews.’ It is a well-known fact that St. Jerome regards it as the Hebrew original of our Greek Canonical Gospel according to St. Matthew."  [CE. vi, 657.]

Thus, admittedly, numerous works of pretended and false gospels, some fifty, were forged and falsely ascribed to some apostle by devout Christians; after a century and a half only four came to be considered and were finally chosen selected as of divine utterance and sanction.  

The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible has more detail to add:

"All the evidence indicates that the words of Jesus were authoritative in the Church from the first, and this makes it the more remarkable that such scanty attention is paid to the words or works of Jesus in the earliest Christian writings, Paul's letters, the later Epistles, Hebrews, Revelation, and even Acts have little to report about them... Papias (ca. AD 130), the first person to actually name a written gospel, illustrates the point. Even though he defends Mark's gospel (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.15-16), and had himself appended a collection of Jesus tradition to his 'Interpretation  of the Oracles of the Lord' (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.2-3), his own clear preference was for the oral tradition concerning Jesus, and the glimpses that Eusebius provides of Papias' Jesus tradition give no hint of his dependence on Mark. Neither do the more frequent citations of Jesus in the APOSTOLIC FATHERS, largely 'synoptic' in character show much dependence on our written gospels."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume, p. 137]

Its worth quoting Bart Ehram at this point as well:

"The classical understanding of the relationship of orthodoxy and heresy met a devastating challenge in 1934 with the publication of Walter Bauer's Rechtgläubigkeit und Ketzerei im ältesten Christentum, possibly the most significant book on early Christianity written in modern times. Bauer argued that the early Christian church in fact did not comprise a single orthodoxy from which emerged a variety of competing heretical minorities. Instead, early Christianity embodied a number of divergent forms, no one of which represented the clear and powerful majority of believers against all others. In some regions, what was later to be termed 'heresy' was in fact the original and only form of Christianity. In other regions, views later deemed heretical coexisted with views that would come to be embraced by the church as a whole, with most believers not drawing hard and fast lines in demarcation between the competing views. To this extent, 'orthodoxy,' in the sense of a unified group advocating an apostolic doctrine accepted by the majority of Christians everywhere, did not exist in the second and third centuries. Nor was 'heresy' secondarily derived from an original teaching through an infusion of Jewish ideas or pagan philosophy.  Beliefs that were, at later times, embraced as orthodoxy and condemned as heresy were in fact competing interpretations of Christianity, one of which eventually (but not initially) acquired domination because of singular historical and social forces. Only when one social group had exerted itself sufficiently over the rest of Christendom did a 'majority' opinion emerge; only then did the 'right belief' represent the view of the Christian church at large."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, p. 7]

Bart Ehram also has this to say regarding early Christianity:

"Christianity in the second and third centuries was in a remarkable state of flux. To be sure, at no point in its history has the religion constituted a monolith. But the diverse manifestations of its first three hundred years - whether in terms of social structures, religious practices, or ideologies - have never been replicated. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the realm of theology. In the second and third centuries there were, of course, Christians who believed in only one God; others, however, claimed that there were two Gods; yet others subscribed to 30, or 365, or more. Some Christians accepted the Hebrew Scriptures as a revelation of the one true God, the sacred possession of all believers; others claimed that the scriptures had been inspired by an evil deity. Some Christians believed that God had created the world and was soon going to redeem it; others said that God neither had created the world nor had ever had any dealings with it. Some Christians believed that Christ was somehow both a man and God; others said that he was a man, but not God; others claimed that he was God but not a man; others insisted that he was a man who had been temporarily inhabited by God. Some Christians believed that Christ's death had brought about the salvation of the world; others claimed that his death had no bearing on salvation; yet others alleged that he had never even died."   ["The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" pg. 3-4]

The books of the NT, the Gospels, were not seen as scripture by the early Christians, plus there were numerous sects of Christianity, and no clear cut majority group. The "mainstream" Christianity that we have today was simply not there. Books that were once accepted as inspired were latter dubbed "apocrypha" and vice versa. Don't be mistaken, the word "inspiration" is no where to be seen when one critically examines the NT and its history. The earliest notice of the Four Gospel’s now known to us was towards the close of the second century!  

 

15. The earliest Christian writings:-

"St." Paul's writings are the earliest Christian writings of the NT. The Gospels were written after the writings of St. Paul, so one should not be surprised if the ideas of St. Paul are found in the Gospels as well. Rather we have already seen the admission of scholars that the Gospels were written by anonymous authors, by any Tom, Dick or Harry, and that they also went through the process of evolution and were deliberately altered by the scribes for theological reasons etc. We know that these Gospels are NOT the earliest Christian NT writings, its the letters of St Paul that are the oldest and ideas from Paul's letters have been borrowed by the anonymous Gospel writers. All Gospels were written after Paul's writings. 

Rev. Charles Anderson Scott has the following to say: 

"It is highly probable that not one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was in existence in the form which we have it, prior to the death of Paul. And were the documents to be taken in strict order of chronology, the Pauline Epistles would come before the synoptic Gospels."  [History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, Rev. Charles Anderson Scott, p.338]

This statement is further confirmed by Prof. Brandon:

"The earliest Christian writings that have been preserved for us are the letters of the apostle Paul."
["Religions in Ancient History," S.G.F. Brandon, p. 228.]

 

16. Examples Deliberate tampering of the NT?:-

The following are just two examples of verses from the NT which scholars admit were interpolated into the NT text at a latter date and are in fact fabrications:

A. Fabrication -- Mark 16:9-20:

"Nonetheless, there are some kinds of textual changes for which it is difficult to account apart from the deliberate activity of a transcriber. When a scribe appended an additional twelve verses to the end of the Gospel of Mark, this can scarcely be attributed to mere oversight."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27-28]

Peake's Commentary on the Bible records:

"It is now generally agreed that 9-20 are not an original part of Mk. They are not found in the oldest MSS, and indeed were apparently not in the copies used by Mt. and Lk. A 10th-cent. Armenian MS ascribes the passage to Aristion, the presbyter mentioned by Papias (ap.Eus.HE III, xxxix, 15)." 

Possible source of this fabrication:

"Indeed an Armenian translation of St. Mark has quite recently been discovered, in which the last twelve verses of St. Mark are ascribed to Ariston, who is otherwise known as one of the earliest of the Christian Fathers; and it is quite possible that this tradition is correct."  [Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, F. Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, pp. 7-8]

Bruce Metzger has this to add:

"The gospel of Mark ends abruptly, at 16.8, and early attempts to add an ending show that it was felt to be incomplete. It is possible that the book was never finished or that it was damaged at an early stage. Yet it may be our knowledge of the other Gospels that makes us expect this one to end with appearances of the risen Lord. Certainly, it ends in an appropriate way for Mark - with fear, human failure, and the call to discipleship."  [The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, p. 496]

"The conclusion of Mark (xvi, 9-20) is admittedly not genuine. Still less can the shorter conclusion lay claim to genuineness. ... Almost the entire section is a compilation, partly even from the fourth gospel and Acts."  [EB. ii, 1880; 1767, n. 3; 1781, and n. 1, on "the evidence of its spuriousness."]

"The longer form ... has against it the testimony of the two oldest Uncial MSS. (Siniatic and Vatican) and one of the two earliest of the Syriac Versions (Siniatic Syriac), all of which close the chapter at verse 8. In addition to this, is the very significant silence of Patristic literature as to anything following verse 8."   [New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 551.]

"It is practically certain that neither Matthew nor Luke found it in their copies of Mark. ... The Last Twelve Verses are constructed as an independent summary with total neglect of the contents of xvi, 1-8. ... It is as certain as anything can be in the domain of criticism that the Longer Ending did not come from the pen of the evangelist Mark. ... We conclude that it is certain that the Longer Ending is no part of the Gospel."   [New Commentary, Pt. III, pp. 122, 123.]

B. Fabrication -- 1 John 5:7 :-

"The text about the three heavenly witnesses (I John 5:7 KJV) is not an authentic part of the NT."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4, p.711, Abingdon Press.]

"1 John 5:7 in the KJV reads: 'There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one' but this is an interpolation of which there is no trace before the late fourth century."  [The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4, p. 871, Abingdon Press.]

"1 John 5:7 in the Textus Receptus (represented in the KJV) makes it appear that John had arrived at the doctrine of the trinity in explicit form ('the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost'), but this text is clearly an interpolation since no genuine Greek manuscript contains it."  [The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, Edited by Allen C. Myers, p. 1020]

Peake's Commentary on the Bible says:

"The famous interpolation after 'three witnesses' is not printed even in RSVn, and rightly. It cites the heavenly testimony of the Father, the logos, and the Holy Spirit, but is never used in the early Trinitarian controversies. No respectable Greek MS contains it. Appearing first in a late 4th-cent. Latin text, it entered the Vulgate and finally the NT of Erasmus." 

In "The Dictionary of the Bible," bearing the Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, and Imprimi Potest (official Church seals of approval), we read: 

"The trinity of God is defined by the Church as the belief that in God are three persons who subsist in one nature. That belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly and formally a biblical belief."   [The Dictionary of the Bible, John L. McKenzie, S.J., p. 899]

Mr. Edward Gibbon, explains the reason for the discard of this verse from the pages of the Bible with the following words: 

"Of all the manuscripts now extant, above fourscore in number, some of which are more than 1200 years old, the orthodox copies of the Vatican, of the Complutensian editors, of Robert Stephens are becoming invisible; and the two manuscripts of Dublin and Berlin are unworthy to form an exception...In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bibles were corrected by LanFrank, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Nicholas, a cardinal and librarian of the Roman church, secundum Ortodoxam fidem. Notwithstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts, the oldest and fairest; two qualities seldom united, except in manuscripts....The three witnesses have been established in our Greek Testaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honest bigotry of the Complutensian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens in the placing of a crotchet and the deliberate falsehood, or strange misapprehension, of Theodore Beza."  ["Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," IV, Gibbon, p. 418.]

The above two verses are interpolations into the text of the NT and despite the fact that this is well known and admitted by the over whelming majority of NT scholars, many Christians are still programmed into believing that the above two fabrications are an integral part of the Bible inspired by the Holy Ghost.

The illogical/paradoxical/mysterious concept of the Trinity is exposed in many many web sites in great detail, so I will not go into that. However I will quote Ingersoll, who probably summarized the Trinitarian enigma as well as anyone when he said: 

"Christ, according to the faith, is the second person in the Trinity, the Father being the first and the Holy Ghost third. Each of these persons is God. Christ is his own father and his own son. The Holy Ghost is neither father nor son, but both. The son was begotten by the father, but existed before he was begotten--just the same before as after. Christ is just as old as his father, and the father is just as young as his son. The Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and Son, but was equal to the Father and Son before he proceeded, that is to say, before he existed, but he is of the same age as the other two. So it is declared that the Father is God, and the Son and the Holy Ghost God, and these three Gods make one God. According to the celestial multiplication table, once one is three, and three time one is one, and according to heavenly subtraction if we take two from three, three are left. The addition is equally peculiar: if we add two to one we have but one. Each one equal to himself and to the other two. Nothing ever was, nothing ever can be more perfectly idiotic and absurd than the dogma of the Trinity."   [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 4, p. 266-67].

I must confess, no one could have defined the absurdity of the Trinity concept better than Ingersoll.

 

17. Textus Receptus/Received Text:-

Textus Receptus is the name by which the text of Erasmus has been known. For many centuries, it was the standard text of the Greek Bible. The name arose from the work of the kinsmen Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir, who said of their 1633 edition, "Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum" -- "So [the reader] has the text which all now receive." 

However the textus receptus is known to have serious defects. The following is the verdict of NT scholars:

"Voices have been raised recently in the United States claiming superiority of the Textus Receptus over modern editions of the text, but they are finding little favorable response outside some limited circles. The wheels of the history will not be reversed."  [Aland & Aland, The Text Of The New Testament pp. 19]

Bruce Metzger states:

"To tell the truth, the partisans of the 'textus receptus' were generally at their strongest when they took the offensive. The argued that the Westcott-Hort text could not be taken as traditional either, for it represented only a limited region, namely Egypt; it had none of the older ecclesiastical authors among its witnesses; it bore clear marks of revision. But these attacks in no way established the primitive character of the 'Syrian' text, and it was this argument which quickly claim to settle the debate, against the 'textus receptus'. Subsequently, from time to time, there were some obscure pleas raised in its favour. Today, it seems that this notorious text is now dead, it is hoped for ever."
[ Leon Vaganay & Christian-Bérnard Amphoux, An Introduction To New Testament Textual Criticism, 1991, Cambridge University Press, pp. 151-152]

The Textus Receptus, in all its various forms, has no textual authority whatsoever. Were it not for the fact that it has been in use for so long as a basis for collations, it could be mercifully forgotten. What a tragedy, then, that it was the Bible of Protestant Christendom for close to four centuries!

 

18. Christian reaction to textual criticism of their scripture?

We have seen the polemic on missionary web sites that Muslims are afraid of textual criticism etc.  This is a polemic well refuted at http://www.islamic-awareness.org website. However we would like to know the Christian response to textual criticism which has today demolished the myth of the NT as being some sort an inspired scripture:-

A ---- John Mill (1645-1707) -- [He collected evidence from Greek manuscripts (about 100), early versions, and Fathers that lay within his power to procure and the total variant readings which came up were about 30,000. ] The Christian reaction:

"... Mill's monumental work came under fire from the controversial writer, Dr. Daniel Whitby, Rector of St. Edmund's, Salisbury. Alarmed by the great number of variant readings which Mill had collected - some 30,000 in all - Whitby argued that the authority of the holy Scriptures was in peril, and that the assembling of the critical evidence tantamount to tampering with the text."  [Bruce M Metzger, The Text Of The New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption & Restoration, 1992, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 108]

B ---- R. Bentley [Master of Trinity College. one of the few person of his age and era to suggest the abandonment of the 'textus receptus'.]  Christian reaction:

"There was a tremendous outcry and Bentley was fiercely attacked and suspended from teaching for a time. Not being a man to allow himself to be intimidated, he set about collecting together the materials for his work; but as he grew older, either for the sake of peace or because of the difficulties of the task, he finally gave up. His proposals, however, continued to exert a profound influence."  [Leon Vaganay & Christian-Bérnard Amphoux, An Introduction To New Testament Textual Criticism, 1991, Cambridge University Press, pp. 139]

C ---- J J Wettstein (1693-1754) [He published a treatise on the variants of the New Testament and travelled throughout Europe for the purpose of collating the manuscripts.] Christian reaction:

"Suspected of heresy, he was driven out of Basle and forced to take the refuge in Amsterdam. It was there, in 1751-2, that he published his famous edition of the Greek New Testament (reprinted Graz, 1962)."  [ibid pg. 140-141]

D ---- B F Westcott & J A Hort [Responsible for demolishing the concept of Textus Receptus]  Christian reaction:

"An uproar was caused among Anglican churchmen. There were even scholars, such as F H Scrivener, J W Burgon and E Miller, who became involved in the violent campaign against the Westcott-Hort text."  [ibid pg. 151-152]

So this was the response of the brave Christians when the idea of their NT being inspired was literally shattered into itsy bitsy pieces by those who studied the manuscripts themselves! And then they have the audacity to attack others ie. Muslims. What a shame indeed.

Quotes in section 17 and 18 have been taken from islamic-awareness.org From their excellent articles:

"Church Tradition & The Textual Integrity Of The Bible." and: "Who Is Afraid Of Textual Criticism?"  Both articles are highly recommended for further more detailed reading.

 

19. "So what, the variations do not effect the doctrine!"

This section is a response to the above zero argument made by desperado missionaries when they have nothing good to say regarding the preservation of their scripture, the NT. I am asking, if one drop of urine is dropped into a barrel of water, will you drink the barrel? How many drops of urine will it take to make you stop drinking from the barrel?   Rather, how many people will be willing to drink from a barrel of water knowing full well it contains a drop of urine? Most people certainly will refuse to drink from it, unless of course their life is at stake.

Lets just assume for the sake of argument that none of the deliberate tampering of the NT has any effect on its doctrine, nevertheless we know the text was tampered by the scribes deliberately. Who do you attribute that tampering to, Yahweh or the scribes?   How do you know and can be sure that your very doctrine is not a product of this tampering and deliberate fabrication?  

Bible scholar C.F. Evans states:

"Another debated factor is the influence of doctrine upon the text. It is understandable that many scholars, conscious of the sensibilities of fellow-churchmen, and often sharing those sensibilities themselves (whether from a consciously conservative standpoint or not), should have denied that any variant had arisen from alteration in the interest of some doctrinal issue. However, we have seen that there are instances where we run in the face of the evidence if we deny the presence of this factor in the development of the text. Many variants which can be traced to the second century bear the mark of the development of doctrine... Many variants of a different kind have sprung from the closely related factor of interpretation... Lastly, we perceive that change has come about as a result of the history of the Greek language, both conscious changes from locutions deemed barbaric to others considered cultured, and unconscious changes such as arose through the disappearance of the dative case or the attenuation of the perfect."  [C. F. Evans, The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. I, "The New Testament: The New Testament in the Making", 1970, p. 375 - 376]

Another reputed scholar, Bart Ehram, admits:-

"The New Testament manuscripts were not produced impersonally by machines capable of flawless reproduction. They were copied by hand, by living, breathing human beings who were deeply rooted in the conditions and controversies of their day. Did the scribes' polemical contexts influence the way they transcribed their sacred Scriptures? The burden of the present study is that they did, 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."  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 3-4]

In other words, the text was changed deliberately to conform with the orthodox doctrine.

Changes to the text of the NT were made for theological and dogmatic reasons and this is admitted by the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible:

"Many thousands of the variants which are found in the MSS of the NT were put there deliberately. They are not merely the result of error or of careless handling of the text. Many were created for theological or dogmatic reasons (even though they may not affect the substance of Christian dogma). It is because the books of the NT are religious books, sacred books, canonical books, that they were changed to conform to what the copyist believed to be the true reading. His interest was not in the "original reading but in the "true reading."  This is precisely the attitude toward the NT which prevailed from the earliest times to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the invention of printing. The thousands of Greek MSS, MSS of the versions, and quotations of the Church Fathers provide the source for our knowledge of the earliest or original text of the NT and of the history of the transmission of that text before the invention of printing."  [George Arthur Buttrick (Ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary Of The Bible, Volume 4, 1962 (1996 Print), Abingdon Press, Nashville, pp. 594-595 (Under Text, NT).] 

Dr. Frederic Kenyon says:

"Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference"  [Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3]

"Nonetheless, there are some kinds of textual changes for which it is difficult to account apart from the deliberate activity of a transcriber. When a scribe appended an additional twelve verses to the end of the Gospel of Mark, this can scarcely be attributed to mere oversight"  [The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, pp. 27-28]

"Within the pages of the New Testament there are textual variations that have not yet been satisfactorily resolved and that have profound effects, not just on a word here or there, but on the entire meaning of entire books and their portrayals of Jesus, e.g., the angry Jesus of Mark, the imperturbable Jesus of Luke, and the forsaken Jesus of Hebrews. These textual problems cannot simply be swept under the table and ignored. Commentators, interpreters, preachers, and general readers of the Bible must recognize their existence and realize the stakes involved in solving them." 
["Text and Tradition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies." The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures Duke Divinity School 1997 Lecture One: "Text and Interpretation: The Exegetical Significance of the "Original" Text" Delivered by Bart Ehram] 

Metzger’s words from p. 201 where he says:

“The number of deliberate alterations made in the interests of doctrine is difficult to assess.”  [Bruce M. Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", 1964]

In other words changes were indeed made by the scribes, filled with the "Spirit" (whose Spirit? God or Devil?), to the text of the NT for theological reasons. The text was also deliberately changed to conform to the doctrine of the scribes. The comparative study of the Gospels themselves show how the very personality of Jesus (peace be upon him) was worked upon by the anonymous authors of these books. In conclusion the missionary excuse "It does not effect doctrine!" is not only false but is in fact an example of idiocity n desperado at its highest. The above are the confessions of reputed Biblical Scholars themselves, we didn't bribe them to say that the text of the NT was tampered for doctrinal purposes.  

 

 

 

 

 

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