Bible Discussion: Earliest Gospel MSS Make It All Clear

Earliest Gospel MSS Make It All Clear
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Yuri Kuchinsky
2003-10-03 18:15:23 EST
Greetings, friends,

So what do the earliest gospel manuscripts make clear? Two things,
actually,

1. Our modern New Testament Textual Criticism is fraudulent to the core.

2. All of the modern translations of the Christian gospels (RSV, NIV,
NASB, etc.) have been falsified, since they are all based on a fraudulent
Greek text.

Indeed, what is the basis of all these mainstream English translations?
They are all based on one and the same Greek text of the gospels, as
published by the United Bible Societies, also known as the Nestle/Aland
text. Essentially, this is the text that was first devised in the 19th
century by two British scholars, Drs. Westcott and Hort. (Strangely
enough, most Christians today never even heard about them -- these two
19th century Fathers of the Church, who actually gave you your New
Testament...) This dynamic duo based their creation mainly on a few
Egyptian Greek manuscripts from the 4th and 5th centuries.

But the problem with this Westcott & Hort text is that it had never
actually existed in real life before the 19th century!

So here's this Big Fraud in a nutshell. It is claimed by all of our
mainstream biblical scholars -- thousands upon tens of thousands of them
-- that a 19th century text of the gospels... is the original first
century text! But there's not even one shred of hard evidence for this!

What a lark!

So this is what our whole academic biblical guild is still busy working
with... They are all basing their research completely on this Westcott &
Hort 19th century creation. But if this is shown to be false and
misguided... I guess this means that our whole 20th century NT scholarship
is nothing other but ONE BIG DELUSION?

Oh, well, maybe it's time to start anew...

All we have to do is simply take a brief look at what was the actual basis
for that famous 19th century edition by Westcott & Hort. They based it
mostly on the two Egyptian manuscripts from around 400 CE, the Sinaiticus
and the Alexandrinus. They thought that they are the best... But how can
they represent "the original text of the gospels" if they constantly
disagree with each other? In fact, just in the gospels, these 2 happen to
disagree among themselves the whole 3000 times! (And we're now talking
about the _substantial_ disagreements here, not some minor spelling
discrepancies, of which there are even a lot more.)

So maybe the whole thing was a delusion, after all? I sure think so, after
studying this whole area of scholarship for quite a few years.

Yes indeed, it took me a very long time to figure out some of these
things... But now, when I'm putting it all back together again, the whole
thing really does look quite elementary. It's quite simply a fraud, that's
what it is!


THE EARLIEST TEXTUAL EVIDENCE

So let us try to start anew, and to take a fresh look at the most basic
textual evidence coming from the earliest gospels manuscripts that we
have.

I will try to keep this article as brief as possible. Because, as I see
it, you don't really need a very long explanation in order to verify these
two statements above. Even a very brief analysis of our earliest
manuscripts in the 3 most important ancient languages, Aramaic, Greek, and
Latin, will soon make these things abundantly clear.

Latin was the official language of the Roman empire. Aramaic was the
language of the earliest Christians in Israel, as well as in Syria. And
Greek was the earliest official language of the Catholic Church. So let us
look at the earliest manuscripts of the gospels in these 3 languages. As
we shall soon see, they have quite a story to tell...

Our oldest Latin witnesses are known as the "Old Latin" manuscripts (there
are about a dozen of them that have survived to present day). And our
oldest Aramaic manuscripts of the gospels are known as the "Old Syriac"
manuscripts (there are only two of them that still survive). And there are
actually some pretty amazing similarities between what these two groups of
witnesses are saying, and we'll return to this presently.

Now, the following is what is generally accepted in the biblical field, so
this should provide a very good basis for our analysis.

-- All the specialists agree that the Old Latin manuscripts of the gospels
came before the Latin Vulgate (as used later by the Catholic Church).
There's nobody in the world today who disputes this view!

-- All the professional Textual Critics agree that the Old Syriac Aramaic
manuscripts of the gospels came before the Peshitta (the Syriac Aramaic
Vulgate, the traditional Aramaic NT text that is still used by some
Eastern Churches today).

(Although there are a few Peshitta supporters around who would disagree re
the Old Syriac manuscripts, it may be noted that none of them are really
formally trained Textual Critics...)

Thus, we have a _very wide consensus_ among the professional biblical
scholars that the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts are prior to
their respective Vulgates. And this is very important for the argument
that follows.

It is also well known that both the OL and the OS manuscripts are marked
by considerable variation among them -- they are far from being uniform.
So this is how our earliest texts in these languages happen to look; they
are the manuscripts of the 4th and 5th centuries, the same age as what we
have in Greek.

And so, based on the current scholarly consensus, some time in the 4th
century, these OL and OS texts were standardised -- the processes that
resulted in the Latin and the Syriac Vulgates. These are attested today by
great many later manuscripts, each tradition featuring a lot of internal
consistency.

Thus, the general conclusion that emerges for us so far is that first
there was a variability among manuscripts, and then came the
standardisation.

Variability --> Standardisation

This is also very important for the argument that follows.


THE GREEK TEXTS

So what about the Greek textual tradition then? Logically, based on what
has been said already about our oldest Latin and Aramaic manuscripts, we
should expect to see the same basic pattern also among the early Greek
manuscripts. Namely, we should expect to see some Old Greek manuscripts,
and then a standardisation of them in the form of a Greek Vulgate.

And is this what we find in our evidentiary base? Well, yes, indeed, this
is so, more or less...

As far as the Greek Vulgate goes, this is certainly very much in evidence.
Broadly speaking, the Greek Byzantine text can be considered as the
equivalent of both the Latin Vulgate, and of the Syriac Peshitta. All 3 of
these later textual traditions are heavily standardised within themselves,
and all 3 are found in a mass of later manuscripts. This Greek Byzantine
text (also known as the Majority text, or the Textus Receptus) provided
the basis for the gospels as we still have them in the King James Version
of the Bible.

But what about the _earlier_ Greek manuscripts? Are there also some "Old
Greek" manuscripts that would be similar to the Old Latin and Old Syriac
manuscripts?

Well, we have one such Greek manuscript for sure. It is known as the Codex
Bezae, one of the most ancient complete Greek manuscripts that we have --
and it's been extensively studied by biblical scholars already for a very
long time.

Also, there are some other early Greek manuscripts that are known as the
"allies of Codex Bezae". But it must be admitted that the Codex Bezae
really stands quite alone in the surviving textual tradition of the Greek
gospels, because only there do we find so many wide-ranging and consistent
parallels to both the OL and OS manuscripts.

So this is yet another point that needs to be stressed here. As mentioned
already, there is a huge number of close textual agreements between our
ancient Old Syriac and Old Latin manuscripts, that go against the
canonical Greek text. And, lo and behold, our amazing Greek Codex Bezae
fits right in with these Syriac-Latin agreements, also known as "the
Syro-Latin agreements"! This is actually widely known and acknowledged
among the professional Textual Critics.

Now, it would be a very safe conclusion at this point to infer that, back
in the early centuries of Christianity, there existed a lot more Greek
manuscripts that would have been very similar both to the OL and the OS
manuscripts, as well as to the Greek Bezae. But they probably all perished
in subsequent centuries, after the Church settled upon the more
standardised Greek text of the gospels, which is represented for us today
by the thousands of Byzantine manuscripts.

So shouldn't then the Greek Bezae be known rightly as an "Old Greek"
manuscript, in parallel to the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts?
Yes, logically, it should be, but it seems like nobody among today's
Textual Critics wants to make such a connection... (They'd rather see
Bezae as a strange stand-alone, as a "wild" peculiarity of some sort.) And
here's the rub!

So why is everybody avoiding this issue? Why the reluctance to describe
Greek Bezae as an "Old Greek" manuscript, and to accept that there were
plenty more of them before that subsequent Byzantine standardisation of
the Greek text? After all, once these things -- which really seem rather
self-evident on the whole -- are accepted, the whole picture of how the
early Christian gospels developed would become a lot more clear, logical,
and consistent...

Well, paradoxically, perhaps it is exactly this _clarity_ that scares our
professional biblical establishment most... What if, after some bright
light is shined in this area, it would expose that our whole 20th century
biblical scholarship was really One Big Delusion? Could bright light be a
bit dangerous for them, perhaps?


FROM VARIABILITY TO A STANDARDISATION

Nothing of what I've said above about our Latin and Aramaic textual
traditions can be seen as in any way controversial by the mainstream
Textual Critics today. They all accept that, among the Latin and Aramaic
manuscripts, first there was a variability among them, and then came the
standardisation...

So it is only in regard to what I'm now saying about the Greek textual
tradition, and in regard to Codex Bezae, that there will be some
discomfort among the professionals.

But why should this be the case, really? Why are they afraid to make these
rather obvious connections?

Well, the answer here isn't really all that difficult to see, of course;
with the Greek gospels, there's a lot more that hangs in the balance. It's
a lot more sensitive territory, certainly, since nearly 99% of the
professional NT scholars today study the Greek text only.

They would all of course like to believe that the mainstream Greek text,
as used by them today -- their beloved Nestle/Aland -- is pretty close to
the original gospels. So this is why it is only in regard to the Greek
textual tradition that this basic pattern -- from variability to the
standardisation -- is supposed to be in question somehow...

So it's only the politics, my friends -- nothing more! Because, otherwise,
there can be no valid reason not to make these across-the-board
connections between the Old Syriac, Old Latin, and Old Greek manuscripts.


THE 3 BASIC MODELS

Let us now try to outline the 3 hypothetical models of how our gospels
might have developed from the earliest times and up to the 5th century.

First, this is what the mainstream scholars appear to be suggesting.

THE EGYPTIAN GREEK MODEL

Today's mainstream Textual authorities claim to see the following rather
odd things happening in the Greek textual tradition.

1. First, according to them, right off the bat, there was apparently a
very early standardisation of some sort, as represented by their favourite
Egyptian Greek text, of course.
2. But then, some mysterious winds began to blow -- out of nowhere, it
seems -- and the whole textual picture was scrambled up. A massive influx
of variability had arrived, apparently without any rhyme or reason
whatsoever.
3. And then, there was _yet another_ standardisation, as represented now
by the Byzantine text.

And so, according to this Egyptian Greek Model, it was that very early
(and still very mysterious) "Egyptian standardisation" that those great
Textual Wizards Westcott & Hort somehow managed to track down, and then to
reconstitute in their famous 19th century edition of the Greek NT. But was
that a real ancient standardisation, or was it perhaps something that they
just pulled out of the thin air? So this is the central question in all
this -- the question that will decide whether or not our whole modern NT
scholarship is really a sham.

(Well, the defenders of Westcott & Hort will of course deny that their
famous NT edition was pulled out of the thin air... Instead, they will
claim, it was pulled out from those two old Egyptian manuscripts, the big
favourites of Westcott & Hort. But since these manuscripts happen to
disagree substantially the whole of 3000 times, one might wonder about
it... Perhaps it was mostly the imagination of our two 19th century
British Wizards, after all...)

And now, the second model, what the Byzantine text supporters (who are
also often the KJV supporters) would rather offer us.

THE BYZANTINE MODEL

1. First there was a standardisation, as represented by the Byzantine
text.
2. Then there was a sudden influx of variability, that, unfortunately,
still remains completely unexplained.

Alas, it is quite obvious that both of these models leave way too much
evidence unexplained and unaccounted for. And they also assume some
historical processes that are completely without reason or precedent.
Hence, there's a lot of doubt about both of them.

But now, here's yet another, the third model, that seems far more
rational, and far more in accord with all the textual evidence on the
ground.

THE RATIONAL MODEL!

1. First there was a considerable variability in the texts of the gospels.
Early on, there was as yet no real sense that these texts were completely
sacrosanct, and on the same level as the Jewish Scripture. Some editing of
them was still considered as quite acceptable.
2. Then, after Christianity became victorious in the 4th century Roman
empire, and far more mainstream, there was a major standardisation of
gospel text, as represented for us now by the Byzantine Greek text, by the
Syriac Peshitta, and by Latin Vulgate.

So this model leaves no evidence at all that is unaccounted for. All the
textual evidence that we now have happens to be fully consistent with this
model. Which is, of course, the true measure of success for any scientific
theory. So is it possible that this is what really happened in real life?
I sure think so...


WHY IS THE GREEK TEXT STILL PRIVILEGED ABOVE ALL OTHERS?

Of course, if we look only at the Aramaic and Latin textual traditions,
our third model is clearly the most natural, the most complete, as well as
the simplest solution to the Textual Problem that we have. In fact, this
solution -- based as it is on the assumption that first there was
variability, and then came the standardisation -- is already _fully
accepted_ by the mainstream Textual Critics... but only for the Aramaic
and Latin textual traditions!

On the other hand, when the discussion moves on to the Greek textual
tradition, then we see a lot of strange things happening, all of a
sudden... Lo and behold, some strange "standardisations" pop out of
nowhere, in a totally unreal sequence.

We have already seen that, for the Byzantine supporters, the basic
sequence of Variability --> Standardisation happens to be inexplicably
reversed... How can they ever explain this one in any sort of a credible
manner?

And as for the Egyptian Greek mainstreamers, we see even weirder things
going on. First, according to these mainstream authorities, there was this
very strange "standardisation", that apparently happened at a very early
date... but only in Egypt (since this type of an Egyptian text is not
really in evidence anywhere else). So this is, then, what Westcott & Hort,
these two Biblical Fishermen, claimed to have fished out of the ocean
blue...

And then, all of a sudden, you have some strange storm blowing, and that
"original gospel text" got all scrambled up somehow? To be reassembled yet
again in yet another standardisation, the Byzantine one?

Well, if you believe that one, perhaps there's also a very nice bridge
that you might be interested in buying from that guy in the bar down the
street?


CONCLUSION

I think it is finally time for some sanity in the NT Textual studies. The
Rational Model above, the Model that is already fully accepted for the
Latin and Aramaic textual traditions, needs to be extended also to the
Greek textual tradition.

There are no two ways about it. There's simply no reason why the Greek
textual tradition should look any different from the other two major
textual traditions of the gospels.

And after this is accepted fully, what we have is the simple and logical
process -- from variability to the standardisation -- that will apply to
_all_ of our early gospel manuscripts. So there's no room there for any
mysterious early "standardisations", followed by no less mysterious
"influxes of variability". These are really just red herrings, nothing
more -- the shimmering Egyptian Mirages out there among the overheated
desert dunes.

But then, unfortunately for all too many biblical professionals -- for
over 90% of them, I would say -- it's back to the drawing board. It seems
like the Egyptian Greek text, on which they staked their whole
professional careers, was nothing more than a Great Egyptian Mirage. I can
already see their happy faces... :)

So what is my positive message then, some might ask? If the Egyptian text
is a Mirage, then what is there for people to do?

Well, in my view, going back to the Byzantine text doesn't look like such
a bad idea, after all. Let's go back to the past! Having the straight
choice between the Byzantine and the Egyptian text, I have no doubt that
the former is far preferable. So how about going back to the KJV then (or
to the New KJV, for those who prefer the updated English)?

(It should be quite obvious that the Byzantine Model above is considerably
simpler than the Egyptian -- it involves two steps rather than three, and
avoids the need to postulate two separate and completely unrelated
standardisations. While it is not really the best possible model, in my
humble opinion, yet it's still preferable to the Egyptian Model.)

But if some brave souls wish to go even further back, towards an even
older type of a text, it's definitely the ancient Aramaic gospels that
give us the best and the most original text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John. Strangely enough, these ancient Old Syriac Aramaic gospels have been
all but completely neglected in the last 100 years of biblical
scholarship. The main reason for this is clearly political, in my view,
the desire to make Yeshua into a Greek. But this is a separate long story
in its own right.

Best wishes,

Yuri.

Baqqesh shalom verodpehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)

Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm -- Toronto

Roy Boyden
2003-10-03 19:39:58 EST

"Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@clio.trends.ca> wrote in message
news:%xmfb.17452$tL.689882157@news.nnrp.ca...
> Greetings, friends,
>
> So what do the earliest gospel manuscripts make clear? Two things,
> actually,
>
> 1. Our modern New Testament Textual Criticism is fraudulent to the core.
>
> 2. All of the modern translations of the Christian gospels (RSV, NIV,
> NASB, etc.) have been falsified, since they are all based on a fraudulent
> Greek text.
>
> Indeed, what is the basis of all these mainstream English translations?
> They are all based on one and the same Greek text of the gospels, as
> published by the United Bible Societies, also known as the Nestle/Aland
> text. Essentially, this is the text that was first devised in the 19th
> century by two British scholars, Drs. Westcott and Hort. (Strangely
> enough, most Christians today never even heard about them -- these two
> 19th century Fathers of the Church, who actually gave you your New
> Testament...) This dynamic duo based their creation mainly on a few
> Egyptian Greek manuscripts from the 4th and 5th centuries.
>
> But the problem with this Westcott & Hort text is that it had never
> actually existed in real life before the 19th century!
>
> So here's this Big Fraud in a nutshell. It is claimed by all of our
> mainstream biblical scholars -- thousands upon tens of thousands of them
> -- that a 19th century text of the gospels... is the original first
> century text! But there's not even one shred of hard evidence for this!
>
> What a lark!
>
> So this is what our whole academic biblical guild is still busy working
> with... They are all basing their research completely on this Westcott &
> Hort 19th century creation. But if this is shown to be false and
> misguided... I guess this means that our whole 20th century NT scholarship
> is nothing other but ONE BIG DELUSION?
>
> Oh, well, maybe it's time to start anew...
>
> All we have to do is simply take a brief look at what was the actual basis

> for that famous 19th century edition by Westcott & Hort. They based it
> mostly on the two Egyptian manuscripts from around 400 CE, the Sinaiticus
> and the Alexandrinus. They thought that they are the best... But how can
> they represent "the original text of the gospels" if they constantly
> disagree with each other? In fact, just in the gospels, these 2 happen to
> disagree among themselves the whole 3000 times! (And we're now talking
> about the _substantial_ disagreements here, not some minor spelling
> discrepancies, of which there are even a lot more.)
>
> So maybe the whole thing was a delusion, after all? I sure think so, after
> studying this whole area of scholarship for quite a few years.
>
> Yes indeed, it took me a very long time to figure out some of these
> things... But now, when I'm putting it all back together again, the whole
> thing really does look quite elementary. It's quite simply a fraud, that's
> what it is!
>
>
> THE EARLIEST TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
>
> So let us try to start anew, and to take a fresh look at the most basic
> textual evidence coming from the earliest gospels manuscripts that we
> have.
>
> I will try to keep this article as brief as possible. Because, as I see
> it, you don't really need a very long explanation in order to verify these
> two statements above. Even a very brief analysis of our earliest
> manuscripts in the 3 most important ancient languages, Aramaic, Greek, and
> Latin, will soon make these things abundantly clear.
>
> Latin was the official language of the Roman empire. Aramaic was the
> language of the earliest Christians in Israel, as well as in Syria. And
> Greek was the earliest official language of the Catholic Church. So let us
> look at the earliest manuscripts of the gospels in these 3 languages. As
> we shall soon see, they have quite a story to tell...
>
> Our oldest Latin witnesses are known as the "Old Latin" manuscripts (there
> are about a dozen of them that have survived to present day). And our
> oldest Aramaic manuscripts of the gospels are known as the "Old Syriac"
> manuscripts (there are only two of them that still survive). And there are
> actually some pretty amazing similarities between what these two groups of
> witnesses are saying, and we'll return to this presently.
>
> Now, the following is what is generally accepted in the biblical field, so
> this should provide a very good basis for our analysis.
>
> -- All the specialists agree that the Old Latin manuscripts of the gospels
> came before the Latin Vulgate (as used later by the Catholic Church).
> There's nobody in the world today who disputes this view!
>
> -- All the professional Textual Critics agree that the Old Syriac Aramaic
> manuscripts of the gospels came before the Peshitta (the Syriac Aramaic
> Vulgate, the traditional Aramaic NT text that is still used by some
> Eastern Churches today).
>
> (Although there are a few Peshitta supporters around who would disagree re
> the Old Syriac manuscripts, it may be noted that none of them are really
> formally trained Textual Critics...)
>
> Thus, we have a _very wide consensus_ among the professional biblical
> scholars that the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts are prior to
> their respective Vulgates. And this is very important for the argument
> that follows.
>
> It is also well known that both the OL and the OS manuscripts are marked
> by considerable variation among them -- they are far from being uniform.
> So this is how our earliest texts in these languages happen to look; they
> are the manuscripts of the 4th and 5th centuries, the same age as what we
> have in Greek.
>
> And so, based on the current scholarly consensus, some time in the 4th
> century, these OL and OS texts were standardised -- the processes that
> resulted in the Latin and the Syriac Vulgates. These are attested today by
> great many later manuscripts, each tradition featuring a lot of internal
> consistency.
>
> Thus, the general conclusion that emerges for us so far is that first
> there was a variability among manuscripts, and then came the
> standardisation.
>
> Variability --> Standardisation
>
> This is also very important for the argument that follows.
>
>
> THE GREEK TEXTS
>
> So what about the Greek textual tradition then? Logically, based on what
> has been said already about our oldest Latin and Aramaic manuscripts, we
> should expect to see the same basic pattern also among the early Greek
> manuscripts. Namely, we should expect to see some Old Greek manuscripts,
> and then a standardisation of them in the form of a Greek Vulgate.
>
> And is this what we find in our evidentiary base? Well, yes, indeed, this
> is so, more or less...
>
> As far as the Greek Vulgate goes, this is certainly very much in evidence.
> Broadly speaking, the Greek Byzantine text can be considered as the
> equivalent of both the Latin Vulgate, and of the Syriac Peshitta. All 3 of
> these later textual traditions are heavily standardised within themselves,
> and all 3 are found in a mass of later manuscripts. This Greek Byzantine
> text (also known as the Majority text, or the Textus Receptus) provided
> the basis for the gospels as we still have them in the King James Version
> of the Bible.
>
> But what about the _earlier_ Greek manuscripts? Are there also some "Old
> Greek" manuscripts that would be similar to the Old Latin and Old Syriac
> manuscripts?
>
> Well, we have one such Greek manuscript for sure. It is known as the Codex
> Bezae, one of the most ancient complete Greek manuscripts that we have --
> and it's been extensively studied by biblical scholars already for a very
> long time.
>
> Also, there are some other early Greek manuscripts that are known as the
> "allies of Codex Bezae". But it must be admitted that the Codex Bezae
> really stands quite alone in the surviving textual tradition of the Greek
> gospels, because only there do we find so many wide-ranging and consistent
> parallels to both the OL and OS manuscripts.
>
> So this is yet another point that needs to be stressed here. As mentioned
> already, there is a huge number of close textual agreements between our
> ancient Old Syriac and Old Latin manuscripts, that go against the
> canonical Greek text. And, lo and behold, our amazing Greek Codex Bezae
> fits right in with these Syriac-Latin agreements, also known as "the
> Syro-Latin agreements"! This is actually widely known and acknowledged
> among the professional Textual Critics.
>
> Now, it would be a very safe conclusion at this point to infer that, back
> in the early centuries of Christianity, there existed a lot more Greek
> manuscripts that would have been very similar both to the OL and the OS
> manuscripts, as well as to the Greek Bezae. But they probably all perished
> in subsequent centuries, after the Church settled upon the more
> standardised Greek text of the gospels, which is represented for us today
> by the thousands of Byzantine manuscripts.
>
> So shouldn't then the Greek Bezae be known rightly as an "Old Greek"
> manuscript, in parallel to the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts?
> Yes, logically, it should be, but it seems like nobody among today's
> Textual Critics wants to make such a connection... (They'd rather see
> Bezae as a strange stand-alone, as a "wild" peculiarity of some sort.) And
> here's the rub!
>
> So why is everybody avoiding this issue? Why the reluctance to describe
> Greek Bezae as an "Old Greek" manuscript, and to accept that there were
> plenty more of them before that subsequent Byzantine standardisation of
> the Greek text? After all, once these things -- which really seem rather
> self-evident on the whole -- are accepted, the whole picture of how the
> early Christian gospels developed would become a lot more clear, logical,
> and consistent...
>
> Well, paradoxically, perhaps it is exactly this _clarity_ that scares our
> professional biblical establishment most... What if, after some bright
> light is shined in this area, it would expose that our whole 20th century
> biblical scholarship was really One Big Delusion? Could bright light be a
> bit dangerous for them, perhaps?
>
>
> FROM VARIABILITY TO A STANDARDISATION
>
> Nothing of what I've said above about our Latin and Aramaic textual
> traditions can be seen as in any way controversial by the mainstream
> Textual Critics today. They all accept that, among the Latin and Aramaic
> manuscripts, first there was a variability among them, and then came the
> standardisation...
>
> So it is only in regard to what I'm now saying about the Greek textual
> tradition, and in regard to Codex Bezae, that there will be some
> discomfort among the professionals.
>
> But why should this be the case, really? Why are they afraid to make these
> rather obvious connections?
>
> Well, the answer here isn't really all that difficult to see, of course;
> with the Greek gospels, there's a lot more that hangs in the balance. It's
> a lot more sensitive territory, certainly, since nearly 99% of the
> professional NT scholars today study the Greek text only.
>
> They would all of course like to believe that the mainstream Greek text,
> as used by them today -- their beloved Nestle/Aland -- is pretty close to
> the original gospels. So this is why it is only in regard to the Greek
> textual tradition that this basic pattern -- from variability to the
> standardisation -- is supposed to be in question somehow...
>
> So it's only the politics, my friends -- nothing more! Because, otherwise,
> there can be no valid reason not to make these across-the-board
> connections between the Old Syriac, Old Latin, and Old Greek manuscripts.
>
>
> THE 3 BASIC MODELS
>
> Let us now try to outline the 3 hypothetical models of how our gospels
> might have developed from the earliest times and up to the 5th century.
>
> First, this is what the mainstream scholars appear to be suggesting.
>
> THE EGYPTIAN GREEK MODEL
>
> Today's mainstream Textual authorities claim to see the following rather
> odd things happening in the Greek textual tradition.
>
> 1. First, according to them, right off the bat, there was apparently a
> very early standardisation of some sort, as represented by their favourite
> Egyptian Greek text, of course.
> 2. But then, some mysterious winds began to blow -- out of nowhere, it
> seems -- and the whole textual picture was scrambled up. A massive influx
> of variability had arrived, apparently without any rhyme or reason
> whatsoever.
> 3. And then, there was _yet another_ standardisation, as represented now
> by the Byzantine text.
>
> And so, according to this Egyptian Greek Model, it was that very early
> (and still very mysterious) "Egyptian standardisation" that those great
> Textual Wizards Westcott & Hort somehow managed to track down, and then to
> reconstitute in their famous 19th century edition of the Greek NT. But was
> that a real ancient standardisation, or was it perhaps something that they
> just pulled out of the thin air? So this is the central question in all
> this -- the question that will decide whether or not our whole modern NT
> scholarship is really a sham.
>
> (Well, the defenders of Westcott & Hort will of course deny that their
> famous NT edition was pulled out of the thin air... Instead, they will
> claim, it was pulled out from those two old Egyptian manuscripts, the big
> favourites of Westcott & Hort. But since these manuscripts happen to
> disagree substantially the whole of 3000 times, one might wonder about
> it... Perhaps it was mostly the imagination of our two 19th century
> British Wizards, after all...)
>
> And now, the second model, what the Byzantine text supporters (who are
> also often the KJV supporters) would rather offer us.
>
> THE BYZANTINE MODEL
>
> 1. First there was a standardisation, as represented by the Byzantine
> text.
> 2. Then there was a sudden influx of variability, that, unfortunately,
> still remains completely unexplained.
>
> Alas, it is quite obvious that both of these models leave way too much
> evidence unexplained and unaccounted for. And they also assume some
> historical processes that are completely without reason or precedent.
> Hence, there's a lot of doubt about both of them.
>
> But now, here's yet another, the third model, that seems far more
> rational, and far more in accord with all the textual evidence on the
> ground.
>
> THE RATIONAL MODEL!
>
> 1. First there was a considerable variability in the texts of the gospels.
> Early on, there was as yet no real sense that these texts were completely
> sacrosanct, and on the same level as the Jewish Scripture. Some editing of
> them was still considered as quite acceptable.
> 2. Then, after Christianity became victorious in the 4th century Roman
> empire, and far more mainstream, there was a major standardisation of
> gospel text, as represented for us now by the Byzantine Greek text, by the
> Syriac Peshitta, and by Latin Vulgate.
>
> So this model leaves no evidence at all that is unaccounted for. All the
> textual evidence that we now have happens to be fully consistent with this
> model. Which is, of course, the true measure of success for any scientific
> theory. So is it possible that this is what really happened in real life?
> I sure think so...
>
>
> WHY IS THE GREEK TEXT STILL PRIVILEGED ABOVE ALL OTHERS?
>
> Of course, if we look only at the Aramaic and Latin textual traditions,
> our third model is clearly the most natural, the most complete, as well as
> the simplest solution to the Textual Problem that we have. In fact, this
> solution -- based as it is on the assumption that first there was
> variability, and then came the standardisation -- is already _fully
> accepted_ by the mainstream Textual Critics... but only for the Aramaic
> and Latin textual traditions!
>
> On the other hand, when the discussion moves on to the Greek textual
> tradition, then we see a lot of strange things happening, all of a
> sudden... Lo and behold, some strange "standardisations" pop out of
> nowhere, in a totally unreal sequence.
>
> We have already seen that, for the Byzantine supporters, the basic
> sequence of Variability --> Standardisation happens to be inexplicably
> reversed... How can they ever explain this one in any sort of a credible
> manner?
>
> And as for the Egyptian Greek mainstreamers, we see even weirder things
> going on. First, according to these mainstream authorities, there was this
> very strange "standardisation", that apparently happened at a very early
> date... but only in Egypt (since this type of an Egyptian text is not
> really in evidence anywhere else). So this is, then, what Westcott & Hort,
> these two Biblical Fishermen, claimed to have fished out of the ocean
> blue...
>
> And then, all of a sudden, you have some strange storm blowing, and that
> "original gospel text" got all scrambled up somehow? To be reassembled yet
> again in yet another standardisation, the Byzantine one?
>
> Well, if you believe that one, perhaps there's also a very nice bridge
> that you might be interested in buying from that guy in the bar down the
> street?
>
>
> CONCLUSION
>
> I think it is finally time for some sanity in the NT Textual studies. The
> Rational Model above, the Model that is already fully accepted for the
> Latin and Aramaic textual traditions, needs to be extended also to the
> Greek textual tradition.
>
> There are no two ways about it. There's simply no reason why the Greek
> textual tradition should look any different from the other two major
> textual traditions of the gospels.
>
> And after this is accepted fully, what we have is the simple and logical
> process -- from variability to the standardisation -- that will apply to
> _all_ of our early gospel manuscripts. So there's no room there for any
> mysterious early "standardisations", followed by no less mysterious
> "influxes of variability". These are really just red herrings, nothing
> more -- the shimmering Egyptian Mirages out there among the overheated
> desert dunes.
>
> But then, unfortunately for all too many biblical professionals -- for
> over 90% of them, I would say -- it's back to the drawing board. It seems
> like the Egyptian Greek text, on which they staked their whole
> professional careers, was nothing more than a Great Egyptian Mirage. I can
> already see their happy faces... :)
>
> So what is my positive message then, some might ask? If the Egyptian text
> is a Mirage, then what is there for people to do?
>
> Well, in my view, going back to the Byzantine text doesn't look like such
> a bad idea, after all. Let's go back to the past! Having the straight
> choice between the Byzantine and the Egyptian text, I have no doubt that
> the former is far preferable. So how about going back to the KJV then (or
> to the New KJV, for those who prefer the updated English)?
>
> (It should be quite obvious that the Byzantine Model above is considerably
> simpler than the Egyptian -- it involves two steps rather than three, and
> avoids the need to postulate two separate and completely unrelated
> standardisations. While it is not really the best possible model, in my
> humble opinion, yet it's still preferable to the Egyptian Model.)
>
> But if some brave souls wish to go even further back, towards an even
> older type of a text, it's definitely the ancient Aramaic gospels that
> give us the best and the most original text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and
> John. Strangely enough, these ancient Old Syriac Aramaic gospels have been
> all but completely neglected in the last 100 years of biblical
> scholarship. The main reason for this is clearly political, in my view,
> the desire to make Yeshua into a Greek. But this is a separate long story
> in its own right.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Yuri.
>
> Baqqesh shalom verodpehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)
>
> Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm -- Toronto

Well done, Yuri. It will be a cold day in Hell though, pardon the
expression, when fundamentalist denominations admit any error in "their"
Bible. They all have a vested commercial interest in preserving the status
quo. It pays, you see, extremely well. Witness the many millionaire
ministries on the air. I wish you well, Yuri, and rots of ruck!
Cheers,
Roy



Devon Hill
2003-10-04 02:51:35 EST
So so very weak.........yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.....

>From a Chuckling Darul Harbian

Devon in Canada.

"Roy Boyden" <royboy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:iNnfb.88$%o6.33@news1.central.cox.net...
>
> "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@clio.trends.ca> wrote in message
> news:%xmfb.17452$tL.689882157@news.nnrp.ca...
> > Greetings, friends,
> >
> > So what do the earliest gospel manuscripts make clear? Two things,
> > actually,
> >
> > 1. Our modern New Testament Textual Criticism is fraudulent to the core.
> >
> > 2. All of the modern translations of the Christian gospels (RSV, NIV,
> > NASB, etc.) have been falsified, since they are all based on a
fraudulent
> > Greek text.
> >
> > Indeed, what is the basis of all these mainstream English translations?
> > They are all based on one and the same Greek text of the gospels, as
> > published by the United Bible Societies, also known as the Nestle/Aland
> > text. Essentially, this is the text that was first devised in the 19th
> > century by two British scholars, Drs. Westcott and Hort. (Strangely
> > enough, most Christians today never even heard about them -- these two
> > 19th century Fathers of the Church, who actually gave you your New
> > Testament...) This dynamic duo based their creation mainly on a few
> > Egyptian Greek manuscripts from the 4th and 5th centuries.
> >
> > But the problem with this Westcott & Hort text is that it had never
> > actually existed in real life before the 19th century!
> >
> > So here's this Big Fraud in a nutshell. It is claimed by all of our
> > mainstream biblical scholars -- thousands upon tens of thousands of them
> > -- that a 19th century text of the gospels... is the original first
> > century text! But there's not even one shred of hard evidence for this!
> >
> > What a lark!
> >
> > So this is what our whole academic biblical guild is still busy working
> > with... They are all basing their research completely on this Westcott &
> > Hort 19th century creation. But if this is shown to be false and
> > misguided... I guess this means that our whole 20th century NT
scholarship
> > is nothing other but ONE BIG DELUSION?
> >
> > Oh, well, maybe it's time to start anew...
> >
> > All we have to do is simply take a brief look at what was the actual
basis
>
> > for that famous 19th century edition by Westcott & Hort. They based it
> > mostly on the two Egyptian manuscripts from around 400 CE, the
Sinaiticus
> > and the Alexandrinus. They thought that they are the best... But how can
> > they represent "the original text of the gospels" if they constantly
> > disagree with each other? In fact, just in the gospels, these 2 happen
to
> > disagree among themselves the whole 3000 times! (And we're now talking
> > about the _substantial_ disagreements here, not some minor spelling
> > discrepancies, of which there are even a lot more.)
> >
> > So maybe the whole thing was a delusion, after all? I sure think so,
after
> > studying this whole area of scholarship for quite a few years.
> >
> > Yes indeed, it took me a very long time to figure out some of these
> > things... But now, when I'm putting it all back together again, the
whole
> > thing really does look quite elementary. It's quite simply a fraud,
that's
> > what it is!
> >
> >
> > THE EARLIEST TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
> >
> > So let us try to start anew, and to take a fresh look at the most basic
> > textual evidence coming from the earliest gospels manuscripts that we
> > have.
> >
> > I will try to keep this article as brief as possible. Because, as I see
> > it, you don't really need a very long explanation in order to verify
these
> > two statements above. Even a very brief analysis of our earliest
> > manuscripts in the 3 most important ancient languages, Aramaic, Greek,
and
> > Latin, will soon make these things abundantly clear.
> >
> > Latin was the official language of the Roman empire. Aramaic was the
> > language of the earliest Christians in Israel, as well as in Syria. And
> > Greek was the earliest official language of the Catholic Church. So let
us
> > look at the earliest manuscripts of the gospels in these 3 languages. As
> > we shall soon see, they have quite a story to tell...
> >
> > Our oldest Latin witnesses are known as the "Old Latin" manuscripts
(there
> > are about a dozen of them that have survived to present day). And our
> > oldest Aramaic manuscripts of the gospels are known as the "Old Syriac"
> > manuscripts (there are only two of them that still survive). And there
are
> > actually some pretty amazing similarities between what these two groups
of
> > witnesses are saying, and we'll return to this presently.
> >
> > Now, the following is what is generally accepted in the biblical field,
so
> > this should provide a very good basis for our analysis.
> >
> > -- All the specialists agree that the Old Latin manuscripts of the
gospels
> > came before the Latin Vulgate (as used later by the Catholic Church).
> > There's nobody in the world today who disputes this view!
> >
> > -- All the professional Textual Critics agree that the Old Syriac
Aramaic
> > manuscripts of the gospels came before the Peshitta (the Syriac Aramaic
> > Vulgate, the traditional Aramaic NT text that is still used by some
> > Eastern Churches today).
> >
> > (Although there are a few Peshitta supporters around who would disagree
re
> > the Old Syriac manuscripts, it may be noted that none of them are really
> > formally trained Textual Critics...)
> >
> > Thus, we have a _very wide consensus_ among the professional biblical
> > scholars that the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts are prior to
> > their respective Vulgates. And this is very important for the argument
> > that follows.
> >
> > It is also well known that both the OL and the OS manuscripts are marked
> > by considerable variation among them -- they are far from being uniform.
> > So this is how our earliest texts in these languages happen to look;
they
> > are the manuscripts of the 4th and 5th centuries, the same age as what
we
> > have in Greek.
> >
> > And so, based on the current scholarly consensus, some time in the 4th
> > century, these OL and OS texts were standardised -- the processes that
> > resulted in the Latin and the Syriac Vulgates. These are attested today
by
> > great many later manuscripts, each tradition featuring a lot of internal
> > consistency.
> >
> > Thus, the general conclusion that emerges for us so far is that first
> > there was a variability among manuscripts, and then came the
> > standardisation.
> >
> > Variability --> Standardisation
> >
> > This is also very important for the argument that follows.
> >
> >
> > THE GREEK TEXTS
> >
> > So what about the Greek textual tradition then? Logically, based on what
> > has been said already about our oldest Latin and Aramaic manuscripts, we
> > should expect to see the same basic pattern also among the early Greek
> > manuscripts. Namely, we should expect to see some Old Greek manuscripts,
> > and then a standardisation of them in the form of a Greek Vulgate.
> >
> > And is this what we find in our evidentiary base? Well, yes, indeed,
this
> > is so, more or less...
> >
> > As far as the Greek Vulgate goes, this is certainly very much in
evidence.
> > Broadly speaking, the Greek Byzantine text can be considered as the
> > equivalent of both the Latin Vulgate, and of the Syriac Peshitta. All 3
of
> > these later textual traditions are heavily standardised within
themselves,
> > and all 3 are found in a mass of later manuscripts. This Greek Byzantine
> > text (also known as the Majority text, or the Textus Receptus) provided
> > the basis for the gospels as we still have them in the King James
Version
> > of the Bible.
> >
> > But what about the _earlier_ Greek manuscripts? Are there also some "Old
> > Greek" manuscripts that would be similar to the Old Latin and Old Syriac
> > manuscripts?
> >
> > Well, we have one such Greek manuscript for sure. It is known as the
Codex
> > Bezae, one of the most ancient complete Greek manuscripts that we
have --
> > and it's been extensively studied by biblical scholars already for a
very
> > long time.
> >
> > Also, there are some other early Greek manuscripts that are known as the
> > "allies of Codex Bezae". But it must be admitted that the Codex Bezae
> > really stands quite alone in the surviving textual tradition of the
Greek
> > gospels, because only there do we find so many wide-ranging and
consistent
> > parallels to both the OL and OS manuscripts.
> >
> > So this is yet another point that needs to be stressed here. As
mentioned
> > already, there is a huge number of close textual agreements between our
> > ancient Old Syriac and Old Latin manuscripts, that go against the
> > canonical Greek text. And, lo and behold, our amazing Greek Codex Bezae
> > fits right in with these Syriac-Latin agreements, also known as "the
> > Syro-Latin agreements"! This is actually widely known and acknowledged
> > among the professional Textual Critics.
> >
> > Now, it would be a very safe conclusion at this point to infer that,
back
> > in the early centuries of Christianity, there existed a lot more Greek
> > manuscripts that would have been very similar both to the OL and the OS
> > manuscripts, as well as to the Greek Bezae. But they probably all
perished
> > in subsequent centuries, after the Church settled upon the more
> > standardised Greek text of the gospels, which is represented for us
today
> > by the thousands of Byzantine manuscripts.
> >
> > So shouldn't then the Greek Bezae be known rightly as an "Old Greek"
> > manuscript, in parallel to the Old Latin and the Old Syriac manuscripts?
> > Yes, logically, it should be, but it seems like nobody among today's
> > Textual Critics wants to make such a connection... (They'd rather see
> > Bezae as a strange stand-alone, as a "wild" peculiarity of some sort.)
And
> > here's the rub!
> >
> > So why is everybody avoiding this issue? Why the reluctance to describe
> > Greek Bezae as an "Old Greek" manuscript, and to accept that there were
> > plenty more of them before that subsequent Byzantine standardisation of
> > the Greek text? After all, once these things -- which really seem rather
> > self-evident on the whole -- are accepted, the whole picture of how the
> > early Christian gospels developed would become a lot more clear,
logical,
> > and consistent...
> >
> > Well, paradoxically, perhaps it is exactly this _clarity_ that scares
our
> > professional biblical establishment most... What if, after some bright
> > light is shined in this area, it would expose that our whole 20th
century
> > biblical scholarship was really One Big Delusion? Could bright light be
a
> > bit dangerous for them, perhaps?
> >
> >
> > FROM VARIABILITY TO A STANDARDISATION
> >
> > Nothing of what I've said above about our Latin and Aramaic textual
> > traditions can be seen as in any way controversial by the mainstream
> > Textual Critics today. They all accept that, among the Latin and Aramaic
> > manuscripts, first there was a variability among them, and then came the
> > standardisation...
> >
> > So it is only in regard to what I'm now saying about the Greek textual
> > tradition, and in regard to Codex Bezae, that there will be some
> > discomfort among the professionals.
> >
> > But why should this be the case, really? Why are they afraid to make
these
> > rather obvious connections?
> >
> > Well, the answer here isn't really all that difficult to see, of course;
> > with the Greek gospels, there's a lot more that hangs in the balance.
It's
> > a lot more sensitive territory, certainly, since nearly 99% of the
> > professional NT scholars today study the Greek text only.
> >
> > They would all of course like to believe that the mainstream Greek text,
> > as used by them today -- their beloved Nestle/Aland -- is pretty close
to
> > the original gospels. So this is why it is only in regard to the Greek
> > textual tradition that this basic pattern -- from variability to the
> > standardisation -- is supposed to be in question somehow...
> >
> > So it's only the politics, my friends -- nothing more! Because,
otherwise,
> > there can be no valid reason not to make these across-the-board
> > connections between the Old Syriac, Old Latin, and Old Greek
manuscripts.
> >
> >
> > THE 3 BASIC MODELS
> >
> > Let us now try to outline the 3 hypothetical models of how our gospels
> > might have developed from the earliest times and up to the 5th century.
> >
> > First, this is what the mainstream scholars appear to be suggesting.
> >
> > THE EGYPTIAN GREEK MODEL
> >
> > Today's mainstream Textual authorities claim to see the following rather
> > odd things happening in the Greek textual tradition.
> >
> > 1. First, according to them, right off the bat, there was apparently a
> > very early standardisation of some sort, as represented by their
favourite
> > Egyptian Greek text, of course.
> > 2. But then, some mysterious winds began to blow -- out of nowhere, it
> > seems -- and the whole textual picture was scrambled up. A massive
influx
> > of variability had arrived, apparently without any rhyme or reason
> > whatsoever.
> > 3. And then, there was _yet another_ standardisation, as represented now
> > by the Byzantine text.
> >
> > And so, according to this Egyptian Greek Model, it was that very early
> > (and still very mysterious) "Egyptian standardisation" that those great
> > Textual Wizards Westcott & Hort somehow managed to track down, and then
to
> > reconstitute in their famous 19th century edition of the Greek NT. But
was
> > that a real ancient standardisation, or was it perhaps something that
they
> > just pulled out of the thin air? So this is the central question in all
> > this -- the question that will decide whether or not our whole modern NT
> > scholarship is really a sham.
> >
> > (Well, the defenders of Westcott & Hort will of course deny that their
> > famous NT edition was pulled out of the thin air... Instead, they will
> > claim, it was pulled out from those two old Egyptian manuscripts, the
big
> > favourites of Westcott & Hort. But since these manuscripts happen to
> > disagree substantially the whole of 3000 times, one might wonder about
> > it... Perhaps it was mostly the imagination of our two 19th century
> > British Wizards, after all...)
> >
> > And now, the second model, what the Byzantine text supporters (who are
> > also often the KJV supporters) would rather offer us.
> >
> > THE BYZANTINE MODEL
> >
> > 1. First there was a standardisation, as represented by the Byzantine
> > text.
> > 2. Then there was a sudden influx of variability, that, unfortunately,
> > still remains completely unexplained.
> >
> > Alas, it is quite obvious that both of these models leave way too much
> > evidence unexplained and unaccounted for. And they also assume some
> > historical processes that are completely without reason or precedent.
> > Hence, there's a lot of doubt about both of them.
> >
> > But now, here's yet another, the third model, that seems far more
> > rational, and far more in accord with all the textual evidence on the
> > ground.
> >
> > THE RATIONAL MODEL!
> >
> > 1. First there was a considerable variability in the texts of the
gospels.
> > Early on, there was as yet no real sense that these texts were
completely
> > sacrosanct, and on the same level as the Jewish Scripture. Some editing
of
> > them was still considered as quite acceptable.
> > 2. Then, after Christianity became victorious in the 4th century Roman
> > empire, and far more mainstream, there was a major standardisation of
> > gospel text, as represented for us now by the Byzantine Greek text, by
the
> > Syriac Peshitta, and by Latin Vulgate.
> >
> > So this model leaves no evidence at all that is unaccounted for. All the
> > textual evidence that we now have happens to be fully consistent with
this
> > model. Which is, of course, the true measure of success for any
scientific
> > theory. So is it possible that this is what really happened in real
life?
> > I sure think so...
> >
> >
> > WHY IS THE GREEK TEXT STILL PRIVILEGED ABOVE ALL OTHERS?
> >
> > Of course, if we look only at the Aramaic and Latin textual traditions,
> > our third model is clearly the most natural, the most complete, as well
as
> > the simplest solution to the Textual Problem that we have. In fact, this
> > solution -- based as it is on the assumption that first there was
> > variability, and then came the standardisation -- is already _fully
> > accepted_ by the mainstream Textual Critics... but only for the Aramaic
> > and Latin textual traditions!
> >
> > On the other hand, when the discussion moves on to the Greek textual
> > tradition, then we see a lot of strange things happening, all of a
> > sudden... Lo and behold, some strange "standardisations" pop out of
> > nowhere, in a totally unreal sequence.
> >
> > We have already seen that, for the Byzantine supporters, the basic
> > sequence of Variability --> Standardisation happens to be inexplicably
> > reversed... How can they ever explain this one in any sort of a credible
> > manner?
> >
> > And as for the Egyptian Greek mainstreamers, we see even weirder things
> > going on. First, according to these mainstream authorities, there was
this
> > very strange "standardisation", that apparently happened at a very early
> > date... but only in Egypt (since this type of an Egyptian text is not
> > really in evidence anywhere else). So this is, then, what Westcott &
Hort,
> > these two Biblical Fishermen, claimed to have fished out of the ocean
> > blue...
> >
> > And then, all of a sudden, you have some strange storm blowing, and that
> > "original gospel text" got all scrambled up somehow? To be reassembled
yet
> > again in yet another standardisation, the Byzantine one?
> >
> > Well, if you believe that one, perhaps there's also a very nice bridge
> > that you might be interested in buying from that guy in the bar down the
> > street?
> >
> >
> > CONCLUSION
> >
> > I think it is finally time for some sanity in the NT Textual studies.
The
> > Rational Model above, the Model that is already fully accepted for the
> > Latin and Aramaic textual traditions, needs to be extended also to the
> > Greek textual tradition.
> >
> > There are no two ways about it. There's simply no reason why the Greek
> > textual tradition should look any different from the other two major
> > textual traditions of the gospels.
> >
> > And after this is accepted fully, what we have is the simple and logical
> > process -- from variability to the standardisation -- that will apply to
> > _all_ of our early gospel manuscripts. So there's no room there for any
> > mysterious early "standardisations", followed by no less mysterious
> > "influxes of variability". These are really just red herrings, nothing
> > more -- the shimmering Egyptian Mirages out there among the overheated
> > desert dunes.
> >
> > But then, unfortunately for all too many biblical professionals -- for
> > over 90% of them, I would say -- it's back to the drawing board. It
seems
> > like the Egyptian Greek text, on which they staked their whole
> > professional careers, was nothing more than a Great Egyptian Mirage. I
can
> > already see their happy faces... :)
> >
> > So what is my positive message then, some might ask? If the Egyptian
text
> > is a Mirage, then what is there for people to do?
> >
> > Well, in my view, going back to the Byzantine text doesn't look like
such
> > a bad idea, after all. Let's go back to the past! Having the straight
> > choice between the Byzantine and the Egyptian text, I have no doubt that
> > the former is far preferable. So how about going back to the KJV then
(or
> > to the New KJV, for those who prefer the updated English)?
> >
> > (It should be quite obvious that the Byzantine Model above is
considerably
> > simpler than the Egyptian -- it involves two steps rather than three,
and
> > avoids the need to postulate two separate and completely unrelated
> > standardisations. While it is not really the best possible model, in my
> > humble opinion, yet it's still preferable to the Egyptian Model.)
> >
> > But if some brave souls wish to go even further back, towards an even
> > older type of a text, it's definitely the ancient Aramaic gospels that
> > give us the best and the most original text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and
> > John. Strangely enough, these ancient Old Syriac Aramaic gospels have
been
> > all but completely neglected in the last 100 years of biblical
> > scholarship. The main reason for this is clearly political, in my view,
> > the desire to make Yeshua into a Greek. But this is a separate long
story
> > in its own right.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> >
> > Yuri.
> >
> > Baqqesh shalom verodpehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)
> >
> > Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm -- Toronto
>
> Well done, Yuri. It will be a cold day in Hell though, pardon the
> expression, when fundamentalist denominations admit any error in "their"
> Bible. They all have a vested commercial interest in preserving the status
> quo. It pays, you see, extremely well. Witness the many millionaire
> ministries on the air. I wish you well, Yuri, and rots of ruck!
> Cheers,
> Roy
>
>



Hieron
2003-10-04 05:01:11 EST
I bought your book, The Magdalene Gospel. With postage it was very expensive
from Amazon. I consider it as a waste of money. You should have displayed
some of the text of the Magdalene gospel on your website, but you didn't.
If you did, I wouldn't have bought the book. You claim that it is the
original gospel, yet, the apostles are called "Saints" in it, like "Saint
Peter". I am not a textual scholar, but to me it is a proof that the text
is very late.

Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that the information you are providing
is pretty worthless.

So I am deeply disappointed that I spent my money on something I regret. You
should offer a refund, for I feel being deceived. You purposely didn't
display a portion of the text on your website.

Hieron

Libertarius
2003-10-04 12:03:17 EST


Devon Hill wrote:

> So so very weak.........yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.....
>
> From a Chuckling Darul Harbian
>
> Devon in Canada.

===>Would have been nice to read WHAT it is those MSS
"make clear". -- L.


Yuri Kuchinsky
2003-10-04 12:10:09 EST
In soc.history.ancient Devon Hill <dsbhill@shaw.ca> wrote:

: So so very weak.........yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.....

: From a Chuckling Darul Harbian

: Devon in Canada.

What's so weak about it, Devon?

Yuri.

: "Roy Boyden" <royboy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
: news:iNnfb.88$%o6.33@news1.central.cox.net...
:>
:> "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@clio.trends.ca> wrote in message
:> news:%xmfb.17452$tL.689882157@news.nnrp.ca...
:> > Greetings, friends,
:> >
:> > So what do the earliest gospel manuscripts make clear? Two things,
:> > actually,
:> >
:> > 1. Our modern New Testament Textual Criticism is fraudulent to the core.
:> >
:> > 2. All of the modern translations of the Christian gospels (RSV, NIV,
:> > NASB, etc.) have been falsified, since they are all based on a fraudulent
:> > Greek text.


Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely
rearranging their prejudices -=O=- William James

Yuri Kuchinsky
2003-10-04 12:22:40 EST
Hieron <ptalson@yahoo.com.au> wrote in message news:<blm2bh$dh2iv$1@ID-203945.news.uni-berlin.de>...
> I bought your book, The Magdalene Gospel. With postage it was very expensive
> from Amazon. I consider it as a waste of money.

You're the only one who said this to me. Everybody else liked my
book...

> You should have displayed
> some of the text of the Magdalene gospel on your website, but you didn't.
> If you did,

I did!

> I wouldn't have bought the book. You claim that it is the
> original gospel,

I'm not claiming it's "the original gospel". What I'm saying is that
it's closer to the original than any other gospel that we have.

> yet, the apostles are called "Saints" in it, like "Saint
> Peter". I am not a textual scholar, but to me it is a proof that the text
> is very late.
>
> Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that the information you are providing
> is pretty worthless.
>
> So I am deeply disappointed that I spent my money on something I regret. You
> should offer a refund, for I feel being deceived. You purposely didn't
> display a portion of the text on your website.
>
> Hieron

Your research skills leave much to be desired. Here's 1/3 of the
Magdalene Gospel that's been available on the Net for about 2 years
already.

http://www.styx.org/yuku/pepys/mag.html

[if temporarily unavailable, try the following link]

http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:W74l9Pq5ta0J:www.styx.org/yuku/pepys/mag.html

Yuri.

Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely
rearranging their prejudices -=O=- William James

Hieron
2003-10-04 19:42:57 EST
Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

> Hieron <ptalson@yahoo.com.au> wrote in message
> news:<blm2bh$dh2iv$1@ID-203945.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>> I bought your book, The Magdalene Gospel. With postage it was very
>> expensive from Amazon. I consider it as a waste of money.
>
> You're the only one who said this to me. Everybody else liked my
> book...

Sorry, I didn't.


>> You should have displayed
>> some of the text of the Magdalene gospel on your website, but you didn't.
>> If you did,
>
> I did!

I bought the book a few months ago. I couldn't find any text on your website
back then. I just checked it, and you now have the links.


>> I wouldn't have bought the book. You claim that it is the
>> original gospel,
>
> I'm not claiming it's "the original gospel". What I'm saying is that
> it's closer to the original than any other gospel that we have.

This is on the back of the book:

"The source of the New Testament has been found! Now it has been published
for the first time in this book."

This "source" is supposed to be the Magdalene Gospel. You start with these
words in the Introduction:

"If the evidence presented here is found to be valid, this may be the most
important book about history to have been published in the last few hundred
years. Because this volume introduces what appears to be the *most ancient*
Christian gospel of them all. As will be argued further, this is a text
that is *earlier* than any of the New Testament gospels." (emphasis mine)

Now I quote from the gospel:

Jn.1:1-4

"1# OF THE GODHEAD OF OUR LORD, GRACIOUS JESUS CHRIST, GOD ALMIGHTY

Our merciful lord Jesus Christ, in his divinity he was before all creatures,
as he made all creatures through his own gracious might. For he is strong
and powerful through God the Father. And he became truly a man, while
unchangeable in his godhead, and gave life, and light, and grace to all
mankind, so that they will know God. In accordance with the Law and the
Prophets, he was promised to the people, so that they believe in *God the
Father*." (emphasis mine)

This is clearly a late commentary on John's text. Some call it an expansion.
The term "God the Father" doesn't appear in the NT, not even in the
fathers' writings for a while.
Let's look at another:

Lk. 1:29-30
"and Elizabeth was full with the Holy Spirit, and began to cry and *worship*
Mary above all other women, as well as her child, and told Mary what things
were taking place. Then Mary answered, and thanked God and recited the
whole psalm of the Magnificat." (emphasis mine)

This is clearly another Catholic text. God alone is to be worshipped.
Another:

Lk.11:2
"And Jesus told them to say their "Pater Noster" + ("Our Father...")
earnestly and with good will."

Sure, he did.
Next:
p.419
"And then he asked them, Who did they hold him to be? And *St. Peter*
replied and said, "You are the Son of the holy and living God." (emphasis
mine)

That gospel has "St." before every apostles' name and before the name of
John the Baptist. This is not a biblical tradition, but a late Catholic
invention.

p.437
"Now the feast of *Easter+* was approaching." (emphasis mine)

Interesing, isn't it? Easter used instead of Passover. So is the text very
late or early? And Easter is used instead of Passover throughout the
gospel.

So my impression is that you are happy you have found a gospel that supports
the originality of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, but it
doesn't satisfy me. I have read comments on your book, and there are others
who think it is a harmonisation attempt.


>> yet, the apostles are called "Saints" in it, like "Saint
>> Peter". I am not a textual scholar, but to me it is a proof that the text
>> is very late.
>>
>> Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that the information you are
>> providing is pretty worthless.
>>
>> So I am deeply disappointed that I spent my money on something I regret.
>> You should offer a refund, for I feel being deceived. You purposely
>> didn't display a portion of the text on your website.
>>
>> Hieron
>
> Your research skills leave much to be desired. Here's 1/3 of the
> Magdalene Gospel that's been available on the Net for about 2 years
> already.
>
> http://www.styx.org/yuku/pepys/mag.html


Why do my research skills lack? Because I don't accept the idea that simply
because a few additional words appear in the gospel and for other reasons
you state in your book it is more ancient? I look at the text and to me it
is a commentary of the gospels written at or after the time of Constantine.

It might have been, but your website that described your research didn't
have the link at the time I was looking at (probably the first quarter of
this year). I it did, I couldn't find it.

I suggest you should try to sell your idea that the Magdalene Gospel is the
source on this newsgroup (alt.messianic). I don't think you get very far.

I am not sure why you post here, too.


Hieron

Roger Pearse
2003-10-04 20:28:29 EST
Hieron <ptalson@yahoo.com.au> wrote in message news:<blm2bh$dh2iv$1@ID-203945.news.uni-berlin.de>...
> I bought your book, The Magdalene Gospel. With postage it was very expensive
> from Amazon. I consider it as a waste of money. You should have displayed
> some of the text of the Magdalene gospel on your website, but you didn't.
> If you did, I wouldn't have bought the book. You claim that it is the
> original gospel, yet, the apostles are called "Saints" in it, like "Saint
> Peter". I am not a textual scholar, but to me it is a proof that the text
> is very late.
>
> Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that the information you are providing
> is pretty worthless.
>
> So I am deeply disappointed that I spent my money on something I regret. You
> should offer a refund, for I feel being deceived. You purposely didn't
> display a portion of the text on your website.

Hieron,

In fairness to Yuri, he has canvassed his opinions online very
industriously in the last couple of years, and been thrown out of more
moderated newsgroups for his pains than I ever knew existed. I don't
think it is quite fair to say that he is concealing his position; his
critics certainly emphasise that this is a late Latin harmony.

Also, the text was published, but there is some question of copyright
over the publication; and I don't know if Yuri would have been able to
obtain clearance from Magdalen College to shove anything he liked
online.

I know you probably feel sore at the loss of money -- and like
yourself, I believe Yuri to be quite mistaken -- but he didn't
intentionally deceive you. The price, I expect, is simply a
reflection of the costs of publication, since I expect he is
publishing it himself.

If it's any consolation, I too have bought books from time to time
which I could have learned were useless if I'd looked online more
carefully. Probably you and I are not the only ones.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

Hieron
2003-10-05 07:39:04 EST
Roger, my story is this:

Browsing the web in mid May this year I came across Yuri's website about the
Magdalene gospel. What he wrote appeared to be interesting, and I wanted to
check out the gospel text. I clicked to and fro on his website, but
couldn't find the text. I came back again and again, for I was interested,
but wanted to see a sample text before I purchased the book. Finally, I
followed his link to Amazon to buy the book, for I thought this was the
only way to lind out of it. An existing customer had a bad idea on Amazon,
but people say many things. So I bought the book.

I am unemployed, so it was expensive compared to my budget.
When I got the book, I became disappointed.

No, I don't question Yuri's intentions. Probably he didn't think a bloke
like me couldn't find the text. I am quite sure it was not on his website,
if it was, I couldn't find it. He said recently, that the text had been
available for two years on another site. I don't know, I searched on Google
a number of times, but all I found was the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

His is not the only book I regret I purchased, but it came at a time when I
had to stretch my budget (I am an IT graduate and the industry is in deep
recession).

Regards, Hieron


Roger Pearse wrote:

> Hieron,
>
> In fairness to Yuri, he has canvassed his opinions online very
> industriously in the last couple of years, and been thrown out of more
> moderated newsgroups for his pains than I ever knew existed. I don't
> think it is quite fair to say that he is concealing his position; his
> critics certainly emphasise that this is a late Latin harmony.
>
> Also, the text was published, but there is some question of copyright
> over the publication; and I don't know if Yuri would have been able to
> obtain clearance from Magdalen College to shove anything he liked
> online.
>
> I know you probably feel sore at the loss of money -- and like
> yourself, I believe Yuri to be quite mistaken -- but he didn't
> intentionally deceive you. The price, I expect, is simply a
> reflection of the costs of publication, since I expect he is
> publishing it himself.
>
> If it's any consolation, I too have bought books from time to time
> which I could have learned were useless if I'd looked online more
> carefully. Probably you and I are not the only ones.
>
> All the best,
>
> Roger Pearse

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