300 Changes In The NIV & Other Modern Bible Versions
Contradictions in Gospel of John
The gospel of John has some contradictions between the King James version and New International Version. Why?
100 or 75
God or Man
Hebrew or Aramaic
8 or 7 days
Meat or Fish
Vinegar or Wine vinegar
Jonas or John
Dear Woman or just Woman
Begotten or Only
Jew or Jews
Holy One or Son of the Living
Rape In The Bible
Rape is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Yet few people know that the Bible often condones and even approves of rape. How anyone can get their moral guidance from a book that allows rape escapes me. Continue reading
(CNN) – A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.
“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.
There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”
“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:
* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.
* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.
* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.
Were Jesus’ disciples ‘illiterate peasants?’
Ehrman’s book, like many of his previous ones, is already generating backlash. Ben Witherington, a New Testament scholar, has written a lengthy online critique of “Forged.”
Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”
All of the New Testament books, with the exception of 2 Peter, can be traced back to a very small group of literate Christians, some of whom were eyewitnesses to the lives of Jesus and Paul, Witherington says.
“Forged” also underestimates the considerable role scribes played in transcribing documents during the earliest days of Christianity, Witherington says.
Even if Paul didn’t write the second book of Timothy, he would have dictated it to a scribe for posterity, he says.
“When you have a trusted colleague or co-worker who knows the mind of Paul, there was no problem in antiquity with that trusted co-worker hearing Paul’s last testimony in prison,” he says. “This is not forgery. This is the last will and testament of someone who is dying.”
Ehrman doesn’t confine his critique to Paul’s letters. He challenges the authenticity of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. He says that none were written by Jesus’ disciplies, citing two reasons.
He says none of the earliest gospels revealed the names of its authors, and that their current names were later added by scribes.
Ehrman also says that two of Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.
“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.
Will the real Paul stand up?
Ehrman reserves most of his scrutiny for the writings of Paul, which make up the bulk of the New Testament. He says that only about half of the New Testament letters attributed to Paul – 7 of 13 – were actually written by him.
Paul’s remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.
For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).
“There’s nothing wrong with extremely long sentences in Greek; it just isn’t the way Paul wrote. It’s like Mark Twain and William Faulkner; they both wrote correctly, but you would never mistake the one for the other,” Ehrman writes.
The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”
Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?”
Why people forged
Forgers often did their work because they were trying to settle early church disputes, Ehrman says. The early church was embroiled in conflict – people argued over the treatment of women, leadership and relations between masters and slaves, he says.
“There was competition among different groups of Christians about what to believe and each of these groups wanted to have authority to back up their views,” he says. “If you were a nobody, you wouldn’t sign your own name to your treatise. You would sign Peter or John.”
So people claiming to be Peter and John – and all sorts of people who claimed to know Jesus – went into publishing overdrive. Ehrman estimates that there were about 100 forgeries created in the name of Jesus’ inner-circle during the first four centuries of the church.
Witherington concedes that fabrications and forgeries floated around the earliest Christian communities.
But he doesn’t accept the notion that Peter, for example, could not have been literate because he was a fisherman.
“Fisherman had to do business. Guess what? That involves writing, contracts and signed documents,” he said in an interview.
Witherington says people will gravitate toward Ehrman’s work because the media loves sensationalism.
“We live in a Jesus-haunted culture that’s biblically illiterate,” he says. “Almost anything can pass for historical information… A book liked ‘Forged’ can unsettle people who have no third or fourth opinions to draw upon.”
Ehrman, of course, has another point of view.
“Forged” will help people accept something that it took him a long time to accept, says the author, a former fundamentalist who is now an agnostic.
The New Testament wasn’t written by the finger of God, he says – it has human fingerprints all over its pages.
“I’m not saying people should throw it out or it’s not theologically fruitful,” Ehrman says. “I’m saying that by realizing it contains so many forgeries, it shows that it’s a very human book, down to the fact that some authors lied about who they were.”
|Posted by: John Blake – CNN Writer|
Almighty God in Bible and Quran
The ONENESS of God as seen in Christianity and Islam, the sources are mainly the Bible, and Quran. Continue reading
Child abuse by Catholic priests has seriously dented the trust of the faithful in the Church. Charles Evers, who was abused by a priest, converted to Islam and now is called Yusuf. “Catholicism is a nasty faith,” Yusuf says.
Paul Believed That Jesus is not God
Many people use Paul’s writings as proof that Jesus is God. But this is not fair to Paul, because Paul clearly believed that Jesus is not God.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:
“I charge you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, to keep these instructions . . .” (ch. 5, v. 21).
It is clear from this that the title God applies not to Christ Jesus, but to someone else. In the following chapter, he again differentiates between God and Jesus when he says:
“In the sight of God who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus . . .” (ch. 6, v. 13).
Paul then went on to speak of
“the second appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ which God will bring about in his own time” (vv. 14-15).
Again, the title God is deliberately turned away from Jesus.
Incidentally, many people think that when Jesus is called “Lord” in the Bible that means “God”. But in the Bible this title means master or teacher, and it can be used for addressing humans (see 1 Peter ch. 3, v. 6).
What is more important, however, it to notice what Paul says next, for this will demolish any supposition that Paul took Jesus for God. What he says about God in the following passage clearly shows that Jesus is not God. Paul says:
“God the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see” (1 Timothy ch. 6, vv. 15-16).
Paul says that God alone is immortal. Immortal means he does not die. Check any dictionary. Now, anyone who believes that Jesus died cannot believe that Jesus is God. Such a belief would contradict what Paul said here. Furthermore, to say that God died is a blasphemy against God. Who would run the world if God died? Paul believed that God does not die.
Paul also said in that passage that God dwells in unapproachable light — that no one has seen God or can see him. Paul knew that many thousands of people had seen Jesus. Yet Paul can say that no one has seen God because Paul was sure that Jesus is not God.
This is why Paul went about teaching not that Jesus was God, but that he was God’s Messiah (see Acts 9:22; 16:3; 18:5).
When he was in Athens, Paul spoke of God as “the God who made the world and everything in it,” then he identified Jesus as “the man whom God appointed” (Acts 17:24-31).
Clearly, for Paul, Jesus was not God, and he would be shocked to see his writings used for proving the opposite of what he believed.
Paul even testified in court saying:
“I admit that I worship the God of our fathers . . . ” (Acts 24:14).
And Jesus is the Servant of that God, for we read in Acts,
“The God of our fathers has glorified his servant Jesus” (ch. 3, v. 13).
For Paul, the Father alone is God.
Paul said that there is “one God and Father of all” (Ephesians ch. 4, v. 6). Paul said again,
“For us there is but one God, the Father . . . and one Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Paul’s letter to the Philippians ch. 2, vv. 6-11 is often quoted as proof that Jesus is God. But the very passage shows that Jesus is not God. This passage has to agree with Isaiah 45:22-24 where God (Yahweh) said that every knee should bow to Yahweh, and every tongue should confess that righteousness and strength are in Yahweh alone. Paul was aware of this passage, for he quoted it in Romans 14:11. Knowing this, Paul declared,
“I kneel before the Father” (Ephesians 3:14).
The letter to the Hebrews ( ch. 1, v. 6) says that the angels of God should worship the Son. But this passage depends on Deuteronomy, ch. 32, v. 43, in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. This phrase cannot be found in the Old Testament used by Christians today, and the Septuagint version is no longer considered valid by Christians. However, even the Septuagint version, does not say worship the Son. It says let the Angels of God worship God (Yahweh).
The Bible insists that Yahweh alone is to be worshipped. In Deuteronomy ch .6, v. 16, we read,
“Worship Yahweh your God and serve him only.”
Jesus, on whom be peace, believed in this, for he also stressed it in Luke ch. 4, v. 8. And Jesus too fell on his face and worshipped God (see Matthew 26:39).
Paul knew that Jesus worshipped God (see Hebrews 5:7), and Paul taught that Jesus will remain forever subservient to God (see 1 Corinthians, ch. 15, v. 28).