Sunday, May 31, 2015

Forgeries in the Bible

Of all the 66 texts in the Bible (the Roman Catholics have 73 books), there doesn't exist one single handwritten original. We don't even have the first copies of the originals, we just have copies of copies of copies of copies etc.

The writers in Antiquity also had somewhat looser standards for accuracy when writing down or copying texts. Sometimes they wrote in other authors' names (usually more famous and authoritative, authors), - they usually added, subtracted, altered and removed "historical" events in the texts as they saw fit. They often mixed fiction with non-fiction, and some could write texts in the name of their adversaries to discredit them, and then use the forged text against them later.

To start with the beginning:

The Old Testament.
The first five texts in the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are not written by Moses as the Church usually claims.

Moses could not have been the author, however, because of the large number of verses demonstrating the contrary. The following are prime examples:
· (a) "And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem,...and the Canaanite was then in the land (Gen. 12:6)," "...and the Canaanite and the Ferizzite dwelled then in the land (Gen. 3:17)." Both verses state that the Canaanites were then in the land. The work of expelling the Canaanites did not begin until the days of Joshua, after Moses, and did not end until the days of David. Since Gen. 12:6 and 13:7 could not have been written until after they had left the land, which was 450 years after Moses, Moses could not have been the author;
· (b) "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel (Gen. 36:31)." This passage could only have been written after the first king, Saul (See: 1 Sam. 10:24-25) began to reign over the Israelites. It had to have been written after Saul began to rule, and thus could not have been written by Moses;
· (c) "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come (Gen. 49:10)." These words could not have been written before Judah received the sceptre, which was not until David ascended the throne nearly 400 years after the death of Moses;
· (d) "Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt....(Ex. 11:3)." People are usually spoken of as great only after their death, and Moses would hardly have made such a statement about himself;
· (e) "And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came...unto the borders of the land of Canaan (Ex.16:35)." Moses died in the wilderness before they crossed over into the land of Canaan. How could he have known what would happen after they crossed over? How could he have known when they would stop eating manna? Moreover, according to Joshua 5:12, they were still eating manna after they crossed the Jordan River and were encamped in Gilgal;
· (f) "The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God ( Ex. 23:19)." This could not have been written before the time of Solomon, for God had no house prior to the erection of the temple 447 years after Moses. When David proposed to build God a house, God forbade it and said that he had never lived in a house since they left Egypt ("Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle"--2 Sam. 7:6);
· (g) "That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you (Lev. 18:28)." How could Moses have written this, since he never saw the promised land and the other nations were not driven out until David's time?
· (h) "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day (Num. 15:32)." How could Moses have written this, since it presupposes the Israelites were no longer in the wilderness? This verse says they were in the wilderness. The author of this wrote after they had left the wilderness and, thus, could not have been Moses, who died in the wilderness;
· (i) "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what shall be done with him (Num. 15:32-34)." This says they did not know what to do with a man who gathered sticks on the sabbath because it had not been declared what to do. Yet, in truth, Ex. 31:15 ("whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death") declared what should be done, and Moses, himself, received this law. Thus, Moses could not have written Numbers 15;
· (j) The following verses appear to have been written by someone other than Moses:
o "And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that the Lord hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses,....(Num. 15:22-23),"
o " the Lord commanded Moses (Ex. 39:57, 40:19, 27, 29, 32);"
· (k) Moses is often referred to in the third person, which shows the Pentateuch is a biography, not an autobiography. "And the Lord spoke unto Moses....(Num. 2:1, 5:1, 31:1)," "and this is the blessing, wherewith Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel before his death (Deut. 33:1),"
· (l) "To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day (Deut. 4:38)." This verse must have been written after Moses died, since they did not possess the land as an inheritance until after his demise;
· (m) "Thou shalt eat it within thy gates....(Deut. 15:22)." The phrase "within thy gates" occurs in the Pentateuch about 25 times. It refers to the gates of the cities of the Israelites, which they did not inhabit until after the death of Moses;
· (n) "And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spoke unto thee....(Deut. 28:68)." How could Moses have written this when he said earlier in Deut. 17:16 that "You shall never return that way (toward Egypt--Ed.) again?" If Moses wrote all of Deuteronomy, then he contradicted himself;
· (o) "And this the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death (Deut. 33:1)." In this verse Moses is not only spoken of in the third person, but in laudatory terms. Moreover, his death is referred to as an event already accomplished;
(p) "This they shall give,...half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary....(Ex. 30:13, 24)." Ingersoll noted that Moses could not have written these verses, since there was no such thing as a "shekel of the sanctuary" until long after Moses lived. (Source: Biblical Errancy)

Unknown Jewish priests wrote these five books between 900 and 100 BCE. Their final editing was first done around 200 CE. Most Bible scholars now believed that the first five books were written by groups of writers. They are the Yahwist, the Elohist , the Priestly writers and the Deuteronomics. This is known as the Documentary Hypothesis.

A lot of the stories in the Old Testament are in fact borrowed material, particularly from the rich mythical heritage of the Sumerians, the inventors of writing. The story of Noah and the great flood, Cain and Abel, the gardens of Eden, creation of Eve from Adams rib, and numerous other myths are stories found recorded on Sumerian clay tablets dating 2-3000 years back, long before the earliest parts of the Old Testament were written down. INFACT, MOST Roman Catholic believes that the first 8 chapter of Genesis were myth.

The Psalms of David are not written by him, but were actually written much later.

We have our knowledge of this king David ("the bloodhound") from his son, the "prophet" Solomon (in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon). But then there is the problem that the alleged Solomon died at least 100-400 years before these texts ascribed to him were first created! Looking at the texts, it is obvious that they are the product of several different writers, writing at different times between 500 BCE and 100 CE.

Judges, Kings and Chronicles are anonymous manuscripts, written at a much later time than the events they present. The same is the case for the books of the so-called prophets, which also were subjected to heavily editing later. (Prophecies made much later than the events they predict, are never particularly impressive.)

The chapters 24-27 and 40-55 of Isaiah are forgeries in Isaiah's name. Only the first chapter of Zechariah is really by him, the rest is a forgery. Only 200-300 of the total 1273 verses by Ezekiel are probably by Ezekiel.

The version of the Old Testament as we know it (with its 39 texts) was first assembled in the 15. Century CE!! Up through history there have existed a number of different Christian Bibles. All the different Christian sects had their own compilation of religious texts. Most of our Old Testament is based on translated medieval manuscripts not older then the or century CE.

The New Testament
None of the gospels were written to be part of a "holy Bible" inspired by God (Simply because the Bible as such didn't exist at that time.) We don't know anything about who wrote the gospels. The Church ascribed the names of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John to the texts much later. These four texts were not originally in the Bible, and they first became authoritative (approved by the church) late in the 2nd. century CE. The gospels are all written in Greek and there is no indication of any Hebrew originals, which rules out that the authors could be anyone among the followers of Jesus (who spoke Aramaic). According too the gospels both Jesus and his disciples had no education and were illiterates, as most of their contemporaries. The gospel texts are also heavily edited by editors, in particular the gospel of St. John.

The letters of John are not written by John the apostle. All the "Catholic letters" (I Peter, II Peter, I-III John, Jude) are also forgeries. And six of the thirteen letters of St. Paul are not by him. Even his "real" letters were later heavily edited by the Church.

Around 400 AD the scholar Hieronimus made a major editing of the Latin Bible, the result is the Latin Vulgata version of the Bible. This became the mother of all later translations. Hieronimus changed no less than 3500 instances in the text.

Among the later added parts, not in the original Gospel texts: The Sermon on the Mount, The story of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:1-21) and the stories of Jesus' resurrection!

Here are more detail accounts of forgery in the New Testament

1. Matthew 6:13 The Lord’s Prayer’s ending has been absent on more older translations.
2. Matthew 17:21 is a duplicate of Mark 9:29, but Mark 9:29 was also a forgery.
3. John 7:53 to 8:11 was inserted by an unknown author, perhaps in the 5th century CE
4. Mark 16:9-20 Other version of the Gospel of Mark ended at the end of verse 8, but some Bible have a longer version (Verses 9 to 20) that were added by an unknown forger.
5. John 5:3-4 Part of verse 3 and all of verse 4 are missing from older manuscripts.
6. 1 John 5:7-8 also known as the Johannine Comma. The KJV is different from the Greek Version.
7. Matthew 18:11 is missing in the NIV Bible and the New World Translation.
8. Mark 11:26 is missing in the NIV Bible

Note: I would like to thank Rai for this. Thanks Rai!

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