Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sexism Led Scribes to Change the Bible!

Junia/s (the female “apostle”) + Bible alterations?

We all know there were some dishonest scribes entrusted with the Bible but this bout of sexism-fuelled dishonesty is quite astonishing and embarrassing to the Church.

Junia/s is mentioned in Romans 16:7 by Paul and described as an apostle [1]. Many of us in 2011 would not bat an eye lid at this verse BUT it appears some of the scribes of the Bible considered it an appalling anomaly and even (dishonestly) changed it to a male name whilst others simply regarded it as a male name without reason:

Most strikingly, there is Junia, a female ‘apostle’, so described alongside another ‘apostle’ with a male name – this was considered such an appalling anomaly by many later readers of Romans that Junia’s name was frequently changed to a male form in the recopying of manuscripts, or simply regarded without any justification as a man’s name [2]

Patriarchal societies, I understand, but dishonesty…

Yes, I understand, these copyists/scribes were indeed from male dominated societies so I can contextualise their concern BUT to dishonestly change the Bible to suit your world view is quite staggering – even more staggering with a touch of embarrassment when it’s sexism which leads you to the tampering of “scripture”.

Von Tischendorf’s discovery of Codex Sinaiticus highlighted an unauthorised addition (forgery) to the Bible (12 verses added to Mark!) so we know scribes were willing to add hefty chunks (also refer to John 7:53-8:11) in order to suit their agendas – be they sexism, story telling, theological point making, or other agendas.

Muslims to help Christians find the forgeries?

I suspect there are still a number of unrecognised forgeries/alterations lingering in the Gospel manuscript tradition - a tradition from which scholars are compelled to reconstruct the New Testament as there is no Urtext.

To the Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, please check your attics, basements, valleys, caves, etc for manuscripts. Christian scholars would be appreciative – you could sell fragments off at $2.80 per square centimetre as Mohammed Edh-Dhib was doing for the Dead Sea Scrolls (OT specific) [3]

A light hearted post with a deadly serious subtext!

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[1] Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. [ Romans 16:7, NIV]. The Bible commentaries (Smith’s, Easton’s, Nave’s) seem to have very little information on Junia.

[2] A History of Christianity, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Penguin Group, 2009, p 117

[3] In 1947, Muhammed Edh-Dhib (a Bedouin) discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. This is a revolutionary discovery with regards to the study of OT textual criticism.

“The going rate for fragments was apparently $2.80 per square centimetre” - The Story of the Scrolls, Geza Vermes, Penguin Books, 2010, p47

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

The original Biblical autographs no longer exist. What have survived are copies which are several generations removed from the originals. Of all the surviving manuscript copies, no two are exactly the same.

What Bible is This?
If the original Biblical autographs do not exist and not one surviving Biblical manuscript is exactly the same, which version of the Bible are modern worshipers reading? The simple answer is that today's worshipers are reading a Bible with readings chosen from various manuscripts by a handful of scholars who have voted, not always unanimously, on the reading that's most apt to be accurate.

The Bible we read is not, and can never be, the original Bible in its entirety. To assume that all the words read in the Bible are the original writings of the authors is a misleading notion. It gives caution to the old famous Protestant axiom Sola Scriptura ("scripture alone"), and it's important to note that the readings contained within the Bible do not all have apostolic authority.

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

Anonymous said

The simple answer is that today's worshipers are reading a Bible with readings chosen from various manuscripts by a handful of scholars who have voted, not always unanimously, on the reading that's most apt to be accurate.

I say,



It’s a shame that Muslims can’t take the time to actually understand the truth but instead must concoct a “simple answer”.

The actual truth is that the manuscripts are public record open for all to see. No one must rely on scholars they can view the evidence for themselves.

This is not the case in Islam. You must rely on the choices of a handful of individuals for the contents of the Quran you read because when they made their decision they burned the evidence


Peace

Ali said...

//No one must rely on scholars they can view the evidence for themselves.//

And who are the scholars fifth monarch? Those are people who've spent years studying material.
So you're saying any average person can make conclusions on their own, no matter how wrong it may be?
This is a new game by Christians. Because scholars can easliy understand the corruption of the Bible, many want to rely on their own interpretations.

I'm guessing this will be David Wood's new slogan: "Christianity- you don't need scholars."

So I guess we Muslims can also dismiss Christian scholars. LOL

Fifth Monarchy Man said...

you say,

So you're saying any average person can make conclusions on their own, no matter how wrong it may be?

I say,

I'm only saying that because the evidence is freely available Christians need not rely on man to determine the contents of their scriptures. That is why our Bibles have the variants listed in the margins. We are free to listen to the opinions of scholars and make up our own minds

Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit as confirmed by the people of God who determines what is in the Bible. This has always been the case. Scholars are important because they have time and expertise to devote exclusively to this issue. But scholars like governments are fallible and prone to bias rebellion and error.

You say,

This is a new game by Christians.

I say,

Only since the first century

Quote:

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie--just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1st John 2:27)

End quote:


You say,

So I guess we Muslims can also dismiss Christian scholars.

I say,

You are free to do your own research and defend it that is the beauty of the method that God used to preserve his word but since you don’t have the Holy Spirit you have no expectation of arriving at the truth. So don't be suprised when we dismiss your findings like we do with folks like Bart Ehrman

Peace

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