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.


  1. I expect Chris Pinto to lose horribly if he goes into the debate trying to defend the idea that Codex Sinaiticus is a forgery created in the 1800's. But if he were to enter the debate to defend, instead, a less ambitious premise -- that Codex Sinaiticus is not a reliable manuscript -- then his chance of success would increase substantially.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. Thanks very much for writing, Pastor Snapp.

    You could be right but the debate is specifically about the Simonides claim. Have you familiarized yourself with Chris Pinto's arguments about this?

    Sorry I'm so late getting this posted. Was away almost a month for surgery and rehab.

  3. Well, I caught the debate and I had never heard of either one of them before or even the topic they were debating. But I was extremely impressed with Chris Pinto, his knowledge of the subject matter, and how he conducted himself in the interview. I think he came across far more professional and Christian in his conduct than White. I found White to be quite annoying and demeaning.

    I personally believe that to discard the plausibility of a conspiracy theory is ignorant. The Bible mentions repeatedly we are to be on guard against wolves masquerading in sheep's clothing. Satan is the author of the great conspiracy. The Anti-Christ is mentioned in the New Testament as being at work to bring about his kingdom. If we think Satan hasn't conspired to alter the word of God we need to wake up. Satan has not been sleeping. We can look at the NIV and various other translations and find serious alterations.

    I think nothing should be more important than checking out the validity of our Bible translations. To discount Pinto because he cannot prove his theory is leaving us in danger of receiving error.

    I believe we can get to the bottom of this. God would not have us to be ignorant. But I certainly do NOT think White proved his belief either.

    I think Pinto brings up some excellent points for us to consider. Just because he can't physically prove it at this point doesn't mean it isn't true. I would love to believe that all the Bible translations are true. But I cannot believe that because the Holy Spirit has already revealed to me that they are not. Jesus said He would leave us with the Holy Spirit who would guide us in all Truth. We need to make sure the Holy Spirit is our first source.

    How do you think the disciples and Paul would have gotten to the bottom of this? By checking to see what the learned scholars believed? Nope. They would have gone directly to God expecting Him to answer them.

  4. That is one excellent assessment of the debate and its significance, Barbara, thank you so much for posting it here. I'm going to call attention to your comment on my latest blog post.


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