Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Book on Codex Vaticanus

Keith Elliott has drawn my attention to a new book on Vaticanus which has just come out (NB publication year 2009):

Patrick Andrist, ed., Le manuscrit B de la Bible (Vaticanus graecus 1209). Introduction au fac-similé, Actes du Colloque de Genève (11 juin 2001), Contributions supplémentaires (Histoire du texte biblique 7, Studien zur Geschichte des biblischen Textes; Lausanne: Éditions du Zèbre, 2009)

ISBN 2-940351-05-8
310 pages
Dimensions 240 x 165 x 31 mm
8 color plates
1 black and white photograph
13 "Tables" (including the Table of 51 Unreinforced Distigmai that match the color of the original ink of Codex Vaticanus)

See detailed presentation and order information at Linguist Software here.

For links to a long discussion about the "distigmai" on this blog, see here.

Blogged from the SBL 2010 in Tartu.


  1. I have read that it is likely that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were poor translations that didn't get circulated because they were rejected by most copyists. The majority text is just what it is- the "majority" text because it was the most respected text style by those in the churches whose work it was to preserve the holy scriptures. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus may be quite old, but their preservation may be attributed to their lack of use as the moslems overtook that area and pretty much wiped out Christianity in that region, while in the regions where the majority text were popular, Christianity thrived, old copies of the scriptures were discarded with their use and replaced by new copies. Also, the dry climate of Egypt would be favorable to their preservation as opposed to the humid climate in the regions where the majority text was found, which would have deteriorated the pulpy material of the ancient papyrus scrolls. There are some very interesting articles related to this on

  2. "I have read that it is likely..."

    While I would encourage you that your reconstruction is indeed possible (but not IMO "likely"), you should be aware that it is a minority opinion among scholars.

  3. Kristofer, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are not translations but manuscripts. Do not believe everything you read. A small minority of scholars including co-blogger Maurice Robinson do think that the Byzantine text is superior. Most scholars, however, hold the type of text in Vaticanus et al. as superior.

  4. Since my name has entered the discussion, I should make it clear that I do not accept the scenario as caricatured by certain questionable (mostly KJVO) sources.

    Vaticanus and Sinaiticus in fact were preserved, and clearly used at various time over the centuries, as witness the corrections and alterations made by various later readers or copyists (particularly in Sinaiticus).

    In addition, the preservation of Vaticanus is not related to its supposedly having been isolated in the region of Moslem conquest; yet even in those conquered regions, monasteries such as St. Catherines and Mar Saba continued to reproduce MSS (demonstrated by the fact that most of their NT holdings are of the Byzantine texttype).

    Were the argument of "non-use" applied equally to all uncial MSS, the same would then include all Byzantine uncials, beginning with the 5th-century MS A and extending into the 9th century -- and what then?

    The more pertinent point is that neither Sinaiticus nor Vaticanus seem to have been copied and their text perpetuated, while numerous other MSS were so copied, with a multiplicity of descendants.

  5. Thanks Maurice for your input!

  6. I went to, and it appears to be Kristopher Moore's own website. Kristopher, if you're going to recommend your own website, I recommend mentioning that it is your own when you do it. Otherwise, you risk sounding disingenuous.

    Meanwhile, it looks to me like the opening comment is a bit of a foil. KM does not appear to be arguing a KJV-Only position, but offering it up for our critique.
    Posts of his on his blog make it look like he is not a proponent of KJV-Only. For example, he writes:

    "So, pardon my frankness, but quit being so super-spiritual and ultra-conservative, and come out of the dark ages. People want to hear the Bible preached from people that have a deeper understanding of the Bible than someone who sits in a corner reading nothing but the KJV and his bible school notes. "

  7. Hahaha... caught red-handed, Ryan. You are right. Forgive me for trying to promote my own blog. I am not doing it for filthy lucre's sake, though, if that redeems me at all from my guiltiness. I am simply trying to invite well-educated biblical scholars to help me to find the truth to the problems and questions that plague my conscience on a daily basis. I hope that I have not ruined my cyber-reputation. You are right, as well when you say I am definitely not a KJV-only preacher, although that is the type of org that I came out of. In fact, from my studies, and as I am sure you are aware, the KJV is not a Majority Text style translation, but a translation based largely on previous english translations and from Erasmus' Textus Receptus, which was a printed greek new testament pulled from basically a handful of greek manuscripts which due to odds in favour of the majority text style, was a fairly good representation of the majority text style.

    I am a curious breed because I am not in favour of the Westcott-Hort printed Greek text based primarily on 2 manuscripts out of thousands of manuscripts, but neither am I in favor of the KJV-only crowd. I favor the Majority Text Style and other translations based on this text style. I do not hate the KJV, but I think that it is in keeping with the traditions of the middle age Catholic Church mentality of locking the Bible in an archaic language (Latin) to say that we should only use the KJV.

    Ahem... whoops... big mistake. Thanks for correcting me on that, Mr. Wasserman. I sit corrected... of course you are right. Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus ARE manuscripts, not translations.

    Now, may I address Mr. Robinson:
    He stated:
    Were the argument of "non-use" applied equally to all uncial MSS, the same would then include all Byzantine uncials, beginning with the 5th-century MS A and extending into the 9th century -- and what then?

    The point I want to make is this: The missionaries to Egypt did a poor job of contextualizing the gospel to Egyptians in the region where these manuscripts were found (if I have studied this correctly). Therefore, because they did not have the Gospel in their own native language, it was not that near and dear to them. When the Moslems invaded, they gave in easily and converted and forsook Christianity. Moslems conquered other regions, but in Egypt they were particularly successful in wiping out Christianity. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

  8. KM: "I am not in favour of the Westcott-Hort printed Greek text based primarily on 2 manuscripts out of thousands of manuscripts,..."

    I am afraid there are more than two manuscripts with that type of text. Since you are curious and ask for advice, I advise you to read one or two introductions to New Testament textual criticism. If you have done that, maybe it would be a good idea to also read Westcott and Hort's Introduction to their edition, and attempt to understand what they say about the majority vs. a minority of manuscripts. It is important for you to understand correctly the principals of their reasoning, even if you do not agree with them.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. KM: "... in Egypt they were particularly successful in wiping out Christianity."

    There are ~3-10 million Egyptian Copts who continue to worship the risen Christ in modern Egypt who would beg to differ. On the contrary to your description, the church clearly thrived for the first two centuries following the Islamic invasion (Byzantine persecution was more severe than the initial Muslim occupation).

    Whereas, the church rapidly disappeared in modern-day Libya, Egypt was culturally a Christian country until the 10th-13th centuries. In the 9th century, a Coptic peasant rebellion in the Delta annihilated an entire Caliphate army.

    The Coptic church did not fall into precipitous decline until the Mamluk period. Well into the Medieval period, Egyptian Christians produced vast numbers of manuscripts in Coptic, Syriac, Greek and other languages which survive today.

    KM: ...they did not have the Gospel in their own native language...

    Greek was an Egyptian language, and was widely spoken throughout Egypt both in the cites and in the provinces. Greek was used not only for official purposes, but also in literature and the arts. The Egyptian capital, Alexandria, was the largest Greek speaking city in the world until the 4th-7th centuries, and had the most significant Greek language library in the ancient word.

  11. First of all, I appreciate the tone in which Mr. Moore's viewpoint has been countered. It certainly speaks well of the ability of this blog to address minority viewpoints with deference. But I would point out that sending him to Hort et al to receive enlightenment is a bit like directing an atheist to the pages of Scripture.

    Since an atheist has a low opinion of the Scriptures, he is not likely to be impressed by anything he reads in what he considers to be a man-made repository for ancient myths and outmoded beliefs. And since Westcott and Hort have zero credence as Bible scholars among those who hold to the KJV, neither they nor those who emulate them are likely to sway anyone from such beliefs. Simply stating the facts without imprimatur, as Dr. Robinson has done, is probably much more effective. I shall endeavour to do the same.

    The idea that only inferior manuscripts were rejected by copyists doesn't stand up to the evidence. Virtually all manuscripts that have survived to date seem to have been rejected by copyists; the one manuscript best known for having been anciently copied being Codex Claromontanus, whose eccentric text was nonetheless copied not once, but twice in the space of a century or two.

    There are about fifty ms NT's, none of which is a copy of the other. Many of them appear to have been copied, not from another NT, but from a multi-volume set of manuscripts of often varying character. For instance, Codex Alexandrinus was copied from a Byzantine ms of the gospels, but Alexandrian mss of the other portions of the NT. And, IIRC, the text of the gospels in Alexandrinus is one that was not copied into any subsequent Greek NT's--this despite the dry climate of Alexandria which should have made it available to generations of copyists.

  12. The textual criticism literature I have read said that Westcott and Hort made unsubstantiated claims such as 'the shorter reading should be preferred.' Why? Because THEY said so? What research did they conduct to derive this conclusion. That is what the author's point was: Westcott and Hort give no evidence in their work of the extensive comparisons to a large number of manuscripts that it would take to create rules and standards for textual critics to go by.

    I will just say this concerning the use of greek in Egypt. First, I will have to do some more research on Egypt's history, because despite what you said, I heard from two sources that the moslems did wipe out much of christianity in that region.

    As for christian churches that existed after the moslem invasions and modern-day christian churches in Egypt, there have been many missionary efforts to moslem countries over the centuries since that time.

  13. Daniel, what I referred to specifically was Hort's explanation of why the majority of MSS does not necessarily preserve a better text vs. a minority (note that he did not use genealogy directly against the Byzantine text, but to demonstrate the numerical fallacy). I urged Kristofer to try to understand better their reasoning, if not to understand better the argument of your opponent. One could of course also turn to works in classical textual criticism.

  14. Kristofer, not everything that WH said was entirely perfect. There has been much progress since their days, and you are right in that the principle of the shorter reading has been questioned, and rightly so, it is in need of qualification; sometimes the longer reading is to be preferred. Some think it is therefore unuseful in practice. In any case, that was just one small piece from the theoretical framework of Westcott and Hort.

    By the way, read Westcott and Hort's introduction for yourself, or browse it, to see what research they did conduct to derive at their conclusions.

    Or you could wait for an essay of mine on the "Criteria for Evaluating Readings in New Testament Textual Criticism" forthcoming in The Text of the NT in Contemporary Research in which I attempt to explain the significance of their work and other stuff.

  15. Dear Kristofer,

    Speaking as someone whose research emphasis is in the area of Ancient Egyptian Christianity, I am concerned about the reliability of your sources. The Cambridge History of Egypt is an excellent two-volume edition which covers the time from 640 into the twentieth century. Alternatively, Roger Bagnall's monographs on various time periods are standard texts. Most professional academic readers of this blog will benefit from owning his Egypt in Late Antiquity (late antiquity = 3rd-4th centuries).

  16. Thank you for the help... I will try to research this topic of Egypt's Christian history a little better.

  17. KM:
    "The missionaries to Egypt did a poor job of contextualizing the gospel to Egyptians in the region where these manuscripts were found (if I have studied this correctly). Therefore, because they did not have the Gospel in their own native language, it was not that near and dear to them."

    On the contrary, the Scriptures were very early on translated into Coptic: not only Sahidic, but also Bohairic, Fayumic, Akhmimic, Sub-Akmicic, and Middle Egyptian. Probably no other region was so saturated with such a variety of Scriptures in the languages of the common people.

    It is no surprise, then, that Christianity held on so much longer, and so much more tenaciously, in Egypt than in any other area conquered by the Muslims. Contrast this to Libya and Mauretania, where Latin Scriptures were used right up until the Church went extinct in the centuries following the Islamic Conquest.

  18. Welcome Mr. Moore.

    I have read that it is likely that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were poor translations that didn't get circulated because they were rejected by most copyists.

    It would be easier to interact with some of the data if you should tell us where precisely you read this. My guess is that it is something less than a scholarly resource.

  19. To further elaborate: the most common 'scholarship' that uses that sort of defense as an offshoot of Burgon's first suggestion is the KJVO crowd. Now the problem I have always had with that argument is this: they also say that Aleph was worked on 'by at least ten correctors.'

    Really? If that is also true then someone needs to explain how it is that a manuscript can be both used and un-used at the exact same time.

    The "survival by non-use" argument is hardly worthy of consideration. So is it's twin "the worn out manuscripts" theory. Dr. Robinson rightly distances himself from that argument that is wrongly used to espouse KJV/TR superiority.

  20. Tommy Wasserman recommended that you read Hort's Intro. It is available for no cost online (along with other W-H works) at

  21. KM:
    The textual criticism literature I have read said that Westcott and Hort made unsubstantiated claims such as 'the shorter reading should be preferred.' Why? Because THEY said so? What research did they conduct to derive this conclusion. That is what the author's point was: Westcott and Hort give no evidence in their work of the extensive comparisons to a large number of manuscripts that it would take to create rules and standards for textual critics to go by.

    Mr. Moore - I would be curious as to whom specifically is making this statement. For starters, W-H hardly can be said to have invented TC even of the NT. Their reasoning for the shorter reading is the notion that in most cases it is deemed more likely that a person copying Scripture would copy a longer sentence if confronted with two different mss that had a shorter and longer one. This, of course, is not always true and it cannot be woodenly applied. But then again they didn't woodenly apply this criteria, either.

    You do not have to agree with W-H conclusions but the broad brush statement of 'they gave no evidence' sounds eerily similar to the KJVO argument - an argument that never has spelled out its own criteria for how TC is done. It is easy to sit and declare the opposition wrong, but this is not politics. Here a person must have a believable explanation not only for the chosen reading but for all the variants as well.

    Finally, modern TC does not slavishly follow W-H. Simply check Romans 5:1 in their version (based upon Aleph and B) and any other version since 1960.

  22. The publisher of Le manuscrit B de la Bible has authorized free downloads of its article on pages 199-226: Philip B. Payne and Paul Canart, “Distigmai Matching the Original Ink of Codex Vaticanus: Do they Mark the Location of Textual Variants?” from the Publications: Articles page of

    The sections of the article are:
    A. The Initial Discovery and the Question of Distigmai and Distigmai by a Bar

    B. The Discovery of Forty More Distigmai in the Original Ink of the Codex

    C. Statistical Evidence that Distigmai Mark the Location of Textual Variants

    D. Mirror-Image Distigmai Matching the Original Ink
of Vaticanus
    E. Steps in the Original Production of Codex Vaticanus

    F. Evidence of the Originaliry of Distigmai in Ink Matching Reinforced Text

    G. Recommendation for Designation of Distigmai in Critical Editions

    H. Examples of the Importance of Distigmai for Textual Criticism

    I. The Special Case of the Three Dots by I Ioh. 5,7

    J. The Significance of the Discovery

    Post-scriptum par Paul Canart


    The article concludes:
    Examination of these fifty-one distigmai that match the original ink of Codex Vaticanus adds to compelling statistical evidence that distigmai identify the location of textual variants. Mirror-impressions of distigmai on facing pages demonstrate that distigmai were added after the binding of the codex, at least provisionally. Some mirror impressions of original-ink distigmai are followed on the same page by distigmai without mirror impressions. This indicates that the scribe of Vaticanus systematically compared it to other manuscripts one by one. Comparison to multiple manuscripts explains the diversity of manuscript traditions represented by the variants in these fifty-one lines having original-ink distigmai.
    The discovery of these forty additional distigmai matching the original ink of Codex Vaticanus confirms the validity of the four key implications for textual criticism noted with the discovery of the first eleven apricot-colored distigmai and builds on them. (1) It confirms that the scribe of Codex Vaticanus was aware of textual variants and believed them to be sufficiently important to note. (2) It supports the view that the scribe of Vaticanus desired to preserve the most original form of the text possible. (3) These distigmai provide windows into the history of the text before Vaticanus even for passages for which no early papyri have survived. Twenty of the fifty-one original-ink-color distigmai are in passages that occur in no early papyri. (4) Most important of all, the high proportion of known textual variants in lines with distigmai compared to lines without distigmai provides a statistical basis for concluding that the majority of the variants that were available to the scribe of Vaticanus have survived in extant manuscripts. The significance of this discovery is enhanced by the diversity of textual traditions represented in the surviving variants where original-ink distigmai occur. It is also enhanced by the demonstrable antiquity of the text(s) on which Vaticanus is based, as evidenced by its close correlation with P75. This discovery provides a new basis for confidence that the NT text has been reliably preserved from the ancient manuscripts available to the scribe of Vaticanus until today.

  23. This, apparently, is the only portion of the book in English.

  24. My source is from chapter 6 of "The Authority of Scripture" by Leland M. Haines, Northville, Michigan, USA. It says that it is available at

    In it the author points out that Clement and Origen were early Alexandrian church leaders. It is no wonder that the works of these church fathers support the Alexandrian text type. However, this text type has virtually no support in the earliest church fathers. According to the author of this book, the type of church father support of the so-called 'neutral' text type proves nothing except that support of this text type comes from dry climate areas. Also, it is no wonder that the Coptic versions (Egyptian versions) support this text type.

    He points out that the change from uncile to miniscule after the 10th century would mean that many people probably discarded the uncile manuscripts over time as people got used to the miniscule style. This could be one reason why the majority of Byzantine text type witness is found after the 10th century.

    I searched again for his reasoning on Christianity being largely wiped out by the Moslems in Egypt. I could only find where he said this was reason as to why most GREEK manuscripts were set aside (and hence preserved) because of the change in language usage afterwards.

    I haven't finished the entire chapter, but it seems that he is simply trying to substantiate the Byzantine Text Style as a legitimate text style that should be considered relevant in determining the closest rendering to the originals as possible.

    If memory serves me, I also remember being taught that the Moslems were able to easily cause Egyptians to give up Christianity due to them not having the Bible in their native tongue, in a "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" class, which is a course that offers college credit upon satisfactory completion of assignments and projects, and payment of tuition. I apologize though if I am misquoting one of their teachers.

    Another point made by the author is that WH said that genealogy is important in determining which text style is superior, a method that they did not use to prove their own "neutral" text style.

    He also points out that the harmony of the Byzantine Gospels should be a credit to it as more authoritative than an omen upon it as proof that it has been "harmonized." Do Alexandrian supporters think the Bible was written by merely fallible men, or by men inspired by God? It seems to me that the supporters of the Alexandrian text type have more faith in the fallibility of men than in the infallibility of God

  25. Dear Kristofer,

    Yes, Westcott and Hort, as I said, used the genealogical method to demonstrate theoretically that the majority of MSS are not necessarily to prefer and I assume that virtually all scholars agree on that point, which doesn't prove that the Byzantine text de facto is inferior. In order to prove the latter they worked methodically from the generally accepted principles of textual criticism, but a few scholars (and not a few of the laity) think they were wrong in method and/or practice. Personally I think they were right in general.

    You asked "Do Alexandrian supporters think the Bible was written by merely fallible men, or by men inspired by God?"

    I am certain that there are different views among "Alexandrian supporters." However, in relation to fallibility in general it is important to note that *no* manuscript is identical to another (if we exclude smaller fragments), i.e., manuscripts were copied by scribes who could make mistakes, and who made mistakes. That is why we are in this business so to speak, whether we are "Alexandrian," "Byzantine" or "Western" supporters.

    So even if the autographs (however those are defined is another complex matter) are divinely inspired, we don't have them any longer, but we have various *witnesses* to the NT writings, which are of varying quality. Therefore we need *criticism*.

    I would advise you, before you "make up your mind" (at least provisionally), to also read at least one standard introduction to NT textual criticism, e.g., by Kurt and Barbara Aland or by Bruce Metzger, now that you have read stuff from a wholly different viewpoint.

  26. Mr. Wasserman,
    Observing the wording in your sentence:

    "So even if the autographs ... are divinely inspired, ..."

    I think I might detect that you do not believe that the Bible was divinely inspired?

    I should try to amend what I previously said about Egypt, after going back and reviewing the source. I think the author's point was that Egypt largely ceased to be a Greek-speaking country after Moslem conquest. Hence the non-use of Greek manuscripts so early in Egypt's history and consequently their preservation since the 4th century. In contrast to this situation, the areas where the Byzantine text style thrived were areas that continued to speak Greek and hence the continued use of Greek manuscripts and consequently their disposal and replacements with newer manuscripts. I do not suggest that from the moment of the completion of these Alexandrian manuscripts they were never used (that would be absurd), but that some survived dating back so far because at some point they were set aside after Egypt ceased to be a largely greek-speaking country.

  27. KM: "I think I might detect that you do not believe that the Bible was divinely inspired?"

    Hm, I am sorry if I have expressed myself unclearly. However, I assume you agree with me that it would be rather awkward to not believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible and maintain a blog like this with the name "evangelical textual criticism."

    Then why did I write "even if..." This is because I distinguish between what is a *theological conviction* and what can be proved with *scientific means*. For me, divine inspiration and preservation are ultimately theological convictions, and I have not found that the scientific results are opposed to these convictions. For example, I think it is possible scientifically to approximately reconstruct the archetypes of each writing of the NT, but if I say that these reconstructed archetypes are the the divinely inspired autographs (to the degree that we have succeeded with the scientific reconstruction), then it is an expression of a theological conviction.

    Some years ago Dirk Jongkind wrote some useful lines on this blog about the basic tenets of evangelical textual criticism (I agree with him on these points):

    "By means of introduction, evangelicals practising textual criticism (are/should be) aware of human imperfection in history ('many things did go wrong') as in our study of textual history ('we may get things wrong'). This is not a unique point for textual criticism, or even of evangelical scholarship in general, but it is in my view a sine qua non.

    I think there are three basic assumptions that characterise evangelical textual criticism (each with their own modifications and refinements, but we are not going to bother with these).
    1) There is an 'original text' to aim for in New Testament textual criticism.
    2) There is the theological conviction that the preservation of the New Testament is sufficiently reliable.
    3) The canon of the New Testament is (in one way or the other) a real and given entity.

    Each of these points should be properly expanded and clarified in what they affirm and deny, and can probably be refined in their wording, and perhaps there are even other foundational notions. But I think these three taken together constitute a neat distinctive for evangelical textual criticism."

    End of quote.

    Finally, Kristofer, again I urge you to read at least one of the standard introductions that I mentioned, not least out of respect for what these scholars have achived in textual criticism. Even if you will not agree on some or all what they write, it will be good for you to learn about their perspectives.

    Of course, if you criticize Westcott and Hort, you should also read their introduction yourself. But their book can be rather difficult to understand sometimes. There are hilarious conspiracy theories about Westcott and Hort out there, it can be found all over the internet, but I don't know of any serious scholar in this field who subscribes to such theories.

    On the other hand, there are some scholars who think Westcott and Hort were wrong. But don't make the mistake to think a priori that if you are a Christian with a high regard of Scripture you have to be against the theories of Westcott and Hort.

  28. I am sorry but if textual criticism by defi
    nition excludes faith in the divine inspiration of the scriptures as an influencing factor in deciding which is the best text, then I will have to invent a new form of textual criticism, perhaps 'faith-based textual criticism.'
    My reasoning for this is:

    1 Evil communication corrupts good manners. Christians associating at length with atheist textual critics (and I am not assuming anyone here is or isn't one) can weaken their faith as they may hear arguments in favor of a less-than-divine autograph.

    2 Every human (as you pointed out that we are) has a bias in their research. Whether you are atheist or a Christian is probably the first deciding factor in what slant you will put on your research. Then there are personal christian convictions which may influence the texts you may try to find evidence to support.

    3 When it was decided what books would be included in the canon, that you scientifically seek the autographs of, did those in that council use purely scientific research? Or did they compare the books under scrutiny with authoritative works to see if the personality and character of God was similar and in harmony with books already unanimously believed to be divinely inspired?

    Paul told us that the scriptures are spiritually
    discerned. Are you not carnal, Mr. Wasserman? How can you go about discerning something written by God without acknowledging the author? You, going about establishing your own wisdom, have become a fool. You may have more understanding of 'textual criticism' facts and figures, but you simply fall into a trap trying to separate God from your scientific research of God's books in order to gain a more perfect scientific approach to analyzing them.

    How can you expect to find the truth without the spirit of truth guiding you? You can not discern the holy scriptures without an understanding of Christian theology and a total understanding of the harmony of the entire work of the canon and this from a believing Spirit-filled mind. God's law will not allow it.

    I can understand using logic but not at the exclusion of the Spirit's ultimate authority. God's ways are much higher than yours. Your science will always be fallible.

  29. Kristofer, apparently my co-blogger deleted your last comment, because it contained ad hominem remarks. (So if you want to post, please avoid such remarks.)

    In any case, I wish you good luck in your quest for thruth and may the Spirit guide you!

  30. Maybe I misunderstood you, Mr. Wasserman. I'm sorry if I jumped to conclusions about you and for assaulting your character.

    The main point I really wanted to make is that I think in undergoing any ministerial task, if one wants to succeed, he must have faith first. Handling the scriptures is no exception even in textual criticism.

  31. So far in my study of why the newer Bible translation have significantly altered the meaning and content of what the Christian church considers to be the sacred text of the Holy Bible, I'm left with only the answer of "modern textual criticism". To me, it seems we have left sanity in favor of a few Alexandrian texts. Instead, we should account that Church usage is reflected in the majority text and they are testified to by the early patristic fathers, whom we know more accurately both their relative date and character. These should be more weighty than a handful of any manuscripts that are of the same text type. I don't see how the true and honest work of textual critics like JW Burgon, FHA Scrivener, or HC Hoskier can be so easily dismissed by the fabricated theories of BF Westcott, FJA Hort and their proponents. Truly the Vaticanus and Sianiticus manuscripts simply add the numerous scriptures that continue to testify in favour of the consistency of the scripture we already in the majority of text. Unfortunately, that seems to be where modern textual criticism leaves sound logic. Rather than first questioning or validating the character of these copies, modern textual criticism simply ascribed these manuscripts, above all others, to be the most accurate or closest to the autographs. Anyone that does not hold this assumption seems to be quickly labeled KJV Only. I have yet to hear a sound rebuttal of the questions raised by the textual critic authorities already listed (Burgon, Scrivener, Hoskier) that these two manuscripts differ between themselves more often than not, even excluding minor copy issues. How can the quality of these manuscripts not be subject to this quantitative assessment. They can't both be accurate with so many variants between them. Arbitrarily, selecting one variant from another between these two scriptures attests to how misguided this assumption of accuracy is. Up until now, all manuscript variants were compared against the overwhelming evidence of extant Greek scriptures, other translations, witnesses from patristic father quotes, lexicons and other documented commentaries for their conformity. As with canonicity, it is the Church's accepted usage and its conformance and authority based on consistency with accepted scriptural doctrine. Unless there lies some ulterior motive behind changing existing scripture, the content and meaning of scripture should remain unchanged if the evidence will testify for it. Otherwise, it would seem we should change Christian doctrine again, as soon as we discover an earlier text, regardless of any significant number of errors or omissions. Who today in textual criticism has measured up to the lifes work of Dean JW Burgon and his able adjudication when comparing these textual variants at face value against such a cloud of authoritative witnesses.