Bible Science Association meetings are free and open to the public.
The fall season of Bible Science Association begins with a special presentation on:
"The Science of Textual Criticism"
Speaker: David Daniels
Topic: The Science of Textual Criticism
Type: In-house presentation
David Daniels has a M.Div. in theology and linguistics from Fuller Seminary and trained at the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Mr. Daniels has dedicated extensive time and research in the areas of Textual Criticism, Historical Manuscripts, and Bible Translations, which he has documented in numerous videos and books, including:
Look What’s Missing
Answers to Your Bible Version Questions
But I Trust The Scholars
Did Jesus Use the Septuagint?
Is the "World’s Oldest Bible" a Fake?
Why They Changed the Bible: One World Bible for One World Religion
Mr. Daniels' presentation will provide a clear overview of this topic from a scientific/apologetics approach, covering such issues as:
What are the differences between the numerous Bible translations?
What sources are used for the different Bible translations?
Why do some Bible translations have missing/bracketed/footnoted verses?
What are the “oldest and most reliable manuscripts” and what is the evidence that they actually are the "oldest and most reliable"?
What is the Septuagint and did Jesus and the apostles use it?
Which Bible translations undermine the biblical creation narrative? And how?
What verses have been deleted/modified that undermine the doctrine of the trinity and the deity of Christ?
What is the ultimate goal of textual criticism?
And how you can know with confidence that God has preserved his words as promised in scripture!
In recent years, several high profile Christians renounced their faith in Christ or the doctrine of the trinity due in part to alleged contradictions in the Bible, while other well-known Bible teachers/theologians now support social/cultural/theological positions that are clearly condemned in the words of scripture. How are Bible believing Christians to make sense of the controversial issues surrounding the authority and inerrancy of God’s word? Please join us as Mr. Daniels helps to provide answers to this very important and timely issue, and shows why God’s word can be trusted from the first verse to the last.
An Overview of The Science of Textual Criticism
The Science of Textual Criticism is the basis for how scholars compile biblical manuscripts to create a master text that best represents the original autographs. This “critical text” is then used by translation committees to create most of the modern Bible translations we have today (i.e. ESV, NASB, NIV, etc.). It is recognized that we have more than 5,700 historical manuscripts supporting the New Testament, however the Critical Greek Text is based primarily on two greek manuscripts made public in the 1860s: one known as Codex Vaticanus and one newly “discovered” called the Codex Sinaiticus. Scholars and pastors commonly refer to these as the “oldest and most reliable manuscripts.” Textual critics say that these documents originate from the 4th century.
Museum of the Bible sells a reference book titled “Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible” by D.C. Parker (Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, at the University of Birmingham, U.K., and the Executive Editor of the International Greek New Testament Project) which states:
Codex Sinaiticus is "one of the two oldest manuscripts of the whole Bible.” (cover page) “Even today, the two surviving major codices of the fourth century are the basis of almost all printings of the Greek Bible, and thus of translations of the New Testament into many languages. Codex Sinaiticus is one of these two.” (page 15) "The most important of these is Codex Vaticanus, a manuscript in the Vatican Library” (page 17).
However, many scholars over the last 100 years have challenged the assertion that these two documents are indeed the “oldest and the most reliable”, and if they should be allowed to have such a profound affect on the biblical text as compared to the majority of other Greek manuscripts that agree with each other 99% of the time. David Daniels documented his exhaustive research into Codex Sinaiticus in his book "Is the World’s Oldest Bible a Fake?," providing strong evidence that it is not a 4th century manuscript. The manuscript expert at the British Library stated in a documentary that although people say that Codex Vaticanus is a 4th century manuscript, “it actually looks like a 15th century manuscript.” Interestingly, the earliest recorded date of Codex Vaticanus is 1475 A.D. when it was first entered into the Vatican library.
Dr. Henry Morris of ICR stated that the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus texts "frequently disagreed with each other as well as with the Textus Receptus and also contained many obvious and flagrant mistakes." His complete article on this subject can be found in Appendix 21 of the New Defenders KJV Study Bible or on ICR's website at this link. Because these two manuscripts are littered with deletions, corrections, altered verses and apocryphal material, the result is a multitude of missing/bracketed/changed/footnoted verses throughout most modern Bibles. As D.C. Parker states in his book on Sinaiticus:
…the Codex was extensively revised by a succession of correctors...There are nearly 23,000 revisions (at an overall average of almost thirty on each page). Such a number is unique among ancient manuscripts….they also changed wording and sometimes deleted material.” (page 3) “Codex Sinaiticus did not include passages which would become well-known parts of the New Testament” (page 114), including “one of the most popular of all the stories in the Gospels, this event (found in most manuscripts at John 7:53-8:11) is missing from the oldest manuscripts, including Codex Sinaiticus” (page 110) but then Mr. Parker admits that “the oldest manuscript to contain it (Codex Bezae) was copied in around the year 400” (page 110).
D.C. Parker admits that “the great majority” of Greek New Testament manuscripts are Byzantine, which “means that they contain the form of text which was dominant from the seventh century onwards.” (page 101) This Byzantine text group, which represents 99% of the 5,700 Greek New Testament manuscripts, was the basis for all English New Testament Bible translations from 1525 to 1880.
The faith of famous theologian, textual critic, and New Revised Standard Version committee member Dr. Bart Ehrman was greatly affected by the science of textual criticism. Dr. Ehrman described himself as a “born again fundamentalist Christian” who studied at Moody Bible College, then Wheaton and finally Princeton where he was trained in textual criticism by Dr. Bruce Metzger, one of the editors of the critical text. Dr. Ehrman stated that once he began to study textual criticism he soon began to doubt the truth of the Bible itself, then whether or not Jesus Christ was God or merely a man, and finally even the existence of God Himself. He stated that “depending on which manuscript you read, the meaning is changed significantly.” He now refers to himself as “a happy agnostic.”
A BBC article on Codex Sinaiticus states:
Mr Ehrman was a born again Bible-believing Evangelical until he read the original Greek texts and noticed some discrepancies. The Bible we now use can't be the inerrant word of God, he says, since what we have are the sometimes mistaken words copied by fallible scribes. "When people ask me if the Bible is the word of God I answer 'which Bible?’” The Codex - and other early manuscripts - omit some mentions of ascension of Jesus into heaven, and key references to the Resurrection... Other differences concern how Jesus behaved...Nor are there words of forgiveness from the cross. Jesus does not say "Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Fundamentalists, who believe every word in the Bible is true, may find these differences unsettling.
Famous theologian and Textual Critic Daniel Wallace stated:
“Scholars are not sure of the exact words of Jesus… In truth, though red-letter editions of the Bible may give comfort to believers that they have the very words of Jesus in every instance, this is a false comfort.”
In contrast, the Bible states:
“Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2
"Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" Proverbs 30:6
“The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalms 119: 160)
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7
"For God is not the author of confusion…” 1st Corinthians 14:33
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