Sunday, December 28, 2014

Newsweek on the Bible


Or Things every bible reader should know

Just in time for Christmas, Kurt Eichenwald laments that "The Bible" is "So Misunderstood It's a Sin" (Newsweek on the Bible) You may have read many of his profound insights on what the bible really is elsewhere (?), but just for educational purposes, click & read the article.

Oh, sure, Dan Wallace made some good points here,

Just the other day, when reading the old rule of thumb that there are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the NT, and looking for an illustration of this wonderful truth, somebody told me of a lady ordering 5000 2by4s to be cut at a sawmill. Each 2by4 should be 2 meters long, with 1 millimeter of variation in each direction. As it turned out, despite every care taken and only some 2x4s being slightly outside of the allowed deviation, the variations in the end summed up to 3 meters. So there was more variation among our 2by4s than each 2x4 is long. Now, who is to blame for what, and what should we do with all the error-ridden 2x4s?


  1. Hi,

    An amazing group of blunders is here:

    "The gold standard of English Bibles is the King James Version, completed in 1611, but that was not a translation of the original Greek. Instead, a Church of England committee relied primarily on Latin manuscripts translated from Greek. According to Jason David BeDuhn, a professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University and author of Truth in Translation, it was often very hard for the committee to find the correct English words. The committee sometimes compared Latin translations with the earlier Greek copies, found discrepancies and decided that the Latin version—the later version—was correct and the earlier Greek manuscripts were wrong."

    First, they falsely say the AV was based on Latin manuscripts, when every verse and phrase comes from the Greek Received Text manuscripts, such as those of Stephanus and Bezae.

    Then they talk of "earlier Greek manuscripts" that were not followed. The context could not be the AV, but the textual work of Erasmus, Stephanus and Bezae. e.g. Stephanus and Bezae mostly ignored the earlier Codex Bezae, as would virtually every textual analyst today. Similarly, Erasmus properly ignored the many ultra-minority Vaticanus readings. The idea that the AV translators were involved on this level is simply a fabrication.

    Then they give their authority as Jason DeBuhn, the genius who tries to defend the New World Translation, the most tampered NT version today. Falsely putting in Jehovah into the NT hundreds of times, selectively, to match doctrine. DeBuhn, despite acknowledging this gross tampering as improper, still lauded the accuracy of the NWT!

    (Note: In talking of the OT, Debuhn manages to miss the main point, and does not even mention that the AV makes the Tetragrammaton distinction by LORD rather than lord.)

    Please, Newsweek, if you can't get elementary facts right, then don't write about Bible textual matters at all.

    Steven Avery

  2. Not sure about the greater point, but as a carpenter, I see an issue right away in specing lumber dimensions in inches (2x4) but specing tolerances in meters: surely NASA or even Gimli has already taught us the folly of mixing metric with imperial!

  3. Ryan, who's to say that the pieces of lumber were not 2cm by 4cm (within 1 mm either way)? In which case the acceptable aggregate of deviation was actually 15m.