Sunday, 11 August 2013

Is Luke 23:34 another New Testament corruption?

Here's Dr James White acknowledging Luke 23:34 does have a major textual variant - i.e. what makes up the longer version of Luke 23:34 ("Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing")  is an insertion (forgery).

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The really interesting thing here, which James does not discuss (perhaps does not deign to discuss) is that this verse prior to Dr Von Tischendorf's discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus in the 1800s was believed to be the inspired word of God by Christians. Yet now Christians today recognise it (the longer ending of the verse) to be an insertion into Luke 23:34 (i.e. a forgery into the NT). One just wonders what else they will recognise to be insertions (forgeries) in the next 20 years.

Is Luke 23:34 another Biblical corruption? Featuring James White and Bart Ehrman

James White's Conclusion

In my estimation, given the judgment of the weight of both the external and internal support [internal support was not covered in this blog post], it is reasonable to place about a 75-90% degree of probability that the longer reading is a scribal insertion early into the transmission history. The attestation among text-types and the diverse early geographical witnesses and their genealogical weight strengthens the probability of the shorter reading being primary. Whereas the longer reading is attested primarily early on in only the Western text. Not to mention the nature of the Western texts often introduces traditional readings. Extra-biblical Jesus-logia in the first couple of centuries would explain the addition of the words. And this would be consistent with the tendency of the early church to add logia than to omit it.

And in this case, if the numerical motivation theory is correct [see again
here], it was first introduced most likely into a gospel harmony or some form of collection of sayings that were harmonized before it entered an actual place in Luke. Concerning the argument that this reading was excised early because of anti-Judaic bias, in this particular variant, it is not a sufficiently cogent reason as explained.

Up until the second century, the shorter reading was read widely. It was until sometime during the second century, probably the middle to the late part, that the longer reading was added and from then eventually found its way into all the text-types and the majority textual history thereafter.

Christians please think about these things

Modern New Testament scholarship is promoting the belief that originally people did not believe Jesus was divine but later on through the evolution of the Gospel narratives Jesus (p) was falsely being made out to be God. James White does not mention that there exists a group of people (a group which has existed well before modern NT scholarship) who believe that Jesus is not divine and the NT is not authoritative. Who are these people? The Muslims.

Christians, I ask you to think about this. Why would you believe a Prophet (Jesus,p) is God based on the NT  whose authors had no authority whatsoever and which has undergone scribal changes? There is no reason to do so. I invite you to look into Islam. Islam is the religion of Jesus,p, it's about doing the Will of God. We are all sinners and we all need to humble ourselves. Please think about Islam. I invite you to become Muslims.

Miracles performed by Prophet Muhammad (p):

Jesus taught people to do the Will of God (according to Mark 3:35) in order to become his brothers, mothers or sisters. A Muslim means one who submits to the Will of God. Do you want to become a brother of Jesus? If yes, become a Muslim. Now is the time.

Learn about Islam:


Anonymous said...

James stop defending the New Testament.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Response from Dr James White. Part 1

MuslimbyChoice, a YouTube producer of videos, has been exposed to a tremendous amount of the light of truth, and yet remains the most blind to it. He listens to almost everything I do, whether it is YouTube videos, Dividing Lines, or here, my filling in for Janet Mefferd on her program last week. But what is amazing is that though he hears the truth repeatedly, it just doesn't sink in. The phrase, "there is a veil," fits incredibly well here, sadly. We surely need to pray for this individual, for to have encountered so much light, and yet to not even seem to understand what it is saying, let alone have a response to it, is a weighty thing indeed. Check out this video he just posted:

Now, again, I think it is great that Muslims get to hear the truth when materials like this are posted for them to watch. It's wonderful! Here they get to hear a Christian openly discussing the text of the New Testament, explaining its history, the readings of the manuscripts, etc. and etc., the very things that we are often accused of not doing (even Bart Ehrman accuses "conservatives" of sweeping these things under the rug). And, of course, I have explained, over and over again in the materials MuslimbyChoice has listened to, the proper, and improper, meanings of the term "corruption." That is, I have made it clear that all texts that were hand copied are "corrupted" by that process, but that is a far, far cry from saying those texts have been lost or that we cannot know what they originally said. It is simply the honest acknowledgement that hand copying involves errors, i.e., nobody, not even the most careful scribe, is perfect. In fact, until the advent of the photocopier in 1949, no written work could be transmitted perfectly, for even printing required the setting of type, and the number of print errors that can be catalogued is large indeed. I have also pointed out, and it is simply a matter of fact, not a matter of dispute or debate, that the text of the Qur'an is likewise corrupt in exactly the same way: copyist errors have been made in every single hand-written manuscript of the Qur'an in existence. "No two are identical," as Muslims like to say of the NT manuscripts, which is, of course, true, but it is likewise true of the Qur'anic texts. No matter how small the differences, handwriting is handwriting, and errors happen. No serious minded person will conclude that the original has therefore been lost, but many non-serious minded people can conclude all sorts of things, since fairness, factuality, etc., is not important to them.

Anonymous said...

Response from Dr James White Part 2

I doubt MuslimbyChoice even realizes that by tacking Ehrman's words on the end he has only provided a contrast to the surface level comments Ehrman offered and the far more in-depth comments I provided, let alone in contrast to the entire Dividing Line program we did on this particular variant. And he just doesn't seem to see that we can do this because we have this information available and we publish it and we encourage study in this area---he, however, cannot do the same thing since, well, there is not, yet, a critical text of the Qur'an and, if there ever is one, it will come from the hands, primarily, of non-Muslims, sadly. While there are Muslim scholars who realize the importance of these areas of study, they well know that the rabble in the streets of majority Muslim countries not only do not understand that importance, they would, by and large, respond with simple violence to anyone even suggesting the text of the Qur'an they possess might have its own textual history, and that they might want to consider what the early tafsir literature says as well as what the variants documented to exist in the earliest manuscripts could mean. Bart Ehrman can run about earning big bucks seeking to undermine the faith of Christians. I can seek to respond by providing balanced and full information on the relevant topics. But could anyone do anything even remotely like this on the streets of Cairo, in the classrooms of Al Azhar, or in the public places of Pakistan? The answer is obvious to any honest observer. And that says volumes. Sadly, MuslimbyChoice seems deaf to that reality.