By how much is the New Testament Corrupted? – by AIG Ministries
Welcome everyone to tonight’s event we’re glad you’re all here and we are eager to get started can we trust the New Testament have there been changes to the text of the Bible some believe that the text has been corrupted and is therefore unreliable but is this true our speaker this evening will address these questions and more my name is Abraham Schwartz rock I am a junior majoring in physics and a student member of the ROTC Oh Christi chapter here at SVSU and I’d like to welcome you to our fourth annual Veritas forum at South Dakota State University welcomed along with the lead organizer ROTC Oh Christine we have the navigators crew intro varsity and equip campus ministries as tonight’s Veritas forum partnering student groups we’re furthermore glad to host this fall’s forum in conjunction with the SDSU Department of history political science philosophy and religion if you saw I had to check the title check my notes happy to the title that’s how you know it’s a department of substance this evenings Veritas forum is a lecture to be followed by a moderated Q&A we invite everyone to ask questions at the mics after the lecture a word on the Veritas forum Veritas is Latin for truth so we’re here tonight for a real discussion connecting truth to our hardest questions and our deepest beliefs for those here who would identify as Christians we hope that you will be challenged to examine your faith with intellectual honesty and rigor for those who come from another faith perspective we hope that you likewise will be challenged by tonight’s lecture and will examine your faith perspective with intellectual honesty and rigor as well the veritas planning team aims to create events that are relevant thought-provoking and engaging to people of all backgrounds and beliefs and we asked for your help with that please a note the survey card of an appearance very similar to this which should have been placed on your seat unless you’re one of the unfortunate few for whom these ran out in the back you might scour for an open seat which probably has one later because we’d love to get your feedback we’ll provide a time to fill these out and that will be towards the end of the event tonight and uh sure’s will proceed to collect them lastly if you want to continue the discussion after tonight’s forum you are invited to stick around for snacks and drinks out in the foyer you can also visit our rat zoo Christie meeting this next Monday not Native American day we will meet every Monday that there are classes at 5:30 p.m.
In Daktronics engineering hall room number 317 we’d love to have you join us this semester as we are discussing topics related to those of this event the title of this semester’s focus is the historical argument for Jesus now I’d like to introduce our moderator dr. Michael burr Hal for this night’s proceedings dr. burr how is actively engaged with our lead sponsor Rocio Kristy and is a lecturer in philosophy and religion here at SDSU his research is primarily in the philosophy of religion and science and he is the author of a book entitled de Steely ology a philosophical assessment of the problem of suboptimal design in biology I can see your faces are simply alight and dancing with wonderstruck curiosity at the prospect of being regaled by that work so I’ll inform you that it’s scheduled to be published with the publisher Pickwick in 2019 you know maybe this is a more of a Stern crowd and they’re biting at the to give him a harsh and scathing critique either way have be on the lookout in 2019 for that work would you please join me in welcoming Mike Bravo as he introduces tonight’s speaker Wow I don’t know if I should thank you or not but thank you for that introduction I’m also happy to be here tonight and glad that all of you have been able to come and join us I will be a helping moderate tonight’s discussion that’s my role and so one of the things I want to encourage all of you to do is as you’re listening to dr.
Wallace to be taking notes and thinking of questions that you could ask him after his lecture as Abe mentioned there will be a way to submit your questions of your earphones but there’s also going to be mics going around during the Q&A time so if you want to ask questions in person you can do that as well tonight’s speaker is the founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament manuscripts he has traveled to 35 countries and has examined hundreds of thousands of pages of unique handwritten manuscripts and dozens of libraries monasteries and private collections throughout the world he is also the senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he has served for more than 30 years he has written co-authored or contributed to more than three dozen books and has been a consultant for several different Bible translations his exegetical syntax of the New Testament is the standard intermediate-advanced New Testament Greek grammar and the english-speaking world and this grammar has been translated into more than a half a dozen languages we are very glad that he’s been able to join us this evening would you please join me in welcoming dr.
Daniel Wallace [Applause] thank you Mike good evening this is a good-sized crowd it’s still raining outside I can’t believe you guys came out in such cold weather it was 90 degrees when I left Dallas this morning and I prefer that kind of weather over what you have here the topic that we’ll be speaking about is how badly was the New Testament corrupted it’s not a question of whether it was corrupted but it’s a question of how much it was corrupted and how badly it was corrupted this is something we’ll get into in quite a few details I tend to give in my lectures a long preface that takes about 90% of the time and then I get into the the substantive points in the last three minutes so just hang on you’ll get there at some point I want to begin by telling you the story about a young man named Andrew brother Andrew he was at what they would consider the equivalent of a seminary or a theological Institute in the ninth century in central England and as he was studying there preparing to go to a monastery his professor his adviser said Andrew is a little bit difficult he was probably like a lot of the engineering students here he was anal and I don’t did I did I say something about Abe I didn’t mean that where’s it where is he oh there you are yeah what’s your major again it’s close enough okay so brother Andrew was a detailed oriented person and when he got finished with his theological education the the professor wrote a note a recommendation letter to go to the abbot of the monastery where he would serve for the rest of his life and so when he got there and this is how letters of recommendation used to be done is that the person who has been commended would actually be carrying the letter and the letter would of course be sealed with wax so that person would not be able to open it and so he brings it to the abbot and the abbot reads this note from the professor and it essentially says this man is peculiar he’s very anal ninth century English of course but he is one that you need to assign to doing some of the most detailed and monotonous work that nobody else would be interested in doing so the abbot sized him up and he said brother Andrew I have just the job for you I want you to take some of our in-house legal documents on how we conduct this monastery and copy them out we’ve got three copies right here we’d like you to compare them and make a new copy so he started this and about twenty minutes later there was a knock at the Abbott’s door holy father I see some discrepancies in these manuscripts have you got some older ones that I can compare so the abbot thought well yes we do they haven’t been seen in some time but I can take you to another part of the library and you can see some of these older manuscripts and so he looked at those in about 20 minutes later there’s another knock at the door and Andrew says holy father there’s still some discrepancies here do you have some older ones that I could look at and these are the bylaws that they followed in in how they conducted themselves at this monastery and so the abbot sized him up and he said you know young man I’m gonna take you to a place that I’ve never taken any of the current monks too before but I’m going to trust you to take care of these documents so he goes down this labyrinthian path that’s subterranean in the library through several locked doors and takes them to the room where the original manuscripts of this particular monastery were and brother Andrew starts copying out the actual original document and makes a copy of it and about ten minutes later there were about 20 different pounding on the abbot’s door the abbot opens the door and it’s all the rest of the monks and they said holy father this new monk has gone berserk he’s down there on the table and he’s weeping and gnashing his teeth and he’s pounding on the table you’ve got to come see him quickly so they all scurry down and see a brother Andrew and Andrew saying they left out the letter R how could they do that they left out the r and the abbot thought oh my gosh this guy really is a l’m and then Andrew said the word is supposed to be celebrate you guys still haven’t gotten that yet have you that’s I think we have some in dues here in dues Indies undies is that what you want to call undies North Dakota University undies underwear whatever anybody from North Dakota yeah okay I’ll try to tell my jokes more slowly for you all right the North Dakota bison right okay undies well we’re asking the question how badly was the text of the New Testament corrupted and the fact is that even a small error can have some rather large implications so I want to start with some quotations from various scholars and we’ll start with Dan Brown the great scholar who wrote da Vinci Code and what he has to say about the Bible he has sir leigh teabing say the bible has evolved through countless translations additions and revisions history has never had a definitive version of the book well we’ve all heard that many of you have said that the Bible has been translated and retranslated so many times how can we possibly get back to the original text well it’s not just Dan Brown who says this in a novel but Curt Ike involved who is a Dallas native wrote in December 23rd 2014 in Newsweek which was a decent journal before he wrote the Bible so misunderstood it’s a sin and here’s what he has to say these these journals magazines television shows interviews on the radio this kind of thing about the Christian faith where it’s an attack on the Christian faith always seem to come out right around Christmas and Easter the two times when Christians are thinking more about what they believe then at other times and so the media tends to try to dissuade them from that opinion so in the section playing telephone with the Word of God again this was in Newsweek I can vault says no television preacher has ever read the Bible neither has any ever angelical politician neither has the Pope neither have i well probably all of that is true so far and neither have you at best we’ve all read a bad translation a translation of translations of translations of hand copied copies of copies of copies of copies and on and on hundreds of times this sounds perhaps like a bit of an exaggeration to me and the reality is that what I convolve did was he was playing telephone with the scholarly material that he had and didn’t read it carefully and ended up doing the telephone game with the sources he had I’ll get to the one of the major sources the major source here in just a minute but it’s not just novelists and journalists who are making claims that we can’t possibly get back to the original text and it’s totally corrupted we can’t tell what originally said c.j were lumen has also said this he’s an atheist and his first book was God hates you hate him back now I think that’s kind of an ironic title for an atheist don’t you think I mean shouldn’t it be something like nothing hates you hate nothing back if he’s an atheist you guys are still a little slow on getting this and the rest of you just anyway well his second book Jesus lied he was only human areas hooked up to a lie detector and what he has to say is this we do not have any of the original manuscripts of the Bible the originals are lost we don’t know when and we don’t know by whom well we have our copies of copies in some instances the copies we have our 20th generation copies well we’ve heard from a novelist a journalist an atheist and now from a leading Muslim scholar who’s a popular apologist in Britain mm I’ll assuming and in his book the history of the Quranic text where he compares it to the old and new Testament he says this the Orthodox Church being the sect which eventually established supremacy over all the others stood in fervent opposition to various ideas also known as heresies which were in circulation these included adoptionism the notion that Jesus was not God but a man docetism the opposite view that he was God and not man and separation ISM that the divine and human elements of Jesus Christ were two separate beings in each case this set the one that would rise to become the Orthodox Church deliberately corrupted the Scriptures so as to reflect its own theological visions of Christ while demolishing that of all rival sects if al Azam E is correct then that means that Christians who believe that the New Testament originally taught that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man are dead wrong and it’s been overhauled many times but especially in the fourth century when Emperor Constantine became the first Christian Emperor and he legalized Christianity but these guys are not scholars of the Bible their primary source I think although there there could be several others are is Bart Ehrman and he was here what just last week wasn’t he we can half ago Bart and I go back way back we’ve been friends for 36 years I met him in his first year in the ph.d program at Princeton seminary and we’re friends in his book misquoting Jesus which was his first really popular book he says a few things about the Bible now what’s ironic here is that it’s it’s the story behind who changed the Bible and why it’s all about the New Testament but the background behind this medieval scribe is actually Hebrew which is what the language of the Old Testament is written in not the New Testament and it’s upside down but Herman didn’t have anything to do with that he’s quite competent in Hebrew as well as Greek but here’s what he had to say not only do you not have the originals we don’t have the first copies of the originals we don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals that sounds like worldment it sounds even like I convolve Herman though is a bonafide New Testament textual scholar or textual critic he studied under bruce metzger from both his master’s degree and his PhD at Princeton seminary and bris Metzger was probably the best textual critic of the New Testament in the 20th century and that’s actually Bart’s opinion of him I I think he’s probably right but he also says at the end of his book something that sounds like a lousy me the more I studied the manuscript tradition at the New Testament the more I realized just how radically the text had been altered over the years at the hands of the scribes it would be wrong to say as people sometimes do that the changes in our text have no real bearing on what the texts mean or on the theological conclusions that one draws from them well that’s really a primary source but there are others who say something similar but as we begin the study what I want us to note is that we have some people that have this radical skepticism that really gets inflated when it gets even beyond dr.
Ehrman so that they’re saying you’ve never read the Bible I’ve never read the Bible it’s been translated so many times as if each time it’s translated the older translation is thrown away every time a manuscript is copied they must have burned that first copy some attitudes that if they just thought about it for five minutes would realize are completely false and certainly not in line with all of the historical evidence that we have there’s two attitudes though as we look into this data that I want us to avoid as we begin this the first is radical skepticism which we’ve already seen some quotations from the second though is absolute certainty and that’s an attitude that Christians especially and I suspect many of you here tonight are Christians are susceptible to there’s a group that I’ve seen in Texas and in Ohio and I heard that you have some here in South Dakota as well who believes so strongly that the King James Bible is the only real Holy Bible it’s the only Word of God and anything that deviates from it even in one word is is of the devil or something along those lines I’ve actually heard people say both in Ohio and Texas and no place else but maybe I’ll hear it tonight in South Dakota with all seriousness they’ll say something like if the King James Bible was good enough for st.
Paul it’s good enough for me well when I get that topic in Dallas I decided we need to pitch the conversation in a level they can understand so I say well how about them Cowboys you know that’s just that’s where we have to go from there the problem is that the average Christian regardless of the translation that you use tends toward this attitude of absolute certainty as well you might take to church the ESV the English standard version or the NIV or you might use the CSB or the NLT there’s all sorts of acronyms of Bible translations that are available nowadays and you might think this is the Word of God in every single detail now if you’re a Christian you should believe most likely that the Bible is the Word of God but is it in every detail is every word in that translation the Word of God my response to that would be of course not and the reason is because of a couple of things first of all we’re dealing with translation no two languages map exactly alike so you’re going to have words that just can’t be translated exactly the same way or the same way every time in another language the syntax is different between two languages there’s so many differences between languages that unless they’re very very close sisters of each other there’s going to be a lot of changes in terms of how you have to translate it to get the idea across that’s why it’s been said there’s always something lost in translation but the second reason is that the text that is actually being translated changes over time in 1984 when the NIV came out it was it soon became in about ten years the most popular Bible in the history of the world the number one most popular Bible before that was the King James and it took about 270 years to get to that place but the NIV I should say that two hundred seventy years before another one was published that sort of tried to rival it but when the NIV came out it took just ten years to actually beat the numbers I understand of the King James Bible however it came out again in 2011 there were adjustments made there were a lot of changes to the wording and there were also changes to the text that was being translated so which one is the Word of God in every particular some of you who are Christians have this attitude of absolute certainty when you really ought not to it’s not historically sensitive and it’s not sensitive to what translations are all about we’re gonna figure out where between these two attitudes we really should land and I’ll give you plenty of evidence to discuss this tonight I hope there will be some lively questions there’s four questions that we want to answer so two attitudes to avoid four questions to answer how many textual variants are there all even to find what a textual variant is what kinds of textual variations are there that is are they the kind that are the difference between celebrate and celibate are they something that’s far less significant far more significant what kinds of variations what’s the nature of these differences what theological beliefs depend on textually suspect passages this of course is something that allows a me and others have said that Jayda the the early church just corrupted the copies of the New Testament that they had and we can’t tell what the original said but it certainly doesn’t affirm things like the deity of Christ in the original and finally kind of the capstone question of all this is has the essence of the Christian faith been corrupted by the scribes now if you’re trying to figure out where we are in the lecture this is still pre preface I’m almost to the preface now though okay we have another preliminary question to ask and that is don’t we have the original New Testament manuscripts anymore here’s a painting of Jerome who translated the Greek and Hebrew Old and New Testaments into Latin he created the Vulgate the Latin Vulgate and he always went around with a human skull to remind him of his own mortality perhaps a bit more of it but I followed in his footsteps and I have a skull on my desk at home it keeps children out it’s a good thing that unison I do love my grandchildren but not in my library so anyway they’re all you have the original New Testament manuscripts anymore no we don’t they all would have turned to dust within a century of the final compilation of the New Testament I’m quite convinced why would that be well first of all they were written on papyrus the ancient form of paper and papyrus even though it was more durable than our modern paper still could not last forever in fact the only papyri that we have discovered that have any text on them at all have been in the driest possible climates like Egypt or the Dead Sea some other places like this where we do see some papyri but in other parts of the world they haven’t lasted not only that but these New Testament books 27 different books would have been copied and copied and copied and so someone coming from Corinth to Rome he has a servant and he says hey my servant is is literate and he’d like to copy out this text that you’ve got I understand that Paul wrote this letter to the Romans I’d like to get a copy for myself so while the servant comes and copies this out he’s having exposure to that original manuscript and more and more people just did this as an occasional thing finally we get professional scribes that came later but what that did was it meant that the originals would have been copied many times over not just one copy going to the next generation to the next generation but several people would have copied the originals but because of that those originals would have worn out and I’m convinced within a century they would have all just turned to dust so we don’t have the originals anymore well what if all the main scripts that we had though were exactly alike if they were all exactly like we’d say well we guess that that’s probably what the original says but we really can’t tell like with Muslims and the Quran they claim many Muslims claim that every copy of the Quran is exactly like every other copy that actually is not true I’ve seen copies of the Quran that are different from each other and they also have erasers that have been changed several times frankly at times so our manuscripts do not agree with each other completely not only that but there are no two New Testament manuscripts that agree word-for-word they’re not two that do this the two closest we have from the first millennium disagree between six and ten times per chapter you extrapolate that out over the whole New Testament which would be about 260 chapters that’s a couple thousand differences for the fruit the two closest old manuscripts so precisely because of the disappearance of the original and because of the discrepancies among the copies we have to do what’s called textual criticism to arrive at the original wording of the New Testament so another preliminary question I think this is the last of the pre preface and we’re actually getting into the the the lecture what is a textual variant it’s any place among the manuscripts in which there’s variation in wording including word order omission or addition of words even spelling differences all those count as textual variants what doesn’t count is capitalization verses lowercase or punctuation and the reason is because the original manuscripts were all in capital letters most likely and there was no punctuation so that makes it a little bit tricky in fact there were no word breaks they just had to try to figure that but actually in Greek that’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds so this is what the variants are let me start with question number one then how many variants do we have well there’s one way to measure this that Bart has been fond of saying and this is one of the times that he actually understates the situation words in the New Testament there are approximately 138 thousand words in the Greek New Testament or if you were brother Andrew he would say there are 138 thousand one hundred and sixty two words in the Greek New Testament because that’s what shows up in our standard text today so one hundred thirty eight thousand words the New Testament what Bart likes to say is there are more variants in the manuscripts and there are words the New Testament that’s a big understatement the latest figures are that we have about 500,000 textual variants in the manuscripts just the Greek manuscripts we’re talking about not other languages the life New Testament was translated in several different languages we have quotations by it by people known as church fathers patristic quotations just the manuscripts alone we have far more variants than we do have words in the original if this was the only piece of data we’d we we have those of you who are not Christians would be rejoicing those of you who are Christians would be slitting your wrists we have some more information though to tell you about and the big thing I think that is crucial here to get is that the reason we have a lot of texture variants is because we have a lot of manuscripts if we had one manuscript of the New Testament it wouldn’t disagree with itself there would be no variance but does that tell you what the original says no it’s just the one manuscript that we’d have to deal with in the year 1707 John mil an Oxford scholar spent had spent 30 years of his life his entire adult life trying to produce a Greek New Testament that listed as many texture variants as he could find in his novum Testament America came out in 1707 was a very large volume with an apparatus or footnotes that listed all the variants of the 99 Greek New Testament manuscripts he was able to look at now keep this in mind as we think about these issues 99 New Testament manuscripts he had access to we’ll talk about how many we have today he also read what church fathers had to say through the first few centuries and several ancient translations and he produced a text that I may have a picture of yeah here it is this is from the apocalypse or the book of Revelation you see the arrow the yellow arrow what is below that is his apparatus his footnotes of differences from that text in much smaller print Revelation has fewer variants than other portions of the New Testament but I thought I’d show you one of what he did there he spent 30 years of his life on this and he created a book that had 30,000 textual variants from the the Greek New Testament there were groups that absolutely loved this fact and their groups did absolutely hated this fact those that loved it were Roman Catholics they said look John mill has produced a text where you guys have a paper pope and that paper pope is we’re not sure when he’s really speaking ex cathedra he says this in one place but there’s a footnote does he really mean that which one isn’t our Pope at least is consistent and then there were conservative Protestants who said what John Mill has done is the work of the devil why because he discovered you didn’t discover the water I’m the one who keeps kicking this around I think I’ll leave it right here because I I’ll probably spill it several more times it’s a good thing I put a cap on it I have actually destroyed four laptops when I used to have water in a cup and I decided after I destroyed my last one two years ago I’ve got to have us and I have an adult sippy cup with coffee that I use at school and I have bottled water and I screw that top on tight so anyway that would have been really entertaining if I had done that tonight but I would not have been very happy and my wife would especially not be very happy so where were we you guys got me distracted what happened oh okay so there were some conservative Christians who said that John Mill what you did was was the work of the devil and frankly what he did was the work of history historical investigation which is always a good thing to do one of the things that I try to impress upon my students is that we need to be in the pursuit of truth at all costs and go were the evidence leads John Mill brought him to a place where he said I’m not sure what the original text of the New Testament is but I’m a lot closer at getting to what that original wording is by listing all these textual variants now we can see the data laid out now mill died two weeks after this was published which was absolutely perfect timing when I published my magnum opus I want to die two weeks later so that I can avoid all the criticisms six years after this though there was a man who came to his defense a man by the name of Richard Bentley and he was a brilliant scholar at Cambridge he’s universally recognized as light years ahead of his time and he wrote this book remarks upon a discourse of free thinking where he talks extensively about John Mills work and he said if there had been but one manuscript of the Greek Testament at the restoration of learning about two centuries ago back in the early 1500s when we had our first published Greek New Testament then we would have had no various readings at all and would the text be in a better condition than the now that we have thirty thousand variant readings it is good therefore to have more anchors than one and another manuscript to join the first would give more authority as well as security so what Bentley is saying is the more manuscripts the more variants the more variants the better able we are to determine which one gave rise to which other variant even if you have two from the same age we can tell that if they’re exactly the same date we can tell that there’s a reading that must be antecedent to the other one well today we have an embarrassment of riches far more than 99 manuscripts and here’s the latest data that we have on the New Testament manuscripts in Greek alone the official number is five thousand eight hundred and sixty-five now I need to adjust that to about fifty five hundred because that official number which comes out of Muenster Germany there there’s a an institute that’s the official cataloger of these manuscripts they recognize that some of these manuscripts have disappeared and some of these manuscripts are actually a part of another manuscript that both they each got each section got a different catalog number I won’t get into the details but basically we have about five thousand five hundred Greek New Testament manuscripts so if you’re at Starbucks tomorrow and somebody says you know I heard that we had five thousand eight hundred sixty-five Greek New Testament in scripts you’ll say no no that’s really the number is about 5500 you can correct them and I’m sure anybody who goes to Starbucks is acquainted with these numbers that’s what the New Testament was originally written in Greek we’re talking about manuscripts prior to the time of the printing press and the first published Greek New Testament on a praying press which was fifteen sixteen the New Testament immediately spread throughout the ancient world and by the end of the second century we believe it was translated into Latin and Latin started to take off it became the lingua franca of all of Europe and so we actually have more manuscripts in Latin than we do in Greek of the New Testament about ten thousand Latin manuscripts not only that but the New Testament was translated into a number of other languages Coptic which is an ancient language it’s Egyptian hieroglyphics put into Greek letters with a few extra letters just thrown in for fun and to confuse modern students who are trying to figure out the verb system of Coptic I’m not going to speak any further from personal experience but it’s been a royal pain so we have Latin main scripts we have Coptic we have Syriac we have Armenian Arabic we have Hebrew manuscripts old Church Slavonic Georgian gothic there’s a lot of different languages that the New Testament was translated into before the time of the printing press and conservatively we could say there are between 5,000 and 10,000 manuscripts in these other languages again not based on a printed edition these are all handwritten manuscripts now if you had a magic wand and you could just wipe all these out in one fell swoop we would still not be left without a witness and the reason is because of the Church Fathers starting in the late first century we have church fathers who comment on the New Testament there are even one or two fathers who may have written their works before the New Testament was completed so the they comment on the New Testament and as time goes on they write more and more comments they would write whole treatises on the book of Romans origin for example third century middle of the third century wrote a fifteen volume commentary on Paul’s letter to the Romans we don’t have the full thing anymore we have Rufina tsa’s 10 vol abridgement in latin so and we’re talking about the these folks simply did not have the gift of brevity kind of like me you know with my preface you know it goes on forever but they did comment on the New Testament they wrote theological treatises they did homilies sermons commentaries all sorts of material about the New Testament and many times they even discussed textual variants and they said actually the oldest manuscripts don’t have this word but the more recent ones do have it so they could discuss those things and we could pinpoint a time and a place when certain manuscripts had variants so they’re extremely helpful but if you had a magic wand and wiped out all of these other witnesses you could virtually replicate the entire New Testament many times over just from the writings of the church fathers and several decades ago the quotations that have been documented have come to well over a million quotations of the New Testament by these Church Fathers now we’re talking just about New Testament ministers what about other and that is gonna come after this quick aside you can see I don’t have my presenters notes up I’m following this just like you guys are so if I get lost I’m gonna I’m gonna blame Mike for that I think if that happens anyway a quick aside on the Center for the Study of New Testament manuscripts I want to talk about this Institute CS NT m CS NT m dot org is the website where you can see hundreds of thousands of pages of Greek New Testament manuscripts and even some discussions in English that may be helpful but you’ll see some amazing things there because we have contributed to the number of known Greek New Testament manuscripts significantly since we started in 2002 what is CS NTM it’s an independent nonprofit Institute founded in 2002 based in Plano Texas we have two primary objectives to digitally preserve all Greek New Testament manuscripts that’s 5500 Greek New Testament manuscripts and Counting it’s about two and a half million pages of manuscripts and we want to provide these images free for all free for all time in order to help determine the exact wording of the original New Testament well in the beginning there was microfilm and it was not good this is what scholars had to use to figure out what these New Testament manuscripts said they couldn’t go to all these libraries and monasteries throughout the world to find the main scripts they had to go to places where the microfilms had been done and there was one location Munster Germany that had done 90% of all the manuscripts on microfilm this was one of the more recent microfilm as they did of a manuscript of the Gospels and they had to use a reverse image because the positive image was even harder to read this is not easier even from my computer it’s not easy to read you see that little box with dots and blobs that’s a marginal note and I think what it is based on this image is the scribe probably had left out a verse and the scribe has put a note in his text typically an asterisk and he puts in an asterisk in the margin saying this belongs right here but with micro films we could never read that scholars that have had to deal with micro films just ignore the marginal notes because that’s too small you can’t read it so then came digital photography and it was very good here’s a page from Romans that’s not a digital photograph but from a manuscript that’s on the island of Patmos and then we have one of our early cameras photographing it as well same page and it’s much much easier to read this actually this main script has become so important it has helped to shape the text of seven letters in the New Testament in terms of what we think the original text said because this manuscript was virtually unreadable before and now with these digital images that we’ve taken it can be read much more easily so let me just give you some accomplishments of C SN T n um to date since this is a captive audience I can go on in fact I’m going to show you all 500 thousand images we’ve taken so far just sit tight you know there’s there snacks out in the hallway but you’ll be those probably Tuesday so we’ve digitized over half a million pages of New Testament manuscripts were the world’s leading Institute tiny Institute we got seven of us doing this work we’ve discovered more than 90 new Testament manuscripts in the last 16 years that’s more than all the Institute’s in the world combined have discovered and we’ve also trained dozens of grad students to work with manuscripts many of whom have gone on to get their PhDs and are now leading the charge in this whole discipline of textual criticism so we visited a number of sites about 45 sites so for that I was going to list a bunch of them but I just I don’t have time to do that but here’s the island of Patmos were John wrote the book of Revelation whether it’s John the Apostle or some other person named John we were not exactly sure but this is on top of the monastery that is a nine hundred year old monastery and it has walls that are as much as 10 15 feet thick we’ve spent a lot of time on Patmos digitizing the manuscripts at this monastery we’ve been to Cambridge University Oxford University st.
Catherine’s Monastery in the middle of the Egyptian desert at the base of Mount Sinai the National Archive in Tirana Albania we’ve been to yash Romania we even went to Transylvania Romania that was fun and a number of sites the biblioteca de Medici Lawrence iana in Florence which is the only library that Michelangelo ever designed we’ve been down to Australia and New Zealand to photograph all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts in those two countries and there’s quite a few in North America as well we’ve been we’ve really been a number of different sites you’re just gonna have to trust me on that here’s some example photographs of what we’ve shot and this is this is VGA so the quality isn’t quite as good but I think you get a sense that this is pretty amazing stuff handwritten manuscripts not gorgeous it really shows how much these scribes valued the Bible they didn’t treat other documents this well this is another one that’s from it says from the Gospel according to Matthew and it tells you what day what Sabbath or what’s Sunday you’re supposed to read from this gospel and that’s about a thousand year old manuscript with a color still gorgeous here’s the oldest manuscript of Paul’s letter letters to to all to all of his letters and this is Galatians at the very bottom of it this is actually the first page I had when I started the lecture and the the text down there can barely be read older photographs of this it couldn’t be read see smtm is actually republishing this papyrus and others three of the earliest mayorships we have of the New Testament and we are discovering literally thousands of letters that could not be seen prior to digital photography it’s a very exciting thing okay that’s enough of my shameless advertising so now back to the number of New Testament manuscripts but we have contributed to that fund almost a hundred manuscripts the New Testament if you were to compare it to the average classical work what would we end up with well the average classical Greek writer has less than 15 copies of his work still in existence you stacked them up there about four feet high so how would that compare to the New Testament I thought about this but how can i express this visually I thought well the average classical work it’s kind of like this podium about four feet high this is actually a photograph of this very podium and then the New Testament what could I use to illustrate that well how about the Empire State Building and I have to add in New York City to those of you who are I guess USD students is that right because you don’t know where it is but anyway but that’s not to scale now I’m going to show you this to scale here’s the podium okay now you can see it see that dot it’s it’s about a pixel it’s four feet tall and here’s the Empire State Building fourteen hundred and fifty four feet tall but it’s not just one Empire State Building so you have the average classical author he’s got manuscripts that stack up to one podium the New Testament we’re just talking about the Greek and other versions just like we are for the classical authors and we’re not talking about the Church Fathers quotations I have no idea how to quantify that it’s not just one Empire State Building it’s four and a half that’s six thousand six hundred feet tall a mile and a quarter high versus four feet high so you can understand why scholars speak about having an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the New Testament and you can understand why we have far more textual variants for the New Testament than any classical authors have of their works because we have a whole lot more manuscripts than they do I was going to talk to you a little bit about greco-roman historians and biographers I’ll just touch on this briefly you could go through and see a number of historians and biographers which is very similar to the genre we have for the New Testament and we’ve got plenty of the Elder right around the time of the first when the New Testament was written Plutarch’s lives Josephus the historian for Judaism at the end of the first century Polybius pass on us who wrote a geography of Greek of Greece and we have either no manuscripts or just small shreds of manuscripts for seven hundred years for plenty 800 years Plutarch 800 for Josephus etc these are well-known well-known historians and biographers they are not just the average classical authors then there’s Herodotus in his histories we do have some fragments but not much for 1500 years Xenophon’s hellenic a– we’re waiting eighteen hundred years before we get anything more than a few scraps of papyrus if the New Testament were in that kind of shape it would be like saying the first substantial copy of the New Testament of any portion of the New Testament more than just a few pages was written at about the same time that the Wright brothers invented the airplane that’s when skeptics would have a claim that we can’t possibly get back to the New Testament and even then I’m not so sure that claim would be that impressive because scholars who work with these other ancient texts they say this is the best we’ve got and we’re pretty darn sure that it comes close to what that author originally said so when you think about the New Testament we’ve talked about the number of manuscripts but how far back do they go well let me talk to you about the discovery of P 52 which for those of you who are older folks you know about the p-51 Mustang in world war ii this is not an airplane this is papyrus 52 and it’s a manuscript that was discovered in 1934 but let me go back 90 years prior to that in 1844 there was a scholar at Tubingen University in Germany named Ferdinand Christian Bauer and Bauer using Hegelian dialectic basically thesis antithesis synthesis you’ve all heard that right you’re familiar with that like when a father tells daughter you will not have a tattoo on your body and she says yes I will thesis antithesis and then the synthesis is she gets a tattoo but well it doesn’t quite work out that way for Bower but he he studied under professor Hegel this is in the 1700s 1800s when he was there and he decided that on basis of this philosophical construct the New Testament was dated very very late and the Gospel of John in particular was extremely late he dated the Gospel of John to about 160 or later ad 160 well that’s a long time after John would have lived and consequently Bauer argued that there’s nothing of any historical reliability in John’s Gospel that view or view close to that held sway for nearly a hundred years in European scholarship until a man named Colin H Roberts freshly minted out of his doctoral program was going through some scraps of papyri left by his predecessor at the Manchester universities john rylands library and he came across this scrap of papyrus the actual size is about the size of a credit card on one side he noticed it was John chapter 18 verses 31 through 33 on the back side John 18 verses 37 and 38 what that told him was that this manuscript was originally written on a codex a codex is like our modern book form where it’s bound and on one side and then you have the the three cut pages and you can flip it you know some of you have seen a book most of you probably have not because you use computers and that goes back to the older technology of scrolling but we know that the Codex Christians didn’t invent it invent it but they were the first to popularize it we know it was invented in the in the second half of the 1st century AD and in the first 500 years of the Common Era over 90% of all Christian books were written on a codex while only 14 percent or so of non-christian books were written on a codex it was the first and I think only time in the history of the church where Christians were ahead of the technological curve so here’s the main script that CH Roberts looked at and he was able to date it he said it’s dated somewhere between AD 100 and 150 he sent photographs to the three leading papyrus scholars known as a pathologist in Europe and each one of them independently wrote back to him said this should be dated as early as AD 100 as late as AD 150 here was a manuscript a small fragment of a manuscript that told us that the whole Gospel of John was originally what this was of and it sent two tons of German scholarship to the flames an ounce of evidence is what sage Roberts discovered and that was worth a pound of presumption or two tons of presumption in this case that’s I think what we’re dealing with when we’re looking at New Testament manuscripts what is the evidence it may not be a lot of evidence and yet I’d say 5500 manuscripts in Greek is a lot of evidence so we also have some other manuscripts that come early as many as a dozen from the second century and then we go all the way through the the 10th century AD 1,900 years after the new testament is completed we have at least 967 Greek New Testament manuscripts written in the first millennium now what if you were to compare that with the average classical author within 900 years the New Testaments completion almost a thousand manuscripts as we just saw within 900 years of the average classical authors writings there are 0 main scripts you saw that for some of these better known authors 1200 years 1500 years we’re waiting a long time before we see any copies so when someone says well gee we don’t have copies of the New Testament until maybe we have we have to wait for copies of copies of copies well let’s multiply that several dozen times maybe a hundred times when you’re talking about other ancient literature compared to anything else in the ancient world the New Testament on average is about a thousand times more evidential that is we have about a thousand times more material evidence for the New Testament than we do the average classical author and it comes as much as a thousand years earlier than the average class chlothar that’s an embarrassment of riches and it is an embarrassment because we simply don’t have enough scholars to work on this okay so I said we’re gonna ask for questions we’re done with question one now has the Bible but but I also said did I get to the end real fast so the fertilizer questions will be quick has the Bible been translated and retranslated so many times that we don’t know what it originally said of course not we still can go back up that line and see a manuscript from the second century or a third or fourth we’re not just dependent on that last person in the line of the telephone game where it’s a game that’s intentionally trying to garble it we have several lines of transmission it’s not oral it’s written and we can go back and check those lines of transmission much early and do the comparisons if I were to read out a long statement to all of you that last maybe I read for five or ten minutes and I asked each one of you to write out exactly what I wrote I have a good feeling that I’d be able to reconstruct exactly what I said based on what you wrote I would know which scribes did a better job some of you leave out whole sentences some of you have nonsense some of you have no clue how to spell others are very very painstakingly accurate you’ll miss something but the scribe next to you will get it we can reconstruct that from these variants from these manuscripts another way to look at this is in 1611 the King James Bible came out and the New Testament was essentially based on eight manuscripts and of those eight three were really heavily used a hundred years earlier by the first published Greek New Testament done by a man named Erasmus three manuscripts the oldest of these was 11th century and he didn’t trust that one very much because he thought it was more corrupt he didn’t know how old it was he had no idea how to date it now in 2018 we have 5500 manuscripts Plus and her oldest go back to the second century so as time goes on where actually getting closer and closer to the original text not farther away okay that’s question number one number two what kinds of textual variations are there now be much faster about the rest of these but I wanted to talk to you about the variance and the manuscripts it’s such important evidence to think about well I could break the stand into several different categories but I can simplify it this way over 99% make virtually no difference at all for example there are spelling differences in the main scripts that really affect nothing you guys did not laugh at that where are you from John or the author of the fourth gospel the Gospel of John was a very creative speller he spelled the same exact word three different ways within the space of eight verses I don’t know how he could have pulled that off but my brother was a creative speller is there a creative speller he one time wrote a check out to me and misspelled his own name I wonder if that was intentional because it’s kind of harder to cash that anyway these don’t really affect anything they can’t even be translated there are so many different kinds of things that don’t get translated difference in word order spelling differences other things and so I have a question for you Greek geeks how many ways are there to say john loves Mary in ancient Greek well let me give you some some issues now if you don’t know Greek you still need to write the answers down because this will show up on the exam tomorrow there’s word order differences Greek can put it in any order at once john loves Mary Mary loves John loves Mary John loves John Mayer it doesn’t matter because Greek has a highly inflected language you tell what the subject is by the end you tell what the direct object is by the ending and the Greek definite article the word the occurs with proper names we don’t know exactly why I wrote my master’s thesis on when the article does not appear in Greek I spent over 1200 hours writing that thesis I wrote my doctoral dissertation on when it does appear in Greek these two works could cure the most hopeless insomniac we have the article in the Greek New Testament is far more common than any other word one out of seven words is the in Greek and we still don’t know why it’s used with proper names all those there have been lots of theories nothing has compelled scholars to believe it one way or another so you can say that john loves Mary that John loves the Mary John loves the Mary and it’s always translated john loves Mary then there’s differences in spelling for example the name in John John Greek either has two ends in the middle or one in every time we see it there are some main scripts with two ends some with one you honest or you honest pronounced the same spelled differently so how many ways are there to say John those were in Greek there’s eight different ways I had to obviously put this in Greek if I put this in English it would say john loves Mary each time and so you wouldn’t get a sense so you need to I’ll give you a little time to write these down so you have have the data it’s not just this number of ways there’s another eight ways to say john loves Mary same word for loves each time and it’s always translated john loves mary’s not Mary is loved by John every verse every sense I mean is translated john loves Mary and some more ways and more I can assure you these are all different this took me eight hours one day to come up with this so I hope you appreciate this yeah I’m anal like brother Andrew I know ninety six ways to say john loves Mary and Greek without changing the basic menu at all but there’s also conjunctions that are often untranslated that go along with sentences like this and I just picked on a few of them and so there’s some more ways to say john loves Mary hold on a second 384 waste to say john loves Mary in Greek without changing anything now there’s actually more ways but after eight hours I felt that I proved my point these are not all the ways to say john loves Mary in Greek other legitimate word orders swell the numbers to over 500 and a different verb for loves now mushrooms the numbers to nearly twelve hundred Bart Ehrman said we could go on nearly forever talking about specific places in which the texts of the New Testament came to be changed either accidentally or intentionally the examples are not just in the hundreds but in the thousands he’s absolutely right and if we talked about these that would cure the most hopeless insomniac if we can say john loves Mary over 1,000 times in Greek without substantially changing the meaning the number of textual variants for the New Testament is meaningless it’s a meaningless number what counts is the nature of these variants what really is affected in the smallest category of variants are those that are both meaningful and viable that is they they change the meaning to some degree and they have a good chance of being authentic that’s what we mean by viable less than one-fifth of 1% of all textual variants fit this group here’s a way to represent it the big blue box is the number of textual variants we have and when you hear about 500,000 textual variants this is the way that most people think about it but let’s talk about the ones that are actually significant it’s that little yellow box in the corner that’s what we’re really talking about I am a member of the Society of biblical literature Bart Ehrman is also a member of that and he has given several lectures there I’ve given lectures here as well and when we have this group of textual scholars to get together and talk about variants I can assure you we’ve never talked about this large blue box we’d get kicked out of the society for doing something so boring what we’re focusing on are those that do change the meaning of the text to some degree so let me give you a couple of illustrations here’s one of my favorites mark chapter 9 verse 29 Jesus disciples were trying to kick out some demons cast out some demons and they were unsuccessful so he said to them this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting or did he just say by prayer period this is the only place in the entire New Testament where an fasting may be part of the original text in the sense of it’s a command or a suggestion that you need to fast to do something so maybe if some of you are involved in exorcisms you might want to hedge your bet and pray and fast or you might just pray most scholars think the original text ends with prayer but maybe it also is fasting of course just looking at me you can tell that I agree with the shorter text but let’s not talk about that further hey let me pick a passage that everybody is much more familiar with Revelation chapter 13 verse 18 last book of the Bible let the one who has insight calculate the Beast number four it is the number of a man and his number is 666 is that really the number of the beast in 1843 a manuscript was deciphered that had not been able to be read before because it was from the early 5th century about AD 400 and it was scraped clean by a scribe several hundred years later who wrote on top of it a German scholar named Constantin Tischendorf spent two years at the bibliothèque nationale in Paris deciphering these hundred and fifty seven leaves retracing the letters of the under text without retracing the upper text very very patient man and he got a great deal of acclaim for pulling this off this manuscript codex is known as a frame eerie script as’ has become the second most important manuscript of the book of revelation that we have today in many places it has the original wording where with the most important manuscript does not and they kind of vie for which one is kind of like between Avis and Hertz for you old folks who know about how that used to be done but this manuscript does not have 666 at revelation 13:18 instead it says six one six that was the only manuscript that we knew of that had that until 1998 when at the Ashmolean museum of oxford university several papyri were published and one of them that was just twenty six fragments of a manuscript that was spread out over nine chapters in Revelation Pyrus number 115 is now the oldest manuscript we have for this passage and that manuscript also says the number of the beast is six one six so one of the most important manuscripts and the oldest manuscript of this passage say the number of the beast is six one six I’ve had the privilege of seeing both of these the flesh and it’s been exciting I could confirm it I saw him under a magnifying glass microscope and absolutely that’s what the original text of these two manuscript says is six one six now most scholars who’ve rested with this have said we’re not sure we still think six six six is probably the original wording here I don’t know some days I wake up and I said I think it’s six one six that’s what I do when I wake up I’m sure you think about the same things but other days no I think it’s six six six other days it’s three one five and I go right back to bed when I’m doing that but here’s the thing most scholars would say yeah six six six that’s the number that be six one six that’s the neighbor of the beast he lives a few doors down you know I just like to be in that neighborhood I don’t know of any doctrinal statement of any Church any theological Institute any denomination that says in its doctrinal statement besides things like we believe in the virgin birth we believe in the deity of Christ you know things along those lines and we believe that the number of the beast is 666 it may be an important textual issue but it’s not that important it doesn’t rise even to that level so these are just a couple of examples there’s plenty more and I’m sure we’ll come up with some of those during the QA question 3 what theological beliefs depend on textually suspect passages I’ll go back to Dan Brown in his da Vinci Code and he has sir leigh teabing say to Sophie my dear until that moment in history Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet a great and powerful man but a man nonetheless immortal that time in history was when the Council of Nicaea met in AD 325 according to t being and Dan Brown Emperor Constantine was the one who convened it and then he left and came back towards the end of it later in that summer so what Dan Brown is saying is that Constantine invented the deity of we saw that when we re read from FML Azmi he believes something similar to that that it was the Orthodox Church the one that came out in the fourth century that finally won the battle against the others that affirmed a view of the deity of Christ that Christians today would hold to know when I told you an ounce of evidence is worth the pound of presupposition here’s an ounce of evidence p66 and that’s the first leaf of p66 did you see it I hope you wrote it down you can read along with me if you’d like in John 1:1 this is a manuscript dated about AD 200 about 125 years older then the Council of Nicaea so here’s what it says I’ll read it real quickly for you in RK in Halawa sky Lagos and Protestant the ankh is a melora’s or you probably know it better as in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God what p66 says a hundred and twenty-five years before the Council of Nicaea is what every single manuscript of John’s Gospel no matter the date or the language says at this place Jesus is unequivocally called God the same could be said for the major passages that affirm his deity his virgin birth his sinlessness his death on a cross his bodily resurrection and his second coming and there are none of these places that deny these things there are some where the texture of rain is it’s not an affirmation but it’s also not a denial you see the difference that’s very important distinction to make so we get to our fourth question in other words what theological issues are dependent on this nothing essential maybe whether you should fast when you’re doing exorcisms but not too many other things has the essence our final question has the essence of the Christian faith been corrupted by the scribes through Frederick Kenyon he was pale iographer extraordinaire and the principal librarian of the British Museum for many many years said this about 80 years ago the general result of all these discoveries when a lot of these early papyrus discoveries were being made and all the study is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the scriptures and our conviction that we have in our hands in substantial integrity the veritable Word of God I think that’s a great statement in substantial integrity we have in our hands the veritable Word of God but it’s not just a guy like Kenyon who says that listen to somebody whom you already know intimately because he was here last week Bart Ehrman in his book misquoting Jesus in the paperback edition that came out after about six months after the hardback edition they had an appendix and on page 252 the editors of this book asked this question why do you believe these core tenets of Christian orthodoxy to be in jeopardy based on the scribal errors you discovered in the biblical manuscripts notice they’re not asking do you believe these core tenets to be in jeopardy they’re asking why do you believe in other words the way they read his book is the way hundreds of thousands of college students and others have read his book namely that Bart Ehrman is saying that the core tenets of Orthodoxy of the Christian faith are in jeopardy by these texture variants he even sounded like he was saying that earlier here’s his answer essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament page 252 misquoting Jesus of the paperback version essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament and so I conclude by simply saying I agree I couldn’t put it better myself the New Testament text in all essentials and in the vast majority of particulars is absolutely certain thank you very much [Applause] we are gonna move now into a time of QA and we’re gonna start with a 15 minute Q&A with our resident biblical scholar dr.
James Murphy dr. Murphy teaches here at SDSU he actually has a class this semester I believe in the and the Gospels and so you’ve I saw you over there taking notes asking some hopefully what would be challenging questions where we can get the discussion going and then after this time of Q&A we’re gonna have audience questions so I’ll turn it over to you thank you for that that was really really great I am gonna lead off with a question that I asked you about earlier and so you will have to fill the audience in on some of this okay but they’re in in fairly recent years there’s been the discovery of another manuscript piece or a virus from the Gospel of Mark and and you kind of sort of let the world know a little bit I did tip the hat on that a little bit and as part of that there was a question of this could be possibly our earliest witness to the mark and text at the time and so there was a lot of discussion about might this be something that is actually dates back to the first century itself which that would be huge that would be huge but so my question then essentially on that is just simply was first century mark really first century is that the assessment that we have at this time what is the fragment what’s its size and its scope and why was it hyped perhaps as being so significant find does it still sort of live up to the hype so there’s sort of a lot of little questions I don’t think you’re allowed to ask that many questions ok simplified to – that’s your quarter no more yeah you’re asking questions with footnotes just like John Mills text okay in 2012 I did make an announcement when I debated Bart at his school a North Carolina Chapel Hill is our third debate and I was encouraged to make this announcement I won’t get into the details of who encouraged me or why but basically also officially authorized to do so and at that time my understanding was that one of the world’s leading paleography zorp apologists dated this firmly to the first century I know who the papper ologist is I respect his opinion highly and so I I said I’ve got some firm evidence that this is from the first century what I did not know at the time was that the group that was being represented did not yet own the manuscript and I thought with this kind of announcement that would shoot the price right through the roof if you actually have a first-century fragment of any part of the New Testament written in the same century that the New Testament is that’s that is HUGE and that would that would make a fragment like this worth millions of dollars in fact even second century fragments are worth a couple million dollars typically so that was what I was told later I found out that this pale iographer had already changed his mind it wasn’t for century and just this last April or May the manuscript was finally published it’s P 137 or papyrus 137 and it was published in the Oxyrhynchus papyri volumes that comes out of England it is a fragment that is now dated to the late 2nd or early 3rd century now that sounds oh what a downer it happens to be the oldest manuscript we have of Mark’s Gospel though still the next oldest is firmly in the 3rd century but this is a small fragment it’s about the size of a six-inch ruler you know one of those a large bandage something like that I’ve seen the thing and I was very excited about what I could see in the main script but it is not first century it’s late second early 3rd and it agrees with other main scripts of later types I mean we just don’t have those kinds of changes that people like to talk about you you have differences in these early manuscripts some would like to say well we don’t have professional scribes so I’m gonna elaborate a little bit further on this this is from mark chapter one by the way it has verses 17 and 18 on one side and I think the other sizes verses 9 and 10 but there are some we would like to say the earliest scribes were not professional scribes before Christianity was a legal religion and so they would have been sloppy in the kinds of mistakes they made but what we’ve discovered is that whether a scribe is professional or not it did not impact how careful they were in writing out the actual words that they’re doing there’s been a dissertation at University of Edinburgh that has just been published that argues this and the kinds of mistakes these early scribes made who are not professionally trained are the kind of mistakes that you get if some of you were to write out say the preamble to the Constitution and it starts out we the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect onion now give this group just didn’t get it today I don’t know what the promise me you all know that that’s a mistake it’s supposed to be cucumber not onion but you know so so that’s the kind of a mistake that scribes immediately would recognize and fix and there have been some recent studies about those kinds of mistakes that are automatically fixed by the next generation of scribes those studies are they just in the last how many years five years in the last five years old very recent yeah okay two of my former students have have published on this one got his doctorate Edinborough Zachary Cole and the other got his doctorate at Cambridge University Peter Guri okay okay you’re much too efficient because you actually just answered my second question Oh tackling that because I was gonna ask about because you alerted you alluded early on in in talk your talk tonight about the early copyists were probably not trained and so I was gonna kind of follow that so awesome really Zachary Cold’s dissertation dealt with that specific issue if they’re not trained does that mean that they did a poor quality John so there is a just as another example like six six six six one six one of the examples that that you know I’m sure that Bart talks about in his Orthodox corruption of Scripture is from I think it’s Luke 20 Luke 3:22 which is essentially it’s the baptism mm-hmm story right and so you have Jesus in in mark and in Matthew have Jesus says a particular thing which is alluding back to Psalm 2:7 right and in Luke we have this variance there and I guess his essential argument is that we’ve got these two variants does it makes more sense to describe is going to change it one way versus another so so in one reading it reads you know this this is the voice from heaven said this is my son in whom I’m well pleased and I think I can’t remember if it says and listen to him or something in one of the variants but in the other it says today I have begotten you right and that would seem like that would be an example of one that does have some ramification I think I agree with you that overall when you take the whole scope of the New Testament it’s probably less of a big deal but if you’re just looking at that variant there’s some there’s some in right there right it looks like it it’s codex BAE’s eye that has today I have begotten you and other manuscripts have this is my beloved son or you or my beloved son depending on whether it’s Matthew Mark but codex Bayes I is a 5th century manuscript at Cambridge University and what that manuscript says is today I have begotten you but that comes from Psalm 2 which Old Testament scholars have argued is an enthronement Psalm right and it doesn’t mean that God has adopted Jesus as his son on the day of his baptism that enthronement meant that is the time when someone has ceded to the the the throne became the king of Israel and consequently it’s not talking about God adopting Jesus as his own son it’s rather saying this is the day that I’m making a public announcement that you are in fact the king the Messiah okay so it sounds like it’s affecting things when when you probe deeper and look at how the psalm was actually used then that do you think his argument that some scribe at some point saw that and maybe knowing the Christian arguments about the nature of Jesus at the time may have been more likely to change it the other way just to try to help a theological camp yeah the the scribes typically don’t know Hebrew and they don’t know the Old Testament background very well at all these Greek scribes so they would not know this is an enthronement Psalm that is the day that someone becomes the king of Israel or of Judah and so they say oh my goodness this looks like it’s saying that God adopts Jesus as a son so we talked about the idea of adoptionism that Jesus was not God but he became adopted by God and they would only understand that ramification not how it’s actually being used in the Old Testament and so some scribes would change that if that’s the original reading they would change it to conform more with their understanding of who Jesus is but the reality is they haven’t really changed anything because either way you read it it’s God is saying you are the son of God you are my son and it’s not a denial of his divinity at all so does that make sense yeah it does to me another thing to me sort of I mean we had a term in here and then now you and some of this strikes me as more like is the glass half full or half empty it doesn’t sound like you guys disagree on so many of the fundamentals it’s that it is almost more it’s not just preference but it’s it’s like the glass half full I mean do you feel that way that’s exactly right at one point Bart said that if he and bruce metzger his mentor were shut up in a room and could not get out of the room until they both decided on what the original New Testament said he said we would disagree no more than about 50 places so it’s not a matter of what text we think is the original that is really the issue it’s a matter of how we interpret that text that we think is the original and Gordon fee another well-known textual critic who’s a good friend with Bart said the problem with Bart’s work Orthodox Christian than misquoting Jesus is that he turns possibility into probability and probability into certainty and then he comes up with an interpretation that just seems bizarre so it’s how he’s viewing the data that he comes up with a viewpoint that sounds rather unorthodox but I don’t think that it fits with the text very well let me give an illustration sir okay his Bart’s favorite example of Orthodox corruption is Matthew 24:36 where we read that Jesus it’s the Olivet discourse and he’s prophesying he says that day in our hour no one knows except the father alone but he he adds neither the angels in heaven nor the son except the father alone knows when Jesus is going to return now there are some manuscripts the later Byzantine manuscripts that would be conforming to orthodoxy that dropped the statement nor the son they have no one knows the day or the hour neither the angels except the father alone and an ermine would like to argue that these scribes change the text because it seems to impugn the character of Jesus and his omniscience and so they cut out that line nor the son the problem is twofold first in the parallel and Mark’s Gospel mark 13:32 there are no variants I mean virtually every minute we know one late Greek manuscript that drops nor the Sun but everything else has neither the Angels nor the Sun so these same scribes who would copy Matthew Mark apparently don’t have a problem with what looks like a denial of Jesus omniscience mark and they would in Matthew that doesn’t make any sense the other thing is Matthew adds the word alone about the Father and Mark does not have that so in mark you have no one knows the day or the hour neither the angels nor the son except the father in Matthew you have no one knows the day or the hour not even the Angels except the father alone so by Matthew adding the word alone and and relating it just to the father he’s implying the same thing that Mark says explicitly so there is no difference in the fundamental meaning and that’s his his number-one proof text for Orthodox corruption in Scripture we’re gonna keep going with questions here but I want to just make a note as you’re listening to the dialogue if you do have questions the text is now on the screen if you didn’t notice so you can text any questions that you have when we get to audience Q&A but I’ll let you gentlemen continue yeah just I mean just a little bit more so this is sometimes news to people of faith but we widely know this in in scholarship it’s widely held that that the four Gospels are not independent witnesses like the rest you have four different witnesses to the same car accident so I take it that you hold that that there’s a literary dependence between at least three of the four okay okay so there’s a literary relationship most scholars well and I held to mark and priority two okay the idea that Mark wrote first and that Matthew is dependent upon mark as a source that Luke is dependent upon mark as a source most scholars I think still holds somewhat to the notion there’s a there’s a lot of shared material between Matthew and Luke and so most scholars for some time have hypothesized that there may have been a now lost source that Matthew and Luke also use do you hold that to that yeah since you or kwela source yeah I think there was a source that Matthew and Luke used whether it’s a written source or an oral source that’s difficult to tell I think it’s probably a combination okay so I’ll get into a little bit more thorny area than with you perhaps I mean you deal with the manuscripts and the manuscript tradition that gets us back so far but a lot of what we also talk about in New Testament studies is that there may have been some oral tradition before things start to get put down and so you know what for an example one of the so one of the things that that Hermann talked about in his remarks was not just the the difficulties with the manuscript tradition but just that there are these differences between the Gospels themselves so when you look at for example there’s the Centurion that brings that comes to Jesus and you know he’s got a servant that is really sick and once Jesus helped with this Matthew says the centering comes himself and asked Jesus and Jesus says oh I’ll go to your house with you no I’m not worthy of that but Luke tells us a little bit different story that the Centurion does not come to Jesus he’s dispatches people to go to Jesus to ask on his behalf and then once they have Jesus in route then then he’s dispatches some more so there’s these differences within the current gospel traditions do you talk about that in your own classes does that come up or do you only deal with the differences in the new so there’s these there’s these supposed discrepancies between within the Gospels as we have them that’s different than the discrepancies in the manuscripts right right right it is a difference and you need to wrestle with first if you can try to establish the text of the original of the four Gospels then you wrestle with what are the differences and what are they trying to tell us as I mentioned in a class that I was teaching in earlier today that the Gospels are not photographers taking a photograph of Jesus you can layer on top of the other so that it says exactly the same they are all giving us portraits of Jesus and each with their own emphasis they’re being selective as one scholar said it’s impossible to state a bear fact every every fact has interpretation spun into it somehow now Mike Laconia whom I understand you guys have tried to get here he hasn’t come yet he’s he’s done some terrific work on the Gospels and he just got a book published a year ago on why are there differences in the Gospels Mike spent five years looking at the synoptic Gospels that’s Matthew Mark and Luke and comparing the kinds of differences you have this kind of a difference did the Centurion come did he send somebody and there’s a number of other kinds of things that are just flat-out different and how they were expressing something and he compared it to Plutarch’s lives now this was his idea Mike’s a longtime friends a brilliant idea he came up with Plutarch wrote the lives of various famous people and when Plutarch wrote about one Caesar for example in one book and then he wrote about somebody else in another book he might reference some of the material that he talked about of the Caesar in this other book and he doesn’t say it the same way he might say exactly the same kind of a thing that you have in terms of the difference between Matthew and Luke in other words you’ll have what looks – it’s called telescoping where you’re collapsing the narrative and you’re not telling all the specific details but you’re telling that the Centurion came when the Centurions representative actually came and you’ve got that kind of a thing so what lacunae did is he discovered that in Plutarch’s lives the kinds of differences that he made where he’s the same author each time are exactly the kinds of things that some scholars would call discrepancies in the Gospels and it’s just the way ancient his historiography was done – different than today it is different from today yeah today what we always say is we never say you didn’t quote me right because we’ve got all the recording devices to make sure somebody quoted somebody right it’s rather you took it out of context in that day their concern was not to quote somebody exactly but to make sure they got the gist of what was being said and done accurately so just some broader questions what would you like the public to know our general audience or to understand better about biblical scholarship about what we do and we all do solu the different things but when we’re trying to bridge that gap between the Academy and and the and the lady what are some things that you really wanted them to know about us what we do I think non scholars waste non biblical scholars they will look at the Bible as very personal issue because it speaks in authoritative terms like no other book does and in the Academy sometimes in fact I think too frequently when we treat the Bible we treat it as though it’s a textbook that we can analyze without it also being a book that informs our lives and teaches us and so what I would like laypeople to do is remind scholars that we are not the authority over Scripture but scripture is the authority over us and at the same time I would like scholars to inform laypeople that you don’t read the Bible as though it’s a 20th century history book it was not written for that purpose it’s it’s not doesn’t conform to our way of doing history each one of these evangelists the Gospel writers has a message to communicate and it’s not just a message of here’s what happened that is that’s that’s part of what they’re saying to make sure that it’s grounded in history but it’s also shrouded in mystery they are trying to inculcate faith in Jesus Christ and frankly the Bible is the church’s book when scholars who are not part of the church are examining it they’re outside of that scope and I think sometimes they do a real disservice because they can’t grasp fully what the intention is okay I think we’re gonna move on now to audience questions and I think we have some people who might be roaming around with mics so if you want to ask a question in the mic raise your hand we will give priority to the questions that are asked from the audience if you don’t want to do that you can also text in your questions but I’m gonna begin with a question that we we already have had text texted in and it’s a question about the Orthodox Church so you mentioned the Orthodox Church and somebody was asking are you talking about the Greek Orthodox Church and if not that what what do you mean when you talk about the Orthodox Church that was in the quotation from MML Azam a and what he meant by that was not the Eastern Orthodox or the Greek Orthodox Church what he meant was that which rose to become what Catholics and Protestants today and Eastern Orthodox would all agree in terms of the essentials of the Christian faith there were seven different Creed’s that all three branches of Christendom would agree on that’s what he meant by that and that’s what I meant in in that discussion in that context so they got the words right but they took it out of context yes yes and again if you have questions hold your hands up high and then our mic so we’ve got one in the back if you want to roam back there so our our mics will be roaming around the next question that we have is why do you think scholars like yourself seem to have such a difficult time making their evidence known slash believed to the general public in a more meaningful way well I think I do pretty good getting that III do think that the scholars tend to be introspective and not be concerned about the broader implications of their studies and frankly I was perfectly content to do my my scholarship without relating it to laypeople until Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code came out and then I was asked by a couple of other scholars professors to go off of this book reinventing Jesus and that’s the first book that I’ve written that was meant for a lay audience but it’s been something that I’m beginning to learn that we need to be able to communicate what we’re doing for a lay audience so they can see what the significance of the stuff is for their lives too and at least I’m trying to do that and I tried to communicate about textual criticism it’s hard for me to believe that I could speak for an hour and a half to a group of lay people in South Dakota about texture criticism and none of you is asleep yet that’s that’s pretty impressive so hopefully it was interesting and and I think youyou see that it was very relevant we’ve got a question then in the back sure am I on all right who’s asking this question my name’s Alan Gentry okay I just if you can raise your hand or something that goes okay the question I wanted to ask was you argued in your lecture that as time goes on we get closer to what the definitive Greek text is if that’s the case then how can we have any confidence in ever reaching what a definitive text is especially when we look back over the past in the history especially during the time of the Reformation and the formation of the King James Bible okay good question I do not think we can be confident that we’ve ever arrived at the definitive text in every particular I don’t think we’re gonna know that this side of heaven there are places where I don’t know what the original says that other scholars are we’re just not sure what the original text says but what we can be confident of is that this is not affecting any essential Christian belief and one of the ways you can tell that is if you look at the Greek New Testament that stands behind the King James Bible and the Greek New Testament that’s used today that has been produced over the last 500 years of scholarship there are 5000 differences between the two and yet the doctrinal statements that the church embraced back then have not changed so no essential doctrine is impacted by these things there are a lot of things that are impacted there’s an extra 12 verses in Mark’s Gospel an extra 12 verses in John’s Gospel in the King James Bible that are not in modern translations but it doesn’t affect any essential belief thank you then we have a question over here yeah hello testing um I was wondering I don’t know how much you can speak to this but what would you say to someone who accepts your lecture here and thinks wow I’m impressed by how consistent and how much we can know about an original Greek text of the New Testament but then thinks of themselves what if the main problems came in prior to that that when the New Testament was compiled whoever took charge strangled out the competing beliefs about really important doctrinal things such as Jesus’s deity etc can we speak to that much what would you say to that person that’s a great question what Bart Ehrman tried to demonstrate in his book Orthodox corruption of Scripture that his popular book misquoting Jesus was based on was he tried to pinpoint when so-called Orthodox or proto Orthodox cribes changed the text to conform more to they’re not not that it conformed more to their beliefs but it clarified the the clarify the text so it would fit what their beliefs were but he actually an orthodox corruption was not arguing that they changed the essential meaning of the text so it’s these proto Orthodox scribes that as church doctrine developed the church this is a way an Oxford scholar Alister McGrath has put it is that the beliefs that Christians have had for centuries our deposit of faith our deposit of what we should believe is in fact the Bible that’s the final revelation from God of what we should believe the church does not have the right to invent things what we have the right to do is go back to the Bible and see what it says about Jesus what it says about God what it says about the Holy Spirit what it says about all things that are discusses and what mcgrath pointed out in his book genesis of doctrine is that the church takes these ingredients if you will that are the bible and puts them together in such a way that ultimately they are able to recognize this can only fit this kind of a model let me let me give a concrete illustration if you had blind men who were trying to describe an elephant and each was feeling a different part of that elephant their description when you put it together you’d say that’s just flat-out a contradiction it’s not the same animal but as you go through that and start putting these texts together and you say it can’t have a discrepancy this is at least at the core going to be telling the same story then you discover it must look something like this mcgrath uses that when he talks about the doctrine of the trinity and i think in the new testament the belief that God is three persons in one being is not a belief that the Apostles probably ever consciously came to and the way I like to illustrate this is when you get to the Council of Constantinople and 8380 one where it’s the first time we have a doctrinal statement about the Trinity if you were to read that or the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and read it to the Apostle Peter my guess is he’d say something like hmm that’s interesting I never thought about it like that let me get back to you but then when he gets back to he says that’s what I’ve been trying to say I didn’t quite realize that’s what I was trying to say so the deposit of revelation that these authors are describing about who God is and these great theological truths of Scripture they didn’t fully grasp themselves and this is what I was mentioning in your class earlier that it took them some time I think to come to believe in the deity of Christ now that they denied it it just wasn’t even a category for them to even consider until the Apostle Paul kind of taught about that with the rest of the apostles we have a question in the back why would we have such wide ranges of dates for some of those ancient documents and then my are those educated guesses by some of the experts or do they use carbon-14 dating or what is the basis for those I’m not sure what wide ranges of day oh you’re thinking about this early for Pyrus the reason for that one is because there’s so minimal material that we can only examine some of these letters and it’s just it’s it’s hard to read it for one thing and you just don’t have enough material to make any kind of firm statements but when it comes to other manuscripts normally actually the older we get we can get within a century and frequently within a half century as to what the data is carbon-14 has been used on some documents not typically biblical documents but carbon-14 is a destruct method it actually destroys some of the material it’s testing and you can’t just destroy the parchment or the papyrus that this text is written on because that might be much older than the actual ink somebody could have a parchment leaf for a hundred years before he wrote on it that doesn’t tell you the data that that text so you actually have to destroy some of the text and there’s not a whole lot of people say yeah go ahead I’ve got this old manuscript that’s the Bible it’s probably worth about a hundred thousand dollars half a million dollars go ahead and carve away couple letters there I I don’t mind if you if you get rid of those so you don’t have people doing that very often but the times that it has been done it’s confirmed the dates that paleography have already come up with and carbon-14 testing is not an exact science either it depends on a number of factors as to what the range is going to be but Paley aquifers date manuscripts on the basis of known manuscripts that have dates in them and we compare the handwriting and other features that are going to tell us this must be within this range so for example if a manuscript is written where the letters are sitting on the line it’s kind of a notional line they actually didn’t use ink but they used kind of an awl to indent the line so they could find out where to make these these text straight if it’s sitting on the line we have firm evidence that that’s from the 10th century or earlier or older if it’s hanging from the line it’s from the 11th century or later and there’s a number of different features that we see in numerous dated manuscripts if some of you know Greek you’ll know what a breathing mark is a rough breathing and a smooth breathing and we know that through the 10th century they use squared breathing marks after that they use it rounded breathing marks you know that a majuscule or capital letter manuscript is what all of our earliest manuscripts are through the 8th century beginning in the 9th we start getting cursive handwriting or minuscule hand so these are firm dates that we can apply and within that then you start seeing what’s called ligatures where you have letter combinations that well you have this for example in in British English like archaeology where you have the a and the e they share a side in older British English we’d get the let’s call the ligature we have a letter to letter combination and you can actually date a printed book by whether it has that or not if you see a book like that you’re almost certain to say this probably comes from England and it’s not in the second half of the 20th century so those are things that we can even date from printed books you get those things in manuscripts and there’s ways to tell with a fair precision what what it is I’m going to give one illustration there’s a fella by the name of court all on who started the Institute and Minster called the Institute for New Testament textual research Munster Germany there was a man who got a New Testament manuscript from the 13th century he wasn’t sure what the date was he acquired it in New York City I knew the the fella and he he and another person who worked in New Testament scripts to a degree spent a year trying to determine what the textual flavor of this particular manuscript was and what the date of it was they spent an entire year to do this they both came to the conclusion that it was 13th century is just two gospel and that it was probably what’s called the Byzantine text that’s kind of the text it stands largely behind the King James Bible so they bring this man or he brings his manuscript to Munster Germany and meets court åland all ond everywhere in this institute I spent one of my sabbaticals at this institute says Nix RAL Knik rockin no smoking and that applied to everybody except quirt Holland so he comes out from his office when he discovers a a new manuscript has brought into this place we want to show it to you and he says no that doesn’t happen every day so he’s smoking a big cigar and he’s looking at this manuscript that these two guys took a year to figure out what the date and the textual flavor was and he leased through it priceless documents smoking the cigar he says after about a minute looks like 13th century Byzantine to me now only a guy that had just lived with these manuscripts could make that kind of an assessment there are a few scholars like quartal on but I’ll give you another illustration the manuscript that see uh Cynthia you guys were supposed to laugh I thought that was a great story and it’s a true story too I got it from the photographer who worked in Munster and was actually there as well as from this professor so my organization sees in TM purchased a manuscript several years ago and I dated it to the 10th or 11th century I was pretty sure it was late 10th early 11th century bruce metzger independently of me dated at 10th to 11th century the folks in Munster Germany independently of both of us dated at 10th to 11th century so here we’re coming to the the data from our own perspective from the tools we have without checking what the other people have said and we all come the same conclusion that’s I think that’s pretty significant in terms of how sure we can be about these dates some of them we don’t know within sometimes more than 100 year period but others we know within even a 50 year period long-winded answer for that question we have a we have a question about the synoptic Gospels so if there are differences between the synoptic Gospels how influence the way that you think about on the inspiration of the Bible well I think they’re giving portraits of who Jesus is and I think that IIIi think sometimes the question we’re asking about that is a question about shouldn’t they say exactly the same thing if the Bible’s inspired and my response would be no they’re trying to give us a different impression of Jesus a different portrait Matthews portraying Jesus as the king the mark is betraying him as a servant and a servant and a king don’t necessarily correspond so the way mark portrays him in different places he looks much more like a servant mark doesn’t have the genealogy of Jesus Matthew does taking it all the way back to David and even Abraham and so you’ve got those kinds of differences that are not discrepancies but it’s a different impression of what really caused them to embrace Jesus and Luke looks at him differently John looks in as the Son of God so Luke is almost man for all seasons so there’s different ways in which they view Jesus what this is sometimes called as rhetorical criticism and I have been absolutely fascinated for for decades on why the biblical authors speak about Jesus the way they do it doesn’t affect inspiration in fact it gives me a much greater appreciation for you can’t possibly put in these four books everything about Jesus but when you get different perspectives now we can see some different things that help to enrich our understanding of who he is in ways that just one kind of a one-size-fits-all portrait would not work by the way there was in the late second century a man by the name of tation who put together all four Gospels as one narrative it was called the DIA tessarin or four through one so one through four I’m sorry and that was banned later on because it confused these portraits and people wanted to read the Gospels as individual portraits to see what each gospel writer was contributing them their understanding of Jesus are there any other questions out in the audience Yeah right here well first of all thanks for coming from Texas sunny South Dakota we can bite you back in February in January oh right warmer no the question is I’ve listened to some debates you know with Bart airman and yourself and one thing that Bart always says and I’ve always wondered if it’s a curing out is when he says we don’t have the originals we don’t have the copies originals we don’t have copies of the copies the copies of the copies of the copies and I always wonder if that’s just kind of a stretch or I think you alluded tonight to saying that you know the parchment that it was written on in the first century papyrus not part iris would have disintegrated or something so my question is like something like John that was written later how do we know we don’t have the copy of the original or at least a copy of the copy of the original not copies of copies of copies of copies or things I think we’d probably do in a lot of these cases or at least portions of these Gospels you if you have let’s say for Bart Ehrman says in one place in Moscone Jesus said we don’t have the originals of first Thessalonians anymore and we don’t know why they disappeared well I think we do they were copied and copied and copied and so these scribes would have copied that original document and over and over again and then the church I don’t think had a view of relics that the medieval church started to pick up you know we’ve got enough pieces of the cross where we could build Texas Stadium two times over I think you know that all this relic business was something that Luther condemned he said you know we have we have Jesus in the in the Bible in the New Testament that’s where we need to see him not get all these silly relics but these that they made they were I think the church was far more concerned about getting the good news about Jesus Christ out to people in the Mediterranean world than they were about necessarily getting a perfectly accurate copy some of them made more accurate copies some made less accurate the translations they still called that the Word of God they called it the New Testament the Quran the only true Quran is in Arabic all translations are interpretations so there’s a different attitude between these two world religions about how they view their sacred texts so I’d say I Craig Evans that’s a name I don’t think we’ve mentioned a night but he recently was the featured actor I guess if you want to call that in a movie called fragments of truth and he argued in an article that he wrote and in this film that the original manuscripts of the New Testament probably lasted for hundreds of years now I’m in the film too that a bunch of others are I don’t agree with him on that I don’t think they would have lasted that long but he was basing it on some ancient Roman libraries where the average classical text might last for three or four hundred years in these libraries my point is that the New Testament manuscripts precisely because these were the manuscripts related to the life of Christians would be copied that’s that that’s their lifeblood that’s the only way they really know about Jesus so they’re gonna copy them far more often than if you copy something of Plato or Aristotle it’s not something that your life depends on so you’re gonna get a lot more copies which means they’re gonna wear out more often but that also probably means that the originals would have been copied far more often not just a single time yeah in the back oh hey I’m sorry I showed up late I just got here like 15 minutes ago yeah we noticed yeah I know you did I know you did well hey listen I have to thank you for your Greek syntax I bought it 21 years ago and it’s in my backpack still so thank you you haven’t opened it yet is that no no no I’m gonna make you sign it later you so my question is you know I I’m a Paul guy and when I study Paul I noticed that Colossians and Ephesians are different in language especially the hip hop’s leg amma na is different in colossians from the rest of it so how do you deal with the duro pauline issues within the pauline corpus and what does that tell us about early christianity that’s more of what I’m interested in and I’d love to hear more about rhetorical criticism because I studied a little bit with Margaret Mitchell at University of Chicago is that right okay so Wow yeah I know you know I’m sure most people don’t know what hotbox ligamenta are and do Turrell paul lines you might know that terms what he’s talking about is that there are seven undisputed letters by paul and there are six letters that are disputed sometimes called the darrell Paul lines sometimes simply called disputed and among those that are disputed are Colossians and Ephesians now those two letters are as similar as any two letters to each other as any two letters in the the whole Bible except perhaps for Matthew and Mark I think it’s there even closer than Matthew Mark are and yet there’s only one verse that’s identical between Colossians and Ephesians and that’s about tychicus so it’s not that he’s going to be bringing the letter it doesn’t to me it doesn’t look like somebody is going to be a forger of just Colossians and write Ephesians because if you have a forger they’re gonna grab more than one manuscript they’re not gonna make it look just like a a bad copy of Colossians so I my own view is that no Paul wrote both of these letters but here’s an interesting data this is this is far afield from textual criticism but here’s an interesting piece of data Eusebius who wrote his ecclesiastical history no later than ad 324 a year at the latest from the time of the Council of Nicaea and in book 3 chapter 15 he talks about the 22 books of the New Testament that are called the homology Mona or the books that are accepted by all the churches and then there’s five books that are called the antilog honor that is their disputed by some but most of the churches accept them now his term Hummel Abuna it’s a Greek word that has a technical meaning for Eusebius and what it meant was that there were five great churches in the ancient world rome antioch jerusalem churches like this and those five churches what he did is he looked through the annals of church history and he could trace all the way back to the 1st century AD that there was a unanimous affirmation of those churches that these books were written by these authors and Eusebius discovered that for all 13 of paul’s letters now it’s interesting is in Bart’s book forged which is about the how we know that the books of the Bible were not really written by the people that are claimed to be what he doesn’t talk about is Eusebius and the Church Fathers and the link we have from 2nd century 3rd century 4th century on or they say these are the the books that Paul wrote so those 13 books by Paul were never disputed in early church history but they’re disputed by modern scholars so that’s I guess that’s part of how I would answer your question but we’re getting far afield from textual criticism yeah I’m sure you wanted to justify your question because I spent so much time answering no I agree this one oh ok so we’ll do two more questions so we’ll take one from the audience and then we’re gonna have some time for filling out comment cards but let’s take this question here and then we’ll have one more this question will be optional to whether or not you would discuss it or not but I’m I’m concerned about the authenticity of the NIV Bible and this may be a topic you don’t want to get into but especially specifically with the word wine in the chest in the second chapter of the Gospel of John where where they speak about the variant of the of the word wine what do they say there I don’t recall what it says well doesn’t call it grape juice does it basically regard to whether or not the word the period of the word wine includes in this in this gospel in the second chapter of John of whether it means grape juice or intoxicated wine that’s not in the translation you’re talking about a note in some version of the NIV version that we use in the Wesleyan Church well it’s not in the text I mean they may have a marginal note that says it might be a grape juice that would probably if it does I’m surprised to discover that it may be Southern Baptists who insisted on that because they had a statement some years ago that the wine of the New Testament might not be real wine but John 2:10 is so obvious about what’s being said there where the head wetter tails the groom normally a man puts out his good wine first and after that the cheap stuff but you have kept the good wine until now in fact he says after people have become drunk the cheap stuff that’s that’s really what that verb has to mean Mathis Coe and so what he’s really saying is what you’ve done is you’ve kept the good wine until later why would why would they put out the good stuff first because the alcohol is gonna dull the sentences and you won’t know that you’re drinking Gallo is the second round so but the stuff that Jesus made was some primo wine I think and we’ve done some calculations as to how much it would be it would be somewhere between 600 and 900 bottles of wine if I’m not mistaken that’s a pretty nice wedding present for this young couple I wish you would would have been at my wedding well on that note this is a great time to fill out your comment cards so we’re gonna take about 60 seconds now and then we’ll have one last question but we’ll take just 60 seconds fill it out as quick as you can and then we’ll have our last question after that okay I know some of you are still wrapping up and that’s okay if you are it looks like we have a question in the back end so we’ll do that this is our last question so make it a good one okay Justin what is your opinion on the sort of pitting texts against each other – as in you have certain texts that are the earliest but they have a reading that differs from the majority of the other texts like you say you have all if saying this and then the rest of the body of the text is saying something different what is your opinion on go for go for all if go for the earliest one or go for what the majority is saying so the question is asking is do we go with the earlier manuscripts where there are greater discrepancies among them with other manuscripts or with the later majority of manuscripts where they are very very similar to each other although not identical and that’s dealing with what’s called external evidence what does the material the actual manuscripts say but Tetra criticism is far more complex in that we also have to look at what’s called internal evidence and that has two aspects what is the author likely to have written and what is a scribe likely to have done I’ll give just one illustration in Matthew chapter 27 verse 16 Pilate speaks to the crowd and he talks about releasing Jesus and he says whom shall I release to you Jesus Barabbas or Jesus the one called Christ verses 16 and 17 he talks about that now our modern translations have Jesus Barabbas but when you look at the manuscripts the oldest manuscript that actually has the name Jesus before Barabbas is the ninth century and it’s only a small handful of manuscripts that have the name Jesus before Barabbas however origin and the third century talks about this and he says I know manuscripts that have Jesus with Barabbas but we know that can’t be right because no sinner has ever called Jesus which is not the case but the point is that a scribe would have a strong proclivity not to put the name Jesus in front of this this brigand Barabbas and so scribes would have a natural tendency to remove the name Jesus before Barabbas and what scribe in his right mind would put that name Jesus before Barabbas and so here’s a place where it’s a minority of manuscripts they’re late but I think they have the original wording so you have to look at both internal evidence and external evidence and normally what we discover is that the oldest manuscripts have a far better text than the later manage groups but that is not always the case and we have to look at each textual problem as a case-by-case situation excellent well thank you all for questions I’m sure several of you still have more I’m gonna invite Abraham back up here to closes for this evening first of all would you please join me once more in thanking dr.
Wallace for coming and speaking to us [Applause] we are also very grateful for dr. Murphy for contributing to tonight’s event please join me in thanking him as well [Applause] refer to thank our lead sponsor ROTC Oh Christy as well as the partnering organizations the navigators crew inner varsity equip campus ministries and the SDSU department of history political science philosophy and religion we’re glad you chose to join us tonight and we truly hope you have been challenged and encouraged to pursue truth and understanding in these greatly important and foundational issues should you be interested in more of this ROTC Kristi will be exploring this topic for much of the rest of the semester ROTC Oh Christy focuses on Christian apologetics and its purpose statement is to establish the intellectual voice of Christ at the University and this means that involves students bring faith and reason together to establish the intellectual voice of Christ seeking a renaissance of Christian thinking in the university we meet the local chapter of ROTC Christi that is every Monday of classes I’ll remind you at 5:30 p.m.
In Daktronics engineering hall room number 317 but that information can also be found hopefully on the flyer that is either on your seat or hopefully in nearby one so please reference it there and we warm you warmly welcome every one of you additionally dr. Wallace will be available tomorrow from 11:30 to 1:30 for an informal lunch at worry wills here in the Union and you’re welcome to join that as well also please linger for the refreshments located just outside in the foyer and also to ask dr.
Wallace any further questions you may have a suspect there are some a plus I believe and I’m not sure if this stock is still in existence but there was at one time a some book selling going on out there we have books available I believe priced at $12 as well as DVDs featuring debate between dr. Wallace and dr. Bart Airmen and I believe those are priced at $15 so assuming that there’s still some in stock have a look in closing we hope you will join us for a future Veritas forum here at SDSU and I hope you learned something and you continue to think and from all of us we thank you for coming thanks.
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMINENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.