The Majority Text

In most “modern” translations today, such as the New International Version (NIV), after an omitted word, verse or group of verses you will find, “The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have [the omitted word(s).]” The “reliable” manuscripts to which they refer are the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.

Antique dealers like to have provenance for the items they sell. The provenance tells who owned them and where they came from. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have no provenance. The reliability of these texts has been questioned by Nineteenth and Twentieth Century scholars. Vaticanus appeared in the Vatican library in the Fifteenth Century, no one knows from where. It is old, but is it as old as its proponents say it is? Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones in his book, Which Version is the Bible, states that the spelling used in both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus does not agree with early Greek spelling.

The source, or provenance, of Sinaiticus is questioned because a Greek paleographer, Constantine Simonides, claimed to have created this copy the Bible in the 1840’s. He also claimed to have inserted acrostics in the work which would prove he was the copyist. The acrostics were not found, but their absence may explain the strange square burns on some pages.

It has been stated that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus do not even agree with each other. Over 20,000 corrections have been found in the Codex Sinaiticus. The twelve verses of Mark 16:9-20 are missing in most “modern” translations. Dr. David L. Brown visited the British Library to study the Sinaiticus and saw where the missing verses had been pumiced (erased) from the page. The letters were still faintly there. Are these the hallmarks of a reliable manuscript?

The Gnostics stated that they had “special knowledge.” (Please see last week’s lesson, Gnostic Doctrine.) One of the Gnostic doctrines was that Jesus was not the Son of God, but just a man. The changes made in the base Greek text, now used in most modern translations as a result of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, are in agreement with Gnostic texts that pervert the Gospel.

The Greek texts used by the translators of the Reformation are known as the Received Text or the Textus Receptus. There are between 1,100 and 1,200 texts or portions of texts included in this group. Frequently they are referred to as the Majority Text. Logic fails as to why many scholars prefer two texts of questionable reliability to over one thousand texts that agree with each other and disagree with Gnostic perversions of the Word of God.

Here is the result of Codex Sinaiticus. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) did a presentation on the codex. They pointed out the thousands of changes made to the Scripture. They declared that these changes show that the early Church was unsure of doctrine and of the promises made by the Lord Jesus, and that the doctrines and promises were not dependable, but changeable.

Satan must have wrung his hands in glee at this proclamation casting a shadow on the Word of God and causing doubt in the minds of those that saw the television show. This is the result of declaring Vaticanus and Sinaiticus as the “most reliable” texts.

Pray for the lost. The time must be near. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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