Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nice Comment on Pinto's Post-Debate radio show

Chris Pinto on yesterday's radio show did his own review of Hiram Diaz's review which I posted below this one. 

This was by "mt" who appears to have read one of my blog posts, which of course makes me happy, and does a very nice job of saying what the debate was all about.


I think Dr. White's comments are a testament to just how successful the watering down of seminary / church history education in America is. As a former Catholic I can certainly testify of how startling it is to wake up to the facts of Rome's historical influences and how much further reaching they are than what we have been taught. But it seems strange that reformed believers want to argue the other side of the debate... perhaps b/c they haven't experienced what it feels like to come out of the stupor of false doctrine, and don't understand how deep it goes or how underhandedly it has been perpetrated on the world. This is perhaps also owed to the success of the propaganda put forth in modern day academia.   (I say this as someone with a master's level education myself. The elitism in academia can be overbearing.)

From listening to the debate, it "appeared" that Dr. White wanted to divert attention to the Jesuits, as a tactic to discredit Chris, b/c White does not see credibility in any of CJP's historical research on their reported conspiratorial behaviors. Probably also b/c he had such a weak argument against the actual topic. After all, these S.J.'s are so nice and smooth talking, they couldn't possibly be bad. Right? I would guess he knows that if he says something dogmatically and authoritatively enough, and often enough, his followers will still believe what he says without bothering to check it out for themselves. Quoting James White seems to bear as much authority as quoting scripture for some folks. Some of the blog posts of those who think he "won" would bear this out, IMO. The statements they make have no substance to suggest otherwise. But it seems clear Dr. White has a lot invested in his viewpoint and doesn't want to budge. No surprises there. I don't think it's any coincidence either that he was given the last word.

I think Chris was very gracious, Christ-like, and polite. But, in spite of Chris' composed demeanor, White, while more polite than usual, not only tried to detract from the agreed upon topic, but also hit below the belt at least a couple times with condescending remarks. I still find that disconcerting, because it seems the "debate" forum for him was more an attempt to squelch Chris' research and prove his own right-ness than it was to seek truth. He attempted to dominate the debate, restate the "rules", cut Chris off, hold Chris to standards he can't hold himself to, and justify himself as graciously deigning to take time to debate Chris because of his supposed noble mission to disprove Chris' theory.

I believe Chris' forthright manner and clearly stated historical citations showed his character to be above that of his "opponent". Time will tell how God will use it to expose the truth of the authenticity of these manuscripts vs those that uphold those time-tested scriptures, integral to our faith and the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. God may have opened a door through this debate to do just that. It seems Chris' film-making and podcasting experience prepared him well to deal with the time constraints of his first formal debate.

Meanwhile, we can only hope and pray that some of Chris' accusers will be convicted in their hearts and repent and apologize for calling him "a liar". These are the very people who demanded Chris' apologies and have not yet humbled themselves to do likewise. We will continue to pray that Chris will continue to be a shining light in spite of them, and will continue to rise above his critics. We all have the challenge of not becoming embittered when attacked in this manner and, from what I can see, Chris' priorities are right in this regard.

Best Review of the Debate, by Hiram Diaz

Chris Pinto posted this at his site, and HERE is the original source.  There is also a link to the debate itself there. I don't know who Hiram Diaz is but he absolutely nailed it about the debate:

by Hiram Diaz

Although I enjoy listening to debates, I’m not a big fan of them. This may sound contradictory, so let me explain. On the one hand, debates are a great way to become familiar with different points of view, be they non-Christian or Christian. In this respect, I appreciate the knowledge that can be gained from assessing each point and counterpoint making up the debate.

However, on the other hand, personality can often take the place of sound reasoning. The more aggressively one pursues his debate opponent, for instance, the stronger he appears to the audience, as one who is in the right. Why? Because his personality trumps the weakness of his argumentation. Thus, debates can swing in the favor of men who present well, as opposed to presenting their case well.

The debate over whether or not Codex Sinaiticus is a modern forgery, a debate between James White and Chris Pinto was, unfortunately, one that made me dislike debates even more.

Before I listened to the background information that Pinto presented in his documentary and on his podcast/radio show, I was pretty sure James White’s statements about Pinto’s ideas being far-fetched and based on loose threads woven together by conspiracy were right.

But when the debate took place a couple nights ago, I saw that Dr. White was wrong. Pinto presented documented history that challenged the official story regarding Simonides (i.e. the man who claimed to have penned Codex Sinaiticus); Dr. White, however, did not refute Pinto’s challenge.
Dr. White appealed to authority, asking Pinto if he had ever collated manuscripts of the Bible or if he was competent in Greek, in an attempt to show that Pinto’s ignorance was the only justification he had for believing that the case of Simonides was not a closed case.
But this kind of reasoning is fallacious.

Pinto was not arguing from the standpoint of one who knew either the collation process or was competent in, if not a scholar of, koine Greek. His credentials in these two fields (i.e. manuscript collation and ancient Greek) is completely irrelevant.

Pinto’s argument was drawn from historical records regarding the events and persons surrounding Codex Sinaiticus. Dr. White, therefore, had no reason to ask for such credentials. If the historical data Pinto presented are to be jettisoned, then Dr. White should have presented an argument in favor of ditching the historical sources to which Pinto made reference. But Dr. White did no such thing.

Also, Dr. White reduced Pinto’s cogent reasoning to a “conspiracy theory,” a term which is often used in American media to dismiss viewpoints that contradict the official story. And Dr. White used it in just that way. In other words, Dr. White uncritically dismissed Pinto’s argument to a “conspiracy theory.”

In short, here are the problems I had with the debate:

1. Dr. White argued fallaciously, appealing to authority when no such appeal was relevant to the matter at hand.

2. Dr. White made assertions, central to his argument, that cannot be empirically verified. For instance, he claimed that the task of manuscript collation could not be done by a nineteen year old. This is not an argument, nor is it an empirically verifiable fact, as it is a universal proposition. There are many people in history who have accomplished great things at even younger ages. Are these people historical fictions? If they are real people, then are the historical accounts of their great abilities to be dismissed as “conspiracy theories” or overblown accounts of otherwise “normal” individuals?

This is not a point that can be taken very seriously, moreover, considering the renown that Simonides had for his unusual intellectual gifts as a young man. Whether or not he was a prodigy, I don’t know. However, when there is evidence of men speaking highly of Simonides’ superior intellectual endowments, and there is no evidence to prove that a nineteen year old cannot collate biblical manuscripts and form a unique copy of the Bible from those collated texts, the testimony of writers contemporaneous with Simonides actually holds weight, where Dr. White’s assertion has none.
Chris Pinto presented a logically cogent case for his position. Dr. James White neither presented a logically cogent case, nor did he succeed in refuting Pinto’s position.

Again, Pinto presented actual historical documentation that drills numerous holes into the “official” story regarding Simonides, whereas Dr. White simply dismissed Pinto’s sources, failing to provide counter evidence to Pinto’s argument. Consequently, it is Pinto, in my opinion, who won the debate.

And what is troubling to me is that many will not (i.)be able to identify Dr. White’s fallacious reasoning and (ii.)will depend on personalities in their assessment of the debate.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chris Pinto's assessment of the debate: not a matter of winning or losing

Chris Pinto's assessment of the debate is here and he did his usual great job of mustering his material and making his points.  He has command of his information and he has the right Christian attitude as well.

Was the Simonides question resolved in the debate?  Clearly not. 

I know I've been falling down on the job on this blog in recent months, being preoccupied with other things.  When I see a whole page of articles critical of Chris Pinto as a "conspiracy thinker" by another Christian ministry I'm not going to name, I feel the weight of my failure to keep up with these issues.   But Chris always answers that accusation very effectively. 

At the end he criticizes those of us who have made remarks in terms of who won the debate and makes it clear he doesn't think in those terms, that all the participants are on the same side, all seeking the truth that best serves the Lord.  Wonderful, I want to believe that, and in the most general sense I do believe it.  The problem is that the debate format itself demands a win/lose orientation, and those who are exercised in debating skills usually "win" it as far as making a more effective-sounding case for their side irrespective of the actual facts or truth they've brought out.

After hearing Chris' assessment of the debate I'm happily reminded of just how fully he commands his material, which didn't get to come out in the debate as I'd have hoped, as at the end of the debate I had felt that the wrong side of the issues had come out on top.  Again, the problem with the debate format is that it favors the wrong goals if what you are really concerned about is a collegial effort at resolving differences in the service of the Lord.  Rather than casting this sort of disagreement in a debate format it needs something more along the lines of a round-table discussion, and MUCH more time should be given to it. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Truth Lost the Debate in my Opinion

UPDATE:  Another comment from a reader:

Barbara Ogg wrote a great comment and I wish she'd posted it here instead of on a different post.   She rightly appreciates Chris Pinto's contribution which I'm afraid I slighted (although I agree with her) because I got overwhelmed with the externals of the debate itself, and her assessment of the whole debate and its significance is excellent.  Go check it out at the post titled  Chris Pinto to Debate James White

UPDATE:  Comment from reader

Steven Avery who wrote a comment on this blog post -- it's at bottom, please  check it out -- follows the scholarly questions about all this far more than I do or probably ever want to do, though I'm glad to hear what he has to say and may make an effort to upgrade my information from him.  If you go to his links to discussion threads you'll see how convoluted the issues can get.

I'm certainly OK with not having to think of the papyri in conspiratorial terms, those fragments found since Sinaiticus that are used to corroborate Sinaiticus.  In fact it's a relief not to think in conspiratorial terms.   And Sinaiticus remains a corrupted manuscript whether there was any conspiracy involved or not.  Avery doesn't agree with me that the Bible is called into question even if these are all authentic ancient manuscripts, because they are corrupted.

Maybe a different definition of "authentic" there.   My point was that if you try to defend the faith from them as White does, that you are FEEDING the Bible critics like Bart Ehrman and the Muslims, rather than answering them.   In spite of yourself you are supporting the argument against Bible inerrancy.  I don't know why this isn't obvious.

I suppose I end up agreeing with my own assessment at the bottom of this post, that concerning the Alexandrian manuscripts I'm with Burgon still, and ultimately it's a matter of spiritual discernment.


UPDATE:  Questions about Simonides

 Find myself pondering questions I've had in the back of my mind about Simonides that never quite came to the surface, that I more or less thought would get answered down the road somewhere, since as Pinto characterizes the situation it has remained rather mysterious overall so you don't expect all questions to be answered right away. 

1)  White brought up one of them:  Why in an orthodox Greek monastery would they have had an Alexandrian manuscript from which Simonides worked?  I think White said they normally used the Textus Receptus.  (But maybe I misunderstood that in some way.  If they wouldn't normally have that sort of text, how was it they had Codex Sinaiticus which  Tischendorf supposedly found?)

2)  Why would Simonides have produced a manuscript so riddled with errors and corrections if it was intended to be a gift to a Tsar?  This one has bothered me all along and I kept assuming there must be some kind of reasonable explanation but nothing has come up.

Those two lead me now to raise this one:

3)  If it wasn't his own production, what would he hope to gain by arguing about it in the newspaper for such a long time?   (= Since I can't see any personal advantage for him in it, I have to admit it leads me into conspiracy type questions:  who benefited from his claim and his ultimately being discredited?


Original Post.  First response to the debate: 

James White "won" it, at least as far as the Simonides episode goes, but that was the main focus of the debate after all, if not its real significance.  It colors all the other issues, however, unfortunately, the role of Tischendorf and the basic question about authenticity of Sinaiticus, and to my mind that means the Bible and Christianity lost.  I look forward to what Chris Pinto has to say about this in the days to come, but for myself I can always put the Simonides episode on hold and go back to Burgon. 

White thinks the papyri make Burgon obsolete.  I think Burgon was right to suspect that there was a lot more to the Westcott and Hort fraud than meets the eye, and yes, as White asked Chris at the end, would I suspect the fraud to continue even to the papyri, and my answer is yes I would. 

To my mind Chris Pinto has thoroughly proved through his films and talks and articles, entirely from the evidence, mostly the quotations of others, that there is such a thing as a true conspiracy, in this case by the Antichrist himself.  I guess White isn't going to be persuaded, I shouldn't have considered that as a possibility for a moment, he's completely persuaded by the corrupted manuscripts, and for now at least, that is that.

 I do think White raised enough questions about the processes Simonides would have had to go through to create the Codex to bring his story into doubt, but that just leaves it still a huge mystery why Simonides would ever have come forward to claim to have created the manuscript himself, what on earth would he have had to gain by that claim?  And I'm afraid White makes a good case about how Tares portrays Tischendorf too, which bothered me the first time I saw it, as overacting at least.  The actual statements made in the film may not convict Tischendorf but the images that portray him do.  I think there's plenty to question about Tischendorf, but the case isn't made in the film well enough for the image of him they created.

Those are flaws in the film and that's too bad because they then can be used against the real point at issue, the authenticity of the Greek manuscript Tischendorf claimed to have found.  The idea that you can defend the faith with manuscripts that contradict the traditional Bible is absolutely ridiculous.  White keeps saying these newly discovered "most ancient" manuscripts are a great blessing to the Church, but there's no way that is the case.  They call the Bible into question, period.  If they ARE authentic then we essentially have no more Bible.  Forget it, people CAN grasp the implications of such discrepancies.   Bart Ehrman and the Muslims are right about that.

I don't believe they are authentic, of course.  That doesn't depend on how the Simonides story turns out though I'd still love to see some smoking gun evidence in favor of that theory.  But even if it never turns up I think Burgon had the right instincts about a conspiracy to enshrine what he said the Church had formerly known to be corrupt manuscripts.   And besides the fraudulent use of those manuscripts against the instructions given to the revising committee,  there was also the fact of the thousands of unnecessary changes, in Burgon's opinion and in Bishop Wordsworth's opinion at least, the whole ugly result being a mutilation of the Bible and no revision.  Burgon saw the implications of the mutilation in the destruction of the Biblical witness. 

We start with that simple discernment:  the revision destroyed the Biblical witness, destroyed it.   If there isn't any identifiable conspiracy to bring about that effect, that is nevertheless the effect.

What Pinto has done is collect a ton of circumstantial evidence that there is a LOT more going on than meets the eye involving the Bible versions controversies.  But if you think the Alexandrian texts and the proliferation of Bibles is a "blessing" none of that is going to mean anything to you anyway. 

So I've come to believe that it's very possible for a highly complex covert conspiracy to be ongoing down the centuries.  We may never be able to pin it down in this life, of course, which means we won't be able to do anything about it in this life.  Except pray.  And that's no small thing but when you don't have anything you can actually DO to turn people away from the false Bibles you can feel pretty helpless.  My strength is made perfect in weakness just went through my head.  Well, if we prayed as we should we might see the Lord work. 

But again, even forgetting the possibility of such a conspiracy, the 1881 Revision was an absolute disaster for the Bible and for the Church.  White is simply wrong about that.

In the end it's a matter of spiritual discernment.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First Flash Mob of the Season / Plus debate schedule


Found some tweets about the debate off James White's website.  They are expecting White to be able to destroy Chris Pinto's claims about Constantine Simonides.   They have the standard view of Simonides of course, apparently haven't been listening to Chris' radio show on these subjects recently where he musters the evidence that raises serious questions about that view.

According to a tweet by White, the debate is to be live at 6PM EST (3PM here in the west) on
  Pirate Christian radio

Wonderful Flash Mob Christmas performance by the US Air Force.

I saw it right after I heard Chris Pinto's latest response to James White, in which he makes it painfully clear how Codex Sinaiticus has destroyed the credibility of the Bible, although White and others continue to defend it as authentic, unwittingly contributing to this destruction.

Pinto shows what apparently White is blind to, that Muslims love to point to Sinaiticus as proof that the Bible is not trustworthy.

And not only Muslims but every anti-Christian atheistic Bible hater out there, which is a growing number, are getting their Bible debunkery from Sinaiticus too, though they may not know it.

 If the Bible is not trustworthy, that means the music in this video is utterly without foundation.

A pox on Codex Sinaiticus!

  The debate between Pinto and White is tomorrow, I don't know where or when but I'm sure I'll find out eventually.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Debate Is Well Under Way

Today Chris Pinto did a very long radio show in answer to another one James White did attacking Pinto's film Tares Among The Wheat. Pinto said since White is coming out with his arguments he needs to answer him, especially since there will probably not be anywhere near enough opportunity to say much of what needs to be said during the debate itself. 

  Pinto knows his stuff. And it's certainly clear from all the facts he brought up today that the historical situation is much too complex for a debate format. It would take many such radio show exchanges even to begin to get it all said, and it's very hard for the average listener, like me, even though I've done some work on these things myself, to process all the information and keep it in mind. To get the Simonides affair in perspective requires many quotes from many different people from the time for instance. Anyway I'm glad he's doing this and I can only hope and pray it might wake up James White as Pinto hopes it might.  At the very least maybe it will establish enough factual information to help streamline the debate some.

I particularly enjoyed the last part of the show from about the hour mark on (he was going over the allotted time), where he sort of condenses his reaction to White's arguments. I laughed for what must be the first time ever in a discussion of these things when he characterized White's idea of defending the faith through the corrupted Greek manuscripts as hitting himself over the head with Goliath's sword; and then I cried through the last few minutes as he described how the proliferation of Bibles with faulty translational methods has contributed to the destruction of America. He doesn't think the great variety of gratuitous English wording contributes to the problem, though I do, and I think it's all part of the plot, but still there's no doubt in my mind that he's right about the effect of the modern Bibles in destroying once-Christian America. It breaks my heart.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

James White Begins the Debate a Week Early

So today Chris Pinto's radio show. The Character of Tischendorf is an answer to a radio show done by James White objecting to how Pinto portrayed Constantine Tischendorf in his film Tares Among the Wheat. Pinto and White are scheduled to debate the issues covered in the film on December 11, though no details as to where and what time have been given, and unfortunately we probably already get a glimpse of how the debate may go from White's objections at this point. As Pinto points out, he doesn't address any of the facts presented about Tischendorf in the film, just makes the general accusation that the film's characterization of Tischendorf is "grossly unfair."

I guess it's silly of me to think it might be possible for a debate to address the important questions and do it with facts well appreciated from both sides, since the usual debate is a morass of miscommunications (Did White really watch the film carefully?) and biased reactions.

I'd really like to hear the Simonides question fairly and thoroughly addressed.

Oh well. We can keep praying for the debate nevertheless.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Success of the Vatican and the Jesuits against the English Bible

Stumbled on this concise and well done history of the Bible at You Tube, put out by what is apparently a King-James-Only ministry called King James Video Ministries. Although I'm not King James Only in the same sense they are, since I believe the KJV still needs some updating, nevertheless I share their basic view of the history of the Bible and the huge superiority of the King James over all the modern versions.

This video is valuable for its exposure of the Roman Catholic influence on the Bible versions of today and in various movements within the no-longer-very Protestant churches. It covers the history of the English Bible from Tyndale's through the modern revisions. It quotes from the writings of Westcott and Hort demonstrating their disdain for the Word of God and their attraction to Roman Catholicism.   It presents the Greek texts that underlie the modern versions, that Westcott and Hort introduced into the revision against the instructions given to the revising committee, as Roman Catholic texts.

It touches on some of the modern translations and how they were brought about, such as the NIV and the NASB and their relation to the corrupted Greek texts favored by Westcott and Hort. Mentions the fact that Rupert Murdoch publishes the NIV as well as Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible, and that Murdoch was knighted into a Catholic order by the Pope. Kurt Aland and Bruce Metzger, who worked on the Nestlé's edition of the corrupted Greek texts, are also shown to have connections with the Vatican. There's also a connection between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church, which I hadn't been aware of. AND we get the fact that a JESUIT PRIEST, Carlo Martini, was on the Nestlé's committee as well.

All this is in the service of ecumenism or bringing all the "Christian" churches together under one head, who of course will be the Pope.

The New World Bible of the Jehovah's Witnesses is also based on a selection of the corrupted texts.

ALL Bibles produced since 1881 can be traced back to the Nestlé's text.

Video shows Catholic publications endorsing the NIV and criticizing the King James Bible. Also supposedly Protestant booksellers that sell openly Catholic publications while refusing to sell books defending the King James version.

Then leaders of supposedly Protestant congregations in the US are shown being presented to Pope Benedict. Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, The Reformed Church in America, The Presbyterian Church in the United States, The National Baptist Convention, International Pentecost Holiness Church, National Association of Evangelicals, even a district of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which I'd always thought was reliably orthodox.

Then we hear about the Catholic leanings of the Emergent Church, with quotes from Brian MacLaren and Tony Jones specifically repudiating the Protestant Reformation and even specifically supporting the Jesuits, the engineers of the Counter Reformation.

Sola Scriptura is aggressively under attack. Phyllis Tickle of the Emergent Church repeatedly asks, "Where is the authority" because to her mind scripture is no longer THE authority, so the Church is seeking an authority. Hey, Phyllis, there's always the Pope you know, but I suspect you have him in mind, you just aren't saying so yet. She's quite favorably disposed toward Loyola's Jesuits and the Counter Reformation, though. She signs off with her desire that we have "A new form of Christianity to serve a new Culture." Um, Phyllis, Christianity doesn't serve Culture, but it has been known to CREATE Culture. Too bad we weren't alert enough to battle off the wolves who eventually brought it down. You being one of them, Phyllis.

See how far it has gone? Did you know how far it has gone? Straight into the arms of the Antichrist.

So here is the video itself:


Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Sprinkle" or "startle?" --Just Another Bit of Translational Skulduggery from Westcott and Hort

Heard a great message on Christian radio this afternoon on Isaiah 53, which really starts back in Isaiah 52.  When the preacher got to Isaiah 52:15 he commented that the Hebrew word nazah, which is translated in the KJV as "sprinkle," is best translated "startle." 

The KJV has:
So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
But supposedly it would be better as "So shall he "startle" many nations?" 

For me these days it's an unavoidable irritation to hear sermons where the preacher favors the Westcott and Hort-inspired translations over the KJV, and this one is especially irritating because "startle" just isn't anything like "sprinkle," so I wanted to find out what lay behind it.  It's not irritating, by the way,  because I think the KJV is perfect, which I don't, but because I know the KJV translators knew their languages and this felt like just another slap in their worthy God-fearing faces by the revisers who hated the KJV, I mean HATED it, which they even said in so many words, being closet Catholics.  So I have to suspect it's probably another one of those 36,000 unnecessary corrections made in Westcott and Hort's 1881 "revision"  (See Bishop Wordsworth quote Change for Change's Sake in right margin).

I decided to find out.

So I did a little research. 

The list of Bible versions at Blue Letter Bible for that verse shows that nine of the twelve English versions have "sprinkle" while only two of them, the New Living and the Revised Standard, have "startle" and one, Darby, has "astonish."

The Revised Standard Version IS Westcott and Hort's Revision.  ONLY theirs and the New Living Translation have "startle."  Interesting that all the other modern versions stuck with the KJV on "sprinkle" instead of following the lead of the RSV from which they're all textually descended.   Should that perhaps be explained as their recognizing that "sprinkle" is the better rendering, or is there some other explanation?

The Hebrew word nazah  according to Strong's Concordance, occurs 24 times in the Hebrew Bible. 
It is translated in the KJV 24 times as "sprinkle."  That is, it is never translated by any other English word than "sprinkle" any place it occurs in the text.

Strong's gives "sprinkle" as the main meaning in English but also notes a secondary meaning, "leap," from which "startle" is deduced. 

I've discovered that this is a typical pattern for the Westcott and Hort revision.  That is, it's as if they checked the Concordance for the English meanings of a particular word in Greek or Hebrew, and chose a meaning that is on the list but far from the most common rendering, in a way that looks like they had no other interest than to find a rendering that is as different from the KJV as they could get but still within the ballpark as it were. 

People who favor the new versions will argue, of course, that a particular word is simply a "better translation" than the word found in the KJV, although they have no expertise in the language themselves and in most cases there's really nothing to justify that opinion except the fact that it's in a particular translation and not in the KJV.  The argument becomes silly in those cases where there are many different words in the many different translations, which is often the case.  Which of those many words is the "better translation" is a matter of subjective judgment.  And often a word choice was made simply to meet the requirement to have a certain number of differences from other translations in order to qualify for copyright.  That is another reason for the babelous cacophony of the translations besides Westcott and Hort's basic motive of vandalism of the KJV.  

So, yes, it looks like this is one of those 36,000 unnecessary changes, and maybe because it occurs in the Revision itself it's accepted by even the best of preachers as "more accurate" than whatever the KJV has:
  • despite the fact that nine of the twelve versions at BLB give "sprinkle" in agreement with the KJV
  • and despite the fact that "sprinkle" is the most common rendering.
I suppose Darby got "astonish" from "leap" too, but his is an oddball translation anyway.

The New Living Translation gives "cleanse" as an alternative in a footnote, which is odd since "cleanse" isn't exactly a synonym of "startle," although it is of "sprinkle."  But this is an oddball translation too. 

The translation that counts in this context is the RSV, because I wanted to know if this particular change can be traced to Westcott and Hort's devious schemes, and it looks like it certainly can.

I also looked up the English word "startle" in Strong's.  The word does not occur in the KJV at all.

And the English word "astonish:"  It occurs in various forms in the KJV ("astonied" and "astonished"), not one of which translates a Hebrew word even remotely similar to nazah.

Information on the RSV at Blue Letter Bible:
Transcribed from: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version containing the Old and New Testaments, translated from the original tongues: being the version set forth A.D. 1611, revised A.D. 1881-1885 and A.D. 1901: compared with the most ancient authorities and revised A.D. 1946-52. — 2nd ed. of New Testament A.D. 1971. There should be enough in the rest of the description to identify the text.
Excuse me if my lip curls in a sneer as I read this.  I'm sniffing sulfur from the pit of Hell, knowing that the RSV was produced by people who hated the KJV, who ignored the instructions to keep the revision to a minimum of changes by making 36,000 UNNECESSARY changes in the English (I assume a few were necessary), AND by palming off as "older and better" a few corrupted Greek texts which happen to have been approved by the Vatican, in the place of the KJV's Textus Receptus on which all the previous English translations had been based.  So to claim that it has anything whatever to do with the "version set forth A.D. 1611" except to mutilate it, is a big fat lie.  "Compared with the most ancient authorities" is just another piece of the Antichrist lie about the corrupted texts they've reinvented to be the oldest and best.  More Vatican inspired forgeries and deceptions.   Go watch Chris Pinto's films and listen to his radio shows.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Burning of the Bibles

Chris Pinto's radio show of August 15th is a good one, The Burning of the Bibles

He covers many topics concerning the corrupt Greek manuscripts Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, taking off from historian John Dowling's writings on a historical burning of Bibles.  

Having problems with my eyes so it's hard to stay online very long these days.  I'm hoping to have a solution to this soon.  Just want to post something good that's relevant to the Bible versions discussion.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chris Pinto answers a typical accusation of Constantine Simonides who claimed to have created Codex Sinaiticus

I got an anonymous comment on one of my earlier posts on the Constantine Simonides Controversy, just a quote from Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts by Frederic G. Kenyon, written in 1939, in which Kenyon passes on the accepted understanding of the Simonides affair, which makes Simonides out to be the villain in the story and Tischendorf his victim.  I sent it on to Chris Pinto and got back the following comment from him:
[Kenyon]  “The romance of the Codex Sinaiaticus was not yet over, however. Since the year 1856 an ingenious Greek, named Constantine Simonides, had been creating a considerable sensation by producing quantities of Greek manuscripts professing to be of fabulous antiquity, - such as a Homer in an almost prehistoric style of writing, a lost Egyptian historian, a copy of St. Matthew’s Gospel on papyrus, written fifteen years after the Ascension (!), and other portions of the New Testament dating from the first century. These productions enjoyed a short period of notoriety, and were then exposed as forgeries." 

[Chris Pinto:]  This first part of the quote has to do with the MSS. unrolled by Simonides in the Mayer Museum in Liverpool.  The MSS. belonged to the museum and had been purchased by Joseph Mayer years before he ever met Simonides.  Furthermore, they were opened in the presence of Mr. Mayer and the curator, John Eliot Hodgkin.  Hodgkin knew that these papyri were genuine, and could not have been forged by Simonides.  This, I believe, was part of the reason why Hodgkin defended Simonides to the end, because he knew that he had been falsely accused. 

In 1907, James Farrer wrote about about these scrolls.  Though he was not entirely in the camp of Simonides, Farrer defended him on this point and said: "It is almost impossible to believe in his manufacture of these papyri.  They correspond in writing and appearance with numberless other papyri which have of recent years been discovered and published ... If these are forgeries, they can hardly be forgeries by Simonides; and if he was guiltless in respect of these, he was presumably guiltless in respect of the others." (James Farrer, "Literary Forgeries," p. 56)

"Among the scholars concerned in the exposure was Tischendorf; and the revenge taken by Simonides was distinctly humourous. While stoutly maintaining the genuineness of his own wares, he admitted that he had written *one* manuscript which passed as being very ancient, and that was the Codex Sinaiaticus, the discovery of which had been so triumphantly proclaimed by Tischendorf! The idea was ingenious, but it would not bear investigation. Apart from the internal evidence of the text itself, the variations in which no forger, however clever, could have invented, it was shown that Simonides could not have completed the task in the time that he professed to have taken; and this little cloud on the credit of the newly-discovered manuscript rapidly passed away.

  Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (4th ed.), Kenyon, Frederick G. (1939), Pages 123-124"

The "time" issue in terms of how long it would take to complete the MS. has been confronted by at least one other scholar, who says the argument is unsustainable.  Farrer also says Simonides could have certainly done it in the time he claimed.  Furthermore, the argument about "revenge" against Tischendorf doesn't work either.  The reason is that they claim Simonides wanted revenge because Tischendorf had supposedly "exposed" his copy of the Shepherd of Hermas as a forgery in 1856 at the University of Leipzig.  What most researchers don't realize is that as a result of the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, Tischendorf would eventually retract his objections to that codex, and admitted that it was genuine in 1863.  Why?  Because included in Cod. Sinaiticus was a copy of the Shepherd of Hermas, that apparently matched the copy presented by Simonides at Leipzig.  See below:"The Greek text (brought from Mt. Athos by Constantine Simonides, and called Cod. Lipsiensis) was first published by R. Anger, with a preface by G. Dindorf (Lips. 1856); then by Tischendorf, in Dressel’s Patres  Apost., Lips 1857 (p. 572–637); again in the second ed. 1863, where Tischenderf, (sic) in consequence of the intervening discovery of the Cod. Sinaiticus retracted his former objections to the originality of the Greek Hermas from Mt. Athos, which he had pronounced a mediaeval retranslation from the Latin" (Source: History of the Christian Church, by P. Schaff)

As such, it doesn't make sense that Simonides would want revenge in this way.  The discovery of Codex Sinaiticus actually vindicated him, and proved that Tischendorf had been wrong and Simonides had been right.  Furthermore, when Simonides presented his "Shepherd" in 1855, it was the only known copy of that MS. in Greek.  Western scholars had only seen it in Latin beforehand.  This was a major point in favor of Simonides' story, and was considered proof in favor of the possibility that he had created Codex Sinaiticus.  CJP

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chris Pinto challenged to debate with James White on Codex Sinaiticus Validity

Chris Pinto mentioned in passing on today's radio show [runs from about 18:22 to 20.00] that he is going to debate James White (who wrote The King James Controversy) in December, about the validity of Codex Sinaiticus.  Gotta pray that Pinto will be sharp and on target, and not easily derailed by any attempts to make him out to be KJV-only, although that may not even come up I suppose.  More likely he'll be characterized as a conspiracy thinker with the usual implication that it's all in his imagination and imposed on the facts.   That shouldn't be too hard to dispel, though,-- if White is an honest debater and I expect that of him -- because Chris has mustered his facts well on this subject .

But this is exciting news to me since Pinto has been convincing me for some time now that Sinaiticus was the work of paleographer Constantine Simonides and not an ancient manuscript at all, and I very much hope he will succeed in persuading James White and Daniel Wallace and many others. 

If it's the truth of course, but as I said, I believe it is.

On his site he has an article about a video of Daniel Wallace speaking on Tischendorf's find of Sinaiticus that James White had posted on his website as his argument against Pinto's claims, about which he comments: 
The video below was posted on James White's Alpha and Omega ministry website, as an alleged refutation of the claims of Constantine Simonides.  The headline for the article appears thus: "Evangelical Textual Scholar Debunks Chris Pinto's Conspiracy Claim that Codex Sinaiticus was a Forgery."  It is worth noting that the scholar in question (Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary) does not mention Chris Pinto, or the film Tares Among the Wheat.  Had Dr. Wallace actually seen the film, his comments would most likely have been orchestrated differently, and he might have even been convinced to change his mind.  
Dr. Wallace is obviously unfamiliar with certain particulars surrounding the Simonides affair, and we believe this is not entirely his fault, since this history has been largely buried for more than a century. The purpose of Tares is to show the untold history surrounding the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, and to draw attention to the fact that this single manuscript has been used to destroy confidence in the Bible as the inspired Word of God.  As such, whether or not this codex is genuine becomes very significant.

A few things: Dr. Wallace says that Tischendorf had "exposed" Simonides as a forger years earlier, which is untrue....

Furthermore, Dr. Wallace mentions Henry Bradshaw's testimony as if it were conclusive proof that Codex Sinaiticus was genuine.  Yet (as we document in Tares) Bradshaw's argument was not based on any scientific evidence or analysis, which he openly admitted.  His argument was that he didn't know why he believed it, but that his "senses" told him it was real.  That's it.  There was no deep scientific argument.  Just his senses.  This is further proof that he and the other men who confirmed Codex Sinaiticus as a genuine fourth century MS. were themselves of provably limited abilities, and they based their conclusions on analysis that was, at best, doubtful.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What is the Majority Text of the Bible?

Here's today's radio show from Chris Pinto, The Majority Texts of the Bible in which he covers reasons not to trust the so-called Majority Texts, or the latest Bible manuscript finds such as the Bodmer papyri.  The suspicious circumstances of the finding of the Bodmer papyri raises the very real possibility of forgery.

I'm very grateful for Chris Pinto who keeps opening up new avenues of investigation into these things.

The show was prompted by his receiving an email about a man who said he was giving up on the King James Bible because it doesn't represent the Majority Texts as well as some of the modern versions do.  Chris answers that this is a mistake, as the Textus Receptus on which the King James is based does represent the Majority Texts far better than the modern versions do.   Also the Majority Texts really only make use of some 414 manuscripts out of the over five thousand Byzantine type texts we have, and of course they also include the bogus corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus texts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

King James I of England vindicated of the charge of homosexuality

It's one of those perennial questions:  Wasn't King James a homosexual and a terrible human being?  Didn't he persecute true Christians?  I've seen ansswers to this many times but I'm not good about keeping records of where I come across information.  It leaves me helpless to answer even when I KNOW there are good answers and I can even state them, but that's useless against such a tide of opinion when you can't prove it 

I was thinking about this again yesterday, thinking I needed to track down this information, and lo and behold -- you know how the Lord works so often to give us help when it's something that glorifies Him, even when we haven't directly asked Him for it -- just wishing it is sometimes a prayer it seems -- Chris Pinto's radio show today wasn't about King James at all but for some reason he just happened to mention an article written to answer all the usual accusations by a Dr. Phil Stringer.  There's also a book on the subject written by a Stephen Costen published in the '90s that costs over $200.  That book I won't be quoting from here, too bad because it sounds like it's the definitive work on the subject.   But I can reproduce this article by Dr. Phil Stringer which covers the same information in less space, and I can embed a You Tube video of Dr. Stringer talkiing about the same subject.

Here's the video.  You can start at 6:30 on the counter if you want to skip some general comments and get right to King James:

Stringer apparently believes what many fundamentalist King-James-Only supporters do, that the Septuagint could not have been the Bible used in Jesus' time, which always strikes me as a very strange idea.  They HATE the Septuagint and I've never understood why.  The only thing he says in this talk to suggest a reason is that opponents of the KJV say since Jesus used the Septuagint therefore any translation should be acceptable.  Which doesn't hang together logically but anyway.  Greek was the common language of the day in that part of the world ever since Alexander the Great's conquests.  The Jews of the day also spoke Greek, as did their Roman captors.  The New Testament books were all written in Greek.  It makes sense that they would have used the Greek translation of the Old Testament as well and as I understand it most of the commentaries of the early church fathers made use of the Septuagint.  What's the problem?   Nobody read Hebrew and the Hebrew texts didn't become available until much later.  What's the problem?

One more digreesion:  Read the Wikipedia article on King James I after hearing the talk by Stringer.  Quite a different portrait.  Certainly seems that someone was out to smear the man and succeeded only too well.

Anyway, here's the article by Stringer, covering pretty much the same material as his talk above:

The Real Story of King James I

by Dr. Phil Stringer


...King James's critics ask: isn't it true that King James publicly kissed men on the cheek and called men affectionate names like darling and sweetheart? Didn't men routinely sleep at night in his bed? Didn't King James often lean on male members of the royal household? These allegations are true. Similar evidence is also used by modem homosexual activists to assert that William Shakespeare (a contemporary of King James) was a homosexual. But this is all a misreading of the customs of the time.

...Assassination of royalty was a common event and it was a customary thing for kings to have bodyguards sleep in their bed. No one accuses the promiscuous, womanizer, Henry VIII of being anything but a heterosexual. Yet he routinely slept with bodyguards in the royal bed. King James survived two kidnappings and four violent attempts on his life. Such experiences did nothing to cause King James to break with the normal procedure of always keeping his bodyguards close at hand. In sharing his bed with royal bodyguards, King James was only following the normal practice of the royalty of his time.

...Terms of affection like "sweetheart" and "darling" were normal terms used between men in the seventeenth century in England. In Psalm 22:20, God the Father calls Christ the Son "My Darling." He does so again in Psalm 35:17. In the 1990's African-American women routinely called each other "girlfriend." This is not a homosexual term but a normal expression of the time. Anyone who presents the use of terms like "sweetheart" and "darling" as proof of homosexuality in seventeenth century England is a very shallow historian (or has a very vulgar mind). King James (or for that matter William Shakespeare) does not deserve such treatment.

...Men kissing men as a form of greeting was a common innocent custom in seventeenth century England Oust as it is in twentieth century France).

...Erasmus wrote of the English: "Wherever you come, you are received with a kiss by all; when you take your leave, you are dismissed with kisses: you return, kisses are repeated, They come to visit you, kisses again: they leave you, you kiss them all round. Should they meet you anywhere kisses in abundance: in fine, wherever you move, there is nothing but kisses."

...Before evil minded men are quick to present this as proof of homosexuality, perhaps they should remember that this was also a common custom in Bible times: "Greet ye one another with a holy kiss." 1 Corinthians 16:20 (see also Luke 7:45, Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26:1 Peter 5:14, Acts 20:37).

...Because of the weakness of his legs James often leaned on members of the royal staff as he was dealing with official business. Such a position is not unusual for a king (2 Kings 7:2,17). John leaned on Jesus (John 13:23, 21:20)· Homosexual activists toy to claim this as proof of homosexuality on the part of Jesus but Bible believers are quick to see through such foolishness, (Titus 1:15)·

...Anyone interested in the truth would be willing to understand King James's behavior in the light of the customs of the day.

...James was around the preaching of the gospel and the teaching of evangelical theology from his early childhood. His coronation sermon was delivered by Reformation leader John Knox. Puritan theologian George Buchanan was one of James's early tutors and later dedicated a doctrines textbook to him.

...Historian Robert Chambers described James's Biblical knowledge this way, "He was deeply read in Scripture; he could quote its texts with great facility; knew it even with philological exactness." James wrote to a friend and said, "Praying God that as you are regenerated and born in him anew, so you may rise to him and be sanctified in him forever." In his writings James often refers to salvation as a free gift, salvation by faith and regeneration. He refers to one day receiving "white garments washed in the blood of the Lamb."

...In only one area does James ever seem to differ doctrinally with his Scottish Presbyterian tutors - the doctrine of civil government

...James was trained by evangelical Christians, claimed to be an evangelical Christian; wrote about evangelical doctrine and was accepted as a saved man by the born again Christians of his time. Nothing documented in his life gives anyone reason to question his salvation. In fact the real King James showed an interest in morality and holiness that is almost unique among the royalty of the period. James wrote "Holiness being the first and most requisite quality of a Christian (as proceeding from true fear and knowledge of God)."

...There is no legitimate reason to question James's salvation. The real King James was a professing Christian with a good testimony.

...From January 14-18, 1604 A.D., the leaders of the Church of England met at Hampton Court in London. This meeting was called by King James. The Church of England was divided into three main factions. The Anglo-Catholic faction wanted to keep all the trappings and much of the doctrine of Roman Catholicism without acknowledging the authority of the Pope. The Protestant faction wanted the church of England to be the state Protestant Church like the Lutheran in Germany and the Reformed Church in Switzerland·
...The Puritans were the most thoroughly evangelical and Biblically oriented of the three groups. They wanted a complete break with Catholicism and a greater degree of independence for local churches.

...The three factions were at considerable odds with each other. King James attempted to moderate between the different factions. John Rainolds, representing the Puritans, made a formal request that King James sponsor a new English translation. The Bishop of London opposed this suggestion but John Rainolds eventually persuaded King James to give his blessing! Because of this Rainolds is remembered as the Father of the King James Bible.

...King James became the first earthly monarch to successfully sponsor and encourage the distribution of the entire Word of God in the daily language of his people. (King Alfred had made an attempt to get part of the Scripture into the language of the people of England centuries earlier).

...William Tyndale, the Father of the English Bible, had been used of God to bring an early translation of the Bible in English to the English people. For this crime he was declared to be a heretic and was burned at the stake. His last words were "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." Now a born again English king was sponsoring an English Bible, produced openly on English soil for English churches and English Christians.

...King James appointed 54 learned men to make "one more exact translation of the Bible." Later others would be invited to join them. King James encouraged finances to this project and set the example by agreeing to underwrite the salary of several of the translators himself.

...Even though the official name for this translation would be the Authorized Version, it was soon known as the King James Bible. It was uniquely made possible and promoted by the King of England - King James. Laymen now had no fear of owning their own Bible - it was sponsored by the King for them.

...King James was fluent in Greek, Latin and French. He wrote a number of books and pamphlets on a wide variety of subjects. In his book Great Britain's Solomon Maurice Lee, Jr. wrote: "It would be difficult to imagine a more absorbing companion than this intelligent, learned, witty Scot, an author who wrote on subjects as diverse as theology, tobacco, witchcraft and the theory and practice of kingship and who was a poet to boot. And a king - a king almost from birth in his native Scotland, for forty of his forty-nine years and of England and Ireland for twenty-two. And be it said at once a successful king."

...King James did his own private translation of Psalms. He also wrote a commentary on the book of Revelation and a series of devotionals on the Lord's Prayer.

...Tobacco use began in England during the time of King James. Tobacco was being introduced from England's new American colonies. King James wrote a small book about tobacco and condemned both the smoking and chewing of tobacco as a disgusting habit. He wrote that "...a smoker and a non-smoker cannot be equally free in the same room."

...James wrote a book entitled Demonology. This book enraged the witches of England because it attributed their supernatural powers to demon possession. They swore their eternal hatred of James.

...James wrote often about moral matters including homosexuality. There is absolutely nothing in his writings to give evidence to the moral charges against King James and there is much to refute them.

...King James wrote more books than any royal monarch of any nation. As a result he is the most often quoted royal monarch of all time.

...The real King James was a respected scholar and an influential author.

...King James was the first British monarch to bear the title "sacred majesty."

...King James united Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland under one royal throne. This created the United Kingdom. How different the world might have been if the United Kingdom had not had the strength to resist first the German fascists and then the Russian communists in the twentieth century.

...The leadership of King James was essential in planting an enduring English presence in the Western Hemisphere. These humble beginnings would lead to the foundation of the United States of America. Again, how different the world would have been in the twentieth century had the United States not been Great Britain's indispensable partner in resisting both fascism and communism in the twentieth century.

...Certainly all the credit cannot be given to King James for the strength and development of the United Kingdom and the United States but he played an important and positive role in the history of each.

...One of James's contemporaries described his rule this way: "... for he lived in peace, died in peace and left all his kingdoms in a peaceable condition."

...James is also credited with ending torture as a part of the English legal system. He also replaced burning at the stake as a means of execution.

...When James became King it was a common thing for Baptists (among others) to be executed by the state for being religious nonconformists. This continued through the early years of the reign of King James but he put an end to this policy in 1612. He wrote, "I will never allow in my conscience that the blood of any man shall be shed for diversity of opinions in religion."

...The peace and prosperity enjoyed by England during James's rule would be a credit to any civil ruler. Upon his death in 1625 James was compared (in his funeral sermon) to King Solomon.

..."King Solomon is said to be Brigentus Corm Matre Sua, the only son of his mother, Proverbs 4:3. So was King James. Solomon had a complexion white and ruddy, Song of Solomon 5:10. So was King James. Solomon was an infant king, Pver Parvulus, a little child, 1 Chronicles 22:5 - So was King James, a King at the age of 13 months. Solomon began his reign in the life of his predecessor, 1 Kings 1:32, so by the force and compulsion of the state (Scotland) did our late sovereign King James. Solomon was twice crowned and anointed a King. 1 Chronicles 29:22—so was King James. Solomon's minority was rough, through the quarrels of the former sovereign; so was that of King James. Solomon learned above all the princes of the East, 1 Kings 4:20. So was King James above all the princes of the universal world. Solomon was a writer in prose and verse, 1 Kings 4:32—so in a very pure and exquisite manner was our sweet sovereign King James. Solomon was the greatest patron we ever read to church and churchman and yet no greater (let the house of Aaron now confess then King James). Solomon was honored with ambassadors from all Kings of the earth, 1 Kings 4 - And so you know was King James... Solomon died in peace, when he had lived about 60 years and so you know did King James."
...Sir Fernando Gorges one of the founders of Jamestown, also compared James to Solomon.

..."This great monarch gloriously ascending his throne (1603) being born to greatness above his ancestors to whom all submitted as to another Solomon for wisdom and justice."

...Almost half of the information in this monograph comes from one source - the book King James the VI Of Scotland and The I of England Unjustly Accussed. This book was written by Stephen Coston Sr. and published in 1996. It is 392 pages in length. This book does a masterful job of refuting the moral accusations against King James. Coston's work is unanswerable.

...King James spoke eloquently of the role of the King as a moral example: "But it is not enough to be a good king, by the thralldom of good laws will execute to govern his people, if he joins not therewith his virtuous life in his own person and in the person of his court and company by his good example alluring his subjects to the love of virtue and hatred of vice..."

...King James believed his servant John Gibb had lost some important papers. In his anger he kicked him. Later he found out that Gibb had not lost them. In a display of humility, almost unheard of for a royal monarch, he knelt before Gibb and begged his forgiveness.

...As historian Steven Coston Sr. says "James was, no matter what tales some may tell, a virtuous man of good intentions, who did the best he could as God gave him strength."
Another defense of King James