Resolving The Christian "I-Know-Nothing" Multi-Problem In Textual Criticism 1

Resolving The Christian “I-Know-Nothing” Multi-Problem In Textual Criticism

Occasionally, we come across Christians face-to-face and, more frequently, on the Internet, who, when informed that the text of the gospels underwent corruption during their transmission, often react with the following type of questions: “When? Who did the corruption? In what country? Before or after Muhammad? Why was it done? How come no one noticed it?” These type of seemingly “innocent” questions merely reveal the incalculably colossal ignorance of the person in question.

New Testament Versions

The Usage And Significance Of The New Testament Versions For Text Critical Purposes

“Versions” are simply the translations of the New Testament into other languages. The New Testament writers originally wrote their books and epistles in the Greek language whereas the versions are translations of their writings into other languages. Naturally, non-Greek speaking Christians wanted the text of the New Testament in their own local languages and so the New Testament began to be translated into other languages sometime in the mid to late second century. An important point to remember is that no matter how many thousands of translations exist, it remains that they are in a different language from the original language (Greek) of the New Testament, thus their use and value will be limited.

Excerpts From “New Testament Origins” By George M. Lamsa

The “Old Syriac” manuscripts of the Four Gospels known as the Sinaitic Palimpsest, discovered by Mrs. Agnes Lewis in the Covenant of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai in 1892, unfortunately was forged by the Monks, deliberately, before it was sold to Mrs. Lewis and her companions. They made a hole in the date of the manuscript, thus apparently increasing its age by 900 years. The work actually was finished in 1599 A.D. The English scholars who examined it first, placed its date as of 697 A.D. Then, not being sure, they made a second inspection, and assigned to it a later date, at 778 A.D. Dr. Burkitt (then a young student), at the time of its discovery, thought that the hole in the date was natural, that is, in the skin when dated. He failed to realize that no responsible scribe would date a manuscript near a hole in such a way as to leave the reader in doubt as to the exact date.