WHY THE PROTESTANT BIBLE
IS NOT THE WORD OF GOD
A number of years ago, I undertook a brief
survey of New Testament quotations of the Old Testament and compared those
quotations with their source passages in the Old Testament itself, and I was
shocked to find substantial discrepancies between the two. Here is just one
example of many I could list:
Acts 15.17 (New Testament, King James Version)
...That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Acts 15.17 tells us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called. Acts 15.17 is actually a quote from Amos 9.12, but when we compare the quote above with its alleged source in Amos 9.12 of the KJV Old Testament, we find a sharp disagreement:
Amos 9.12 (Old Testament, King James Version)
...That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
Rather than telling us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called, as the New Testament quotes it, Amos 9.12 in the KJV would have us believe that the Jews will "POSSESS the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen..." Remember, Acts 15.17 is supposed to be a quote of Amos 9.12, but when we compare them, we see that they disagree sharply in content. How are we to explain this descrepancy?
The cause for the confusion rests in the fact that the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text instead of the Greek Septuagint. When we compare the quote of Amos 9.12 found in Acts 15.17 of the KJV with an English translation of Amos 9.12 from the Septuagint, we find a virtually perfect match:
Amos 9.12(Old Testament, Brentonís English Translation of the Greek Septuagint)
...that the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who does all these things.
While doing some digging on the subject, I learned that the New Testament, as a general rule, agrees with the Septuagint more frequently than with the Masoretic Text. But the Old Testament that I was using (the King James Version) was translated using the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. I also learned that the Septuagint is more closely aligned with the biblical manuscripts found in the Dead Sea scrolls as well, and the Dead Sea scrolls date back to the 2nd century BC, well before the New Testament was written.
As Wikipedia puts it, "Some of the Dead Sea scrolls attest to Hebrew texts other than those on which the Masoretic Text was based; in many cases, these newly found texts accord with the LXX version [emphasis mine]." So not only does the Masoretic Text conflict with the Septuagint and New Testament, but it even conflicts with the Dead Sea scrolls, which predate the oldest manuscripts of the Masoretic Text by almost 1000 years.
It should not be surprising to learn that the Dead Sea scrolls indicate the existence of Hebrew texts of the Old Testament other than the Masoretic Text, firstly because the Dead Sea scrolls predate the Masoretic Text by 1000 years, and secondly because the Masoretic Text was redacted by the Masoretes (who of course rejected Jesus as the Messiah).
Wikipediaís article on the Masoretic Text has this to say: "The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the seventh and tenth centuries CE...it has numerous differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to (extant 4th century) manuscripts of the Septuagint, a Greek translation (made in the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE) of the Hebrew Scriptures that was in popular use in Egypt and Palestine and that is often quoted in the Christian New Testament."
My own brief survey, in which I compared Old Testament passages with New Testament quotations, was done using the King James Version of the Bible. As I said, I found significant disagreements between the two, and this is because the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Text, but the authors of the New Testament must have quoted from an Old Testament source that much more closely resembled the Septuagint.
Here is a short list of disagreements between New Testament quotes from the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament. My source for this is The Septuagint in the New Testament:
Matthew relies on the Septuagint for the assertion that the Messiah's mother was to be a virgin (Matthew 1.23). Jesus himself follows the traditional Septuagint wording in condemning the Pharisees' traditions (Matthew 15.8-9 /Isaiah 29.13)... The Septuagint foretold that the Messiah's death would be unjust (Acts 8.32-33) and that the Gentiles would seek the Lord (Acts 15.16-17 /Amos 9.11-12). The Hebrew has the nations being "possessed" along with Edom. Paul knows that a remnant of Israel will be saved because he was reading the Old Testament in Greek (Romans 9.27-28 / Isaiah 10.22-23). Perhaps if his topic were the return to the Holy Land and not salvation, he would have found the Hebrew reading more suitable... Paul's thought that Jesus would rule the Gentiles also depends on a Septuagint reading (Romans 15.12 / Isaiah 11.10). The author of the book of Hebrews - to prove the deity of Christ - proclaims that Jesus is worshipped by all the angels of God (Hebrews 1.6 / Deut. 32.43). But the Hebrew Old Testament does not contain that verse. Also on the basis of the Greek Old Testament, that author asserts that the incarnation was prophecied (Hebrews 10.5-7 / Psalm 40.6-8) - that Jesus would have a body, which he would offer for our sanctification (Hebrews 10.10). The Masoretic text at this point stresses auditory capability. Finally, where the Masoretic text described a nonviolent suffering servant, the Septuagint prophesied a sinless Messiah (1 Peter 2.22 / Isaiah 53.9)...
The Masoretic Text, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the only existing representation of the Old Testament in Hebrew. The oldest fragments date from the 9th century AD, but the oldest complete texts come from the 10th and 11th centuries AD. However, the Hebrew text that it contains is clearly not the original Hebrew, nor even the Hebrew that was in use in the 1st century AD. The Hebrew of the 1st century AD was closely akin to the Greek Septuagint that we have today; this is clear because, although the Hebrew of Moses was little used, when it was used in ancient writing it was clearly in agreement with the Greek Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text. For example, although Philo and Josephus both used the Greek Septuagint, it is believed by most scholars that they frequently had access to a Hebrew Bible and even consulted it on a few occasions. It is through evidence like this that we see that the then current Hebrew disagreed with the Hebrew Masoretic Text of today because the original Hebrew was the Hebrew of Moses. In the 1st century, the Christians and all other Greek speaking Israelites, including 1,000,000 of them who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, used the Greek Septuagint. Jesus and His Apostles wrote in Greek and quoted the Greek Septuagint. Of this there can be no doubt. This is a fact that can be confirmed in any encyclopedia or scholarly book on the subject. As we have already pointed out, we know this because the quotations of the Greek New Testament are [very closely] aligned with the Greek Septuagint, but in sharp opposition to the Hebrew Masoretic Text. There is, however, no reason to believe that they were in disagreement with the Hebrew that was current in the 1st century AD. The Hebrew of Moses was the language of the original Hebrew Bible and the Hebrew of Moses was the language used in worship in the Temple. The Hebrew of Moses was a 'dead' language and for that reason was preferred for worship. The Hebrew of Moses was preferred for worship because the meaning never changed as would be true in a vernacular of the people. This same idea was carried over into the Christian Church that retained the use of Koine Greek or Latin. Both Koine Greek and Latin, like the Hebrew of Moses was a dead language and preferred for worship. The vernacular was seen as unfit for worship as the meanings changed and so error could creep into the Liturgy.
What we do know is that toward the end of the 1st century AD and into the 2nd century, the Talmudic, Edomite Jews were actively attacking the Greek Septuagint because it was used by the Christians. They felt that they could discredit the Christians merely for the reason that they used Greek, and at the same time, they began twisting the Hebrew Scriptures to try and disprove that Jesus was the true Messiah. This controversy roared on until at least the 4th and 5th centuries AD. We have already noted how the early Catholics attacked the Vulgate translation of Jerome (Duay-Rheims) because it was the first to be based upon Hebrew, and they continued for a very long time to use the Old Latin because it was based upon the Greek Septuagint. One of the most famous examples of how the Jews attacked the Greek Septuagint regarded the word virgin. The particular verse in question is Isaiah 7:14, which reads in the Greek Septuagint:
"Therefore, the Master Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will conceive in the womb, and will bring forth a Son, and you will call His Name Emmanuel."
In the Greek, the word for virgin is parthenos, and it literally means a virgin. In the Masoretic Text, however, the word is almah which means a young girl. The usual Hebrew word for virgin, and the word in every case translated virgin in the Revised Version, is bethuwlah. This verse is quoted from Isaiah in the Christian Scriptures in Matthew 1:23. The Jews attacked the Septuagint from the beginning because they claimed that it had been corrupted by the Christians and that the Christians changed the word in the Septuagint to read virgin instead of young woman so that it would support the reading in Matthew. Of course, the Edomite Jews did not believe that Jesus was the true Messiah; this was why they were attacking the Septuagint. The Jews are the ones who changed the Hebrew, replacing the word virgin with young woman. The early motive of the Edomite Jews was to destroy Christianity, not just the Septuagint. But the Christians did not give in, so the Jews changed their strategy. They instead decided to corrupt the Old Testament and gain control of the Christians by giving them a corrupted Old Testament. By the 3rd century they began collecting every Hebrew manuscript they could, and this was easy to do because the Christians used the Greek Septuagint and cared little for the Hebrew. They then began revising the Hebrew documents to support their Jewish contentions. By the time of Jerome, they began taking the soft approach and gave Jerome their new Hebrew for him to use in his translation. But, as we said before, the Christians at first rejected the Vulgate. So the Jews continued working on their text...
At the end of this time, all other Hebrew manuscripts except for the Masoretic Text disappeared. The fact is that they were destroyed by the same people who had gathered them up - the Talmudic, Masoretic Jews. Then the Jews began presenting themselves as the diligent preservers of the Hebrew Bible and began deceiving Christians. They no longer blatantly attacked the Septuagint but rather touted themselves as being faithful servants of God. To this end, when the Masoretic Text was finished, they counted every letter and word and contrived mechanisms to insure that the manuscripts would be faithfully transmitted, but they did not bother to account for the editing and corruption that they themselves had been doing for the previous 600-700 years. The early English translations of the Bible were based upon the Latin, but the Jews intended to deceive the Christians into translating their Bibles from the Hebrew Masoretic Text. So their new strategy was to win over the stupid Christians, but the old motives were always there. At this time, they had to do an about-face on the issue of virgin. They had learned that the Christians would not accept the Hebrew as long as such blatant blasphemies were contained in it. This deception on the part of the mongrel, Talmudic Jews can be seen in an early Spanish translation of the Masoretic Text. Geddes MacGregor, in his book, The Bible in the Making (pg. 279) writes:
Translations of the Hebrew Bible into various languages, began to appear about that time. In 1422 Rabbi Moses Arragel translated the Scriptures from the Hebrew into Spanish, for the Christian Church and with the assistance of Franciscan scholars, and it is upon that version that the Ferrara Bible, printed in 1553, was based. This famous Spanish Bible was intended to serve the needs of both Jews and Christians. Certain deviations were made in the copies intended for Christian readers. For example, where the copies intended for Jews read 'young woman,' the copies set aside for Christian use put 'virgin.'
Through this means of deception, the Jews pulled off the grand deception when they convinced the translators of the KJV to use the Masoretic Text instead of the Latin or Greek. Today, the so-called "Christian" world believes in the lie of the Hebrew Bible, even though all Christians for the first four centuries of Christianity universally used the Greek Septuagint or a translation of it, including the Master Jesus the Anointed and His Ambassadors.
When this so-called controversy is examined from a purely textual point-of-view, then we find that the undisputed facts are the following, and I say 'undisputed' because these facts are admitted even by the most staunch supporters of the Masoretic Text.
In regards to the Masoretic Text, the manuscripts date from around AD 1000. The manuscripts are admittedly altered from their original form, for vowel symbols have been added and the text has been revised in light of Talmudic tradition. The Masoretic Text is based upon the Hebrew which was rejected by the early Christians, who were the true Israel of God.
In regards to the Septuagint, the oldest manuscripts date to around AD325-350 (though fragments are much older). It was never purposely changed or edited, but the oldest texts of the Septuagint represent the oldest surviving descendants of an ancient translation made of the Hebrew in the 3rd century BC which was considered divinely inspired by most Judeans at that time. It was universally accepted by the early Christians for the first 400 years of Christianity and was used and quoted from by Jesus and His Apostles, who quoted from it under divine inspiration.
Again, the above facts are admitted even by the supporters of the Masoretic Text. What logic, then, is used to justify the use and preferment of the Masoretic Text? Those who use it believe that the Talmudic, Edomite Jews who murdered Jesus Christ are the chosen people of God and therefore the chosen preservers of God's Word. However, we are told the following by Jesus in John 8 regarding these same Edomite Jews who wrote the Talmud and created the Masoretic Text:
"You neither know Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you would have known My Father also. ...Where I go, you are not able to come ... You are from below; I am from above. You are from this world, I am not from this world. ... If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham. ... You do the works of your father. ... If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that one sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to hear My Word.. You are of your father the Diabolical One, and the lusts of your father you wish to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it" (AST).
Notice that Jesus said that these Edomite Talmudists were not capable of hearing His Word, they were not capable of doing anything but the works of their father, who was a liar from the beginning. Now this means that in no way were these Talmudic Jews, who later called themselves Masoretes, capable of being divinely inspired "preservers" of God's Word. Because of the Words of Jesus, we must assume this to be a blatant lie.
But even beyond these points, from a purely objective, scientific point-of-view, when we apply the science of Textual Criticism to this controversy, we must again decide in favor of the Greek Septuagint. We remember that the fundamental rule of Textual Criticism is usually that the older the text, the better, and the complete Septuagint version of the Old Testament outdates the complete Masoretic Text version by 650-700 years.
The second rule that we must implement is that not all manuscripts are of the same value. Again, this value issue is clear for these two witnesses: the Septuagint is representative of a 3rd century BC Hebrew text; the Masoretic is representative of a 7th-9th century AD revision of the Hebrew.
Thus, there can be no doubt as to which text is to be preferred. The Septuagint is superior in every way to the Judaized Masoretic Text (V. S. Herrell, The History of the Bible, p. 51-57).
(THE SEPTUAGINT BIBLE IS CALLED THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE AND IS AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON.COM OR MAJOR BOOK RETAILERS. )
RELATED ARTICLE:† http://www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/otbible.html